New Covenant Ministries
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
A Balanced Perspective
by Apostle Rodman, Cathedral of Praise*
Matthew 24:22 - "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."
ALL POWER AND AUTHORITY
Daniel 7:21,22 - "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom."
Some professed Christians have a desire to control the governments, militias, and finances of the world before the physical return of the Lord Jesus. According to the verses above, they have a misplaced hope. Other Christians, recognizing the error of the above group of believers, totally reject any teaching stemming from them, and cringe at the Bible term, restitution. If a person is in either camp, Satan profits. We won't rule this earth before Jesus returns, but there are things that God wants to restore to the Church before the second coming. When the scripture says: "... heaven must receive [Jesus] until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21), this does not mean that we, the Church, will have done all the restoring before Armageddon. There is an appointed time of restitution; the full restitution happens spontaneously when Jesus returns; He will restore the following at His return: [Daniel 9:24] - "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make and end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness,and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."
However, the Lord does want to restore all the elements of a fully-functioning Church before His return. These ingredients were in the first century Church.
Unbelief has diminished the stature of the Church from the effectiveness it achieved in the first century. God wants to restore that which the cankerworm and the palmerworm and the locust have eaten away. Some of the things that the Lord wants back in His Church are: apostles (and apostolic church structure), charisma gifts, the casting out of demons, and the order of praise and worship typified by the Tabernacle of David (Acts 15:16) Apostles are given to the Church till we all come in the unity of the faith (Eph. 4:11). Charisma gifts are given until the return of Jesus (1 Cor. 1:7) In reference to the casting out of demons Jesus said: Matt. 12:28 "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you." Although the Lord Jesus Christ's Kingdom is not of this world, He does want to visibly manifest His authority in this realm, as a gospel tool, so that the pagans will know that we serve the True and Living God. There is coming a time when the Church will be the only viable, stable, consistent institution on the face of this earth, but we must be frugal, not extravagant. God does not reward poor stewardship. Kingdom authority is not just involved with health and money. In the eyes of the mainstream traditional churches, this fixation on health and money has tainted the entire pentecostal and restoration movement, making it difficult for the unlearned to receive anything pertinent that we have to offer. The principles of sowing and reaping such as, "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days" [Ecc. 11:1], are certain from an eternal scope; however, in this temporal sphere the following hold true:
"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all." [Ecc. 9:11]
"There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity." [Ecc. 8:14]
"In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him." [Ecc. 7:14]
We need to be as well versed on the theme of "adversity" as we are on the subject of "prosperity". God has balanced the one against the other.
"... The Kingdom of God is not Meat and Drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Rom. 14:17) "... the Enemies of the Cross [are those] who mind earthly things". (Philippians 3:18-19)
We are called to be salt and light. The presence of the early Christians shook cities: "These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also." [Acts 17:6] We are to be a disturbing influence--disturbing to the unrighteous world system.
Acts 24:24 "And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
25 "And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee."
Our pattern for revival is Jesus and the 1st century Church. What they did, we can do. God called few rich men. He did call some. "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called ..." [1 Cor. 1:26] For our sakes Christ became poor. Be followers of Him; a man's life consists not in the abundance of possessions. Some people suppose Godliness is equated with great financial gain; from such withdraw thyself. They say, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33) This begs the question, "What are these things?" The question is answered in the full context of chapter six; 6:25,30,31 --food, drink, and clothing i.e. the necessities: 1 Tim. 6:8 "... Having food and raiment let us be therewith content." The last generation shall be lovers of their own selves, loving money and pleasure more than God. God has given some the "Romans 12" gift of giving (v.8), which pertains to financial success. He has not given this gift to all. In respect of needs, the Apostle Paul knew both how to be abased and how to abound. Paul described himself and the apostles as spectacles, reviled, persecuted, despised, defamed, and the offscouring of all things; so the restoration of apostleship is not associated with standard Kingdom Now philosophy. We are appointed as sheep to the slaughter (Psalms 44:22), not to rule in these vile bodies over the earth.
"... Occupy Till I Come" Luke 19:13 (from the parable:Luke 19:11-27)
The word, "Occupy", is used militantly by the Kingdom Dominion supporters; it is found only twice in the Bible. The first occurrence is in Ezekiel 27:9 where the word means "trading merchandise". It is used negatively in this verse referring to the nation of Tyre. The only other occurrence of the the word, "occupy", is in Luke (above ref.) where the word means, "busying oneself with" [Strong's Concordance, Greek #4231]. This is analogous to the life of Noah; while waiting for the earth to be destroyed, he busied himself building the ark; he was not amassing riches and lands. In the parable in Luke, the characters in the parable were not given cities to rule over until after the Master returned.
Proverbs 13:22 "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just." When do we receive the wealth of the wicked? Matt. 5:5 "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." When is this? Our inheritance is "... reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time ... at the appearing of Jesus Christ."
Daniel 12:4 - "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Daniel 12:6 - "And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" Daniel 12:7 - "And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he" [the antichrist] "shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished."
Daniel 11:32 - "And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he" [the antichrist] "corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits."
[In the verse above and the one below we see Kingdom authority in its proper equilibrium.]
Daniel 11:33 - "And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days".
Daniel 11:43 - "But he" [the antichrist] "shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt ..."
Rev. 13:7 - "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them ..."
Daniel 7:21,22 - "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom."
For a limited time God does want to prosper His Church in this present era strictly for the purpose of spreading the gospel. We will not control the finances of the world before Jesus returns, however, God will prosper the Church overwhelming during the first half of the seven-year tribulation; this money is to be used for the propagation of the gospel and for the practical application of the gospel in providing for the widows, orphans, and the needy. The first century New Testament pattern is: those that had little, had no lack; and those that had much, had no surplus. Jesus said, "For the poor always ye have with you." [Luke 12:8] Thus, there will be no utopian society in this era; this is further proof that the physical Kingdom of God will not be manifested until Jesus returns; there will be no poverty in the presence of Jesus. During this next move of God, our revenue must go out as fast as it comes in, or else the flow will stop. The current brand of inordinate prosperity that is taught today is a symptom of the Laodicean church: Rev. 3:17 " ... Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." The money that ingresses into the Church must egress, or it will rot like stale manna. This future period of Church prosperity is part of the Joel 2:28-32 outpouring; it lasts 3 and a half years, and will be evidenced by the blackening of the sun, and by the presence of a red moon.
There is a difference between world evangelism and world denomination.
There were some government officials in the 1st century Church--a few. Jesus and the apostles had no aspirations toward the politics of this world. Our citizenship is in heaven. They saw themselves as pilgrims--called to be itinerant preachers.
In a free nation, we are all called to vote. When the wicked rule, the righteous mourn. If politics is your unique created workmanship, go for it; but such is not the case for all. Unfortunately, in a democracy, because many are called, but few chosen, the masses of the people will choose ungodly leadership. They get the king that they deserve. When Christ returns, then we shall all rule and reign with Him, not before. Why did Jesus say in Revelation chapter 20 that He would set us on thrones after He comes, if it is happening now? Rev.2:26 "And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations." --We have to keep His works to the end first; then He will give us power over the nations. We have warnings from the past:
#1. Adam and Eve wanted to be like gods. Their spirits lost dominion over their flesh because of it.
#2. Israel wanted a king like the other nations. God was angered at their request.
#3. Jesus said: [Mark 10:42-5]
42 ... Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
#4. Again: "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight ..." [ John 18:36] The first half of this verse is quoted by K. D. people saying that although His Kingdom emanates from Heaven, it should be manifested here. Jesus draws the line that determines the extent of our involvement. We are not to fight for the Kingdom with carnal weapons. It is not a carnal Kingdom. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal." He that lives by the sword shall die by the sword. It is clear that physically striving for supremacy is out of the question in God's perspective.
[Luke 10:19] "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."
The disciples were sent according to God's plan. We have authority over demons to the extent that we submit to God [James 4:7]. If "Kingdom Dominion or Kingdom Now" is not in God's plan, then its supporters are not submitted, and have little or no authority. Obedience is the basis for Kingdom authority. Jesus, our role model, was obedient unto death.
We have authority over demons to the extent that God grants that authority. Jesus has all authority and power; the anointing is on Jesus without measure, but our individual authority and anointing is measured according to the grace that is given unto each of us.
Can we cast the devil out of the antichrist, because all power is given to us? NO! Here is the second half of the story in Matthew 10, speaking about the end times:
18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Therefore, we have all power over the enemy insofar as that death hath no dominion over us. The real you that cannot be hurt is your spirit. Your flesh hurts every day. There are some thorns in your flesh that you can try to rebuke all day, and you will find yourself to be fighting against God Himself. Just as Paul couldn't rebuke his thorn, we can't cast the devil out of the antichrist, because God has spoken.
If we could completely bind Satan, then Jesus would not have to do so in Revelation chapter 20. We cannot put God in a box, and force Him to perform for us. We cast out whatever demons that God has given us authority over. An apostle is given spiritual authority over a specific region. When men choose reprobation, God sends strong deception; the result can sometimes be demon possession. We do not have authority over men's wills. Neither do we have control over the future world dictator called the Antichrist, Beast, Little Horn, man of fierce countenance, son of perdition (not Judas Iscariot); the antichrist will be a man who chooses to be demon-possessed by Satan. This event happens at the midpoint of the seven-year tribulation, the "Old Serpent" is cast down to earth. Since faith is dependent on the promises of God, we cannot cast the devil out of the antichrist; we have no promise to stand on in that regard. Kingdom Dominion theology is dependant upon evading, ignoring or completely denying the existence of a personal future antichrist. In doing so, dominion theology paves the way for a deluge of delusion. Many kingdom now adherents may willingly accept the antichrist as their hero.
1 Jn. 2:18 "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
The "little 'a' antichrists" that 'went out from us' were men, because at first they appeared to be like us, therefore, it follows logically that the antichrist that shall come is also a man. He'll falsify a resurrection (Rev. 13), and he'll bodily be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 19); he has to have a body to fake a resurrection, and to be thrown in the lake of fire. The antichrist is not just a metaphor for the apostate church or some general ungodly world attitude. In denying the existence of the antichrist as we understand him to be, the K. D. boys are doing him a favor. They may not recognize the antichrist, because they are flirting with deception already. On the other hand, pre-tribulationists who say, "Just preach the gospel and stay out of politics," are also helping the antichrist one-world government movement that is already taking place apart from Kingdom Dominion. Christians should be 'salt' to retard the spoiling of the present world governmental system. If we make no effort to influence the governments of the world, we are inviting the antichrist.
Both 'pre-trib' and 'kingdom now' are off the mark and unbalanced.
"The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." This verse is a mainstay in the Kingdom Now diet. Their theory is based on the rationalization that Adam had dominion, lost it, and now we as Christians are to take back dominion from the devil.
Kingdom Dominion theory likens us to Adam and Eve in their perfect condition. According to this extremist theory, since sin caused corruption, the power of the resurrection of Jesus is said to have reversed all effects of sin. But in reality, the power of the resurrection will reverse all the effects of sin only when we also are resurrected.
Adam and Eve were initially in a perfect world, uncorrupted by sin; they themselves had perfect bodies and minds. All of creation is travailing until the manifestation of the sons of God. This takes places at the last trump when our bodies will be glorified. In that aspect, "we will be like Him." [1 Jn. 3:2] Until that time we don't even have dominion over the physical death principle working in our flesh. If Jesus tarries, you will eventually die. Regarding death: "There is no discharge in that war." [Ecc. 8:8]
He that can control his own spirit is greater than he that can take a city.
Another weakness in Kingdom Now theory is the fact that the human race still has dominion over the earth: [James 3:7] - "For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind."
Our problem is that only a minority have dominion over their own flesh: [James 3:8] - "But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." Conquering the world is not the key to conquering your own flesh. Samson did more damage to the enemy when he died, than when he was living. He killed thousands at his death, pulling down the pagan temple upon himself and the Philistines. Before Jesus could be resurrected, Jesus also had to die, as it is necessary for a grain of corn to be buried to bring forth an abundance of grain. For the Christian, death is a stepping stone on the pathway to victory. Kingdom Dominion theory has a false view of victory. Our victory is in the fact that through the risen Christ we have triumphed over sin, and we fear not those that can kill the body, because we have a hope that goes beyond the curtain of death. 1 Cor. 15:55 "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
Luke 17:21 "The Kingdom is within you."
--the Kingdom deals with spiritual power, not political clout, or military might. When the Son of God returns, then he will give His wise servants control over ten cities, over five cities, etc. Our first priority is stewardship in the spiritual realm. Our city manager positions are still in the warehouse, waiting for us as we use our talents wisely till the Master comes.
Kingdom Now and Darwinism
Kingdom Dominion believes that things are getting better or will get better before Jesus returns. Not only do they have their heads in the sand, but the secular evolutionists believe the same lie. Both the laws of physics and the Bible state that in the physical realm things are becoming more deteriorated, and will continue to decline. According to the gospels, Jesus must return quickly, or no flesh will be spared. (Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20)
The Kingdom is Spiritual
1 Cor. 15:50 "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." Since the coming millennium contains mortals, it cannot be the Kingdom; neither can this millennium be the "Kingdom".
The Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom
(Dan. 4:3,34; 7:14,27; Ps. 145:13; 2 Pet. 1:11)
God is going to destroy the heavens and the earth as we now know them. This earth is not our heavenly kingdom; This earth is not everlasting.
Even after Armageddon, there will be another war involving Gog (Rev. chapter 20) at the end of the coming millennium, approximately a thousand years from now. Then fire from Heaven will consume our earthly enemies, and Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire. The Kingdom of God, therefore, does not have its pure fulfillment until anything that would defile the Kingdom, such as war, is no more; the Kingdom is not "now".
Sit Thou at My Right Hand
Until I Make All thine Enemies Thy Footstool
Rev. 5:10 - "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." We shall reign; that word, shall, is in the future tense. Ephesians chapter one says that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places; this verse deals with promised blessings. Our seat of rulership is dependent on our overcoming throughout the tribulation. Rev. 3:21 - "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." To overcome means that we must not denounce Christ, even if it means death. Rev. 12:11 - "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."
'The footstooling': Genesis 3:15 - "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." The method by which Jesus made the Serpent His footstool (bruised his head) was by death on the cross (bruising the heel). We are to take up our cross daily, or else we cannot be a disciple of Jesus. Luke 23,24 - "And He said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it." Verse 24 describes what discipleship and bearing the cross ultimately means; it means an increased probability of dying an early death. How long does 'the footstooling' last. Answer: Rev. 6:10,11 - "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."
Spoiling the Egyptians
When the children of Israel under Mose's leadership left Egypt, they borrowed gold, silver, jewels, and jewelry from their Egyptian neighbors. These borrowed items became the property of the Israelites, when Pharoah and his army drowned in the Red Sea. It has been said that this is an example of the world's wealth being laid up for the righteous.
It should be noted, however, that the Lord orchestrated all of this so that His tabernacle could be built with the gold, silver, and jewels. Those riches could not do the children of Israel much good while they were living in the wilderness. There was no general store to buy luxuries, and there was no high society to impress out there in the wild.
Furthermore, almost all of that generation died in the wilderness--the gold, silver, and jewels could not buy them a ticket into the promised land.
The Promised inheritance
Gen. 12:3 - "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
Gen. 15:7 - "... I Am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it." When does Abraham and his seed obtain the inheritance?
Heb. 11:8 - "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles [i.e. tents] with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."
Revelation Chapter 21:1-3
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God."
Thy Will Be Done on Earth as it Is in Heaven
Above you see another oft-cited quote by the Kingdom Now adherents. Since Jesus prayed this prayer, the answer shall come to pass. What is His will? His will is that we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself; we must remember the windows and orphans and the poor. His will is not 'kingdom building for personal agendas'. Jesus goes on to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread": God's concern is that our primary necessities be met, not our superfluous wants. "Blessed art thou, O land, when ... thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!" [Ecc. 10:16]
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
*Reproduced with permission. Bro. Rodman's homepage can be read at: http://www.cathedralofpraisechurch.com/.
This page was created on 11 November 1998