Two Kingdoms

From eternity all the intelligent inhabitants of the universe enjoyed perfect peace and happiness in the kingdom of glory. The psalmist declared, “Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.” Psalm 93:2.

The foundation principle in this wonderful kingdom of glory was love. “ ‘God is love.’ I John 4:16. His nature, His law, is love. It ever has been; it ever will be. ‘The high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity,’ whose ‘ways are everlasting,’ changeth not. With Him ‘is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.’ Isaiah 57:15; Habakkuk 3:6; James 1:17.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 33.

“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.’ John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. ‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6. His ‘goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.’ Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: ‘The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting. … When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.’ Proverbs 8:22–30.” Ibid., 34.

“Angels are God’s ministers, radiant with the light ever flowing from His presence and speeding on rapid wing to execute His will. But the Son, the anointed of God, the ‘express image of His person,’ ‘the brightness of His glory,’ ‘upholding all things by the word of His power,’ holds supremacy over them all. Hebrews 1:3. ‘A glorious high throne from the beginning,’ was the place of His sanctuary (Jeremiah 17:12); ‘a scepter of righteousness,’ the scepter of His kingdom. Hebrews 1:8. ‘Honor and majesty are before Him: strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.’ Psalm 96:6. Mercy and truth go before His face. Psalm 89:14.” Ibid.

Such are the descriptions of the kingdom of glory before the rebellion of Lucifer in heaven and the fall of Adam and Eve on this earth. But immediately upon the fall of Adam and Eve everything changed. Another kingdom was established in the place of the kingdom of glory. In this new kingdom, the kingdom of grace, everything focused on two objectives: (1) the redemption of the fallen race and (2) the restoration of the kingdom of glory. In this article we will focus on the objective of the restoration of the kingdom of glory.

“At his creation Adam was placed in dominion over the earth. … When man became Satan’s captive, the dominion which he held, passed to his conqueror. Thus Satan became ‘the god of this world.’ II Corinthians 4:4. He had usurped that dominion over the earth which had been originally given to Adam. But Christ, by His sacrifice paying the penalty of sin, would not only redeem man, but recover the dominion which he had forfeited. All that was lost by the first Adam will be restored by the second. Says the prophet, ‘O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion.’ Micah 4:8. And the apostle Paul points forward to the ‘redemption of the purchased possession.’ Ephesians 1:14. God created the earth to be the abode of holy, happy beings. The Lord ‘formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited.’ Isaiah 45:18. That purpose will be fulfilled, when, renewed by the power of God, and freed from sin and sorrow, it shall become the eternal abode of the redeemed. ‘The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.’ ‘And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him.’ Psalm 37:29; Revelation 22:3.” Ibid., 67. [Emphasis supplied.]

At the establishment of the kingdom of grace “Christ assured the angels that by His death He would ransom many, and would destroy him who had the power of death. He would recover the kingdom (of glory) which man had lost by transgression, and the redeemed were to inherit it with Him, and dwell therein forever.” Ibid., 65. [Emphasis supplied.]

“The plan by which alone man’s salvation could be secured, involved all heaven in its infinite sacrifice.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 64. “Christ would take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin—sin so offensive to a holy God that it must separate the Father and His Son. Christ would reach to the depths of misery to rescue the ruined race.

“Before the Father He pleaded in the sinner’s behalf, while the host of heaven awaited the result with an intensity of interest that words cannot express. Long continued was that mysterious communing—‘the counsel of peace’ (Zechariah 6:13) for the fallen sons of men. … it was a struggle, even with the King of the universe, to yield up His Son to die for the guilty race.” Ibid., 63.

The kingdom of grace is a kingdom of bloodshed and war. It required the separation of the Father and the Son. Jesus must lay aside his crown, step down from His throne and become a sacrifice—the Lamb of God, a High Priest and Mediator for the fallen race. For millennia this battle would continue. Martyrs for the truth’s sake would number in the millions.

So it was that immediately upon the fall of Adam and Eve the kingdom of glory was replaced by the kingdom of grace. It was ratified when Jesus yielded up His life on the cross. “When the Saviour yielded up his life, and with his expiring breath cried out, ‘It is finished’ [John 19:30], then the fulfillment of the plan of redemption was assured. The promise of salvation made to the sinful pair in Eden was ratified. The kingdom of grace, which had before existed by the promise of God, was then established.” The Great Controversy, 348.

The Savior had now provided His blood with which to remove the confessed sins of His people so they could be redeemed. Forty days following His death and resurrection He ascended to heaven to be inaugurated as our High Priest and Mediator in the sanctuary in heaven. A record of this grand celebration is recorded in Revelation, chapters 4, 5; 1:12–16, and The Desire of Ages, 830–835.

Because no sin can exist in the kingdom of glory the atonement ministry of Christ’s blood must be completed in the heavenly sanctuary before this kingdom of glory can be restored. “The work of the investigative judgment and the blotting out of sins is to be accomplished before the second advent of the Lord. … The apostle Peter distinctly states that the sins of believers will be blotted out ‘when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ.’ Acts 3:19, 20. When the investigative judgment closes, Christ will come, and His reward will be with Him to give to every man as his work shall be.” The Great Controversy, 485.

Here we are clearly informed that the restoration of the kingdom of glory cannot be completed until the investigative judgment is completed. The 7th trumpet, in Revelation 11:15–19 is an explanation of the investigative judgment. The Spirit of Prophecy informs us that the 7th trumpet began to sound on October 22, 1844. “The temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament. Revelation 11:19. … The announcement that the temple of God was opened in heaven and the ark of His testament was seen points to the opening of the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 as Christ entered there to perform the closing work of the atonement.” Ibid., 433.

The 7th trumpet also says that Christ, in addition to His work as a High Priest to complete the closing work of atonement, begins to reign. “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet; and there were loud voices in heaven, which said, The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he will reign for ever and ever.” … “You have taken your great power, and have begun to reign.” Revelation 11:15, 17.

There are three reasons that we can know that the role of the High Priest and that of the king are two different functions.

The role of a king is to reign, while the work of a High Priest is to mediate.

The work of the High Priest ends when the atonement is completed; the Most Holy Place is closed and probation ends.

Revelation 11:15 says that the king “will reign for ever and ever.”

Let us look further into the role of the king that is brought to light in the 7th trumpet. In the parable of the 10 virgins, the Bridegroom also represents the role of a king who in this parable is preparing for a wedding. The coming of the Bridegroom in this parable occurs at the same time that the 7th trumpet began to sound. “In the summer and autumn of 1844 the proclamation, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom cometh,’ was given. … In the parable, when the bridegroom came, ‘they that were ready went in with him to the marriage.’ Matthew 25:6, 10. The coming of the bridegroom, here brought to view, takes place before the marriage. The marriage represents the reception by Christ of His kingdom.” Ibid., 426.

These statements connect the coming of the Bridegroom with the same event described in Daniel 7:9, 10 and 13 where Jesus is seen coming before the Ancient of Days to begin the investigative judgment. “The proclamation, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom cometh,’ in the summer of 1844, led thousands to expect the immediate advent of the Lord. At the appointed time the Bridegroom came, not to the earth, as the people expected, but to the Ancient of Days in heaven, to the marriage, the reception of His kingdom.” Ibid., 427.

There is another representation of these events given in Matthew. “In the parable of Matthew 22 the same figure of the marriage is introduced, and the investigative judgment is clearly represented as taking place before the marriage. Previous to the wedding the king comes in to see the guests, to see if all are attired in the wedding garment, the spotless robe of character washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. Matthew 22:11; Revelation 7:14. … This work of examination of character, of determining who are prepared for the kingdom of God, is that of the investigative judgment, the closing of work in the sanctuary above.” Ibid., 428.

In this parable of the king selecting guests for the wedding banquet we see the relationship of the work of the High Priest and that of the king. The repentant sinner first goes before the High Priest and confesses all of his sins. The High Priest then atones for those confessed sins with His blood and washes them away. The High Priest then clothes him with the precious wedding garment and the saint then goes in before the king in the banquet hall. The King then selects those wearing the wedding garment to “ ‘sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob,’ at His table in His kingdom (Matthew 8:11; Luke 22:30), to partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Ibid., 427.

The marriage of the Lamb cannot take place until His work as Mediator is finished, the sanctuary closed and the kingdom of grace has come to an end. “He shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne.’ Not now upon the throne of His glory;’ the kingdom of glory has not yet been ushered in. Not until His work as a mediator shall be ended will God give unto Him the throne of His father David,’ a kingdom of which there shall be no end.’ Luke 1:32, 33.” Ibid., 416.

Right after the close of probation, the close of the sanctuary in heaven, the wedding of the Lamb takes place in heaven. “The marriage represents the reception by Christ of His kingdom [of glory]. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which is the capital and representative of the kingdom, is called ‘the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ … Christ, as stated by the prophet Daniel, will receive from the Ancient of Days in heaven, ‘dominion, and glory, and a kingdom;’ He will receive the New Jerusalem, the capital of His kingdom, ‘prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ Daniel 7:14; Revelation 21:2. Having received the kingdom, He will come in His glory, as King of kings and Lord of lords, for the redemption of His people, who are to ‘sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob,’ at His table in His kingdom (Matthew 8:11; Luke 22:30), to partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Ibid., 426, 427.

Thus far we have studied following events in the restoration of the kingdom of glory.

Christ comes before the Ancient of Days to begin the investigative judgment.

Christ as High Priest purifies His people.

The king selects the guests who attend the wedding banquet.

Probation closes; the kingdom of grace ends.

The wedding of the Lamb takes place in heaven.

The king comes to take the saints to the wedding banquet.

There are two more events that must take place before the kingdom of glory can be fully restored to its original condition before the rebellion of Lucifer. The next event is the executive phase of the judgment. This phase is clearly defined in The Great Controversy.

“During the thousand years between the first and the second resurrection the judgment of the wicked takes place. The apostle Paul points to this judgment as an event that follows the second advent. ‘Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.’ I Corinthians 4:5. Daniel declares that when the Ancient of Days came, ‘judgment was given to the saints of the Most High.’ Daniel 7:22. At this time the righteous reign as kings and priests unto God. John in the Revelation says: ‘I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.’ ‘They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.’ Revelation 20:4, 6. It is at this time that, as foretold by Paul, ‘the saints shall judge the world.’ I Corinthians 6:2. In union with Christ they judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book, the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion which the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works; and it is recorded against their names in the book of death.” The Great Controversy, 660, 661.

The last event before the full restoration of the kingdom of glory is the execution phase of the judgment which follows the millennium and the second resurrection. John gives the following description of this judgment:

“They [Satan, the fallen angels, and all of the wicked] marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves.” Revelation 20:9, first part.

“Then I saw a great white throne, and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence; and there was no place for them.

“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: another book was opened, which is the book of life: the dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

“The sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and each person was judged according to what he had done.” Revelation 20:11–13.

“But fire came down from heaven, and devoured them.” Revelation 20:9, last part.

“And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Revelation 20:10.

“If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.” Revelation 20:15, 14.

When the execution of the judgment is completed the kingdom of glory is fully restored. “God’s original purpose in the creation of the earth is fulfilled as it is made the eternal abode of the redeemed. ‘The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.’ Psalm 37:29.” The Great Controversy, 674.

“The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.” The Great Controversy, 678.

In summary, the kingdom of grace is a temporary kingdom that is established for two purposes: (1) to provide a way for the fallen race to be restored to the kingdom of glory, and (2) to dispose of sin in the universe so the kingdom of glory can be restored to its original state.

Maurice Hoppe is retired and volunteers at Steps to Life. His primary responsibility is working with the Training Program for Ministers and Church Leaders and the Training Program for Lay Workers. He also conducts a Bible Correspondence School from his home with emphasis on Bible prophecy. He can be contacted at: