We are told over and over again in the Old Testament that the Messiah was coming to establish His kingdom on the earth. We are also told that this kingdom that was coming was not something that would just magically appear all at once, but that it would be progressive in its establishment. In other words, it would be a process that would last over an indeterminate amount of time (1,000 years in metaphorical terms).
For instance in Isaiah 42 we read the following:
“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My [a]Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed He will not break,
And [b]smoking flax He will not [c]quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.
4 He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”
We are told in these verses that the Messiah would establish justice in the earth, and that in doing so, he would not ever fail or be discouraged.
We are also told that the coastlands WAIT for his law.
If the kingdom was forced upon mankind, as most premillennialists believe (the “it’s my way or the highway” approach), then how could the Messiah ever fail or be discouraged?
Or why would the coastlands have to wait for the law?
Then in Psalm 110 we read as follows:
The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
Again, we see a process taking place where the Messiah sits at the right hand of the Father UNTIL the Messiah’s enemies are made a footstool. This is something that does not happen overnight. As an aside, we are told that when the Messiah returns, the last enemy to be defeated is death. But under the premillennial view, the first enemy to be defeated is death at His return.
Then we have the many parables that picture the kingdom of God taking time to encompass the earth. As an example, we find it compared to a mustard seed that starts so tiny, but then grows into a towering plant. Or the kingdom is compared to a stone that grows into a massive mountain. These are not instantaneous portrayals, but are meant to convey the idea of a kingdom that starts out small, but then conquers the entire earth.
As Yeshua leaves His disciples for the final time, He tells them that He has been granted all power in Heaven AND on earth. So He doesn’t have to wait for a future coming to be granted all power. He already has it.
The point being that Yeshua established His kingdom after his death, burial, and resurrection. And it is ongoing to this day. The world is being conquered for the Messiah, but it’s not being conquered via swords or spears, but through the Holy Spirit changing hearts and minds. This is exactly what was prophesied about the coming of the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:
31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, [h]though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their [i]hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
This is exactly what has been happening since the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the people on the Day of Pentecost. And as Peter said, this was a fulfillment of the prophecy by Joel:
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only [e]the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
21 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’
Peter doesn’t say that this was a type of fulfillment, but that it IS the fulfillment of Joel, and proclaims they are living in the last days. And they were. Because the last days referred to wasn’t the end of the world as premillennialists believe, but was the end of the Old Covenant Age and the beginning of the New. The Jews understood this concept. They saw two ages, the first being the age before the Messiah arrived, and the second after the Messiah arrived. The last days ended the Old Covenant and began the new.
But with salvation also comes judgment upon the covenant breakers. So when we read of “blood and fire and vapor of smoke”, and ‘the sun turned into darkness” and the “moon into blood”, we are reading judgment language. We can find the same examples of judgment language in references to Egypt, Edom, and Babylon in the Old Testament.
And in 70 AD, Yeshua fulfilled his judgment upon the covenant breakers in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.
So there is no need to look for a coming kingdom of God. IT IS ALREADY HERE!
It hasn’t yet come to it’s complete culmination obviously. There is still much work to be done. There are still countries to be won for Messiah and there are always battles to be fought even in our own backyard. But make no mistake. Yeshua is going to win the war.
It just takes time.
For more information, watch the following video: