Most people don't understand that the Kingdom of God is a literal kingdom, a government both divine and royal ruling over literal people on the earth. This is not merely a symbolic or a spiritual rule, a sentiment that exists only in human hearts. As we will see, it is far more. And Jesus simply continued the prophecies about this Kingdom that had begun to be revealed in the Old Testament.
A prophecy of this coming Kingdom is graphically depicted in Daniel 2. In this prophecy the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, was shown an image that represents the major kingdoms or empires that would dominate the Middle East. The image represents first the kingdom of Babylon, and then three successive kingdoms that would rule until the Kingdom of God would be "set up." This Kingdom of God will put an end to the rule of the previous kingdoms.
Notice the description of this final Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, in verse 44: "And in the days of these [final] kings 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."
The image Nebuchadnezzar saw represented the successive kingdoms existing from the time of Daniel to the time when the Kingdom of God is established, when they will be destroyed by the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God "shall never be destroyed" and "shall stand forever."
Just as these are literal kingdoms, each with a ruler, government, laws, subjects and territory, so too is the Kingdom of God. Its Ruler will be Jesus Christ (Revelation 11:15). Its government and laws will be the government and laws of God (Isaiah 2:2-4). Its subjects and territory will be all nations of the earth (Daniel 7:14). The Kingdom of God will rule over the whole earth!
Let's notice several of the more well-known prophecies that picture the same Kingdom of which Jesus spoke.
The famous prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-7 describes His rule: "For unto us a Child is bom, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever." This is the world kingdom Jesus spoke of that has not yet come!
The prophecy of Isaiah 2 (partially quoted in the last chapter) will be fulfilled at the time of Jesus" return. Notice verses 3-4:
"Many people shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion
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