When Jesus Christ began his ministry in Galilee he announced that the kingdom had already come to the people living in Judaea and Galilee. “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.” Luke 11:20. He said this right after he had taught them the Lord’s Prayer, in which he said they should pray for God’s kingdom to come. So, the kingdom was coming! But, the kingdom was already there!
At the time of his first coming the kingdom was under Roman rule. “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:11-12. In the days of his first advent his kingdom consisted of the king (himself), and the king’s subjects (those who followed him). “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21. His kingdom at the time were his followers who were within the population of Galilee and Judaea. Only God could identify those followers. Some people, like Judas Iscariot, appeared to follow Jesus, but were not really his followers. Some of those false Christians were revealed to the apostles later. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” 1 John 2:19
Although the kingdom was with the Jewish people at that time, it was soon to be taken away from them because of their rejection of Jesus Christ the Messiah. “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” Matthew 21:42-44. I believe this prophecy had a double fulfilment, first that Christ was the cornerstone that the builders rejected, and secondly that the stone kingdom (Israel) would be exalted to execute God’s judgement on the earth as proclaimed by the prophet Daniel. “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:34, 35.
The kingdom was taken from the Jews and given to the lost tribes of Israel. Those were the Anglo-Saxon and kindred peoples, who were taken from the land of Israel by the Assyrians, and hundreds of years later made their way through the Caucasus Mountains into Europe. The kingdom was prophetically called Mount Zion, and was given to those people because they accepted Christianity. Mount Zion remained with Israel, but was moved from Judaea to the lost tribes of Israel. Jesus said to his disciples, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” Mark 11: 23. The disciples accomplished this by their faith and preaching. Mount Zion was removed from Judaea and moved into the midst of the sea (the Gentile nations). It was given to the lost tribes of Israel. The Kingdom is ours. The King is ours, and by faith we have to claim the King’s protection for his Kingdom in the coming time of great trouble.