In Proposition 93, George Peters states:
“The Covenanted Kingdom is not the Christian Church.”
If the Jewish Church is not the Kingdom, then it has to be stated (and it has repeatedly thus far by Peters either by Proposition or observation), that the Christian Church is also not the future, prophesied, promised Covenanted Kingdom. We are the ekklesia and as the called and peculiar special people of God will participate in the future Kingdom. However, the Kingdom as covenanted and prophesied is still future and thus the current ekklesia cannot be stated as being the future Kingdom.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 93 is the following:
“A main leading feature in this effort to make out of the Church the predicted Kingdom of the Messiah, is found in applying to the present, things relating to the Church which are spoken of as prospectively (the present used as the future, Prop. 65, Obs. 9), as e.g. Heb. 12:22-23. Promises are given which can only, as we shall hereafter show, be realized by the Church as a completed body. This principle must not be overlooked, as e.g. the marriage of the Church, which (1) one party confines to the Church now on earth as married to Jesus; (2) another asserts is done as every believer enters the third heaven, so that recently a prominent theologian delivered a funeral discourse in which he made a distinguished minister, deceased, sitting down and already enjoying the marriage supper, etc.; (3) while still another declares the same to be still future as the Scriptures and the early Church locate it, viz.: to occur only at the Second Advent. It will be satisfactorily seen, as we proceed, that many promises, that are only to be realized in the future Kingdom, are seized and appropriated to the Church; and this is not only done by the Popes quoting and applying it to themselves, as earthly Heads of the Church, Millennial predictions, but by Protestants in their laudation of Churches. This is done not only from motives of self-interest and ambition, but with a sincere desire to indicate the honor, stability, and perpetuity of Christ’s Kingdom. Well may the former be attributed to some of the representatives of the Papacy who even appropriated descriptions applicable to Jesus unto themselves, while the latter is seen in the well-intentioned denomination of the Church by the phrase “the City of God”, given by Augustine, followed by the multitude, and recently re-introduced by Mansel, Abbey, and others. It is notorious that the names Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem are regarded by a host of writers as synonymous with the Church, without any regard to the connection of the prophecy that the same Israel, Judah and Jerusalem acted and overthrown for its sinfulness, is to be restored to favor, and is thus meant. The curses pronounced, are all carefully heaped upon them severally and shown in their case to be sadly realized, while the blessings promised to the identically same nation and city are taken from them and carefully bestowed upon the Gentile churches. Is this honest to the Record?”
This is a power packed and important observation. I will respond to Peters’ concluding question with a resounding no it is not honest to the Record the approach taken by many on this subject. Peters aptly notes an important reality, namely that while the ekklesia is indeed the bride with the Messiah being the bridegroom, there is a marriage process that must take place. This marriage process is known as betrothal. The people of God are currently in the first phase of this process where the Father (God), has selected a bride (corporate consisting of individuals both from the OT and NT eras) for His Son. When the Father says it is time, the Son will come for the bride and will establish His Kingdom. Thus, we see not only from God’s covenants but also from the marriage process we are in as the bride the reality that it is not until the future Kingdom that the bride gets to reside with the bridegroom. This has huge impacts on a number of theological issues such as eschatology, ecclesiology, etc. We are presently God’s people (the ekklesia) who are looking forward to the establishment of the Kingdom ruled by the Messiah on earth.