Men have taken some obscure and symbolic writings to mean something they do not, and above all contradict numerous very plain scriptures. If you are waiting for Jesus’ return and to reign in Jerusalem for 1,000 years, please, do not allow this to occupy your time and thoughts. It is not going to happen.
First of all, for anyone to reign, including Jesus, there must be a kingdom. If not, what then do they reign over? So, let us try and see what the scriptures say about the kingdom of Christ. By taking Jesus’ own words, one may determine exactly what his kingdom was to be. Also when and where it was established. And that he is now reigning over it. Read the following carefully:
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah2:2-3 KJV)
And in the second chapter of Daniel, when King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed a dream which none of his wise men and sorcerers could interpret, Daniel was given the interpretation from God and his was the prophecy of the coming future world kingdoms, the last one of which would be an everlasting kingdom. It would be well for the reader to read this entire chapter of Daniel.
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. (Daniel 2:44 KJV)
Then when Jesus was born and had just started into his ministry, (Notice that ’at hand’ means near, or soon) he had this to say:
And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:15 KJV)
And later in his ministry, again in Mark’s record, he makes this unmistakable prediction:
And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. (Mark 9:1 KJV)
These prophetic statements from our savior leaves no room for doubt that the kingdom would assuredly be soon established. Certainly not in the distant future of 2,000 plus years.
But the predictions were not all, the coming of it was disclosed and it spread to all nations of the world. Let us refer to other scriptures which show the preparation and the coming of the kingdom.
As Jesus was traveling through the area of Galilee and Palastine, with his disciples, he asked this question:
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16;13-19 KJV)
Notice that he uses the terms ‘church’, and ‘kingdom’, interchangeably. Now we have a definite statement that the kingdom he would establish would be his church and that it would come during the apostles lifetime. He also later, during his interrogation by Pilate, said that his kingdom was not of this world. Where would it be then? In heaven, and on earth in the form of a spiritual kingdom.
After his death, burial and resurrection Jesus made several statements which told his apostles of the approaching day of his kingdom. These are found in John 14:16, John 14:26, John 15:26 and John 16:7. These scriptures each have reference to the coming of the Holy Spirit, their comforter, who would guide them into all truths and bring to their remembrance all things which he had told them. Only through his guidance would the apostles, who were simply men as you or I, until these things were given to them, enabling them to write with inspiration, many of the books of the New Testament.
As Jesus was about to ascend into heaven as they were gathered together just outside of Jerusalem, he made this remark:
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (Acts 1:4-5 KJV)
Chapters 1 and 2 of Acts are extremely important in understanding the coming of Jesus kingdom, his church, and the great response the apostle received from their first inspired sermons to the Jews who had gathered in Jerusalem. Over 3,000 were added to the church on that day. Readers are urged to read chapter 1 and chapter two at this time to see the power with which the kingdom began. Chapter one and chapter two.
There is nothing whatsoever in the entire scripture to indicate or infer, that Jesus will return to the earth to establish an earthly kingdom. There is nothing whatsoever in the entire scripture which infers that he will return and ‘rapture’ some who live away and leave anyone behind. The only scripture which sounds like this when misconstrued, is 1 Thessalonians 4:17 where Paul was attempting to comfort some who were afraid that their loved ones who had died, would be left behind when Jesus returned to claim his own at the end of time.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:116-17 KJV)
All of God’s children will then be taken into heaven and all those who rejected Jesus as His Son, will be cast into the lake of fire.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15 KJV)