In Proposition 41, George Peters states:
“The Kingdom was not established under John’s ministry.”
As we look at the message declared by John the Baptist as well as the period of his ministry, it is readily apparent the Kingdom, in particular the fullness of it, has not yet been established. If we look at the events that transpired during his ministry and compare them to the predictions by the Prophets of what the Theocratic Kingdom would look like, we can note that the message of the Prophets was not fulfilled during John’s span of ministry. He was one who prepared the people for the coming of the Kingdom and while the coming took place, at least in part, during the First Advent, it’s totality remained a future venture.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 41 is the following:
“The imprisonment and death of John itself in indicative of our position, for it shows that, instead of a Kingdom, suffering is allotted; the Forerunner is rejected, and the Kingdom cannot be obtained without blood shed in its behalf. A martyred Forerunner is an appropriate foreground to a crucified King, and reminds us how dearly this very Kingdom is purchased.”
Now Peters is of course not suggesting that the death of John the Baptist had an propitiatory element to it. Conversely, he is simply noting, in a quite valuable manner and something I had not pondered to date, that the Forerunner was setting the stage for the death of the Messiah. The herald’s death in a sense points and declares the vast importance of the death of the one he declared was coming to establish the Kingdom. This established or re-establishment rather of the Kingdom as noted earlier did not take place during the ministry of John; however, everything about his ministry, including his own death, pointed and paved the way for the Messiah whose blood would be shed to purchase entrance into this Kingdom for his bride.