For the last few months I’ve been busy studying the kingdom of God in all its phases—throughout history and into the future. My primary focus in this study is the eleventh phase—the millennial kingdom of God. That’s where I am at now, and I’m almost finished. Anyway, my plan is to share with you this study, little by little in this blog. Today you will get just an outline.
I. THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN EDEN (It lasted about 2000 years—just an estimate.)
The kingdom of God was first realized in the Garden of Eden. In this wonderful paradise God was sovereign and His sovereignty was delegated to man who would rule over the earth.
II. THE KINGDOM OF GOD UNDER HUMAN GOVERNMENT (about 500 years)
At this juncture in history, human government was God’s plan to protect and preserve the human race, and therefore, to keep His kingdom in operation.
III. THE KINGDOM OF GOD UNDER THE PATRIARCHS (lasted 700 years: 2075-1375)
This phase of the kingdom began through Abraham. Through Abraham and his descendants God would establish His purposes and kingdom.
IV. THE KINGDOM OF GOD UNDER THE JUDGES (lasted 335 years: 1375-1040)
After Joshua died and after the people of Israel were settled in the Promised Land, God raised up judges who would be the administrators in His kingdom.
V. THE KINGDOM OF GOD UNDER THE KINGS (lasted 450 years: 1040-590)
This phase of the kingdom of God, under the kings, is a vital part of the overall kingdom. This phase, specifically under the glorious reign of Solomon is, I think, typical of the millennium phase; particularly as we see how the queen of Sheba was awed by his wisdom and achievements (2 Chron. 9:5-8). If Solomon’s kingdom was so great, think of how it will be under the reign of Christ in the Millennium.
VI. THE KINGDOM OF GOD UNDER THE PROPHETS (lasted 460 years: 860-400)
During the period of the kings, the prophets were God’s messengers to the kings—who weren’t listened to very often. But after the kings, when the nation was scattered, the message changed: more and more they were talking about the future kingdom and the tribulations that would precede that kingdom.
VII. THE KINGDOM OF GOD DURING A TIME OF SILENCE (lasted 400 years: 400-0)
After the period of the prophets, Malachi being the last, there was a period of 400 years where God seemed to be silent—where other world kingdoms arose: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. But, though God was not working outwardly, I suggest that He was nevertheless working in His own way to affect His kingdom.
VIII. THE KINGDOM OF GOD AT THE TIME OF CHRIST (lasted 33 years: 0-33 B. C.)
The works and miracles of Jesus during this phase of the kingdom definitely shows us the true nature of God’s kingdom and what the future kingdom will be like. Just as Jesus was wiping out sickness and hunger, the kingdom is and will be a place of health and plenty. And just as Jesus did miracles over nature (such as calming the storm and walking on water), in the coming kingdom the natural world will be completely under His control and power.
IX. THE KINGDOM OF GOD DURING THE TIME OF THE CHURCH (has lasted 1981 years so far)
All believers during this period, whether Jews or Gentiles, enter into the kingdom of God and of His Son by their new birth (Col. 1:13). This kingdom which we enjoy now is of course the spiritual dimension of the kingdom—where Christ rules and reigns in every believer’s heart, where He has blessed us with His presence and love, and where He has granted us forgiveness of sins based on our redemption, which He purchased with His blood (Col. 1:13-14).
X. THE KINGDOM OF GOD DURING THE TRIBULATION (will last for 7 years)
There are two great purposes for the tribulation—purposes that affect the kingdom. One purpose is for judgment on all unbelievers because of their godlessness. It is a judgment of death and can be viewed as a cleansing of the earth from sin in preparation for Christ’s reign. The second great purpose is to bring salvation to many who will populate the earth during Christ’s reign.
XI. THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM OF GOD (will last for 1000 years)
This phase of the kingdom lies just before the entrance to eternity—to eternal bliss, to everlasting peace and joy and love. So it is a very important transitional period. It is a period of 1000 years, where Jesus Christ will make things happen in us and in the world in order to prepare us (all people, mortal and immortal) for the rest of eternity: He will restore harmony to His creation; He will show us a perfect government; He will fulfill His covenants with Israel; He will display for us His own glory and perfect character; and He will provide for us a final test.
XII. THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF GOD (will last forever)
I have not had time to work on this last phase yet.
Copyright © 2014 by Stephen Nielsen