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Bible Living

It is an inner spiritual redemptive blessing Rom. The Kingdom is a realm into which men enter now Matt. It is at the same time a gift of God which will be bestowed by God in the future Luke Obviously no simple explanation can do justice to such a rich but diverse variety of teaching. There is, however, a basic solution to this complex problem which will provide a key of meaning to open the door into treasures of understanding and blessing.

This key provides the simplest approach to this involved and diverse body of Scriptural truth. It is a key which is often overlooked because of the difference between modern and ancient idiom. We must ask the most fundamental question: What is the meaning of " kingdom"? The modern answer to this question loses the key of meaning to this ancient Biblical truth.

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In our western idiom, a kingdom is primarily a realm over which a king exercises his authority. Not many kingdoms remain in our modern world with its democratic interests; but we think of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as the original group of countries which recognize the Queen as their sovereign. The dictionary follows this line of thought by giving as its first modern definition, "A state or monarchy the head of which is a king; dominion; realm.

The second meaning of a kingdom is the people belonging to a given realm.

The Kingdom of God vs The Kingdom of Heaven

The Kingdom of Great Britain may be thought of as the citizens over whom the Queen exercises her rule, the subjects of her kingdom. The exclusive application of either of these two ideas to the Biblical teaching of the Kingdom leads us astray from a correct understanding of the Biblical truth. The English dictionary itself makes this mistake when it gives as the theological definition of the kingdom, "The spiritual realm having God as its head. On the other hand, those who begin with the idea of a future realm inaugurated by the return of Christ cannot do justice to the sayings about the Kingdom as a present spiritual reality.

Furthermore, those who begin with the idea of the Kingdom as a people base their definition upon the identity of the Kingdom with the Church, and for this there is very little scriptural warrant. We must set aside our modern idiom if we are to understand Biblical terminology. At this point Webster's dictionary provides us with a clue when it gives as its first definition: The primary meaning of both the Hebrew word malkuth in the Old Testament and of the Greek word basileia in the New Testament is the rank, authority and sovereignty exercised by a king.

A basileia may indeed be a realm over which a sovereign exercises his authority; and it may be the people who belong to that realm and over whom authority is exercised; but these are secondary and derived meanings. First of all, a kingdom is the authority to rule, the sovereignty of the king. This primary meaning of the word "kingdom" may be seen in its Old Testament use to describe a king's rule. This usage of "kingdom" as a human reign may also be found in such passages as Jeremiah When the word refers to God's Kingdom, it always refers to His reign, His rule, His sovereignty, and not to the realm in which it is exercised.

It is God's rule which is everlasting. These terms identify the Kingdom as the "rule" which God has given to the king. Of Belshazzar, it was written, "God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end" Dan. It is clear that the realm over which Belshazzar ruled was not destroyed. The Babylonian realm and people were not brought to an end; they were transferred to another ruler.

It was the rule of the king which was terminated, and it was the rule which was given to Darius the Mede Dan. One reference in our Gospels makes this meaning very clear.

Basic Doctrinal Principles

We read in Luke He said therefore, 'A nobleman went into a fat country to receive a basileia and then return. The realm over which he wanted to reign was at hand. The territory over which he was to rule was this place he left. The problem was that he was no king. He needed authority, the right to rule. He went off to get a "kingdom," i. The Revised Standard Version has therefore translated the word "kingly power.

This very thing had happened some years before the days of our Lord. In the year 40 B. The Romans had subdued the country in 63 B. Herod the Great finally went to Rome, obtained from the Roman Senate the kingdom, and was declared to be king.

Kingdom of God (Christianity) - Wikipedia

He literally went into a far country to receive a kingship, the authority to be king in Judaea over the Jews. It may well be that our Lord had this incident in mind in this parable. In any case, it illustrates the Fundamental meaning of kingdom. When this is once realized, we can go through the New Testament and find passage after passage where this meaning is evident, where the Kingdom is not a realm or a people but God's reign.

Jesus said that we must "receive the kingdom of God" as little children Mark What is received is God's rule. In order to enter the future realm of the Kingdom, one must submit himself in perfect trust to God's rule here and now. We must also "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness" Matt. What is the object of our quest? No; we are to seek God's righteousness-His sway, His rule, His reign in our lives. When we pray, "Thy kingdom come,' are we praying for heaven to come to earth? In a sense we are praying for this; but heaven is an object of desire only because the reign of God is to be more perfectly realized then it is now.

Apart from the reign of God, heaven is meaningless. The term does occasionally, however, denote "an eschatological event," such as in the Assumption of Moses and the Sibylline Oracles. In these cases, "God's Kingdom is not the new age but the effective manifestation of his rule in all the world so that the eschatological order is established. For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you. In the Synoptic Gospels , Jesus speaks frequently of God's kingdom.

However within the New Testament , nowhere does Jesus appear to clearly define the concept. Within the non-canonical, yet contemporary Gnostic Gospel of Thomas , Jesus is quoted as saying, "If those who lead you say to you: If they say to you: Rather, the kingdom is inside of you and outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will realize that you are the children of the living Father. The Kingdom of God and its possibly equivalent form Kingdom of Heaven in the Gospel of Matthew is one of the key elements of the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.

Chuck Missler asserts that Matthew intentionally differentiated between the kingdoms of God and Heaven: However, Matthew uses Kingdom of Heaven 33 times, but also uses Kingdom of God five times, even in adjacent verses, which indicates that these are not synonymous: The Old Testament refers to "God the Judge of all" and the notion that all humans will eventually " be judged " is an essential element of Christian teachings. No overall agreement on the theological interpretation of "Kingdom of God" has emerged among scholars.

While a number of theological interpretations of the term Kingdom of God have appeared in its eschatological context, e. France points out that while the concept of "Kingdom of God" has an intuitive meaning to lay Christians, there is hardly any agreement among scholars about its meaning in the New Testament. In the New Testament , the Throne of God is alluded to in several forms. The term "kingdom of God" does not occur in the Quran. He claimed to be that figure, and that his teachings would bring about the kingdom of God; he also noted that the prophecies relating to the end times and the arrival of the kingdom of God were symbolic and referred to spiritual upheaval and renewal.

According to Jesus' explanation, three things are needed to belong to God's kingdom: Like the seed that falls on the hard path, a person who does not understand the Word and the Commandments will fall into the temptation of evil and lose sight of God's kingdom.

The Kingdom of God

Like the seed that falls on the shallow, rocky soil, a person lacking a strong commitment will drift away from faith because of peer pressure, inconvenience, embarrassment or persecution. Like the seed that falls among thistles, the faith of a person who is not totally devoted will succumb to the pettiness of worldly life and the desires for wealth, power and status. The disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he? Sometime around the year 34 A. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?

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  4. Saul was born again that day and became known as the Apostle Paul. He became the first and most influential interpreter of Jesus' message and teachings, a passionate missionary, founder of many Christian communities, and author of several New Testament letters.

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    Like Saul, a few people have a sudden, intense spiritual rebirth that instantly changes their whole lives. However, for most of us, spiritual rebirth is not so much an event as it is a process of becoming more and more focused on spiritual things and less on selfish material things. Not that we drop out of the world, but we think more and more of how we can do God's work on earth instead of just living for ourselves. Jesus told them another parable: But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

    Where then did the weeds come from? Let both grow together until the harvest.