When Jesus talked about the “Kingdom of God” was He speaking about a spiritual or or a material place? It seems that scripture indicates Christ was speaking of a spiritual reality within the mind and heart of individuals. Christ explained this when he corrected the Pharisees in Luke 17:20 and 21:
Luke 17:20-21 (KJV)
20And 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:
21Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Having been asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, Here it is’, or there it is’, because the kingdom of God is within you”.
Therefore the kingdom of God is a condition of the mind and heart. The spiritual leaders of Christ’s time didn’t get it and sadly, many spiritual leaders of our own time don’t get it either. It’s God who changes hearts. It’s God who sent his own son to be the sacrifice for all the sins of the world. It is God who saves us by grace and not by good theology alone.
Colossians 1:12-18 (KJV)
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
The scriptures tell us that we were translated from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of His dear son. this is a supernatural event in the life of every Kingdom Citizen similar to when God translated Enoch in the Old Testament.
The things of God are not revealed to men through “prying or investigation.” However the hidden treasures of God are only revealed when an individual hungers and thirsts after righteousness and has a loving and humble attitude of discernment.
Proverbs 9:10 (KJV)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
In the days in which we now live the Kingdom is a spiritual Kingdom and can only be seen or recognized by those that have been born again from above. This explains why many cannot grasp the concept of the Kingdom or for that matter anything spiritual.
If a person is not born again they do not have Holy Spirit residing within. The bible calls these people unsaved or natural men. These are not equipped to receive the things of God.
I Corinthians 2:14 (KJV)
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Jesus of Nazareth told Nicodemus “Unless and man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.
John 3:1-6 (KJV)
3 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 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.
“The natural birth prepares us to enjoy natural things, which, without being born into this world, it is impossible we should enjoy; so the spiritual birth introduces us to the enjoyment of spiritual things, illumination of mind, renovation of heart, manifestations of the divine favour, communications of the Divine Spirit, peace and joy through believing, lively hopes of life eternal, and above all, fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
Later on in John 3:5 Christ said to Nicodemus. “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
“may denote to us the manner of the Spirit’s proceedings in the work of regeneration. Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit — That is, except he be renewed by the Holy Ghost, working as water, leaving the same effect upon the soul in cleansing and purifying it from sinful defilements, as water doth upon the body in washing off contracted filth. Nor, indeed, is this manner of expression strange to the Holy Scripture: for John Baptist, speaking of Christ, tells them, that he should baptize them with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: that is, he should baptize them with the Holy Ghost, working as fire, which eats out and consumes the rust and dross of metals,”
At this stage we learn the Kingdom of God is a spiritual Kingdom which is only visible to those who have been “Born Again” and may only be entered into by those who have been born of water and of the spirit.
However at some future date when Christ returns He will establish His Kingdom materially upon the earth. Until then we as Kingdom Citizens may now enjoy the blessings of the Kingdom of God even during this Present Evil Age, as we continue to seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness.