[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
A Great Religious Deception
Believe it or not, Satan the Devil has deceived most of the churches of this world to virtually AVOID the very heart of Jesus Christ’s message to the world: The good news of the coming Kingdom of God! As a result, most who consider themselves “Christian” don’t even understand what the Kingdom of God is. If you want to defeat Satan’s plan to keep you in the dark, this edition of Tomorrow’s World is for you. Join us today as we answer the question the Devil wants you to ignore: “Just What Is the Kingdom of God?”
More to the Gospel Than Jesus?
Welcome to Tomorrow’s World! where we help you make sense of the world through the pages of your Bible.
Today, we are going to explain in plain and simple terms the Kingdom of God—a mystery which almost no one understands today, including those who call themselves Christians!
What is the Kingdom of God? Is it just a feeling in your heart? Is it the church or the collection of Christians throughout the ages? Is it only in heaven?
And why is it a mystery at all? Why is there such confusion over the Kingdom of God in the first place?
We’ll also be offering you a free resource that explains why today’s churches are in such utter confusion: It’s titled Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity. Keep an eye out for the information you need to get your free copy.
Constantly in the churches of the world or in videos online, you will find men and women preaching about JESUS—who they think He was, the story of His life as they understand it, the miracles He performed, some of the things He said or did, His crucifixion and resurrection.
It all SEEMS to make sense, and to be sure, Jesus Christ IS the savior of the world. It IS by His shed blood that we are forgiven our sins. But we have to ask ourselves: Is the message preached by these churches THE SAME MESSAGE THAT JESUS PREACHED?
As we’ll see in a moment, Jesus did not come to only talk about HIMSELF. The HEART AND SOUL of the message, preaching, and teaching of Jesus Christ was about the KINGDOM OF GOD! That might surprise some of you, because we don’t hear much about the Kingdom of God today. Yet it is mentioned around 150 times in the New Testament.
Let’s take a brief, but sweeping survey of the ministry of Christ and of His disciples, and see for ourselves.
In the book of Mark, chapter 1, we read of the very beginning of Christ’s ministry, right after the imprisonment of John the Baptist. Here in verses 14-15, Mark writes:
“Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the KINGDOM OF GOD is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Jesus came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
In fact, look at Jesus’ statement in the book of Luke. In chapter 4, Jesus makes a very explicit statement about His purpose and His mission—ABOUT WHY HE WAS ON EARTH IN THE FIRST PLACE! In verse 43 we read, “... He said to them, ‘I must preach the KINGDOM OF GOD to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.’” Jesus tells us that His PURPOSE, the VERY REASON HE WAS SENT BY GOD, was to preach about the KINGDOM OF GOD!
The Kingdom of God was so central to Jesus’ message to humanity—to you and me—that He told us that seeking that Kingdom should be the number one focus of our lives. Read it with me in Matthew 6:33:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
That same chapter of the Bible contains the famous passage commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer.” In that model prayer, Jesus mentions the Kingdom of God TWICE—at the beginning and the end. In fact, the four gospels are FULL of teachings and parables from Jesus ABOUT the Kingdom of God—so many we don’t have time on today’s program to read them all. Instead, let’s turn to a passage in the book of Acts that may surprise you.
Many people don’t know that the Bible says Jesus actually spent almost six weeks with His disciples before ascending to heaven to remain with His Father until His return—six weeks of teaching them and preparing them for their mission. And what did He focus on during that time? Acts 1:3 tells us that Jesus
“... 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.”
THAT’S how important the topic was to Jesus Christ!
And His disciples took His instruction seriously. Consider the famous Apostle Paul. Acts 14:22 pictures him speaking of the difficulty of entering the KINGDOM OF GOD. Acts 19:8 says he spent THREE MONTHS in the synagogues of the Jews “reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the KINGDOM OF GOD.” Acts 20:25 shows him testifying to Christians in Ephesus that he has been among them “preaching the KINGDOM OF GOD”—the list goes ON & ON & ON! At the VERY END of the book of Acts, we find Paul in a state of house arrest and receiving visitors. Acts 28 verses 30 & 31 tell us what he was doing there:
“Then 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.”
The testimony of the Bible is UNANIMOUS AND DEAFENING—the message of Jesus Christ and the message of His church MUST BE ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
If the Kingdom of God was at the heart of Jesus’ message, WHY do most people who consider themselves faithful Christians not hear about it more? Why do so many not even know what it is?
Because the Christianity we see around us today has been long corrupted by the Devil and influenced to ignore or change many vital and inspiring truths of God—including the truth about the Kingdom of God!
I know that might be shocking to hear, but it is unquestionably true. There is a reason the modern Christian church is shattered into a thousand pieces, all teaching doctrines and practices that differ in ways great and small from the teachings of the Bible: Satan the Devil has been working to corrupt Christianity from its beginning.
The Four Keys to the Kingdom
Men make the Bible complicated and confusing, but God is not the author of confusion! When God speaks plainly, why not simply take Him at His word instead of adding our OWN ideas to HIS TEACHINGS?
If we want to understand the Kingdom of God, we need to consider: What makes a kingdom a “kingdom”? By seeking that plain understanding—and allowing the Bible to answer our questions—we can cut through the Devil’s confusion to see the beautiful, simple truth.
When we consider it carefully, we find that FOUR ELEMENTS make up every kingdom, including the Kingdom of God:
(a) King,Territory, Laws, and Subjects.
Looking to the Bible’s insights with these four elements of a kingdom in mind will reveal the answer to today’s question—and reveal the Kingdom of God.
Let’s first consider the KING. It may come as no surprise to you that the KING of the future Kingdom of God will be Jesus Christ! He will LITERALLY RULE THE WORLD!
People often get sentimental about the words of Isaiah 9 in verses 6–7, but they rarely actually look at what it SAYS. Let’s read it together.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the GOVERNMENT will be upon His shoulder.”
Now pause for a moment. Did you catch that? The GOVERNMENT will be upon His shoulder! The first part of the verse is not a metaphor, why would this be one? Jesus Christ was born to GOVERN!
“And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His GOVERNMENT and peace there will be no end, upon the THRONE of David and over His KINGDOM, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
King David ruled in Jerusalem, over a REAL Kingdom. So, too, CHRIST will rule in Jerusalem, over a REAL Kingdom—but this time, a Kingdom without end. He will be exactly what He’s called in Revelation 19:16, “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
But He will not be ruling alone. For instance, Matthew 19:28 tells us His twelve apostles will be ruling under Him in the Kingdom, judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Even more than that—EACH AND EVERY CHRISTIAN who has suffered and struggled in this world to overcome sin and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ will DIRECTLY RULE THE WORLD UNDER CHRIST, AS WELL!
So many verses speak of this future. Daniel 7 verses 18 and 27 talk of the Kingdom being given to God’s people. Revelation 20 and verse 6 speaks of the saints reigning with Christ for 1,000 years.
Turn to 1 Corinthians 6 and verse 2, where Paul talks of the reign of the future glorified Christians very plainly:
“Do you not know that the saints will judge the WORLD? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?”
JUDGE THE WORLD? JUDGE ANGELS? What an INCREDIBLE DESTINY ahead for the true followers of Jesus Christ!
The reward of the saved is NOT a heavenly retirement home—it is RULING TOMORROW’S WORLD in GLORY under JESUS CHRIST!
Here we see the second element of a Kingdom: The TERRITORY. The saints will rule the world under Christ—that’s THIS world, not Heaven, or some fuzzy, feel-good Kingdom in your heart! I know it’s hard to “unlearn” some things, but shattering the deceit of the Devil to learn the REAL TRUTH of Jesus’ message is worth it!
And the truth is plain for those willing to read and believe their Bibles. True Christians can proclaim the clear words of Revelation 5 and verse 10, and will say, “[You] have made us KINGS and PRIESTS to our God; and we shall REIGN ON THE EARTH.”
It doesn’t GET more straightforward than that! Those who follow Christ NOW shall REIGN ON THE EARTH! And earlier in Revelation, in chapter 2 and verses 26 and 27, Jesus encourages us: “And he who overcomes, and keeps my works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron….’”
“Power over the nations” means authority ON THIS EARTH!
Is Jesus LYING to us? Is He saying something He doesn’t really mean? Satan would have you believe that. Why can’t people just trust the Bible for WHAT IT SAYS?
One World Government Possible Under God!
Today, we are unlocking the Mystery of the Kingdom of God, and we are doing so by simply believing the Bible for what it says.
In our last segment, we highlighted that those who follow Jesus Christ will rule the world alongside Him, which may be a bit of a surprise to many of you who simply expected Christians to simply die and go to heaven. But, if you think about it, the truth of the saints’ coming world rule has been in front of you all the time, right in your Bible. Even many atheists are familiar with Jesus’ promise recorded in Matthew 5:5 The meek shall inherit the earth. There are so many verses we are skipping for the sake of time, but I want to ask you—aren’t some of these verses and passages beginning to make sense? Jesus really DID mean what He said! The meek are going to LITERALLY inherit planet Earth. When we sweep away the Devil’s ideas and embrace the plain truth of the Bible, so MUCH becomes clear.
Let’s continue. We’ve covered the first two elements of every kingdom—including the Kingdom of God: A KING, and TERRITORY. Let’s now look at the third element every kingdom possesses: A collection of LAWS.
The Bible is clear from beginning to end that the future Kingdom of God will be ruled by the Laws of GOD, embodied in the TEN COMMANDMENTS!
So many sincere but CONFUSED pastors, preachers, and priests will tell you that Jesus somehow DID AWAY with His Father’s commandments, but this simply IS NOT SO! For example, you can read for yourself in Matthew 19:16-17 how Christ replied when a young man came to Him asking to receive eternal life. Jesus answered, “If you want to enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS.”
Many prophecies speak of Christ’s reign on earth and how the LAW OF GOD will form the basis of that reign. For instance, Isaiah 2 verse 3 tells us, “For out of Zion shall go forth the LAW, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”
In fact, if we take a look at the larger passage there in Isaiah 2, we see the fourth element every kingdom possesses: SUBJECTS. The subjects of Jesus reign will comprise the entire world. Let’s read the larger passage, beginning in verse 2: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and ALL NATIONS shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the LAW, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (vv. 2–3).
Zechariah 14 tells us that this globe-covering reign will take some time, since some will refuse at first to be subjects of this Kingdom and come under the laws of God. But those nations will find that resisting this new world ruler is harder than they imagined.
For instance, when the glorified Jesus Christ calls for all the nations of the world to keep the biblical Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, some nations will apparently resist. Zechariah records that Christ will not take such refusals lightly. “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain” (vv. 16–17).
With the new King of kings controlling nature itself, it will not be long before all the world learns to submit. And they will learn that resisting only postponed the blessings that come from yielding to a loving God.
The result of Jesus Christ’s reign over the entire world‚ and the people of the world, will be the kind of world we have always wanted—one of peace and prosperity. As recorded in Isaiah 2,
“He [that is, Christ] shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (v. 4).
Completely understanding the mystery of the Kingdom of God and the role it plays in salvation—the heart of the real gospel of Jesus Christ—has changed more lives than I can count. And it is only the start of a beautiful journey of walking fully and closely with God.
You Can Start Living God’s Way NOW
We’ve been explaining the simple truth of the Kingdom of God: That it isn’t a matter of living among the clouds of heaven, or a “feeling in your heart,” or the church. Rather it is a REAL KINGDOM, with a King, Jesus Christ; ruling a Territory, the entirety of planet Earth; possessing Laws, the Ten Commandments and the Laws of God; and reigning over Subjects, the people and nations of the entire world. Regardless of how much the Devil seeks to obscure this truth, it is at the VERY HEART AND SOUL of the message that Jesus Christ brought to this earth.
Jesus has commissioned us to preach about the Kingdom of God—not merely a gospel ABOUT Jesus, or about His person or about His life, but the Gospel OF JESUS! And we here at Tomorrow’s World are devoted to doing just that.
In fact, you can see the mission of Tomorrow’s World reflected in Christ’s prophecy, recorded in Matthew 24:14:
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
And that gospel of the kingdom, along with the whole counsel of God that goes with it, is what we strive to deliver to you at Tomorrow’s World, week after week. The world that Jesus Christ will establish at His return, and that will spread to cover the entire earth, will truly be amazing beyond comprehension. His saints will rule with Him for a thousand years, reigning in power and glory alongside their Savior, and finally teaching the world all the truths that have been hidden by Satan the Devil for so long, including the remarkable purpose of man, and the way of life that truly leads to true life.
But you don’t have to wait until the return of Jesus Christ to begin experiencing the benefits of the Kingdom of God. You can begin to enjoy them, to some degree, in your life NOW. I know that there are people all over the world watching this program right now—I know because so MANY of you write to us each week and request our literature or to visit with one of our ministers. God IS calling some of you listening to this message today to understand more of His truth, and if God is calling you, you need to ACT!
You can begin a completely new and more dynamic walk with God right now! Psalm 34:8 tells us to “taste and see that the LORD is good” and you can begin doing that today! If anything in our messages here at Tomorrow’s World has begun to prod you to consider that there is more to the Bible than you realized, and that there is more to God’s way of life than you had previously imagined, feel free to contact one of our representatives. You can find a minister near you on our website at TomorrowsWorld.org or reach out to one of our Regional Offices, listed in our magazine, which you will receive with today’s free offer. If you have questions, we want to help with God’s answers.
Those who will be ruling with Jesus Christ after His return, making this planet the beautiful, peaceful paradise that God always intended it to be, will be those who learn to let Him rule their hearts and minds NOW. Those who rule WITH Him THEN, will be those who are willing to BE ruled BY Him NOW.