Following the acknowledgment of the greatness of the Sovereign God ( God the Father ) in Matthew 13 : 9-13 , the Kingdom of God was given the most prominent place in Jesus' model prayer.At least thirty of Jesus' parables are devoted to teaching about the Kingdom of God , its establishment on earth , and its relationship to the spiritual and physical realms of existence :.
Your kingdom come.Your will be done in earth , as it is in heaven ( Matt.6 : 10 KJV ) .See also Matt.9 : 35.
It is truly remarkable that Jesus
spoke so much about the Kingdom of God , yet those who professed to teach his
message over the centuries have said so little about this world altering doctrine.An earthly kingdom under heavenly control.Divine intervention in the affairs of men.What a strange and unfamiliar ring these words have.
...Jesus Proclaimed the Kingdom
Now after John was put in prison , Jesus
came into Galilee , preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God , saying , The time is fulfilled , and the Kingdom of God is at hand : repent , and believe the gospel ( Mk.1 : 14-15 Para. ) .
Notice that Jesus' message was the same as John's ; both proclaimed the coming Kingdom of God.One of the very first things that Jesus taught after he began his ministry concerned the Kingdom of God , because he was the representative of that government and its future head of state :
went about all Galilee , teaching in their synagogues , and preaching the gospel of the kingdom , and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people ( Matt.4 : 23 KJV ) .See also Matt.4 : 12-17 ; 9 : 35 ; Lk.8 : 1.
said to them , I must preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also : for this reason I am sent ( Lk.4 : 43 Para. ) .
taught the twelve disciples the good news about his
Father's kingdom ; then he
taught seventy others and sent them all to preach the same message :.
After these things , Jesus
appointed seventy others also , and sent them two and two before his
face into every city and place , where he
would go.And he
said to them. . . heal the sick that are there , and say to them , The Kingdom of God is come near to you ( Lk.10 : 1 , 2 , 9 KJV ) .
Notice that Jesus
told these men to say that the kingdom was close to them.In a real sense , the Kingdom of God did come near these people.Those who were sent_out to proclaim the kingdom were its ambassadors.Those who were sent were also given authority to use the power of the Sovereign Ruler of the Kingdom of God.They healed the sick as an act of compassion and to get people's attention in_order_to show some of the benefits of being under the protection and care of the government of God.
Because of a conversation between Jesus
and the Pharisees , a popular belief has evolved , which teaches that the Kingdom of God is only a philosophical ideal.Many today believe that the Kingdom of God is a philosophy , a way of thinking , a concept of perfection to be striven for , but it is not a tangible reality :.
And when the Pharisees demanded that Jesus tell them when the Kingdom of God should come , he
answered them and said : The Kingdom of God does not come with an outward show : Neither shall people say , Here it is! for , behold , the Kingdom of God is within you ( Lk.17 : 20-21 KJV ) .
If the Kingdom of God was within these Pharisees , humanity is truly without hope , because these are the same men that Jesus
called hypocrites and a generation of vipers. It is evident from the many times that he
condemned these men and the other religious leaders of the Jews that the righteous Kingdom of God was not within the hearts and minds of these men.
The English word within' that is used in many translations of Luke 17 : 21 is translated from the Greek word entos' , which in this context , means among' or in the midst of'.The Kingdom of God was among them because Jesus , the ambassador of the Kingdom of God , was among them ; it was definitely not within the Jewish leaders of Christ's time
.Christ came as a representative of his Father's kingdom to explain what the kingdom was and how to enter into it
also came to proclaim that the kingdom would be established over all the earth's nations at some time in the future.Because Jesus did not come as a conquering king as these men were expecting , they did not understand what Jesus
taught in regard to the kingdom coming without observation.
The term Kingdom of God pertains to the spiritual as_well_as the physical planes of existence , because the Kingdom of God is a sovereign kingdom , which has absolute power and authority in the spiritual and the physical realms of existence.
Those who are called to participate in the first resurrection and have accepted this call , are already a part of the Kingdom of God ; that is , they have been transformed into sons of God having the spirit of God and the laws of God as a part of their being.Although the Kingdom of God is not yet physically present on earth , the elect of God who are alive today are subject to both its physical and spiritual laws.See our study papers concerning the Covenants , the Law of God , the Spirit of God and the New Creation.
Not only are those called to the First resurrection righteous heirs but also joint-heirs with Jesus
, and they will share in the inheritance of all that exists , now and forever.
INHERIT THE EARTH
Part of the promise that God gave to Abraham was that he
descendants would inherit the earth and would be a blessing to all nations forever.See Gen.12 : 2-3 , 13 , 15-16 , 15 : 7 , 18 : 18 ; 26 : 1-5 ; Rom.4 : 13.
And if you be Christ's , then are you Abraham's seed , and heirs according to the promise ( Gal.3 : 29 KJV ) .
Blessed are the meek : for they shall inherit the earth ( Matt.5 : 5 KJV ) .
For evildoers shall be cut_off : but those that wait upon the Lord , they shall inherit the earth ( Psa.37 : 9 KJV ) .See also vs.11 , 22 , 29 , 34 ; ch.72 : 8.
said that those of a humble spirit will obtain the ultimate joy of sharing the rewards of the Kingdom of God.
Three undeniable facts of the Bible are that there is a Kingdom of Heaven ( government of God ) , the Kingdom of Heaven is the property of God the Father , and the righteous are to inherit this kingdom :.
When the Son of man shall come in his
glory , and all the holy angels with him , then shall he
sit upon the throne of his
glory : And before him shall be gathered all nations : and he
shall separate them one from another , as a shepherd divides his
sheep from the goats : And he
shall set the sheep on his
right hand , but the goats on the left.Then shall the King [ Jesus
] say to them on his
right hand , Come , you blessed of my Father [ God the Father ] , inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world : ( Matt.25 : 31-34 KJV ) .See also Jms.2 : 5.
spoke the parable of the shepherd dividing his
sheep from the goats , he
revealed that the Kingdom of God had been prepared as an inheritance for the righteous even before mankind was created.
CO-RULERSHIP WITH CHRISTJesus
foretold the time when the elect of God would be co-rulers with him in his
Father's kingdom :.
that overcomes , and keeps my works to the end , to him will I give power over the nations : And he
shall rule them with a rod of iron . . . ( Rev.2 : 26-27 KJV ) .Jesus
is coming to set_up the government of God , which will rule the earth and all nations with the help of the elect of God who have qualified to rule with him :.
To him that overcomes will I [ Jesus
] grant to sit with me in my throne , even as I also overcame , and am set_down with my Father in his
throne ( Rev.3 : 21 Para. ) .
All who participate in the first resurrection will administer the Kingdom of God over the nations of the earth under the authority of Jesus Christ.
And [ Jesus
] has made us to our God kings and priests : and we shall reign on the earth ( Rev.5 : 10 KJV ) .See also 1.Thes.3 : 13 ; Rev.3 : 21 ; 20 : 4-6.
BORN INTO THE KINGDOM
It is important to review a conversation between Jesus
and Nicodemus in_order_to begin to understand the awesome implications of what it means to be given an opportunity to become a son of God during the gospel age of salvation.
John 3 : 1-10 Paraphrased
Nicodemus , who was a Pharisees and a ruler of the Jews , came to Jesus
at night , and said to him , Rabbi , we know that you have come as a teacher from God.For no one is able to do the miracles that you do , except God be_with him ( vs.1-2 ) .
Like most Jews of his
day , Nicodemus was looking for the Messiah to come to deliver the Jews from Roman rule and restore Israel as a nation under the government of God.However , he
did not expect what Jesus
said in regard to being a participant in the Kingdom of God.Jesus
said to him , Truly , truly I say to you , if one does not receive birth from above , he
is not able to see the Kingdom of God ( v3