As the church has retreated from the world, it has also lost its hope for the victory of the kingdom of God. But God is in control of this universe, and he has promised that his kingdom will be victorious. Jesus likened the kingdom to a mustard seed, which is small, but grows into a mighty tree.

The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants with big branches (Mark 4:31-32).
As the rule of God spreads like leaven through the whole of society, the Kingdom of God becomes mighty and powerful.

Jesus promised that the meek would inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). The meek are those who are submitted totally to God. As God's people submit to him, his kingdom will spread throughout the whole earth. It is because Jesus knew that God would fulfil this promise that he taught us to pray: Thy kingdom come. Jesus taught this prayer because he knew that the kingdom of God would eventually come in all its fullness.

There is a good description of the glory of the kingdom in Daniel 7. Daniel saw the Ancient of Days seated on a throne like flaming fire and surrounded by millions of angels. This is God the Father ruling over the whole of creation. Then Daniel saw,

In my vision at night I looked, there before me was one like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed (Dan 7:13,14).
This is not the second coming as Jesus comes on the clouds into the Father's presence. (If it were the second coming, he would be going the other way.) Daniel saw a vision of the ascension of Jesus. He went into the presence and received authority and sovereign power. He sat down at the right hand of the Father and received the Kingdom of promise (Eph 1:20-23). Daniel then saw a later stage of the coming of the Kingdom. He saw the Kingdom being established by God's people.

Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole of heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the most high. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him (Dan 7:27,28).

Daniel saw the people of God taking up the power and authority that Jesus would establish for them by his death and resurrection. He saw all those who are in places of authority submitting to God. When this happens, the kingdom of God has truly come.

The Kingdom of God is Certain

The Bible speaks with absolute certainty of the coming of the Kingdom. From beginning to end, it is packed full of promises that the Kingdom will be established.

I can only give a brief survey of the Lord's promises.

Genesis 3:15. Even at the time of the fall, God warned Satan that one day he would be destroyed by the seed of the woman, who is Jesus. All his power and authority will be crushed.

Genesis 22:17,18 gives a promise that the whole world will be blessed through Abraham's descendants.

Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your descendants, offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.

God repeated this promise to Abraham a number of times. It has not yet been fulfilled. Because God is faithful, we can be certain that the time will come when Christians will take possession of the strongholds of their enemies. They will then be a blessing to all the nations of the earth.

Numbers 14:21 speaks of the day when the whole world will be filled with the glory of the Lord. This is as certain as the fact that the Lord lives.

Psalm 2 describes the victory of the Lord. The nations may rage for a while, and the kings may take their stand, but God, who has established his Son at his right hand in heaven, scoffs at them. He has decreed that his Son shall have authority over all the nations. He has already been installed as King by the creator of the universe, so all nations will have to submit to him.

Psalm 22:27,28 declares that the Lord has dominion over all the nations. In time, all the families of nations, right to the end of the earth, will bow before him. His authority will extend to the utmost parts of the earth.

Psalm 47. God is the king of all the earth. He reigns over the nations with awesome authority. He will subdue the nations under the feet of his people (v.3). As they claim their inheritance, all nations will submit to the Lord.

Psalm 86:6-8. There is no god like our God in all the earth. No other plans can be compared with his. Because he alone is God, and because his deeds are marvellous, all nations will eventually acknowledge his glory and authority.

Psalm 110 describes a conversation between God and Jesus.

The Lord says to my Lord; Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.

Jesus must remain in heaven until all his enemies are defeated. The mention of a footstool gives a picture of a victorious soldier with his foot on the neck of his enemy. This shows the extent of the victory that Jesus will have. And that victory is certain because God has promised Jesus that he will do it. God would not break a promise to his Son. It is repeated 13 times in the New Testament, so it is certain.

The Psalm also tells how this victory will come about. God will prepare an army that can reign in the midst of its enemies (v.2). It will be an army that is willing and ready for battle (v.3). This is a description of a church that willingly follows Jesus until victory is won. All the kings of the earth will be crushed before this mighty army (v.5). This victory is certain because the Lord has sworn, and he cannot change his mind. It will take place while Jesus is at the right hand of God in heaven.

Isaiah 2:2-4. In the latter days, the mountain of the Lord will be chief among the mountains. The mountains represent the nations and the mountain of the Lord is the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God will be greater than all the nations. All nations will stream into the Kingdom and begin to walk in the ways of the Lord.

Isaiah 9:6-7 is a prophecy predicting the birth of Jesus. It says that he will reign on David's throne to establish justice and righteousness. He will be called the Prince of Peace. His government begins at the time of his ministry on earth and its "increase will have no end". The promise is that his Kingdom on earth will continue to expand and grow until it covers the whole earth. The zeal of the Lord will accomplish it.

Isaiah 49:6,7. The salvation of the Lord will go out to the very ends of the earth. This will happen at a time when Israel becomes an instrument for the propagation of the gospel. All the kings of the earth will then submit to the Lord.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 declares that God will establish a new covenant with the people of Israel. The law of the Lord will be written on their hearts. This will be followed by a great time of evangelism. The time will come when there is no one left to evangelise. A man will no longer have to teach his neighbour, or tell his brother to seek the Lord, because they will all know the Lord. The Lord declares that all people from the least to the greatest will know the Lord and have their sins forgiven.

Ezekiel 47:1-5 describes the flow of God's Spirit out into the world. At the beginning, it is only ankle deep, but it grows into a mighty river. The outpouring of the Spirit in the Book of Acts was only ankle deep. The outpouring of the Spirit after the calling of the Jews will be like a mighty flood in comparison. It will bring healing to all the nations. The river did not reach its full depth until 4000 cubits had been measured off. It may take 4000 years from the time of Jesus for the moving of the Spirit to reach its climax. This would be 2000 years for the times of the Gentiles and 2000 years for the times of the Kingdom. These numbers would only be approximate.

Daniel 2:44. God promises to set up a kingdom that will crush all other kingdoms and will endure forever. It was begun at the time when Jesus ascended into heaven. It will eventually become a reality on the earth.

Joel 2:28,29,32. In the last days, the Spirit will be poured out on all people. They will all experience the gifts of the Spirit. All who call on the Lord will be saved. This promise has not yet been fully fulfilled, as the majority of people on the earth have not experienced such a powerful moving of the Spirit. We can look forward to a time when the Spirit will be poured out on all the people of the earth. This will have a tremendous impact on the way people live.

Micah 4:3,4. The prophet Micah spoke of the glory of the kingdom of God. He described it as a time of great blessing.

They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more. Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken.
The coming of the Kingdom will bring peace to the whole earth. Men will not even need to prepare or plan for war. Every person will have an abundance of the fruit of the earth. No one will be poor, and there will be no need to fear. This will truly be a golden age, a time of great blessing on the earth.

Habakkuk 2:19 speaks for itself.

The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Zechariah 14:9 describes a time when the Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day, there will be one Lord, and his name will be the only name in which men trust. All people will call on the Lord and trust in his name.

Matthew 5:5 is a promise for the people of God.

The meek shall inherit the earth.

The meek are those who humbly submit to Jesus. They will eventually inherit the earth.

Our inheritance is the earth, not heaven. We need to know what to do with the earth when we inherit it.

Matthew 13:31-33. The parable of the mustard seed tells us that the Kingdom will gradually grow until it fills the whole earth. In the parable of the leaven, Jesus says that the influence of the Kingdom will gradually be mixed through the whole world.

Matthew 22:8-10 is the parable of the wedding banquet. The whole banquet hall was filled up. We can expect that God will fill up the whole of his Kingdom.

Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus has commissioned the church to go and make disciples of all nations. He would not command us to do something that is impossible. He has promised to be with those who are working at this task right to the end of the age.

John 12:30-32. Jesus has destroyed the power of the devil and cast him out. When Jesus is lifted up by the church, he will draw all men to himself. The time will come when all people on earth will have been drawn to the Lord.

In John 16:33, Jesus said,

In this world you will have trouble! But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Jesus has overcome the world, so we can expect his body to overcome the world too.

Acts 15:16,17. The Lord will rebuild and restore his church. In that day all the gentiles will bear the name of the Lord. The Lord himself will accomplish these things.

Romans 16:20 contains a great promise of victory for the people of the Lord.

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

This victory will come quite soon. Satan will be crushed by a victorious church.

Philippians 2:9-11 promises great victory for the church. God has exalted Jesus to the highest place that every knee should bow before his name. Every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. This will happen while Jesus is exalted in the highest place in heaven, not when he returns to the earth. The church will accomplish this victory for him.

Hebrews 2:5-9. God has subjected all things to Jesus. It is not something that happens in the future, but had already taken place when the letter to the Hebrews was written. We do not see all things subjected to Jesus now, but we do see Jesus crowned with glory and honour. This is a sure sign that all things will eventually be subjected to him. We can work to bring all things into subjection to him.

1 John 4:4. The one who is in the church is greater than he who is in the world. The power of the Holy Spirit is much greater than that of the devil. The devil is just a fallen angel, whereas the Spirit is divine, and has infinite power. The church, when it moves in the power of the Spirit, can easily overcome Satan.

Revelation. The whole of this book abounds in promises that God will establish victory for his people, and bring in the Kingdom.

On the basis of all these Scriptures, we are fully justified in looking for a golden age upon the earth. We can look for the coming of the Kingdom with confidence. Christ is reigning in heaven and will reign there until all enemies have been trampled under his feet. His church will go on conquering until all the kingdoms of the world have become the Kingdom of our Lord and his Christ. The victory of the Kingdom is assured.

The Bible speaks with absolute certainty of the coming of the Kingdom. From beginning to end it is packed full of promises that the Kingdom will be established.

Lost Hope

As the church has retreated from the world, the belief has developed that the kingdom will not be established until Jesus returns. This is a false doctrine. It has led Christians to sit around and wait for Jesus to come, leaving the world in the hands of Satan. But the Bible teaches that the kingdom of God will be established through the proclamation of the gospel, and renewed Christians applying the Word of God to every area of life. When the majority of people are Christian, and when they hold most positions of authority, and are exercising their authority on biblical principles, the kingdom of God will be a reality.

The Kingdom of God will be established by the people of God as they proclaim the entire Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ will be ruling his kingdom through the Church. When the kingdom has been established, there will be a final rebellion. Only then will Jesus return in glory, bringing the end of the world and the final judgement. The work of the Church will then be complete.

Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:24,28).

This victory is described more fully in the book called Government of God.

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