Did the Kingdom Come at Pentecost?


Jesus is the king. He taught the disciples of his kingdom and in Acts 1:4 Jesus commanded His disciples to wait for the promise of the kingdom. Then, in Acts 1:6 they impatiently ask him “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” According to His response, when Jesus left this group, the kingdom had not yet been opened. In Acts 2:1-4 the promise is fulfilled. On Pentecost, the Holy Ghost came and gave them miraculous power and Peter, given the keys to open the kingdom, stood and “raised his voice and said to them, ‘Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.’”. Acts 2:29-31 speaks of God’s promise to David, that He would raise up Christ to sit on his throne. The resurrection of Christ is this promise! This is it! Additionally, Jesus taught that a man has to be born of the water and the Spirit to enter the kingdom (John 3:5). Peter told people to be baptized (water) to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Spirit).

Aren’t the Christians called Christians because together they comprise the kingdom? Followers were not Christians before Jesus’ day, followers during His day were ‘disciples’ not Christians. Followers were called Christians for the first time in Antioch. Read Acts 11:26: “the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” The kingdom came between Acts 1 and 11.

Last of all: Christ’s reign ends. Christ “delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” Christ will deliver up His reign, at the end, after all enemies are destroyed (Acts 2:34-35) and after people stop dying. When this last enemy is destroyed Christ’s reign will be over, this is what the King said! The kingdom will end, when many think it will begin.


To His disciples’ question: “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel,” (v. 6) Jesus replies “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (v. 7). This reply does not suggest that the power they would receive would come in place of the literal Kingdom. It says only that they would receive a power which would reveal more information about the future, the Kingdom and the time of its arrival, and which would also support their ministry as His “witnesses…in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (v. 8). Jesus, on the night of the Last Supper, told His disciples that the power He would be sending them would be a source of knowledge and a heavenly power to recall words and experiences they had heard and seen, so they would be accurately recorded. This power He would send would “teach you all things” (John 14:26), it would “show you things to come,” it would “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13), it would “bring all things to your remembrance” (John 14:26), it would be a fountain of “living water,” symbolic of Divine truth (John 7:37).

The power was truly a multi-purpose gift from Jesus. Luke, narrating the same commission, says that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). Matthew’s Gospel records that they were to teach their hearers “to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20). Mark’s Gospel reveals the reason for the Holy Spirit power; that it was to confirm the word. “They went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:20).

The apostle Paul recorded that this was indeed being done; also saying that the Gospel they were preaching was a hope, not a fulfilled event. In Colossians 1, Paul says that the Gospel which they preached was a gospel of “Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom” (Col. 1:23, 27-28). Nowhere are we told that they were preaching a kingdom which had already arrived and was then set up, with Christ as the King.

The apostle Paul wrote also that Jesus Christ “was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy” (Rom. 15:8-9). Here again was the reason for the Holy Spirit power, to confirm the Word through “mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God…to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed” (Rom. 15:18-19). Visible Divine power brought conviction as nothing else could, and the result was the growth of the early Church. It was God working, it was God’s power, and it was successful—thousands were added to the Church—but it was not the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Kingdom.

I am sure that your conclusions are well intended, but is your logic well founded? Regardless of the existence of a “kingdom,” the followers of a man are often named after him. Long before they were a kingdom, the descendants of Israel were called Israelites, and long after their kingdom was lost, the people of Judah were called Jews. A kingdom refers to a political entity, with rulers, laws, land, and people. Is there any solid relationship between the terms?

But all this aside, what event between Acts 1 and 11 brought in the “Kingdom” that had been promised? The prophecy of Zechariah is, “The Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one” (Zech. 14:9). Was Christ made the one and only King on earth during this time?

The Psalmist, speaking of the coming King, said, “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth… Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him” (Ps. 72: 8, 11). Did “all kings” fall before Jesus between Acts 1 and 11? Actually, according to Acts 1:10-11, Jesus was taken to heaven to be seated at His father’s right hand during this time. Peter says, speaking of Jesus and His position on the day of Pentecost, quoted from David, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool’” (Acts 2:34-35). Peter applied this passage to the situation at the time, where Christ was in heaven, where He would stay until His foes were made His footstool. He was exalted in heaven but He was not yet King of earth. Revelation 11 pictures the great coronation when “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). I do not know of a single passage which applies any term such as “end, terminate” or “cease to be” to the Kingdom of Christ.

This passage and many others clearly define Christ’s kingdom as unending. (Rev. 11:15; Luke 1:33; Isa. 9:7; Ps. 145:13; Ps. 72:7, 17; Dan. 2:44; Dan 7:14; Dan. 7:27). There seems to be no question in the writings of the Prophets as to the duration of the Kingdom of Christ, once it is established. What is the meaning of all these if the Kingdom comes to an end? What, then, could Paul have been saying in his passage in 1 Corinthians 15? Will Christ’s reign be over and His Kingdom finished when this time comes?

When death is destroyed, this simply means there will be no more dying, i.e., everyone who lives will be immortal. This will be the condition in the Kingdom, when there will be “no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:3-4). When death is destroyed, or in the symbolism of Revelation, when it is “cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:14), this will be the end of death, the very end which Paul spoke of when he said it was “the last enemy that shall be destroyed” (1 Cor. 15:26).

The Bible does identify a period of 1000 years, but at the close of that period, Christ does not step down. On the contrary, He turns over the Kingdom to the Father a finished product, glorified, and He and His saints shall “reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). Far from Christ’s glorious reign being over, it will have just begun!