The words “Kingdom of God” sound like “religious talk” and well-meaning but ignorant preachers haven’t helped. However, the Bible says that the coming Kingdom of God is something very specific—a real, world-ruling government that will be a part of your future! This article explains what most preachers ignore.
GOD'S KINGDOM IS A REAL GOVERNMENT!
by Roderick C. Meredith
Many think of the Kingdom of God as something abstract, but your Bible reveals that it is a genuine world-ruling government, led by Jesus Christ, in which today's Christians will play a wonderful role!
Millions of professing Christians have been told that they will "float off to heaven" with nothing to do but just sit for eternity staring at the face of God.
What does the Bible say?
It is vital to realize that the Bible is the only sure guide to what will really happen in the future. Various human prophets and prognosticators have all kinds of ideas and guesses—most of them wrong. The inspired revelation of God tells us—often in detail—what will happen. The Holy Bible alone reveals not only the future, but also the great purpose being worked out here on the earth.
The Apostle Peter was inspired to tell us: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).
He then reminds us that "prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21). So God, through the Holy Spirit, directly inspired the prophecies of the Bible.
Scripture makes it very clear that Jesus Christ—now seated at God's right hand—will come back to rule the nations of this earth as King of kings: "Then the seventh angel sounded: and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'" (Revelation 11:15). We are told to think and meditate on what God is doing: "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory" (Colossians 3:1–4). As these verses state, do you want to appear with Christ in glory when He returns? If so, you and I need to believe what God tells us in His inspired word. We need to be willing to do what God commands us to do. For if we continue to believe the lies and misrepresentations of mainstream Christianity about "going to heaven," and if we act on their deceptive teachings about the entire way of salvation, then we will simply be "missing" when Christ comes to set up His government on this earth!
Picture The Realitiy Of Christ's Government!
God's inspired revelation tells us that He will "send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:20–21). Verse after verse in your Bible shows that God will restore His government, His law and His way of life to this entire earth.
We read: "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:16–17). In our mind's eye we should picture the glory of Christ's return as King of kings—the great shout of the archangel's voice announcing the arrival of Earth's sovereign Ruler, and the mighty blast of the Last Trumpet! When Christ's returns, the above verse says that we will be "with the Lord." So where will that be?
The inspired "prayer of the saints" says very clearly that Christ has made the true saints "kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:9–10)—not up in heaven! Revelation 20:6 describes the reward of God's true saints, to join Christ's ruling Kingdom in the first resurrection: "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6).
Speaking in the first person, Jesus Christ tells us: "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'—as I also have received from My Father" (Revelation 2:26–27). Those true Christians who overcome themselves, the world and Satan will be given awesome responsibilities under Jesus Christ in ruling the nations and in straightening out the wretched problems of this world's society. Will we rule directly under Jesus Christ? Or does the living Christ already have a plan in mind—an entire governmental structure that He and the Father will use in Tomorrow's World?
The prophet Abraham is called the "father" of the faithful (Romans 4:1, 11–12, 16). He, along with Isaac and Jacob, will be in top positions—perhaps similar to cabinet ministers or key advisers—in Christ's coming government (Matthew 8:11). Other outstanding servants of God from ancient times will also be in top positions. In the "vision" of the coming Kingdom of God (Matthew 17:1–9), both Moses and Elijah were shown to be key figures in that coming Kingdom.
God described King David of ancient Israel as "a man after My own heart, who will do all My will" (Acts 13:22). What will David do in Christ's world-ruling government? Many scriptures give the answer! Hosea tells us, in a prophecy for the "latter days," that: "the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days" (Hosea 3:4–5).
And God tells us that after the ten-tribed "House of Israel" and the House of Judah (the tribes of Judah and Benjamin) return from their coming captivity, "'it shall come to pass in that day,' says the Lord of hosts, 'That I will break his yoke from your neck, and will burst your bonds; foreigners shall no more enslave them. But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them'" (Jeremiah 30:8–9). Ezekiel 34:23–24 and Ezekiel 37:24–25 describe David as the coming king over the tribes of Israel—with the Jews and Israelites finally reunited as one nation again (vv. 19–22). There will be no more "anti-Semitism" when all the tribes of Israel finally realize that they are truly brothers!
Serving directly under King David, ruling each individual tribe or nation of Israel, will be the Twelve Apostles. Jesus Himself promised them: "So Jesus said to them, 'Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel'" (Matthew 19:28).
True Saints Given Rulership
If you and I truly surrender to God, and Christ uses us in His coming government, what might we be doing? In the inspired "Parable of the Minas" (the mina was a denomination of money), the faithful servants of God were given rule over cities in Christ's government: "'Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities'" (Luke 19:11–19).
"But," some liberal scholars will exclaim, "this was just a parable. You surely don't think Jesus was foretelling actual rulership over real cities here on earth, do you?"
Yes! I certainly do!
For even the Apostle Paul—not speaking in parables—clearly stated: "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?" (1 Corinthians 6:2–3).
Do you see? For nearly 2,000 years, various scholars, monks, bishops and theologians have desperately tried to "water down" the consistent teaching of Scripture that a literal government will be set up on this earth under the direct rulership of Christ and the resurrected saints! Yet the early Christians all understood and believed this inspired truth. Writing of the beliefs of the early Church, renowned historian Edward Gibbon writes in chapter 15 of his monumental work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:
"The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of the creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labour and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection."
Back in the book of Daniel, Almighty God revealed that at the time of the end, "Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him" (Daniel 7:27). So, as we have seen, Peter stated that God has spoken of Christ's coming rule over the earth and the "times of restoration of all things" by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:21).
We have also seen that Christ and the Father have a specific governmental structure planned, with definite responsibilities outlined for Abraham, Moses, David, the Apostles and other true saints of God. We, the "ordinary" saints—if we will yield to let Christ rule our lives—will also be given positions of responsibility ruling individual cities or perhaps specific departments in Christ's government—ruling from the new world capital in Jerusalem. What an exciting life we have just ahead of us in Christ's soon-coming Kingdom!
Christ's Glorious Kingdom
God's word gives us a detailed description of Christ's return and the early years of His Kingdom: "Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives" (Zechariah 14:1–4). Then God reveals: "And the Lord shall be King over all the earth" (v. 9). So Christ and the saints will be on the earth—not up in heaven!
Immediately after Christ's return, He will punish all the nations that fought against Jerusalem (vv. 12–13). Then "the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be gathered together: gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance" (v. 14). So, as we shall soon see, God will bless the physical peoples of Israel and Judah with awesome wealth, when they have repented and have been brought to the land of Israel after their national captivity.
Most mainstream Christians have heard nothing about what God next reveals, because they have never been taught about the Sabbath and the religious festivals God gave for all of mankind through all ages. Notice what happens next after Christ's return: "And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain" (vv. 16–17).
The world's professing Christians have been taught that God's Sabbaths and Festivals are "Jewish"—and so ought not to be observed. The living Christ will shake these people by literally cutting off their water and finally sending "plagues" on them if they stubbornly refuse to come up and "keep the Feast of Tabernacles" (v. 18).
Egyptians, Chinese, Americans—all will learn to keep this inspiring Festival of God (and all of God's Festivals!) which pictures the millennial rule of Christ and the resulting great "fall harvest" of souls when God's Truth will permeate the earth. When God first gave these Feasts to ancient Israel, the fall festival was called the "Feast of Ingathering" (Exodus 23:16). Jesus and the Apostles kept this Festival (John 7:1–14) and all of God's Festivals. Soon, God will require the whole world to keep these Festivals that picture His great plan. Please write for our very informative booklet, The Holy Days: God's Master Plan, if you would like to learn more about this vital subject.
It may now be difficult for us to imagine the thrill and the joy of untold thousands of people from all over the world coming to Jerusalem to keep God's Festivals. For they will know that Christ the King will literally be there in person—not only in Spirit. They will come up to rejoice in God's blessings in Tomorrow's World and to worship the King of kings!
As the author of beauty and good music, God guided King David and King Solomon and others to organize magnificent choirs to sing praise to God at special occasions (1 Chronicles 15:16; 2 Chronicles 5:13–14). Can you imagine the awesome music that will accompany the Festivals of God and the worship of the living Christ at Jerusalem? Can you imagine the magnificent processions of dignitaries, and of men and women from all walks of life, streaming into the Holy City—thrilled at the opportunity to see and to directly worship their Creator? Many will bring with them beautiful gifts for Christ the King. Nearly all will bring with them precious things with which to worship the "Lord of Hosts" who will be sitting in person on His throne in Jerusalem!
Since Jesus Christ is "the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8), there will undoubtedly be many occasions during His thousand-year rule like the one cited above, when there will be throngs of singers and musicians in perfect unison singing, praising and worshiping God, when "the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God" (2 Chronicles 5:13–14).
Obedience Brings Blessings
The prophet Isaiah tells us: "Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:2–3).
God's great spiritual law—the Ten Commandments—will be the basis for Christ's rule in Tomorrow's World. Through the teaching and guidance of Christ and His resurrected saints, the whole world will learn how to love and worship God and how to genuinely love and care for their neighbors. God's word describes that time: "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9).
Isaiah was inspired to describe the scene when thousands of Israelites will be brought back from slavery and even many of their children restored to them: "Lift up your eyes all around, and see: they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you" (Isaiah 60:4–5). Then notice the physical blessings which will be poured out on regathered Israel and Judah: "Surely the coastlands shall wait for Me; and the ships of Tarshish will come first, to bring your sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, to the name of the Lord your God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He has glorified you. The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you; for in My wrath I struck you, but in My favor I have had mercy on you. Therefore your gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day or night, that men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles, and their kings in procession" (Isaiah 60:9–11).
It will be as when God restored to Job "double" what He had taken from him (Job 42:10). Truly, the spoiled and arrogant peoples of the so-called "Lost Ten Tribes" of Israel are today found among the American and British-descended peoples and the peace-loving nations of northwestern Europe.
Unless an unprecedented national repentance occurs, our peoples are to be humbled, chastened and taken into national slavery! Then, when we have begun to "learn our lesson," God will bring our peoples back to the land of Israel and bless them in a truly awesome manner.
Then, as we have seen, the law will go forth from Jerusalem. The entire world will learn God's true ways—and peace and joy will at last permeate the entire earth! Finally, the "new covenant" will be understood and practiced by both the "house of Israel" and the "house of Judah" (Jeremiah 31:31). For God says: "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (v. 33).
When Satan is banished at the beginning of Christ's rule (Revelation 20:1–3), and the nations return to the borders God long ago established for them (Acts 17:26–27), people will quickly get over their hostility to God and His great spiritual law. There will then be outward peace over the entire earth. And an "inner peace"—the "peace of God, which surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7), will descend on most of mankind in a manner never before experienced in all human history.
God's ways are good. The blessings of Christ's soon-coming glorious Kingdom will truly be magnificent. God speed that day!
Adapted from “God’s Kingdom Is a Real Government!” from www.TomorrowsWorld.org.