Various Aspects of the Kingdom of God
Paul told Timothy: 2 Tim. 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” This admonition applies to every one of us. If we do not rightly divide the word of truth then we will become hopelessly confused on just about every bible subject. This is true concerning the kingdom of God. There are various aspects of the kingdom of God and we will be confused on this subject unless we rightly divide it.
When we read about the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven, we should keep in mind that there are verses of scripture that speak about a kingdom established on earth today. Also, there are verses of scripture that talk about a kingdom of God known as paradise. Also, there are verses of scripture that talk about a kingdom of God in the past. Moreover, the scripture also talk about an internal kingdom.
Israel was a kingdom that God had established and he was her king until she asked for a king like unto the nations about her. God granted her request and gave Israel king Saul. Later after Saul had rebelled against God, God gave Israel David and his sons after him to be king over Israel. However, in the beginning God was Israel’s king.
In the Old Testament we find prophecies about another kingdom of God to be established. The most notable of these prophecies is found in 2 Sam. 7:12-17: “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.” This prophecy was of an everlasting kingdom to be ruled over by a king that would be a descendent of David. When John came preaching, Saying, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” this was the fulfillment of that prophecy made to David.
Most of the New Testament passages about the kingdom of God or kingdom of heaven deal with the kingdom on earth that Nathan prophesied to David. However, there are a few verses that speak of the kingdom in paradise or glory:
1. 1 Cor. 15:24 “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” Thus, we conclude that the kingdom is here on earth and in the resurrection the kingdom will be delivered up into paradise.
2. Matt. 25: 31-34 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” This verse also speaks of the kingdom being delivered up into the glory world.
Elder Vernon Johnson