For those who have an understanding of the Plan of God, the present era of history is a most interesting time in which to be alive.
The Reign of the Christ. The subject of the Gospel is the Kingdom of Heaven. The essence of the Gospel may be expressed in the declaration, “Jesus Reigns!” The days in which we are living constitute the prophesied era of the Reign of the Christ. This is the era in which shall be fulfilled the great confidence of the Justified, which is the Resurrection Out From the Dead.
The present era began two thousand years ago. This era was revealed to the prophets, who generally saw it as one event, beginning with the session of the King. The everlasting Reign of the Christ commenced shortly after the ascension of Christ Jesus into Heaven. It was then that the resurrected Christ was seated at the right hand of God the Father, upon the revived Throne of David.1 With the Session of the Christ, the prophesied Kingdom of God became a reality. According to the Scripture, the first objective of the reign of the Christ is to subordinate all the nations of the Earth unto the rule of the Son.2
The Influence of the Kingdom. Leaven is an agent of transformation or influence. Jesus prophesied that influence of the Kingdom of Heaven would spread,3 even as a small amount of leaven introduced into a lump of dough eventually permeates and transforms the whole.4 Though the result of the transformation within a lump of dough is observable, the process is gradual and subtle. The slow and generally unperceived growth of the Kingdom is portrayed also in the parable of the farmer who anxiously awaits the sprouting of seed.5 When he ascended into Heaven, Jesus had about a hundred and twenty followers, all in Jerusalem.6 In the present day, the followers of Jesus are innumerable, and the influence of the Reign of the Christ is seen throughout the Earth, in almost every aspect of life.
Why Sin? Why Evil? Many in sincerity ask how it is, if Jesus has been reigning for two millennia, that there should be found today in the World evils such as warfare, disease, poverty, starvation, and crime. But the question, though sincere, is defective, for it ignores the fact that, from the very beginning and without lapse, the Lord God has governed his Creation.7 The Lord indeed shall vanquish evil, but the time for that has not yet arrived.
Sin a Matter of Instinct. The population of the Earth, over which the Kingdom rules, is mortal, and mortals of the Natural Realm are necessarily sinful. Contrary to the teaching of the Protestant Pulpit, sinful behaviour on the part of man is not the result of a “Sin Nature” inherited from Adam; after all, Adam had no Sin Nature, and yet he sinned. Rather, sin is a consequence of unbridled survival instincts; instincts which the Creator designed and placed within creatures of the flesh. The purpose of the Way of Life is to teach the Justified control over his fleshly instincts. However, it is not until he is transformed from flesh to spirit by the Resurrection that the Justified is set free from the power of fleshly instincts. This is the reason Paul asks the rhetorical question, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”8 And though the Justified shall be delivered by the Resurrection, the general populace of the Earth shall remain mortal fleshly creatures.
Sons of God. Heretofore, the Lord has governed and executed judgment through human rulers, such as Nebuchadnezzar, whom he appointed.9 The Kingdom of Heaven being implemented by the Lord God differs both in concept and in degree; the Kingdom governs directly.10 The officers of the Kingdom are Sons of God; they are the Justified, born by the Resurrection into the family of God. And the government imposed by the Kingdom is comprehensive; the Kingdom has many offices, staffed by the Justified, in number sufficient to provide proper governance of the entire populace of the Earth.
The Devil. The Protestant Pulpit attributes to angelic creatures much of the evil men face in life. Indeed, fantastic tales of angelic rebellion and evil machinations of a “fallen” angel called “the Devil” play a central role in the Protestant Faith. Most of these tales are found only in the the Book of Revelation, with support from the Book of IIPeter and the Book of Jude. But all three of the books are spurious; none of them has a rightful place in the Canon of Scripture. Though legitimate Scripture does use the term “Devil” (Greek diabolos, meaning adversary), the word should have been translated, rather than transliterated. The Scripture never uses diabolos in reference to an angelic creature. Notions of everlasting torture in Hell and of conflict between angelic hosts have their source in the myth of the Talmudic Jew.
Misconceptions. Contrary to common notion:
Creation Groans. As he orchestrates the events of history, Christ Jesus is bringing the entire populace of the Earth face to face with the reality that the governments of man are incompetent and corrupt, if not criminal. And along with government, institutions once venerated as noble and worthy of respect, including the military, the press, medicine, and education, are seen to have been compromised. It is lack of proper governance which dooms mankind to the fate of warfare, disease, poverty, starvation, and crime. Creation, which is to say, the entire populace of the Earth, groans for relief from the oppression it suffers because of government by man.
Perfect Environment. In an attempt to justify their refusal to bow the knee to Jesus as King, many Protestants claim that the Session of the Christ instantaneously brings about “perfect environment.” But that is not what the Scripture teaches. Consider:
A New World Order. From time to time, contemporary politicians speak of their desire to create a “New World Order.” But such a desire is nothing more than the pipe dream of wicked men who live in rebellion against Ways of the Almighty. Their ancestors had the same dream, and built the tower of Babel.13 The Prophecy of Daniel interprets the vision of a great image seen by Nebuchadnezzar.
The image represents a sequence of four world empires, which are contiguous.14 Each empire corresponds to a segment of the image: head, breast and arms, belly and thighs, legs, and feet:
The vision also reveals a fifth world empire, which shall be set up by the Lord God; that dominion, represented by “a stone cut out without hands,”15 is the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven, with Christ Jesus as King.
In his interpretation of the vision, Daniel declares that the Stone Cut Out Without Hands smites the image upon its feet, which is Rome. The feet are broken to pieces by the Stone, after which all of the components of the image are together broken to pieces, becoming like the “chaff of the summer threshingfloors” and carried away by the wind. Thereafter, Daniel says that the Stone which smote the image becomes a great mountain (which is to say, a great kingdom) and “filled the whole earth.”
And it was, indeed, in the closing days of Rome that the Kingdom of God became a reality, though full function of the Kingdom must await the Resurrection raises the Justified that they may take their offices. Never shall the Kingdom of God be overthrown; never shall the Reign of the Christ come to an end.
Russell Lee Harris
1The right hand is figurative, being indicative of authority. The earthly Throne of David fell in the reign of Coniah; it was revived as a heavenly throne.
2Psalm 2, Psalm 110.
3Matthew 13:33, Luke 13:20–21.
4I Corinthians 5:6, Galatians 5:9.
9Daniel 2:37–38,Daniel 5:18–19.
14Daniel 2:1–45. Additional detail is provided in two visions given to Daniel, Daniel Chapters 7 & 8.
15Matthew 21:42 Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Isaiah 28:16, I Peter 2:4–7.