Has the Kingdom Begun?
“which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,” (Ephesians 1:20–22, NASB95)
The Kingdom of God is the future Kingly reign of Christ on the throne of David, the period we often call the Millennium. This Kingdom, so clear in Scripture, is continually misdefined by modern pastors, theologians, and laypersons. A common modern definition of the Kingdom is “wherever God rules and reigns.” While it sounds good, such an understanding of the Kingdom is absolutely foreign to the Bible. To support such a definition, however, many will turn to this present passage in Ephesians to claim that, since all things are in subjection under the feet of Christ, His Kingdom has begun. Is their claim valid?
Since God has always sovereignly reigned upon His throne, Christ always being given all authority (save the time of His kenosis, or emptying during the incarnation), such a claim claims too much. In the end, it removes all definition of Kingdom. In the words of George N.H. Peters, “no more proves that the Kingdom is now established on earth, than did the universal government of God in the days of Daniel prove that the Kingdom of God was then established on earth. We must distinguish between a Kingdom on earth and a Kingdom over earth, which includes earth as a revolted province.”1
Christ is sovereign in Heaven now, at the right hand of the Father. In a coming day, He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. Such a day we call the Kingdom of God.
In His Grace;
Dr. Randy White
1. George N. H. Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom (Redding, CA: Pleasant Places Press, 2005). 38.
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