Where did the Kingdom Go?
We want to look at the question, where did the Kingdom go? Now you may say, “The Kingdom is in heaven, why ask where it went?” Today, the believer lives more for the world than he does for the Kingdom. We have lost the vision of the Kingdom to come. We do not live by Kingdom principles nor do we promote the Kingdom. Yeshua talked so much about the Kingdom and what it was like and who will see it that you have to ask yourself, “Where did the kingdom go?” Today we seldom hear anyone preach or teach about the Kingdom of God. So let’s look at what the Scriptures tell us about the Kingdom, otherwise known as the Messianic Age. But first, has there been a misconception about the Kingdom? The kingdom is not in heaven only, but right here on earth. The prophets spoke a lot about the coming Messianic Kingdom, too many Scriptures to look at at this time, but we will look at a few.
Isaiah 2:2-4 tells us, “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He (Yeshua) will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”
The book of Zechariah is full of Messianic Scriptures. Zechariah 9:9-10 says, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.”
When Yeshua entered Jerusalem before His death on the cross, He entered on a donkey, signifying to the people that He was the Messiah. The people knew this prophecy about the Messiah and they quickly cut palm branches and cried out, “Save us, son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 21:9). The people believed that their Messiah had come and He would now save them from their enemies and restore the kingdom, because this was the sign of the Messiah.
The book of Revelation also tells us in chapter 20:6, “Blessed and holy is he, whoever has part in the first resurrection, and the second death has no authority over these, but they shall be priests of God and of the Messiah, and they shall reign with him 1000 years.” Revelation 21:1 also says, “And I saw new heavens and a new earth, for the former heavens and the former earth had departed, and the sea was no more.” We see after the 1000 years that a new heaven and a new earth will be created, for the Kingdom will continue to exist forever. Isaiah 9 tells us about Messiah Yeshua, “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
Again we see the angel tell Mary that Yeshua will sit on the throne of King David forever in Luke 1:30-33: “But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Yeshua. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
So let’s see what Yeshua has to say about the Kingdom. Yeshua began His ministry with one message, and that message was, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). At hand? Yes, the Kingdom has now come down to earth and we can now live as citizens of the Kingdom, here and now. We see that the disciples had the same message (Matthew 10:7). When Yeshua gave this message, the people knew this meant that the Messiah had come and that Yeshua was the Messiah. Yeshua taught much about the Kingdom. The beginning of the Beatitudes begins with, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Again, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:10). Regarding the teaching of His commandments He says, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:19-20). One day the disciples ask Yeshua, “Teach us to pray.” They knew how to pray, but He was their Rabbi and as disciples they wanted to pray like Him. So Matthew 6:9-10 tells us, “And He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The Kingdom was so important in Yeshua’s eyes that after blessing the Father’s name He prays that the Kingdom would come. As far as our needs, God knows our needs and He will provide, but we need to do what is more important and that is to seek first the Kingdom. “For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:32-33).
So how do you seek the Kingdom first? Yeshua tells us in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon this earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Could this be why we have lost our vision of the Kingdom? We are serving the wrong king. Yeshua continues to tell us in verse 24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You can not serve God and money.”
Yeshua tells several parables about the Kingdom. Let’s look at one in Matthew 13:44: “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is likened to treasure that was hidden in a field which a man found and hid, and for his joy he went selling everything that he had and he bought that field.” Have we given up everything for the Kingdom? Do we live like strangers and aliens in this world, knowing that one day we will have the blessings of the Messianic Age, the eternal kingdom? One more parable is in Matthew 25: “Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”
Are we doing the work of the Kingdom? Is our light shining in the darkness of this world? Is the oil of the Holy Spirit burning in our hearts as we long for the Kingdom? If not, then we are not ready for Yeshua’s second coming. If we are not daily doing God’s will on earth as it is being done in heaven, then we have lost our vision.
Isn’t it time to get ready for our coming King? He is coming not as a little baby, not as the suffering servant, but as the Messiah, our victorious King, the Anointed One of the Father. “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; nor will they say, “Look, here it is!” or, “There it is!” For behold, the Kingdom of God is in your midst’” (Luke 17:20-21). It is here and now, and we should be living in the Kingdom today serving our King Yeshua. We do not know the day or hour, so if you need oil for your lamp don’t delay, because while you are out buying oil He may come and you will not be prepared for Him or for His Kingdom.
Open your eyes and your hearts to the vision of the Kingdom, the coming Messianic Age.