By D. L. Welch
Christ’s kingdom or His reign as God will be eternal. I Corinthians 15:24-28 acknowledges that all eternal life for every child of God will come by the omnipresent, omnipotent Spirit who is God, that God may be all in all. This does not mean that Christ, one person, will give the kingdom to God, another person, and that Christ’s kingdom will end. To the contrary, the Lord speaks about His manifestation in flesh (God about the Son): “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and, ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom”
(Hebrews 1 :8).
In Psalm 45:6-7 we see that the throne of Christ, the reign of Christ as Lord and as God, never ends. The explanation of this is simple: the eternal Spirit first resurrected the man Christ as an eternal being-that is the man who died at Calvary. He could die! The Spirit of God cannot die and did not die. But the man Christ did die. He was “put to death in the flesh” (I Peter 3:18), which shows that the fleshly veil of the eternal Spirit did die. The eternal Spirit glorified the humanity of Christ so that the man Christ would live forever, with hair, eyes, feet, and hands.
The eternal Spirit was the life within Him.
Since Christ was the “firstfruits of them that slept” (I Corinthians 15:20), the same thing will happen to each individual saint when the church is resurrected. The same eternal Spirit will give us eternal life that God may be all in all.
Christ’s Reign Is Eternal
Let us look again at Ephesians 4:6, which says that there is “one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all,” showing that God is a Spirit. The last work upon the kingdom will be to change mortal beings into immortal, and this work will be done by the eternal Spirit. There is no denying the everlasting fatherhood and everlasting kingship of Jesus Christ.
Some seven hundred years before Jesus was born, the Holy Ghost moved Isaiah to say these words:
For unto ‘US a child is born, unto ‘US a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
He is the everlasting Father because the indwelling eternal Spirit made Him that. The eternal Spirit in the child that was born is the mighty God. By glorifying this man with Himself, the Spirit made Christ the visible personification of the invisible God. He will always be recognized as that, and He will rule always as that. Even though we will be heirs and jofnt heirs with Him, we will always recognize that Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He was born for that.
Hebrews 1:8 shows that His reign does not end, that His kingship and fatherhood do not end. The eternal Spirit will change the saints from mortal to immortal and will be their life. They will live by the eternal Spirit forever.
What Kind of Kingdom Does Christ Have?
According to Romans 14:17, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,” which shows that the kingdom of God is actually His church.
In Matthew 13, Christ gave the parable of the sower and plainly stated that the gospel is the seed of the kingdom. Luke 1 :33 shows that His kingdom will never end, and His kingship will never end: ”And he [Christ] shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Psalm 145:13 says, “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.” II Chronicles 7: 18 promised, “Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.” Christ was raised up to sit on the throne of David, and He will be there forever and ever. Jeremiah 10: 10 states, “But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king.”
Since Christ’s kingdom never ends, His kingship never ends; and His everlasting Fatherhood never is gofng to end. The church is His bride (His wife), and it would be ridiculous to think that when He meets His bride He will give her away to someone else. The eternal Spirit will do the last work on the kingdom, and that kingdom is the church, the body of Christ.
How Does Someone Get into the Church?
Ephesians 1 :22-23 says that Christ is the head of the church, which is His body. Ephesians 5:23 says, “He is the saviour of the body.” Ephesians 4:4 states, “There is one body,” and I Corinthians 12:13 teaches, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” The body, the church, and the kingdom are the same thing.’ The church is described as the Lord’s wife; the saints are also called His children. In Hebrews 2:13, Christ said, “Behold I and the children which God hath given me.” He made reference to the eternal Spirit because the Bible says that except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5). Anyone who has any part at all with Christ in eternity, as a child of Christ, first must be born by the eternal Spirit.
Christ died as a man; His blood was shed on Calvary, and He became the propitiation for our sins. The new birth takes place in the spirit of man. We must be born of the eternal Spirit-the same Spirit that resurrected Christ’s body, as stated in Romans 8:11:
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
It is evident that the everlasting Spirit performs an essential work in bringing the children of God into existence.
The Kingdom in Eternity
The last work that will be done upon the kingdom will be done by the eternal Spirit. In other words, the kingdom will be delivered unto God, even the Father, that God may be all in all. Throughout all eternity when we look upon Christ as our king, we will know that the great God who now lives in us gives us life eternal and is our life eternal: He planned in the beginning that someday He would become a man-that He would overshadow a vir-gin woman and bring forth a child, and that this person would become the visible personification of the invisible God. If it had not been that way, we could not enjoy living with our Savior and our God because we would not have seen Him. God did bring that to pass, and it was as the Spirit that He did so.
First God, as a Spirit, created man. Then from man came woman. Through the genealogy of man, Mary came into existence. The eternal Spirit overshadowed this virgin woman who brought forth a child who was the visible person of God. He is the everlasting King, the everlasting Father, and the mighty God. When we look upon His face throughout eternity, we will recognize and accept that the eternal Spirit brought this to pass. The Spirit created Adam in the beginning, and from Adam we came into existence. By the birth of the eternal Spirit we were translated from the powers of darkness into the kingdom of His Son. By the same eternal Spirit the last and finishing eternal work upon our bodies will be done, and this is recorded in I Corinthians. We accept this, that God may be all in all.
Christ is the everlasting Father. He is the almighty God, the wonderful Counsellor, and the eternal Prince of Peace. He is our Maker, Redeemer, Husband and King.
For the Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall. he be called (Isaiah 54:5). The LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king; at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation (Jeremiah 10:10).
When Christ reigns after the resurrection of the dead, His church will reign with Him. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” (II Timothy 2:12). In II Timothy 4:1 Paul wrote, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.” In II Timothy 4:18, he stated, ”And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Since Christ has received an immortal body, His children will receive the same and be like Him. It was God’s plan in the beginning when He said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26), to have beings like Himself to associate with and call His family
or His kingdom. He would be their king, and they would look upon Him. Christ became the firstfruits of the resurrection.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is (I John 3:2).
This is what God wanted in the beginning that we may be in His likeness. He had to appear first to bring this likeness about. God had to become man to redeem fallen man. He could not create another God, so He planned to. manifest His glorious majesty into a temple made of clay; and He called it man. Why He did this, we do not know, but He did. “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4). After God planned to do that, He planned the time when this man would be just like Him. He wanted to become like man so that man could become like Him. That is exactly what happened in the birth of the Son of God. He was glorified by this invisible, eternal Spirit of God, and all men who will live eternally will live in His image and likeness in the end of time.
Paul described this work of Christ:
“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself (Philippians 3:21).
We shall know all things, own all things, and shall be jofnt heirs with Him; and that is exactly what He wants. He also planned that His church would rule with Him. That is why Paul said that if we suffer, we shall reign with Him. In Matthew 25:21, Jesus said He would make us a ruler over many things if we were faithful over a few things here.
The Mediatorship Will Cease
After the final resurrection of the dead, the mediatorship of Christ will cease. There will be no more need for the forgiveness of sins, baptism, repentance, propitiation, or His priesthood. He will simply pass out of that role, which was allocated for that period of time, and act in His role as everlasting Father, everlasting God, and everlasting Husband.
How can this be? Many similar things happen in men’s lives. At one time, a man will be a son and a single man. He lives that time out and he marries. He is then recognized as a married man. At first, he has no children, and he is not a father until he gets children. The same thing applies here-the plan of salvation could only come through the suffering of the mediator. There is one God, and one mediator between God and man (I Timothy 2:5). That one mediator is the man Christ Jesus, but one day that role will end. There will be no more people to be saved, no more to repent, no more to be baptized, no more to receive the Holy Ghost. Then His kingdom and His church will pass into another realm. There will be no more forgiveness, no more falling away, no more immaturity or imperfection. ‘
The apostle Paul spoke of this in Philippians 3: 12-14: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect,” but rather he strove to attain that place. “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” We will never have to worry about anything then. We will not need anything. No more forgiveness will be needed, no more healing, no more translation. The church will simply pass through that stage and recognize it as they pass through it. They will recognize their’ king, who was born to that end. “They shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4).
Since they will be just like Him and will be heirs with Him, He will let them reign with Him as kings and priests (Revelation 5:10). “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
The reason we will inherit the earth is because we will be kings and priests with Him. ‘And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10). This will happen after the resurrection of the righteous dead. The rule and kingship has not ended and will not end. This explains I Corinthians 15:28, “That God may be all in all.”
The Hope of the Church
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great vofces 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 (Revelation 11:15).
This does not sound as if Christ’s reign will end. However, the trinitarian concept of I Corinthians 15 takes from Jesus Christ the power and kingship that the Word of God gives Him forever, and that is one of the fallacies of their concept. Trinitarianism takes from Jesus the glory, majesty, and honor that is given Him throughout the Bible, from the beginning to the end.
Let us be glad and rejofce, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready (Revelation 19:7).
It does not seem logical that after Christ gave Himself for His wife He would lay down all His claim to her, His kingship, and simply vanish. Ephesians 5:25 admonishes, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Ephesians 1:4 says,
”According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,” which shows He planned this before the world began. It seems ridiculous to think that He would give up His eternal union with the church since He planned it from the beginning.
I Corinthians 15:24-28 does not separate the eternal Spirit from the man Christ Jesus and make two persons out of God. It does not say that Christ will sit down forever and give up all rule and authority. It simply means that the eternal Spirit will glorify the members of the church, just as the Spirit of God glorified the man Jesus. Even though Christ died for us and shed His blood on
Calvary, the last work that will be done upon His kingdom is the work that the Spirit will do. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God?” (I Corinthians 6: 19). “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (II Corinthians 6:16). This Spirit, the Father, will glorify our bodies. Some argue that this action shows that the Spirit is a separate person. If so wouldn’t the action of the Spirit on 120 persons on the Day of Pentecost mean there were 120 persons of God? The Spirit of God fills all space, all saints, all members of the kingdom, and will translate the kingdom (the church or body) at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years (Revelation 20:4).
This will happen after the righteous dead are resurrected. This proves that there will be a reign of Christ after the resurrection of the righteous saints and also that His rule and reign will never end. As Luke 1 :33 says, “Of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 22:5).
According to Revelation 19, after the resurrection of the righteous dead and after the saints have gone to the marriage supper of the Lamb, Christ is coming back to execute judgment upon the earth and His saints will come with Him.
Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him (Jude 14-15
In Revelation 19, when Christ returns to earth after the marriage supper of the Lamb, He will come as a great warrior, a captain. The reason He is coming back is to execute judgment upon the earth. He will come on a white horse, and the armies of heaven will follow Him upon white horses. He has a title upon His breast and upon His thigh-King of kings and Lord of lords. As Jeremiah, 10:10 says, “The LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble.” He is and will be the everlasting king. No one should dare to try to take that away from Him. We who believe in the oneness of God and the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ are happy to present the teaching of the Bible in this light. We do not want to rob Jesus of being the everlasting Father, the mighty God, the Prince of Peace, and the everlasting King.
The above article, “The Eternal Reign of Christ” was written by D.L. Welch. The article was excerpted from Welch’s book, Contending For The Faith, Answer for Today’s Tough Questions About Christianity.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.