God's Kingdom Program
|God’s Kingdom Program|
|Universal or Eternal Kingdom||God’s eternal, sovereign rule over His entire creation||1 Chr 29.11-12; Ps 10.16;|
Daniel 4.17; Acts 17.24
|Spiritual Kingdom||God’s rule in the hearts of believers from Adam to the end of the Millennial kingdom||Mt 6.33; Jn 3.3-5; Acts 8.12;|
|Theocratic Kingdom||His rule over the nation, Israel (ended in 586 B.C. with the destruction of Jerusalem and the times of the Gentiles began||Ex 19-2 Chr 36 (history of the theocratic kingdom)|
|Messianic or Millennial Kingdom||The earthly, literal kingdom where Jesus will rule in Jerusalem from the throne of David over saved Israel and the Gentile nations||Ps 2; Isa 9.6-7, 11.1-16;|
|Mystery Kingdom||Not revealed in the OT, it covers the age between the 1st and 2nd Coming of the Messiah, from the Jewish rejection of Jesus and continues until Israel accepts the Messiah.||Mt 13|
In summary, the mystery kingdom is not the same as the universal kingdom because it will exist for a limited time. It began when the Jewish people rejected Yeshua as Messiah and will end when they acknowledge their mistake and ask for Him to return and save them.
The mystery kingdom is distinct from the spiritual kingdom because it includes believers and non-believers. It includes within its scope both “the wheat” and “the tares.”
The mystery kingdom is distinct from the theocratic kingdom; it is not God’s theocratic rule over Israel, for within the mystery kingdom, there are both Jews and Gentiles. By the same token, it is not the same as the church. The church is only a part of the mystery kingdom, not the totality of it.
It is not the same as the Messianic kingdom either, because it is not ruled by the Messiah personally from David’s throne in Jerusalem. Furthermore, the Messianic kingdom was anything but a mystery in the Hebrew Scriptures, and most of what we know about it comes from these texts.
The parables of the mystery kingdom relay truths about the eternal purpose of God in relation to His eternal kingdom program. The nine parables of Matthew 13.1-53 (including the parallel accounts in Mark 4.1-34 and Luke 8.4-18) describe the outworking of the mystery kingdom in the present age.
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