Sunday, May 31, 2020

Revelation Day 13

Is the Kingdom now? Will the church (Christianity, Kingdom of God) grow or be extinguished in the course of time? How does this relate to Satan’s binding?

Day 13

B. Hodge, Biblical Authority Ministries, May 31, 2020

Is the Kingdom current?

According to Scripture…yes. Several passages indicating the Kingdom is now are: Matthew 4:17, 21:38-45; Luke 9:27, 17:21; 22:18 (with John 19:29-30); Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 4:20; Hebrews 12:28; Revelation 1:9, among others. See also Matthew 3:2 and 10:7. 

Daniel 2:44 makes it clear that during the reign of these beasts (4 kingdoms), which the last (Rome) engulfed the others, God would set up a Kingdom. This limits the Kingdom’s beginning to a time during the Roman reign. [1]

            Inauguration of the Kingdom

The inauguration of the Kingdom began with Christ. Jesus lived an earthly life during the reign of Rome. At the Last Supper, Christ said that He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until He “drinks it a new in the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 26:29, Mark 14:25, Luke 22:18), nor would He eat the bread with them (Luke 22:16) until in the Kingdom.

The solution is simple? When does Scripture say Jesus again had fruit of the vine (wine, grape juice, vinegar, sour wine, etc.) and had bread with them. At one point on the Cross, Jesus refused to drink of sour wine (Matthew 27:34). But later, at the right time, He did  drink wine in John 19:28-30 when He finally said, “it is finished”.

Regarding bread, Christ ate as well after the Resurrection with His disciples (John 21:13). So by Christ’s own requirements for the Kingdom, it is in place since He ate and drank the bread and wine “a new” in the Kingdom!

Consider also that if there is a King, there is a Kingdom. Jesus is the King of Kings (1 Timothy 6:15) and all authority on heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18) had been given to Him. Consider that Christ currently sits at the right hand of the Father on the throne of God and even testified to the Father when Stephen was being stoned (Acts 2:33, Matthew 19:28, Hebrews 1:3, Hebrews 1:13, Acts 7:56). So there is a Kingdom and it has been inaugurated.

Kingdom growth

From Scripture, the Kingdom of God/Christianity or otherwise Kingdom of Heaven will gradually dominate due to the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3): Matthew 13:31-33, 16:18; Luke 13:18-21; Habakkuk 2:14; Daniel 2:35, 7:13-18, among others. Even today, as bad as it seems in some parts of the world, there are still more Christians today, than there ever has been.

Consider Revelation 11:15 – the gospel is free to take over these kingdoms – they have been given to Christ when all authority was given to Him and therefore, Satan’s stronghold was destroyed (the strong man, the devil, was bound/limited in what he could do—Matthew 12:29).

Furthermore, Christianity only started with a handful of faithful upon the resurrection. We need to be careful of looking at our temporal times in our local regions of the world and look at the big picture. Romans 4:13 indicates Abraham would be the heir of the world through the righteousness of faith (Christianity) and not by the Law and oral traditions/Talmud (Judaism).[2]

This is to be expected. God, the Holy Spirit, doesn’t fail at His task after all. Most eschatological positions (except Post-millennialism) have the Holy Spirit failing and Jesus has to come and rescue the world [again] due to the Holy Spirit’s failed attempt. However, these passages confirm the contrary; that the Holy Spirit will accomplish His work of converting the nations. 

Is Satan’s binding limited?

Yes. He was bound so that he could not “deceive the nations” for a thousand year time (Revelation 20:3). In other words, the strong man (Satan) was bound by Christ; so now Satan’s kingdom (Matthew 12:26, Ephesians 2:2) can be plundered (Mark 3:27) and returned to its rightful place under Christ, the last Adam, whose dominion shall be forever (Daniel 4:34, 1 Peter 4:11, 1 Peter 5:11, Jude 1:25, and Revelation 1:6).

Hence, the Gospel will progress and be effective in the nations until the time of Satan’s release where he will again have the power to “deceive the nations” (Matthew 28:18-20). This is why the gospel was able to go to all nations and continues to convert against all odds. Recall, the Holy Spirit will prevail against all opposition. 

[1] This is why Dispensational Pre-millennialism requires the revival of the Roman Empire (the fourth beast) to come back into existence in due time so that the alleged future kingdom of Jesus can be established. But is that really necessary? 
[2] Judaism is not Old Testament religion, but is based on the oral traditions of the fathers in how they interpret, reinterpret and deviate from the Old Testament. These traditions have been written down about A.D. 200-500 and are the Talmud. There is the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud. Essentially, Judaism today is a subtraction of the New Testament Scripture and an addition of the Talmudic teachings. See: David Abrahams, Judaism, World Religions and Cults, Volume 1, Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2016.

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