Home Page of Reign of Christ
This is a website dedicated to The Whole Counsel of the Kingdom of God, and it has books and essays by Frank Norton Mitchell dealing with all aspects of the Kingdom of God come on earth specifically in the three areas of education, religion and government with Christ as Prophet, Priest and King.
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UNDERSTANDING The Reign of Christ: The One Big Issue of Our Time, Volume I by Frank N. Mitchell
This Volume I is a collection of separate individual UNDERSTANDING booklets into a single volume concerning THE REIGN OF CHRIST for our time and in history and as foretold in the Bible. There is no more important issue for us today. In fact, it is the one big issue of our time. This book is available on Amazon at>>> https://www.amazon.com/UNDERSTANDING-Reign-CHRIST-Issue-Time/dp/1726480429/
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.Christ as King, Priest, and Prophet
The concept of the 1000 year Reign of Christ on earth involves Christ in a spiritual sense as King, Priest, and Prophet over the whole world. Today, as a general statement for humanity on planet Earth humanism, symbolized by the number 6, reigns in these three areas (making for a 666 of a sort), but Christ, symbolized by the number 7, eventually will triumph in the three areas or spheres of government, religion and education with Just and Righteous government in the area of government, and with true worship of God in Spirit and Truth in the area of religion, and with Wisdom, Right Reason or Logos Rationality in area of education. This is mostly all laid out by the great Saint Augustine in his book The City of God where Augustine argues that after Pentecost there are two cities or, that is, kingdoms on planet Earth, namely, the City or Kingdom of God and the City or Kingdom of Man.
The City of Godis all true regenerate (born-again) believers in the (spiritual) Body of Christ called the Church. The City of Man is all lost unregenerate humanity where man, not God, is the measure of all things. In short, the City of Man is, foolishly, based on atheistic humanism and not on theism. As the Gospel spreads throughout the world and people come to Christ in Christian salvation, the City of God expands, and the currently ruling irrational foolishness of humanism is defeated or “cast down” in the three areas of good Government, true Religion, and right Education throughout the world, thus making for a Kingdom of God come on earth for all humanity. Hence, it can be said that 777 triumphs over 666, and all's well that ends well!!! (2 Cor. 10:3-5, Rev. 11:15)
However, the thousand year Reign of Christ in the Kingdom of God come on planet Earth is a concept that, it seems, after Augustine most people throughout history have not thought much about, though over the course of the Church Age, a few major saints have commented on it at length and with much insight as will see below.
In Good Government, Christ is King
In Jesus' day the Jews were simply looking for a conquering political messiah, and of course Jesus did not meet those hopes and expectations. For the Jews, Christ was a big failure! Why? By God's design for most of them God had placed a veil over their eyes to be lifted at the end of the Church Age, (Romans 11, 2 Cor. 3) that kept them from seeing that Jesus came to die for the sins of mankind, not to be a conquering political king. This role of Christ as dying Savior, though clearly in Scripture, was not even in the expectations of the disciples of Christ until Jesus explained it to two of them on the road to Emmaus after his Resurrection. Since that time, Christians have thought in terms of what is often called the two advents or two comings of Christ: the first as dying Savior and the second as conquering and reigning King.
However, in doing this Christians have generally fallen into the same error that the Jews fell into who rejected Christ back in Jesus' day. Assuming Scripture is true, it has seemed to some if not many Christians that Jesus is going to come back in the clouds and land on earth and then lead an army to conquer all the bad guys after which he sits in Jerusalem for 1000 years and rules over the entire planet as an absolute monarch as David ruled over ancient Israel.
In fact, as recorded in Acts 1:6-11 just when Jesus was to ascend into heaven, the disciples' last question was to ask Jesus, “Lord, will you at this time restore again the [political] kingdom to Israel?”
And Jesus said unto them, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But you shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Who said, “You men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.”
The important takeaway from this passage is the disciples (in asking their question) were still operating under the notion that the next big thing to happen is Jesus comes back to be another literal (political) king David sitting in Jerusalem, etc., but Jesus did not say that. Rather that was the disciples' assumption. However, Jesus tells them here the next big and important thing is the Spirit of the Kingdom of God will come with power in the realm of the spirit at Pentecost (10 days later).
In the realm of the spirit, the Kingdom of God or what Augustine calls the City of God is the Church or the spiritual Body of all true believers. This becomes a spiritual reality at Pentecost that is totally new for humanity on planet Earth, God in us the hope of glory! (Colossians 1:27); God in us giving an Abba Father fellowship with the Creator of the entire universe and everything in it. (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6)
However, the Reign of Christ as “King” over the whole world is actually political and not merely this spiritual Kingdom, and that political Kingdom is often, if not generally, assumed to be just what the disciples thought/assumed in the above Acts passage, namely, Jesus is going to come back in the clouds and land on earth and then lead a physical army to conquer the bad guys after which he sits in Jerusalem for 1000 years and rules the world, etc.
BUT Jesus did not say that! And Scripture is quite clear that this standard assumption that the disciples had is simply not true. When (first point one) Jesus comes back in the clouds in the manner that he left (Acts 1:11), then (points two and three) the dead are raised and all the saints rise in the air to meet him (1 Cor. 15:51-54, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). We are clearly talking very supernatural stuff here. And then finally (points four and five) there is a Final Judgment (Revelation 20 11-15) and then a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 66:22, Revelation 21:1).
This means all Scripture interpretation concerning the end times, the Church Age, the thousand year Kingdom Era, the Reign of Christ, Christ as King and the return of Christ in the clouds has to conform to these five basic central points and facts of history and of prophecy in the Bible.
In the 17th century the Puritan Fifth Monarchists (of Daniel 2:44 & 7:14) were the first Christians who really started doing the math on these five interrelated subjects. They figured out that if there is to be a literal thousand year Kingdom of God where Christ is political King over the whole world, he will not be here physically. And then their thinking was more fully developed by John Wesley, which is well-known, but what is not well-known is these subjects are also further developed by the Christian John Locke and then by the quasi-Deist Thomas Jefferson with the Declaration of Independence and with his Jefferson Bible and with his founding of the University of Virginia, and then by the Constitutional Convention of 1787 (to “establish Justice”), and then by George Washington in his Farewell address.
Why do I say all of this? Well, for starters, if there is to be a thousand year Kingdom where Christ is King over the whole world, and He is not here physically, then the saints have to set up Just and Righteous governments, and Christ then rules and reigns in and through the saints in Justice and Righteousness in the nations throughout the world, and this would, indeed, fulfill the thousand year Kingdom political prophecies.
It was the Puritan Fifth Monarchists who first figured this out, namely, we, the saints, set up governments based on the moral Laws of Nature and of Nature's God to do Justice and Righteousness, and that gives the basic elements of the Reign of Christ politically. This practical political reality is what John Locke advocates as well as Thomas Jefferson after him in the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson called America the world's “best hope” for such good government, and Lincoln added to that and called America the world's “last best hope” for such Just and Righteous government, but the idea that this is specifically the “Reign of Christ” politically where Christ is King comes from the Fifth Monarchists.
However, the idea of the moral Laws of Nature and of Nature's God as the basis for Just and Righteous government (the key element in a de facto Reign of Christ) comes out of the entirety of Western civilization in both the Judeo-Christian tradition and worldview as well as the Greco-Roman tradition and worldview. The idea of the moral Laws of Nature and of Nature's God as the basis for Just and Righteous government is central to both traditions as seen in David and Solomon as well as in Plato, Aristotle and Cicero, and then in Augustine and other Early Church Fathers, and it is even a central part of the teaching John Calvin, though in this writer's experience rare is the Calvinist who knows that. However, none of these ancient figures (nor Calvin) processed this idea they were advocating (of the moral Laws of Nature and of Nature's God as the basis for Just and Righteous government) as the literal Reign of Christ, politically speaking, because they all predated the Fifth Monarchists' revelation/realization of this idea.
However, in the 1000 year Reign of Christ (who is not here physically) Christ is Prophet, Priest, and King. In the Church Age, Christ is literally head over the Church, though He is not here physically; everybody gets that! But in the Kingdom Era the same holds for governments seeking to do Justice and Righteousness based on the moral Laws of Nature and of Nature's God as the basis for Just and Righteous government. If Christ is head of the Church, quite literally in the realm of the spirit without His being here physically, so too Christ can can be “King” over the government of any or all nations without His being here physically.
In True Religion, Christ is Priest
In religion, John Wesley realizes for there to be an actual 1000 year Kingdom Era on planet Earth the whole world must come to Christ in Christian salvation, and at some point Israel must be restored as a nation. Jesus even prophesied that if he is lifted on the Cross as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind it would eventually draw all (not some) men to Him in Christian salvation to be his followers. (John 12:32-33) When that happens, that is the Kingdom Era in the area of religion.
In the Church Age Jesus only draws some men to himself. However, in the Kingdom Era each person (in his heart) from the least to the greatest shall know the Lord personally and the knowledge of God will cover the earth as waters cover the sea. (Jeremiah 31:31-34 & Isaiah 11:9, Habakkuk 2:14) Obviously the whole world has not yet been evangelized (in religion), and obviously all the nations of the world are not trying to do Just and Righteous in government based on the Natural Law, but these two things happening are what the Kingdom Era entails for religion and government, and these two things will be a fulfillment of the Kingdom prophecies concerning Christ in His roles of King and High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16), and High Priest not just for a limited Church as in the Church Age but for all mankind, since the whole world gets saved (in the prophesied Kingdom Era).
What are we talking about here? An actual Kingdom Era, prophesied over and over in Scripture, but Christ is not here physically on planet Earth, no more complicated than that. This is not some utopian dream. Why? People prefer Just and Righteous government (after the manner of the American founders) to tyranny, and nations will tend to set up such governments when given that opportunity if that is their hearts' desire as new creations in Christ. And, further, the in the area of religion the vast majority people (if not every single person) will accept Christ as Lord and Savior when they hear a clear presentation of the Gospel. Why? The Gospel is obviously true based on well-established facts of history and Reason, and Christianity gives a better life, and it gives personal fellowship with the Creator of the universe, and the icing on the cake, you get to go to heaven when you die.
In Right Education, Christ is Prophet
So, the actual much prophesied the Kingdom Era with Christ as King as well as High Priest over the whole world is maybe not inevitable, but it is certainly possible, and there is nothing utopian about it. But what of Christ as Prophet over the whole world? How in the world could that happen? And what does it mean?
The answer to these questions is to be found in the (famous) Jefferson Bible and in Jefferson's founding of the University of Virginia. By God's Providence, as a quasi-Deist, Jefferson is definitely not promoting Christ as our High Priest nor as the Son of God doing supernatural miracles. So, technically Jefferson is not a Christian or certainly orthodox Christian, but the Jefferson Bible is meant to give the moral teachings of Jesus as Prophet, and those moral teachings are meant to be the basis for one's personal life, but more than this, much more than this, for Jefferson the moral Laws of Nature and of Nature's God are not only the basis for good government as seen in the Declaration of Independence, but also they are the basis of good education as seen in the curriculum Jefferson planned for the University of Virginia.
Christ's role as Prophet deals with (one) secular (moral) education, just as Christ's role as King deals with (two) secular (Just and Righteous) government! Christ's role as High Priest deals with (three) religious worship of God in Spirit and Truth. These in philosophy are called three different spheres. In fact, this is a heritage in the West in both the Greco-Roman tradition and the Judeo-Christian tradition, both of which have separate spheres of church/religion and state in ancient Greece and in ancient Rome and in ancient Israel and in the Western world after Christ to this day!
But there is also a less thought about third sphere (after church and state), and that is education, seeking Truth by Right Reason. Jefferson appears to have been virtually obsessed with seeking Just government (de facto Christ as King) and Truth in education (de facto Christ as Prophet), but Jefferson was not comfortable with almost anything that was religiously mystical or spiritual. In fact, if you read his writings Jefferson was actually quite hostile to anything he deemed to be religiously mystical or spiritual, but in truth this hostility allowed him to fully develop Christ as de facto King and Prophet in ways that few people have ever been able to do. And this is especially so if you start factoring in that Christ is Logos Rationality itself and Wisdom itself, and both are the substance of good government and good education.
Much like Raphael's painting The School of Athens, Jefferson is like Aristotle pointing to the ground. Jefferson, as Aristotle, has no use for the mystical or spiritual. In fact neither Jefferson nor Aristotle had any real clear understanding of Plato (specifically), but in reality it was probably this blind spot, if not hostility, to the religious and spiritual, that allowed Jefferson and Aristotle to excel in the two spheres of good education and good government, though neither Jefferson nor Aristotle were processing this in terms of Christ as King and Prophet in their basing good education and government on Reason and the moral Laws of Nature and of Nature's God.
The significance of this cannot be overstated because what modern man is going to lose almost entirely (with no good reasons) over the course of the 19th century is not just a belief in the literal truth of the Bible, but also a belief in the moral Laws of Nature and of Nature's God, or that is to say, a belief in a Creator God and the Natural Law of Aristotle and Jefferson, and this in many ways does not have a lot to do with religion and the Bible.
If you check the record of this stuff, at the beginning of the 19th century, the point of education as seen in Thomas Jefferson was to teach the self-evident truth (no less) of the moral Laws of Nature and of Nature's God, and by the end of the 19th century the point of education had often become to teach the (supposed) self-evident falsity of the moral Laws of Nature and of Nature's God!!!
What's the point? In the Kingdom Era Christ will be Prophet over the whole world (as well as King and High Priest), meaning the moral Laws of Nature and of Nature's Godas self-evident truths will be seen once again to be the basis for a good education based on Logos Rationality or, that is, Wisdom and Right Reason (which are Christ) says the Bible in Proverbs 8 and John 1:1.
Bottom line: A Kingdom Era with Christ as Prophet, Priest and King over the entire world is entirely possible, perhaps even in this generation if we put ourselves to this Kingdom task and if God's Spirit moves on the hearts and minds of men and women throughout the earth.
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