Revelation 11:15-18 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Besides that the kingdom which the Lord sets up at His return is called an eternal kingdom in Daniel (One that outlasts the Millennium.) which makes the Abrahamic kingdom into the one and only kingdom of God; one that continues on into eternity. Indeed the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are shown in scripture to be, 'one and the same kingdom'.
Matthew 8:11-12 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Luke 13:28-29 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
Daniel 2:43-44 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Daniel 7:13-14 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Daniel 7:21-27 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. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
The first resurrection as mentioned in Revelation is indeed the 'first resurrection'.
Revelation 20:4-6 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
John 6:39-40 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
In Daniel the kingdom of God as established on the earth at Jesus' return is declared to be 'eternal' in nature and one that carries on past the thousand Millennial period itself. This fact does not at all allow for a second kingdom of God as is taught under the pre-trib dispensational system which sees the Abrahamic Kingdom as being only a temporary kingdom of God which gives way to a second one. Evidence from history shows that the early Church was looking forward to the Lord bringing the kingdom of God to this earth which of course has the Church looking forward to the same kingdom of God as was Abraham. Pre-trib doctrine cannot be true for it declares the kingdom of God that Jesus sets up at His return is temporary only whereas God's word plainly reveals that such is eternal and that such is the same kingdom which is moved to the new earth at the end of the thousand years.
Abraham's kingdom of God is the same spiritual kingdom of God that the early Church was looking forward to. The Gnostics created an imaginary kingdom of God claiming that such would be situated in heaven 'only' which nonsense flat out contradicts God's word which reveals that He is placing such here for a thousand years. The Catholic church embraced that Gnostic nonsense during the Dark Ages and so it was that the subtle deception was carried along of the devil in a stealth-like manner over into the Reformation as if such had something to do with God's word. It does NOT! The concept originally came from the devil.
No one is disputing the fact that the pre-trib system is very sophisticated and well able to pass itself off as the truth; however it can only be installed after certain assumptions, which have no basis whatsoever in scripture, have been presumptuously accepted as foundational truths.
One concept concerns what is called the 'heavenly destiny' doctrine; an idea that was born of Gnostic philosophy and integrated into Catholicism and thereafter carried over into Protestantism. The Gnostic philosophers speculated that the kingdom of God could not have anything to do with matter itself; matter being esteemed the product of an inferior God whose object was to imprison pre-existent souls (gods) within profane matter to render them insensible to their own godhood; (That myth; that matter robs the gods of awareness of their godhood, is found also within Hinduism.) and they held that a second God who had a superior spiritual kingdom was setting people free from the God of material creation.
The kingdom of God as found in scripture, while spiritual in nature, was nevertheless to be established on the earth which is the reason for there being a bodily resurrection of the just. That real kingdom of God is the kingdom of God that Abraham was looking unto in faith and such is the same kingdom that the early Church was looking forward to as well. The Gnostics however claimed that a pure spirit abode was to be the eternal future of the saints and of that mysticism arose the idea that Christians would go up to live forever in some spiritual place rather than take part in the same kingdom of God that would be established as concerns Abraham.
Out of that duality there arose the concept of two different kingdoms of God; one an earthly abode, with the other being esteemed a heavenly abode. The devil in effect conjured up an additional unbiblical kingdom of God and passed that idea on through the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth; and that Gnostic illusion has become the principal foundation and mainstay delusion found holding up pre-trib dispensationalism.
See: Early Church Doctrine -- Tim Warner
See: Origins of the Heavenly Destiny Concept
Pre-trib dispensationalism contains the idea that there is an Old Testament kingdom of God (On earth for the Jews.) and a New Testament kingdom of God (In heaven itself for Christians.) when in truth there is but one kingdom of God which is why Jesus is returning; to establish such upon the earth. (Temporarily for one thousand years.) What would Christians be doing bodily up in heaven (As distinct from being 'spiritually' with Christ there.) with Jesus bodily on the earth during the Millennium, and (And He thereafter forever dwelling with man on the new earth.) after He said that such would be 'with Him' forever?
John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
For an in depth study of this verse above and why the devil and man are desperately trying to discredit such and/or remove it from the modern bibles I suggest that you look at this article. This matter relates to the 'fact' that Christians will be with Jesus on the earth while also at the same time being with Him in heaven.
WHICH IS IN HEAVEN
Note the similarities between the Gnostic heresies of the early centuries and certain components found within the pre-trib rapture prophetic framework.
(1) The early Church taught that the kingdom of God would be established on the earth when Jesus returned and that afterward that kingdom would be moved to a new earth at the end of a thousand years. Gnostic philosophers who fancied themselves to be Christians maintained however that the kingdom would be spiritual in nature 'only' and therefore would be established in heaven itself.
This created a second type of kingdom of God which differed from the true spiritual kingdom of God which Jesus would set up on the earth. The early Christians who recognized the subterfuge exposed that mystical doctrine as being highly aberrant in nature and that because it maintained that Abraham's kingdom of God, which is the one and only true kingdom of God, was an inferior Jewish kingdom and that a superior kingdom of God for the true (Gnostic) saints existed above such. The doctrine became entrenched within Catholicism under amillennialism; (And no doubt was the raw material used to create replacement theology whose finished product was of course; anti-Semitism.) and the mystical concept was later carried over into the Reformation. This Gnostic doctrine, which removes the tangible nature of Christ's true kingdom, while expunging the biblical Abrahamic heritage of the Church, however plainly contradicts Holy scripture.
Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Romans 4:13-14 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
Note that the kingdom of God that is established in the Millennium is eternal and therefore outlasts that period to continue on forever. Note also that Revelation 21:1-3 reveals that the Lord dwells with men eternally on the new earth after having ruled this earth with the saints for one thousand years. Note also that the twelve tribes of Israel are found within the Church. See: Revelation 21:9-12
(2) The Gnostics (Marcion's school in particular.) maintained that the Church was a mystery parenthesis phenomena in order to detach such from association with the children of promise in OT times who they believed were under an inferior God of law who created the material world.
"Marcion's idea that the church really is not part of world history appears again, centuries later, in a more orthodox form, in the view of J. N. Darby (1800-1882). Darby and the dispensationalists who follow him consider the church to be in a kind of parenthesis that really is not part of world history." --Harold O. J. Brown "Heresies: Heresy And Orthodoxy In The History Of The Church" (p. 61)
They denied that the Church was even prophesied in the OT, as being a spiritual restoration of Israel, to maintain instead that the mystery revealed to Paul was that the Church would inherit a second superior, heavenly, (non-material) kingdom of God, and that under a second superior God. The OT Jews were considered throwbacks under this bizarre new aberration with the Gnostics under the mystery church becoming 'Gods' by comparison. Note that this contradicts the fact that the scriptures plainly reveal that the New Covenant was first all for the Jews, and that those who believed, like the OT saints before them, became the children of promise, and that because of their faith.
Hebrews 11:8-10 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. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 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.
Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Galatians 4:26-29 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Another fallacy which is used to drive a wedge between the children of promise in OT times (Who were saved by faith in God while looking forward unto the promise of salvation.) and saints under the New Covenant is the misuse of the word 'church' to denote a new beginning altogether that had no representation in former times.
The word 'church' however means simply 'assembly', and the Lord did indeed have an assembly of saints back in those days. The saints of old were the first children of promise and as such the kingdom of God was reserved for them in that they trusted the Lord to save them.
The Lord also makes it plain that the Church in NT times was a restoration of the former assembly and not at all something that had no prior existence. Indeed the NT plainly reveals that the Lord had servants prior to the cross; and such was Mary, and Zacharias, and his wife, Elisabeth; and John the baptist, and many others whose names are revealed later on as being the Lord's servants.
Acts 15:14-17 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Not only that: but the New Covenant was given as a promise to restore Israel, and not as is conjectured, by some; just a separate gathering in of Gentiles as distinct (A Gentile Church?) from the gathering in of Jewish saints.
Hebrews 8:6-13 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
The Church in the Old Testament Part I
The Church in the Old Testament Part II
The Church in the Old Testament Part III
(3) The Gnostics believed that the Lord's coming itself was the hope of salvation and that concept was even offset against the need of salvation by way of an atonement and being sanctified thereby. William C. Irvine in his chapter entitled "Modernism" ("Heresies Exposed" p112 - Loizeaux Brothers) noted that the Gnostics departed from Orthodox soteriology in that they taught that "Christ delivers men by His coming, and not by an atonement." Obviously the focus was upon a return of Christ rather than being restored to Him, and abiding in Him in this present life, that believers would partake in the resurrection of the just. The Gnostics even rejected the need for any bodily resurrection, for they didn't see any need for such, because they believed in a totally immaterial kingdom of God, quite unlike anything taught anywhere in Holy scripture.
Formerly it was revealed that the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ would be established on the earth at Jesus' return and that such is the same kingdom which would be transferred to the new earth at the end of the Millennium. This of course means that all the saved return to the earth with Jesus after the resurrection of the just. The dualism of the Gnostics whereby the kingdom of God was split along a matter/spirit division to create two kingdoms of God is therefore revealed to be a foreign mystical aberration. The concept of there being an earthly carnal saint and a glorified spiritual one co-existing in two kingdoms after the resurrection of the just and during the Millennium was born of that dualistic illusion.
There is no separation of saints along OT/NT lines, or yet along Jew/Gentile lines for all the redeemed will be of one body in Christ, and so there is unification not division in the Lord's plan of salvation. That oneness of course means that Israel during the Millennium includes all the children of God. All the children of promise partake of the same resurrection and the Gentiles who were brought in will be (Actually they already are.) members of the Lord's spiritual Israel. Contrary to dispensationalist speculation there will be only one Jew/Gentile Bride; not a Jewish bride for God our Father, with a Gentile bride for Jesus.
All the saints are united with God our Father through Jesus Christ and that by way of sanctification through His blood; the atonement having been accomplished by the cross. There is no restoration whatsoever to God except through Jesus Christ and that regardless of whether one was born of Jew or Gentile parents. The New Testament reveals that the Gentiles were brought in and made partakers of the promise along with the redeemed from Israel and so there is no division between saved Jews and saved Gentiles. All who are redeemed of the Lord are now part of the household of God; the spiritual kingdom which Jesus will establish as ruling over this earth at His return.
Romans 3:19-30 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Romans 4:13-17 For THE PROMISE, that he should be the HEIR OF THE WORLD, was NOT to Abraham, or to his seed, THROUGH THE LAW, BUT THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Ephesians 2:11-22 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in ONE BODY by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
John 10:14-16 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be ONE FOLD, and ONE SHEPHERD.
Copyright © 2007 by Light of Life Ministries.
This page was created on the 21st. of February 2007
Expanded on the 28th. of February 2007