THE COMING KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST
When Jesus began his ministry 2000 years ago, He declared ‘The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the Gospel’ Mk1:15. Then Jesus said ‘..seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you’ Mt6:33. But where is this kingdom of God that Jesus declared was at hand and where do we go to seek it? Is it in Israel or somewhere else? One needs to know where to look because everywhere else we look, the earth is covered with darkness, ‘and gross darkness the people‘ Is60:2.
So where is this kingdom that Jesus spoke of? The kingdom of God can be found in two places only– in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and only within us. When the religious Pharisees, who despised Jesus, demanded when the kingdom of God should come, Jesus said ‘the kingdom of God cometh not with observation.. for behold the kingdom of God is within you’ Lk17:20,21. God’s kingdom is not now a visible one, but exists only in His Word, and only within us spiritually. But one day soon, the kingdom of God, that is the kingdom of Jesus Christ, will be fully established on earth. Then we will be made kings and priests unto God Re5:10, to reign with Jesus over the nations for a 1000 years Re2:26,27,20:4.
This paper is written in the context that man’s kingdom and government is about to end, and be replaced by the kingdom of God. Man’s 6000-year rule since Adam has been abysmal, filled with gross corruption, violence, immorality, killings, and wars. Today, we also have the ability to destroy ourselves with nuclear weapons, chemical and biological warfare. God, who knows the end from the beginning, prophesied by His prophets, the end of man’s rule on earth, and the coming of His kingdom. Basically, this relates to questions that the disciples asked Jesus before he was crucified: ‘what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world’ Mt24:3. At the end of this world, Jesus will return to establish his millennial kingdom on earth.
To understand the kingdom of God message, we must understand that Satan is now ‘the god of this world’ 2Co4:4, who rules this world. There is an ongoing spiritual battle between God and Satan for our souls involving demonic spirits and evil men. This is why the apostle Paul said ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’ Ep6:12.
The Mystery of the Kingdom of God
Jesus said ‘..Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God..’ Mk4:11. Before creation Jn1:1-4, God desired to dwell on earth with man, in a kingdom to rule in, and where His name Jesus would be honored and glorified Php2:11. To jumpstart His plan, God first had to create the heavens, the angels, the earth, and then man. At first, God gave dominion of His kingdom to Adam and Eve. But through deceit, Satan the devil, stole the kingdom from them, and has since put all men under sin, slavery, and death. God then came to earth in the person of Jesus to save us from our sins Mt1:21, and one day, God will restore His kingdom on earth.
1Ti3:16 states ‘great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory’. This verse speaks of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose name God wants to be known by, to be worshipped and to be glorified Php2:9. God has also chosen Mt. Zion in the city of Jerusalem to one day establish His kingdom where He will reign from. David, wrote ‘For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it’ Ps132:13,14. King Jesus will one day rule over the nations from Mt. Zion, and many people will come to be taught ‘of his ways, and we will walk in his paths..’ Is2:3.
God’s Kingdom on Earth- Stolen By Satan
In the beginning Ge1:26, God placed Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and gave them dominion over all the animal and plant life Ge1:26. This kingdom of God was a simple one with Adam solely in charge. There were two, possibly only three people in this first kingdom– Adam and Eve, and the serpent. The serpent was like a man because he could reason and speak, and stood upright Ge3:1. In the beginning, there was only One law in God’s kingdom:‘thou shalt not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ Ge2:17.
Because God is Good, good always existed. But evil was introduced into this world when Adam and Eve sinned. Ro5:12 states ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’. Only after their fall, the earth began to be populated, beginning with Cain, who later murdered his brother Abel. Satan stole God’s kingdom from Adam and Eve, and he now rules the world. But God’s redemptive plan for man’s salvation, and the recovery of His kingdom also began.
Satan’s Kingdom- 6000 Year Rule on Earth
Since Adam, Satan ruled the earth through evil men. After 1500 years of man’s existence, the earth became exceedingly corrupt, and filled with violence; ‘GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually’ Ge6:5. Things got so bad that it grieved God to have created man. God said ‘..I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth’ Ge6:7. This happened in the days of Noah when untold millions perished in the Great Flood, and only 8 people survived. All the earthly kingdoms then were totally destroyed.
But the earth was replenished again with people through the progeny of Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Their wickedness, corruption, and violence continue even worse today. This will cause God to destroy the earth again. 2Pe3:10 tells ‘..the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.. the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also..’. Ps46:6 states ‘The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted’.
That all the kingdoms of the world belonged to Satan can easily be proven. When Jesus began his ministry, he was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for 40 days and nights. In one temptation, Satan took Jesus up into a high mountain and ‘shewed him all the kingdoms of the world’ Mt4:8. The devil said ‘All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve’ Mt4:9,10. By these verses and by all the evil, immorality, and atrocities all around us, we see that all the kingdoms of the world still belong to Satan. But God will soon wrest the kingdom from Satan, when Jesus Christ returns to do battle with Satan’s forces in the final battle of Armageddon Re16:16,19:19,20.
The Kingdom of God- A Most Important Message
The kingdom of God message is the most important message given by Jesus. After his death and resurrection, Jesus spent 40 extra days on earth to proclaim God’s kingdom. Ac1:3 states ‘..being seen of them 40 days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God’. In other words, Jesus was not finished preaching the kingdom of God message, but needed more time to reveal it. This message reveals God’s desire, plan and purpose on earth for mankind.
The kingdom of God message is all the sayings of Jesus Christ (highlighted in any red-lettered Bible), and all His deeds. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ– what He said, what He did, and what He told us to do. It is also revealed in the Book of Acts– what the disciples said and did, and amplified in the 21 epistles of the New Testament– what we should do! Lastly, the kingdom of God message is hidden, but crowned in the depths of the Book of Revelation, which is the Revelation of Jesus Christ Re1:1.
John wrote ‘the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever’ Re11:15. Jesus said ‘this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come’ Mt24:14. Nowhere in the Old Testament is the phrase the kingdom of God mentioned. Only after John the Baptist came, did Jesus preach and reveal the kingdom of God Lk16:16.
When we study the kingdom of God message, we gain insights into God’s endtime plan and purpose; what He wants for Himself, and for us. The kingdom of God has to do with kingdom living and kingdom principles under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The kingdom of God deals with our relationship with God, and with one another. Jesus gave us a new commandment– to love one another as He loved us Jn13:34. Though Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God was at hand 2000 years ago, we can see the kingdom of God is still not fully here yet. But one day soon, the kingdom of God shall be fully restored.
The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven Are Synonymous
Though some Bible teachers try to explain, there is no difference between ‘the kingdom of God’ and ‘the kingdom of heaven’. They are the same! Matthew is the only gospel writer that used both phrases ‘the kingdom of heaven’ (32 times), and ‘the kingdom of God’ (5). All the other writers– Mark, Luke, John, and Paul, used only the phrase ‘the kingdom of God’, found 69 times in the New Testament. For example, the parable of the Sower: It is found in three of the Gospels– Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. While Matthew spoke of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, Mark and Luke both spoke of the same parable as the mysteries of the kingdom of God. When quoting Jesus, Matthew wrote ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ Mt4:17, while Mark said ‘the kingdom of God is at hand’ Mk1:15.
The Kingdom of God Is Within Us By the Baptism With the Holy Ghost
Lk17:21 states ‘The kingdom of God is within you’. Jesus instructed us; ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven’ Mt6:9. Jesus said to pray for God’s kingdom to come, and His will be done in earth. God’s kingdom has not fully arrived yet, but Jesus said to pray that it comes in us, and His will be done in us.
Today, God’s kingdom is only within us by the Baptism with the Holy Ghost that Jesus said He would send Jn16:7. Jesus said ‘For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence’ Ac1:5. This was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when 120 disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with tongues in Jerusalem Ac2:1-4; and the Baptism with the Holy Ghost continues in us even today, in these last days Ac2:16,17.
Paul wrote ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?’ 1Co3:16. He said ‘For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost’. Here we see the importance of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, and for us to have righteousness, and peace, and joy in our lives. Ac17:24 states ‘God that made the world and all things therein.. he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands’. We are the ‘temple of the Holy Ghost’ 1Co6:19 (not made with hands); for ‘the kingdom of God is within (us)’ Lk17:21.
Jesus Came Preaching the Kingdom of God
Jesus preached the message of kingdom living called the Beatitudes or the Sermon of the Mount in the hills of Capernaum, Galilee. In the Beatitudes, Jesus said the kingdom of God belongs to the deprived and distressed, those suffering hardship, the humble, they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those persecuted for righteousness sake, and those reviled and persecuted for serving Him Mt5:3-12. Jesus said we will be blessed and rewarded accordingly one day.
Jesus also taught other important kingdom living principles: love one another, have kindness, holiness, faith, honesty, pray, seek God rather than money, do good, judge not, forgive others, serve others, etc. Besides our personal salvation, the kingdom of God also includes healing, deliverance, miracles, and provisions, those things that Jesus did when preaching the Gospel of the kingdom. Paul wrote ‘the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power’ 1Co4:20.
How To Inherit the Kingdom of God- Repent and Believe the Gospel
Jesus told us what we must do to inherit the kingdom: ‘repent ye and believe the Gospel’ Mk1:15. What is repentance, and what is the Gospel? Repentance means to turn away from our sins, and turn to God! The Gospel is the good news of the coming kingdom of God and of the salvation of our souls. Jesus said ‘..Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ Jn3:3,5. We must be ‘born again’ to understand the things of God, and except we are water and Spirit baptized, we cannot enter into God’s kingdom. Ga3:27 tells ‘For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ’. When we put on Christ, the kingdom of God is within us, and we can then enter into His kingdom!
Paul wrote ‘Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God’ 1Co6:9,10. Re21:8 adds ‘But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone..’. To not inherit the kingdom of God means to be doomed forever in the lake of fire.
The only way to inherit the kingdom of God is to repent, ask God for forgiveness, and to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. 1Jn1:9 states‘If we confess our sins, (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’. This is the Gospel of Christ Ro1:16– repent of our sins, and accept Jesus Christ as Saviour in order to have a part in His kingdom.
The Rise of the Antichrist Kingdom
Before Jesus returns, the kingdom of the Antichrist will be in full force for 42 months during the Great Tribulation. The Antichrist, the incarnate of Satan, will rule the earth in the New World Order and through his false religion. The false prophet, the surrogate of the Antichrist, will cause the world to worship him, and to take the mark of the beast, in order to buy or sell Re13:11-18. The coming Antichrist kingdom is known as ‘MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS and ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH’ Re17:5. ‘For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies’ Re18:3. Jesus will then return to battle and cast the Antichrist and the false prophet into a lake of fire Re19:20; and also bind Satan for a 1000 years Re20:2.
The Soon Coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ
The coming kingdom of Jesus Christ is the kingdom of God Jesus first mentioned. After man’s 6000-year rule, Jesus will finally establish His own kingdom on earth. This prophecy made by Isaiah 700 years before Christ will then be fulfilled: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.. to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever..’ Is9:6,7.
Jesus ‘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 any more’ Is2:4. People will live to a ripe age, build homes, plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them Is65:20,21. ‘The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw, like the bullock..’ Is65:25.
Jesus said ‘.. it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom’. Jesus will give the Overcomers Re2:26,27, power over the nations, and together ‘they shall rule them with a rod of iron..’ Re19:15. King Jesus will say ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’ Mt25:34. The Overcomers Re3:21 will also sit on thrones to judge the nations; and they ‘lived and reigned with Christ a 1000 years’ Re20:4. Jesus will reign from ‘Mt. Zion.. the city of the great King‘ Ps48:2; ‘And of his kingdom there shall be no end’ Lk1:33. AMEN!