The Kingdom Study: Lesson 5 The Kingdoms are at Hand
In the previous lesson we looked at some of the different kings that God gave to rule over Israel. We saw that after Solomon’s death the kingdom of was divided into two different groups with both groups eventually going into captivity. Israel as a nation has lost the kingdom of Heaven and the Gentiles have control of it, but remember that it is still promised to the seed of Jacob through the tribe of Judah.
In Matthew 3:2 we see the forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ show up and his name is John the Baptist. Note that he is preaching that the kingdom of Heaven was at hand. It is also important to note that the baptizing for the remission of sins and to manifest Jesus Christ unto Israel (Luke 3:1-12 ; John 1:31).
Jesus follows shortly after and note that he is also preaching that the kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17) but he also preaches that the kingdom of God is at hand (Mark 1:15). As a matter of fact Jesus uses the two interchangeable sometimes throughout the gospels. Compare the following scriptures and note this;
1) Matthew 5:3 vs. Luke 6:20
2) Matthew 8:11 vs. Luke 13:29
3) Matthew 11:11 vs. Luke 7:28
This causes many to teach that the two kingdoms are the same but this is not correct they are connected but they are not the same. When Jesus Christ is on earth both kingdoms are at hand because the king of both of these kingdoms is present. Jesus as the son of God who is the Image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4) is the king of the Kingdom of God. Remember how that the Kingdom of God is connected with the image of God. This is why Adam is called the son of God in Luke 3:38 and why Jesus is referred to as the last Adam in 1 Corinthians 15:45-50. Jesus Christ as the son of David but not through the physical seed of Joseph is the rightful king to the Kingdom of Heaven. So when the Lord Jesus shows up on this earth both kingdoms are at hand because the king of both of these kingdoms is present. This is also shown in the titles of the Lord Jesus Christ in the gospels; he is called the Son of God which connects him with the kingdom of God and the Son of Man which connects him with the kingdom of Heaven.
The two kingdoms are not the same but they are connected. As a result of the death burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ a person is able to be born again and Jesus is telling Nicodemus this is John 3:1-8 even though it will until after his death. Note in verse 3 Jesus says that except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Then in verse 5 he says unless a man is born again he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Now according to Luke 17:20-21 you cannot see the kingdom of God. So what is Jesus talking about? When a person is saved in the church age they are born again spiritually and the image of God is restored unto them spiritually and they are called the sons of God. They are also put in to the kingdom of God spiritually. Now when Jesus Christ reigns on this earth during the millennial reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords as saved person from the church age can reign with him. Therefore we will be physically in the kingdom of Heaven reigning with Jesus but we will also be in the kingdom of God still which at that time will be on earth as we are in the image of God. Therefore in regards to when Jesus is reigning on earth during the millennium you will be able to see the kingdom of God. So even though now you cannot see it because it is within you, you will be able to then because we will be reigning in our glorified bodies.
In regards to Jesus being the king of the kingdom of Heaven we see that before he preaches that the kingdom of heaven is at hand in Matthew 4:17 we see that he is tempted of Satan three times. This is found for us in both Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13. Every man that had either kingdom was tested by Satan and lost but here we see the Lord Jesus Christ tested and instead of losing he defeats Satan all three times. Therefore we see that the temptation of the Lord Jesus Christ is not just about Jesus being tempted in regards to sin but it also has to do with the kingdoms, remember we said in the beginning that the kingdoms would be the main theme of the word of God.
The next important thing we see is in John 19:14-15 we have Israel rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ as being their king. They have already rejected God in 1 Samuel 8:7 and now they have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus is crucified which would have happened even if they had accepted him as we stated in the previous lesson and on the third day he rises from the dead which now makes the new birth possible and allows man to be put into the kingdom of God.
The Kingdom Study Lesson 5 : Handout
The Kingdoms are at Hand
1) Who was the forerunner of Jesus Christ and what did he preach?
2) What Kingdom did Jesus say was at hand? Give references.
3) List some of the places where the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God are used interchangeably.
4) What is the reason that they are used interchangeably?
5) How is the answer to #4 shown in the titles of the Lord Jesus Christ?
6) List 2 scriptures for Jesus being tempted just as Adam was tempted.
7) What was the outcome of Jesus being tempted?
8) What does Israel due concerning Jesus Christ and the kingdom? Give a reference.
9) What is the result concerning the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ in regards to the Kingdom of God?