The coming Kingdom of God

 

The Kingdom of God comes in three stages through the millennia of human existence

1) In our life

The first stage is now and here, when we learn from God, and become Christians in our hearts and minds, in our behavior towards others, in relationships. While many scriptures in the New Testament points to the Kingdom of God coming in the future when Christ returns, the true Christian works to establish the Kingdom in his or her life, as far as possible. This was the point of view of the apostle John towards the end of his earthly life.

"9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."
(Revelation 1:9, KJV)

John was viewing himself as already in the Kingdom of God. He knew its laws, was obedient to the Commandments, has not denied its King, Jesus Christ, and has continued to preach the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God.

Christ also impressed it on the ritualistic Pharisees that they must have a complete change of heart, and seek to receive the Spirit of God to have a renewal from within. Mere outward ritualistic adherence was not nearly enough.

"5 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.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."
(John 3:5-8, KJV)

Receiving the spirit like the wind has been the privilege of the original apostles

"1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
(Acts 2:1-4, KJV)

When we receive the Holy Spirit after repentance and adult baptism, with the laying on of hands, we may not be so privilege to have such a powerful witness. Non-the less, we have a new conscience, which teaches us the ways of God. When we search the scriptures for guidance, our hearts will be pricked, and we will build a new person from the inside, making right choices based on God's Will.

"3 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
(John 16:13-15, KJV)

This Spirit of the Father will build a new consciousness and a new conscience in us. This is the beginning of the Kingdom of God in us. If we continue in the spirit, searching the scriptures daily, we will truly become children of God, which He will gather to Himself in the end.

"7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
(Romans 8:7-9)

The Spirit of God, that is also in Christ, will cause us to love the law of God, to the extent that we will always desire to keep the Commandments, and learn of the ways of the coming new Jerusalem. This way we bring the Kingdom of God into our lives as far as possible, and we begin to act as citizens of the new Kingdom, who is temporary living in the current world, and preparing for citizenship of the new World, wherein the Kingdom of God will grow. Therefore, true Christians are born again, learning as new babes to be like the Father, and His Son, our Messiah.

"1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ."
(1 Corinthians 3:1, KJV)

As newborn babes, we must grow up in the Spirit to become more like Christ.

"11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:"
(Ephesians 4:11-15, KJV)

As born again Christians grow into the full stature of Christ, they are bringing in the Kingdom of God in their heart, and in their lives, learning the laws of the New Jerusalem, preparing for citizenship of the new Kingdom of God, and waiting on the manifestation of the King, our Messiah, the Christ, acting out of faith in the future. We, as true Christians, must receive the Spirit of the Kingdom into our hearts, and study to learn it's ways, and prepare in faith for citizenship, by learning the laws of the future Jerusalem that will come from above. That is the mission of the Church of God (Seventh Day), accomplished through sermons, Bible studies and written material.

This is the first stage.

2) When Christ returns

The next stage of the coming of the Kingdom of God is when Christ returns to Jerusalem to gather His saints and to establish the Kingdom in Jerusalem.

"6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
(Revelation 20:6, KJV)

Those that will be alive when Christ returns will join those that will be in the first resurrection to be with Christ.

"16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, KJV)

When Christ return, the nations and their armies will resist Christ, but they will not succeed.

"3Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee."
(Zechariah 14:3-5, KJV)

The twelve apostles will be resurrected to rule Israel at that time.

"28And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
(Matthew 19:28, KJV)

Israel will then be the model nation, and other nations will want to learn the ways of God from them.

"2And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."
(Isaiah 2:2, KJV)

And so the Kingdom of God will be established on the earth during the millennial reign of Christ. This will conclude the second stage

3) When Christ hand over to God the Father

The third stage comes after the millennial reign of Christ. At the end of the millennium, after some more drama and tribulation, Christ will finally hand the earth over to God the Father.

"24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.  25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.  27 For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.  28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all."
(1 Corinthians 15:24, NIV)

Finally we will dwell in the presence of God the Father, the most high God. That will be the third and final stage, eternal life with the eternal God. What a great and loving God He is, working to prepare us for eternal life with Him!

Conclusion

The Church of God has the priceless privilege to help its members reach out to the Kingdom of God. We are blessed to have prior knowledge of God's plans, and we can prepare for Him and His Kingdom. We yearn for the return of Christ the Son of God, and prepare with urgency bringing the Kingdom of God in our hearts as we learn to love our neighbor and the God who saves us and prepares us for eternal life in His coming glorious Kingdom.