The Kingdom of God is God’s total order, expressed as realm and reign, in the individual and society; and which is to replace the present unworkable world order with God’s absolute heavenly order in the individual and in society. While the nature of the Kingdom is social the entrance into it is by a personal new birth now, and the character of that kingdom is seen in the character of Jesus—the Kingdom, therefore, is Christlikeness universalized.
The Kingdom of God is the entire purpose of God and therefore is now God’s total answer to man’s total need! Does the modern church preach the Kingdom as it moves among men? Fragmentarily, yes. As a head-on, total answer—NO!
This is the center of the church’s “weakness.” We have no absolute from which to face all the relativisms of today. We face relativisms with relativisms and end up relatively confused and paralyzed and frustrated. Does the Church desire to be relevant? Then let it cease to give itself to worn out relativisms that die almost before they are birthed (including the constitution of the United States or the charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada). And let her return to her absolute—the kingdom of God—and make the gospel of the Kingdom the master light of all her seeing and seeking and acting, and almost overnight the Church will be relevant on all fronts, personal and social, individual and collective— totally relevant!
Is it too good to be true? It is too good NOT to be TRUE! Is there any alternative on the horizon— capitalism, socialism, communism, secularism, spiritualism, atheism, agnosticism, or nihilism? Eat, drink, and be merry? Every man for himself and let the devil take the hindmost? What about the status quo? Should we be stoic and accept things as they are? Do we revolt, instigating a revolution, but with no adequate or suitable replacement? But why prolong the agony and the emptiness? There is simply no adequate alternative to the kingdom of God as proclaimed by and illustrated in the person of Jesus Christ! If God or man has a better alternative, let them trot it out, for nature and man are crying out for that alternative. I don’t believe there is any alternative to the Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person.
So behind the rise of man is the Son of man, and behind the Son of man is the kingdom of God, of which he is the embodiment. So love and law are one in him and his Kingdom, and when put together it all adds up to sense—total and final sense as well as total and vital reality!
~ E. Stanley Jones – The Unshakable Kingdom and The The Unchanging Person
There are basically three views of the kingdom of God among Christians today.
1. One view says that the kingdom equals heaven. According to this view, Christians are waiting to escape this dirty little, plague-ridden planet called Earth to be in a better place. Advocates of this view believe this “better place” is the kingdom of God or “heaven.” and all who believe in Jesus, and “accept Him as their personal savior, are assured of entrance into the kingdom of heaven when they die.
2. Another view says that the kingdom equals God’s miraculous power to cast out demons, heal the sick, and raise the dead. Those who advocate this view talk a great deal about “doing the work of the kingdom,” which for them means displaying the supernatural power of God here and now on the planet.
3. Still another view says that the kingdom equals the alleviation of poverty and the implementation of social justice. Advocates of this view talk about “building the kingdom” or “doing kingdom work.” By those terms they mean striving for peace and justice in order to make the world a better place.
All of these views are held in tension with one another and are hotly debated in the “echo-ee” halls of Christendom. And each can find various verses in the Bible to support their perspective. But they all fall short of the full scriptural understanding of the kingdom of God.
The primary and most fundamental principle of The Kingdom of God is effective, internal self-governance. If every human being found the means to properly control (have dominion over) their own thoughts, motives and actions, in a fully righteous manner, in all situations, decisions and matters, the world would be as heaven on earth. The dominion of earth would be properly fulfilled by man at every level.
History bears witness to the sad reality that fallen, sinful man is entirely incapable of such inner self control or governance. Hence, the Great God and Creator of this earth has a better plan, and the same divine and immutable laws that govern the universe must be written in the hearts and minds of man before dominion of this earth can be returned to him.
However, the glorious truth and reality is that Jesus Christ, THE KING, embodies EVERYTHING; He embodies the whole law, He embodies the Kingdom (Government of God), because He IS the Way, the Truth and the Life!
Everything is in the King, and all who bow their knee to Him will enjoy, proclaim, embody and demonstrate the Kingdom of heaven in the earth. No human government is greater than the people in it. Every human government falls short because the people look to a perceived authority external to themselves, to fight their battles and deliver them from their enemies, rather than inwardly to effectively govern themselves in a righteous manner.
We only really benefit from, or enjoy His Kingdom in the measure that we, individually and corporately, embrace the parameters, principles, values, and laws of the Kingdom. We live and walk in the authority of the King in the measure that we are demonstrably yielded to His lordship and are governed by His divine rule in our own lives. This is the fulfillment of the New Covenant within His people.
“FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL IMPRINT MY LAWS UPON THEIR MINDS [even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding], AND ENGRAVE THEM UPON THEIR HEARTS [effecting their regeneration]. AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. (Hebrews 8:10 Amp)
This is why the Gospel of The Kingdom is “transformative”, because Christ is much more than our Savior, He is LORD and KING. When we look entirely to Him, with the express intent to become like Him and BE His expression in the earth, we are transformed. This is the promise and the power of the new covenant.
So… “The Kingdom of God is within, for Life is within. That is a principle so simple and yet so powerful that any child should be able to understand it. While this Kingdom is established within, it makes itself felt and visible without. Finding its subjects in people, it makes its laws be obeyed in all our doings. It takes possession of every department of activity, of every region of everyday life. These external things, are they our doings? Our relationships with others, the way we do our work, how we spend our leisure, the things we seek after in life, are they not all outward expressions of our inner being? Then if the Kingdom of God BE in us, it will find expression there. As it is impossible for any great earthly dominion to be solitary, uninfluential, but is effective, is imitated, and must mold others; so it is impossible for this Kingdom of God to be side-by-side with worldly influences and not change, alter, reverse, transform, or some way influence them.
Just as He is The Light so “Ye are the light of the world.”
Just as it is impossible to carry a light through a dark room and not eliminate the darkness, confining as it were the light to the flame, so is the manner of the Kingdom’s increase, and it will grow until there is no room left for any opposing dominion, in us or in the earth at large. The little Rock (Christ the Head) becomes a great mountain (Christ the body – Zion) that fills the whole earth. All powers and dominions shall ultimately and eventually serve and obey Him.
The Son of God has brought this light of life into our lives, and the sons of God shall bring it to all creation, praise the name of the Lord! Just as the Son of God delivered us from the domain of darkness, sin and death into the kingdom of God, so also the Sons of God, shall bring His kingdom into the earth.
Just as Jesus was the express image of the Father, and manifested the heart of The Father, so the sons of God manifest the heart and mind of the King Who is ever merciful, compassionate, and sensitive to the needs of the lowly and downtrodden, but is also unwaveringly just in His dealings with all who oppress the weak and vulnerable.
For… “He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
(James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5)
Death to All Other Allegiances
If you were living in Century One and you were baptized, this is what you were saying through that dramatic act: “I am a male/female. I am addicted to this or that. I am a Hindu/Muslim/Catholic/Protestant/etc. I’m a citizen of [your country]. I am a Jew/Gentile/American/Canadian/etc. I am Communist/Republican/Democrat/etc.
But here I am. I’m about to die. And the person I am NOW will cease to exist. It is not that I’m going to change and give up my associations. It’s that the man [the woman] that I am is going to die.
You were also saying,
“I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. I believe He died for my sins and rose again from the dead. I believe He ascended into heaven, and He is now the Lord of the world. So I’m finished with the old world. Take me out to the graveyard and bury me. All of my allegiances will be buried with me, and I will rise out of the water as part of a new creation, a new nation, a new kingdom where Jesus is King.”
Once you emerged out of that watery grave, you came up a new creature who didn’t belong to the old creation (you are no longer human). Out of the water emerged a citizen of the new people of God, a new nation called Ekklesia—the physical and visible headquarters of the kingdom of heaven. Those who repented, believed, and were baptized in the name of Jesus in Century One belonged to a new world with a totally different set of values from the old world. Their life as they knew it had ended, and they were as those who had risen again from the dead to live for the new King of the world.
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. . . . Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.
(Romans 6:3–4, 13 NIV)
The baptized person may still be involved in the political process, but politics no longer defines him. Nor does race or social status. She may still be involved in the political/educational system, but she’s no longer influenced by it (quite the opposite – in the measure that she brings a Kingdom perspective to every matter, is the measure in which she will influence it and the people in it!)
The baptized person no longer pays allegiance to any religious, political or educational flag of this world. This is how the early Christians understood baptism. It was a total and final ending. A burial. Their past was gone, forgiven, and forgotten. They were now part of a new civilization headed up and led by almighty God Himself, and they have cast their lot (“vote”) with Him (Jesus Christ) and His Party (the Ekklesia).
~ Frank Viola – INSURGENCE
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. Jesus Christ is the context and meaning of Scripture; his work of redeeming the image and likeness of God in human form is what the Bible is all about. (Col 1:13-15 NASB).
He reveals that there is no place in the universe where God would rather be; the fullness of Deity physically resides in Him. Jesus proves that human life is tailor-made for God. He mirrors our completeness. (While the expanse cannot measure or define God, his exact likeness is displayed in human form. The human being frames the most complete space for Deity to dwell in. (See Col 1:19 & Col 2:9,10)
~ THE MIRROR Bible by Francois du Toit
“At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26:9 NASB)
If there is one lesson every son of God needs to learn it is this: One must not, yea, cannot, utilize the strength or wisdom of the flesh or the ways of the world to promote and build the Kingdom of God! This is the third temptation, the final test for every son of God. It is confidence in the flesh that motivates men to busily and craftily work for God rather than seeking the Lord until He works.
If we don’t reign in the Kingdom of God for another million years, we must wait in faith and patience for God to work. It is Self-doing what only the Spirit can do; it is the Soul taking the lead, in the hope that the Spirit will second its efforts, instead of trusting the Holy Spirit to lead and to do all, and then waiting on Him. Oh, brethren, how we need to watch this! I would rather spend my whole life doing nothing while waiting upon God, than to do anything in the strength of the flesh, becoming a devil worshipper. All that is not of the Spirit is merely the carnality of man — soulish. It has no place or reward in the Kingdom of God.
THE MESSAGE puts it this way…
 God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.
 We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels-everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
 He was supreme in the beginning and, leading the resurrection parade, He is supreme in the end. From beginning to end He’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in Him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe-people and things, animals and atoms-get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
 You yourselves are a case study of what He does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of Him, giving Him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving Himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.
There is no other Message-just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.
 There’s a lot of suffering to be entered into in this world-the kind of suffering Christ takes on. I welcome the chance to take my share in the church’s part of that suffering. When I became a servant in this church, I experienced this suffering as a sheer gift, God’s way of helping me serve you, laying out the whole truth.
 This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me (Paul the Apostle).
~ Colossians 1:13-26 MSG
THE COST OF ENTERING THE KINGDOM
You do not make a man a member of this Kingdom by baptizing him, enrolling him among the adherents of a Church, or by calling him a Christian. A man may be saved by simple faith in Jesus, but one does not enter the Kingdom that way. Men must have their hearts changed, their natures transformed, their allegiance turned. They must be willing to render glad obedience to their Father, Lord and King before they become members of this Kingdom. If force was the method of His Kingdom then Charlemagne (Charles the Great) and the Roman Catholic Church during the Dark Ages were on the right track when they compelled men to accept Christianity and burned heretics for the salvation of their souls.
Force may increase the numbers of a sect, it cannot add one to the membership of the Kingdom. The sword may compel a man to change his name; it can never compel him to change his heart. Oh, no; it is not by the sword that God’s Kingdom will come, not by a literal sword out of the mouth of the Christ and certainly not in the hands of over-zealous Christians!
~ Frank Viola – INSURGENCE
These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”
(Revelation 17:14 NASB)
Yes — the Kingdom of God is within you. Do you yearn, as I do, to see the muck of television and the mire of movies cleaned up, politics made honest and honorable, sexual relationships sanctified, the divorce rate reduced to zero, education employed as an instrument to glorify God, and a thousand other glaring ills of society cured?
In light of the craziness of the COVID-19 pandemic someone sets forth this as the only solution which is in total alignment with the gospel of the Kingdom, but the key is to know from where do we find the grace, the faith, the courage and the power to truly take full personal responsibility?
“You cannot medicate, vaccinate or legislate a population out of poor health or unhealthy lifestyles, personal responsibility for one’s own health is key to ending this pandemic and all future ones”.
There is only one way! The rule of God in the hearts of men will transform society in all its relations from the bottom up!
The new order of the reign of God works from the inside outward for the renewal and transformation of every department of earthly existence. From the power of the Kingdom goes forth a regenerating power into art, culture, philosophy, politics, commerce, education, science, literature, economics and social programs, and when all these areas have been brought under the control of God’s nature reproduced in men, the Kingdom of God has come in the earth.
None of these objectives can be attained through legislation or coercion, but only by regeneration and transformation. The principle is as clear as it is certain — the Kingdom of God is within you! When God reigns in a man’s life, all of the relations of his life are brought within the sphere of the Kingdom. Your home should be a Kingdom home, with Christ influencing and controlling all its relationships and activities. Your business should be a Kingdom business, not conducted by the spirit and standards of the world, but after the spirit of divine love and righteousness. Your school should be a Kingdom school. Your church should be a Kingdom church, for the Kingdom is greater than the church. Your city should be a Kingdom city. Your state should be a Kingdom state. Your nation should be a Kingdom nation. Your government should be a Kingdom government. And planet earth must become a Kingdom planet.
The outer, natural world must be brought under the dominion of the inner, spiritual world. If heaven doesn’t come to earth then the Lord’s prayer is never answered, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” However, it is happening to us, in us and through us, right now as our bodies and souls are brought under the dominion of the life of the indwelling Spirit!
~ Preston Eby – The Kingdom of God Series