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Just what do you mean Kingdom of God? (Part 2)

Was it set up by Jesus Christ in the first century A.D.?
Why are there so many different teachings about WHAT it is?
Part I of this article was shocking.
This concluding part is even more so!


PART I of this article began at the beginning — the very beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 1:1, 14-15).

Jesus, from the beginning, preached one Gospel only — the Gospel (Good News) of the KINGDOM OF GOD. He said plainly it was necessary to repent, and to believe this very Gospel to be saved!

His parables concerned the Kingdom of God. He commissioned the 70 He sent out to preach the Kingdom of God. He commanded the apostles, on whom, with Himself and the prophets, the CHURCH was founded, to preach the Kingdom of God. Paul preached the Kingdom of God to Gentiles, and pronounced a double curse on any who should preach any other gospel.


Can You Believe CHRIST?

Today we live in a world of religious Babylon. There are many ideas being taught about what the Gospel is. There are, perhaps, as many: differing conceptions about the Kingdom of God.

One proclaimed to a world-wide radio audience that it is not the gospel for us or our time. Many sincerely belie — because they have been taught it and always heard it — that the Kingdom of God is THE CHURCH. Some talk about "men everywhere working together for peace and brotherly love, so that the Kingdom of God may at last be set up in the hearts of men." Some represent it as "the god that is within you." Some even say it is the British Empire.

IF you will be willing to read and believe the plain words of Jesus, of Paul, of John and those inspired to write the very WORD OF GOD, you may know what it is.

It is startling! It is shocking! But can you believe the plain words of GOD? Always, when I write on such a subject, some reader is sure to accuse me of departing from the false traditional teachings learned from MEN. Such critics gloss over, without reading, the Scriptures I give. They ignore the very Word of God. If the Bible differs from pagan teachings they have accepted as "Christianity", they call me a "false prophet" and impute evil motives. They make the Word of God of no effect by their traditions. They worship Christ in vain, believing for doctrines the teachings of men (see Mark 7:7, 9, 13). Yes, truly, the MANY are today deceived!

Are YOU willing to believe CHRIST? Is your mind open? If you have sincerely accepted and believed something that is false — contrary to the plain teaching of your Bible — are you willing to confess it and accept the plain TRUTH? If your mind is closed, stop reading right here. If you are willing, with open mind, to accept TRUTH when proved, and reject error, then read on! Believe what is in YOUR BIBLE!


Can Be Entered

In Jesus' day, the religious leaders knew He was a Teacher sent from God with GOD'S TRUTH. They branded Him a false prophet, heretic, and seditionist. Yet they knew His was the Voice of GOD!

One of them, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, occupying an office of authority over the Jews, came secretly by night to see Jesus.

"Rabbi," said this Pharisee, "we know that thou art a teacher come from God" (John 3:2). Yes, we Pharisees, he said, know that! He did not say "I know it." He said "WE know" — we Pharisees! They knew He spoke the; TRUTH — yet they not only rejected it, they crucified Him!

But Jesus hewed straight to the line! He told Nicodemus about THE KINGDOM OF GOD. He told him some things you need to UNDERSTAND!

Notice! "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cast see the Kingdom of God" (Verse 3 — John 3). Yes, notice! The Kingdom of God is something that CAN be seen, but only by those who have been "born again." It is something others cannot see! Read the article: "Just What Do You MEAN — BORN AGAIN?" in the February number — or write for it in booklet form.

But what about the CHURCH? Can carnal people who make no claim to having been "born again" BE a CHURCH? Of course! But they cannot see the Kingdom of God! So SAID JESUS! Then, if you believe Jesus, the CHURCH cannot be the Kingdom of God!

Notice further: "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God" (Verse 5). The Kingdom of God is something that can be entered into — BUT, only those "born of water and of the Spirit" can enter into it!

Notice further! In the Resurrection chapter of the Bible, we read: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." (I Cor. 15:50). The Kingdom of God is something no human, of flesh and blood, can enter or inherit!

Now do flesh and blood people enter into the CHURCH? If so, then the Kingdom of God cannot be the CHURCH — for the Kingdom of God is something flesh and blood humans cannot enter into!

What do you think the "church" is? Is it the building? Flesh and blood people can and do enter buildings and cathedrals called "churches." Is it the converted PEOPLE? Flesh and blood people can and to enter into the membership of any group of PEOPLE that may call itself the church. But flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of GOD — so the CHURCH is not the Kingdom of God!


In Men's Hearts?

Now some think the Kingdom of God is some ethereal sentimental feeling or something set up in men's hearts. If so, then the Kingdom of God enters into mortal man. But these plain Scriptures say plainly that it is men after they are no longer flesh and blood — but resurrected into spirit-composed bodies — who can enter into the Kingdom of God. It does not enter into men. Men enter into it — after resurrected in glory — after they are no longer "flesh and blood."

Is it the "god within you"? No, it is not something that was born inside of man, or has ever entered into man — it is something man may enter after he is "born again".

What about the British Empire? Well, I have been pretty well over the British Isles, Canada and Australia — and all of the multi-thousands I have seen there were flesh-and-blood humans. They did enter The British Empire — but they cannot enter the Kingdom of God, in their present flesh-and-blood life. So the British Empire cannot be the Kingdom of God.

But, someone misunderstanding the Scripture may ask, "Didn't Jesus Himself say that the Kingdom of God is 'within you'?" In the 17th chapter of Luke, verse 21, King James translation, is a MISTRANSLATION which has led some to suppose the Kingdom of God is some thought or feeling or sentiment within man.


In Hearts of Pharisees?

Let's take a sod look at this. First realize, if it does: say that, it is contradicted by all the 'other Scriptures I am giving you in this article. If the Bible does contradict itself, you can't believe it anyway — so then it still would prove nothing.

First, to whom is Jesus speaking? Read it!

"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: neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21).

He was speaking to the unconverted, carnal, hypocritical lying Pharisees. Notice, "He answered them, and said — " It was the Pharisees who asked Him the question. Were they in the CHURCH? No, never! If one thinks the Kingdom is the CHURCH — and the Kingdom was "within" the Pharisees — was THE CHURCH within the Pharisees? Such an assumption is rather ridiculous, now, isn't it?

Notice again, precisely WHAT JESUS SAID. Remember the CHURCH had not yet been set up. Jesus did not say "the Kingdom of God shall be set up in your hearts." He said none of the things people interpret into this verse. He said to the Pharisees "the Kingdom of God IS" — present tense — is, NOW!' Whatever He was saying the Kingdom of God is, He made it present tense, not future.

But Jesus was speaking in the Hebrew or the Greek language. At any rate, Luke wrote these words, originally, in the Greek language. He did not write the words "within you." The Greek words he wrote were mistakenly translated into the English words "within you." If you have a Bible with the marginal references, you will notice that this is corrected in your margin to read "in the midst of you," or, "among you." If your Bible is a Moffat translation, you will notice that the translator recognized that Jesus was talking of His reign, or rule, at the head of government.

This is the Moffat translation of the same verse: "He answered them, 'The Reign of God is not coming as you hope to catch sight of it; no one will say, 'Here it is' or 'There it is,' for the Reign of God is now in your midst."

The Revised Standard translation renders it "the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you." All these translations render it present tense.

Jesus was not talking about a Church soon to be organized. He was not talking about sentiments in the mind or heart. He was talking about His REIGN, as the Messiah! The Pharisees were not asking Him about a' Church. They knew nothing of any New Testament Church soon to be started. They were not asking about a pretty sentiment. They knew, from the prophecies of Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others, that their Messiah was to come. They overlooked completely the prophecies of His first appearing as the "Lamb of God," to be slain for the sins of humanity — being born as a babe, growing up, being rejected and despised by them, as recorded in Isaiah 53. They looked only to the prophecies of His second coming as the all-conquering and ruling KING.

But they had even these prophecies distorted in their minds. They looked for Him to come as a purely Jewish Messiah, to liberate them from the Romans, and reversing the situation so that the. Jews would be masters over the Romans. They looked for a limited Jewish Kingdom, located in only a small part of the world, with the Messiah ruling and letting the Jews lord it over the Romans.

This, the Pharisees anticipated as the Kingdom of God. They had an erroneous conception of the Kingdom of God — but at least they did know it was to be a REIGN — a GOVERNMENT.


World-Ruling Government

Jesus set them straight. He explained that it would not be a local, or limited Kingdom for the Jews only. It would not be merely one of many human and visible kingdoms which men could point out or see, and say, "This is it, here"; or "that is the Kingdom, over there." But He, Himself, was born to be the KING of that Kingdom, as He plainly told Pilate (John 18:36-37). The Bible uses the terms "king" and "kingdom" interchangeably (see Daniel 7:17-18, 23). The KING of the future Kingdom was, then and there, standing in the midst of them. And in the language in which He spoke to them, that is precisely what He said — as the marginal rendering and other translations state.

Jesus went on, in the following verses, to describe His second coming, when the Kingdom of God shall rule ALL THE EARTH. In verse 24 he refers to the lightning flashing, just as in Matthew 24:27, describing His second coming to RULE the whole world. Verse 26 — as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when Christ comes in power and glory as world Ruler. Verse 30 — the day when He is revealed.

Plainly, Jesus was not saying that the Kingdom of God was within those Christ-hating, hypocritical Pharisees. Nor was He saying that the Church would be the Kingdom.

Now continue with the other Scriptures, and it becomes very PLAIN!

Jesus distinctly said that those Pharisees would not be in the Kingdom of God. To them, He said: "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye (you Pharisees) shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the Kingdom of God." (Luke 13:28-29).

The Kingdom of God is something men shall ENTER — at the Resurrection of the just! Yet Abraham is not there yet (see Heb. 11:13, 39-40).