20 May 2011

Question of the Week:
What is the Kingdom of God?

by Anne Lang Bundy

Image source: turnbacktoGod.com

What is the Kingdom of God, how do I get there, and how do I know it when I see it?
Russell Holloway, blog host

The work 'kingdom' designates a realm under the domain of its sovereign.

This week will outline the Bible's description of the Lord's dominion, which might be divided into five phases.

I'll call the first Creation. To this day, we clearly witness testimony of the divine Designer's original creation, as well as the re-creation He accomplished through the flood of Noah. People living in those first two thousand years also had the testimony of ancients who knew God firsthand. Adam and Enoch literally walked with God, and lived well into the days of Noah's father Lamech. Noah lived to see the days of Abraham, and both of them appear to be contemporaries of Job. These men knew God as Elohim and Shaddai, Creator and Almighty, the One with dominion over all life, to give it or to destroy it.

The kingdom's second phase could be called Commandment. It was a time of YHWH—covenant God of deliverance—establishing dominion over one specific people (the Israelites) through their obedience to His laws. Circumcision, shunning worship of idols to worship an invisible God, and observance of the Sabbath all demonstrated the Israelites as clearly set apart from other nations in willing subjection to YHWH, despite Israel's many failures. During this two millennia, a monarchy existed for approximately 460 years as model of a divine King who protects His people, appropriates and directs use of His dominion's resources, and receives their tribute.

The third phase is Church. For the last two thousand years, God has established His dominion in the human heart through His Holy Spirit. He rules wherever people willingly accept His sovereignty. This period in history establishes God's spiritual Kingdom throughout the earth. (More on this in the next two weeks.)

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them... And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
~ Revelation 20:4-6 (NKJV)

The seventh millennium is the time when Christ (Messiah, King Jesus) reigns on the earth. The parables and prophecies of Jesus and the Old Testament describe a time when His resurrected saints rule with Him, with our own sphere of dominion awarded according to how we have proven ourselves during the Church phase. It is a peaceful time of restoration, when swords are beaten into plowshares, when carnivores become tame and again eat grass. It ends with in a final contest between Good and Evil, when the devil and death see ultimate defeat.

The Culmination phase is when the existing heavens and earth pass away, and an eternal kingdom is established. It is described in the last two chapters of the Bible, Revelation 21-22.

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Next week: How to enter the Kingdom now.

What questions do you have about Christianity or the Bible? You're invited to leave them in the comments below (anonymous questions welcome), or email buildingHisbody [plus] @ gmail.com.

© 2011 Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. Wow, well put and succinct as usual. You have a gift for laying out Scripture truths in a very clear and concise manner. You clear out all the junk and just give the truth of the Word. Thank you! Lori

  2. Lori ~

    I'm grateful to know that the challenge of keeping an explanation down to around 500 words is appreciated. Thanks for taking time to express your appreciation. God bless you! :D

  3. so, in relationship to the church aspect. the last one i was in had emphasis on what's called "dominian mandate" which i thought was as though we were like little gods running around. yet it appears to me(here) that it's actually supposed to take place in the seventh millenium, yes? where it really gets confusing for me is the authority the "church" has in praying/prayer. although i threw out all the teachings or have attempted too, the inclination is to draw back in prayer at times. sometimes i wonder if i'm operating according to His Word or a teaching. looking forward to tomorrow's post, Anne:)

  4. Bud ~

    Jude said this:
    Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
    (Jude :8-9)

    I believe that where we have dominion, we may exercise our authority in that place against the devil. I am uncertain how far that authority goes in intercessory prayer. My practice is to pray with dependence on the Lord, and ask Him to bind the enemy in a given situation. I am inclined to believe that if that prayer is answered, the person I pray for still has the free will to sin and give the enemy a new foothold.

    In one instance, when four of us prayed together against the power of the devil, that the person we prayed for, in a remote location, had a strong physical reaction at the exact moment we prayed. I would never underestimate the power of prayer, even in a situation that looks completely hopeless. I also believe God will not force His will on someone in response to my prayer, but that if we are praying in accordance with His will, He can make the consequences for acting against His will uncomfortable enough to motivate a change of heart.