Concerning the Kingdom of God

Kingdoms have a king and subjects, too. The king has dominion over his domain. In this regard, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world are similar.

The ruler of this world (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), Satan, is a destroyer. His dominion is sin, in the domain of darkness (Acts 26:18; Col 1:13). The devil’s work is to deceive his subjects, him being the father of lies (Jn 8:44). His lies shroud the truth, blinding the minds of men, in order to keep them in the dark (2 Cor 4:4), regarding the things of God (1 Cor 2:11, 14). The darkness is great, but Light has come into the darkness (Is 9:2; Jn 1:5).

During His earthly ministry, Jesus was identified as a King, by the wise men from the East (Mt 2), by the hungry at the Plain of Gennesaret (Jn 6), and He did not deny Himself this title before Pontius Pilate (Mt 27:11), who ascribed it to Him on a placard nailed to the cross (Mt 27:37).

The Bible calls Jesus, “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tim 6:15; Rev 17:14; 19:16); and His kingdom, by His own confession, is not of this world (Jn 18:36). The kingdom of heaven is spiritual (Rom 14:17), and as the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Rev 11:15), we know there is tension and conflict.

As the only sovereign Lord of unapproachable light and eternal life (1 Tim 6:15), King Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth (Mt 28:18). He defeated the ruler of this world at the cross. Our adversary is now a chained strong man (Mk 3:27), constrained in the abyss, waiting for final sentencing, having already been judged at the cross (Rev 20:1–3).

The kingdom of God is like the rising sun (Mal 4:2; Lk 1:78; Rev 22:16). It is progressively lighter as it pervades. Despite there being so much light, today, Light does not affect blind men. They cannot see the Light, nor enter the kingdom of Light. They must have their eyes opened by Jesus (Jn 9), and He gives sight/life to whom He chooses (Jn 5:21).

Where is the light of truth, shining in the darkened world, today? It is where Christ is worshipped as King of glory (Ps 24). The kingdom of God, present in the kingdom of this world, is the church. The church is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; Jas 4:5), and where the Spirit of Christ is, there is righteousness, peace, and joy in the kingdom (Rom 14:17).

In the kingdom of God, the church, the declaration, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” is unashamedly confessed (Phil 2:11). Jesus, our Lord, is Head of His body, His church (Eph 5:23; Col 1:18). He is also Lord of all (Acts 10:36). It is the continued rebellion of fallen angels and fallen humanity that refuses to acknowledge the eternal dominion of Him who reigns forever and ever (Lk 1:33; Rev 11:15).

It is the duty of church elders (1 Tim 3:1–7; Titus 1:5–9), appointed by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28) and apt to teach (1 Tim 3:2), to equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:12). Teaching sound doctrine (1 Tim 4:6; 6:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1), handed down from the prophets and apostles in the Bible, allows these men of God to help other believers grow up in knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18). With the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16) and a heart of love for God and others (Gal 5:14), Christians bear witness of our King, to the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).

It is the Holy Spirit, advancing the kingdom of Christ (Col 1:13), through the proclamation of the Gospel that is ushering in the kingdom of heaven (Mt 4:23), by calling in the saints (Rom 8:30). These are Christ’s sheep (Jn 10), His subjects who hear His voice and follow Him (Jn 10:27), in obedience to all He has commanded (Rom 16:26), as the Spirit causes the redeemed to walk in His statutes (Ezek 36:27). The kingdom is now in the Spirit, which has some visible aspects of it. A preacher proclaiming Christ crucified (1 Cor 2:2), to a congregation, is light, truth, and life to those given eyes to see, ears to hear, a mind to know, and a heart to believe (Rom 10:9).

The kingdom of God is plundering the kingdom of this world. The elect, redeemed, people of God are the booty, gathered living stones, to occupy their place in the temple in the Spirit (Eph 2:20–22). Like a magnificent structure being built, the church is one living stone fitted between other living stones — all related to Christ the cornerstone (Is 28:16).

When King Jesus returns to earth to judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 2 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5), He will finally quash the rebellion (Rev 19:11–21). The kingdom of this world will be purified by fire, as will all the elements (2 Pet 3:10–12). In that day, at His glorious appearing, the invisible church, today, will be fully manifest, at the resurrection to life, for the body and soul of God’s beloved (Jn 5:25–29).

The realm of the glorified will be a new heavens and a new earth where righteousness dwells (2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21–22). Our hope for this future is given to us as a promise with a pledge (2 Cor 1:22). The Holy Spirit is given to us as a token of God’s love (Rom 5:5; 2 Cor 5:5), and where the kingdom is manifest, today — He is the Agent, who is preparing us for kingdom life in our eternal home (1 Thess 4:3).

Christian, rejoice in your righteous King (1 Jn 2:1). His reign of grace is advancing, and its continuation is sure. Your knowledge of, and experience in the kingdom of God, is ever being heightened. For you, the kingdom of heaven is at hand because He who is in you is greater than he that is in the world (1 Jn 4:4). This makes you a kingdom, a priest unto God (Ex 19:6; Rev 1:6; Rev 5:10); therefore, worship the King and make His kingdom claims known, in order that the few, who are chosen among the many who are called (Mt 22:14), will come to Christ and into His kingdom, now and forevermore (Jn 6:37; 44).

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

November 3, 2022

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher