Jesus Introduces The Kingdom

The apostle Paul was, "... preaching the Kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him," Acts 28'31.


The Good News of the Kingdom of God was, and still is, the message of the Christ. But how relevant is it to Believers today? Genuine born-again Believers know that it has to be the greatest of all kingdoms. But how much is known about it or practiced? How is it to be understood? Who seeks it? Is it for the present age, or the future? Or is it something to be wished for every day as in "Your Kingdom come"?

To Jesus it was His priority, so He preached and spoke about it a lot. You may or may not remember, but He was still teaching His Disciples about it only days before He left for heaven. He led them through the final sessions of their three-year Kingdom orientation. And it's where Luke, inspired by the Holy Spirit, begins his historic work, that came to be called the Acts of the Apostles:

"The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God," Acts 1'1-3.

At the start of His public preaching Jesus declared it to all the people of Israel, loudly and clearly: “The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the good news” (Mark 1'15). His very first word regarding the Kingdom means change your mind!


The time had come, He said, the Kingdom of God is at hand, "near in time". So it shouldn't be surprising then that it became a reality only a few years later. It was at hand in two ways: Through Jesus in the way He lived it out and through His Called-Out People in the way they lived it out subsequent to the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Towards the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus prophesied that: “... this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations and then the end will come," Matthew 24'14. And that prophecy was echoed in His final words just before He ascended to heaven:

“... you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth,” Acts 1'8.

At this point the Apostles could have been unnerved at the enormity of the commission He had just given them. However, they knew they had the promise of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had already prepared them some time earlier by telling them that ...

“... when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you," John 16'13-14.

There was another very significant occasion earlier than that adds to His words of assurance. At that time the Father spoke. And what He said would have had great impact. It was during the time when Peter, James and John were with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Suddenly the Father spoke from heaven and said: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”. Those last two words resound down through time. They are as relevant today as they were then. (See Hear Him! on the Menu.)

"Hear Him"! means Jesus is first and foremost the Truth. He is the word of the Kingdom man. And that's what He said the Holy Spirit would do when He came: "He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you". Another very significant to note is that, in each one of His seven letters Jesus says: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says" (Revelation 2-3). Every born again person has the choice of doing just that.


Following Pentecost the Lord's Kingdom message had become the Apostles' message and therefore very important to them also. Should it be front and centre in importance today?

They, and later Paul, were crucial in the founding and forming of the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit inspired them and motivated them to preach and teach and write. The New Testament came into being and it conveys Christ's New Covenant Kingdom of God through the scriptures of Acts 1'1 to Revelation 3'22 and some from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

So what is the Kingdom of God then? Paul answers that question very clearly. He says: "... the kingdom of God is ... righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit".

Then he adds: "For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God," Romans 14'17-18.

In another place he says: "... whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ," Colossians 3'23-24.

The last two verses of the Acts of the Apostles show that from the Day of Pentecost onwards Christ and Kingdom teachings were front and centre:

"... Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him," Acts 28'30-31.


To answer the question that began this article: "What is the true Kingdom of God and how is it relevant today?" means looking to Jesus and what He said about it in His "Sermon on the Mount".  He said:

“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." (Matthew 6'9-10,13.)

It seems that what He says to them is a mirror reflection of His own manner. And a person's manner is their disposition, and it manifests in their behaviour. The Lord's manner, and therefore His behaviour, was about honouring His heavenly Father as father and final authority; and wanting His will to be done, His way. Understanding that it's only through His power, and not ours, that all things are achieved we realise that the glory goes to the Father and to Him alone.

So, Christ's New Covenant Kingdom of God came into being on the Day of Pentecost after Jesus was glorified in heaven (John 7'39). That Kingdom is the reality that He desires to be demonstrated on earth through His Called-Out People, every day.

The Kingdom articles on this website attempt to present that.


Next: "You Must Be".