Just What Is the Kingdom of God?
Tomorrow's World Magazine
November-December 1970
Volume: Vol II, No. 11-12
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Just What Is the Kingdom of God?

Is the Church the Kingdom of God? Is the Kingdom merely an emotional feeling inside your heart? Here is the Bible answer — God's answer — made plain!

   PERHAPS no subject excites more curiosity — and creates more confusion than that of the "Kingdom of God."
   Many differing ideas have been taught concerning God's kingdom. Here is an example:
   "By Christians everywhere working together to bring peace, tolerance, and brotherly love, the kingdom of God may at last be established in the hearts of all mankind." Have you heard this kind of talk?
   Probably you have, because these vague, spiritual-sounding ideas about the kingdom of God are widespread.
   Is the kingdom of God something you can really understand? Or must it remain buried in a mire of nebulous, spiritual-sounding phraseology, or couched in vague, hazy theories about physical empires or churches?
   How can you KNOW what it is?
   Jude exhorts everyone who earnestly desires the real, plain truth that, "It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was ONCE DELIVERED UNTO THE SAINTS" (Jude 3).
   The kingdom of God cannot be understood by laboratory tests, nor through the physical sciences! Neither can it be understood by reading the writings of men about the Bible, or listening to the vague ideas of mere men!
   WHAT ABOUT IT? Do you really know what the BIBLE says about the kingdom of God, or have you, like thousands of others, just taken for granted what is taught today? Most of you have been hearing a vague, sentimental gospel which DENIES the message Jesus Christ brought from the Father about a soon-coming world-ruling kingdom — the kingdom of God!
   Let's begin getting back to the faith ONCE delivered! Let's search the Scriptures and PROVE all things!

What Is a Kingdom?

   The same people who just glibly accept nebulous ideas about the actual kingdom of God all know what is meant when one speaks of, for example, "the United Kingdom." We immediately visualize Great Britain — a literal, actual government of one of this world's great nations. Is Great Britain REAL? Is it something that is just "set up in your heart," or some hazy, unrealistic "spiritual" term?
   And neither is the kingdom — THE GOVERNMENT — of God a hazy, unrealistic spiritual term!
   Primarily, any kingdom is a GOVERNMENT — a nation and the government which rules it. And especially in this Biblical sense, there is the DUAL meaning of the nation, or that which is governed — the citizens or subjects — and the GOVERNMENT by which the citizens are ruled! Often, in the Bible usage, a Kingdom is a family from a single parent grown into a NATION.
   Four things are necessary to constitute a KINGDOM: 1) the territory, with its specific location and definite boundary lines, of 2) a KING or supreme ruler or governing agent, ruling over 3) SUBJECTS or citizens within that territorial jurisdiction, with 4) LAWS and a form of GOVERNMENT. If we leave out any of these vital requisites, we do not have, and cannot believe, the true gospel for this time!
Ambassador College Photo - The kingdom of God is not the British Empire. But the kingdom of God in Tomorrow's World will be like kingdoms in today's world - in that both have a territory, a king, subjects and laws. Seen above is the investiture of Prince Charles in July of 1969.

The Territory of the Kingdom

   Let's go through the subject step by step, point by point, proving the truth from the Bible, and not carelessly assuming what seems to be acceptable.
   Any kingdom, as has already been explained, must occupy a certain given TERRITORY. It must govern its subjects within a marked boundary which constitutes the limits of that kingdom.
   Many try to "spiritualize away" the real meaning of the kingdom of God — in spite of the gripping fact of the chaotic times in which we live, and of the prophesied doom of this present world by God's intervention in human affairs! The "kingdom of God" is used as a sort of catch-all phrase to define the state of idealism which men hope to attain some day through their OWN efforts. Many believe that the churches will someday "evangelize" the entire world, or will unite into a common group — and this, they feel, would become the "kingdom of God."
   Luke writes: "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached" (Luke 16:16). The Gospel Christ brought as a messenger from God the Father was the message of the coming KINGDOM (government — rule) of God! (John 14:24)
   WHERE did Christ say this kingdom would be?
   Jesus likened himself to a certain nobleman who went into a far country to RECEIVE for himself a kingdom and to return (Luke 19:12). He very plainly told His disciples He would COME AGAIN, ".. that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:3). Where is Christ going to be? Notice Acts 1:10-11. The angels said to the disciples, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
   Jesus Christ is going to return — LITERALLY — TO THIS EARTH!
   The Prophet Daniel writes of the stone (Christ) which was cut out without hands, and smote the image (which represents the four successive world-dominating kingdoms down through history) upon the feet. The feet were representing the last world-ruling kingdom to exist, at which time Jesus Christ is to RETURN to this earth! "... and the stone that smote the image became a great MOUNTAIN, and filled the whole earth"! (Dan. 2:35)
   God speaks of a kingdom as a MOUNTAIN in the Bible. Notice Micah 4:1.
   God's kingdom, God's NATION, will finally fill the whole earth! This stands proved — your Bible says so!

Christ's Return to Earth

   When Jesus Christ comes to this earth, He will bring His reward with Him (Rev. 22:12), and will render to every man according to his works! Many cite I Thes. 4:16-17 to infer the elect shall return to heaven with Christ. Notice, "For the Lord himself shall DESCEND {come down) FROM heaven... and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them..." WHERE? Into heaven? No! NOTICE: "... in the clouds, to meet the Lord IN THE AIR: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." He is coming with CLOUDS (Rev. 1:7). Clouds, the AIR, are physical earthly compositions of certain gases and vapors. They are a PART of this earth's atmosphere!
   The Bible tells us what takes place immediately after Christ gathers His elect, "And his feet shall stand IN THAT DAY upon the mount of Olives..." (Zech. 14:4).
   If a friend of yours is coming to your home, and you go out to MEET that person, wouldn't it be STRANGE if you were to then accompany that friend back where he came from? Of course it would! When you go to MEET someone, you accompany him back to his destination — your home! The elect will MEET Christ in the AIR (this earth's atmosphere) and then accompany Him To the Mount of Olives!
   Is that not enough proof? Notice Rev. 20:4, "and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years...." Wherever Christ is — there are the saints also, living and reigning, GOVERNING, with Christ for a thousand years! "And we shall reign ON THE EARTH" (Rev. 5:10).
   "But in the LAST DAYS it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord [Eternal] shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
   "And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob... And the Lord [Eternal] shall reign OVER them, IN MOUNT ZION from henceforth, even forever" (Micah 4:1-2, 7).
   God's kingdom is going to be set up, LITERALLY, on this earth! Jesus Christ is going to return, LITERALLY, to this earth!
   This EARTH IS the TERRITORY that will be occupied by the kingdom of God!

Its King or Supreme Ruler

   At Christ's return, He will come as KING OF KINGS, and Lord of Lords, to put down the stiff-necked rebellion of sinning mankind who want their own way (Rev. 19:16). Christ said to His disciples, "... ALL POWER is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28:18). Christ came to this earth to QUALIFY as its future ruler, to DEPOSE Satan the Devil by withstanding him in the greatest contest ever fought! Notice Matt. 4:1-11. Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, and Satan played on His emotions, on His human nature. Christ WON that great battle! He said:" GET THEE HENCE, SATAN!" Christ was the One in command, He was the One in authority — and the devil OBEYED that authority!
   Jesus, by crying out to God constantly, with tears, was able to resist the human nature, the desire of the flesh (Heb. 5:7). He was tempted in EVERY POINT like as we are, yet without sin! (Heb. 4:15)
   By living a life of PERFECTION, without sin, Christ condemned sin in the flesh (Rom. 8:3) and disqualified Satan, the author of sin, or lawbreaking (John 8:44). Christ revealed Satan as the god Of THIS WORLD (II Cor. 4:4) who actually has a kingdom! (Matt. 12:26) Satan is the present ruler of this world, soon to be removed at the literal return of Christ.
   Christ triumphed in the great day-to-day BATTLE He fought to become your Savior and mine! He qualified to become the very One to RULE this earth. HE will be the KING of God's coming kingdom (Zech. 14:9).

Its Subjects or Citizens

   Perhaps no other question has excited more controversy and argument than the IDENTITY of those within God's kingdom.
   The Prophet Daniel wrote of the time when "... many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Dan. 12:2). Jesus taught His disciples during His earthly ministry of the coming RESURRECTION of the dead! Notice Christ's statements in John 5:28-29. "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves [dead and buried] shall hear his voice, and shall come forth..." Christ spoke of the RESURRECTION of the dead!
   The apostles constantly stressed the RESURRECTION Of the dead! When they were preaching in Jerusalem immediately after the Day of Pentecost, the Sadducees were disturbed because "... they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead" (Acts 4:2).
   The Apostle Paul, when disputing with the "learned" men of Athens,"... preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection"! (Acts 17:18)
   Jesus Christ came preaching a message that you and I may be BORN INTO the Kingdom of God! That rebirth is by a resurrection! When the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection, tried to trick Christ, He revealed the NATURE of those who are raised from the dead by the coming resurrection. "Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, NOT KNOWING THE SCRIPTURES, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven" (Matt. 22:29, 30).
   Angels are SPIRIT BEINGS (Heb. 1:7) and are not capable of marrying or reproducing. That which is spiritual is eternal — and Christ said WE will be LIKE the angels in the kingdom of God.

A Rebirth

   When Nicodemus came to Christ privately, after dark, Jesus explained the condition of those who are finally REBORN into His kingdom. "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Christ went on to explain: "Except a man be BORN of water and of the SPIRIT, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (verse 5).
   Before anyone may enter the kingdom of God, he must be REBORN, of the SPIRIT!
   Only one person has been born of the spirit at this time!
   That One is Christ!
   "That which IS BORN of the FLESH if FLESH; and that which is BORN of the Spirit is SPIRIT." Many who believe they have had a "born again" experience can perform a simple test to PROVE whether or not they have actually been BORN OF THE SPIRIT! (Verse 6) Can such persons be SEEN? Are they VISIBLE? Do they still have BLOOD in their veins?
   Remember! That which is BORN of the Spirit is — they are literally COMPOSED of — SPIRIT!
   But Christians today are still FLESH — BORN OF THE FLESH — FLESHLY, PHYSICAL, human BEINGS!
   But that which is BORN of the Spirit will be just as the wind is, INVISIBLE! Notice verse 8, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: SO Is EVERY ONE THAT IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT"! They will be INVISIBLE to the natural human eye — just as WIND is invisible!
   The Church is NOT the kingdom of God! The British Empire is NOT the kingdom of God! "Now this I say, brethren, that FLESH AND BLOOD cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption" (I Cor. 15:50). The physical, fleshly people of Great Britain are HUMAN beings, and so cannot inherit the kingdom of God so long as they are human! The Church is composed of HUMAN beings, and so has not as yet INHERITED the kingdom of God!
   The kingdom will be composed of those who are BORN of God, just as Christ was BORN of God, either by a resurrection, or by an immediate CHANGE at the second coming of Christ (I Cor. 15:51-52). They will be no longer human, but now CHANGED — transformed INTO spirit! Jesus Christ is the firstborn of many brethren! (Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:18; I Cor. 15:20)
   Those who will be BORN of God, who will be finally CHANGED into spirit beings, will be a part of the actual governing agency — co-rulers with Christ (Rev. 20:4). The subjects, or those being governed, will be physical, carnal nations on this earth! Notice again Zech. 14:16-19. God will send plagues to chastise those physical, carnal nations who do not want to OBEY His immutable laws! The scripture already quoted from Micah the 4th chapter shows God's kingdom which is composed of those who will be BORN of God, actually doing the RULING over the nations of this earth, who are physical, human beings! "And many NATIONS shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain [nation, or kingdom] of the Lord..." God shows through Isaiah that the INHABITANTS, or the citizens of the earth shall be scattered abroad, and, although He will furiously punish the inhabitants of the earth for their sins, there will be a FEW MEN LEFT to repopulate the earth in the 1000 years (Isa. 24:1, 5, 6).

A Job to Be Done

   When God's literal kingdom is established, those who are co-rulers with Christ will be instrumental in TEACHING all nations the correct WAY TO LIVE. Notice Isaiah 2:2-4, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain [kingdom] of the Lord's [Eternal's] house shall be established in the top of the mountains [earthly kingdoms] and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."
   "And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of HIS WAYS..." God's government will then be ENFORCED on those who still choose to be disobedient! "And he shall JUDGE among the nations, and shall rebuke many PEOPLE: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."
   Whenever physical, sinning people begin to turn out of the WAY of God, those who are in the very kingdom of God WITH Christ will say, from their INVISIBLE vantage point, "THIS IS THE WAY, WALK YE IN IT" (Isa. 30:21).

Laws and a Form of Government

   God's kingdom will be a world-ruling governing kingdom, set above the kingdoms of THIS earth, judging and carrying out the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God! God's government is accomplished through HIS LAWS! God alone is LAWGIVER! (James 4:12)
   God's immutable laws, summed up in the ten commandments, STAND FAST forever and ever! (Psalms 111:8) Jesus Christ was a living example of God's laws — and taught that man is to live by "every word of God" (Matt. 4:4). Jesus set us the perfect example, that we should follow in His steps (I Peter 2:21).
   Since Jesus Christ is the SAME yesterday, today and forever, He will be KEEPING the Ten Commandments of God within YOU and within ME just as He kept them within the Apostle Paul!" I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me..." (Gal. 2:20).
   Paul also wrote that God's law is SPIRITUAL (Rom. 7:14). He said that he served the law of God with his mind, with his volition, his will-power! (Rom. 7:25) When a young man came to Jesus Christ and asked Him the way to eternal life, Christ turned to him and said, "KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS"! (Matt. 19:17)
   The only ones who will finally inherit eternal life, who will be BORN of God, are those that have a contrite spirit, and TREMBLE at God's Word! (Isa. 66:2) The keynote of the entire Bible from cover to cover is OBEDIENCE to God's laws! God's method of governing is through His perfect laws, which express, in the first four points, HOW to love God — and in the last six, How to love your neighbor! John tells us if we PROFESS we know Christ, and yet do not KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, we are LIARS, and the truth is not IN us! (I John 2:4)
   Solomon, in his excellent wisdom, summed up the matter when he wrote, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: FEAR GOD, and KEEP his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Eccl. 12:13).
   God's kingdom, His own FAMILY of persons who will have been BORN into that God family by a resurrection or by being changed while yet alive, will rule with Christ on this earth. The LAWS with which they will rule will be the SAME laws God instituted at creation! For God says, "I CHANGE NOT"! (Mal. 3:6)
   And what glorious, GOOD NEWS! God is going to STEP IN. He will soon intervene in His almighty POWER to SAVE man from his wretchedness, his poverty and crime, his total degradation and degeneracy! The kingdom of God will NOT be a teetering, disease-ridden, chaotic system set up by MAN.
   Instead, it will be the PERFECT, joyous, happy, UTOPIA OF THE WORLD TOMORROW — the time of GOD'S RULE ON THIS EARTH! God grant that YOU will strive with all your heart to qualify as a citizen of this soon-coming kingdom!

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Tomorrow's World MagazineNovember-December 1970Vol II, No. 11-12