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What Is Kingdom Now Teaching?

What is “Kingdom Now” teaching all about? Is it biblical? Is it related to “kingdom theology?”

The Kingdom of God

Jesus came proclaiming the kingdom of God, which was what the gospel was, and Jesus specified it clearly when He began His earthly ministry. Mark writes that it was just “after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15), but it is actually closer to, “the kingdom of God has come near,” and it had, because the King of that kingdom was near, so the kingdom of God was near with Jesus’ being near, and He said we must “repent and believe the gospel.” It was belief in Him that was essential, not belief in a kingdom to come or one that we bring to the earth. No one goes to that kingdom without going through Jesus Christ (John 6:44). Just prior to Jesus ascension into heaven, they “asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority” (Acts 1:6-7). So Jesus’ answer to the disciples about when the kingdom would come was, it was none of their business, and neither is it ours. We are to be ready at any given moment, and no one can know the day or the hour or the year, since “concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matt 24:36). That leaves us out, so the kingdom has not yet fully arrived because Jesus Christ has not arrived. It has arrived in the sense of the subjects of the kingdom are here (us), and the King has been anointed (Jesus), but when He will return, no one can know, so we shouldn’t even try to guess.

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The Kingdom of God has come near.

Kingdom Theology

Kingdom theology by itself is great. It’s simply a study of the kingdom of God from the Word of God, but there is a select group that takes this to a different and unbiblical level, and that’s where we can stray from the truth. A good example is that kingdom theology breaks down the plan of God by dividing human history into two broad categories; this present evil age and the age to come (Rev 21:1-5), and believers do live in a time of “now, but not yet,” as far as the kingdom is concerned, and our entry into the New Jerusalem, but the Kingdom Now view is that the end times began with Jesus’ ascension into heaven, but this contradicts with fact. Right now, I see more implements of war than I do plowshares, and the trend is not toward beating swords into plowshares. Death, disease, war, pain, and suffering are still occurring in the world, so clearly, the King of the New Jerusalem has not yet arrived (Rev 21:4). The kingdom theology has some things right, but so did Satan in the Garden when he deceived Eve. Satan knew just enough Scripture to take it out of context, but even a half-truth is a whole lie.

Another Gospel

When you read about the Kingdom Now teaching that is circulating among many of the charismatic churches, I would caution anyone who sits under their teaching because they believe that they’ve been given all authority in heaven and on the earth by God Himself, and they believe they have the same power and authority as Jesus has. They believe they have the power to speak into existence things which are not, and by doing so, they themselves can bring about the Kingdom Age, but this is dangerous thinking, because Jesus said He will come at a time when no one expects, and no one knows when that will be, but the Kingdom Now teaching has claimed the kingdom has already come in the form of the church, but they also believe the church has Jesus’ divine nature, but once again, this is contrary to biblical doctrine. We are still sinners (1 John 1:8, 10), and even though we are saved, we are not divine. Divine creatures don’t sin. Everyone I’ve ever met has fallen just as short of God’s glory as I have (Rom 3:23). Kingdom Now teaching has parts of the gospel, but without the whole gospel, meaning repentance and faith (Mark 1:14-15), it shifts to an “us-we” focus. The focus is on them because they are as Jesus is, and being divine, they can speak things into existence that were not, but only God can do that. The psalmist says, “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm” (Psalm 33:9). The last time I checked, I didn’t have the power to command the universe to stand firm, and I haven’t met anyone else with that power either.

Test the spirits to see whether they are from God

Test the Spirits

The Apostle John didn’t command the church to test the spirits without good cause (1 John 4:1) because there were already different gospels and sects trying to imitate Christianity near the latter part of the first century, and it hasn’t gotten any better in this regard today. Most troubling of all is the flood of self-proclaimed and self-anointed “prophets” who come with a “new word from God,” and when that happens, just about anything goes, and they believe that just prior to Jesus’ second coming, the church is supposed to purge the earth of all evil influences, but is that humanly possible? They are insisting the church reforms the world, otherwise, Jesus cannot come back because all of His enemies have not been put under the feet of the church. The last part of that sentence, where they believe the church is to put all of Jesus’ enemies under their feet, is totally off-base according to Scripture. That is what Jesus Himself will do (1 Cor 15:25), and something only Jesus can do. I don’t think God’s worried about this, wringing His hands in heaven, waiting for the church to purge the evil from the earth so He can send His Son, Jesus Christ. For one thing, they’ll have a very long wait, and secondly, this is something the church can’t do. Only God can do that. My question is, if Kingdom Now proponents believe they can already speak things into existence which are not yet, why don’t they speak and have all the evil influence in the world purged? Why can’t they do that? I believe it is because they cannot do that.

Conclusion

We live in a day and age when just about every few days a new cult or “ism” pops us. They take a few texts to build a set of beliefs on, or they take a verse and created a doctrine around it, but they ignore the fact that they took the text out of context and created a false pretext. Jesus said we must worship God is spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and I don’t think God will accept some of the half-truths being taught in the Kingdom Now teaching. Jesus is the truth…Kingdom Now theology, not so much.

Here is some related reading for you: Is There a Difference Between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God? [2]

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible : English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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