Jesus Christ stated that there were some people who were standing with him who would not die until they saw him coming in his kingdom as recorded in Matthew 16:28:
“28Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (KJV)
Because all of those people have died after their normal lifespans, does this mean that Jesus Christ established his kingdom within 100 years or so of his making this statement? Does the Bible explain what Jesus Christ meant? Yes, it does in Matthew 17:1-9:
“1And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
2And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
3And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
4Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
5While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
6And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
7And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
8And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
9And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.” (KJV)
The special vision he gave them is called the transfiguration. The key to understanding the transfiguration is in verse 9 where Jesus Christ told Peter, James, and John to “tell the vision to no man” until he was risen from the dead. What Peter, James, and John saw was not real. It was a only special vision of the Kingdom of God in the future, not the resurrection of Moses and Elias (Elijah) who had died many years before.
Jesus Christ kept his promise as recorded in Matthew 16:28. Three of the leading disciples saw the son of man (Jesus Christ) coming in his kingdom.
Jesus Christ gave these three disciples a unique glimpse of the coming Kingdom through a supernatural vision. The Kingdom of God was not yet ruling over the entire earth. Elias (Elijah) and Moses were not literally present. They were present only in vision, symbolic of their roles in the congregation (or church) of the Old Testament and in God’s government over the 12 tribes of Israel.
Moses, Elias (Elijah), and all the other faithful servants of God have not yet received the promises that God gave them. The writer of Hebrews makes this clear in the famous faith chapter of Hebrews 11. He specifically notes how Moses was a great man of faith in Hebrews 11:23-28.
“23By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.
24By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
28Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.” (KJV)
Although Moses was a man of great faith, even at the time that the book of Hebrews was written, Moses had not yet received what God had promised him as the writer of Hebrews makes clear in Hebrews 11:39-40.
“39And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (KJV)
Moses and all the other faithful servants of God will not receive what God promised them until the Kingdom of God comes to the earth. All of the faithful servants of God will receive what God has in store at the same time. God will make them perfect to be his children in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus Christ has not yet established his kingdom on earth. He will come again in the future and set up the Kingdom of God to rule the earth with the laws of God. The Kingdom of God will bring abundant blessings to all the earth.