The Kingdom: Psalm 110:1 and 1 Corinthians 15:25-28

It has been seen in Hebrews 1:1-3, 13 that Christ has absolute rule. He will rule until every enemy is subjected to Him. In Mathew 22:42-46, Psalm 110:1 was cited to show that while Jesus was a descendant of David, thus “David’s son,” He was also his Lord, thus God. The use of Psalm 110:1 on Pentecost shows that Christ now has all authority, thus His kingdom has begun. In 1 Corinthians 15:25, Psalm 110:1 shows that the Messiah is to reign at the Father’s right hand until every enemy, the last being death, is subjected to Him.

The passage reads, “Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have abolished all rule, and all authority and all power. For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be abolished is death. For He put all things under his feet.” These verses are rich in meaning and many things must come to one’s mind as he sorts through them all.

“Then cometh the end.” One might ask, “The end of what?” We know what happens when the end comes: He (Christ) will deliver up the kingdom to God and so it is not the end of the kingdom for “at the end” the kingdom will be delivered back to the Father. It will still exist, then. The preceding verse sheds light on the statement and it reads, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then they that are Christ’s at his coming” (1 Cor. 15:22-23). These verses, coupled with the verses that follow, show that when Paul says, “then cometh the end,” “the end” of which he speaks is death, so we must conclude that at least one thing which will end when He comes is death. This includes all the dead, both wicked and righteous. Look at verse 22 again and see that the word “all” is found two times: “all” die in Adam and “all” will be made alive in Christ. The death here is physical, unlike Romans 5:12 where the death spoken of there is spiritual. “Just as many” as are dead in Adam, that “just as many” will be made alive in Christ. Thus, there will not be two physical resurrections, the first of the righteous, then 1,000 years later, a second physical resurrection of the wicked. The 1 Corinthian passage teaches a general resurrection which is exactly what Jesus taught in John 5:28: “Marvel not at this for the hour cometh when all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice and shall come forth. They that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.” Notice that the resurrection of the righteous and of the evil occur at the same hour. Christ, by His death and resurrection, brought him (the devil) to naught that had the power of death (Heb. 2:14).

“Then cometh the end” — the end of death. And with “the end” of death comes also the end of our world. Peter wrote, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat and the earth and the works therein shall be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10). Paul identifies the “day of the Lord” as the day Jesus returns to raise the dead and carry His faithful ones to His Father’s house. While 1 Thessalonians 4-5 speaks of the resurrection of the righteous and 2 Thessalonians1:6-10 discusses the resurrection of the wicked, Paul speaks also of the resurrection of the righteous in 2 Thessalonians 1. In that passage Paul speaks of the “revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven” (His second coming so frequently promised by Him) in which the wicked have afflictions recompensed unto them (2 Thess. 1:6) and suffer vengeance from God, which punishment will be eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and the glory of His might (2 Thess. 1:6, 8-9). At the same time the righteous will find rest (2 Thess. 1:7) and be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at in all them that believe (2 Thess. 1:10). These words from Paul agree perfectly with Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46.

The simultaneous resurrection of good and bad was not only taught by Jesus (John 5:28) and Paul (2 Thess. 1:6-10); it was prophesied of  by David who wrote, “The Lord said unto my Lord; sit thou at my right hand until I make all thy enemies thy footstool” (Psalm 110:1). Jesus will sit at the Father’s right hand reigning until all His enemies are defeated! The last enemy to be defeated will be death (1 Cor. 15:26). The resurrection of all the dead (good and bad) is necessary in order that all His enemies be made the footstool of His feet. This truth taught by David, Jesus, and Paul make impossible an earthly reign of 1,000 years of Jesus on the earth, for it is predicated on the theory that Jesus will come and raise first the righteous dead, reign 1,000 years, then raise the wicked. It is a theory and it is a false one.

“Then cometh the end” of death and the physical world as we know it, and the kingdom of God on earth. Those who are in the kingdom of God and who are faithful will, if they are dead, be raised with an incorruptible, immortal body. Those who are faithful and alive when He comes will be changed instantly from a corruptible, mortal body into an immortal, incorruptible one (1 Thess. 4:13-17; 1 Cor. 15:42-44, 51-54). Yet, while the kingdom will end on earth, it will not end. Paul wrote, “Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God even the Father. For he must reign till all he hath put all his enemies under his feet … For He put all things in subjection under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put in subjection, it is evident that he is excepted who did subject all things unto him. And when all things have been subjected to Him, then shall the Son also himself be subjected to him that did subject all things unto him that God may be all in all” (1 Cor. 15:24-28).

Jim McDonald