Chapter Six: The Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God on Earth, ruled from Jerusalem by Jesus Christ returned
to earth, will be the grand climax of the history of the human race. It
will bring in a new and glorious age, and one that will exceed our highest
hopes for a paradise to dwell in, with our Creator and also Jesus Christ
truly with us. Both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible tell how the
Kingdom of God will go through an establishment period, a development
period and a never-ending peace period, a happy and contented state of
the world that has been the dream of all ages – that dream come
The establishment period will be from the return of Jesus (to raise and
reward the righteous – 2 Tim 4v8) to his proclamation of the Kingdom
from Jerusalem to all the world (Psalm 2). The development period involves
the defeat of all opposition to his rule, the elimination of evil, violence
and corruption from the world and the preaching of peace to the ends of
the earth (Psalm 72). When all the world accepts His rule, an everlasting
era of peace, plenty, tranquility, praise and worship will prevail. It
will be the Garden of Eden restored, a literal and physical kingdom on
earth (Isaiah 51v3). A place in this kingdom is the promised reward to
all true believers down through the ages. (Matthew 5v5, 19v28)
THE BELIEVER’S REWARD IS ETERNAL LIFE ON EARTH
There are many Bible passages that speak of the kingdom on earth. “All
the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Numbers 14v21)
“The kingdoms of this world (will) become the kingdoms of our Lord
and his Christ and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev.11v15).
Combine this with Rev.5v10 “…and have made us (believers)
kings and priests to our God and we shall reign on the earth”.
The Kingdom of Heaven is another phrase used to describe this wonderful
Kingdom because its origin, its direction and planning comes from heaven.
The Kingdom vision is described in Micah 4v2 “Out of Zion the law
shall go forth and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem”.
The Kingdom is never called the Kingdom in Heaven, and Jesus says in
John 3v13 “No one has ascended into heaven”. When Paul speaks
about the faithful people in Hebrews 11 he concludes “And all these,
having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,
God having provided something better for us that they should not be made
perfect apart from us” v39-40. All the faithful - past, present
and future, receive their reward at the same time, that is at the return
of Jesus to the earth (2 Tim 4v8). At that future time, the Kingdom of
God on earth will have its beginning.
The future Kingdom is spoken of by Daniel in chapter 2 of his book. After
foretelling the three ancient empires that would control the Israelites
and the Holy Land after Babylon, the final step is described as a stone
cut out without hands destroying the metal man empires and growing to
fill the whole earth. It is described in Dan.2v44, “The God of heaven
will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed; the kingdom shall
not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all
these kingdoms and it shall stand forever.” The political arrangements
of the world will be overtaken by the Kingdom of God on Earth, never to
be destroyed. The blessings of honest, just rule and worldwide peace and
contentment will finally be realized.
Despite admirable and best intentions, the failures of the United Nations
will be replaced by the righteousness of God’s kingdom. The instability
of global economies, and confrontations between nations and ideologies
often leading to war and violent destruction will pass away and be no
more. The pain and suffering caused by disease, poverty and loneliness
will also be rectified. All these situations beyond the remedy of nations
will be solved by Jesus in the Kingdom Age. God’s kingdom becomes
a reality following the return of Jesus.
THE GLORIES OF THE KINGDOM
For those who are weary of the painful or corrupt or violent ways of this
world there are wonderfully inspiring descriptions of the coming Kingdom
of God. The benefits of the kingdom fall into a number of categories.
The following list applies to the individual person, experienced in a
completely changed nature of bodily existence and based on the promises
of Rev. 21:4, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there
shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more
pain, for the former things have passed away.”
No more death - When violence, evil and all resistance to the rule of
Jesus has been eliminated, death in human beings will disappear (1 Corinthians
15v20-28). Eternal life will be a life worth living because the following
benefits will be universal.
No more pain - Is there an individual on earth who has not suffered from
pain of some sort? Some people suffer a lifetime of pain and discomfort
– in the kingdom there will be complete relief, a life free of pain.
Disease can bring an intense period of pain – cancer and arthritis
are just two of many causes. All these causes of pain will exist no more.
“The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole and the
weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not
hurt nor destroy.”(Isaiah Ch.11) Freedom from pain and fear of pain
will be an enormous blessing, particularly to those chronically afflicted
by pain and disease. Health problems will not be an issue any more.
No more sorrow or crying - Sadness will be a thing of the past. No longer
will pressure, distress, pain, loneliness, poverty or any other negative
aspect of our lives cause us to cry – the only tears we shed will
be tears of joy and happiness!
Security is a big worry these days. Fear is a dominant feature of modern
living – fear of walking the streets at night, fear pervades airports,
fear of terrorist attacks, fear of war and conflicts. Micah 4:4 provides
a guarantee of kingdom security. “Everyone shall sit under his vine
and under his fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.” To the
list we are compiling we can add
- Personal security and safety Since there is to be no cause for sorrow
or crying, safety is automatic and to rule out any doubt Micah 4:4 emphasises
that “no one shall make them afraid”. This point is picked
up by Isaiah 11 and extended to all nature. “They shall not hurt
nor destroy in all my holy mountain” Isaiah 11:9. Vv.6-8 provide
- The wolf will live alongside the lamb peacefully, as will the leopard
and goat and the calf and the lion. They will be so harmless that a little
child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze together and their
young shall be quite safe.
- Animal feeding habits shall be changed. The lion shall not kill to feed
but eat vegetation “like the ox”. Very young children will
not be injured by snakes and reptiles. The laws of nature will be modified
so that the earth will be renewed as it was in the beginning, and as God
intended it to be.
A combination of Isaiah 9:6-7 and Isaiah 11:1-5 provides a glimpse of
the rules of law and government in the future Kingdom of God. Isaiah 9:6
clearly defines Jesus as the kingdom ruler, “For unto us a child
is born; unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulder
and his name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting
Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there
shall be no end.” From this we learn
- Jesus will be the sole ruler No other king or president will be tolerated.
- The final priority will be worldwide peace War and death will be no
more. Worldwide peace will only be achieved when Jesus does it His way.
Isaiah 11v2-4 develops this further. “The Spirit of the LORD shall
rest upon Him. The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel
and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His delight
is in the fear of the LORD, and He shall not judge by the sight of His
eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He
shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.”
This shows that Jesus will rule with that inner spirit that comes from
God. Therefore He will rule by inner knowledge and not just by what He
will see or hear. He will be utterly fair and able to divine the truth
no matter what people say.
- Wisdom and understanding will characterize the rule of Jesus.
- Total knowledge, justice and absolute fairness will be the result of
Jesus knowing all things.
There is another aspect introduced by this passage that must be noted.
“He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the
breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the
belt of his loins, and faithfulness the belt of his waist.” This
procedure is the means by which peace will be extended throughout the
earth. The wicked will not be tolerated. Righteousness and faithfulness
will be demanded and those who resist will be slain.
In the kingdom age there will be a special connection between the reign
of Jesus from Jerusalem and the restored nation of Israel. Jesus Christ
will reign on King David’s restored throne. At the conception of
Jesus the angel told Mary, “He will be great, and will be called
the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give him the throne of his
father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of
his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1v30-35). Further, when
the disciples asked Jesus what kingdom role they would have, Jesus assured
them, “When the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you
who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve
tribes of Israel” Matthew 19:28. Israel will be ruled by the twelve
apostles. Israel has always occupied, and will continue to occupy, a special
place in God’s Kingdom plans. Proof of this is Israel’s progressive
GOD’S KINGDOM, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
There are three other senses in which the Kingdom of God has an existence.
The first is in the Old Testament history of Israel and the second is
in the congregation of true believers over the centuries down to today.
Ancient Israel was a real kingdom that God initiated and to which God
was closely attached. God’s prophets were the medium by which God
exerted his influence on the nation and its kings, along with occasional
direct revelation to some individuals. Often God intervened in the political
circumstances of, not only Israel, but the surrounding nations. Israel
was his specially chosen people (and still is). “For you are a holy
people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a
people for himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face
of the earth” Deuteronomy 7:6, and Zechariah 2:8 says that “he
who touches you touches the apple of his eye.” In every practical
sense Old Testament Israel was the Kingdom of God (1 Chronicles 28v5).
But it was temporary, fallible, and limited
The second sense in which the Kingdom of God has a meaning is among true
believers who follow Jesus. This kingdom is not a political kingdom but
is bound together by the faith of believers, and our desire to live as
Jesus taught us. Most of Jesus teaching focuses on this aspect of the
Kingdom (Luke 4v43, 8v1). The previous chapters in this booklet are about
this aspect of the Kingdom.
The third sense is in Jesus first coming two thousand years ago.
In the context of Jesus healing the blind, dumb and mentally disturbed
man (Matthew 12) Jesus said, “If I cast out demons by the spirit
of God surely the Kingdom of God has come upon you.” The healing
work of Jesus showed His Kingdom and a taste, a sample of the benefits
of His greater Kingdom to come. A little of the wonders of the Kingdom
had arrived, temporarily at least. The same thought reoccurs in Luke 10v9-11,
again about miracle working by the seventy. “Heal the sick and say
to them, ‘The Kingdom of God has come near to you’”
The miracle works of Jesus, His holy life, His love, faith and grace and
His authority showed the Kingdom of God in a way that had not been seen
It is absolutely necessary for those interested in the Christian religion
to understand the Old Testament. So much vital information about the Kingdom
of God on Earth is contained in the Old Testament. To go to church holding
only a bound New Testament is to be ignorant of so many Old Testament
details of the Kingdom of God and the significance of the restoration
of Israel to the Holy Land today. The Old Testament prophets, who were
Jews, provided hundreds of pieces of information about events future to
To understand these gems of information in the Old Testament is to be
able to see details about our future life. For example, Zechariah 14v16-17,
“It shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations
which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship
the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 17And
it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up
to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will
be no rain.” This has not yet been fulfilled. It is a prophecy of
the future of our world. A time when God will establish His Kingdom over
all the earth. Only the whole Bible has all the answers to our future,
and the future of this beautiful planet on which we live.