THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Each one of the major Christian groups only seems to have a hint of truth about The Kingdom of God. However, their differing understanding concerning this topic are incomplete and confounding. However, let it be clear that the true disciples of Christ have a clarity of understanding about this topic as they have a sacred union with the Truth (Jn. 17:21/ Jn. 15:15/ 1 Jn. 2:20), The Lord Yeshua Himself.
What did Christ say concerning God’s Kingdom? At one point, The Christ was asked by the Pharisees about this issue and here’s how He explained it to them:
“Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.””
What does The Lord's statement “the Kingdom of God is WITHIN YOU” mean? It means that God's Kingdom could be had by man in his own present time. This is the same logic behind the 'instructional-prayer' of Christ when He uttered, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name Your kingdom come Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. What specific message should we understand from The Lord's prayer? That when God’s Kingdom comes and is received by men, His WILL shall be done beginning with the recipient's life on earth and will continue until he is received in heaven.
In this study we will put our focus on these three related topics – 1) God’s Kingdom, 2) God’s Will, and 3) the heavenly abode or Kingdom of Heaven, as these three topics are very well intertwined.
KINGDOM OF GOD
What is the Kingdom of God? It is the REIGN OR DOMINION of God's Son, The Lord Yeshua-Christos, with the authority of God, His Father. Here's how:
“18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
Which is the Authority of God received by The Christ?
6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder...
The Authority given to The Christ is the same Government of God placed upon His shoulder as prophesied by the Prophet Isaiah. For what divine reason did God give His Son His Government or Authority?
“10 “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,
Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
For the Gentiles shall seek Him,
And His resting place shall be glorious.”
The prophesied Root of Jesse is The Christ Yeshua. He was given to man 'as a banner to the people' being God's Covenant and light and salvation for man in His time, the Christian Era (Isaiah 42:6 / 49:6 / John 3:16). For the banner or sign of God to have the purposed impact upon mankind God has given Him His own Authority and Government. How was this made possible?
27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
The act of God setting His Seal on His Son showed His delegation of His Authority unto Him for this divine purpose:
23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
KING OF KINGS
Since the Reign or Dominion of Christ with the Government and Authority of God is the referred Kingdom of God, what is The Christ's position and title in the Kingdom?
16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Why is Christ called King of Kings and Lord of Lords in the prophecy of Apostle John? Because He reigns with His subordinate Kings and Lords. Who are they?
9 ... And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”
3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall beon their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
The redemptive blood of The Christ Yeshua qualified them as kings and priests to God, thus Royal (kings) Priesthood (priests). What proves their royal status? Their Reign that begins on earth and will continue in the Kingdom of Heaven at the appointed time. Who are these people?
(Isaiah 61:6 NIV)
6 And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
(1 Pet 2:9)
“9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…”
There is a group of people chosen by God who who are called out of darkness into His marvelous light, His Son Yeshua-Christos. They are His own and are given a Royal Priesthood. They are the same people who were prophesied to be called priests and ministers of our God. Who are these people? How could one become a king and a lord whose sole ruler is Yeshua - The King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.
The Christ Yeshua's very own disciples are the same ones whom He guaranteed to become like Him - once they are perfectly trained they will also become Kings and Lords like Him whose reign begins on earth and shall continue for eternity in heaven.
THE REIGN OF CHRIST'S DISCIPLES ON EARTH
How shall the Lord's disciples reign with Him on earth as “kings and priests to God? What did they receive from The Lord Yeshua by virtue of their being disciples and subordinate kings of The Christ?
18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
The disciples receive the Authority from The Lord Yeshua Himself in such that whatever they decide, either bind or loosed on earth, will be granted by God. This is the biggest proof that God's Kingdom is within them. And because they have become friends and subordinate kings unto The Christ (Him being The King of Kings) they are guaranteed to receive anything that they ask from Him and God, for as long as they are asked in His name – in the name of Yeshua of Nazareth, The Christ:
13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
The real disciples of Christ are much loved by Christ that they are given an unlimited source of blessings and power from Himself and God. The only requirements are for them to abide in Him and His Words (also Jn. 8:31) and to ask anything in His name. This is truly how they reign with The Christ, presently on earth and at the appointed time, in the Kingdom of Heaven.
THE WILL OF GOD
How does this understanding of God's Kingdom`tie up with the The Lord’s prayer about God’s WILL that shall be done on earth and in heaven? What is the WILL OF GOD that shall be fulfilled concerning His kingdom? To deepen our analysis, let us understand how the WILL OF GOD is directly related with HIS KINGDOM:
39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
The Almighty God gives people to Christ. The same people who are promised everlasting life will also receive the Kingdom of God or the Reign and Dominion of Christ. It is God’s WILL that they are kept safe and that no one is lost, and to be with His Son in His reign on earth and in heaven. This is the same logic of The Savior when He explained about the Kingdom of God that is 'within you' or within everyone's reach - because those who believe and follow Him will receive His Reign and Dominion even in this world while awaiting relocation to the promised land of inheritance. After all they are NOT ANYMORE OF THIS WORLD.
THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS GROUP'S PARTIAL UNDERSTANDING
The Jehovah’s Witnesses Group is partially correct in teaching that God’s Kingdom is a government established by God through His chosen King, The Lord Yeshua-Christos. What they failed to understand is that those whom Christ reigns with are not only the 144,000 but all those whom He has chosen to be His friends and disciples. This includes the prophesied Gentile shepherds and workers. In contrast, the 144,000 only represent the Sealed remnant of the house of Israel, The Christ’s primary mission order as prophesied by Isaiah (Isa. 49:6 - preserved ones of Israel). This mission is enclosed in His general task of being also the light or salvation to the Gentiles - that even them may also rule with His reign as His subordinate Kings (Revelation 21:24, 26 / 22:5).
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
While the Catholics believe that the Kingdom of God is Christ Himself, other groups like the Latter Day Saints and Iglesia ni Cristo (MCMXIV) believe that the Kingdom of God on earth is THEIR PARTICULAR CHURCH and on judgment day their members will be transferred into the Kingdom of Heaven or heavenly abode.
Truth be told, the Kingdom of God is not any church on earth, nor it is the Kingdom of Heaven per se. The Kingdom of Heaven is the same inheritance promised by The Lord in John 14:2-3, 23, the prophesied sanctuary rock (Isaiah 8:14), or the ‘ekklesia’ or assembly built by Christ on Himself as the rock (Matthew 16:18), defined by Apostle Peter as the spiritual house built on the chief corner stone (who is still Christ), and rendered by Apostle John as the Holy City and New Jerusalem. In an analogy using a city and its city council, the Kingdom of Heaven can be likened to a city (in this case it is the Holy City or New Jerusalem), while the Kingdom of God can be likened to its city council - wherein God is the Government, His Son is the Mayor and all His disciples are the council members.
While all other religious groups have been studying this topic for centuries, they still fail to reach at a complete and satisfying understanding. Only the true disciples of The Lord are given the totality of understanding of the Kingdom of God being the Reign of Christ with His disciples and friends for this simple reason:
(1 John 2:20)
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.