The Kingdom Model
by Bro. K.D. Ward
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
What is the true Biblical MODEL of the Kingdom? And what is the false model being set forth? I have come to the conclusion that the different models that have been embraced are at the heart of some teachings relating to the future Kingdom of Christ. For example, the teaching that one who is saved but not baptized is therefore not redeemed and will be condemned to Gehenna.
But again, what is the kingdom model set forth in the Scriptures? We read from the prophet Daniel, “…and the greatness of the kingdom under the WHOLE HEAVEN, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.”(Daniel 7:27).
In Micah we read, “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many NATIONS shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth out of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Micah 4:1, 2).
“But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make [them] afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken [it]” (Micah 4:4).
In Revelation 11:15 we read, “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
The Biblical model is that the future Kingdom is the whole WORLD as the Christ takes over all kingdoms to reign. However, this is not the kingdom model being set forth by some. The false model being taught by some is that the Kingdom is only the city New Jerusalem. This one-dimensional teaching of the future Kingdom sets forth that the Bride is in the city, but cannot go outside of it; and that all those outside of the city are unfaithful and must go into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).
It is true that some will be pillars in the temple and “go out no more” (Revelation 3:12). It is also a truth that others of the bride will go out of the city and govern nations (Revelation 2:27). In Revelation 21:24 these bride-kings will bring the “glory and honor” (worship\offerings) of the saved nations into the city. The nations cannot go into the city as they did not attain unto covenant identity. But, according to Micah 4:1-4 they will have vineyards and Zachariah 14:16-21 they will keep the feast of tabernacles (feast of harvest) “and come up to Jerusalem to worship” (verse 17).
The nations could not harvest or worship if they were in Gehenna. They would have to be saved, justified and redeemed “freely by His grace” (Romans 3:24). These terms have a further meaning in contexts to the life, but in Romans 3:24 refers to first faith of God’s grace. (see also Ephesians 2:8, 9).
The nations of saved are walking in the light outside the City (Revelation 21:24). They were in outer darkness during the bridal supper being excluded from that glorious event (Matthew 22:12-14). Now, they must take up their vocations of planting, harvesting, and worshiping as the “least in the theocratic Kingdom (Matthew 5:l9). It is noted that although they are called the “LEAST” they are still IN the Kingdom.
The lake of fire is also inside the realm of the Kingdom, being located just out side the western gate of the city (Revelation 22:15). It should be noted that Revelation 21:8 and Revelation 14:9-l2 refer to the same hapless people and place. In this last passage whoever takes the mark of the beast “shall also drink of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the PRESENCE of the holy angels and in the PRESENCE of the Lamb.” This is to last eiV aionaV aionon – eis aionas aionon) “…into the ages beyond ages.”
The words “in the presence of the Lamb” tell us that Gehenna is in the very near vicinity of the city. It is just out side the one of the gates (Revelation 22:l5). No wonder Isaiah says “all flesh shall come to worship before me says the Lord. And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who transgressed against Me for their worm does not die and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.” (Isaiah 66:23,24) This passage again reveals this judgment place is on the way up to the City.
No one justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus will be in this condemnation (Romans 3:24 ; John 5:24).
It is important as to which Model of the Kingdom we believe the Bible teaches. The so-called “city-kingdom” doctrine leaves all who did not attain covenant faith (for what ever reason) to end up in the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his and his angels (Matthew 25:41). They do not see the nations of saved who suffered the “loss” of bride blessings as having anything and of any purpose to God. We have seen several passages that teach God has a special purpose for these as servants and worshipers ruled over by those who were faithful over just a few things as Jesus said (Matthew 25:21).