What, Where, Why...

The kingdom of God



Exactly what and where is the kingdom of God?

    God's kingdom is the centerpiece around which all of God's plans hinge. It is constantly spoken of in the Old Testament as well as the new.  It is around the Kingdom of God that the Lord's prayer, given to us by Christ, was based.   Since this is the case, one is confronted with the following questions concerning it:

Question (1)… what is it?

Question (2)… where is it?

Question (3)… why is it so important?

 

Question (1)

    The kingdom of God is unlike any government on earth… yet we can understand what it is, from governments that have existed throughout history.  The earthly kingdoms we are familiar with are a form of government ruled by one individual and backed by lords, barons, dukes, counts, discounts and no accounts that support that individual for their own benefit.  All other forms of government are variations on this theme, including democracy, with self-interest being the motivation of all man-made earthly governments.

    God's kingdom, on the other hand, is a theocracy.  What does that mean?  Webster defines a theocracy... as a government ruled by a divine being, or one ruled by someone ordained and controlled by a Supreme or Divine Being.  However, God's theocracy goes much deeper than that.

    As an example The United States has been defined by Abraham Lincoln as a government of the people, by the people and for the people.  A theocracy goes much further for it is a divine government of God.  A government or kingdom from God that will encompass the whole planet and one that is actually and truly for the people…all peoples.   A government ruled by laws from God that bring about and maintain piece.  A government that does not take anything… but only gives, which is the reason man cannot establish such a rule.

Question (2) Where is the kingdom of God?

    The Israelites understood this kingdom to be a kingdom that would be physical… right here on earth.  Indeed, its prototype was established here on this planet for the house of Israel.  Yet, for a number of reasons, at that time, it was destined not to be the complete earthly kingdom. At that time it served the purpose of being a prototype or a shadow of the final kingdom of God which was to come.   It was established by God to give man a hint as to what a theocracy could be when the proper time and ruler came about.  It also served to show that the proper king or ruler was undeniably and absolutely needed.  Just the same, the main reason it was established was because it was time for God to fulfill a covenant He had made with Abraham.  However, even at its inception, because of the factor of time, it was incomplete.  In other words, it was time for God to set up His earthly kingdom but not the proper time to complete it for there were still steps to be accomplished.

    Now God looks at time entirely differently than we do; nonetheless, concerning time, God is bound, in relation to His dealings with man, by the laws of time and space, which He has established for this universe.  Because of this, God's plans and purpose have been preordained with each event of His plan preset to occur at a precisely prescribed time.

    It might also be pointed out here that the kingdom established for the house of Israel did not disappear because of the faithlessness of the majority belonging to the twelve tribes of Israel.   What did disappear were the earthly chosen people and the earthly temple… replaced by the spiritual chosen people and a spiritual temple along with a new covenant for all men.  A covenant that the House of Israel was told by God was to come centuries ago.

    When the date preordained by God for the ruler of His kingdom arrived, so did the Son of God… known to us as the Messiah or Jesus.  Born in the year AD 4, Jesus grew up in the land set aside for the former chosen nation and began his ministry thirty years later, and just as the covenant promised, Jesus came for the Jews first. 

    Christ brought many things when He arrived, including the good news of the gospel, announcing for the first time that the kingdom of God also included a spiritual realm.  In fact, it is actually for this spiritual realm of the kingdom of God that the earthly realm exists.  For the inhabitants of the spiritual Kingdom of God are to be adopted from the earthly kingdom.  Therefore the kingdom of God turns out to be both in heaven and on the earth.  Both of which we can consider very real places.

    Well now that we know what this kingdom of God is… and where it is, we can start to use the scriptures to back all this up and to consider:

Question (3) why is it so important?

    What is obvious here is that this universe and everything in it is part of the kingdom of God. The other part of God's kingdom is the spiritual or heavenly portion.

    God's purpose is a plan to create a spiritual family for His only begotten Son Christ.  He began this family with the creation of angels in the heavenly or spiritual realm of it.  However, God is not one to waste energy and He wished this family not only to grow but also to be self-perpetuating. He has told us this is so through Isaiah.

Isa 9:7

There will be no end to the increase of {His} government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. (NAS)

"There will be no end to the increase of {His} government or of peace…" is telling us that the government or kingdom of God will continue to grow in peace constantly and forever… "To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore."

    Since angels do not reproduce, the universe of man was designed and created by the Almighty. The universe houses the world we live in and reproduce on, which is the reason God, adopts His spiritual family from the earth.   For reproduction allows a continual growth to His government.

Eph 1:5

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (KJV)

(See also Romans 8:15, 8:23, and 9:4 also Gal 4:5)

{By the way, the Body of Christ was pre-destined; but those selected to enter this body are not pre-destined. Jehovah allows the free will of individuals to make that decision.}

    Through Abraham, God established the prototype kingdom here on earth and, through the line of David, precisely at the time designated in God's plan, brought forth His only begotten son.  God ordained that Jesus Christ would, at the proper time, rule for a thousand years over the whole kingdom- both the earthly and the heavenly.  The purpose behind this is to make that earthly kingdom match the righteous kingdom of heaven.

Dan 2:44

"In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. (NIV)

    It is clear from the rest of the second chapter of Daniel that 2:44 is speaking of the kingdom of God, prophesied through the dream of the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar.  Much of Daniel speaks of God's kingdom but the 44th verse opens with "In the time of those kings…" Notice it is specifying a time… a distant age which, for Daniel, was far into the future.  Yet Daniel had been hauled away by the Babylonians as a captive from the very kingdom God had set up here on earth for these Israelites.  Daniel, along with others such as Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, who had been given the Babylonian names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were faithful and trusted servants of God. Why, then, were they to suffer because of the disobedience of the majority of the twelve tribes of Jews who had been selected as a chosen nation?  Because only the foundation of the kingdom had been laid the rest was yet to be built.  Also the Jews individually were not only liable for their actions to themselves but their actions reflected on the whole nation.  Joshua was told by God that the Israelites, when they took the city of Jericho, to destroy completely all the idols and gods of that nation.

Joshua 6:18

But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. (NIV)

Near the end of the days of Joshua, he spoke to the Israelites and among other things told them:

Joshua 23:15-16

15. But just as every good promise of the LORD your God has come true, so the LORD will bring on you all the evil he has threatened, until he has destroyed you from this good land he has given you.

16. If you violate the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the LORD's anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you." (NIV)

    Notice… Joshua told the Israelites that if they did not honor the covenant they had agreed to with God, they would face evil days brought on by their disobedience, until he has destroyed you from this good land he has given you.  And this is repeated in verse 16: you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you." The warning was that they would perish, not the good kingdom itself, for Daniel has told us that will remain forever.

    However, even though this tiny nation of Israel established God's visible kingdom, that not only housed his visible temple but also God's visible presence on earth in the Ark of the covenant, its purpose then was to foreshadow the main kingdom that would encompass the whole earth. This is what Daniel speaks of.  A future time when the truth of Christ will swallow up these kingdoms. "It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end,"  Christ will do this with the double-edged sword of truth protruding from His mouth as we are told in Revelation.  It is also why Christ does not speak of the kingdom here on earth in the New Testament, for its foudation had already been firmly planted and established.

    Jesus instead spoke of what was new to the world, and to the kingdom the Jews understood, the spiritual side of the kingdom of heaven.  Even so, that too had to wait for the allotted time. Nonetheless, when Jesus was born He, amongst other things, brought the final law of Grace.  With His execution came salvation or the ransom from death for all men and women.

1 Cor 15:21-22

21. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (KJV)

    Now that we know what the kingdom is and where it is and why it is…what we do about this salvation bought by Christ with his death is still up to the actions of our own free will.  God does not insist that we take this gift of eternal life He has offered from the very beginning. BUT!  If we want that wondrous gift, God does insist that we accept His only begotten son as the ruling king and High Priest over His kingdom.

    The kingdom on earth exists!  The kingdom of heaven exists!  The promise of eternal life exists, bought and paid for with the blood sacrifice of Christ!   And because of this sacrifice, the wages of sin no longer have to be paid with death.  That is what the grace of God, which was also brought by Christ, is all about.

    Also, there still exists, our choice to either serve God or not.   In God's kingdom, our choice between right and wrong is exactly the same as was given to Adam and Eve who were created into the kingdom of God as it was intended to be… and as it will be again.  For there is nothing in heaven or the universe that can alter the plans and purpose of the Almighty God we serve.

    The Bible portrays that the purpose of God is to create a spiritual family.  That family will live eternally with both God and His Son in the spiritual dimension, or realm, we call heaven.  That is the ultimate goal of each member of the family of God, to be adopted from this earth where reproduction is possible.  And when each child born, in the earthly kingdom, acquires the full knowledge of God and each has proven he or she to be worthy and righteous, they will be changed in a twinkling of an eye into the spiritual sons and daughters they were designed to be.  This is why man was made in the image of God.  So that he could reproduce and when the proper time for that individual arrives to be born again into the spiritual realm of the kingdom.  This way, the kingdom continues to grow and the family of God increases... with room for all; eternally.

    We, as humans,  view the universe this world exists in as infinite.  Yet to God it is not at all infinite…it is simply another room in His realm, dimension, or home.

John 14:2

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.

I go to prepare a place for you.
(KJV)



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