Ministry Resources

The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God

Generally speaking, Americans do not have a true understanding of a king, a kingdom, or what it means to be subjects of a king. A king rules a kingdom, an area over which he has complete control and authority. All of the laws are created by the king. Whatever he decrees or declares, is unchangeable. It is up to the subjects to follow every law or they will suffer the punishment of the king. Earthly kings rule over a specified amount of the earth according to their ability to keep other kings from taking some of their territory and subjects.

The disciples who followed Jesus had in mind that he would be as other earthly kings, taking territory from their hated Roman rulers, and giving certain positions of authority to them when he established his reign on the earth.

Jesus Explains His Kingdom

After Jesus was tempted by Satan, he went to his hometown of Nazareth and taught in the synagogue. He read these words from the book of Isaiah, the prophet.

Luke 4:18-19 Amplified Bible (AMP)


Throughout his ministry, he fulfilled all of these prophecies. From these examples, we can conclude that His kingdom brings blessings of every kind to those who are in need. His acts of kindness brought hope to the poor, forgiveness to sinners, sight to the blind, healing to the sick and diseased,

ended demonic oppression, and as he healed people, they were then able to work and provide for themselves.

In the famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught the multitude about how things would be in His kingdom.

Matthew 5:3-12 Amplified Bible (AMP)

“Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].

“Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted[when the burden of sin is lifted].

“Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the [a]gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth.

“Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.

“Blessed [content, sheltered by God’s promises] are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God.

“Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God.

“Blessed [comforted by inner peace and God’s love] are those who are persecuted for [b]doing that which is morally right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].

“Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. 12 Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great[absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Other ways of living in His kingdom are taught in Matthew 5, 6, and 7. Many of the teachings represent a direct opposite way of thinking, speaking, and acting from the way people would naturally act and many seem impossible to perform. Be the light of the world, your righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees or you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. Agree with your adversary quickly. If you look on a woman to lust after her, you have committed adultery with her in your heart already.

Matthew 5:44-48 Amplified Bible (AMP)

But I say to you, [a]love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Jesus Explains the Greatest Commandments

The Jews were all looking for an earthly kingdom where they would be the ruling class. Much of the teaching Jesus did was to try to correct and redirect their thinking toward fulfilling the first, second, and third commandments.

Matthew 22:35-40 Amplified Bible (AMP)

35 One of them, a lawyer [an expert in Mosaic Law], asked Jesus a question, to test Him: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the

Law?” 37 And Jesus replied to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ 40 The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

An Unexpected Kingdom

Luke 17:20-21 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Now having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed or with a visible display; 21 nor will people say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among you [because of My presence].”

In the King James Version it is stated that “the kingdom of God is within you.”

John 18:36-37 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not of this world [nor does it have its origin in this world]. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would be fighting [hard] to keep Me from being handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this world.”

37 So Pilate said to Him, “Then You are a King?” Jesus answered, “You say [correctly] that I am a King. This is why I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth [who is a friend of the truth and belongs to the truth] hears and listens carefully to My voice.”

Romans 14:17 Amplified Bible (AMP)

17 for the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking [what one likes], but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 6:31-34 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need

them.But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The significance of the instruction to “seek His kingdom and His righteousness” is not easy to comprehend.

Written by Gil and Jane Burnett

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