Kingdom of God

What did Jesus mean by the “Kingdom of God comes”?

A study of the phrase “kingdom of God” in the New Testament showed, similar to an earthly kingdom, that it has a King, laws and citizens.  Its King is God.  Its laws are given in the Bible; Jesus used parables to explain how the kingdom of God works (Mark 4:26, 30; Luke 8:9-10).  Its citizens are the saved (Mt. 19:24; 21:31; Mark 4:11; 9:47; 10:14-15, 23-25; 12:34; Luke 6:20; 9:62; Acts 14:22).

Jesus said to the Jewish religious rulers, “the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it” (Mt. 21:43).  God therefore entrusted the Jews with the kingdom of God, which is understood as meaning that the chosen nation became the custodian of the information about the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is what we preach (Luke 4:43).

The kingdom of God is not something which will one day come, for it already exists.  Jesus said:

if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Mt. 12:28).

The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:20-21).

When we pray “Your kingdom come” (Mt. 6:9), we do not pray for the physical return of Christ, but that His kingdom will come today in our hearts and in our lives.

Jesus also made the following solemn statement to Nicodemus. 

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly (amenamen, the same expression of strong affirmation), I say to you, unless one is born againhe cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

Therefore, although the kingdom of God already exists, it is not something physical that you can see in the same way as you see the stars, the sun or the moon.  “The kingdom of God” is spiritual.  It is only visible to the saved.

But one day it will become visible to all.  Jesus said, “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes” (Luke 22:18).  Here He refers to that a specific future event by which the Kingdom of God will be established.

Since the kingdom of God is only visible to the saved, when Jesus said, “There are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power” (Mark 9:1; compare Luke 9:27; Matthew 16:28), then it technically can mean that some “standing here” will not die until they are saved, but that would be a rather illogical conclusion.  Furthermore, the “with power”, which Mark adds, seems to eliminate that possibility.  Other possible interpretations are that it refers to the new dispensation that came with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, or to the Return of Christ.

Conclusion: The point is, since the “kingdom of God” already exists, but is invisible to non-believers, that when Jesus said, “the kingdom of God comes”, that we should always allow the context to determine the meaning.

TO: Table of Contents of the articles on the Second Coming

TO: General Table of Contents

6 Replies to “Kingdom of God”

  1. Thank for the privilege you gave to the Church word-wide to learn ”what is the kingdom of God” in Jesus Christ’s teaching. Remaining blessed.

  2. Thank you very much for sharing clear instruction on what the Kingdom of God is. Having read your session, I produced it as a slides to be shared to the other people with whom I know.

    May God Bless you,

    With love,
    Tay Naro, a pastor who lives in the rural area of Cambodia.

  3. Andries, I read your article many times and I check all the references each time. You seem to say that, at this time, the Kingdom of God is equivalent to ‘receiving’ the knowledge of the coming of a further kingdom.

    This doesn’t help me understand what Yeshua meant here “There are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power” What does it mean to receive the knowledge of the kingdom with POWER?

    Is it possible for you to bring more clarification?

    Yves P.

    1. Dear Yves, I published a separate article on Matthew 16:28 (which you quote); Some standing here will not die. The gist is that the “kingdom of God” must always be interpreted within its context, and in Matthew 16:28 the context is the physical return of Christ. This creates a huge conundrum, but I hope that I provided an adequate response in the article Why did He Not Return in the First Century as He promised?. regards Andries

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