- Religion and Philosophy
Can You "See" the Kingdom of Heaven?
Upon the conclusion of the Old Covenant under the Law, John the Baptist made a radical statement that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. A representative of the Kingdom of Heaven would come in the form of a man. Jesus Christ would come and proclaim the message of the Kingdom of God and describe the concepts of it.
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 3:1
Many have different ideas on what the Kingdom of God, or Heaven is. There are many man-made ideas that attribute themselves to the Kingdom, but Scripture should take precedence in answering and defining what the Kingdom of God is.
To Rule and Reign
The Greek word for kingdom is basileia (Strong’s Greek 932), and the Hebrew word is malkut (Strong’s Hebrew 4438), both mean to rule and reign. It is the dominion that God establishes through His power where His sovereignty is manifest.
For kingship belongs to the LORD,
and he rules over the nations. – Psalm 22:28
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all. – Psalm 103:9
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power – Psalm 145:11
When God exerts His authority in the world, His purpose is achieved in the followers of Jesus Christ. We no longer have men ruling who love exercising their hierarchical authority of darkness over people, but the Kingdom of the Son rules, reigns and exercises authority over His people.
The Kingdom of God is His rule and His redemptive purposes against the spiritual rulers of this cursed world. When the rule of God is manifested through His Son. Jesus Christ, it brings redemption to the people of the earth for all who accept His Lordship.
From the time of creation, God established His Kingdom on the earth, but when sin entered into mankind, His creation became cursed as it was given over to the dominion of Satan. When Jesus Christ entered into the picture, the Kingdom of God arrived with Him to defeat the spiritual enemies of God.
Every person who accepts the message of hope and salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ are released from Satan’s realm and are restored to God’s Kingdom.
Present and Future
When someone receives life through the ministry of Jesus Christ, Satan is defeated as they are no longer slaves to sin. His Kingdom has come and His will has been done within them as it is in heaven.
The Kingdom of God is spiritually present within every true believer, but also is physically coming in the future.
The rule and reign of Jesus Christ within a true believer is well described in these verses:
But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. – Matthew 12:28-29
When Jesus Christ delivers those from the power of Satan, His rulership takes over. The power of Jesus Christ is exercised by delivering those who are possessed with the worldly and religious demons and filling them with the Holy Spirit. His power binds the “strong man” and it no longer is his house, but becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” – Luke 17:20-21
The Pharisees could not see the Kingdom of God when it was right in their midst. Jesus Christ was the representative of the Kingdom, He was the embodiment of God’s rule and reign standing within their midst whose purpose was come and destroy the malevolent works of sin.
The example of Jesus Christ was demonstrated in how He lived and who He was as a man. His ministry was all about proclaiming and describing God’s Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is Jesus Christ. It is the Good News of the Gospel the He has already come, but He is also coming again. There is also a future Kingdom of God that will manifest; it will proceed the second coming of Jesus Christ and will make a final eternal establishment of God’s sovereignty and rule upon the whole earth.
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. – Matthew 25:31
From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. – Revelation 19:15
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” – Revelation 21:5
The Kingdom of God at this point in time is about God’s redemptive rule within people’s lives. It is in hidden and invisible form, which destroys the works of evil in a spiritual manner.
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field - Matthew 13:44
Additionally, there is also the future hope and anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ. It will manifest in a political and militial way, in an objective physical form at the end of the Church age.
The mystery of the Kingdom of God is portrayed in the many parables that Jesus told.
Many falsely believe that the Kingdom of God is displayed in the objective works of man. The condition of their hearts is portrayed in their huge buildings, cathedrals and coliseums that are made to house “Christians” and glorify themselves. They exert their influence, power and wealth through catchy slogans and marketing techniques as pied pipers to the masses. Unfortunately, they fail to understand that the Kingdom of God is not expanded through the vain works and power of men, but by humbly preaching the Word of God and glorifying His name by what He has already done.
The symbolism of man’s ways of doing things stand out in Jesus’ parables.
And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. – Matthew 13:4
“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. - Matthew 13:24-25
When it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” – Matthew 13:32
The Kingdom of God is manifested in a humble way in this age as it is about God’s grace and mercy. It is not about exerting physical power and might with the goal of physically doing away with evil. It is about preaching the good news of the Gospel of the Kingdom. It is about the sacrifice of the followers of Jesus Christ who humbly continue to serve their King as they are persecuted for doing so. They sacrifice everything out of love, just as Jesus did so others may know the mystery of His Kingdom too.
The triumph of Jesus Christ is in the transformed hearts of mankind when they are restored and made new creatures becoming citizens of His Kingdom.
The Kingdom is about God’s absolute rule and reign in people’s lives. It is the action of His sovereignty is this age and the one that is to come. It is presently here, but is also coming soon. The mystery is that today, it is in invisible form, but then unexpectedly, it will objectively and physically come and destroy and defeat all who have denied seeking the Kingdom.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. - Matthew 6:33
Is the God’s spiritual Kingdom within you, or are you apart of Satan’s physical kingdom that manifests in lofty outward displays of religious hypocrisy within the “churches” of men?
- Escaping the Grip of Spiritual Babylon
God is calling His people to come out the "harlot daughters" that are denominations of the modern "church" and enter into the New Spiritual Jerusalem.
- The Distinction between Spiritual Kingdoms
Many preach and teach on revival, renewal and restoration the Church, but this requires separating from the kingdoms man has made for themselves and giving the King first priority in their lives.
- The Church is not a Building
The modern "church" expects the lost to come to them, and the truth dispensed to them in the “church.” Where in the New Testament does it say to erect a building and invite the lost to come into it?