Andy Woods on the postponement theory

June 29, 2012

In his recent article at Bible Prophecy blog, on The Coming Kingdom (Part 6), Andy Woods discussed the dispensational idea that Christ’s kingdom was offered to Jews, but the offer was postponed when they rejected Christ as their king.

Woods views the kingdom as conditional upon whether or not ethnic Jews believe the gospel, a doctrine that paints Christ as rather powerless, and as a wanna-be potential king whose hopes were disappointed like the runner-up in an American election campaign. But this is not the Jesus the apostles knew. Woods wrote: “The dispensational premillennialist understands that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. However, the kingdom is not a present reality since first-century Israel never satisfied the condition of faith in Christ.”

This is almost directly opposite to the New Testament teaching, which says that those Israelites who did not believe in Christ were cut off, and were no longer part of Israel, but all who believe in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, became part of the Israel of God, and the true circumcision, not made with hands. Those who are in Christ are included in the covenants of promise. [Ephesians 2:12; Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:11]

Woods’ postponement theory depicts “another Jesus,” not the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Paul warned the Corinthian Christians against teachers who would preach “another Jesus,” and “another gospel,” other than the one he had preached to them.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Dispensationalism needs to invoke the notion of postponement of the offer of the kingdom in order to explain why Jesus taught the kingdom was to appear soon, and that it was at hand. Jesus and his disciples preached that the kingdom was at hand; the time for entering the kingdom was near. He said it was something that people should seek; search for it as if for a very precious pearl. This would fit the idea that Christ’s kingdom spans the present age, but not the idea that there was a parenthesis of about two thousand years before the kingdom could appear. Dispensationalists reject the idea that Christ is now ruling as king, which, if true, would mean we ought to obey him. The notion that the kingdom was “offered” to the Jews, but then postponed, was their explanation for why the kingdom was said to be “at hand,” in the gospel accounts, yet, as claimed in their scheme, does not now exist.

Both Peter and Paul taught that any Jew who did not believe in Christ, was cut off, as the law of Moses said. Peter said, “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” [Acts 2:22-23]

This teaching of the apostles is opposed to the postponement doctrine of dispensationalism. Paul in Romans 11:17 refers to Jews who remained in unbelief as branches broken off from their tree. He also said, “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.” [Romans 9:6] This implies, unbelievers among the Jews were no longer included in Israel. Dispensationalists, along with unbelieving Jews, refuse to believe these scriptures; they insist that all ethnic Jews are still “Israel.”

Below is Woods’ discussion of the spurious postponement doctrine.

It was incumbent upon first-century Israel to enthrone Christ in order to enter into all of her covenantal blessings (Deut. 17:15). The opportunity for first-century Israel to enthrone Christ thereby bringing in the kingdom is known as “the offer of the kingdom.” This idea is captured in the expression “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” as proclaimed to the nation by John (Matt. 3:1-2), Christ (Matt. 4:17), the Twelve (Matt. 10:5-7), and the Seventy (Luke 10:1, 9). That this offer was a unique opportunity only for first-century Israel is apparent in Christ’s instructions regarding how the offer should be presented. In Matthew 10:5-7, He instructed the twelve:

“Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”

Such a national limitation on the offer of the kingdom conveys that it was only for first-century Israel. Had first-century Israel enthroned Christ, the earthly kingdom would have become a reality for the nation and the entire world. Israel’s covenants would have been fulfilled, and the Times of the Gentiles would have terminated. Despite the unprecedented opportunity for the establishment of the messianic kingdom due to the presence of the rightful king among the first-century Jews, Israel rejected the kingdom offer (Matt. 12:24) leading to the kingdom’s postponement.

Kingdom Postponement

The unique opportunity for Israel to accept the kingdom offer will not re-emerge until the offer is re-extended to future Israel in the events of the Tribulation period (Matt. 24:14; Jer. 30:7). In the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24-25), Christ explains the future circumstances by which Israel will accept the offer of the kingdom. Matthew’s emphasis upon Israel’s restoration in the Olivet Discourse grows out of the final verses of the previous chapter (23:37-39). There, Christ expressed His desire to gather (episynago) Israel. Unfortunately, Israel rejected the kingdom offer at His First Advent. Christ then promises that the time would come when the nation would acknowledge Him as the Messiah by chanting a messianic Psalm (Ps. 118:26; Matt. 21:9) thus allowing Christ to return, re-gather (episynago) Israel (24:31), and reign from David’s Throne (Matt 25:31). Thus, Matt. 23:39 furnishes the condition through which Israel’s final regathering will be achieved. Until this condition of Israel’s acceptance of her Messiah has been satisfied, the kingdom cannot come to the earth. The entire Gentile world could become Christian. Yet, if tiny Israel remains in unbelief, the kingdom cannot materialize. Conversely, the entire Gentile world could reject Christ. Yet, if Israel fulfills the condition stated in Matthew 23:37-39 by accepting Jesus as the Messiah, the kingdom will materialize upon the earth. Because the Olivet Discourse and related passages teach that the condition of Jewish national acceptance of the Messiah will not be satisfied until the events surrounding the future Tribulation period have occurred, the kingdom will remain in a state of postponement until that time.

This notion of the postponement of the kingdom due to national Israel’s rejection of Christ distinguishes the premillennial, dispensational viewpoint from that of Judaism and Reformed Theology. Judaism rejects Jesus as the long-awaited Jewish Messiah since He failed to bring in the kingdom promises. A Jewish unbeliever will typically argue that Jesus was not the Messiah since Shalom or world peace and kingdom conditions (Isa. 2:4) are not a present earthly reality. Reformed Theology claims Christ succeeded in bringing in the kingdom since the kingdom promises are now being fulfilled in a spiritual sense. However, this approach ends up radically allegorizing Israel’s terrestrial promises so that they find their spiritual realization in the present Church Age. The dispensational premillennialist understands that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. However, the kingdom is not a present reality since first-century Israel never satisfied the condition of faith in Christ. Until this future national conversion transpires during the Tribulation, the kingdom remains in a state of postponement rather than in a state of present fulfillment.

Woods denies that the true Israel consists of those who are in Christ, as the apostles taught, and that the kingdom of Christ is a present reality. To deny that Jesus now reigns on the throne of David is to deny that Jesus has been made Christ. The apostle Peter said, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” [Acts 2:36] To be “made Christ” meant he fulfilled all the prophecies about Christ, who will reign upon the throne of David forever. John wrote, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?” [1 John 2:22]

Like the Jews who rejected Jesus, Woods looks for an earthly, visible kingdom. But Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” [John 3:3] The kingdom was indeed established when Jesus ascended to heaven, but it is invisible to those whose spiritual eyes God has not opened.

When Jesus took his seat in his father’s throne he fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 2:2. He represents “the mountain of the Lord’s house” which Isaiah said would be established in the tops of the mountains, and exulted above the hills. It was raised up, to heaven. Since then, Jerusalem, to which prophecy applies, is the heavenly city, not the earthly one. Jews who reject the message of the apostles cannot see Christ’s kingdom; they missed out, and they were cut off from Israel according to the law of Moses. Gentiles who believe Jesus is indeed the Christ are grafted in.

 

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  1. June 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    In Lk. 17:20-21, when Pharisees ask Jesus when the kingdom of God is coming, he tells them the kingdom of God is in the midst of them. The kingdom has already begun, and is in their midst in the person of Jesus, the king of the new kingdom. Some translate “within you” instead of “in the midst of you” but since Jesus is talking to Pharisees, who rejected him, the best translation is “in the midst of you.” Jesus is in the midst of the Pharisees as the king of the new kingdom that has already begun.

  2. June 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Yes, he acknowledged that he was king when he stood before Pilate, John 18:37. He wore a crown of thorns, and the label put on the cross also identified him as the king of the Jews.

  3. jerryshugart
    November 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    The Apostles of the Lord Jesus would have a very good understanding of the things in regard to this kingdom, especially considering the fact that they were with the resurrected Lord for many days while He spoke of things pertaining to the kingdom:

    “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

    The Apostles believed that the kingdom would be restored to Israel:

    “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (Acts 1:6).

    The Greek word translated “restore” is apokathistemi, and that word means “to restore to its former state” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon).

    The kingdom which the Apostles thought would be restored to Israel would be a kingdom resembling its former state, a kingdom with an earthly throne–the throne of David.

    However, the Apostle Peter told the children of Israel that before the Lord Jesus Christ would be sent back to earth in order that they might enjoy His presence they must first repent:

    “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, that the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you” (Acts 3:19-20).

    The nation of Israel did not repent so the Lord Jesus was not sent back to rule from David’s throne.

  4. November 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Dispensationalists often quote Acts 1:6, as if it supported their idea of an earthly kingdom where Jews are doted on by Gentiles, whereas it does no such thing. The verse merely records the unenlightened view of the kingdom that the disciples held, before they received the gift of the Spirit of God, when they were enlightened. This happened shortly afterwards on the day of Pentecost.

    Before that event, the Gospel accounts record other examples of carnal thinking, such as arguing about who would be the greatest. Peter even denied his Lord, when he was arrested.

    After the Spirit was given, the disciples abandoned the idea of an earthly kingdom, and Jewish national ambitions. They looked for a “better country.” [Heb. 11:16] Christ was recognized as reigning as king, on the throne of David, in glory, in the heavenly Jerusalem. This is why Peter said Jesus had been “made Christ.” He possessed a throne that would remain forever. The prophecy of Isaiah 2:2 came to pass, when Jesus ascended to the throne of his Father. Jesus represented the “mountain of the Lord’s house” that was established in the top of the mountains. Jerusalem was raised up “above the hills,” in a spiritual sense. Those who believe in Jesus are raised up, and “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” [Eph. 2:6]

    As for the Jews who did not believe in Christ, Peter said they were “destroyed from among the people.” This was foretold in the law of Moses. “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” [Acts 3:23] So Jews who did not believe, who were cut off, were no longer Israel. Paul said they were branches broken off from their olive tree, while believers of the Gentiles were branches of a wild olive that were grafted in. [Romans 11:17]

  5. jerryshugart
    November 19, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    So even though the Apostles had been tutored by the Lord Jesus Himself about the kingdom they still did not even understand that the kingdom would not be an earthly one?

    That thought is so ridiculous that it does not even deserve a reply. You said that it was not until the Spirit was given that they understood the truth about the kingdom. However, it is a fact that they received the Spirit PRIOR to asking the question as to whether or not the kingdom would be restored to Israel:

    “And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit'” (Jn.20:22; NIV).

    If anyone was in error about the place of the Davidic kingdom it is you because it was not the Apostles, men whom had received the Spirit and had learned at the knee of the Lord Jesus about the kingdom. If we are to believe you the following prayer in regard to the Davidic kingdom. has already been answered and God’s will is now being done on the earth as it is in heaven:

    “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Mt.6:9-10).

  6. November 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    John connects the disciples receiving the Spirit with the events of Pentecost, and when Jesus was glorified, in the throne of his heavenly Father, and when he began to reign in the heavenly Jerusalem on David’s throne, which dispensationalism denies. John wrote:

    John 7:37-40
    In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
    He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
    (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

    In John 20:22, Jesus was probably referring to the gift that the disciples would soon receive, after his death on the cross and resurrection, and by breathing on them, he probably prepared their minds to receive it. They received the gift of the Spirit later, as shown by the fact they did not immediately go out and preach, and work miracles, and speak in tongues, as happened on Pentecost when the Spirit was given.

    Receiving the Spirit, and the promises of God, is connected with the fact that Jesus has ascended to heaven, and reigns as king and Lord of all. He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” [Matt. 28:18] This was no idle boast. In the present age, he rules the nations with a rod of iron. [Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:5]

  7. jerryshugart
    November 20, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Again,the Apostles of the Lord Jesus would have a very good understanding of the things in regard to this kingdom, especially considering the fact that they were with the resurrected Lord for many days while He spoke of things pertaining to the kingdom:

    “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

    The Apostles believed that the kingdom would be restored to Israel:

    “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (Acts 1:6).

    But you say that despite the fact that the Apostles had been with the Lord Jesus for forty days while He spoke of things pertaining to the kingdom none of the eleven Apostles understood the most basic things in regard to the kingdom!

    If they were wrong in their belief that the kingdom would be restored to Israel then why did the Lord Jesus not correct that misunderstanding? Why would the Lord Jesus allow them to continue to believe things were not true, especially since they had been given a commission to go into the whole world and preach the gospel?

    The Lord Jesus did not correct them because they were right in supposing that the kingdom would be restored to Israel. The Lord told them that they were not to know the time when that would happen (Acts 1:7) but He certainly did not tell them they were wrong for thinking that the kingdom would be restored to Israel.

    You want us to take your word that you know more about the kingdom than did the eleven Apostles, men who had been with the risen Lord Jesus for forty days while He spoke of things pertaining to the kingdom.

    • November 20, 2012 at 11:31 am

      The disciples in Acts 1:6 probably had an earthly kingdom in view, when they asked Jesus, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” They knew the prophecies about the eternal kingdom, and a king reigning on the throne of David. Now that Jesus was resurrected they expected the kingdom to appear, and it happened, when Jesus ascended to the throne of his Father in heaven, where he was “made Christ.” This meant he was made ruler over all the twelve tribes of Israel, in Jerusalem. It meant that Jerusalem was now located in heaven, where it became “the city of the great king.”

      Jesus was given the throne of his ancestor David as the angel had promised Mary, which was a heavenly throne. Peter’s words on the day of Pentecost, that Jesus was “made Christ” imply all this, and more. Jesus inherited all the promises of God.

      Paul said, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” [2 Cor. 1:20]

      Only by coming to Christ, can one share in the promises to Israel. Peter explained to the Jews that the law of Moses had foretold the coming of Christ, and said those who rejected his teaching would be destroyed from among the people of Israel. He said:

      Acts 3:20-24
      And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
      Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
      For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
      And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
      Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

      Thus, ethnic Jews who did not believe in Christ were no longer included in the true Israel. Paul said, “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.” [Rom. 9:6] The unbelieving Jews were cut off from the promises, and from Israel; they were branches broken off from their tree, as Paul said in Romans 11:17.

      The kingdom was restored to Israel, but Israel now meant those who are “in Christ,” not ethnic Jews, or the seed of Abraham after the flesh. It meant those who believe that Jesus is the Christ who reigns on the throne of David, and Lord of all. These basic teachings of the gospel are denied by many dispensationalists, but that also fulfils prophecy. Jesus said there would be false teachers, and false Christs. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” [Matt. 24:24] A false “Christ” does not reign on the throne of David over all Israel, in Jerusalem, but Jesus reigns in the heavenly Jerusalem. He is head of the church. Paul said,

      Colossians 1:17-20
      And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
      And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
      For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
      And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

  8. jerryshugart
    November 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Doug, you said:

    “Jesus was given the throne of his ancestor David as the angel had promised Mary, which was a heavenly throne.”

    How can you say that the throne of David was a “heavenly throne” since Solomon sat upon that throne on the earth”

    “Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly” (1 Ki.2:12).

    The throne of David is referred to here by Nathan:

    “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David” (2 Sam.7:16-17).

    Since the throne of David spoken of in this passage is an “earthly” throne then common sense dictates that the kingdom is also an “earthly” kingdom. The Lord made these promises to David and those promises will not be altered:

    “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant…Nevertheless my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David” (Ps. 89:3,33-35).

    The Lord says that He will not “alter the things that have gone out of” His lips regarding the promises that He made to David. Therefore the throne of David will remain an “earthly” throne and the kingdom spoken of will remain an “earthly” kingdom.

    You must alter these promises in order to cling to your false ideas and that is why you insist that the throne of David is a heavenly throne–despite the fact that Solomon sat upon that throne on the earth!

    You demonstrate that your understanding of these things is very limited but despite that you have the temerity to say that you know more about the kingdom spoken of at 2 Samuel 7:16 than did the Apostles–despite the fact that they were with the Lord Jesus for forty days while He spoke of things pertaining to the kingdom!

  9. jerryshugart
    November 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Doug, you said:

    “Even if it is granted that there are two separate thrones mentioned here, it does not follow that one is in heaven, and the other in the earth. It is very clear in the New Testament that Jerusalem has been raised up to heaven.”

    You make no sense. The earthly Jerusalem has not been raised up to heaven because it remains on the earth. You also said:

    “Jesus was given the throne of his ancestor David as the angel had promised Mary, which was a heavenly throne.”

    Again you are wrong because the “throne” of David is not a “heavenly” throne but instead an “earthly” throne, as evidenced by the fact that Solomon sat upon that throne while on the earth:

    “Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly” (1 Ki.2:12).

    You cannot even understand that the following verse speaks of “when” the Lord Jesus will begin to sit upon his own throne (the throne of David) because you refuse to believe that the Lord Jesus will sit upon an “earthly” throne in the future:

    “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations” (Mt.25:31-32).

    The verse is speaking of the Lord Jesus “coming” to the earth and it will be THEN when He shall sit upon the throne of David.

    Since your eschatology has no place for an earthly throne of the Lord Jesus in the future you just close your eyes to these truths, truths which are easily understood by anyone with an open mind.

    • randallking
      March 16, 2013 at 8:16 am

      Zechariah prophesied of one (Jesus Christ) who was to sit and rule upon a throne, and that one was to be a priest on his throne.

      “Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” – Zechariah 6:13

      Who sits and rules upon a throne? A king. In I Timothy 6:15, the Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus Christ “is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” He is (present tense) a king. Kings have kingdoms.

      That’s enough to tell me Jesus has a kingdom right now, but there is yet more proof in scripture.

      Jesus was prophesied to be a priest on his throne at the same time he would rule. If we can find in scripture when he began to sit upon the throne, then we’ll find when he began to rule his kingdom and be a priest.

      “…when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” – Hebrews 1:3

      “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.” – Hebrews 8:1

      “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” – Hebrews 10:11-13

      When he had completed his work on this earth is when he sat down on high. That’s when he began to be a king upon his throne and a priest upon his throne.

      We also notice that scripture doesn’t say Christ would “come back” to sit on his throne. It says he would be “raised up” (resurrection) to sit on his throne:

      “Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” – Act 2:30-31

      The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that the throne sitting would not happen on this earth:

      “For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest…” – Hebrews 8:4

      “For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.” – Hebrews 7:14

      He is not an earthly priest. He is a heavenly priest. And wherever his priesthood is, there his throne is. Wherever his throne is, there is his kingship. It’s a heavenly kingship.

      We note that when he would be ruling on his throne, he would be ruling in the midst of his enemies:

      “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” – Psalm 110:1-2

      His ruling will not take place after his second coming when he shall subdue all his enemies and destroy the last enemy (death). His ruling is now, in the midst of his enemies. The kingdom exists in this world and has for the past ~2000 years despite the enemies of Christ making their best efforts to destroy it.

  10. Michael J
    April 10, 2013 at 3:34 am

    So much confusion when the answer is right in front of us… Which kingdom? The Holy Spirit through Matthew speaks of the “Kingdom of Heaven” 33 times (the Number of Messiah (30) and Resurrection (3)). Matthew is the only Gospel that speaks of this and it is the only Gospel that speaks of the “Church” (gathering). Matthew also speaks of “the Kingdom of God” 5 times (the number of Grace.) There is a clear difference. Jesus tells us that the “Kingdom of God” comes without sight… it is within us (Lk 17:20). Here (via being “born again”) the Lord rules and reigns at this very moment from Heaven IN YOU (Jn 3:3-5 – See Below). This kingdom is present and very real today. Jesus is ruling now from heaven.
    The “Kingdom of God” appears 70 times in the N/T. (70 is the number of Completion in Time and Jerusalem from where Jesus will rule on Earth when He returns) Mark = 15 times (Grace Multiplied 3×5) Luke = 33 times (the Number of Messiah (30) and Resurrection (3))… and it is an exact match to “The Kingdom of Heaven” in Matthew (see above). Acts = 7 times (the number of Divine Completion of Time. Luke and Acts combined = 40 times (the number of testing to the next expansion). John = 2 times (the number of the Incarnated Son) Here it states that one must be born again to see THIS kingdom. As for the Holy Spirit and Paul, He uses the “Kingdom of God” a total of 8 times (the number of New Beginning). This is the literal future Kingdom that Jesus will set up on Earth, It will occur following the completion of Daniel’s Seventieth Seven (Remember this phrase is used exactly 70 times!) Hint, hint, hint!
    So often we argue over which “one thing” is true. It never occurs to us that BOTH are true. To become a citizen of the “Kingdom of God” (born again – internal Kingdom) is the assurance that we will be the resurrected eternal citizens of the literal Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus will set up on Earth. Jesus taught us HOW to pray. Let Your Kingdom come and your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. It is being done in believers today AND it will be done when He rules on Earth with an iron rod.
    Understanding the two Kingdoms easily explains how Jesus spoke of it being present and here… and still yet to come. Both are true!
    As for the kingdom being “postponed” because the Jews rejected Jesus. Hogwash! God KNEW from before the foundations of the world that Jesus would be rejected. Yet, there is not one single prophecy in Scripture that says, “If Israel rejects her Messiah God will punish them or “postpone” the Kingdom.” Not ONE. Yet, Scripture does say that God does NOTHING which he has not FIRST revealed through His prophets (Amos 3:7). So, what God did to Israel is in Scripture and it is spoken very clearly… but that is a much larger subject.
    As for the “Kingdom of God” (Internal) and the “Kingdom of Heaven” (Literal/Earthly) look up and read each passage of Scripture. There are just over 100 of them. It is well worth the time and effort.
    I hope this post blesses all who read. Blessings… Michael

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