The purpose and intent of this site is twofold:

1. Share the Word of God as found in the Bible.

2. Comment on current events as they relate to Bible prophecy

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Kingdom of God Today


The beginning of The Kingdom of God was announced by Jesus.  A major aspect of His ministry was devoted to preaching the arrival of the Kingdom.  The purposes of the kingdom include:  salvation; grace; the reign of Jesus; and the inclusion of Gentiles (or all people of the world).  We are now living in an age between the inauguration of the kingdom and its complete fulfillment at the return of Jesus (the millennial age).

Jesus was crucified, died, resurrected, and ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father as King of the Kingdom of God, so what comes next?  The kingdom has come at the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, however, the kingdom has not been fully consummated. 

What is the Kingdom of God?
The profound nature of discipleship is knowing Jesus is worth everything. The paradox concerning salvation is that it comes freely by God's grace alone but it costs the disciple everything.

"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, hidden in a field, that a person found and hid. Then because of joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field.   (Matthew 13:44 NET)

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he found a pearl of great value, he went out and sold everything he had and bought it.  (Matthew 13:45-46 NET)

A believing scribe will be able to draw truths from the Old Testament as well as see the fulfillments in Jesus' teachings.

Then he said to them, "Therefore every expert in the law who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his treasure what is new and old."  (Matthew 13:52 NET)

There will be an end-time separation of the believers and unbelievers based on their response to Jesus and the gospel.  The Jewish teachers believed that God would empower a human leader to inaugurate the new age kingdom by force. From the New Testament Gospels we realize the Kingdom of God is “now” but “not yet.”

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea that caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, they pulled it ashore, sat down, and put the good fish into containers and threw the bad away. It will be this way at the end of the age. Angels will come and separate the evil from the righteous
(Matthew 13:47-49 NET)

The Kingdom Of God Presently

Jesus is currently the King of the kingdom. 
He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  The word authority means the right to use power. There was authority to His teaching (Matthew 7:29). He exercised authority in healing (Matthew 8:1-13), and even in forgiving sins (Matthew 9:6). He had authority over Satan, and He delegated that authority to His Apostles (Matthew 10:1). Since Jesus Christ today has all authority, we may obey Him without fear. No matter where He leads us, no matter what circumstances we face, He is in control. By His death and resurrection, Jesus defeated all enemies and won for Himself all authority.

Then Jesus came up and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  (Matthew 28:18 NET)

He has been deemed both Lord and Christ.

Therefore let all the house of Israel know beyond a doubt that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ."  (Acts 2:36 NET)

All things have been placed under His feet.

This power he exercised in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms far above every rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And God put all things under Christ's feet, and he gave him to the church as head over all things. Now the church is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.  (Ephesians 1:20-23 NET)

All authorities and powers have been made subject to Him.

And this prefigured baptism, which now saves you -- not the washing off of physical dirt but the pledge of a good conscience to God -- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who went into heaven and is at the right hand of God with angels and authorities and powers subject to him.  (1 Peter 3:21-22 NET)

The reign of God is now administered by Jesus.
He is the ruler over all kings, rulers, and administrators of the earth

and from Jesus Christ -- the faithful witness, the firstborn from among the dead, the ruler over the kings of the earth. To the one who loves us and has set us free from our sins at the cost of his own blood   (Revelation 1:5 NET)

He is King of kings, and Lord of lords.
 to obey this command without fault or failure until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ -- whose appearing the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, will reveal at the right time. (1 Timothy 6:14-15 NET)

He will reign until all enemies, even death, are placed under His feet.

For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be eliminated is death.  (1 Corinthians 15:25-26 NET)

How do people enter the kingdom now that he has departed?

Jesus answered, "I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  (John 3:5 NET)

He said, "The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!"   (Mark 1:15 NET)

The blessing of the Kingdom of God is not one channeled through any political organization, Jewish or otherwise. The Kingdom belongs to God, not to any group of men. Citizenship requires a new entity, the body of Christ, all those who are united to Him in faith in His conquest of sin and death and who look to His lordship over heaven and earth. The Kingdom of God is above the nation of Israel and the church, although both have an important place. The Kingdom of God is about Jesus Christ to whom has been given all power in heaven and in earth.

What is the `king' of the kingdom doing now?
He is sitting at the right hand of God.  He is the Messiah, the new David, the creator of all things and the ruler of all things.  He is supplying assistance and blessings to his servants who are doing His assignment of spreading the gospel of the kingdom.

The Spirit of Jesus impacted the apostles.

When they came to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to do this,  (Acts 16:7 NET)

An appearance of Jesus converted Saul.

He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" So he said, "Who are you, Lord?" He replied, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting!   (Acts 9:4-5 NET)

How will God's saving purposes be carried out now?
All may be reassured that God's saving plan, his kingdom, is continuing to be worked out through the crucified and risen Lord Jesus in keeping with Jesus' own teaching.  The interim period is about the continuation of those saving promises, the kingdom of God, through the Lord  Jesus is still the mediator of that kingdom, the one who administers those saving promises and the one who carries out God's saving plan.

God's promise to pour out the Holy Spirit in the last days has been fulfilled (2:16-17). The reason for this is that the promised Davidic King has come and has been raised for ever to sit on David's throne.

But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: 'And in the last days it will be,' God says, 'that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.  (Acts 2:16-17 NET)

In the Old Testament, this phrase from Joel referred to the end of time and the coming of the Messianic or Millennial Age. In the New Testament the "last days" most likely referred to the time between the initiation of the kingdom of God and the fulfillment of the kingdom.  The kingdom began at the resurrection and ascension of Jesus (some say the incarnation in Bethlehem.  We live in the period between "the already" and "the not yet" of the Kingdom of God.

What are the blessings of the Kingdom?
The blessings in the present  age would include: 
God's forgiveness of sins through the death of the ultimate sacrificial lamb, that is Jesus Christ.  Why were animal sacrifices an essential part of temple life prior to Christ?  It was essential to spotlight the final sacrifice for the sins of all mankind through the atoning death of Jesus.
God's care for all citizens of the kingdom even if oppression and discrimination are sometimes necessary for the institution of the kingdom.
God's family encompasses other believers and the fellowship of the church.
God's Spirit is the Holy Spirit with which all believers are filled.

Blessings in the future Millennial reign of God include:  God's eternal kingdom, God's eternal city, God's eternal presence, and God's eternal care.

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