Friday, 19 of January of 2018

The Church Is The Kingdom



A LOT OF CONFUSION exists because various religious groups do not understand this simple, straightforward, elementary constituent of God’s plan. There is confusion over prophecy and more importantly about salvation. Salvation is in the church or kingdom set up by Christ. The saved are in the church and absolutely nowhere else.

The Church is the Kingdom and without this knowledge there are many serious false doctrines and indeed costly to your soul! As you will see this is not difficult to understand and God provides great clarity. Interestingly, few realize that false teaching regarding the kingdom is the backbone of a series of damaging doctrines.

Clarifying: Men/Women think of the church as an organization of people under one name meeting in a particular location. Such a place exists in scripture and is the local church defined in terms of organization and purpose. Those in the Body of Christ would participate in a local group consisting of others who have also obeyed the gospel. This is the local “physical” church. Their mission is to evangelize, carry on Christ’s purpose of seeking and saving the lost. The church, the kingdom referred to on this page is as Jesus said Not Of This World whereas the local church is physical (of this world) having members that are “in Christ’s spiritual body.” People today automatically hear church and think of some building, some earthy organization. The church as the kingdom is not understood largely because of this misconception. The churches, even those who teach the truth have people who are members that may or may not be in the kingdom at any one moment. So, when Jesus hands over the kingdom (His spiritual body) to the Father at the end of the world He is not handing over some building, some local group but handing over those in His spiritual body – the kingdom/His church.

Understanding this should help us to realize that not just any church that says it is Christian is acceptable. Salvation occurred due to breaking down the wall of sin that exists between God and man, specifically between God and you as we talk about YOUR salvation. It occurs by having past sins forgiven according to God’s instructions and is possible because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Salvation then making you a child of God, bringing the hope of heaven and the responsibilities associated with the blessing.

Also very importantly, we are in the last age. There is no other kingdom to come other than our final destination, which will be either heaven or the place of the lost. At some point in time and only the Father knows the time, The End Will Come. There will be no rapture (as used by premillennialists), no tribulation and no one-thousand-year reign of Christ on earth; but Jesus will be handing over the kingdom to the Father or, as we are discussing here, Jesus handing over the church to God the Father. Those whom Jesus hands over will have attained eternal life (heaven).

Now we will see why the Kingdom has come and it is the church.

First, Jesus came of age and began His preaching. Jesus initiated His public ministry in Galilee. We see Him immediately preaching as recorded in:

  • Matthew 4.17: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,”
  • Mark 1.15: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand . . .”
  • Later in Mark 9.1, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”
  • After Christ’s death and just before He ascended into heaven, He speaks of the kingdom and the apostles receiving power (Acts 1.3-8).
  • The kingdom indeed comes with power in Acts 2. Later Paul, writing to the Christians at Colosse, says, “He [God] has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”

God was very careful in preparing for the coming of the church, essentially from Genesis. What follows in the table below is a very brief summary of prophecy regarding the church as the kingdom and its fulfillment in the New Testament. It provides the indicated time and place for the kingdom and the respective fulfillment during Roman rule and in the city of Jerusalem. There was to be a king, who is, of course, Jesus Christ. We see the King receiving His kingdom and ruling over it at the right hand of God as predicted. There is a new covenant, and the promise of the Spirit coming with power was central to the events of Acts 2. To have a good understanding of the kingdom, we need to see it as God would, that is, in terms of its spiritual nature. The Jews were unable to see the kingdom in a spiritual sense since they were looking for a worldly kingdom. Today many, who would like to be Christians fail to see the church as the kingdom and, like the Jews, continue to wait for the kingdom instead of becoming a part of the kingdom by obeying the King.

Old Testament prophecies/promises related to the kingdom
and their fulfillment in the New Testament


Therefore, do we have a kingdom today and ever since Acts 2? If we had a kingdom, it would have the following characteristics:

1. A KING: That king is Jesus, the Son of God per Luke 1.33. Jesus at the end of the age will deliver the kingdom to God the Father. Jesus must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet.

2. A TERRITORY: It is a spiritual territory, a spiritual kingdom. John 18.36, Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world,” and Luke 17.31, Jesus says, “For indeed the kingdom of God is within you”

3. SUBJECTS: Everyone should be a subject. Jesus died for all (Acts 28.20); Philippians 2.9-11 says every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and Romans 5.8 says God’s love was shown while we were still sinners. Christ died for everyone. But only those who obey (Hebrews 5.8, 9) and are baptized (Galatians 3.26, 27), obeyed from the heart (Romans 6. 16, 17), called by the Gospel (2 Thessalonians 2.14), begotten (born) through the Gospel (1 Corinthians 4.15) will be added to the kingdom, the church.

4. A LAW: The New Testament: Hebrews 9.15-17 says the New Covenant is in effect since Jesus’ death:
The Law of Christ: Galatians 6.2
Laws on their hearts: Hebrews 10.16: “I will put My laws into their hearts.”
Gospel/scripture: Romans 16.25, 26: “For obedience to the faith”

Beginning with Jesus’ preaching the kingdom, this series of events culminate in the establishment of the kingdom, the church:

  • Jesus preaches the kingdom of God is at hand.
  • Jesus is crucified
  • He dies, is buried, and is resurrected
  • Jesus appears to the disciples after His death and, shortly thereafter, ascends before them into heaven. Jesus on that occasion provides the apostles instructions in preparation for the coming of the kingdom.
  • The apostles wait for the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.
  • The fulfillment of Joel 2.28-32 occurs in Acts 2.
  • The truth is preached and obeyed for the first time.
  • Those obedient to the Gospel are added to the church, the kingdom.

The following scriptures allow you to follow the events from the appearance of Jesus after His Death to the kingdom’s establishment. After Jesus’ death, in Luke 24.44-49, Jesus appears to the disciples. All that God has planned in Christ was completed. He has opened the doors. God has done His part. What will be man’s response? What are men being asked to do?

Luke 24.44-49: Jesus opens their understanding

44  Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”
45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the scriptures.
46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,
47 “and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem
48 “And you are witnesses of these things
49 “Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high”

Then in Acts 1.3: About the kingdom of God

(This is a continuance of Luke 24.44-49)

3 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.

Now in Acts 1.8: Power received when Holy Spirit comes Jesus is more specific relative to the power from on high mentioned in Luke 24.49.

8 But 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 2.1-13: Power from on High

The events of Acts 2 begin with the apostles gathered together on the day of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit coming as promised with power.
The power included the ability to speak in various languages or tongues. The apostles spoke the languages of the various groups gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost. They were speaking the truth. This was what God wanted delivered, and on this first day of the kingdom, it was to be delivered with power. The apostles before this time did not know what to say or what God was going to require.

Verse 36 is the conclusion of verses 14-35. Peter over these verses describes the part this day plays in God’s plan. He explains that what is happening right then is the fulfillment of Joel 2.28-32. Peter tells in detail how Jesus was the Messiah, ending by saying:

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Acts 2.37-39: What shall we do?
Those hearing this were “cut to the heart.” Peter and the apostles are asked, what shall we do? They are told to:

38 repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2.40-47: People obey; God adds them to the church

41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized.
47 And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

These are the basics. Every Christian ought to understand how God unfolded His plan for man. This is what Christ died for, for you! He suffered terribly and died so you could have the opportunity to be obedient to the Gospel. The power God promised came miraculously providing the apostles with the ability to speak in different languages known to the listeners and accurately deliver the truth.
Now for the first time people knew exactly what to do. Men did not invent the process, but it was what God planned from the beginning for your salvation. If you do not become part of the kingdom, the church belonging to Christ while you are alive in the body, you will not be part of the kingdom that Jesus will deliver in the end to His Father.

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