articles of chapter 5

The Invisible Kingdom of God

It is said of the coming of the Kingdom of God in Luke 17:20:

Being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, he [Jesus] answered them, “The Kingdom of God doesn’t come with observation”; [or with a visible display] 21 neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. ‘Within you’ in Greek: basileia theos eimi sy entos hymōn. ἐντός entos, preposition G1787: within, inside, within you i.e. in the midst of you.

Instead of saying that the Kingdom of God is “inside you” some have translated “in the midst of you”. NLT, HCSB: “among you”. Comparing different translations, I state that roughly half and half have decided between these two. Both options are possible, to my mind, depending of the point of view of the translator: within you or inside you if it is thought that admittance to God’s Kingdom requires rebirth from inside, and among you if it is thought in concrete that Jesus talked to people around him who is representing the Kingdom of God. Jesus said himself about the Kingdom of God that it cannot be said to be located here or there. The Kingdom of God is not a secular kingdom but spiritual.

Mat 24:26 If therefore they tell you, Behold, he is in the wilderness, don’t go out; Behold, he is in the inner chambers, don’t believe it.

There will be a lot of false Christs before His coming. The aforementioned Mathew’s verse refers precisely to these false Christs. Jesus does not come in secret, but in a very visible way. The Kingdom of God, on the other hand, will not come with fanfares.

John 3:3 says: Jesus answered him: Most assuredly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, [The word translated “anew” here and in John 3:7 anothen also means “again” and “from above”] he can’t see the Kingdom of God.

iēsous apokrinomai kai legō autos amēn amēn legō sy ean mē tis gennaō anōthen dynamai ou horaō basileia theos … ὁράω βασιλεία θεός

ὁράω G3708 to see with the eyes, to see with the mind, to perceive, know, to see, i.e. become acquainted with by experience, to experience

It was taught widely among the Jews at that time that since they descended from Abraham, they were automatically assured of heaven. In fact, some rabbis taught that Abraham stood watch at the gate of hell, just to make sure that none of his descendants accidentally wandered in there. Jesus’ reply to Nicodemus shatters the Jewish assumption that their racial identity – their old birth – assured them a place in God’s Kingdom. Jesus makes it plain that a man’s first birth does not assure him of the kingdom – only being born again gives this assurance. (David Guzik)

If a man is not reborn, he cannot, according to the Bible, see the kingdom of God. This leads to the conclusion that the leaders of the kingdom of God, who are in spiritual bodies, are invisible to other inhabitants of the Millennial Kingdom, unless they wish to be seen. “They are like angels”, that is like spirits and for us the angels are usually invisible. I said usually. In the letter to the Hebrews we can read how the angels (in visible form) may have visited us: Heb 13:2 Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it.

John continues the description of Jesus:

3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Don’t be astonished that I said to you, ‘All of you must be born from above.’ [Or born again] 8 The wind [The Greek word pneuma means wind, breath, and spirit] blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don’t know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

You cannot see the wind. Jesus says that likewise is the case with everyone born of the Spirit! If all members of the Kingdom of God, who have been born from the Spirit, are like wind and invisible, then is God’s Kingdom itself also (its entire government) invisible? The people of the kingdom, those few who have survived the great tribulation and the wrath of the Lord, are flesh and blood humans. Many of the survivors have not even heard of Jesus and they cannot be in the Kingdom of God. They can become such at the last judgment at the end of the Millennium.

How could the administration of the kingdom and the people’s contacts therein be possible if the administration of the kingdom is invisible? Isa tells how the believers’ connection to God works in real-time! Isa 65:24 It shall happen that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

Mat 6:8 says: Therefore don’t be like them, for your Father knows what things you need before you ask him.
The coming of Jesus himself is, according to the Bible, a very visible event to all. It would feel odd if his kingdom would not come in the same manner – visibly. I reflect the Kingdom later in my writing of salvation.

According to the Bible, the resurrected become spirit beings. According to Jesus, they are like angels. These saints will rule the world. The big question is: do they rule on earth or from heaven? How do invisible spirit beings fit to live and govern the earth? Jesus said, “Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said,” The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; that is, its coming cannot be seen. “Nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘there it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst (Luk 17:20,21). People won’t say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or “There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among [or within] you.

The same will also apply to the leadership of the kingdom, the saints. What Bible verses would support the leadership of the kingdom be as spirit beings in heaven, but the subjects of the kingdom would be on the earth? Would the saints also be spirits on the earth? Angels can move between heaven and earth, they can also take the body in flesh. Some angels did so without permission and took the earth’s daughters to their wives (Gen 6). Perhaps they could appear in the kingdom of God in two different kinds of forms but with permission.

Some Apocrypha books tell how the angel appeared as if he was in a fleshly human body. The angel was able to go to heaven and return to the earth without people even realizing that he had gone elsewhere. One such an angel’s long visit to the earth is told in the book Tobit. In it, angel Rafael lives on earth and spends time with people as ‘human’. Here a couple of sentences from the book: “I am Rafael, one of the seven angels who stand near the Lord God and who are allowed to come in front of his glory. … Now you recognize as well that I have not actually eaten anything; it just seemed to you like that“.

According to the Bible, the inhabitants of the millennial kingdom will build houses for living and other related activities that spirits do not do. The resurrected saints “cannot die”, the second death does not have any power over them. The subjects of the kingdom, on the other hand, are mortal, even if their life spans are longer than before. Infant mortality is also removed (Isa 65:20>). An interesting question to consider is as follows: When the last judgment is delivered and the true kingdom of God has arrived, are the members of the kingdom in spirit body or fleshly body?

 

 

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