The Kingdom of God Refs
The return of Christ will bring changes that we cannot even imagine. What will it be like to be immortal? Where is the kingdom of God? Why will Christ return? The good news of the kingdom is exciting, so read on.

Ezekiel 36:24-38

Ezekiel 36 contains some of the most stirring words in scripture.
The rebellious nation of Israel will be humbled; they will turn from their idols, repent of their wickedness and obey the Lord their God. Finally, the people of Israel will glorify their Creator in truth and grace and all the world will know that God is all-powerful.

1. When and how was verse 24 fulfilled?
2. Israel will be cleansed with clean water (v25).
(a) What does this remind you of?
(b) What time is this talking about?
3. God promises physical blessings as well as spiritual blessings. What are these physical blessings? List them.
4. For whose sake is God blessing Israel (v32)? Can you find scriptural evidence for your answer?
5. Re-read verse 35 and 36.
(a) Israel’s ruins have been restored and the cities have been repaired. Does this mean verse 35 is fulfilled, partly fulfilled or not yet fulfilled? Consider Zechariah 14.
(b) Why does verse 36 talk of remaining nations?
6. Who will be ruling this restored kingdom of Israel? See Ezekiel 37:22,24 and Luke 1:31-33.

The kingdom of God is a fulfilment of the promises to Abraham. See Chapter 40. God’s promises to Abraham and David.
For the sake of Abraham’s faith (Deuteronomy 9:4-6), God will not destroy rebellious Israel but will give them the promised land:
The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God. (Genesis 17:8)

Jesus Christ to be king
Jesus Christ will return to claim the throne of David and restore the land of Israel to God’s chosen people forever. This will be the beginning of a new world order, with Christ ruling with righteousness, truth and justice from Jerusalem. It will also be a time of repentance-Israel must repent and accept Christ as the Messiah:

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child. (Zechariah 12:10)
See Chapter 42. The return of Jesus.

From Jerusalem, Christ will reign as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” over all the earth. Revelation 17:14; 19:16 This will fulfil numerous promises and prophecies foretold in the scriptures. For example:

The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. (Micah 4:2-3)

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end. (Luke 1:32-33)

The return of Christ to earth will not only result in the repentance of Israel but also:

• the rewarding of the saints (resurrected or still living) with immortality (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17);
See Chapter 43. Resurrection.

• the judgement of the nations at the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:14,16; Zechariah 14:1-3);
See Chapter 44. Judgement.
• the repentance of the remaining nations (Zechariah 8:20-23; 14:16);
• a new centre of worship to be built in Jerusalem (Isaiah 56:7).

A righteous government
Various forms of government have been tried and re-tried since the beginning of civilization-imperialism, communism, democracy, and others. All have failed largely due to human weakness. Greed, corruption, injustice and unwise laws ensure that human suffering will continue until Christ returns to begin his reign.

A new world
Head of Government   Luke 1:31-33   Jesus to reign on David’s throne. His kingdom will never end.
    Isaiah 9:6-7   He will reign on David’s throne forever.
    Zechariah 14:9   The Lord will be king over all the earth.
Centre of Government   Micah 4:2   Law to go out from Zion; the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
    Matthew 5:35   Jerusalem, the city of the great king.
    Zechariah 8:3   The Lord will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem.
    Zechariah 8:22-23   Many nations shall come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord.
Rulers   Daniel 7:27   All power and kingdoms to be handed over to the saints.
    Revelation 5:10   The saints to be a kingdom and priests.
    Luke 19:17   The faithful believers to rule over cities.
Worship   Zephaniah 3:9   All people to call on the Lord and serve him.
    Zechariah 14:16   People will go annually to Jerusalem to worship.
    Isaiah 2:3   People will go to learn in Jerusalem.
Defence   Psalm 46:9   The Lord will make wars to cease.
    Isaiah 2:4   Swords into ploughshares. No more war.
    Zechariah 9:10   Jesus will proclaim peace to the nations.
    Isaiah 60:12   Nations will serve or perish.
Education   Isaiah 26:9   The people of the world will learn righteousness.
    Isaiah 2:3   Jesus will teach us his ways.
    Isaiah 30:20-21   Teachers shall show the right way.
Justice and judgement   Isaiah 11:4   Jesus to judge with righteousness.
    Isaiah 60:18   No more violence in the land.
Health   Isaiah 35:5-6   Blind, deaf, dumb and lame healed.
    Isaiah 33:24   People shall not be sick.
Temple to be built   Micah 4:1-2   The house of God will be on a mountain in Jerusalem.
    Isaiah 56:7   A house of prayer for all nations.
Deserts productive   Isaiah 35:1,7   Deserts will blossom as a rose.
    Isaiah 43:19   Pools in the desert.
    Isaiah 41:17-18   Springs of water in dry land.
Agriculture   Amos 9:13-14   Ploughman overtakes reaper; planting vineyards.
    Psalm 72:16   Crops in unusual places.
    Isaiah 55:13   No thorns and thistles.
    Isaiah 65:21-22   People shall live on the land.
Social services   Psalm 72:12   Jesus will deliver the poor and needy.
    Psalm 72:4   He will save the children of the needy.

The government of Jesus Christ will be a new and perfect system which will result in peace and prosperity for all who obey and worship Christ. The earth will be rejuvenated, the deserts will bloom, crops will bear heavily, the rains will always come and the animals will not fall sick.

I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit. . . I will grant peace in the land. . . I will remove savage beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. . .
I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers. . . I will put my dwelling place among you. . . I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. (Leviticus 26:4-12)

For those nations who refuse to bow to Christ, there will be no rain in their lands until they repent. Zechariah 14:17 By crippling rebellious nations and blessing those who obey, Christ will maintain a peaceful and stable rule.

As priests in the kingdom, the immortal saints will reign with Christ, teach mankind the righteousness of God and purify all the earth of evil. In the parable of the talents, Jesus described the faithful saints as ruling over cities in his kingdom.
Daniel 7:27; Revelation 1:6; 20:6. Luke 19:11-27

The millennium and beyond
The book of Revelation states that the reign of Christ on earth will last for 1000 years.
Revelation 20:3-4 At the end of this period, there will be a final rebellion of the people who hate his rulership. The Lord will destroy these people who march against him and bring an end to all wickedness. Finally, when sin and death are done away with, Christ will hand over the kingdom of saints to God.

Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. . . 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)

Christ will return to reward the righteous with eternal life, to judge the nations, to fulfil the promises to Abraham, to reign with the saints over the mortal population, to cleanse the earth of sin and death, and hand the kingdom of saints to God Almighty.

1. Read Psalm 47:2; 103:19; 145:13; and Daniel 4:32-35. In what sense is the kingdom of God already here?
2. What did Christ mean when he said, “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21)? See Colossians 1:12-14.
3. Read Zechariah 14.
(a) How might verses 2 and 3 occur?
(b) What geographical changes in Israel are prophesied?
(c) What are the eastern and western seas (verse 8)?
(d) Why won’t there be any Canaanites in Israel (verse 21)? What does this mean?
4. Will sin exist while Christ reigns on earth?
5. Read Luke 21. What will happen before the return of Christ?

1. The kingdom has several names: the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of Light, the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of David.
(a) Which of these names occurs most frequently in the Bible?
(b) Why was each of these names used to describe the kingdom?
2. Revelation 20:6 says that the reign of Christ on earth will last 1000 years. Since Revelation is a book of symbols, should we take this time literally or figuratively?
3. The angel Gabriel told Mary that Jesus would reign “forever” (Luke 1:33). How can this be true when he is to hand over the kingdom to God (1 Corinthians 15:25-28)?

• Thine is the kingdom by Peter Southgate (published by the Dawn Book Supply, 2nd ed., 1997). This book shows how the kingdom is the basis of our beliefs. An excellent study on the kingdom of God from many different perspectives. 242 pages.
• BB Study 5
• The Christadelphians: what they believe and preach by Harry Tennant (published by the Christadelphian, 1986). Chapters 6-8. 29 pages.
• Great news for the world by Alan Hayward (published by Christadelphians Worldwide, 1976). Chapter 8 “Plan for a planet”.
• Wrested scriptures by Ron Abel (published by The Christadelphians, Pasadena). Pages 79-101 deal with passages about the kingdom that are frequently misinterpreted.

3. Prophecy concerning Israel
30. Old Testament prophecies of Jesus
39. What is Jesus doing now?
40. God’s promises to Abraham and David
41. Israel: chosen or rejected?
42. The return of Jesus
43. Resurrection
44. Judgement
46. Parables of the kingdom
47. Heaven