What is the Kingdom of God?
KINGDOM OF GOD, OF CHRIST, OF HEAVEN
Whenever the last phrase, drawn, probably, from Daniel, is used in the N.T., the word "heavens" is in the plural. These terms are nearly, if not exactly, synonymous, though emphasis may be laid at different times on different characteristics or points of time. Such emphasis is laid on, (1) a life of righteous allegiance to Christ, entered by faith, lived by love, and crowned with glory. Matt 6:33, etc.; (2) the condition of things Christ came to explain, Luke 1:13; Acts 1:3, and to bring on earth. Matt 4:17; (3) Christ's rule over Israel, Matt 21:13; (4) the rule that God offered or committed to Israel, Matt 21:43; 1 Chr 17:14; (5) the state of things in the history of the Church during the conflict on earth of the so-called kingdom of grace, preparatory to the kingdom of glory. Matt 13; (6) Christ's rule in spiritual and eternal righteousness over the redeemed earth, Rev 12:10, in contrast with the world-powers, Dan 7:18; then the kingdom will destroy and take the place of the four monarchies, Dan 7, and have its glorious manifestation; (7) the visible glory of Christ, Matt 16:28; (8) the rule of God the Father over earth and heaven, Matt 6:10; (9) the heavenly state. Matt 8:11. The kingdom of God is perfectly established in the heavens. Matt 6:10. The power and glory of the divine kingdom are shown in a measure in creation and providence. From the moral kingdom the earth has revolted. God re-established it in Israel, taking the kingship himself. Ex 19:6; Hos 13:10. He made the kingship visible in David, 1 Sam 16, and permanent in his family. Ps 89:20, Acts 20:28, Eze 23:36. The kingdom ceased as a visible power, with the loss of its inner spirit, when the nation lapsed and persisted in idolatry. The prophets foretold its restoration, Dan 2:7; Ps 2; Isa 2; Mic 4; Jer 23:5; Eze 34:23; John the Baptist came to announce it. Matt 3:2. Jesus Christ preached it. Matt 4:17; explained its character and demands, as, for instance, that its citizens must be holy, meek. Christlike, etc.. that when established it will be a condition of peace, purity, and glory, Matt 25:34; Mark 9:47; Acts 14:22; Christ came as the King to Jerusalem, Luke 19:38; comp. Luke 1:32, but was rejected, and took the kingdom from Israel. Matt 21:43. He taught its mysteries to the disciples, especially after his resurrection. Acts 1:3: and sent them forth to preach it. He declared that the time of its manifestation was known only to the Father. Acts 1:7. He laid the foundations of it on the day of Pentecost by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and rules it from his throne in heaven. The disciples went everywhere preaching the word of grace, 1 Thess 2:12, and persuading men to enter the kingdom by faith and holiness. Acts 8:12; Job 20:25; Acts 28:23. The kingdom is to be fully manifested at the coming of Christ, the Son of man. 2 Tim 4:1; Dan 7:13; Matt 13:43; Luke 22:29. At "the end" Christ is to deliver up to the Father the mediatorial kingdom that he received at his ascension, Eph 1:20, after having reigned and put down all rule, authority, and power, and all enemies under his feet, 1 Cor 15:24; and the kingdom of God, without distinction of persons, shall be complete and for ever. Heb 1:8. The Church is not the kingdom, though in some respects like it and preparatory to its full manifestation as a training school of saints. The members of the "invisible Church" are citizens of the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of God is the greatest of all institutions. Its King is God as (1) the universal Ruler: or as (2) the covenant God of a single nation called to keep alive the thought and fact of a divine kingdom; or as (3) the Mediator, Christ, redeeming and recognizing the revolted world, making manifest the kingdom of grace and power -- the first mainly to his friends, the latter to his enemies; or as (4) the victorious Son of man, Emperor of the ransomed earth; or as (5) God in the consummated kingdom of the heavens. The Holy Spirit explains and enforces the constitution of the kingdom, and enlightens, persuades, and enables men to enter it. The Bible is the history and prophecy of the kingdom. Citizenship begins with faith, its loyalty is love, its life is devotion to Christ and those who are Christ's. It is opposed by the chaotic kingdom of sin, darkness, and Satan. In a world as yet unredeemed the power of the kingdom is but dimly seen, but when all men are citizens, and Christ is manifest, and righteousness shall cover the earth, the kingdom shall be seen in its glory. The law of God is the common law of the kingdom; the Sermon on the Mount is its magna charta; the Gospels are its books of the King. The Acts of the Apostles shows the manner and method of those who used the Church and its powers to gather from a godless world those who were to be manifest in the revealed kingdom; the Epistles are the constitutional expositions, and the Apocalypse the prophetic history, of the triumphs, glory, and everlasting peace of the kingdom.
Bibliography Information Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'kingdom of god' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". bible-history.com - Schaff's