“When Was the Kingdom Established on Earth?”
When Was the Kingdom Established on the Earth?
by Heath Rogers
In last week’s article we learned that the Kingdom of God is not a physical territory, but the body of saved people who have submitted to the reign of God in their lives. We also saw that the church is identified as the Kingdom. In this article, we will begin to study what the Bible says about exactly when this Kingdom was established on the earth.
Daniel chapter two records the interpretation of king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. In his dream, the king saw a great image with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, and feet of iron and clay. He watched as a stone struck the image on the feet and brought it crashing down. The stone then became a great mountain that filled the whole earth (vs. 31-35).
In his interpretation, Daniel said the image represented four earthly kingdoms that would succeed each other in dominating the world. Daniel identified the head of gold as Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon (v. 38). Although Daniel did not identify the kingdoms represented by silver, bronze and iron/clay, scholars have almost universally understood them to be the Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman Empires.
Concerning this fourth kingdom, Daniel said, “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (v. 44). According to this prophecy, God would establish a Kingdom that will stand forever during the days of the Roman Empire.
Jesus’ earthly ministry took place during the time of the Roman Empire. On one occasion He told a crowd, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power” (Mark 9:1). According to Jesus, the Kingdom would come during the lifetime of those individuals who were present on that occasion.
Notice that Jesus said the Kingdom would come with power. After His resurrection, His apostles asked a question concerning the establishment of the Kingdom. He replied, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:7-8). Jesus told the apostles they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them.
In Acts 2:1-4 we read of the apostles receiving the Holy Spirit. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Peter preached the first gospel sermon, and the church was established as 3,000 responded in baptism (v. 41). In his preaching, Peter used the keys that the Lord had promised him (Matthew 16:19) to unlock and open the Kingdom to the Jews. This is when the Kingdom was established on the earth. This event certainly fits the timeframe set by both Daniel and Jesus.
The reason this is important is because some people believe that Christ has yet to establish His Kingdom. They insist that He will accomplish this upon His return. On the contrary, the Bible clearly shows that the Kingdom was established on the first Pentecost after the Lord’s resurrection. To teach otherwise actually makes both Daniel and Jesus false prophets.