EJP Replies to His Brother Craig: “My Kingdom is Not of this World,” John 18:36
Dear Brother Craig,
So good of you to share your thoughts on the paramount topic of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ to Whom has been given all power “in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18).
Agreed, there are many parallels between David and Jesus the Messiah; for David (whose name means “beloved”) was a type of the “beloved Son” of God the Father (Matthew 3:17). They are most wonderful. We see the same many parallels between Joseph and Christ—over 100 of them. Again, most wonderful.
Now indeed, Christ before Pilate said “My kingdom is not of this world: . . .” (John 18:36), but you, along with all amillennialists (a papal eschatology promoting Rome’s false “Replacement Theology”—that the Roman Catholic Church has replaced the Nation of Israel), understand this sentence to mean Christ never came to establish a literal, physical international kingdom on earth. I would remind you, in your insisting there can be no earthly kingdom of Christ in the future, you stand on the literal reading of the passage above. You stand upon this passage literally, yet refuse to consider parallel passages pertaining to this topic, reading them also in a literal fashion. As to the literal reading of the scripture, which is indeed how we should read the Word of God to arrive at truth when it comes to all doctrines, let us review the words of William Tyndale, the father of the English Reformation Bible:
“Thou shalt understand, therefore, that the Scripture hath but one sense, which is the literal sense. And that literal sense is the root and ground of all, and the anchor that never faileth, whereunto if thou cleave, thou canst never err or go out of the way. And if thou leave the literal sense, thou canst not but go out of the way. Neverthelater, the Scripture useth proverbs, similitudes, riddles, or allegories, as all other speeches do; but that which the proverb, similitude, riddle, or allegory signifieth, is over the literal sense, which thou must seek out diligently. . . .”* [Emphasis in bold]
*J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1972; first printed in 1958) p. 27; Pentecost quoting Charles Augustus Briggs, he quoting William Tyndale.
But let us read a few other passages literally.
1. Isaiah 9:6-7. We agree that this is speaking of the Messiah of Israel, Jesus Christ. We agree he is the mighty God and Prince of Peace of verse six. This is the literal reading of the verse. Why cannot we agree he is to sit on the literal throne of David on earth, to have a kingdom on earth? Was not this the very promise given to David by the Prophet Nathan (II Samuel 7:12-17), the present fulfillment of the prophecy being in Solomon, yet the future “Seed” of David being Christ as per verse 14? Does not the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 1:5 attribute II Samuel 7:14 to Christ himself? Does not Hebrews 1:5 also attribute Psalm 2:7 to Christ? And if so, does not all of Psalm 2 refer exclusively to Christ, especially verse 6, the LORD’s king to be placed on the LORD’s “holy hill of Zion”—the earthly Zion of earthly Jerusalem? We know there is a heavenly Zion—a heavenly Jerusalem (“the mother of us all”—Galatians 4:26) in which Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, sits at the right hand of his Father (Hebrews 12:22; Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 1:3). But the Jerusalem in which the throne of David is to be re-established in her midst is presently “in bondage” (Galatians 4:25) during this “times of the Gentiles” ruling Jerusalem (Luke 21:24), Jerusalem having been without a king to sit upon the throne of David for “many days” (now nearly 2600 years) as foretold in Hosea 3:4-5.
2. Luke 1:31-32. We agree that this is speaking of Jesus, that he was born of Mary/Miriam in verse 31. Why cannot we agree that he is to be given the literal throne of David upon which to sit and rule over the literal nation of Israel in his earthly kingdom. Christ is not presently sitting on his throne of David; he is sitting on his Father’s throne in heaven (Revelation 3:21). Christ is yet to sit upon his throne of David—if the Scriptures are to be literally fulfilled— that rule to begin when he judges the surviving Gentile sheep and the goats after his Second Coming to earth (Matthew 25:31-32).
3. Daniel 7:13-14. Christ Himself attributes verse 13 to himself (Matthew 26:64). He is to return physically to earth. Why cannot we agree that he will then be given a literal kingdom on earth in which all peoples of every language and nation shall serve him? If verse 13 is literally fulfilled at the Second Coming, why not verse 14?
This brings us back to John 18:36, the clarion call for all amillennialists. With all these aforementioned promises given to Israel; that the nation would be ruled forever by a physical descendant of David to sit on David’s earthly throne in a revived Kingdom of David, to rule the nation forever, why would Christ say “my kingdom is not of this world?” (As you know, there is no such thing as a heavenly “throne of David.”)
Before we can answer this question, we must look to the context of this conversation between Pilate and Christ. Jesus has been delivered to Pilate, Christ having been charged with “blasphemy” by the High Priest, and that Jesus of Nazareth should be killed for that blasphemy (Matthew 26:65-66). In attributing Daniel 7:14 and Psalm 110:1 to himself, Christ has been given a death sentence. Both of these passages of Holy Writ describe the earthly rule of Messiah over all the world. This claim by Christ, that he is to personally and literally fulfill both passages quoted to the High Priest, is a direct challenge and threat to the rule of the High Priest over Israel occupied by Rome. It is also a threat to Caesar, for Caesar controls the High Priest ruling Israel on Rome’s behalf—just as the Masonic Jewish Labor Zionist leaders of Israel rule Jerusalem today on behalf of the Papal Caesar in Rome sitting in “Caesar’s Palace”—the Vatican.
Christ is then brought before Pilate, the Praetor administering the government of Rome over Jerusalem. Jesus is has been charged with blasphemy for claiming, via the weight of Scripture, that he is an EARTHLY king. For Christ’s confession before the High Priest is that he is, in truth, an EARTHLY king, as Israel’s Messiah must be. The “Hope of Israel” has always been in her coming Messiah delivering the persecuted Nation from her bondage to sin and merciless affliction at the hand of Gentile nations. The Jews in Christ’s day who lived this hope are the ones who looked for that physical deliverance and consolation (comfort) of Israel, two of them being Simon and Anna (Luke 2:25-38). That “comfort” to Israel would be the fulfilling of Isaiah 40:1-2, that earthly Jerusalem would have no more war and no more sin after having undergone a terrible punishment from the LORD called in Jeremiah 30:7 “the time of Jacob’s trouble.”
Pilate understands the charge for which reason Jesus now stands before him. Pilate puts to him the question in John 18:33:
“Art thou the King of the Jews?”
Pilate is asking “Are you the earthly King of the Jews?” Nothing about a spiritual kingdom is being questioned. Jesus has been delivered to Pilate by the High Priest for this every claim of being the earthy king of the Jews which Messiah must be. This was the same understanding of the wicked Herod the Great, when the wise men from the east came to Jerusalem asking “where is he that is born Long of the Jews” (Matthew 2:1-2)? The reason Herod sought to find in the prophets (Micah 5:2) where the King of the Jews was to be born involved his secret plot to kill that king of the Jews (Matthew 2:16-18). Why would Herod the Great, that earthly tyrant, kill all those little babies and children in Bethlehem if this “king of the Jews” was not an earthly threat to Herod’s earthly throne?
After Christ’s response with a question (18:34) and then Pilate’s immediate response with an arrogant, rhetorical question (“Am I a Jew?,” 18:35), Pilate then asks “What has thou done?”
Christ replies” MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD: if my KINGDOM were of this world, then would my servants would fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36)
As I have told you before, if Christ is in fact declaring in this singular verse of the New Testament that he never came to establish an earthly kingdom and to sit upon the earthly throne of David, then we have a host of contradictions evidenced by the above Scriptures. As we literally compare scripture with scripture (as did the Lord Jesus Christ when he quoted Psalm 110:1 in Luke 20:39-44), we must look to the underlying Greek language for our answer. That answer is found in the Greek preposition “ek” which means “out of.” Hence, “my kingdom is not out of (‘ek’) this world.” We know his kingdom which he is to establish on earth over all nations (in light of the literal reading of the Hebrew prophets as per above) comes “out of” heaven to the earth (Daniel 7:14). If his earthly kingdom was to come “out of” the earth (via a political movement of his followers), it would be established with fighting and bloodshed—just as the Jesuits have been doing for the last 500 years—and as were the four previous Gentile world kingdoms on earth (Daniel 2 and Daniel 7). The fifth kingdom of the “stone” coming to earth smiting the image on its feet is just as much a literal earthly kingdom as were the four previous world kingdoms of Babylon (gold), Medo-Persia (silver), Greece (brass/bronze) and Rome (iron).
And this is precisely what shall happen as we read the Scripture literally—as also recommended by our beloved William Tyndale, our great White father of the English Reformation Bible. The risen Lord Jesus Christ (“the stone” of Daniel 2:35) will return with the clouds of heaven (Daniel 7:14; Acts 1:9-11), his feet to stand on the Mount of Olives, from which mount he departed when he ascended into heaven 40 days after his literal resurrection (Acts 1:12; Zechariah 14:4). At the time of his Second Coming to earth, the sun shall be literally darkened (Joel 2:31; Matt. 24:29; Rev. 6:12), and Christ shall then judge the surviving nations, save his elect nation of Israel (born again in day—Isaiah 66:8), establish his literal Kingdom on earth and sit on the literal throne of his fleshly father David (through Mary/Miriam, his literal natural mother through Nathan, son of David—Luke 3:31). Revelation 20, literally read, confirms this conclusion, while it literally fulfills all the Law and the Prophets. Ought not Christ to first literally suffer—on earth in Israel—and then literally enter his glory—on earth in Israel, he having “redeemed” Israel from the hand of her literal earthy Roman enemies according to the “Hope of Israel”? (Luke 2:38; 24:21).
As to your belief of Harold Camping’s several false doctrines including the denial of the existence of a literal, eternal lake of fire; the end of the “Church Age” as of 1988 as well as his timeline prophecies which include the end of the world in 2011, these are topics of another post.
I trust this is helpful.
Your brother in the flesh and Body of Christ,
David’s likeness to Christ is astounding. David’s throne represented Christ’s throne. David undoubtedly was the greatest of the Kings in the nation of Israel ruling over the twelve tribes. Christ’s KINGDOM OF GOD is a past, present and future everlasting KINGDOM. King David ruled over Israel as born in Bethlehem, slayed a lion and bear, presented himself humbly before King Saul, with an ass, bread and a lamb, an ass is redeemed by a lamb: Ex. 13:13 ( an ass refers to the unsaved and the lamb (Christ) redeems the sinner, the bread refers to the body of CHRIST) David was a shepherd of the sheepcote , David destroys his enemies just as Christ will destroy His enemies (the non-elect)
David wept at the death of Abner, Jesus wept before raising Lazarus, David pleased all the people, Christ pleases those he saves, the house of David waxed stronger and stronger, just as Christ’s Kingdom as JESUS saves his elect, David slays the champion Goliath just as Christ will slay Satan in Rev. 20:10, David was prudent in all manners, Christ dwells in Prudence. Christ said, my kingdom is not of this world. The worldly representation of the Kingdom of God manifested by King David which glorified Christ’s Spiritual Kingdom is ended now. The only representation of the Kingdom of God at this present time is outside of the churches which strayed from Truth just as national Israel, and God’s Holy Spirit of Christ JESUS no longer dwells there ( Thank God) but God is using the Spirit of God to save sinners outside of the congregations/churches through the hearing of HIS WORD in TRUTH.
I hope this is helpful.
JESUS IS LORD,
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