1. The Importance of this Message
In God’s Plan for Kingdom Rule, we found that God has a plan to build a heavenly kingdom for all His sons and daughters right from the start. Some believe that God’s kingdom is still to come, and therefore it is still ‘near’. The truth is similar but very different. The kingdom of God is here and inside us.
Some people do not believe God does miracles today. They think that the miracles stopped at the death of the first 13 apostles (twelve plus Paul). Because they have not seen God raise the dead nor heal the sick, they have changed their theology to suit. They teach the kingdom is partial now, then we will reign in the Millennium when Jesus reigns from natural Israel. Part of this theology uses the term “the kingdom of God is near” as if it still applies today.
These teachers do not understand that Jesus’ coronation was complete and that the kingdom of God is no longer near but here.
Jesus wants us to rule and reign now, healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead and preaching the gospel. Ruling and reigning now is more scriptural than waiting for Jesus to reign from the natural Jerusalem.
2. Jewish Expectation: God’s Kingdom – Here Now
A. Jewish Expectation of a Physical Kingdom of Priests
A physical kingdom of priests was the expectation of the Jewish people waiting for the revealing of the Messiah.
‘And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”Exodus 19:6
B. Jewish Expectation of a Kingdom that Would Rule over all Kingdoms
The Jews were looking for a king because the Roman Empire oppressed them. Their hope was the fulfilment of Daniel 2:
And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.Daniel 2:44
C. Jewish Expectation of a Kingdom that would Destroy the Roman Empire.
So when John said the Kingdom of God is ‘at hand’, there was the expectation by the Jews that the Messiah was coming to destroy the Roman Empire in fulfilment with Daniel 2. The hope of victory over their oppressors is why the Pharisees asked the question when will the kingdom of God come:
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation;Luke 17:20
But it didn’t happen the way that the Jews were expecting it to happen.
Instead, the Roman Empire destroyed the temple and the city of Jerusalem in 70CE, massacring one million Jews and dispersing them around the world for 1900 years.
Then as Daniel prophesied, four hundred years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the gospel of peace toppled the Roman Empire, once and for all.
D. The Kingdom of the Jews died with Jesus
3. John the Baptist taught that the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand.
A. John the Baptist was of the Old Covenant
John the Baptist came to prepare the way for the Messiah and the kingdom. However, he died under the Old Covenant. Because John was of the Old Covenant, is the reason why the least IN the kingdom of God is more significant than John the Baptist.
“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.Matthew 11:11
B. John the Baptist Taught: ‘Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is Near’
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”Matthew 3:1
John is teaching how to prepare for the coming kingdom. He is saying that we need to repent to receive this kingdom. What does repent mean?
The word repent in Greek is metanoeō.
μετανοέω metanoeō; from 3326 and 3539; to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (morally, feel compunction): — repent. To change the way you think for the better.
God says, change the way you think, the Jewish kingdom is about to die with Jesus, and I am about to establish a heavenly Kingdom, not of this world.
C. The Death of John the Baptist
John the Baptist was the Elijah to come.
And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.Matthew 11:14
The law is about to be nailed to the cross. And the same is about to happen to the Old Testament prophetic.
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.Matthew 11:13
When John died, this prophesied the death of the Old Testament prophetic.
So he sent and had John beheaded in prison.Matthew 14:10
4. Jesus’ First Message was that the Kingdom is Near.
Before He does this, two critical events happen:
A. The Father Confirms Jesus is the Son of God
But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.Matthew 3:15-17
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.
And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
B. Jesus Overcomes the Temptation of Receiving the Kingdoms of this World
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”Matthew 4:8-9
After Jesus is called “My beloved Son” by God, and, after Jesus overcomes the temptation from Satan to receive the kingdoms of this world:
C. Jesus then Reveals that a New Heavenly Kingdom is Near.
Jesus gives His first message on the kingdom after confirming Sonship, endowment with power, and the temptation.
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”Matthew 4:17
5. Coronation of Jesus – God’s Kingdom is Now Here
A. Jesus is Raised from the Dead.
We have seen that both John and Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God was NEAR. It is near is because He had not yet ascended into heaven. We will see here that once Jesus was raised from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father, He received the kingdom, and the kingdom has arrived.
which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,Ephesians 1:20
God’s kingdom is here now.
B. Heaven is Readied for Jesus to Receive His Kingdom
Daniel’s prophecy gives incredible insight into when Jesus receives His kingdom.
Angelic beings place thrones; Yahweh is seated, now as Father God.
“I watched till thrones were put in place,Daniel 7:9
And the Ancient of Days was seated;
His garment was white as snow,
And the hair of His head was like pure wool.
His throne was a fiery flame,
Its wheels a burning fire;
Daniel looks at the day of His Ascension 40 days after His resurrection. Father God sits down on His throne. We also see heaven now has other thrones, one of which Jesus will receive.
C. Jesus’ Ascends to Receive His kingdom
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.Acts 1:9
D. Jesus Receives His Kingdom
“I was watching in the night visions,Daniel 7:13-14
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.
E. Yahweh and Adonai
David also sees into the realm of the prophetic when He declares:
The LORD said to my Lord,Psalms 110:1
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
The first stanza says this in Hebrew: Yahweh said to Adonai.
Therefore kingdom is no longer near, the king is on His throne, and the kingdom is here.
Perhaps to help explain, it’s precisely the same with Jesus. When He was on earth, He was near but not inside the believers. Once He had ascended on high, He was inside of them.
6. Proof that God’s Kingdom is here NOW, is because:
A. He was already King of Kings when Revelation was Written in 63-65CE.
… for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”Revelation 17:14
B. We are Kings and Priests Now.
We are the kings Jesus is King of; that is why He is King of Kings.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light;1 Peter 2:9
And we have been made kings by Jesus in God.
and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.Revelation 1:6
C. Angels and Authorities and Powers are Subject to Him
Because He has sat down at the right hand of God, they are subject to Him as GOD. To us, though, we are subject to Him as sons.
who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.1 Peter 3:22
D. He has Already Received ALL Authority:
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth”.Matthew 28:18
7. The Kingdom of God is Inside Us
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the Kingdom of God is within you.”Luke 17:20-21
A. Inside of us Does NOT mean in the Midst of us.
Because Jesus said the Kingdom of God is near, some people have wrongly taught that the ‘kingdom of God is within us’ means in the midst of us. These teachers do not believe in the power of God, and healing is for today.
The word for within is Entos in Greek and means:
ἐντός entos; from 1722; inside (adverb or noun): — within.
The Bible uses entos twice, the second being:
Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.Matthew 23:26
If the kingdom of God ‘within‘ us meant ‘in the midst‘, the cup Jesus referred to could not be inside the cup. It would have to be outside the cup or dish!
8. The Authority of the Kingdom is a Covenant God Makes with Us
A. He Bestows a Kingdom upon Us
And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me,Luke 22:29
Because we may not speak Greek or Aramaic or understand the Hebrew culture, we may not easily understand the power of this. The original Greek word for this is diatithemi:
διατίθημι diatithēmi; a middle voice from 1223 and 5087; to put apart, i.e. (figuratively) dispose of (by assignment, compact, or bequest): — appoint, make, the testator.
When we read how the authorised version interprets diatithemi, we start to get an idea:
- to dispose of by will,
- and to make a covenant or testament,
- and enter into a covenant, with one
Because Jesus is the first begotten Son of God and now King, we are kings ruling and reigning with Him.
B. Authority is based on Sonship
We get kingdom authority by simply being a son or daughter of God, not by earning it. Simply believe!
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:John 1:12
- John was the last prophet of the Old Covenant – He foresaw the coming Kingdom being at hand
- Jesus also taught that the Kingdom of God was about to come – that it was near
- As prophesied by Daniel and David, Jesus was coronated as King of Kings 40 days after His resurrection.
- As proof that He had a kingdom, He declared that He was already King of Kings in 63CE-65CE (Rev 17:14)
- He declared that we are already Kings and Priests in AD 63-65 (Rev 1:6 1 Peter 2:9)
- All angels, authorities and powers being subject to the King is evidence that the kingdom was already there when Peter wrote His first epistle. (1 Peter 3:22)
- The kingdom of God is inside us
- The kingdom of God has been bestowed upon us, exactly how it was bestowed upon Jesus.
- Being Kings is a covenant that God makes with us now.
© Use by Permission Awakening Impact Ministries / Dr Neville van Eerten 2022