The Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God, also referred to in Scripture as The Kingdom of Heaven, is an everlasting kingdom which spans the mighty universe. Currently invisible to the human eye and unheard of by the vast majority of human beings, the Kingdom of God is, nevertheless, more real and abiding than all the earthly kingdoms and empires this world has ever known. It is a spiritual kingdom into which only those born of the Spirit of the Most High may enter. And these will enter by the divinely appointed way, which is by faith in Jesus Christ who is the only begotten Son of YAHWEH the Almighty God of Israel. No other means of entry is possible. Re-study Lessons 2-8 where these basic facts are explained.
The Kingdom of God is a holy kingdom; a kingdom governed in accordance with the perfect law of the Most High. Yahweh’s law, the irrevocable constitution of the mighty universe has been rejected by the inhabitants of this planet for millenniums. Most people are just not interested in the Almighty’s dictates or His gracious offer of mercy and salvation. But this state of rebellion is scheduled to end soon. Unbeknown to the vast majority of earth’s inhabitants, the armies of the Kingdom of Heaven are even now preparing to overthrow all the governments of this world.
“And why” you may well ask, “have most people never even heard of the Kingdom of God?”
Because, strange as it may seem, long, long ago the earth became the arena for the most subtle and diabolic deception that ever a mind could imagine. Millions of angels (spirit beings) under the leadership of Satan, a mighty archangel, revolted against the authority of Yahweh the monarch of the Kingdom of Heaven. Satan then deceived mankind into disbelieving and disobeying the Most High and thus he gained dominion of this world. An outline of man’s fall and of how this Satan-inspired rebellion took root in the soil of humankind is found in the first few chapters of the book of Genesis.
Spiritual darkness, confusion, disease and death came in the wake of Satan’s unholy leadership. Yahweh’s instructions were deliberately twisted and the Almighty himself made out to be a harsh, cruel Being who was only interested in His own glory. Yahweh’s character, His holy law, His offer of mercy and life through His Son the coming Messiah were consequently rejected and mankind descended into a vortex of self-indulgence and sin.
Expressing itself in violence, vice and confusion on every hand, that Satanic revolution against the Most High is still going on. Indeed it even appears to be gaining momentum. As a result, people everywhere are disillusioned, desperate and secretly very worried about the future. Nothing appears to make sense any more, and multitudes from every nation under heaven have long since given up their faith in God. Many do not even believe that He exists.
It was into this sin-sick and tragically misguided world that Yeshua the Saviour (the Son of the Most High) brought the Gospel (the Good News) of the Kingdom of God. With immeasurable love and patience he explained to men and women the principles of the kingdom and the character of it’s King. He demonstrated, by faultless obedience, the true meaning of it’s immutable laws and then he secured for all believers the right to enter the Kingdom, by paying the penalty for their sins (disobedience) with his own blood.
To those who accept his offer of salvation God has granted the matchless privilege of becoming Heirs of the Kingdom ‘joint heirs with Christ.’ The Bible even tells of how they will go on to actually govern the mighty universe for all eternity under the Son of God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Yes, that is the blood-bought heritage of every true believer in Jesus Christ and it is now being freely offered to you on the authority of the Word of God.
- The main theme of the Master’s message while he was on earth, His spiritual Terms of Reference so to speak, was to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Using literally hundreds of parables, illustrations and prophetic examples he told of the glorious heavenly kingdom from which he had come and to which all the sons and daughters of Adam are invited. Note how he described his divine commission:
|“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19: To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”|
- Later he commissioned his followers to go into all the world and to preach the Good News, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Indeed, to our sin-sick society, daily bombarded as it is with bad news, the Gospel of the Kingdom is the only effective antidote for fear and frustration.
(Mark 1:14-15, Matthew 4:23, Luke 4:43, Acts 8:12, Acts 19:8, Acts 28:30-31)
- To those who accept the gospel message is granted the rare privilege of becoming the spiritual Children of God. They become heirs of the kingdom, joint-heirs with Christ.
1 John 3:1-2
|“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.|
- “And what”, you may well ask, “is the heritage of Jesus Christ?”
- It is, according to Bible prophecy, to be the monarch of the mighty universe, to rule (under His Father) the whole of creation with is millions of spiral galaxies and whirling worlds. As joint-heirs with Christ, true believers are going to share in that rulership, just as a Queen shares in the majestic power and authority of her husband, the ruling King.
- Yes, that is the eternal heritage of all who place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 8:16-18, James 2:5, Luke 12:32, Luke 22:29-30, Daniel 7:27)
- Potential candidates for the Kingdom of Heaven may come from any country, class or social grade. The lack of material wealth, worldly wisdom or physical beauty is by no means a barrier to admission to the Kingdom of Heaven.
(Matthew 8:11, Luke 18:16-17, Matthew 21:31, Matthew 19:23-24, 1 Timothy 2:3-4)
- The only condition for entry into the Kingdom of God is that a person must have living faith in Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) the Son of the Most High. Living faith, incidentally, is faith that manifests itself in obedience. In other words, entrants to that heavenly kingdom must learn to trust and obey the Almighty. Beginning with the process called conversion a true believer’s life ought to gradually come into line with God’s will. Thus walking in faith with God he/she will be born into that glorious kingdom, to which there is no end.
All those millions of individuals who have not had the opportunity to hear of salvation through Christ will be judged according to the light of their consciences and the measure of their knowledge. In this connection many will enter the Kingdom of God who have never even heard of the Saviour. For those who know, however, Yahweh’s standard of judgement will be proportionately more strict.
(John 3:3-7, John 3:16, Matthew 19:17, Acts 16:30-31, Zechariah 13:6)
- Sad to say, some believers will disqualify themselves from being born into the Kingdom of Heaven. They will be excluded from the Kingdom because of persistent and wilful disobedience and a refusal to give up known sin. Indeed the most tragic cases to come before the divine tribunal on the terrible Day of Judgement will be those of rebellious Christians who have refused to obey Yahweh’s immutable law. Too late will they realise that the wages of sin (disobedience) is death.
(Matthew 5:20, Matthew 7:21-23, Galatians 5:18-21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Ephesians 5:1-6)
- Though entry into the Kingdom of God is through faith in Jesus, a believer’s eternal position in that Kingdom will depend to a large extent upon his/her spiritual performance in this present life. In other words, to the diligent faithful overcomer will be given a position of great honour and glory in the Kingdom; a position of authority and power unequalled in the governments of men. Students should, therefore, put forth every effort to realise the spiritual potential Yahweh has granted them; for great will be their eternal reward in the Kingdom of God if they do.
(Matthew 5:19, Luke 22:28-30, Luke 19:16-19, Revelation 2:26-27, Revelation 5:9-10)
- The armies of the Kingdom of Heaven are even now preparing to overthrow all the governments of this world: yes, to actually take-over world rulership. We are certain of this eventuality, for the Signs of Christ’s Return are too obvious to mistake. In view of these momentous revelations, a separate lesson will be devoted to those Signs, but for the present the student would do well to compare the following prophetic chapters with current world affairs.
(Matthew 24, Luke 21, 2 Timothy 3, 2 Thessalonians 2)
- Nothing is more certain in an earthly empire or kingdom than the fact that sooner or later it will deteriorate and fade into insignificance. All the mighty empires and governments of the past, which one by one have dominated the stage of time, tell the same old tragic story. And that is, that man’s efforts to effectively rule himself have all miserably failed. The main reason for this catalogue of failure is that earthly governments have persistently rejected the laws of the Almighty God in favour of countless, impotent human regulations.
This will all change when the Kingdom of God is set up on earth. Under Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) the law of Yahweh will be given its rightful place and the whole world will speedily be rid of violence, vice and confusion. With divine justice and awesome severity Christ he will bring in everlasting righteousness and peace, using the very law that foolish men have contemptuously set aside for centuries. Like the raging waves of storm-tossed Gennesaret, the world’s inhabitants will learn to obey Yahweh’s commandments and a peaceful calm will settle over mankind the like of which has never been known before.
(Daniel 4:1-3, Daniel 7:27, Hebrews 12:28, 2 Peter 1:11, Psalm 145:13, Daniel 2:44)
- The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of Power, divine power, holy power, purifying power. Unlike the gimmick manifestations of Satanic power, which can only dazzle, delude and destroy mankind, the Power of God moves like a mighty soul-cleansing river bringing life, peace and health wherever it goes. We are, even now, expectantly waiting for Yahweh to again demonstrate that kind of power – Apostolic power – EMMANUEL’S POWER; power that will take the Gospel of the Kingdom to every household, hamlet and hut in the world. You may be sure that when that power arrives, and it will come in the fullness of time, Yahweh will accomplish more for His truth in one month than the combined efforts of all the churches in the past nineteen hundred years.
(Matthew 24:14, Luke 10:19, Luke 24:49, 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, Acts 1:8, 1 Corinthians 4:19-20)
- And so we will end this lesson by advising all students to let nothing deter them from believing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Indeed there is no earthly possession or pleasure, no matter how rare and exciting, no matter how valuable and good, which can even begin to compare with the glory and bliss earth’s redeemed host will enjoy, when we enter the mighty and eternal Kingdom of God.
(1 Corinthians 2:9, Matthew 6:33, Matthew 24:12-13, Romans 8:18)
Author: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland