The Kingdom Of God
Despite the fact there have been many types of kingdoms, small or great, throughout history, there are certain characteristics common to all kingdoms. As all earthy kingdoms possessed these characteristics, so does the kingdom of God. Though different in nature, it still possesses these characteristics.
1. A King or Lord. A sovereign. One with all authority
3. Law. Accepted principles. Determined by one who has authority.
4. Citizens. A community of subjects. Earthy kingdoms citizens made subject by their own will or by force.
5. Privileges. Rights and benefits.
6. Code of ethics. Acceptable lifestyle and conduct.
7. An army. First mention of a kingdom is found in Gen. 10:8-14.
Concerning Israel. God was to be her King
1. Exodus 6:6-8. Was to be different from other kingdoms in character. Duet. 4:7,8. Code of ethics
2. Laws were established Duet. 5. Notice verse 27. One became an Israelite when they were born, and then taught the law. 6:7
3. Others could become a member of this kingdom when they accepted laws and submitted to them. Ruth 1:15, 16.
4. Privileges. Duet. 30:15,19.
5. Duet. 20:9
6. Sadly, Israel rejected Jehovah as being their King, desiring to have as earthly king as other kingdoms. But the characteristics of the kingdom remained the same.
In Daniel 2 we read of 4 great kingdoms that ruled the world. Concerning the 1st kingdom we read in Daniel 4:20, 22. As this kingdom fell, a new one would take its place with its territory, citizens, would enact new laws, rights, code of ethics for an acceptable conduct of what they believe to be right or wrong.
Daniel 2:44 we are told of a 5th kingdom that would come into being. Though different in nature, yet have the same characteristics as the other 4. Daniel 7:13, 14 tell us this. And we understand this kingdom would come into existence during the time of the 4th world kingdom. Daniel 2.
John 18:36 tells us the nature of this kingdom. “Not of this world”, even though this kingdom would be engaged in warfare. Eph. 6:10-18. Notice vs. 12. II Tim. 2:3,4.
Territory the battle was over. John 12:31. Where Satan rules
This kingdom was to be different from all other kingdoms as to who would be in the kingdom and how citizenship was obtained. One was not born, (physically as the Israelites were) into this kingdom, or capture and became part of a kingdom. This kingdom would be made up of those who desired to be there willingly. Concerning how one became a citizen of this kingdom, John 3:5:6.
We were told in Daniel 7:14 of one receiving a kingdom, dominion, glory, people who would serve him. We understand in NT of whom this prophecy was talking about. Luke 8:1, while on earth Christ went about teaching and preaching concerning this kingdom. Fulfillment of Daniel 7:14, Matthew 28:18 .
We are told who the ruler is and the territory of his rule. Hebrews 8:9, 10. Those who accepted laws of God into their hearts would be the citizens of this kingdom and Christ would be their King. Concerning this, Matthew 16:18, 19. Vines say concerning the word key, “it was that which would open the door of faith”. Notice Luke 11:52. Knowledge of the revealed word of God by which men entered into the life that please. In Revelation 1:18, Christ there states, “I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
Hebrews 8:10, the writer there stated God’s rule would be on those who had accepted his laws in their mind and wrote them in their hearts. These laws were inscribed in their minds. Notice latter part of this verse the reward for this. So the rule was to be in the heart.
Col. 3:15, where his rule dwells, there he rules.
Luke 17:21--- if Christ rules in your heart by faith, there is the kingdom. You cannot separate the two.
CHARACTERISTICS OF KINGDOM OF GOD.
1. Sovereign-means supreme in power and authority. Matthew 28:18. Only one possessing all authority could give all authority. Daniel 7:14.
2. Territory—Col. 3:15. Where ever Christ is in one’s heart.
3. Law—Heb. 8:10
4. Citizens—Acts 2:47. Acts 4:1-4
5. Blessings— Eph. 1:3
6. Code of ethics—moral principles. Romans 12:17.
7. An army—II Timothy 2:3
- CL Bruner