June 2017           "A Journal of Biblical Understanding"           Volume 14           

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(Daniel 4:25)
" ... and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."


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Life Lines by Les Turvey

IS GOD’S KINGDOM INSIDE YOU?

Is God’s kingdom inside each Christian? Jesus said it is, didn’t he?

Jesus told the pharisees, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:20-21).

James Strong’s first translation of the Greek word for within [G1787] is inside. But is derived from [G1722] which Dr Strong identifies first as “A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state).…” It is this translation that many modern versions use to describe Jesus’ words.

The Contemporary English Version states, “God’s kingdom is here with you.” The International Standard Version and The Bible In Basic English both say, “…the kingdom of God is among you.” Several others state, “…the kingdom of God is in your midst (Darby, LITV, MKJV, RSV).” And the popular NIV, although it uses the preposition within, includes a footnote stating, “or among.”

Bible prophecy is often dual, having a historical fulfillment, and future fulfillment. We see the historical prophecy of God’s kingdom when John the Baptist cried out, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 3:2).” This was great news to the Jewish people who had been burdened by Roman law. But John did not say it is here; simply that it was “at hand.”

John called it the kingdom of heaven, realizing it was not an earthly kingdom, as Jesus later said, “My kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).” He also realized the king would not be an earthly king, but would be sent from heaven. While John preached about the kingdom of heaven, the king was still in the wings, waiting to be revealed to the public.

When the time came for his entrance on stage, Jesus was able to state, “…the kingdom of God is within you.”

Was Jesus inside the pharisees he was talking with? They knew he wasn’t: he was standing there with them. He was, as shown above, in their midst. It was his way of saying, “I am the king you’ve been waiting for.”

But Jesus went back to heaven. The king was gone. Now what?

During his three and a half years of ministering on earth, Jesus’ commission was to preach about the kingdom of God (Luke 4:43). Why did he need to preach about it if it was already among the people.

Recall that bible prophecy often has a historical fulfillment, and a future fulfillment. The message of the gospels is the king will return, not as an infant in a manger, but in great power and glory (Matthew 25:31-34). He will be the king over all earthly kings, and the lord over all earthly lords (Revelation 19:11-16).

At that time the future fulfillment of the kingdom of God will take place, and it won’t only be the Jews who will be released from centuries of tyranny satan’s despots laid on them. The entire world will be released from satan’s control.

Until that time, what must we be doing? Jesus commanded his disciples, and Christians today, “Go to all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).” The gospel? What gospel? The gospel -- the good news -- of the coming kingdom of God (Luke 4:43, 22:18).

Leslie A Turvey
A servant of the only true and living God

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