Article of Faith: The kingdom that is already here but is yet to come (1), By Femi Aribisala

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The time is coming, but now is.

Jesus says to Nicodemus: “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).

Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5).

This means some things can only be discerned by those who are flesh and blood but not in the flesh but in the spirit. Some things are only perceptible to those who are here on earth but at the same time are sited in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6).

Everything about the kingdom of God is counterintuitive. Because it is currently a spiritual kingdom, it can only be seen by those able to see the invisible things of God. (Romans 1:20). Those things can only be seen by those who are blind but can see. But those who are not blind but can see are blind to them.

Jesus says to a Jewish man: “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”(John 9:39).

Eye-openers

God says: “Who is blind but My servant? Who is blind as he who is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant? Seeing many things, but you do not observe.” (Isaiah 42:19-20).

Therefore, He reveals to those born again a kingdom that is yet to come but nevertheless is already here. That is why faith in God is: “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1).

But how can something intangible be substance? How can something we cannot see be evidentiary? The answer is simpler than it seems. Jesus says: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4).

A man who lives by bread alone lives an incomplete and unfulfilling life. A man who lives only on his salary is a candidate for hardship. A believer is not rich in money but in the glory of God. (Phil 4:19). He must live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

This is because God Himself is the life of the believer. (Colossians 3:4). “In Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28). Moreover, “God calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” (Romans 4:17).

Once He calls them into existence, they exist, whether physically manifest or not. Once He calls them into existence, we can live by them, whether we have them physically or not.

If God tells the barren she has a child, she must receive the child, whether she is pregnant or not. She must then live in the consciousness of that child, even before she is pregnant. God says His word never return to Him void: “But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Believing to see

In the world, we say, “Seeing is believing.” In the kingdom, we believe to see. David says: “I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13).

Jesus says to Martha at the graveside of Lazarus: “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40).

He said to Thomas who did not believe He had risen from the dead: “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29).

Accordingly, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7). We must receive things spiritually even before receiving them physically. Therefore, Jesus says: “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24).

Promised kingdom

God promised Israel a kingdom that will never pass away. Nathan said to David, king of Israel: “Your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” (2 Samuel 7:16).

Daniel also confirmed this: “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44).

This kingdom has yet to be established. And yet, it is already here.

However, the Jews expected this promised kingdom to be established physically. But God brought it to them spiritually.

Jesus told the Pharisees when they asked Him when the kingdom would come: “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.” (Luke 17:20-21).

The kingdom of God was already among them, but they could not see it. The kingdom was already among them because Jesus was with them. Jesus is the King of the kingdom of God. But He has not yet been installed as King in this world. Therefore, He told His disciples to pray that the kingdom of God should come on earth and that God’s purpose should be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10).

We are still using this prayer guideline today, asking for the kingdom to come, because the kingdom has yet to be physically established. It will only be physically established in Jerusalem at the Second Coming of Christ.

World of evil

Currently, it is the will of the devil that is done on earth. Or so it appears.

Daniel says: “The Most High rules in the kingdom of men.” (Daniel 4:17). But John observes that: “The whole world is under the control of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19). Indeed, Jesus calls the devil: “The ruler of this world.” (John 12:31). He told Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36).

Therefore, Jesus is still referred to as a Prince because He has yet to be crowned as King. He is: “The Prince of princes,” (Daniel 8:25); “Messiah the Prince,” (Daniel 9:25); and “The Prince of Peace,” Isaiah 9:6).

But when John sees Jesus by revelation, He is a King: “He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16).

Is Jesus a King now or will He be a King?

Jesus is already a King, but He is yet to be a King. When He is installed as King: “Every knee (will) bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and every tongue (will) confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:10-11).

But that Has yet to happen.

Declaring the kingdom

The Bible records that: “Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’” (Mark 1:14-15).

He was asking Israel to believe what the Jews could not see. The kingdom was at hand but not yet. The King was in their midst, but Israel did not recognise or acknowledge Him. He did not come in the pomp and splendour that they anticipated. He was not a conquering war hero, but a peace-loving and humble servant who laid down His life for the sins of mankind:

That was the openly hidden promise of the scriptures: “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6).

Jesus rebuked even His disciples for rejecting what was written in the Old Testament: “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!” (Luke 24:25).  

They did not believe Zechariah, who said: “Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.” (Zechariah 9:9).

When Jesus rode a donkey triumphantly into Jerusalem, they did not get the message. Instead of crowning Him, they killed Him.

TO BE CONTINUED.

Faribisala@yahoo.com; www.femiaribisala.com

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