The Kingdom of God Today - 3


Misrepresentation, deception, and more, are what Satan uses to try to derail Believers regarding God, His Son, His People and the Kingdom of God.

Accusations against God's people are likely to be about anything as long as it causes confusion among Believers and interferes with the work of God.

And the things that Jesus spoke about during His earthly ministry, have always been targets. A major one is: "... this Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations and then the end will come". 

Perhaps it's no coincidence, then, that there is what could be called a puzzle about God's Kingdom and the Believers' inheritance among Believers.

Much of it is caused by conflicting preaching because of misreadings, mistakes and misunderstandings.

The most common example is "the Kingdom of God is within you". Another is the Kingdom "suffers violence" and another is about "pressing into" the Kingdom. Then there's the idea that Jesus is the embodiment of the Kingdom.

However, a thoughtful read of the particular scriptures in their contexts reveals straightforward meanings:

Example 1. "The Kingdom of God is within you," Luke 17'20-21.

The translators of the King James Version were partly responsible for this misrepresentation of a Greek word (they put the correct meaning in the margin).

And a famous pacifist Russian author popularised it further by making it the name of one of his books which is still on sale. The simple truth is that the Kingdom of God is not within anyone.

The first sentence sets the context. And the true rendering of the Greek word can only be "among" you. Listen to this conversation:

"Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, 'The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, "See here!" or "See there!"' For indeed, the kingdom of God is among you," Luke 17'20-21.

Firstly, these Pharisees were totally unsuitable for anything Kingdom. It could not be within them. Anyway, how could it have got there? And they didn't have to look for it because it was among them. Jesus was demonstrating it!

He was among them, therefore the Kingdom was in their midst. He represented the Kingdom of God. The authority and rule of God was right there in front of them.

Fortunately, most recently published Bibles use the phrase "in your midst". Nevertheless, it seems that it has yet to register fully and become accepted.

Example 2. "The kingdom of heaven suffers violence".

Speaking to the multitudes Jesus said on one occasion:

"... from the days of John ... until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force," Matthew 11'12.

Again, it's all about context. "Until now" refers to an end of a period. And as Jesus says, this idea was in vogue "from the days of John". But as soon as the Lord began preaching that "the Kingdom is at hand" it became obsolete.

In any case, this saying is totally inapplicable, or meaningful, today. It has no place in Jesus' New Covenant Kingdom teachings.

Example 3. "... everyone is pressing into it".

The context is this:

"... the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.

And He said to them, 'You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it'", Luke 16'14-16.

Jesus preached about the Kingdom of God and His listeners pressed into it. Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7 show people doing just that.

The idea of pressing into God's Kingdom teachings was then. Now, the Holy Spirit teaches that born again Believers are conveyed into the Kingdom of the Son of His love by the Father (Colossians 1'13).

That's why the preaching of "pressing into" does not apply today.


Next: God's Intention.