All Bible quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
A Reminder About Some of the Points in Lesson 11
The Kingdom of God
When Christ returns - and an earlier study has shown this will be soon - His first work will be to raise the dead. “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12.2)
“According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” (1 Thess. 4:15-16)
The judgement will follow, and the reward of everlasting life will be given to the righteous who will then help with the government of the kingdom of God.
The Bible promises that the reign of Christ will see the end of the evils, which at present corrupt the world.
The Kingdom Of God - God’s Promise In The Bible Of Peace And Security
Daniel 2.44, “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a KINGDOM THAT WILL NEVER BE DESTROYED.. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.”
Matthew 21.42-44, “The STONE the builders rejected has become the CAPSTONE.... but he on whom it falls WILL BE CRUSHED.”
Acts 4.11, “THE STONE you builders rejected, which has become the CAPSTONE.”
THE ANGELS said at the ascension of Jesus,
Acts 1.11 “This SAME JESUS, who has been taken from you into heaven, WILL COME BACK IN THE SAME WAY you have seen him go into heaven.”
Matthew 6.9-10 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,YOUR KINGDOM COME, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
HABAKKUK prophesied 2.14
the earth will be filled with the KNOWLEDGE OF THE GLORY OF THE LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”
The Setting-up Of The Kingdom Of God
from God, Luke 1.33 "HE (Jesus) WILL REIGN ... for EVER, His KINGDOM WILL NEVER END.”
will be JESUS CHRIST, who said John 18.37 , “..for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world..”
(a) NATION OF ISRAEL - Luke 22v30 “I confer on you (twelve disciples) a KINGDOM, and sit on thrones, judging the TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL.”
(b) DOMINION of the WORLD. “THE ROCK became a HUGE MOUNTAIN and filled the WHOLE EARTH.” Daniel 2v35
city will be JERUSALEM, Psalm 122v3-5 “JERUSALEM is built like a city ... There the THRONES for judgment stand, the THRONES of the HOUSE OF DAVID.”
will be those MEN AND WOMEN who have been obedient to GOD in their lifetime,
Revelation 20v4 "I saw THRONES on which were SEATED THOSE who had been given authority to judge....They CAME TO LIFE and reigned with CHRIST a THOUSAND YEARS.”
will be those PEOPLE who remain alive after the judgements of GOD have finished. Daniel 7v14 “ALL PEOPLES, NATIONS AND MEN of EVERY LANGUAGE WORSHIPPED HIM.”
will be the Laws of God,
Isaiah 2v3 "The LAW will go out from Zion, the WORD OF THE LORD from Jerusalem.” (Not in heaven)
will be such that PEACE, HAPPINESS, PLENTY, SECURITY, LONG LIFE and GOOD HEALTH will be experienced by ALL. Read Isaiah 65v17-25 for a word picture of this time God has promised.
will be ONE for all.
Zephaniah 3v9 “Then will I PURIFY THE LIPS of the peoples, that ALL of them may CALL on the name of the LORD.”
will be ONE.
Revelation 14v6 "I saw another angel had the ETERNAL GOSPEL to PROCLAIM to those who live on the EARTH - to EVERY NATION, tribe, LANGUAGE and PEOPLE.”
Conditions In The Kingdom
There will be no oppression and no more war:
“He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor.” (Psalm 72.4)
“He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” (Isaiah 2.4)
The reign of the king will be righteous and just.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;” (Isaiah 11.3-4)
Sickness will be controlled and the curses of illness and disease will be removed:
“Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.” (Isaiah 35.5-6)
Many countries today suffer famine and thousands of people are dying daily from hunger. In that day there will be no famine. Springs of water in the desert will enable crops to grow where they cannot today.
“Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling spring.” (Isaiah 35.6-7)
“Let grain abound throughout the land; on the tops of the hills may it sway. Let its fruit flourish like Lebanon; let it thrive like the grass of the field.” (Psalm 72.16)
Finally, death itself will be destroyed: At the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ as King
“Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” This is at the very end of the Millennium, not before or during the Millennium. (1 Corinthians 15.24-26)
“He [God] will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21.4)
It is clear why this teaching about the kingdom of God is called the Gospel - we have learnt that the word means ’Good news.’
After his resurrection, Jesus sent his disciples out with these instructions,
"Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” (Mark 16.15-16)
It will be seen that baptism must follow a belief of the gospel. The verse continues -
“but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
On the day of Pentecost the apostle Peter spoke about the resurrection of Jesus and the hope of his Second Coming. The people who heard the address were moved by what they heard, and asked what they should do. They were told to repent and be baptised. To repent means, to change your mind - to make a fresh start.
“Those who accepted his message were baptized; ... They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2.41-42)
Notice the same order - Understanding and belief (that is, faith), followed by obedience in baptism. Then follows a continued effort by the believer to live his life in a way that pleases God.
Then the baptised Believer, who is spoken of as ’risen with Christ’, can wait confidently for the coming of the Lord.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3.1-4)
If, during the time of this waiting for Christ, the Believer does wrong, he knows that Jesus is a sympathetic advocate on his behalf, because he knows what temptation is like. In the Letter to the Hebrews, we are reminded that our High Priest was tempted in the same way as we are, although he was able to resist and did no sin.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4.15)
The Believer can be confident that his prayers will be heard.
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4.16)
The Gift Of God
We cannot manage by our own effort. It is only by the love and the mercy of God that we can obtain salvation through Christ. So the apostle Paul wrote,
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2.8)
“.. the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6.23)
The Next Step
You have now completed the twelve studies of Part 1 of this correspondence course. You have read in these studies a brief outline of what the Bible teaches about God and His purpose with the earth. You may be like some of the people of Athens, who listened to Paul and
“When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject.” (Acts 17.32)
In other words, they had been glad to listen, but were not very interested in continuing their studies.
You may be like the people of Berea that the apostle visited:
“.for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17.11)
To whichever group of people you belong, the purpose of God will still be fulfilled. Peter wrote that in the last days people would scoff at the idea of the return of Christ. Peter said that they mocked at the preaching of Noah, but when the appointed day came, the rain began. In the same way, whether people take notice or not,
”But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.” (when least expected) (2 Peter 3.9-10)
A Special Message For You
The apostle concludes this letter by saying that, as you know this,
“Therefore, ... what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives.” (2 Peter 3.11)
This question must be left to each individual student to answer. We trust that you will, “..make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” (2 Peter 3.14)
Relevant Passages For Bible Reading:
2 Peter 3