THE KINGDOM OF GOD
"Since by man came death, by man comes the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order. Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God his Father, when he puts an end to all rule an all authority and power. For he must reign till he has put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:21-26). The establishment of God's Kingdom and authority here on earth is the most blessed outcome spoken of in the Bible.
From this we can see that the return of the Lord to judge the earth and establish His Kingdom is a time of great rejoicing and blessing. The reason for this rejoicing is that "the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the children of God ... because the creature also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:19 - 20). The prospect of all creation is restoration and freedom from all forms of corruption. "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, and there shall be no more pain" (Isaiah 25:8, Revelation 21:4).
The return of Jesus and the establishment of the Kingdom is our greatest joy and anticipation. It will herald such a time of blessing for the peoples of the earth as the nations are healed from the ravages of sin (Revelation 22:2) and the curse is removed from all creation (Revelation 22:3). It is for this reason that Jesus taught his disciples to pray for the coming of God's Kingdom (Matthew 6:10).
THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN THIS AGEOne of the interesting teachings of Jesus was to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 4:17) especially when he or his disciples healed anyone. Consider when Jesus sent out his disciples. He said to them "Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, ... heal the sick who are there and say to them, ' The Kingdom of God has come near to you' " (Luke 10:8).
FRUIT OF THE KINGDOMJesus himself gave a very interesting insight into what the Kingdom of God is when two disciples of John the Baptist came to him with a message from John. They asked "Are you the Coming One, or should we look for another" (Matthew 11:3). John was waiting for God's promised King who would restore Israel (Amos 9:11) and bless all the families of the earth (Genesis 12:3). Jesus' reply was very simple and clear. "Go and tell John the things you hear and see: The blind receive their sight and the lame walk. The lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear. The dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them" (Matthew 11:4 - 5). John was to recognise the Kingdom of God by its fruit (Matthew 7:17). The same is true today. The fruit of the Kingdom is healing, deliverance and repentance.
The fruit of the Kingdom of God is the present day manifestations of the future blessings for all mankind when the Kingdom of God is established in the earth. As Paul so rightly points out "you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession" (Ephesians 1:13 - 14). The Baptism of the Spirit, His gifts and fruit are a sure fore taste, both for us and whole of humanity, of the complete blessing of the Kingdom of God when it is established throughout all the earth (Daniel 2:24 - 44).
Therefore the Kingdom of God, which is the reign of God in the ages to come has invaded the kingdom of Satan in this present evil age through the manifestation of divine power and gifts of the Spirit through the Church.
Many argue that these manifestations of the Kingdom were only needed to establish the church. This having been done, God no longer needed to reveal His glory, but could rely on the wisdom of men to carry on the necessary process of spreading the gospel through human efforts until the end.
This is nothing more than human pride.
A very superficial study of the "Church" through the ages will show that this attitude has led to the most shameful results in man's sorry story since Adam first rebelled against God. We are still trying to build little towers of Babel which reach up to heaven to make ourselves equal with God. Our God is a "jealous God" (Exodus 20:5) who will not share his glory with another. Those who argue the case for the ceasing of divine manifestations in this age willingly forget two very important things:
Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.