The Kingdom Of God


For three and a half years Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom.

He did this in both the hills and dales of Israel, along with the temple and synagogues of the land.

As he healed the sick and fed the hungry, He constantly preached of the Kingdom of God.

Matt 4:23

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. (NIV)

He gathered 12 apostles and sent them out also to preach of this Kingdom.

Matt 10:7

And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (KJV)

    This kingdom, Christ preached of, is mentioned 147 times in the New Testament.   It is spoken of throughout the entire Old Testament.   Christ speaks of it 56 times in Matthew alone.   This gospel of God's kingdom is the central axle around which pivot all of the plans of his Father, the creator.   This can be clearly seen when one looks at the Lord's prayer.   For when Jesus taught this prayer he placed only his Father above the kingdom in importance.

Matt 6: 9 After this manner therefore pray ye:    Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

1Matt 6: 10 Thy kingdom come.   Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (KJV)

    The The complete sixth chapter of Matthew, in which this prayer dominates, and for that matter the seventh chapter also is devoted to Christ speaking about the Kingdom of God.   The kingdom is what the whole Lord's prayer is about.   Let's look at the next line of this prayer Jesus is teaching us.   For Christ first gave us the prayer, and then explained, in detail, why we should pray in this manner. The next line in this prayer is:

Matt 6: 11 Give us this day our daily bread. (KJV)

How did Jesus relate this request for our daily sustenance to his Father’s kingdom?  Look down at verse 31 at this gospel of Matthew.

Matt 6: 31 "Do not be anxious then, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'With what shall we clothe ourselves.


Matt 6:32 "For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things." (NAS)

Matt 6: 33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you."

In verse 32  Christ is telling us that God already knows what we need as he has done in verse 8 of chapter 6 in Matt.  Thanks rather than a supplication, Christ is telling us, would be more appropriate.

Matt 6: 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (KJV)

    So, in truth, for a true Christian, this third line of the Lord's prayer is really a note of thanks rather than a supplication, which is easy to see from verse 8 which prefaced the prayer.  

    In this prayer, Christ has, to this point, taught us to acknowledge the Almighty as the one and only Supreme God of the universe.   He has taught us to acknowledge and request a place in His kingdom, and to acknowledged his diligent care over us.    Now we are told to ask for forgiveness of our wrongs.

Matt 6: 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (KJV)

   God is well aware that we fall far short of perfection.   None the less, he expects us to constantly seek righteousness.   Therefore, if we try wholeheartedly to do this we can expect forgiveness of our shortcomings.   We are told this, outright, in the following verses.

Matt 6: 14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 

15 but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (KJV)

   The two verses above are clear concise and make their point definitively. However, notice "For if you forgive men their trespasses…" along with  "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses…" means there is a condition that must be met, by a true Christian, to request this forgiveness from God. This simply put means, if you want forgiveness, you must be willing to give forgiveness.   It is a work that must be done by a Christian.   And James has told us that faith without works is dead.

BUT!

Let us not confuse works with salvation!

One has nothing  to do with the other.

    Salvation stands all by itself.

Salvation was a free gift from Christ just as life itself was a free gift from God Almighty.  There never was anything anyone, other than Christ, could have done to attain salvation for mankind.   And that salvation was acquired for all.

1 Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. (NAS)

    On the other hand, faith and works do go together as James so clearly points out. 

James 2: 20-26 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (KJV)

Now that we understand that works and Salvation are separate and distinct things, let us go to the final line in the Lords Prayer.

Matt 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. (KJV)

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." … is actually the end of the prayer, as taught by Jesus.   King James added the rest when he had the KJV published, which does not harm the prayer; nonetheless, King James had no business adding anything to the word and Revelation 22:18 verifies what has just been said explicitly:


Rev 22:18  I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.  (NIV)

The question often asked of the above verse is why would God lead us into temptation.   The answer to that is in the word "Temptation" as the Greeks used it.  
Let us look at Strong’s definition of this Greek word.

3986 peirasmos (pi-ras-mos');

From 3985; a putting to proof (by experiment [of good], experience [of evil], solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication, adversity:

KJV-- temptation,

In short, God does this to test.

The tree of knowledge of good and evil was the test for Adam and Eve along with the angels of heaven.  You and I were born into a world of evil, which has been allowed by God.   But that world of evil was not to be allowed an indefinite reign.   In fact, the impending demise of this world of evil is the good news of the Kingdom.   It is not by chance that the Kingdom is called the gospel.

The next question that usually arises here is, that if God is perfect and all things he makes are perfect, why does He test them.   The answer to that is FREE WILL.   Both mankind and angels were given this ability to choose whether they would serve God or themselves.   Again, Jesus in Matthew chapter six explains this in relation to the kingdom.

Matt 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (NKJ)

… "You cannot serve God and mammon." Let us look at both "Serve" and "Mammon" in Strong’s Greek dictionary.

1398 douleuo (dool-yoo'-o); from 1401; to be a slave to (literal or figurative, involuntary or voluntary):

KJV-- be in bondage, (do) serve (-ice).

3126 mamonas (mam-o-nas') or mammonas (mam-mo-nas'); of Aramaic origin (confidence, i.e. wealth, personified); mammonas, i.e. avarice (deified): KJV-- mammon.

   We can see from this that Jesus is saying you cannot serve God with all your heart if you are more concerned with yourself along with your wealth, position or standing in society.    If your concerns are centered on this world, which in these times Satan controls, then to this world is where your loyalty lies.   Clearly, your free will determines what and whom you serve.   Your freedom of will allows you exactly the same choice as Adam and Eve.   Notice also that if you choose to serve God you must do so in a voluntary manner.

If, on the other hand, you choose to serve yourself in this world ruled by Satan, you do so in bondage to sin for sin is the master of Satan’s kingdom.

From what has just been said it can be seen why Christ is speaking of God's organization as a Kingdom for it is self-evident that there are two forces diametrically opposed here.   Because of this Jesus always spoke to the multitudes in parables.

Matt 13: 34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: (KJV)

He spoke in parables to make his message easy to understand and easily related to by the people, not only for those in the time he lived as a man on earth, but also for all people in all ages to come.   Therefore, Christ used the word Kingdom to describe what is in reality a family.   A family made up of the Father, and head of this household, God Almighty and his firstborn and only begotten son Christ. The rest of the family consists of adopted children from the earth along with the heavenly host we know as angels.   Now the Father has decreed for the entire family that his firstborn and only begotten son, Christ, shall administer all the affairs of the family.

The above is a graphic illustration of why Jesus spoke in parables. If you bother to count them, you will see it took 125 words to explain what Christ summed up by using only one word, "Kingdom".  It also explains why Jesus answered Pilate in the manner he did when Pilate asked if Jesus was the king of the Jews.   Jesus replied "You have said so" because he knew Pilate did not understand this family relationship of God's people, and could only relate a kingdom to his own understanding of the Roman Empire.   A dictatorial kingdom ruled by the whims of Caesar under Satan.

Mark 15:2-5 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it.

3 And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.

Christ did not answer because they had already exhibited their lack of understanding as to the kingdom he was preaching to the multitude about.

4 And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing?   Behold how many things they witness against thee.

5 But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled. (KJV)

Kingdom is a word that adequately describes both God's universe, which is physical and the dominion in which The Almighty exists which is spiritual.  His family exists in both.   It also describes Satan’s world of rebellion. Nonetheless, there is a huge difference in both.

We are all well aware of the shortcomings dominated by evil in Satan’s kingdom. Anyone with an ounce of sense can see that strife, destruction, mayhem and war are not at all productive; particularly with nothing but death as a future.

Let us therefore look for this family-type kingdom of God that Christ has brought for us. Where unity and love reign with peace and righteousness, bringing a future that is beyond the concept of our minds at present, topped off with the crown of eternal life as a future. And let us note that this kingdom has been promised though out all of God's word:

And God cannot lie. Titus 1:2

Not only has this kingdom been promised by God, but its duration has also been stated by the Word. 

Luke 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (KJV)

Not only that, but we are told by God's word that the kingdom will forever grow.

Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth (KJV)

"Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,..."  Tie this to the eternal life The Almighty  has promised, to those that overcome, and the future takes on a brightness that goes far beyond being highly desirable.    It goes beyond our imagination, for the Bible has stated from God that "The eye has not seen nor the mind has not conceived the things I have in store for you."  



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