The Gospel of the Kingdom of God
The word Gospel is from a Greek word which means “good news” or “glad tidings”. The message of the Kingdom of God is the fundamental message of the Bible gospel.
The Gospel announces a coming time of blessing for all nations (Galatians 3:8).
Part of the Gospel concerns the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth (Mark 1:14; Luke 4:43; 8:1; Daniel 2:44).
Christ will be it’s King (Luke 1:32-33), reigning from Jerusalem (Jer.3:17).
The scope of his reign will be worldwide (Zech.14:9). He will be assisted by his resurrected and immortalised followers who shall reign with him “on the earth” (Rev.5:9-10).
The establishment of the Kingdom of God will include current political and social conditions being drastically altered to provide for the following:
- The abolition of war and establishment of worldwide peace (Isa.2:2-4)
- The removal of fear and insecurity from civil life (Micah 4:4)
- The overthrow of all tyrants and oppressors (Psa.72:4)
- The establishment of a single global Empire on earth (Rev.11:15)
- The equitable distribution of the world’s produce (Isa.23:18)
- The exercise of justice and goodwill among men (Luke 2:14)
- The establishment of one universal religion in the earth (Zeph.3:8-9)
- A new educational system based upon Divine principles which include purity and truthfulness (Isa.33:6)
- The uplifting of humanity – mentally, morally, and socially (Isa.11)
- The restraining of sin and human pride (Isa.30:18-21)
- The elevation of God’s way as supreme (Isa.60)
- Christ’s Reign of a Thousand Years on Earth.
Original Christian Belief
The historian Edward Gibbon, in the 15th chapter of his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, clearly outlines the original beliefs of the early Christians, and how that belief was changed over the course of time. He wrote: “The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ … a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; when Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had revived, would reign upon earth…”
Justin Martyr, an early Christian, wrote in 150AD: “For if you have conversed with some that are indeed called Christians, and do not maintain these opinions, but even dare to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and say that there is no resurrection of the dead, but that the souls, as soon as they leave the body, are received up into heaven, take care that you do not look upon these. But I, and all those Christians that are really orthodox in every respect, do know that there will be a resurrection of the body and a thousand years in Jerusalem, when it is built again, and adorned, and enlarged, as Ezekiel, and Isaiah, and the rest of the prophets declare.” – Dialogue With Trypho, The Jew, section lxxx.
Today there is confusion about the Kingdom of God -why ? Edward Gibbon answers: “The doctrine of Christ’s reign upon earth was first treated as a profound allegory, was considered by degrees as a doubtful and useless opinion, and was at length rejected as the absurd invention of heresy and fanaticism.” This turning away from original belief fulfilled the predictions of the New Testament. The apostle Paul warned Timothy: “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Tim.3:3).
Careful study of Bible prophecy led many people including a Christadelphian writer, in 1848, to expect the re-establishment of the nation of Israel by the Jews, who were then still without a national land. He wrote; “There is, then, a partial and primary restoration of Jews before the manifestation (second advent of Christ) which is to serve as a nucleus, or basis, of future operations in the restoration of the rest of the tribes after he has appeared in the kingdom. The pre-adventural colonisation of Palestine will be on purely political principles; and the Jewish colonists will return in unbelief of the Messiahship of Jesus, and of the truth as it is in him. They will emigrate thither as agriculturalists and traders, in the hope of ultimately establishing their commonwealth, but more immediately of getting rich in silver and gold by commerce with India, and in cattle and goods by their industry at home, under the efficient protection of the British power.” – Elpis Israel, p.441.
The British were given a mandate over Palestine following the conclusion of World War I in 1918, and aided the partial return of some Jews. Since then the State of Israel, despite strong Arab opposition, has come into existence. By these events Bible prophecies were remarkably fulfilled.
John Thomas also wrote concerning Britain: “I know not whether the men, who at present contrive the foreign policy of Britain, entertain the idea of assuming the sovereignty of the Holy Land, and promoting its colonisation by the Jews; their present intentions, however are of no importance one way or the other, because they will be compelled, by events soon to happen, to do what, under existing circumstances, heaven and earth combined could not move them to attempt … The finger of God has indicated a course to be pursued by Britain which cannot be evaded, and which her counsellors will not only be willing, but eager, to adopt when the crisis comes upon them.” – Elpis Israel, p.442.
Remember that this was written in 1848, when the Ottoman Empire controlled Palestine. The only fault one could find with this prediction, is that the events did not happen as “soon” as anticipated, but apart from that, the boldness of the prediction is startling until is realised that it is based upon the Bible, whose “Editor” makes His will come to pass.
These predictions by John Thomas were solely based on a sincere effort to understand Bible prophecy. Now, in our days, these Bible prophecies concerning Israel are a fact and they are signs telling of Christ’s second coming to set up God’s Kingdom on earth. (See Acts 1:11; Dan.2:44).