Lesson 11 The Kingdom of God
Reading: Psalm 24
law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached,
and every man presseth into it.
1:30–33. And the angel said unto her, Fear not,
Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31And, behold, thou shalt
conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32He
shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God
shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33And he shall
reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no
3:1–2. In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of
Judaea, 2And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
1:14–15. Now after that John was put
in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15And
saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and
believe the gospel.
16:16. The law and the prophets were
until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man
presseth into it.
17:20–21. And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God
should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with
observation: 21Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for,
behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
14:17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
ON THE LESSON TEXT
1:30–31. The birth of Christ is here
prophesied. It was fulfilled in due time. Vv 32–33. He is more than
man—he is the Son of God. This child is to receive the throne of David and be
the legitimate rules of Israel in an unending kingdom.
3:1–2. John announces the coming of the kingdom of heaven. His language
implies that it would appear at once.
1:14–15. Jesus continues the message of John, thus approving it. He adds
that the time is fulfilled—the time of which the prophets prophesied. The
kingdom of God is the same as the kingdom of heaven.
16:16. Jesus locates the beginning of the kingdom with the preaching of
John. Men were entering in.
17:20–21. The Pharisees had expected the kingdom but had failed to see it.
Their mistake was not in the time of its coming, but they failed to understand
14:17. Paul clearly defines the nature of the kingdom of God. It is not a
material kingdom but is spiritual.
TOPIC: THE KINGDOM OF GOD
THE TIME OF ITS ESTABLISHMENT
Prophecies of the kingdom.
Judah’s scepter (Genesis 49:10). Judah was to be the ruling tribe until Shiloh
should come. He received the scepter in the person of David. No foreign ruler
sat on David’s throne until Herod the Great during whose reign Christ was
born. B) The ruling Child (Isaiah 9:6, 7). This prophecy pictures Christ as a
ruler. It is the child to be born who is to become the ruler. This is most
naturally understood as applying to his first advent. C) The ruler was to come
from Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Christ was born at Bethlehem; the next time he comes
to earth he will come from heaven. The ruler came from Bethlehem; hence he came
as ruler at his first advent. D) The triumphal entry (Zechariah 9:9). This
prophecy was fulfilled on Palm Sunday. He who rode into Jerusalem is the King.
This is a clear prediction of the kingdom at the first advent. E) The five great
kingdoms (Daniel 2). This is a time prophecy of the establishment of the kingdom
of God. The fourth great empire was the Roman. The kingdom of God must be
established before the end of the fourth empire. The Roman Empire has long since
ceased, and the kingdom of God has been established. The ten minor kingdoms
growing out of the ruins of Rome are not under construction. If they were it
would not change the case, for they too have gone out of existence. F) The
seventy weeks (Daniel 2). This is a most definite time prophecy of the coming of
the Prince, the Messiah. The decree referred to was issued 457 B.C. (Ezra 7).
The seventy weeks (490 years) reached to 33 A.D. the coronation of the King was
to occur at the end of the sixty-ninth week (26 A. D.) at which time Jesus was
“anointed” with the Holy Ghost. The events here described cannot be placed
in the future.
The teachings of John and Christ.
Both declared “The kingdom is at hand.” This is a definite promise of its
immediate establishment and cannot be understood otherwise. B) Christ declared
the time fulfilled. This leaves no room for the idea that the time had not yet
come for the kingdom. The Prophetic times was up, the hour had struck. C) Christ
located the beginning of the kingdom with John. Since then men have been
entering it. D) Christ chided some for refusing to enter and for hindering
others (Matthew 23:13. This would be very inconsistent if the kingdom were not
then established. E) He acknowledged being a king and having a kingdom (John
18:36, 37). This he did while under charge of seeking to establish a seditious
kingdom. F) He received kingly honor when riding into Jerusalem. He permitted
the people to acclaim him king. This he should not have done if he were not yet
The Jews expected the kingdom.
The wise men inquired for the king and were directed by the scribes to Bethlehem
where the child was found. B) The Jews would have compelled Christ to be king
had they been able, so sure were they that the kingdom had come. C) They were
bitterly disappointed in him when their hopes were not fulfilled. Indeed, this
disappointment led to his crucifixion.
The Apostles believed the kingdom had come.
At first, like the Jews, they looked for a material kingdom (Acts 1:6. After
receiving the Holy Ghost they understood. B) Paul declares that Christ is now
reigning and will deliver up (not set up) the kingdom at his coming (1
THE NATURE OF THE KINGDOM
As shown in the prophecies.
Shiloh, the Prince of Peace, is to be a peaceful ruler. Of the increase of his
peace is no end. There is no suggestion of force in this rule. B) He shall feed
the people. He is characterized as just, lowly, having salvation. This is a true
picture of the King but how different from the Jewish expectation. He is to
bring everlasting righteousness and make an end of sin. This is the work being
done in the kingdom.
As shown in New Testament teachings.
Christ refused an earthly kingdom. B) The kingdom does not come with
observation. It is not an earthly kingdom. It is entered through the new birth,
hence is spiritual in its nature (John 3:5). C) It is righteousness, peace, joy
in the Holy Ghost. Christ rules his people through this spiritual force.
The theory stated.
There shall be two resurrections; first the righteous at Christ’s return, then
the wicked one thousand years later. B) Christ shall reign upon the earth during
the one thousand years. C) During the same period Satan shall be bound. The
Jewish nation shall be restored, Jerusalem shall be the capital of the world,
peace and material blessing shall prevail. At the close, Satan will be loosed.
The theory refuted.
There is but one resurrection and this contains both classes. This was clearly
proved in the last lesson. B) The reign is that of the souls of martyrs, not of
resurrected saints who will reign. C) There is no need of a millennium. All
spiritual blessings are now obtainable. The millennium can offer nothing more
unless it be carnal pleasures. D) There is not time for a millennium. Now is the
last time, and when Christ comes the end will be. E) There will be no place for
a millennium, for when Christ comes this old world will be destroyed and we
shall be taken to our mansions in our Father’s house which will be better than
has ever been imagined in connection with the millennium.