“Nor will they say, Behold here or there; for behold, the kingdom of God is inside you” (Luke 17:21, Literal Emphasis Translation). “And so, they will not say, ‘Behold, it is here,’ or ‘Behold, it is there.’ For behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21, Catholic Public Domain Version).
Other translations of the same verse say the Kingdom “is in your midst,” or “is among you,” or “is here with you.” The literal Greek phrase (ἐντός or entos as “inside,” and ὑμῶν or humon as “you [plural]”) does include as a first translation, “inside of you.” Or, “within you.” The other translations are fair and within range.
The reason why Jesus cautioned against looking “here or there’ for external signs of the Kingdom is because we cannot even “see” the Kingdom in the first place, not in any external sign or anywhere else, not without the Holy Spirit living “inside” us to make us “see” (John 3:3). The rest of this page describes how external signs and wonders do exist, and Jesus named many of them, because the Kingdom of God is the past, and the ongoing here and now, and the future to-be Creation of the Living God – but, we cannot even “see” it in any form without the Holy Spirit living “inside” us (Luke 17:21, and John 3:3).
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:14. New International Version).
This rest of this page is under re-write and group revision – R. Roma, Administrator
The most frequent teaching by Jesus focused on the Kingdom of God (Matthew 3:2, Mark 1:15, Luke 1:33, and John 3:3, we cannot even “see” the Kingdom of God without the Holy Spirit). Trainers and students reflect a diversity of interpretations regarding the meaning of the Kingdom of God as taught by Jesus. Various church families and different traditions represented in our working teams in the field are here. One teaching about the Kingdom by Jesus that is reported in common across all four gospels is that we must lose our lives in order to find them (Mark 8:35, Matthew 10:39, Luke 17:33, John 12:25). Our teams agree that losing our lives includes doing so in service to others made possible by continual listening-prayer and obedience to the Holy Spirit of God.
The common agreement that binds us together without argument and despite any differences is that the Kingdom of God manifests and comes on earth because the Holy Spirit creates physical and spiritual results in answers to prayers in groups as small as two or three praying in agreement. “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on the earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:18-19, and John 16:23–33).
We disagree with notions that the Kingdom of God is merely spiritual and is all in the future and is not now and here on earth – “Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years” (James 5:17). Elijah defunded evil with this prayer. He also prayed rain as a blessing for a repentant and humbled nation. This text does not refer to Elijah as a great prophet, a dynamic loud pastor, a teacher, an evangelist, or a person with any other religious title, but instead, as a “human being even as we are.” The failure of the Kingdom of God to come on earth is a failure of countless failures to pray “earnestly,” while doing nothing but complaining and crying about on-earth evil. We consider it equally a practice of charismatic witchcraft to sprinkle charismatic magical catch-phrases and religious jingles at dark evils. Most of us are charismatics and we detest the shallowness of immature charismatic magical prayers. Elijah prayed. And got results. Against the biggest giants and demons doing evil. The Kingdom of God is not in magical religious chants that are forms of godliness without the Power ( 2 Timothy 3:5). It is in demonstrations of God’s Power, on this earth, including humbling us, in our lifetimes.
Our commitment to full-time work of service in the world with regular routines of 6-12 hours per day of recorded prayers integrated into 40-80 work weeks (see the front page) in service in obedience to the Holy Spirit does not earn us any credit with God because the entirety of the advance of the Kingdom of God on earth depends 100% on the work of the Holy Spirit – from beginning to end.
The Kingdom of God is not a mere teaching, a mere message. an abstract theory, a mere principle, nor is the Kingdom of God the church, nor going to church, because we can be in church but not in the Kingdom, but instead, the Kingdom of God is the Presence of God personally making God known in creating physical and spiritual results on earth and all creation (John 14:21, Ezekiel 38:23, Psalm 83, Isaiah 65:1, Romans 10:20, Romans 1:20, and God moving from unknown into known, Psalm 97:2).
The Kingdom of God is revealed by acts of God taking dominion to create demonstrations, manifestations, and practical exhibitions of the Kingdom in effects and results on earth (Matthew 6:10, “Your Kingdom come on earth“). When John the Baptist in prison questioned whether the Kingdom was coming through Jesus, then Jesus did not say to respond to John’s questioning with another sermon, one more teaching, another abstract message, nor with an ideal and noble principle, but instead, to report the physical and on earth results, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor” (Luke 7:22)
One reason why Jesus taught the Kingdom as a most frequent teaching is because of the frequent, constant, habitual correction needed for the continual, repeated, frequently wrong ideas, false expectations, confused assumptions, and selfish motivations of humans who tried to force the Kingdom to come and serve them in all the ways they wanted the Kingdom to serve their own desires (John 6:15), so Jesus hid himself from them. Confusions about the Kingdom of God continued in the hearts of the disciples into the book of Acts (Acts 1:6, Acts chapter 10, correcting Peter’s confusion about who is in, and who is out of the Kingdom, and so on with other confusions about the Kingdom throughout). The title of the Book of Acts is the Greek word for “Practice,” and this book shows what the Kingdom looks like in practice, but this practice includes constant correction to humans, including corrections to disciples and corrections to apostles, for their mistaken assumptions, expectations, visions, motivations, and frequently wrong desires. Whatever else the Kingdom of God means, there is a Head and Sovereign in the Kingdom to correct our ignorant misunderstandings, selfish motives, and faulty behaviors in the Kingdom of God, as we go through life.
We too experience in our lives the freedom, boldness, and clarity that Paul experienced, “Paul stayed there [Rome] two full years in his own rented house, welcoming all who came to visit him. Boldly and freely he proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 28). Trainers and students corporately have records of hundreds of thousands of on-earth answers to prayers (here), that corporately advance the Kingdom across as many people in our lives (here).
This short statement about the Kingdom cannot possibly exhaust the command of the Kingdom, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you” (Matthew 28:19-20). This short statement cannot teach “all the commands” of the Lord of the Kingdom. We agree that the Leader of the Kingdom, our Lord Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit “commands” us today just as specifically and in detail about where to go and where not to go (as in Acts 16:7 and following), and in what gifts we operate (I Corinthians 12), and how our gifts and training add up to full-time callings to advance the Kingdom.
There are thousands of teachings, dogmas, theories, arguments, and disagreements about what the Kingdom of God really is, and is not, scattered throughout history. Our purpose is not to resolve these disagreements, nor blindly accept common agreements about the Kingdom, but instead, to require ourselves and our students to show familiarity with a variety of these teachings, and then to take a personal stand in practice and in word – “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15).
We agree that we are given room for strong disagreements over practice (Acts 15:39, Paul and Barnabus had a strong disagreement), and room for differences of opinion (Romans ch. 14) – “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. For whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men” (Romans 14:17-18). Our trainers and students exhibit this room for disagreement.
We agree that the greatest qualities of the Kingdom are “faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). We agree that God in Love exerts dominion to create physical and spiritual effects to make the Kingdom of God come on earth, and gives us shared dominion and agency on earth to do impossible missions to advance the Kingdom of God in concrete, on earth practice, and to overcome any competing kingdom and competing agency of darkness and evil, and to do this with physical and spiritual effects on earth in our lifetime (samples here, “Definition of Impossible Missions ~ Why We Do Them“) – if we partner in full-time receiving and listening, and full-time obedience here and now to the Holy Spirit.
written corporately by trainers and students, edited and posted by R. Roma
to return to an overview, see the front page with all linked references
One thought on “Kingdom of God”
Zoë Heller says loneliness is a ‘societal, economic, and political’ condition with single women as a kingdom of heroes who do not need men and with single men confined in the prison of an inferior kingdom of rage and violence due to a lack of sex that traps men in a lonely cycle. Loneliness is cured by any next fad of ‘societal, economic, and political’ snake oils and never by selfless service in a Higher Kingdom.
last name removed by R. Roma, Administrator