Right Division And The Kingdoms
But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God. Luke 9:27.
In order for anyone to comprehend and appreciate the Bible, it is necessary to understand rightly a few things about the subject of the kingdoms.
Let us consider the study under the following headings:
1. The Kingdom of Heaven. This is the special theme of the Old Testament concerning Israel. It was the gospel or good news announced by John the Baptist, whose ministry was foretold by the prophet Isaiah (40:3).
This kingdom is from heaven, under the heavens, and will be established upon the earth. It has for its King the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is Israel's Messiah. This kingdom was at hand having the possibility of fulfillment until the close of the Acts period, but Israel's rebellion and unbelief made it necessary to temporarily withdraw the offer.
When the true Israel is converted to Christ at His 2nd coming and they become a “royal priesthood,” they will carry the blessings and glory of this kingdom throughout the entire earth. This is Israel’s commission (Matt 28:18-20).
In the transfiguration of Jesus, this kingdom is the subject. The spectacle is full of symbolism, even the brilliant transformation of Christ's person which represents the honor and glory He has with the Father. In that account Moses represents the law, and Elijah the prophets. Christ stands as the One who will fulfill all things written in them.
2. The Kingdom of His Dear Son. Col 1:13. This kingdom stands in direct contrast to the kingdom of heaven in that it has regard to a sphere which is “far above all heavens.” It also stands in direct contrast in that it “was kept a secret” from all mankind until its revelation to the apostle Paul while in prison at Rome. This was revealed only after all previous kingdom of heaven hopes were withdrawn. The “kingdom of His dear Son,” which is the subject of the dispensation of “the mystery [secret],” is open for membership to ALL those who will believe its teaching and enter in by faith. The instructions for it can be found in the epistles written by the apostle Paul after Acts 28.
This is the only kingdom or family of God that is offered today to those that believe. It is also called “The Church, which is The Body of Christ” (Eph. 1:22b-23a).