What Is the Kingdom of God & What Will the Millennium Be Like?

The Preaching of the Kingdom of Elohim Was Fundamental to the Ministry of Yeshua

During Yeshua’s earthly ministry as recorded in the Gospels, which subjects did he teach about the most? Curiously, sadly and for the most part, it wasn’t what most churches in maintstream Christianity are preaching from their pulpits and media platforms today.

So what did Yeshua preach mostly about? The facts speak for themselves. In an analysis I made a few years ago of the Gospels books of Matthew and John I categorized and referenced all the words and actions of Yeshua. The subject Yeshua devoted the most time to was himself and his mission (316 references), followed by revealing his Heavenly Father to his followers (184), followed by his commentary and denunciation of the hypocritical religionists of his day (177 references). The fourth subject to which he devoted the most amount of time was the kingdom of Elohim (144 references). After that, in numerical order was his death, burial and resurrection, followed by YHVH’s judgment, obedience and faithfulness to YHVH’s commandments, spiritual rewards, healing, worldliness, persecution and trials, faith and belief, followed by faithlessness and unbelief. As we can see, the preaching and revelation of the kingdom of Elohim received a high priority in Yeshua’s ministry. This reality is consistent with how the gospel writers distill down the main message of Yeshua’s ministry in the following phrase: “Repent, for the kingdom of Elohim is at hand” (Matt. 3:2; 4:17, 23; 10:7). 

During Yeshua’s earthly ministry as recorded in the Gospels, which subjects did he teach about the most? Curiously, sadly and for the most part, it wasn’t what most churches in maintstream Christianity are preaching from their pulpits and media platforms today.

On the focus of Yeshua’s preaching ministry, Hebraic Christian scholar, Marvin Wilson, notes an important facrt. “[Yeshua] came to this earth on a rescue mission, but not to help people escape this world. Instead, he came to free them from the clutches of sin, self, sickness, and oppression that they might be prepared for the olam ha-ba, the “age to come” (Our Father Abraham—the Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith, p. 182).

The gospel message involves repentance from sin (i.e. lawlessness or Torahlessness), so that one can enter into the kingdom of Elohim, which is from heaven (Matt 3:2; 4:17). In the modern mainstream church, neither of these subjects is preached much about. Instead, Christianity tells us that the law of Moses (i.e. the Torah), has been done away with, and we are also told that when you die you go to heaven and that’s that. Since the church hardly speaks about repentance from Torahlessness or about the kingdom of Elohim—things that according to the apostolic writers—formed the basis for the gospel message, one can’t help but wonder how many people even know what the true gospel message is. In this teaching, we want to discuss the kingdom of Elohim aspect of the gospel message as it relates to the millennial reign of Yeshua after his return. This is the ultimate hope of the redeemed believer, and thus it is something that we need to understand.

Brad Young, another Hebraic Christian scholar, in his book,Jesus the Jewish Theologian,describes the first century view of the concept of the kingdom of Elohim as follows: “The twin parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven [Matt. 13:31-33; Luke 13:18-21; Mark 4:30-32] illustrate the basis for [Yeshua’s] teaching concerning the kingdom of heaven. They illustrate the progressive growth of the kingdom.… From the start, the supernatural aspect of this parable should not be overlooked. That a tiny seed can progressively grow into a tree was viewed as nothing less than miraculous. The same must have been true for the action of the leaven in the dough. Growth — this amazing, steady, continuous process — would have been viewed as a true wonder in the eyes of the people. The major theme of these illustrations is this miraculous growth. The idea of a sudden, total reversal of the present situation is not congruous with these parables of progressive growth” (ibid. pp. 77–78). That is to say, the kingdom of Elohim would not suddenly appear upon the scene with sudden transformation of the surrounding world, but that it would start small and slowly, gradually, yet powerfully, increase until it was of great consequence.

 “In the land of Israel” Young goes on to say, “the tiny mustard seed is about the size of a grain of salt. It grows into a respectably sized shrub. Certainly birds are able to find rest upon its branches. Moreover, the mustard seed is noted for its ability to take root in rocky, difficult-to-cultivate soil. The seed will grow in between the stones of a building or on a rocky mountainside. The natural growth process of the plant and its roots will literally move huge stones as it grows” (ibid. p. 78). This is an apt description of the kingdom of Elohim growing on earth today.

“Modern interpreters have sometimes missed the message of the kingdom of heaven. It is not about the future age. The kingdom is not heaven in the sense that someone dies to enter in. It is neither the church nor a denomination. It is not given over to human leaders for their custodial care. [Yeshua] did not view the kingdom as a political ideology or program. The kingdom is a process which cannot be imposed upon others through political activism. The kingdom comes by Elohim alone. It is a divine force in the world that brings healing to suffering humanity. Hence, [Yeshua] did not define the kingdom in terms of the future. He viewed the reign of Elohim from his experience in the present.… In the mind of [Yeshua] and his early followers, the kingdom of heaven is repeatable because he taught his disciples to continue his work of mending the world. For [Yeshua] and his early followers, the kingdom of heaven was a strong force in their personal lives which is experienced in the present age.

“According to the Gospels, [Yeshua] teaches that the kingdom is (1) Elohim’s reign among people who have chosen to obey Elohim’s commands (e.g. Matt. 6:33); (2) Elohim’s power as manifest in his redemptive purpose of healing and salvation (e.g. Luke 11:20); and (3) the people who have become disciples of [Yeshua] in the movement to bring Elohim’s redemption into the world (e.g. Matt. 5:3ff). Each individual chooses Elohim’s rule and accepts his authority. Elohim moves dramatically in supernatural redemptive acts. His kingdom is seen at the miraculous deliverance of the people of Israel from Egypt. For [Yeshua], moreover, the reign of Elohim is manifested in his miracle-working power as well as in the activities of his followers when they continue his work and put his teachings into practice.

“The kingdom is a present reality for those people who choose to obey the teachings of [Yeshua], to accept Elohim’s redemptive power in their lives, and to exemplify the qualities of discipleship and servanthood in a hurting and needy world. The kingdom is here. It is like a mustard seed that grows into a tree. It is like leaven that permeates the entire loaf” (ibid. pp. 80–81).

According to Marvin Wilson, “In [Yeshua’s] teaching, preaching, and healing ministry, especially among the outcasts of society, [Yeshua] demonstrated that Elohim’s salvation had come. He proclaimed that the kingdom of Elohim had, in some real sense, arrived in his person (cf. Luke 17:21). As the reign of Elohim broke into human lives, the power of the kingdom was unleashed (Luke 11:20). In Hebrew thought the kingdom is wherever Elohim sovereignly takes charge and rules in human affairs. For example, in the Old Testament Elohim’s ‘reign’ is associated with the crossing of the Red Sea (Exod. 15:18). In the case of [Yeshua], as the power of Elohim penetrated lives through him by snapping the fetters that bound and the chains that oppressed, Elohim’s salvation had come” (Our Father Abraham, p. 181).

The Kingdom of Elohim—Three Stages of Development

The kingdom of Elohim has three phases of development or three stages of progression:

Stage One—This Present Age (Gen 1:1 to Rev 20:3): The kingdom of Elohim begins in the life of each redeemed believer and spreads from believer to believer. The spiritual body of Yeshua is the locus of that kingdom locally on earth today. As the gospel is preached and the great commission effected, the kingdom of Elohim spreads in the hearts and minds of individuals as one by one people are converted from the kingdom of darkness (Satan’s kingdom) to the kingdom of light (the kingdom of Elohim).

Stage Two—The Messianic Age or Millennium (Rev 20:4 to 20:15): During this stage, the kingdom of Elohim expands universally without influence from Satan the devil who at that time will be imprisoned in the bottomless pit. YHVH uses those who were brought into his kingdom during stage one as workers to expand the kingdom of Elohim to the next phase.

Stage Three—The Age to Come or Eternity (Rev 21:1 to 22:21): This is the eternity in the New Heavens on the New Earth in the New Jerusalem.

Yeshua Preached the Kingdom of Elohim and Commanded His Disciples to Preach It

The Scriptures are unmistakably clear. The message of the kingdom of Elohim is central to the gospel message. Yeshua and his apostles preached this message—a message that in the last two thousand years the church has largely discarded along the way.

From that time Yeshua began to preach, and to say, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt 4:17)

 And Yeshua went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. (Matt 4:23)

 Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matt 6:10)

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matt 6:13)

 And Yeshua went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. (Matt 9:35)

 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matt. 24:14)

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (Matt. 25:34)

Yeshua’s Disciples Preached the Kingdom of Elohim

Not only was the message of the kingdom of Elohim central to Yeshua’s ministry, but, as noted above, he commanded his disciples to preach the message as part of the great commission in evangelizing the world. And this they did, as the book of Acts record proves.

But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of Elohim, and the name of Yeshua the Messiah, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8:12)

Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of Elohim. (Acts 14:22)

And he went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of Elohim. (Acts 19:8)

And now, behold, I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of Elohim, shall see my face no more. (Acts 20:25)

And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of Elohim, persuading them concerning Yeshua, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. (Acts 28:23)

Preaching the kingdom of Elohim, and teaching those things which concern the Master Yeshua the Messiah, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. (Acts 28:31)

Yeshua’s Disciples Preached the Kingdom of Elohim

Not only was the message of the kingdom of Elohim central to Yeshua’s ministry, but, as noted above, he commanded his disciples to preach the message as part of the great commission in evangelizing the world. And this they did, as the book of Acts record proves.

But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of Elohim, and the name of Yeshua the Messiah, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8:12)

Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of Elohim. (Acts 14:22)

And he went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of Elohim. (Acts 19:8)

And now, behold, I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of Elohim, shall see my face no more. (Acts 20:25)

And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of Elohim, persuading them concerning Yeshua, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. (Acts 28:23)

Preaching the kingdom of Elohim, and teaching those things which concern the Master Yeshua the Messiah, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. (Acts 28:31)

Yeshua and the Apostolic Writers Taught That the Kingdom Is a PRESENT Reality

There is a tendency among Christian believers to view the kingdom of Elohim as something off in “the future by-and-by.” Most modern Christians view “the kingdom of Elohim” simply as a place where you go when you die characterized by the euphemistic phrase “heaven,” Beyond that, the typical Christian can tell you little if anything that Scripture says about the kingdom of heaven. This is amazing to me since Yeshua devoted so much of his time and ministry to this subject. It’s mystifying what the church doesn’t devote more time to teaching about the kingdom of Elohim, especially since one of the main purposes of Yeshua and the apostles’ ministry on earth was to reveal and expand the kingdom of his Father as the Scriptures below reveal. 

From that time Yeshua began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matt 4:17)

And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever your shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever your shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matt 16:19)

And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of Elohim is come nigh unto you. (Luke 10:9)

Even the very dust of your city, which cleaves on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be you sure of this, thatthe kingdom of Elohim is come nigh unto you. (Luke 10:11)

But if I with the finger of Elohim cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of Elohim is come upon you. (Luke 11:20)

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of Elohim is within [in the midst] you… (Luke 17:21)

Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, andhas translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. (Col 1:13)

That you would walk worthy of Elohim, who has called you unto his kingdomand glory. (1 Thess 2:12)

The Kingdom of Elohim Is YET TO COME

While Scripture reveals the kingdom of Elohim is a present reality in the life of the redeemed believer, Scripture identifies a major future element to it as well. There is an aspect of the kingdom of heaven that is yet to come. Obviously this kingdom is not yet universal in that Scripture reveals that it will eventually involve the entire earth and all peoples, as we shall soon learn.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdomprepared for you from the foundation of the world. (Matt 25:34)

Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of Elohim. (Acts 14:22)

For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of Elohim shall come. (Luke 22:18)

Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of Elohim? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. (1 Cor. 6:9)

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of Elohim. (Gal. 5:21)

I charge you therefore before Elohim, and the Master Yeshua the Messiah, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom. (2 Tim. 4:1)

Hearken, my beloved brethren, Has not Elohim chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them that love him? (Jas. 2:5)

Where Will the Kingdom of Elohim Be?

As we have already noted above, the kingdom of heaven began in the hearts of YHVH’s redeemed people. Where will the next phase of the kingdom’s expansion occur? The mainstream church has led people to believe that it will be in heaven. This is perhaps why so little is taught about the Millennium. Is the kingdom of Elohim to which the biblical feast known as the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot points in heaven or on earth? What does the Bible say is the inheritance of the saints? Where will they live forever? Yeshua and the rest of Scripture is clear on this point. The kingdom of Elohim is on earth, not in heaven. 

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matt 5:5)

And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—The Lord is one, and His name one. (Zech 14:9)

Yeshua plainly told his disciples that the meek will inherit, not heaven, but the earth (Matt 5:5). When Yeshua sets up his kingdom on this earth, think of it as “heaven on earth.” Moreover, Yehsua advised us to pray “Your kingdom come” (Matt 10:6). He meant for his disciples to pray for Elohim’s kingdom to come to rule on the earth not in heaven.

A Quick Overview of What Scripture Says About the Millennium

The Bible contains many prophecies about the soon-coming millennial kingdom of heaven. This kingdom will be a literal world-dominating kingdom with Yeshua as the king over it. True, this kingdom is coming from heaven, but it will be established on this earth. Consider the following: 

The Millennium or Messianic Era will be a literal 1000 year period (Rev 20:2–7). 

A regathering of Israel into their land inheritance in fulfillment of YHVH’s promises to Abraham is to occur at this time (Jer 32:36–38; Isa 14:1–2; Isa 60: 4, 9)

The children of Israel entering the Promised Land is a prophetic picture of the redeemed saints entering into YHVH’s millennial kingdom (Hebrews chapters 3 and 4).

During the Millennium…

  • Elohim will live with his people. (Ezek 37:26–28)
  • David will rule as king over Israel. (Ezek 37:24–25)
  • YHVH’s annual feast will be kept by all people. (Ezek 46:3–6; cf. Col. 2:16–17)
  • YHVH’s government will be established on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. The Torah-law will go forth from Mount Zion (Isa 2:3) and the nations will go up to Mount Zion to worship YHVH in the house (temple) of YHVH. (Mic 4:1–2)
  • A highway of YHVH, or a highway of holiness will lead to Zion. (Isa 35:8–10)
  • Whether literal or spiritual, living waters will flow from Jerusalem and Yeshua’s throne. Water will be flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east. (Ezek 47:1; Zech 14:8)
  • On the bank of the river that will flow from the temple of Elohim, there will be very many trees of life on each side (Ezek 47:6–9) for the healing of the nations (Rev 22:1–2).
  • People will live to a very old age. (Isa 65:20)
  • Crowds of people will flock to Jerusalem. (Zech 2:1–4; Isa 49:14)
  • The temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt. (Zech 6:15; 14:20-21)
  • The Messiah will be king over the whole world. (Zech 6:9–13; Isa 11:1–5; Rev 20:6; 5:9–10)
  • The nations which do not want to serve and obey YHVH will be punished or destroyed. (Isa 60:12; Zech 14:16–19; Isa 9:5–7)
  • The Millennium is the fulfillment of all prophecies, which are promises for the people of Israel, which includes the redeemed believers who, through Yeshua, are part of the covenants and nation of Israel (Eph 2:11–19), are the offspring of Abraham (Gal 3:29) and are the now “the Israel of Elohim” (Gal 6:16). Despite what Scripture clearly teaches about the saints participation in the Millennium, many Christians still see the Millennium as the place where the righteous Jews will reign with Messiah, while the saints are playing harps in heaven. In other words, the Jews have a physical inheritance or kingdom on this earth, while the Christians have a spiritual inheritance and kingdom in heaven. For those who believe this, the Millennium is merely a symbolic metaphor for heaven.

Sadly, for those Christians who believe that the Millennium is merely a symbolic and euphemistic metaphor for heaven, they choose to ignore 70 some scriptures in the Tanakh (Old Testament) that speak of the coming Millennium or Messianic Age. To ignore these scriptures as well as a fundamental aspect of the gospel message as Yeshua and his apostles taught is pathetic disregard for biblical truth. True, some Christian Bible teachers assign these prophecies to the Jewish people, but this too is a sad perversion of the truth, for, as we have seen, Yeshua and his disciples taught that the kingdom of heaven that is coming to the earth is for all of the saints, not just for the Jewish saints.

In this article, we take the position that Yeshua meant what he said when declaring that the meek would inherit the earth (Matt 5:5) as opposed to heaven. For us, this means that YHVH’s people, the saints, made up of both the Jews and those of the nations who combine in Yeshua to become “the one new man” and Israel of Elohim (Eph 2:11–19; Gal 6:16) part of the olive tree of Israel (Rom. 11:17ff), which is the seed of Abraham (Rom. 4:16; 9:8–11; Gal. 3:7, 8,14, 28–29) will rule with Yeshua as kings and priests in his kingdom on earth for a thousand years (Rev. 1:6; 5:10).

Stay tuned for more to follow shortly on the subject of the kingdom of Elohim, the Millennium and the Feast of Tabernacles…m

 

4 thoughts on “What Is the Kingdom of God & What Will the Millennium Be Like?

  1. The Kingdom of YHVH, is a threat to the governments of this world! We are now sojourners and ambassadors for that Kingdom. The mainstream churches in this world are of this world. They will not represent the Kingdom or its laws. Now the pope is pushing one world gov and it’s philosophy. We will focus on what the Feast represents knowing this current age will soon come to an end!

    • The Christian churches of this world are our lost and misguided brothers who are the lost sheep of the house of Israel. It is our job to help gather them in lovingly but firmly as Yeshua commanded his disciples (and us) to do. That is one of the main purposes of this blog.

      But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt 15:24)
      These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt 10:5–6)

  2. Thanks for this exceptionally well presented article; we are in complete agreement on your understanding of the Kingdom.
    Wishing you a relaxing and joyful Feast.
    We spent last Shabbat with a like-minded family of 6 and their little pet lamb who wore a nappy and enjoyed jumping on the coffee table. Might send you a photo.
    Love, Sonja & John

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