Looking for references of the Gospel in the Bible, I found a very interesting text:*

1 Corinthians 15:22-25 (ESV)
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

The Church to which I belong is premillennial, dispensationalist and pretribulationist. Then, the first thing I thought, is that Christ delivered the Kingdom at the end of the thousand years. i.e.:

Revelation 20:4 (ESV)
Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

However, the Bible says in another text:

Luke 1:30-33 (ESV)
And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."

It seems a contradiction. Then, how should interpret the phrase «he delivers the kingdom to God the Father»?

* All the emphasis are mine.

  • 1
    It seems a contradiction. - Uhm... no... it doesn't.
    – Lucian
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 19:09
  • Actually, it does "seem" a contradiction, at first glance. After deeper analysis it perhaps becomes not a contradiction after all. But that doesn't change the fact that it does look like a contradiction until you dig deeper. I think that's what Ruminator meant. So, uhm...yes...it does.
    – moron
    Commented Dec 23, 2023 at 22:54

7 Answers 7


In 1 Cor 15:24, Paul is explaining that Jesus is submitting His power and authority to God the Father. This is not related to reign of Christ on earth.

Even if it were related to His reign, Jesus has always been submissive to the Father. If you keep reading you will see in 1 Cor 15:28

When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

that Jesus is giving all His authority to His Father. Please remember the context of this passage is to prove the resurrection is real, not an explanation of the end of times.

As to the timing of things, (according to the pre-trib/pre-millennial view) this could happen at the end of the tribulation and Jesus is still ruling under the Fathers authority or more likely this happens after the millennium and after the judgement.

The reference to "of his kingdom there will be no end", is either a euphamism for a really long time like the millennium or more likely since Jesus is God and eternal then it a reference to His eternality.

  • Help me out. I am new to the hermeneutics exchange. I keep getting down votes. What am I doing wrong. In StackOverflow we down vote for wrong answers and badly written ones. What is the criteria here? Is what I wrote unclear? I want to write good answers, please help. Commented May 3, 2014 at 0:58
  • 4
    Don't worry about the DV's, and if you've read the guidelines and help information, you will make progress in your 'reputation'. 1 important point: on this site it's important that you "Show your Work"(how you got from "A" to "B"). There's no set 'criteria' for DV's, but I can tell you I have "+1'd " answers that I didn't particularly agree with, on the basis of them meticulously showing their work. You may also want to check Meta for "How to write a good answer".
    – Tau
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 5:15

It's frustrating when answers major on the time when Christ delivers the Kingdom to God the Father, instead of answering your question as to what 'delivering over' means. This question requires understanding of what the Kingdom is, and what Christ's kingship amounts to, and whether the 'delivering over' conflicts in any way with who the Father and the Son are, in relationship and in sovereignty.

Whenever premillennialism is brought in, answers go off into hobby-horse interpretations of certain groups who are anxious to take any opportunity to prove that there must be a literal one-thousand-year-reign of Christ on earth. This is bordering on absurd.

I'm going to start with a biblical view of what the Kingdom of God is, in the way Jesus and the Bible writers spoke of it. Next needs to come Christ's role as King of God's Kingdom. Finally, in what sense Christ 'delivers over' the Kingdom. But, because a whole chapter in a book would be required to do justice to such vast topics, I'm just going to delineate the bare, biblical outline.

1 A kingdom is a rulership over people who are subjects of a ruler, but that is not confined to earthly kingdoms or rulers. The bible has a lot to say about "the prince [ruler] of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience." And, "For we [Christians] wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 2:2 & 6:12).

The first biblical mention of God's sovereign right to rule his earthly creatures (despite their just having rebelled against that, choosing to come under the control/rule of that evil spirit force who tries to usurp God's sovereign rights) is in Genesis 3:15. There, God made a long-range prophecy to eventually crush that serpent-like spirit force by the 'seed of the woman', even though that deliverer would get bruised in the heel. The prophecy enlarges centuries later by saying that in Bethlehem of Judah an ancient one would come forth who "is to be ruler in Israel" (Micah 5:2 & Luke 2:4). That one was the Son of God who became flesh as the man, Jesus, born in Bethlehem. Frequently, Jesus spoke of being the King who would go away to a distant place for a long time, then return to sovereignly deal with his enemies and reward his loyal subjects.

2 When the resurrected Christ returned to heaven, he was seated (as King) awaiting the time when the Father would grant the request when he asks him for his inheritance of the nations (Psalm 2:1-9). Jesus gave many parables of this aspect of God's Kingdom, himself being the King who suddenly returns. His subjects acclaim him, but those outside of his Kingdom rule hate him and are judged adversely.

The last book of the Bible culminates this battle for rulership in a vision of evil, unseen forces working through earthly agencies they have set up to deceive the nations into following the great red dragon (the serpent of Eden - remember him?) These demonic spirits lead the kings of the earth into battle against God and his anointed one, Christ, but Christ the King tramples on all demonic and earthly enemies (Rev. 14:19-20 & ch. 16). Then the Day of Resurrection and Judgment comes so that God's sovereignty is uncontested - proven to be legally his - and Christ is the one who calls all the dead forth and judges them.

3 Now comes the 'handing over' bit. Once all evil, all sin, and all rebellion against God's sovereign rights have been wiped away forever, there only is the Kingdom of God. There is no other claimant to the throne of God's Kingdom. The old heavens and the old earth have rolled up like a scroll - no place being found for them - and a new heaven and a new earth have been created (2 Peter 10-13). When everything has been restored to the perfection of God's original creation, all enemies disposed of and no would-be-usurpers to God's sovereign rights, the Son hands everything back - job done, as per Genesis 3:15.

The Son is the Father's instrument of action, to save sinners caught in the serpent's snares, to vindicate the Father's name, to establish the perfect Kingdom throughout all creation, when God will "be all in all" as per 1 Cor. 15:24-28. Now, this is the crunch point of the question, for it needs to be established what delivering over the Kingdom means, and does not mean! Here I quote from Matthew Henry's Commentary regarding Christ being on the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 8:1 & 12:2):

"Sitting down in this seat is taking upon him the exercise of his mediatorial power and royalty, which was done upon his ascension into heaven (Mark 16:19)... Upon his ascension, he was made head over all things to the Church and in the end destroy all its enemies and complete the salvation of all that believe in him. This is not a power appertaining to Godhead as such; ...but power given and limited to special purposes. ...in this whole dispensation [Christ] acts as Mediator, not as the offended Majesty, but as one interposing in favour of his offending creatures..., he may properly be said to have this power given him; he may reign as God, with power unlimited, and yet may reign as Mediator, with a power delegated, and limited to these particular purposes.

"This delegated royalty must at length be delivered up to the Father, from whom it was received (vs. 24), for it is a power to govern and protect his Church till all the members of it be gathered in, and the enemies of it for ever subdued and destroyed (vs. 25-26) and when these ends shall be obtained the power and authority will not need to be continued. The Redeemer must reign till his enemies be destroyed, and the salvation of his Church and people accomplished. When this end is attained, then will he deliver up the power which he had only for this purpose, though he may continue to reign over his glorified church and body in heaven; and in this sense it may be said that he shall reign for ever and ever. (Rev. 11:15 & Luke 1:33)" (p1820)

This answers your last question about Luke 1. There is no contradiction.

  • 1
    @steveowen Comments are for ideas to improve the answer but none of your points deal with any of the points of the question, which I answered. You express your disagreement with me re. other doctrinal matters. If we all lodged our disagreement with answerers’ points, this would turn into a heated chat room, which it is not. I could do that with many of your answers, but that is not what comments are for. Why don’t you turn your opinions into an answer and post it here?
    – Anne
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 8:33
  • 2
    apologies. Improving an answer on this site would be to point out areas that have no biblical support. They are not opinions. However, I accept your advice.
    – Steve
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 9:08

There are two features of the NT doctrine of the Kingdom of Heaven/God (the two are used interchangeably)

  1. The kingdom of Heaven/God was established during Jesus' incarnation, Matt 3:2, 4:17, 10:7, 13:52, 12:28, Luke 11:20, 17:21, Acts 8:12, etc.
  2. the kingdom of God co-exists among earthly kingdoms until Christ has conquered all earthly kingdoms and removed them, Dan 2:44, 45, 1 Cor 15:22-25, Rev 11:15.

Thus, there is a "now and not yet" sense to the kingdom of God. It is here but not yet fully triumphant, but that will change when the Lord returns.


And He will reign over the house of Jacob to the ages. And of His kingdom there will be no end!”<

Notice that he rules just for the next two ages. After that kingdom will not end but it will be handed over to God the Father.

Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.<

Notice how it says he will reign UNTIL He has put all his enemies under his feet.

Then the end comes, when he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have abolished all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For, He put all things in subjection under his feet." But when he says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that he is excepted who subjected all things to him. When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.<

So reading again those last scriptures we see it is God who puts everything under the Son's reign. It was God who subjected all to him. It is only after ALL Things have been subjected to him and then the son subjects himself to God the Father. After this God becomes all in all.

Here is your question: "It seems a contradiction. Then, how should interpret the phrase «he delivers the kingdom to God the Father»?"

The Son will be reigning for the next two ages (Not the next two eternal's) During those next two ages everything is going to be headed up in Christ on the earth and in heaven's. This is spoken about any Ephesians one.

He has made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to bring all things in heaven and on earth together in Christ. Eph. 1:9-10<


The Nicene-Constantinople Creed of 381AD states,

"...He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His Kingdom will have no end."

This statement, which has been a fundemental of church belief, was written in opposition to the Modalists, who denied the Trinity, and just saw God 'in the form of' Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and not the Person(s) of. It also rejects "Arianism" or the Gnostic heresy that makes "the Son" a creation of the Father, and not pre-existant with the Father, therefore, "not God".

What was also opposed was "Chiliasm", a Greek rooted word that described the Physical 1000 Year Reign on Earth by Christ in Jerusalem, after the Resurrection of the Just, or the "Rapture". This doctrine was taught by Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and Irenaeus of Lyons had devoted 5 chapters in Book V(30,31,32,33,34-Against Heresies). It's main detractor was Augustine of Hippo, who saw the Church "figuratively" representing the "1000 year Reign of Christ on the earth as the "Israel of God", therefore there was no need for any other. According to the account written in the Encyclopedia of World Religions(1999 Merriam Webster),

Augustine went still further, arguing that no historical event or chronology can be interpreted apocalyptically; and that the millennium was not a future event but already in progress, already set in motion by Christ. To explain why the evils of war, hatred, injustice and poverty continued unabated, Augustine used the notion of the Two Cities. There was a "heavenly city," the celestial Jerusalem, where the millennium was already manifest, and a terrestrial Babylon, the time-bound city of violence and oppression in which the millennium was not visible. These two cities would coexist as a corpus permixtum (a mixed body) in every man (even saints) and in every society (even the Church) until the Eschaton. Thus Christian Rome, even the earthy Church, could not represent the perfection of eschatological fulfillment, and their historical fate had nothing to do with God’s plans for human salvation. This teaching radically reoriented Christian eschatology: rather than awaiting the coming Kingdom on earth, one should await it at the very end of time. Augustine basically banned millennialism, or the belief in a coming kingdom of God on earth, from Christian theology (Fredriksen)

This was the view the Counsel of Bishops held at Constantinople in 381AD, which by 451, at the Counsel at Chalcedon was declared "Anathema" by any who opposed it. This view persisted through the Middle Ages; the Westminster Confession of Faith specifically banned "chiliasm", as well as numerous other "confessions of faith".

It wasn't until the 19th century that "chiliasm" would receive a hearing again, this time under the auspices of the Plymouth Bretheren, led by J.N. Darby, who took the view that God's Promises towards Israel were left unfulfilled, and therefore a "literal thousand year reign" must be understood. His Calvinist upbringing however, refused to allow him to reconcile "Law and Grace", therefore he proposed a "dispensation" where the saints would be raptured prior to a time of tribulation, and then Christ would return to Jerusalem to "reign for a thousand years" over the nation of Israel, and any Christians who happened to survive the "Great Tribulation". This view, called "Dispensationalism", caught on in America as D.L. Moody and R.A. Torrey embraced it in their trips to England. It's main proponents are part of the Dallas School of Theology, of whom Dwight Pentecost, and John Walvoord have written extensively.

Another view exists however, and it's one that the celebrated preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon embraced.

Distinctions have been drawn by certain exceedingly wise men (measured by their own estimate of themselves), between the people of God who lived before the coming of Christ, and those who lived afterwards. We have even heard it asserted that those who lived before the coming of Christ do not belong to the church of God! We never know what we shall hear next, and perhaps it is a mercy that these absurdities are revealed at one time, in order that we may be able to endure their stupidity without dying of amazement. Why, every child of God in every place stands on the same footing; the Lord has not some children best beloved, some second-rate offspring, and others whom he hardly cares about. These who saw Christ's day before it came, had a great difference as to what they knew, and perhaps in the same measure a difference as to what they enjoyed whole on earth meditating upon Christ; but they were all washed in the same blood, all redeemed with the same ransom price, and made members of the same body. Israel in the covenant of grace is not natural Israel, but all believers in all ages. Before the first advent, all the types and shadows all pointed one way —they pointed to Christ, and to him all the saints looked with hope. Those who lived before Christ were not saved with a different salvation to that which shall come to us. They exercised faith as we must; that faith struggled as ours struggles, and that faith obtained its reward as ours shall338 [emphasis ours(taken from here)

This is the historist, premillenial position which sees both Israel and the church simultaneously during the Physical Reign of Christ on Earth. Spurgeon was by no means it's chief protagonist, yet he saw the 'fallacy' of Dispensationalism, as well as the inadequacy of the Covenant theology positions. He lived during the time of the awakening of Zionism, and saw it's fulfillment in a Jewish nation.

As to Luke 1:33,

and he shall reign over the house of Jacob to the ages; and of his reign there shall be no end'(Youngs Literal Translation)

we see that He will "rule" over the house of Jacob to the ages to come, meaning that a "Replacement Theology" doesn't explain His rulership to the "ages of the future" reign. However, Rev. 21:1 states,

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Since the promises of Israel's nationhood exist Jer. 33:21-22

"If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; 21 Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.

as long as the earth and heavens exist, and David's son "Christ" will reign until all enemies be put under His feet."(1 Cor. 15:24). After that time, the old earth and heavens will be dissolved, and God's Covenant with Israel will be fulfilled. However, Jesus in Matt. 24:35 says

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

The Eternal Logos, the Word Himself will 'rule' us for all eternity, and the picture we get from Rev. 21, which is paralleled by 2 Pet. 3:13 is in the New Jerusalem there will be perfect righteousness. Therefore, "He shall reign forever" in the hearts and minds of His people, as everything that opposes His reign will be done away with, and God will dwell with His people(Rev. 21:3).

So Luke 1:30-33 will be fulfilled; both by the Millenial Reign, and afterward by the ongoing dwelling of God with His people for all eternity.


  • I was enjoying the history lesson but don't see how you got from that to your conclusion. ?
    – user10231
    Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 15:09
  • @WoundedEgo I was outlining the 4 Views(Hermeneutics) of interpreting Biblical Prophecy. The OP's question doesn't 'just' refer to Christ's Reign(He does-for all ages), but Christ's Physical Reign on Earth(Millenial Reign), which means different things to different people-depending on your hermeneutic. Since the passage "...deliver the Kingdom to God the Father" can only be understood(IMO) from a Futurist/Dispensationalist hermeneutic, it is necesary to understand the hermeneutic in order to apply it.
    – Tau
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 2:23
  • Okay, I see, I didn't quite follow.
    – user10231
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 2:42

The text of the Revelation is so deeply clad with difficult symbolism and images, it is so prone to be misinterpreted and misguide the faithful, that from the early period of Christianity it was treated with no lesser caution than reverence. It was the last book to be included in the canon of the New Testament, and some churches did not do so until as late as 5th century, and not for the reason that they did not believe that it was not a true revelation from God, but for the reason that it was too difficult to interpret and too dangerous for a simple, uneducated mind to make wrong conclusions and form wrong attitudes. Even after the book of the Revelation was accepted universally as canonical, it was not read during the liturgical cycle in Churches, due to the same reasons.

Now, the "1000 years", is also symbolic, it is a number designating perfection, eternity, completion, as many church fathers interpreted, thus if so interpreted, it is in no manner contradicting Luke 1:30-33. Mind it, for God "1000 years is like one day, and one day like 1000 years" (2 Peter 3:8), so why not to think that it will be one-day-long kingdom? Which is absurd. Or why not think that it will be 365000 days's kingdom, but each of the days signifying 1000 years, so it will be 365 000 000 years' kingdom? Is not it utter madness to take literal meaning of such a round number as 1000 which just invites to be explained symbolically, in the text that abounds with symbols? Then you must really think also that angels will ride horses, sitting with their immaterial butts upon material saddles (if there are not also angelic stables in heavens for immaterial horses) and other such nonsensical interpretations. Bible is full of temporal symbols. For instance, the sun and the moon were created on 4th day, but days are counted by the sun and the moon, so what was then the duration of the first three days? Of course it is impossible that these were days in our understanding of 24 hours. Thus, the crude, earthly, vulgar and materialistic interpretations were rightly supplanted by more serious, conscientious and philosophical interpretations. Even those, who saw in the "1000 years" an earthly historical duration, wisely interpreted this duration as a part of human history before the Second coming of Christ and the end of history. For example, St. Andrew of Crete writes:

"By the number “one thousand years” by no means it is reasonable to understand so many years. For neither are we able to count out these things as ten times one hundred; rather they are to mean many generations. Here also, we infer the number one thousand to indicate either a great many or perfection. For these things require many years for the purpose of preaching the Gospel everywhere in the entire world and for the seeds of piety to take root in it. The “one thousand years”, therefore, is the time from the year of the Incarnation of the Lord until the coming of the Antichrist. (Andrew of Caesarea. Commentary on the Apocalypse. Catholic University of America Press, 2011, pp. 206-7.) And St. Jerome writes: “The saints will in no wise have an earthly kingdom, but only a celestial one; thus must cease the fable of one thousand years.” - Of course so! For to believe that saints who suffered death for Christ, or the saints who have prepared and accustomed the eye of their intellect to vision of divine invisible realities through much ascetic toils and prayers will be detained in a 1000 years' earthly kingdom before being transmitted to the heavenly eternal kingdom is a very silly idea even at a first superficial scrutiny.

To give a clarifying analogy: imagine Nordic heroes in their heroic heavens - Walhalla being approached by Achilles, the hero of Trojan war; now, Achilles is not only worthy of Walhalla due to his incredible exploits, but even better than all of Nordic heroes together (in fact, everybody knows Achilles, but the names of heroes of Walhalla is known only by a bunch of philologists and folklorists), or at least no lesser than any best amongst them; but still, the Nordic heroes tell him: "you know, dear Achilles, we respect you, fully admire your deeds at the gates of Troy, but still cannot accept you here yet; so, please, do heroic deeds for 1000 more years, and then we shall take you in here". It is not a difficult to forecast, that Achilles would have got enraged by this stupid statement and swiftly slaughter them all, if we are to believe Homer's narration about his propensity for and dimensions of rage. So, 1000-times more this analogy applies to the saints of Christ, the spiritual Achilleses, who having vanquished the demonic powers in their historical life immediately inherit the heavenly kingdom without any hiatus and mediation of earthly kingdom, which would be a disrespect to their accomplishments and dignity.

Thus, a sound Christian vision is that the human history after the resurrection of Jesus and before His second coming, that will designate the end of the history, is a drama, a battlefield, in which finally God will defeat all evil and then, after the second coming will follow the eternal heavenly kingdom (not an earthly thousand years kingdom, as crude-minded, coarse-intellected milennarists thought, and not only them, but unfortunately even such great saints as, for instance, Irenaeus of Lyon in 2nd c.), new heaven and new earth in which only righteousness reigns (cf. 2 Peter 3:13), eternally, infinitely, horribly so (in a good and yet dreadful sense) if one thinks about this seriously, in loving presence of the infinitely perfect Son (Hebrews 7:28) together with his co-eternal Father and the Spirit of Truth eternally issuing from the latter, beyond the Newtonian time, for time will be no more (Rev. 10:6).

  • Sorry, I just made a quick comment, saying the gist of the matter. I can and will provide references from the entire tradition of good and spiritual interpreters, not the earthly-minded ones, who thought that Christ would reign on earth as a king for thousand years - exactly, no more no less! :0) Just have to finish my paper for presentation on Wednesday and will be more free then. I also promised you to answer your questions about the Angel who is also God in OT, and the co-eternity of Logos with the Father, which I also will fulfill, but again, need a bit more leisure for those grand things. Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 17:11
  • @Down-voter O, down-voter, o my anonymous, my dear stealthy pal! Be not so shy, but please deign me worthy of being exposed to your devastating unbeatable arguments as to the theological points of my post! I promise to be a good host to them and duly treat them. Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 1:56

The preeminence of Christ as king is established after the order of Melchizedek . Daniel interprets the dream of Nebuchadnezzar who was the great God appointed king for His sovereign purpose . God reveals that during the dominance of earthly kings, He will set up and everlasting kingdom where Christ the Messiah will reign . Christ comes preaching that the time is fulfilled and, that the kingdom of God is at hand during the super power of the Roman rule . Believers are figuratively translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God's dear son through the power of the gospel (a way is ministered unto us). We (all who hope in God by faith in Christ), are awaiting His return and start of an eternal state promised where the family of heaven and earth are one and, nationality nolonger exist. The earthly Adam is replaced with the Spiritual Adam (Christ); we having bourne the earthly are to bare the heavenly and, the seed of the women has prevailed over the serpent as purposed by The Father. Humanity has prevailed in The God Man(Jesus)for all who will trust in him ...If this is the big picture; I hope we don't continue to get lost and divide over the details that have been obscure for the past two mellenia .

  • True Hope, thanks for the answer. Some hints to help you in the future. This site concentrates on hermeneutics. So, they are looking for answers that deal explicitly with the texts being referenced. While a lot of folks here on this site may agree with your overall summary, the purpose of this site is to dig into the actual text referenced to help the questioner with their specific issue. So in this case, for example, you might have noticed the usage of the word "kingdom" in that it stands alone and not connected to either "God" or "heaven". That may have given you a starting point.
    – alb
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 23:18

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