THE KINGDOM OF GOD
A Bible Study
Maurice M Johnson
The vast majority of priests, preachers, and Bible teachers confuse "the kingdom of God" and "the church which is Christ's body"; and hopelessly mix Christ's prophesied office and work as "the King of the Jews" with His UNprophesied office and work as "Head over all things to the church which is His body".
This church, the true church of Christ, "church of God", "church of the living God" etc., is the company of "called out" believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and cannot possibly fit the promises and prophesies of the WORLD-WIDE government and physical power of the KINGDOM promised and described in the following Jewish, Davidic kingdom scriptures. Wicked confusion always results from failures to distinguish between "the Jew, the Gentile, and the church of God". See 1 Corinthians 10:21 and 2 Timothy 2:15.
This study is merely a grouping of Bible references that we believe and are not only "rightly divided" but understandable only when so divided or recognized. If you are a mere Bible "taster" having little or no GODLY hunger for spiritual truth, you will not appreciate such a study. We plead with you to humbly "prove all things".
In its broadest aspect, the Kingdom of God had no beginning. It is co-equal with God. We read that God was Israel's King before they begged for one like the Gentiles had. (See 1 Sam. 12:12-13; Psa. 10:16; 24:10; 29:10; 47:2; 95:3; 145:1; Isa. 33:22; 43:15; Jer. 10:10.)
PROMISED TO ISRAEL
Note well that these Palestinian "kingdom" promises were all made to Abraham and his flesh and blood "seed". Romans the 4th chapter and Galatians the 3rd chapter make it unmistakably clear that personal salvation for both Jews and Gentiles was promised in the Abrahamic covenant.. Thus it will be noted the "NEW COVENANT" is merely the Jewish (Israelitish) part of the Abrahamic covenant and has nothing whatsoever to do either with Gentiles or "the church which is Christ's body". (Read that statement again!) Study the following "covenants":
The Abrahamic Covenant Gen. 12:2,7; 13:14-17; 13:17,18; 17:8. Note well that about 1900 years after God faithfully promised the land (Palestine) to Abraham, Stephen declares that he had not yet inherited it. See Acts 7:5. In Gal. 3:17 (by Divine inspiration) Paul argues that "nothing can disannul..." the promises contained in the Abrahamic covenant. The "old" 10 Commandment covenant was merely a temporary "schoolmaster".
The Palestinian Covenant Deut. 30:1-10; Lev. 26:40-46. Note the word "Land", as it is used in Isa. 57:13; 60:18-22; 61:3-9; 62:1-9; Jer. 23:5-8; 30:3; 31:23,27,28,38-40; 32:15,22,36-44; 33:7-15,24-26; Eze. 36:24,38; 37:11-14,2-28; Zech. 2:4-12; Amos 9:9-15; Zech. 10:6; 12:6-8; 14:16-21.
The Davidic Covenant 2 Sam. 7:10-16; Psa. 89:34-37; Isa. 9:6,7; Luke 1:32-33; Luke 22:28-30; Rev. 11:15-17.
The New Covenant Jer. 31:31-37; Eze. 36:24-38; Rom. 11:25-29; Heb 8:6-13; Jer. 3:16-18; 23:3-8; 31:22-40; 33:15-17; Amos 9:11-15; Oba. 17-21; Zeph. 3:14-20; Zech. 6:12,13; 14:4-11; Joel 2:12 to 3:17; Dan. 2:44; 7:19-27; Exe. 20:33-34.41-44; 28:25-26;34:11-31; 36:8-38; 37th chapter; Micah 4:1-7; 7:19-20.
COME UNTO ISRAEL
Mat. 3:2; 4:17-24; 10:1-7; 12:24-28; (Note "the kingdom of God is come unto you" verse 28). See also Luke 11:20; 17:20-21. A kingdom that "is come" and that is "within" them (or in their midst) should have been recognized by these Pharisees instead of being denied and the King insulted by their impudent question, "When will the kingdom of God come"? And note well the VISIBILITY of Christ's return to restore the kingdom of Israel. Acts 1:6; 3:21; 15:15-18; Luke 21:24-33; Mat.24:15-31. The TRANSFIGURATION of Christ was a VISIBLE preview of the future phase of "the kingdom of God" - the Davidic, Israelitish, Palestinian kingdom. Carefully read Mat. 16:28 to 17:5 with 2 Pet. 1:16-18.
TAKEN FROM ISRAEL
Matt. 16:19; 18:18; 21:43; Heb. 2:13,14. The kingdom was taken from Israel when the King victoriously returned to deliver it back to the Father (Mat. 11:27) and sit at His right hand until His Father makes His (Christ's) enemies His footstool. Acts 2:30-36 and 1 Cor. 15:24-27. Remember well that "the end" (the grand consummation, or crowning purpose) of Christ's first coming into the world was that He, as "the Son of Man", should regain all that was lost by the "first man", Adam, by defeating the Devil in the wilderness temptations; reign as KING of the Jews over every kind of disease, sickness, demon-possession, physical hunger, storms and actually "destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil" (Heb. 2:14) and "abolish" (destroy) death itself. This He did! Read 2 Tim. 1:9,10; Heb. 1:3; 2:5-15; 8:1; 12:2; 1 Pet. 3:22; Mark 16:19; Eph. 1:15-23; Col. 2:13-16; Rom. 8:37; 14:8,9; 2 Cor. 5:14-19; Rev. 1:18. R-E-A-D and believe.
Though the kingdom was taken from Israel (Mat. 21:43) and delivered back to the Father WHEN CHRIST ASCENDED (Mat. 11:27; Heb. 2:13,14; 2 Tim 1:9,10 with 1 Cor. 15:20-27), He gave "the keys of the kingdom" to the apostles to be used by them as long as God should continue dealing with Israel as "the children of the kingdom". Se Mat. 8:12 with all of Romans the 11th chapter. These "keys of the kingdom" have nothing to do with the gospel of personal salvation. Se Isa. 22:22 with 9:6,7. When these KINGDOM "keys" were used "the powers of the world to come (the coming age)" were unlocked in the form of physical miracles, both of healing and of supernatural discipline. Se Heb. 6:5; Acts 3:1-8; 5:1-12; Mark 16:17-20; Heb. 2:4.
One can hardly over-emphasize the importance of "rightly dividing" the book of Acts. While it is commonly regarded as being distinctly a history of the early church, it is primarily a history of God's extended offer of Israel's King-Redeemer to the 12-tribe nation, figuratively referred to as "the natural olive tree". See Rom. 11. In 1 Cor. 9:19-23 (written during the last part of the Acts period) we have Paul's inspired explanation as to why he had Timothy circumcised and his own head "shaved" with a Jewish vow 20 to 30 years after God's "secret" program had actually begun (the forming of "the church which is Christ's body" - Acts 1:5 with 1 Cor. 12:12-13 an Eph. 3:1-10). Note well that these Jewish ordinances were being observed for thirty years after the church had begun. See Acts 16:3; 18:18; 18:4, 17:1-3; 21:18-26. Read, re-read, and STUDY these references in the light of later revelation given for members of the "body of Christ", as such. 2 Cor. 5:16,17; Phil. 3:3 & 16; Eph. 4:3-6; Col 2:6-17; 1 John 1:7.
I believe "the natural branches" (12 tribe Israel) were "broken off" gradually. See Rom. 11:13-29; Acts 7:51-54; 13:46; 18:4-7; 28:17-28.
A "Mystery People" "THE CHURCH WHICH
and IS CHRIST'S BODY"
a "Mystery Program" A parenthesis
During Israel's temporary "fall" (Rom. 11:13-29; Luke 21:24-31; Jer. 31:4,10, 27-31), God is making "a new man". Eph. 2:13-22; 1 Cor. 12:12,13. This "new man", the church "which is Christ's body", was "new" to man for the simple reason that God had never revealed it before. See Rom. 16:25,26; 1 Cor. 2:6-14; Eph. 3:1-9; Col. 1:13-28; Rom. 11:25-29.
This church, the "CALLED OUT" company of "pilgrims and strangers" on earth, are in "the kingdom of God's dear Son" only because we have been "translated" out of this darkness into "that heavenly sphere" - "seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus". See Col. 1:13; Eph. 2:6. As long as we are physically alive, however, we are "foreign missionaries" and "ambassadors" in an enemy country whose "defeated" ruler is the devil, "the god of this world". See John 17:14-18; 2 Cor. 5:14-20; 1 Peter 2:11. Since every member of the church which is, Christ's body has the spiritual essence of "the kingdom of God" within him - "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17), we can live in such a manner now, as we "suffer with Him", that we may "reign with Him" when He returns in glory to establish the prophesied and oft promised kingdom. Though he was a "pilgrim and a stranger" on earth when he wrote 1 Pet. 2:11, that same apostle Peter will by no means be a stranger or a pilgrim when he sits down again "at the Lord's table to eat and drink with" "the KING OF THE JEWS" in Jerusalem and sit with the other Jewish apostles on thrones "judging the twelve tribes of Israel. See Luke 22:1418,28-30; Matt. 19:27-30; 2 Pet. 1:11.
RESTORED TO ISRAEL
Let no one think it will be a dishonor for the Lord Jesus Christ - the CREATOR-MESSIAH-REDEEMER-KING - to come back to restore the earth to its original Edenic order and beauty and then majestically fulfill His promises that the "EARTH shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." /so. 11:1-9; Hob. 2:14; Rom. 8:18-24; Rev. 5:9,10. How else can God prove to all creation that the serpent - "that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan" - didn't really succeed in frustrating God's plan and purpose for a perfect earth with a "MAN" ruling - having "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth"? Gen. 1:26,27; Rom. 8:17-23; Acts 3:20-26.
Let all of us who are "saved from the wrath to come" remember that we "are more than conquerors through Him that loved us." When armed "with the whole armour of God" we can and will "fight the good fight of faith" under the glorious leadership of "the Captain of our salvation" - not "fighting uncertainly as one that beateth the air" - but "striving lawfully" giving "hone offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God". 1 Cor. 10:32; 2 Tim. 2:5,15.
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