by Theodore Wright.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
– Matthew 24:14 (KJV)
What gospel are we to preach? The gospel of the Kingdom. “The Kingdom of Heaven” as Matthew describes in His gospel is the same as what other New Testament writers call “The Kingdom of God”. The kingdom of God is the rule of God. Through faith in God’s Son Jesus Christ we receive the direct rule of God in our hearts and lives. Jesus is Lord!
This age: Jesus came humbly, riding on a donkey. If the Kingdom of God in this age were a physically present one then Jesus would have come conquering.
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world:
– John 18:36a (KJV)
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
– 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KJV)
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
– Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
– 2 Corinthians 17:20-21 (KJV)
Or, in other words, the kingdom of God is among us or in our midst.
The age to come: Jesus comes in victory, riding on a white horse.
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
– Revelation 11:15 (KJV)
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
– Revelation 19:11-16 (KJV)
At the first coming of Jesus, He did not come to establish a physical earthly rule, but to establish His rule in the hearts and lives of people. It is at His second coming that Jesus comes again to establish that physical earthly rule commonly called “The Millenial Kingdom”. Nonetheless, in spite of God’s plan to establish His own Kingdom, there are those who preach a supposed eventual establishment of God’s rule of this world through so-called “anointed” leaders, those called by men as apostles. There have been and are men who attempt to build their own kingdoms within the Kingdom of God. Some men have sought to usurp authority even over all of Christ’s church.
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
– Matthew 11:12 (KJV)
Though there are men that seek the Kingdom of God not by faith but by force, no man can usurp the headship of Christ’s church for Jesus Christ Himself is the head. He is the one who will put down all earthly rule when He returns. False apostles will be judged when He returns and receives the Kingdom to Himself.