Kingdom of God
1 Cor. 15:25
Eph. 1:3; 2:6
1 Peter 2:9
- John 18:36
- "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
- The Church of Christ interprets this verse to mean that Christ's kingdom has nothing to do with him reigning from David's throne on the earth, but is rather a spiritual kingdom operating through the "church" since Pentecost.
- The Church of Christ reads, "My kingdom is not of this world" as synonymous with, "My kingdom is not of this earth". But "world" and "earth" are not interchangeable. The world Jesus referred to was the constitution or order of things.1 Certainly, Jesus had neither part nor lot in the world of the Pharisees and the Romans. As Jesus continued, "my kingdom is not from hence" i.e., my kingdom is not from this place. The use of the word "world" is demonstrated repeatedly in John 17:
- " . . . I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine." (Jn. 17:9). Clearly in this reference "world" refers to those who were not followers of the Lord.
- "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee." (John 17:11). Jesus was still on the literal earth but he was not a part of the order of things on the earth. (Cf. 1 Jn. 2:15-17).
- "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (John 17:14). The world that hated the disciples was the world of the Pharisees. The disciples were still in the literal world, but not part of its constitution or order.2
- See also vs. 14-18.
- Christ's kingdom is "not of this world" because it is a kingdom from heaven. Its constitution or order is heavenly in origin - designed from the "foundation of the world". (Matt. 25:34). When the disciples thought that the kingdom should immediately appear, (Luke 19:11) he explained to them in a parable that the nobleman had first to go into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then to return (Luke 19:12). Jesus will return to receive his kingdom, as the prophets have written:
- "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." (Psa. 2:8).
- "And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed . . . And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him." (Daniel 7:14, 27).
- Young gives the meaning of "kosmos" translated "world" in the A.V., as "arrangement, beauty, world". Robert Young, Analytical Concordance to the Holy Bible, (London: Lutterworth Press, 1965). Return
- The Apostle Paul uses "kosmos" in a similar way when he writes to the Ephesians: "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world . . . the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience". (Eph. 2:1-2). The contrast is between to orders or constitutions. Return