Clearing away the confusion on this important
Is The Kingdom Of God?
The stages of god's kingdom
The three stages in God's Kingdom correspond
to three broad ages
in the Divine plan and purposes for man.
TODAY A GREAT CONFUSION EXISTS among the various Christian denominations concerning the timing and nature of the Kingdom of God. Two main theories exist. One is Amillennialism, which makes the case that God's prophesied Kingdom of righteousness is found in the Christian church of the present day. The other, Premillennialism, makes God's Kingdom to be solely future after the return of Christ to this earth. But a third view has also been proclaimed by knowledgeable Bible students, who point out that it is both present and future. We believe that the Kingdom of God is an everlasting kingdom throughout history, and is not limited to one era. (Psalm 145:13; Dan. 4:3; 7:27; 2 Peter 1:11)
AN EVERLASTING KINGDOM
Nineteenth century Bible scholar, John Peter Lange, in his monumental 24 volume Bible Commentary, has this to say about God's Kingdom: "The Kingdom of God embraces the whole history of the world viewed from the Christian stand-point...Viewed in this light, the whole history of the world itself is simply the history of the restoration and transformation of the world into the Kingdom of God." (Commentary on Matthew, p.2)
God's Kingdom began in the Garden of Eden when God "walked in the garden" in their midst (Gen. 3:8), and all things were in perfection. There was no sorrow, no death, no suffering, no want of any good thing. (Gen. 2:8-9) Although mankind lost that first chance at 'heaven on earth,' the whole subsequent history of the world comprises man's attempt to regain the peace and plenty that was lost in Eden. The New Testament closes with its re-fulfillment on earth. (Rev. 21 & 22)
THE KINGDOM STAGES
God interacted among mankind throughout the history of the Old Testament. Since the major focus of the Old Testament was on Passover and the Temple rituals, this period may be called, the Passover stage of the Kingdom. Centuries later, a new age dawned with Christ's resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit into the world to dwell in the lives of believers; this was the Pentecostal stage of the Kingdom. And, at a future day when Christ's coming (epiphany) occurs, and His presence (parousia) with us, mankind will witness the dawning of the final stage of the Kingdom of God. Christ will tabernacle with us in an earthly Kingdom, which may be called, the Tabernacles stage. These three ages are in fact stages of the Kingdom of God on earth, and are symbolized in ritual form by the three ancient festivals of Old Testament worship: Passover, Pentecost (the Feast of Weeks), and Tabernacles. The New Testament makes it clear that these old covenant ceremonial holy days "are a shadow of things to come," that is, prophetic. (Col. 2:16-17; Heb. 10:1)
The Kingdom in existence today operates internally within the lives of believers. This stage is necessary, because men's hearts had to be converted before nations could be converted. Yet, the internal Kingdom can be discerned only by those who understand the Spirit's in-filling in the lives of believers. Today, Christ reigns in the midst of His enemies in the hearts of His people. (Matt. 18:20; Luke 17:21) But the time is coming, upon His return, in which the Kingdom of God will hold physical sway over the entire earth. Until that time, we are to proclaim God's Word to the unregenerate world, and learn and practice the principles of "Kingdom Living" as outlined in the Bible. (Matthew 6:33)