Just what do you mean ... KINGDOM OF GOD?
by Herbert W. Armstrong
1962, 1972 edition


Is it the CHURCH? Is it something "set up in the hearts of men"? Is
it the British Empire? Is it "the good within you"? Is it "the
Millennium"? Each of these is widely taught -- yet none is right! The
shocking TRUTH is here made PLAIN!
-------------------

WHY cannot the churches agree on what is the GOSPEL? Jesus
Christ came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Yet few
preach about the Kingdom of God today, for they have lost all
knowledge of what it is!
A prominent evangelist said to a worldwide radio audience that
the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is not for us today. Some
denominations proclaim a "Gospel of Grace"; some what they call a
"Gospel of Salvation"; some a gospel about Christ; some a social
gospel; some the "Science of Mind" or "Religious Science."

Not One Is Right!

Some churches claim either that their particular denomination,
or "Christianity" as a whole, constitutes the Kingdom of God.
Not one is right! Could anything seem more incredible? Yes, to
the mind reared in this world's concepts, one thing is, indeed,
still more incredible! And that is the PLAIN TRUTH about what the
Kingdom of God really is!
The truth is not merely surprising -- it is shocking --
staggering! Yet it is truly GOOD NEWS -- the most glorious GOOD NEWS
ever to enter human consciousness!

CHRIST'S Gospel

What is the one and only Gospel of Jesus Christ? THE WORLD
DOES NOT KNOW! It has not been preached for 18 centuries, strange
as that may seem. Look into your BIBLE. Look at it from the very
beginning!
"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ" you'll read in
Mark 1:1. "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into
Galilee, preaching the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD, and saying,
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent
ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:14-15).
It is necessary to believe that GOSPEL to be saved! And how
can you believe it, unless you know what it is?
Jesus went everywhere preaching the GOOD NEWS of the KINGDOM
OF GOD. He taught in parables about the KINGDOM OF GOD. He sent out
seventy men preaching, and commanded them to preach THE KINGDOM OF
GOD (Luke 10:9). He sent the apostles, on whom the Church of God
was founded, to preach only THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Luke 9:1-2).
Isn't it amazing that the world has LOST the knowledge of what
it is?
The Apostle Paul preached THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Acts 19:8;
20:25; 28:23, 31). And God Almighty, through Paul, pronounced a
double curse on man or angel that would DARE preach any other
Gospel! (Gal. 1:8-9.)
Why, then, do so many DARE to preach so many other gospels?
The good news of THE KINGDOM OF GOD is something you must
understand, and BELIEVE, in order to be saved! Jesus Christ said
so! You had better be finding out what it is!

Daniel Knew!

Haven't you heard men speak of the Kingdom of God something
like this: "By Christians everywhere working together to bring
about world peace, tolerance and brotherly love, the Kingdom of God
may at last be established in the hearts of men."
Because they rejected Christ's Gospel 1900 years ago, the
world had to supplant something else in its place. They had to
invent a counterfeit! So we have heard the Kingdom of God spoken of
as merely a pretty platitude -- a nice sentiment in human hearts --
reducing it to an ethereal, unreal NOTHING! Others have
misrepresented that the "CHURCH" is the Kingdom. Others confuse it
with a "millennium." Still others have, in our century, claimed the
British Empire is the Kingdom of God. How DECEIVED CAN THIS WORLD
GET?
The Prophet Daniel, who lived 600 years before Christ, knew
that the Kingdom of God was a real kingdom -- a government ruling
over literal PEOPLE on the earth.
Jesus Christ brought additional knowledge about it which the
Prophet Daniel might not have known. Still, Daniel knew there was
going to be a real, literal Kingdom of God on the earth.
Daniel was one of four extraordinary, intelligent and
brilliant Jewish lads in the Judean captivity. These four men were
stationed in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar of the Chaldean
Empire, in training for special responsibilities in the Babylonian
government. Daniel was a prophet who had been given special
understanding in visions and dreams (Dan. 1:17).
Nebuchadnezzar was the first real world ruler. He had
conquered a vast empire, including the nation Judah. This king had
a dream so impressive it troubled him -- moved him to tremendous
concern. He demanded that his magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers
tell him both what he had dreamed, and what it meant. They could
not. They were baffled. Then Daniel was brought before the king.
Daniel disclaimed any more human ability to interpret dreams
than the Chaldean magicians, "BUT," he said, "there is a GOD in
heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king
Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days" (Dan. 2:28).
First, God's purpose was to reveal to this world-ruling human
king that there is a GOD in heaven -- that GOD IS SUPREME RULER over
all nations, governments, and kings -- that God RULES THE UNIVERSE!
This Chaldean king knew only about the many pagan demon gods. He
knew nothing of the true living ALMIGHTY God. Like people and
rulers, even today, he did not know that GOD is the living, REAL,
active, RULING and GOVERNING PERSONAGE who actually and literally
governs not only what is on earth, but the UNIVERSE ENTIRELY!
The whole purpose of this DREAM was to reveal GOD's
GOVERNMENT -- the fact that God RULES -- the truth of THE KINGDOM OF
GOD -- the very thing that is the one and only true GOSPEL OF JESUS
CHRIST! And, secondly, to reveal -- preserved in writing for us
TODAY -- what is to happen "in the latter days" -- actually within the
next two decades -- THIS LAST HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY!

For US, Today!

This is no dry, dull, dead writing for a people of 2500 years
ago. This is LIVING, TREMENDOUS, BIG NEWS for OUR DAY! It is
advance news for us, NOW. News before it happens -- of the most
colossal event of all earth's history certain to occur in your
lifetime -- during the very next few years!
This is THE TRUE GOSPEL! It is the very Gospel Christ
preached! It is intended for you and me TODAY! It is vital that you
UNDERSTAND!
Read, in your own Bible, verses 28 through 35. In his dream,
this king had seen a vast statue -- larger than any image or statue
ever built by man -- so tremendous it was terrifying, even in a
dream. Its head was of fine gold, its breast and arms of silver,
the belly and thighs of brass, legs of solid iron, feet a mixture
of iron and clay.
There was a time element. Nebuchadnezzar had viewed it until
a supernatural STONE came from heaven, smashing the statue on its
feet. Then the whole of the statue broke into small pieces, and was
actually blown away by the wind -- it disappeared! Then this STONE
expanded miraculously and quickly became a great MOUNTAIN -- so great
it filled the whole earth!
What did it mean? Did it have meaning? Yes, because this was
God's doing. Unlike ordinary dreams, this one was caused by God to
convey the message of God's sovereignty to Nebuchadnezzar -- and,
because it is part of the written Word of God, to us today -- to
reveal important facts of the TRUE GOSPEL!
"This is the dream," said Daniel (verse 36), "and we will tell
the interpretation thereof before the king." This, then, is GOD'S
interpretation. It is decidedly not Herbert W. Armstrong's
interpretation. Men ought never to interpret the Bible. The Bible
gives us GOD'S OWN INTERPRETATION! Here it is:
"Thou, O king, art a king of kings" -- he was the first real
WORLD RULER over a world empire! -- "... for the God of heaven hath
given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory." God was
revealing Himself to this human world-dictator as the MOST HIGH
Ruler over all.
People today, like this Chaldean king, seem not to think of
God as a RULER -- as the Supreme One who GOVERNS -- as the Head of
GOVERNMENT. The Eternal was revealing Himself through Daniel to
Nebuchadnezzar -- and through the Bible to you and to me TODAY -- as a
SOVEREIGN, ALL POWERFUL, GOVERNING GOD who is to be obeyed!
"Thou," continued Daniel to this human emperor, "art this head
of gold. And after thee shall arise another KINGDOM inferior to
thee, and another third KINGDOM of brass, which shall bear rule
over all the earth" (verses 37-39).

What IS a Kingdom?

Notice! This is speaking of KINGDOMS. It is referring to
kingdoms that bear rule over the people on earth. It is speaking of
GOVERNMENTS! It is not speaking of ethereal sentiments "set up in
the hearts of men." It is not speaking of churches. It is speaking
of the kind of GOVERNMENTS that bear RULE and AUTHORITY over
nations of PEOPLE here on earth. It is literal. It is specific.
There is no misunderstanding, here, as to what is meant by the word
"KINGDOM."
There is no misunderstanding the interpretation. GOD gives His
own interpretation through the Prophet Daniel. The great metallic
image represented national and international GOVERNMENTS -- real,
literal KINGDOMS.
It represented a succession of world-ruling governments. First
was the head of gold. That represented Nebuchadnezzar and his
kingdom -- the Chaldean Empire. After him -- later, in time sequence --
was to come a second, then a third KINGDOM which shall bear RULE
over all the earth" -- world empire!
Then, verse 40, the legs of iron represent a fourth world-
empire. It was to be strong, even as iron is strong -- stronger
militarily than its predecessors. Yet, as silver is less valuable
than gold, brass than silver, iron than brass, though each metal
was harder and stronger, the succession would deteriorate morally
and spiritually. The two legs meant the fourth empire would be
divided.
After the Chaldean Empire came the still larger Persian
Empire, then the Greco-Macedonian, and fourth, the Roman Empire. It
was divided, with capitals at Rome and Constantinople.
Now -- verse 44! Read it! Get your Bible. See it with your own
eyes in your own Bible. Here, in PLAIN LANGUAGE, is God's
explanation of what the KINGDOM OF GOD IS:
"And in the days of these kings ..." it is here speaking of the
ten toes, part of iron and part of brittle clay. This, by
connecting the prophecy with Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 and 17, is
referring to the new UNITED STATES OF EUROPE which is now forming,
out of the European Common Market, before your very eyes!
Revelation 17:12 makes plain the detail that it shall be a union of
TEN KINGS OR KINGDOMS which (Rev. 17:8) shall resurrect the old
ROMAN EMPIRE.
So, mark carefully the time element! "In the days of these
kings" -- in the days of these ten nations or groups of nations that
shall, IN OUR TIME, resurrect briefly the Roman Empire -- notice what
shall happen:
"... shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall
never be destroyed ... but it shall break in pieces and consume all
these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever"!

Yes, in OUR TIME!

Now here we have described FOUR universal world-empires -- the
only four that ever existed! Revelation 13 and 17 show that, after
the fall of the original Roman Empire, there would be ten revivals
-- SEVEN of which would be ruled over by a Gentile CHURCH -- the
"daughter" of ancient BABYLON -- a church claiming to be Christian,
but actually named by God "MYSTERY BABYLON the Great" -- or, more
plainly, BABYLONIAN MYSTERIES!
Six of those have come and gone. The seventh is now forming --
the last, final, brief resurrection of the Roman Empire by ten
European groups or nations. These are the ten toes of iron and clay
mixed.
In their days -- and they shall last but a very short space,
possibly no more than two to three-and-a-half years -- shall the GOD
OF HEAVEN SET UP A KINGDOM.
This, then, shall be THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
Compare with Revelation 17. Here is pictured a church. Not a
small church -- a GREAT church. She rules over "many waters" (verse
1) which are described in verse 15 as different nations speaking
different languages. She posed as the Church of GOD -- which
Scripture says (Eph. 5:23; Rev. 19:7; Matt. 25:1-10, etc., etc.) is
the affianced "bride" of CHRIST, to be spiritually MARRIED to Him
at His second COMING.
But she has committed fornication. How? By having direct
political union with HUMAN GOVERNMENTS of THIS WORLD! She "sat on"
(Rev. 17:3) all seven of these resurrections of the Roman Empire --
called the "Holy Roman Empire." She RULED OVER the human kingdoms --
as a common-law and unmarried "wife" ruling her paramour "husband"
-- a totally unnatural and ungodly relationship.
She is, therefore, to "sit on" this last "head of the Beast" --
this final resurrection of the Roman Empire. It will be a union of
church and state. It is to endure but a very short time. It is to
FIGHT AGAINST CHRIST at HIS SECOND COMING! That will be its END.
We see it in process of rising, now. Therefore we are CLOSE to
the coming of Christ! We are now very near the END of this world!
When Christ comes, He is coming as KING of kings, ruling the
whole earth (Rev. 19:11-16); and HIS KINGDOM -- the KINGDOM OF GOD --
said Daniel, is to CONSUME all these worldly kingdoms.
Revelation 11:15 states it in these words: "The kingdoms of
this world are become THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST;
and He shall reign for ever and ever!"
This is THE KINGDOM OF GOD. It is the END of present
governments -- the governments that rule Russia, China, Japan, Italy,
Germany -- yes, and even the United States and the British nations.
They then shall become the kingdoms -- the GOVERNMENTS of the Lord
JESUS CHRIST, then KING of kings over the entire earth.
This makes completely PLAIN the fact that the KINGDOM OF GOD
is a literal GOVERNMENT. Even as the Chaldean Empire was a KINGDOM
-- even as the Roman Empire was a KINGDOM -- so the KINGDOM OF GOD is
a government. It is to take over the GOVERNMENT of the NATIONS of
the world.
Jesus Christ was BORN to be a KING -- a RULER!
When He stood, on trial for His life, before Pilate, "Pilate
therefore said unto Him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou
sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause
came I into the world." But Jesus also said to Pilate: "My kingdom
is not of this world -- (John 18:37, 36). His Kingdom is of THE WORLD
TOMORROW!
Have you not read what the angel proclaimed to Mary, the
mother of Jesus, prior to His birth? Jesus told Pilate He was born
to become a KING. The angel of God said to Mary: "... thou shalt
conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His
name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the
Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the THRONE of His
father David: and He shall reign over the House of Jacob forever;
and of His Kingdom there shall be NO END" (Luke 1:31-33).
These scriptures tell you PLAINLY that GOD is supreme RULER.
They tell you in plainest language that Jesus was born to be a
KING -- that He is going to RULE ALL NATIONS OF THE EARTH -- that His
Kingdom shall rule eternally.
But all this is only part of the fantastic, amazing, actually
SHOCKING TRUTH about the KINGDOM OF GOD.
The KINGDOM OF GOD will rule over the peoples and nations of
the earth. Yet these mortal peoples and nations will NOT be the
Kingdom, not even in the Kingdom of God. They shall be merely RULED
OVER BY IT!
We still have to learn OF WHAT, or OF WHOM it is composed. Can
YOU, as an individual, ever become a part of this Kingdom?

Can Be Entered!

In Jesus' day, the religious leaders knew He was a Teacher
sent from God with GOD'S TRUTH. They branded Him a false prophet,
heretic, and seditionist. Yet they knew His was the voice of GOD!
One of them, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, occupying an office
of authority over the Jews, came secretly by night to see Jesus.
"Rabbi," said this Pharisee, "we know that thou art a teacher
come from God" (John 3:2). Yes, we Pharisees, he said, know that!
He did not say "I know it." He said "WE know" -- we Pharisees! They
knew He spoke the TRUTH -- yet they not only rejected it, they
crucified Him!
But Jesus hewed straight to the line! He told Nicodemus about
THE KINGDOM OF GOD. He told him some things you need to UNDERSTAND!
Notice! "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I
say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the
kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Yes, notice! The Kingdom of God is
something that CAN be seen, but only by those who have been "born
again." It is something others cannot see! Request our free booklet
"Just What Do You Mean -- Born Again?"
But what about the CHURCH? Can carnal people who make no claim
to having been "born again" SEE a CHURCH? Of course! But they
cannot see the Kingdom of God! So SAID JESUS! Then, if you believe
Jesus, the CHURCH cannot be the Kingdom of God!
Notice further: "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto
thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot
enter into the kingdom of God" (verse 5). The Kingdom of God is
something that can be entered into -- BUT, only those "born of water
and of the Spirit" can enter into it!
Notice further! In the resurrection chapter of the Bible, we
read: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot
inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit
incorruption" (I Cor. 15:50). The Kingdom of God is something no
human, of flesh and blood, can enter or inherit!
Now do flesh and blood people enter into the CHURCH? If so,
then the Kingdom of God cannot be the CHURCH -- for the Kingdom of
God is something flesh and blood humans cannot enter into!
What do you think the "Church" is? Is it the building? Flesh
and blood people can and do enter buildings and cathedrals called
"churches." Is it the converted PEOPLE? Flesh and blood people can
and DO enter into the membership of any group of PEOPLE that may
call itself the church. But flesh and blood cannot enter the
Kingdom of GOD -- so the CHURCH is not the Kingdom of God!

In Men's Hearts?

Now some think the Kingdom of God is some ethereal sentimental
feeling or something set up in men's hearts. If so, then the
Kingdom of God enters into mortal man. But these plain scriptures
say plainly that it is men after they are no longer flesh and
blood -- but resurrected into spirit-composed bodies -- who can enter
into the Kingdom of God. It does not enter into men. Men enter into
it -- after resurrected in glory -- after they are no longer "flesh and
blood."
Is it the "god within you"? No, it is not something that was
born inside of man, or has ever entered into man -- it is something
man may enter after he is "born again."
What about the British Empire? Well, I have been pretty well
over the British Isles, Canada and Australia -- and all of the multi-
thousands I have seen there were flesh-and-blood humans. They did
enter the British Empire -- but they cannot enter the Kingdom of God,
in their present flesh-and-blood life. So the British Empire cannot
be the Kingdom of God.
But, someone misunderstanding the scripture may ask, "Didn't
Jesus Himself say that the Kingdom of God is 'within you'?" In the
17th chapter of Luke, verse 21, King James translation, is a
MISTRANSLATION which has led some to suppose the Kingdom of God is
some thought or feeling or sentiment within man.

In Hearts of Pharisees?

Let's take a good look at this. First realize, if it does say
that, it is contradicted by all the other scriptures I am giving
you in this article. If the Bible does contradict itself, you can't
believe it anyway -- so then it still would prove nothing.
First, to whom is Jesus speaking? Read it!
"And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom
of God should come, He answered them and said, 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).
He was speaking to the unconverted, carnal, hypocritical,
lying Pharisees. Notice, "He answered them, and said -- " It was the
Pharisees who asked Him the question. Were they in the CHURCH? No,
never! If one thinks the Kingdom is the CHURCH -- and the Kingdom was
"within" the Pharisees -- was THE CHURCH within the Pharisees? Such
an assumption is rather ridiculous, now, isn't it?
Notice again, precisely WHAT JESUS SAID. Remember the CHURCH
had not yet been set up. Jesus did not say "the Kingdom of God
shall be set up in your hearts." He said none of the things people
interpret into this verse. He said to the Pharisees "the Kingdom of
God IS" -- present tense is, NOW! Whatever He was saying the Kingdom
of God is, He made it present tense, not future.
Luke wrote these words, originally, in the Greek language. The
Greek words he wrote were translated into the English words "within
you." But, if you have a Bible with the marginal references, you
will notice that this is alternately rendered "in the midst of
you," or "among, you." The context indicates that this indeed is
the better translation. If your Bible is a Moffatt translation, you
will notice that the translation recognized that Jesus was talking
of His reign or rule, at the head of government.
This is the Moffatt translation of the same verse: "He
answered them, 'The Reign of God is not coming as you hope to catch
sight of it; no one will say, "Here it is" or "There it is," for
the Reign of GOD IS NOW IN YOUR MIDST.
The Revised Standard translation renders it "the Kingdom of
God is in the midst of you." All these translations render it
present tense.
Jesus was not talking about a church soon to be organized. He
was not talking about sentiments in the mind or heart. He was
talking about His REIGN, as the Messiah! The Pharisees were not
asking Him about a church. They knew nothing of any New Testament
church soon to be started. They were not asking about a pretty
sentiment. They knew, from the prophecies of Daniel, Isaiah,
Jeremiah and others, that their Messiah was to come. They
overlooked completely the prophecies of His first appearing as the
"Lamb of God," to be slain for the sins of humanity -- being born as
a babe, growing up, being rejected and despised by them, as
recorded in Isaiah 53. They looked only to the prophecies of His
second coming as the all-conquering and ruling KING.
But they had even these prophecies distorted in their minds.
They looked for Him to come as a purely Jewish Messiah, to liberate
them from the Romans, and reversing the situation so that the Jews
would be masters over the Romans. They looked for a limited Jewish
Kingdom, located in only a small part of the world, with the
Messiah ruling and letting the Jews lord it over the Romans.
This, the Pharisees anticipated as the Kingdom of God. They
had an erroneous conception of the Kingdom of God -- but at least
they did know it was to be a REIGN -- a GOVERNMENT.

World-Ruling Government

Jesus set them straight. He explained that it would not be a
local, or limited Kingdom for the Jews only. It would not be merely
one of many human and visible kingdoms which men could point out or
see, and say, "This is it, here"; or "that is the Kingdom, over
there." But He, Himself, was born to be the KING of that Kingdom,
as He plainly told Pilate (John 18:36-37). The Bible uses the terms
"king" and "kingdom" interchangeably (see Daniel 7:17-18, 23). The
KING of the future Kingdom was, then and there, standing in the
midst of them. And in the language in which He spoke to them, that
is precisely what He said -- as the marginal rendering and other
translations state.
Jesus went on, in the following verses, to describe His second
coming, when the Kingdom of God shall rule ALL THE EARTH. In Luke
17:24 He refers to lightning flashing, just as in Matthew 24:27,
describing His second coming to RULE the whole world. Verse 26 -- as
it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when Christ comes in
power and glory as world Ruler. Verse 30 -- the day when He is
revealed.
Plainly, Jesus was not saying that the Kingdom of God was
within those Christ-hating, hypocritical Pharisees. Nor was He
saying that the Church would be the Kingdom.
Now continue with the other scriptures, and it becomes very
PLAIN!
Jesus distinctly said that those Pharisees would not be in the
Kingdom of God. To them, He said: "There shall be weeping and
gnashing of teeth, when ye [you Pharisees] shall see Abraham, and
Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and
you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and
from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall
sit down in the kingdom of God" (Luke 13:28-29).
The Kingdom of God is something men shall ENTER -- at the
resurrection of the just! Yet Abraham is not there yet (see Heb.
11:13, 39-40).

Has Not Yet Appeared

But one may ask, did not Jesus Christ say the Kingdom of God
was "at hand"? Yes, we quoted this, in the beginning of this
booklet, from Mark 1:15. This naturally led some to mistake what He
said, and what He meant, and assume the Kingdom of God was
established and set up during Jesus' ministry. Thus some supposed
it was the Church.
But Jesus did not say the Kingdom of God had been established.
It was now being preached (Luke 16:16). He did not say it was
already here. Jesus, Himself, corrected this false notion. Will you
read this IN YOUR OWN BIBLE? Will you then believe Jesus Christ -- or
will you call Him a liar and believe so-called "Christian"
traditions of men? Will you believe YOUR BIBLE?
Notice -- read it in your own Bible: Jesus "added and spake a
parable ... because they thought that the kingdom of God should
immediately appear" (Luke 19:11). WHY did Jesus speak this parable?
Because some, even then, mistakenly thought the Kingdom should
immediately appear -- because some thought it would be THE CHURCH!
Now continue: "He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into
a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return"
(verse 12). Christ is that "nobleman." He is speaking of His
ascension to the throne of God His Father, in heaven. Notice, He
went there to be given rulership of the Kingdom -- to receive the
Kingdom. Notice, too, He is to return, when He has received it! He
has not yet returned! Other scriptures explain this. We will turn
to them a little later.
But continue: "And he called his ten servants, and delivered
them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his
citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will
not have this man to reign over us." The original 12 tribes of
Israel had been divided into TWO nations, immediately after the
death of King Solomon. The nation Israel rejected Solomon's son,
Rehoboam, and set up Jeroboam as their king. They made the city of
Samaria their capital. But the tribe of Judah seceded from Israel,
in order to retain Rehoboam as king, and Jerusalem as their
capital. Then the tribe of Benjamin joined them, and many Levites.
The northern Kingdom then became known as the TEN TRIBES.
Now Jesus Christ was born of the tribe of Judah. The promise
of the "Sceptre" -- or kingly tribe, from which Messiah was to be
born -- was divinely given to Judah. Consequently when it is stated
that Christ "came unto His own, and His own received Him not," it
is speaking of His having come to the Jews of the Kingdom of JUDAH,
dwelling then in the Holy Land, with its capital still at
Jerusalem. At that time the TEN TRIBES had migrated from Assyrian
captivity northwest across Europe. They were far away, had lost
their identity, were speaking a different language. It was then 700
years after their captivity and removal from the Northern Kingdom
(Samaria).

Not Church Language

And so the nobleman's citizens who rejected him were the Jews
at Jerusalem and dwelling in Palestine. And notice, Jesus is here
talking about a KINGDOM which is a literal GOVERNMENT. His citizens
would not accept Him as KING -- they refused to have Him REIGN over
them. That is not CHURCH language -- that is civil government
language!
So it becomes plain that the ten servants of the parable, to
whom He gave the ten pounds, represent the TEN TRIBES, who had
become known as the LOST Ten Tribes. After the Jews rejected
Christ, He sent His original apostles to the "LOST sheep of the
HOUSE OF ISRAEL" -- and the term "House of Israel" always applies,
after the division, to the ten-tribed kingdom -- never to the Kingdom
of Judah -- or, as often called, the House of Judah.
Continuing the parable, spoken because some thought the
Kingdom of God was immediately, then, in the first century, to
appear: "And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having
received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called
unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how
much every man had gained by trading" (verse 15). When Christ
returns, we shall all be called before the Judgment Seat of Christ-
-to give account!
Now notice in verse 17, the one who had gained ten pounds is
given authority to RULE CITIES -- "have thou authority over ten
cities"! To the one who had gained five pounds, he said, "Be thou
also over five cities."
This is speaking of the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST -- and of His
delegating authority to rule to saints converted during this
Christian era, between Christ's first and second appearings on
earth.
This parable, then, was spoken to make clear to us that the
Kingdom of God is a literal GOVERNMENT, to be set up AT CHRIST'S
SECOND COMING -- and not before! The CHURCH, then, cannot be the
Kingdom of God. But the true Church of God is to be changed, by a
resurrection and instantaneous change from mortal to immortal, INTO
the Kingdom of God. The Church, when all its members have been
changed to immortality, shall BECOME the Kingdom of God. But it is
not, now, the Kingdom!

Saints to Rule

Now read the description of Christ's actual receiving
authority to RULE the Kingdom. He is the nobleman who went to
heaven to receive this kingship, and to return.
We have already seen how the Prophet Daniel recorded the
setting up of the Kingdom of God -- at Christ's coming -- to consume
all present national governments on earth, and set up the world-
ruling Kingdom of God. This was recorded in the second chapter.
Notice now chapter seven:
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of
man [Christ] came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the
Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him" (verse 13).
Jesus continually referred to Himself as the "Son of man" -- all
through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Christ ascended to heaven in
clouds (Acts 1:9). He ascended to the very throne of God in heaven
(Mark 16:19). Now continue:
"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" (Dan. 7:14).
That is plain! Christ ascended to the throne of God in heaven.
God is Sovereign over the entire universe. This vision shows God
Almighty, Father of the resurrected living Christ, conferring on
Christ dominion. Dominion means sovereign or supreme ruling
authority. Also given to Him was "a kingdom." Where is that Kingdom
to be? It says "a kingdom that all people, nations, and languages,
should serve him." The people, and the nations speaking different
languages, are here on earth. He is given dominion over ALL
NATIONS -- the whole world!

Important Word "UNTIL"

Now will you read, in your own Bible, Acts 3:21? It says the
heavens have received Jesus Christ UNTIL -- not permanently, just
until a certain time. Until when? Until the times of RESTITUTION of
all things. Restitution means restoration to a former state or
condition. It is speaking of restoring God's laws, God's
government -- of restoring happiness and universal PEACE.
In this 7th chapter of Daniel, the prophet had experienced a
dream, and visions. He had seen four wild animals. Notice, verse
16, the interpretation begins verse 17. This is GOD'S inspired
interpretation -- not mine: "These great beasts, which are four, are
four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of
the most High shall take the KINGDOM, and possess the kingdom
forever, even for ever and ever" (Dan. 7:17-18).
Notice it! Not only is Christ to rule -- but the saints -- that
is, converted true Christians -- those begotten as sons of God -- are
to take and possess the Kingdom! They are to rule under, and with
Christ! In the New Testament it is recorded that converted saints
are co-heirs with Christ!
In this same 7th chapter, Daniel explained another power. The
fourth beast of his dream -- the fourth empire -- the Roman Empire, was
pictured as an animal having ten horns -- explained here and in
Revelation 13 and Revelation 17 as ten revivals or resurrections of
the Roman Empire, after its original fall in 476 A.D. But among
them -- after 476 A.D. -- arose another little horn -- a religious
kingdom, actually ruling over the last seven of the other "horns"
or revived Roman kingdoms (verse 20).
Now read about this "little horn" -- the religious kingdom --
verse 21: "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints,
and prevailed against them, UNTIL [note, another "UNTIL"] the
Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the
most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the
kingdom."
The saints -- then no longer human flesh and blood, but
immortal -- are to possess the Kingdom, at the second coming of
Christ!
Jesus Christ makes that plain. It is Christ who is speaking in
Revelation 3:21, and 2:26-27: "To him that overcometh will I grant
to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set
down with my Father in His throne." The Father's throne is in
heaven -- where Jesus Christ is now; but Christ's throne, in which
the saints shall sit with Him, is the throne of David, in Jerusalem
(Luke 1:32).
Further: "And he that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the
end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule
them with a rod of iron."

Can't Know the TIME

After His resurrection, on the Mount of Olives at the very
hour of His ascension to heaven, Jesus was explaining to His
disciples how they would receive the inspiring God-begetting POWER
of the Holy Spirit on the approaching day of Pentecost.
His disciples wanted to know whether the Kingdom of God was to
be set up at that time! The CHURCH was established on that imminent
day of Pentecost. Was that CHURCH, then, to be the setting up of
the Kingdom?
"Lord," they asked, "wilt thou at this time restore again the
kingdom to Israel?"
Jesus again made plain that the Church is not the Kingdom.
"And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or
the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye
shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost [Spirit] is come
upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and
in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the
earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he
was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight" (Acts
1:7-9).
The commission He had given the CHURCH was to preach His
Gospel to all the world. They were to receive the Holy Spirit,
begetting them as saints -- as Christians -- putting them into God's
CHURCH. This would infuse them with the power to carry out the
mission of the Church. But it was NOT the setting up of the Kingdom
of God. Of that they were not to know the time.
Just what did Jesus mean, "It is not for you to know the times
or the seasons"? He explained it another time. It is recorded in
Matthew 24:36: There He was speaking of the end of this world, and
His second coming:
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels
of heaven, but my Father only." He was speaking of His second
coming, and setting up of the Kingdom, the time of which no man
knows, but only the Father.
However, though we do not, even now, know the day or the hour,
we do know, from God's prophecies, that it is today very near!
Notice this, in Luke 21:25-32: He had been foretelling the world
events, right now beginning, leading to "distress of nations" in
world troubles and world wars, "with perplexity" -- "men's hearts
failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are
coming on the earth" -- world trouble such as never before
experienced. "When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that
the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, this
generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled."

The Two Fateful Alternatives

This world trouble began in 1914, with World War I. There was
a recess from 1918 until 1939. We are in a second recess now --
although we have been in what we call "COLD WAR." But now at last
we have nuclear energy. We have hydrogen bombs stockpiled in such
power and volume that they could blast all human life off this
planet several times over. There are two other destructive weapons
today in existence, either of which could erase humanity from the
earth.
Today world-famous scientists say only a super world-
government can prevent world cosmocide. Yet MEN cannot and will not
get together to form such a world-ruling government.
It's time we face the hard, cold, realistic FACT: humanity has
two alternatives: either there is an Almighty, all-powerful GOD who
is about to step in and set up THE KINGDOM OF GOD to rule all
nations with supernatural and supranational FORCE to bring us
PEACE -- or else all human life would be obliterated (Matt. 24:22).
If the deceived religionists, who think the CHURCH is the
Kingdom of God, were right, and there is not going to be any
supernatural and all-powerful WORLD GOVERNMENT which is the Kingdom
of God, then humanity is utterly without HOPE. All human life is in
danger of extinction.
But notice what Jesus Christ said!
Can you BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST?
Where is your trust -- in the Word of God, or in paganized,
empty, deceiving teachings falsely labeled "Christianity" --
inherited as "Christian tradition" -- which says the CHURCH is the
Kingdom of God; or, that the Kingdom is merely a meaningless,
frothy and ethereal sentiment "set up in our hearts"? It's about
time you come to know who are the false prophets, and WHO is
speaking the true Word of God faithfully!


ADDITIONAL READING: And now you should read the following booklets:
"Just What Do You Mean -- Born Again?", "What Do You Mean --
Salvation?" and "Just What Do You Mean -- 'the Unpardonable Sin'?"