What Is It?
When Will It Come?
In this series:
What Is God’s Kingdom?
WHAT was the theme of Jesus’ preaching? According to Jesus himself,
it was God’s Kingdom. (Luke 4:43) When
people listened to him speak, they surely heard many references to that
Kingdom. Were they puzzled or mystified? Did they ask him what this
Kingdom was? No. The Gospels record no such questions. So was God’s
Kingdom a familiar concept to those people?
The fact is, the ancient Scriptures that the Jews revered as holy
described that Kingdom, revealing in vivid and concrete terms what it is
and what it will accomplish. Today, we can learn even more about the
Kingdom in much the same way—by going to the Bible. Let us consider
seven truths that the Bible teaches us about the Kingdom. The first
three were readily available to the Jews of Jesus’ day and earlier. The
next three were revealed by Christ or by his apostles during the first
century. The last one has become apparent in our own time.
1. God’s Kingdom is a real government, one that will last
forever. The Bible’s first prophecy revealed that God would
send a rescuer to faithful mankind. Called the “seed,” this One would
undo the terrible ills that were set in motion by the rebellion of Adam,
Eve, and Satan. (Genesis 3:15)
Much later, faithful King David was told something thrilling about this
“seed,” or Messiah. He would rule over a Kingdom. This government would
differ from all others. It would endure forever.—2 Samuel
2. God’s Kingdom will put an end to all human governments.
The prophet Daniel was given a vision in which he saw a succession of
world powers, stretching down through history into our own time. Notice
the thrilling climax to that vision: “In the days of those [final human]
kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be
brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any
other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it
itself will stand to times indefinite.” So all the kingdoms, or
governments, of this world—with their wars, oppression, and
corruption—will be destroyed forever. As Daniel’s prophecy shows, God’s
Kingdom will soon rule over the whole earth. (Daniel 2:44, 45)
A concrete reality, it will remain the only government in existence.*
3. God’s Kingdom will end wars, sickness, famine, even death
itself. Thrilling Bible prophecies reveal what God’s Kingdom
will do here on the earth. That government will accomplish what no human
agencies have ever done or could ever do. Imagine—all weapons of war
destroyed forever! “He is making wars to cease to the extremity of the
46:9) No more doctors, hospitals, or disease of any kind. “No
resident will say: ‘I am sick.’” (Isaiah 33:24)
No more famines, food shortages, malnutrition, or starvation. “There
will come to be plenty of grain on the earth.” (Psalm 72:16)
No more funerals, wakes, cemeteries, morgues, or the misery that
accompanies them. Death, our relentless enemy, will be vanquished at
last. God “will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign
Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces.”—Isaiah 25:8.
4. God’s Kingdom has a Ruler chosen by God. The
Messiah is not self-appointed, nor is he selected by imperfect humans.
He is personally chosen by Jehovah God. The very titles Messiah and
Christ suggest as much. Both words mean “Anointed One.” So this King is
anointed, or designated for his special office, by Jehovah. God says of
him: “Look! My servant, on whom I keep fast hold! My chosen one, whom my
soul has approved! I have put my spirit in him. Justice to the nations
is what he will bring forth.” (Isaiah 42:1; Matthew
12:17, 18) Who knows better than our Creator what kind of Ruler we
5. The Ruler of God’s Kingdom has demonstrated his worthiness
before all mankind. Jesus of Nazareth proved to be the
foretold Messiah. He was born in the family line God had specified. (Genesis 22:18;
1:1) When on earth, he fulfilled scores of prophecies about the
Messiah that were recorded centuries earlier. He was also identified
from heaven as the Messiah. How so? Well, God spoke from heaven,
identifying him as His own Son; angels pointed Jesus out as the foretold
Messiah; and Jesus performed miracles—often in front of hundreds or
even thousands of eyewitnesses—that clearly drew on the power of God.# Jesus showed over and over again what kind of
Ruler he would be. He had not only the power to help people but the
desire as well. (Matthew 8:1-3)
He was unselfish, compassionate, courageous, and humble. The record of
his life on earth is there in the Bible for all to read.
6. God’s Kingdom has 144,000 corulers with the Christ.
Jesus said that others, including his apostles, would rule in heaven
with him. He called this group the “little flock.” (Luke 12:32)
Later, the apostle John was told that this little flock would total
144,000 in number. They would have a thrilling work assignment in
heaven, ruling as kings and serving as priests along with Christ.—Revelation 5:9,
10; 14:1, 3.
7. God’s Kingdom, now ruling in heaven, is poised to
establish its rule over the whole earth. This last truth is one
of the most thrilling we can learn. The Bible gives ample evidence that
Jesus has been granted his authority as King in heaven. He is ruling
there now, in our own time, and very soon he will extend his rule to all
the earth and fulfill the magnificent prophecies we have already
mentioned. But how can we be sure that God’s Kingdom is ruling now? And when will it
begin to rule over the earth?
Such prophecies as this one show that God’s Kingdom is not something
within our heart, as many have been taught.
Appeared in The Watchtower January