Jesus came to establish the Government of God

Jesus is king in the Kingdom of God. We miss the full implications of this wonderful statement, because we do not understand the role of a king. Real kingdoms no longer exist. Modern kings are wheeled out on special occasions, but they have no real authority in their kingdom. These rock star kings give a distorted view of kingship, because they are worshipped, but not obeyed.

In Jesus' time, a king wielded the same absolute authority as is exercised a modern government. To understand what Jesus meant by the word Kingdom, we should think about the authority of the modern state. There are no limits on what modern governments can do. They can legislate for every aspect of life and can levy taxes on any income or property. Modern governments have absolute authority. In Jesus time, the same absolute authority was held by kings and emperors.

In a world without kings, the Greek word translated as kingdom would be better translated as "government". Everyone in the modern world understands the concept of government. We would get a better understanding of what Jesus meant by the Kingdom of God by thinking of it as the Government of God.

If Jesus had come in our time, he would have announced that the Government of God is at hand. Using this expression sharpens his message.

The time has come.
The government of God is at hand.
Change your thinking and believe the good news (Mark 1:15).
I must proclaim the good news of the government of God to the other towns, (Luke 4:43).
He welcomed the crowds and spoke to them about the government of God (Luke 9:11).
Jesus travelled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the government of God (Luke 8:1).

In a world where most people are fed up with their government, an announcement of a new government is good news. The coming of a better government is extremely good news.

When we first hear the expression government of God, it seems odd. The thought of the Government of God expanding throughout the world sounds strange to our ears, but that was Jesus message. He announced that the Government of God is near and promised that it will expand until it fills the whole earth.

The Government of God is not good news for everyone. Many people will not be that comfortable with the idea of God exercising the authority of a modern government. However, God exercises authority in a different way to human kings. He does not enforce his authority, but waits on people to freely submit to him because they love him and want to obey him. When the Government of God has come, he will have authority over everyone, but it will be authority freely surrendered by people who love him.

Better Way

Political philosophers claim that government is necessary to bring peace and order in the world. Many Christians support this view. They agreed that life on earth would have been worse without government power. However, that claim is never proven, and history suggests that the opposite is true.

Human governments have failed totally in their efforts to provide peace and order for the world. They have done terrible evil throughout human history. Millions of people were killed and robbed by kings and their armies. Even more harm has been done by democratic governments. The most destructive wars in human history have occurred in the age of democracy.

We need a better way. Jesus began his ministry by announcing the good news that a new government had come (Mark 1:14-15). The gospel of the Government of God promises to transform society without war and political power. Hearts will be changed first. As people freely surrender to Jesus and obey his word and the leading of this Spirit, society will be transformed.

This book describes how a body of believers gathered in a neighbourhood can become a Kingdom Community. Kingdom Communities will be based on love and sharing. They will provide justice, support and protection for their community, without resorting to force and coercion or compulsory taxation.

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Political Power

In recent years, Christians have become fascinated by the idea of the kingdom of God. "Kingdom" is now the most popular adjective in Christian writing. Yet the political side of the kingdom has been strangely neglected. This is surprising, because a kingdom is a political institution and a form of government. Therefore, a right understanding of politics and government is critical for understanding of Kingdom of God.

The Old Testament tells the story of government. Jesus had a very staunch attitude to government. Before he ascended into heaven, he claimed all authority on earth and in heaven. Yet his followers have been confused about their attitude to politics and government.

This book explains how the Government of God can be established without hierarchy and control. The Holy Spirit He will transform the followers of Jesus into kingdom communities where God's perfect system of government can be established.

Government has three main essential responsibilities.

Modern governments have enormous power, but justice has become expensive and uncertain. Welfare is costly and ineffective. Military power has produced destructive wars, but no peace or security.

In the Government of God, Jesus will be judge, lawgiver and king (Is 33:22). His government will provide:

The fullness of the Government of God will be a massive challenge to the politicians and governments that dominate the modern world. No place will be left for human government. As God's plans come to fullness, existing governments will shrink away and be replaced by the Government of God.

Topics covered by the book include,

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The Author

Ron McKenzie is a Christian writer living in Christchurch, New Zealand. During the 1980s he served as the pastor of a church, but found that he could not manage to do everything that Jesus did. He has been employed as an economist but has recently retired. He is married with three adult children and six grand-children.

More Writing by Ron McKenzie at Kingwatch Books