“I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him.
“And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.” (Dan 7:13-14)
The kingdom of God’s beloved Son is set forth in two stages. You have the invisible kingdom stage. This is the stage that we are now in. And you have the visible stage that commences at the second coming of the Lord.
Jesus explains the invisible stage of His kingdom when He responded to Pilate’s question, “What have You done?”
“My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.
“Therefore Pilate said to Him, ‘So You are a king?’
“Jesus answered, ‘You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’” (Joh 18:36-37)
Jesus Christ is both the Son of God and the Lord of glory. These two things are the keynotes of His reign.
And this brings us to…
The Coronation Day of God’s Son
The day of Pentecost, 33 a.d., was the inauguration of the beginning of the invisible kingdom of God’s Son. The sermon that Peter preached that day can be considered the inauguration sermon of His kingdom. That was the day that the new covenant was set into place.
Here are snippets of the sermon –
“Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.
“For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.”
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Act 2:33-36)
As I noted in the beginning Scriptures, the prophet Daniel had been given a vision of Christ’s kingdom coronation. What Daniel saw in a vision, would be played out after the cross.
Pay close attention to what happens just before the ascension of the Lord.
“So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, ‘Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’
Why would they ask about a restoration of the kingdom to Israel? This is because there is a phase of God’s kingdom that involves a restoration of the nation of Israel, to Jesus Christ as her Messiah. This happens at the second phase of Christ’s kingdom.
Keep in mind that Jesus had spent forty days presenting Himself to the disciples, and speaking of the things about the kingdom of God. So the question they asked fell into line with the two phases of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. (Verses 1-3)
“He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’
Yes, Israel would be restored to the kingdom, but it was not for them to know the exact time. The times or epochs belonged to the Father alone. They are fixed times.
“And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Notice what receives Jesus. It is a cloud. Thus we have the earthly side of Daniel’s vision. Jesus is taken up into the clouds, and with the clouds of heaven, Jesus is brought to the Ancient of Days to receive His kingdom in its invisible phase.
“And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.’” (Act 1:6-11)
The Second Coming of Christ Jesus
The second kingdom stage of God’s Son, is the visible kingdom stage. This takes place at the second coming of Jesus, which includes both the wrath of God and of judgment.
It is important to understand the distinctions between the two stages of Christ’s kingdom. The first stage, that is, the invisible stage where Christ rules from heaven, is called the ‘age of grace.’ It is during this aspect of Christ’s rule, that all the sins of the world were crucified with Christ on the cross. This is the phase where all who call upon Jesus as the Son of God, and the Lord of glory, will be saved.
The sole requirement for salvation in the day of grace is to call upon the Lord, to believe in Him, and to acknowledge Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Calling upon the Lord, implies a heart of repentance in turning to the Lord.
But the second coming initializes itself with wrath and judgment upon all who would reject Christ’s rule and the work of the cross. The Bible often speaks of the forthcoming wrath of God. And to deny the Son is to place yourself under His wrath.
Note these Scriptures –
“Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (Psa 2:10-12)
“Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know! Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (Pro 30:4-5)
“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” (1Jn 2:22-23) – Keep in mind that the spirit of antichrist is to deny the Father and the Son.
“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Act 17:30-31)
For Additional Insight
There is so much more to the two phases of the kingdom of God’s Son. If you would like more insight into the two stages, here is a teaching that I shared recently, titled, ‘The Children of the Going Home.’
In Christ always,