The Kingdom of God-Thesis 1

The Kingdom of God-Thesis 1

The Kingdom of God means the domain over which God exercises rule as King. Therefore, God’s declared purpose is that His People, His Holy Nation, His Peculiar Treasure, should be the domain over which He would rule as King, and ultimately all the earth and all things and every creature. The Lord’s greatest dominion at this time is in the lives of His Elect, the Chosen Ones.

Jesus Christ has extended the dominion of His Kingdom to our hearts and lives.

The term “kingdom” means “a rule or reign, an exercise of authority.” Application to the reign of God in the world means “the rule or Sovereignty of God the Creator.” Ladd defines “kingdom” in the following way: “The primary meaning of both the Hebrew word malkuth in the Old Testament and of the Greek word basileia in the New Testament is the rank, authority, and sovereignty exercised by a king. A kingdom is the authority to rule, the sovereignty of the King. “(1959, 19).

The Kingdom of God was established when Christ, the King, initiated His rule. Ladd’s approach to interpreting the Kingdom of God is synthetic, and he used inaugurated eschatology as the key idea for this interpretation of the “Kingdom of God.” Ladd’s dynamic interpretation is couched in already and yet to come ages. Two ages underline Ladd’s thought: the present reality of evil age corroborated in Gal 1:4; Rom. 12:2; 1 Cor. 20; 2: 6-8; 2 Cor 4: 4 and the age to come in Ephesians 1:21. Ladd stipulated that the age to come has become present already in Christ and the Spirit – 1 Cor 10:11, 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:15 (pointing to Isaiah 65-66).

Ladd’s postulation means that “God is now King, but He must also become King.” To Ladd, the Kingdom of God is God’s reign, and it came into history in the person and mission of Jesus Christ. The true Sons of the Kingdom are believers already in union with Christ, have died and been raised with Christ (Rom 6:3-11), and are seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:4-7, Col. 2:12).

The children of the Kingdom, according to Ladd, are:

(1) those who respond to Jesus and accept his word (M. 13:38);

(2) those who receive and depend entirely on the proclamation of Jesus as LORD of the Kingdom in this present age.

The age to come is the final and total destruction of the devil and his angels (Mt. 25: 41); the formation of a redeemed society with evil and perfect fellowship with God at the Messianic feast. (Ref: Mt. 13:36-43, Luke 13: 28-29).

The Kingdom is primarily the dynamic reign or kingly rule of God and, derivatively, the sphere in which the rule is experienced. Jesus’ disciples are members of the Kingdom, and the Kingdom is the rule of God. The Kingdom has come in Jesus to fulfill the Messianic Salvation within the old age, but the consummation awaits the Age to Come.

The synonymous parallelisms of Psalm145:11-13 define the nature of the Kingdom of God:

They shall speak of the glory of thy Kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his Kingdom. The Thy Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.

God’s Kingdom is one of Glory and Splendor. The synonymous parallelisms equate the Kingdom with power, mighty acts, and dominion. Thus God “does not merely sit on a throne, but He reigns by performing mighty deeds. His rule is not static but is expressed in acts of power” (Ferguson 1989, 7).

Although the Church reflects the rule of God in the world, the “kingdom” cannot be precisely paralleled with the “church.” Old Testament kingdom passages confirm that the rule of God existed before the coming of Christ, the ultimate King, and the establishment of the Church. Neither can the Kingdom be strictly equated with some cosmic event to occur when Christ returns. Although the consummation of the Kingdom will occur at the end of time, the Kingdom of God is a continuing historical reality.

The real purpose for which God sent Jesus into the world was to ESTABLISH ON EARTH HIS KINGDOM; His ultimate purpose is that the kingdoms of this world shall experientially become the Kingdom of our God and His Christ. The light of the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and revelation is shed with its quickening and illuminating rays upon our understanding, dispelling the mists, dividing the light from the darkness so that all the elect Children of God may find an abundant entrance into the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is THE RULE OF GOD. Jesus came with just that message: the revelation of the RULE OF GOD within the hearts of men, and through men, over the whole world.

The purpose of the Kingdom of God is to restore creation to its original glory. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its King; that King is the Son of God, Jesus Christ our LORD and Redeemer. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its subjects; those subjects are the children of God. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in nature; that nature is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its entrance. The gateway is not by human birth, or of the will of the flesh, or the will of man, but by being born of the Holy Spirit.

The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its laws; those laws are not ordinances, rules, or regulations; they are spiritual principles. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its method; that method is not by might, power, or the enticing words of man’s wisdom but by the Spirit of the living God. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its prerogatives. Those prerogatives are for the Children of God to be the salt of the earth, the world’s light, a kingdom of priests after the order of Melchizedek, and saviors on mount Zion. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its privileges; those privileges are to be heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ to the inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and cannot fade away. In summary, the Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of Heaven. It is the Kingdom of Heaven because it is the Kingdom or dominion of the GOD OF HEAVEN.

The Kingdom of God is limited to that domain where God’s saving power has defeated all opposition, broken down every wall, transformed all that is contrary to God’s nature, mind, and will, and has brought men into willing submission to His authority. Where the nature of God and the mind of Christ have mightily conquered, the state of things is called the Kingdom of God. Where hearts are changed, where sin, error, & darkness are defeated, where truth and righteousness advance, where the will and ways of God are raised as reality and life in a people, where the mind of Christ rules out of union with God.

**Concluding Thesis 2, tomorrow, Sunday 28 August, 2022

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