LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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Lesson 11 The Kingdom of God

 

Devotional Reading:   Psalm 24

 

Memory Verse:           Luke 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.

 

LESSON TEXT

 

Luke 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 end.

 

Matthew 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.

 

Mark 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.

 

Luke 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.

 

Luke 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.

 

Romans 14:17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

 

COMMENTS ON THE LESSON TEXT

 

Luke 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.

Matthew 3:1–2. John announces the coming of the kingdom of heaven. His language implies that it would appear at once.

Mark 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.

Luke 16:16. Jesus locates the beginning of the kingdom with the preaching of John. Men were entering in.

Luke 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 its nature.

Romans 14:17. Paul clearly defines the nature of the kingdom of God. It is not a material kingdom but is spiritual.

 

LESSON TOPIC: THE KINGDOM OF GOD

 

I. THE TIME OF ITS ESTABLISHMENT

 

1. Prophecies of the kingdom.

 

A) 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.

 

2. The teachings of John and Christ.

 

A) 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 king.

 

3. The Jews expected the kingdom.

 

A) 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.

 

4. The Apostles believed the kingdom had come.

 

A) 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 Corinthians 15:24).

 

II. THE NATURE OF THE KINGDOM

 

1. As shown in the prophecies.

 

A) 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.

 

2. As shown in New Testament teachings.

 

A) 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.

 

III. THE MILLENNIUM

 

1. The theory stated.

 

A) 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.

 

2. The theory refuted.

 

A) 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.