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Most preachers and religionists speak of the kingdom of God. But just what is this kingdom—and when does it appear? Is it in heaven? Is it the British Empire?—the universal church?—or the Millennium? Is it “in the hearts of men” or merely the “good within each person”? Millions believe these popular ideas—yet they are ALL wrong! In fact, none of them are even close to right!
Unnecessary confusion and disagreement reign because God’s Word is ignored. Soon you will understand the kingdom of God as never before—and as almost no one else does!
In 1966, as God began to call me into His truth, I had the opportunity to meet with my United States congressman from Ohio. All applicants to the U.S. Naval Academy were required to have a personal interview with their congressman before possible acceptance. At the end of the interview, my congressman asked if I wished to ask him any questions. Here was a highly respected, long-time member of Congress—for 26 years, until 1973—giving me the opportunity to ask him any question.
I had only one.
I was learning about a coming, world-ruling, supergovernment to be established at the Return of Jesus Christ. I asked the congressman his opinion of one world government, if it were in the hands of men. His answer was immediate and emphatic, “I do not believe it would work, but if I did, I would shout it from the housetops.” He went on to express various concerns.
Since that time, more and more people have suggested that one world government is the only way to save civilization. But many questions arise. Who would bring it? How would it be phased in? What laws would it administer? How would they be enforced? Would sovereign nations relinquish their authority to it? Would it succeed, or eventually oppress and enslave all mankind? These questions always stop thinkers, planners, leaders and politicians in their tracks!
Jesus declared, “Repent you, and believe the gospel.” So first then, we must ask, just what is the gospel? Most “gospel believers” never concern themselves with what exactly they believe. The truth of the gospel has remained hidden to the vast majority of professing Christians. Ever since the first century there has been a conspiracy to deceive would-be Christians about the meaning of the gospel.
As a result, most believe the gospel is about the Person of Jesus. Certainly, Jesus’ role is enormous, but He is not the gospel. The Bible shows that Jesus Christ is preached in conjunction with the gospel.
Others proclaim a “gospel of salvation” or “grace.” Still others a “gospel of miracles” or a “social gospel,” or one about “foods” or “healing” or “faith.” Some talk of “gospel music.” These are all manmade ideas—and not what the Bible says!
Notice what Mark recorded. “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God” (Mark 1:14). That is the gospel Jesus preached. It was in this context He said, “Repent you, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). What gospel?—the “kingdom of God.” Verse one refers to the “beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Mark 1:1). The gospel of Jesus Christ was about the kingdom of God—not something else! One must believe and understand that gospel to be saved. No counterfeit or substitute will do.
The truth of this subject is so important that God inspired the apostle Paul to warn ministers and Christians of all generations. Let’s read: “I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we [apostles], or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-9).
This is a strong statement! Paul went on to stress to the Galatians “that the truth of the gospel might continue with you” (Gal. 2:5). So there is the true gospel, with all others false.
Plainly, Paul never taught a different or additional gospel, as some allege. In fact, God used him to be the one to warn against ever allowing such false teaching. He even pronounces a curse on any man, angel or even apostle—note the reference to “we”—who violates this command. A powerful scripture!
Paul further explained the apostles were entrusted by God to preserve the true gospel. Notice: “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God” (I Thes. 2:4). This is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. True ministers teach what God commands, not what “pleases men.”
Why do preachers not fear to do this? Why are so many willing to teach a variety of false gospels? The answer? They fear preaching what could displease their congregation—and mean losing their job. Also, the churches of mainstream Christianity cannot agree on what the gospel is.
Since Jesus said the gospel was about the kingdom of God, and men do not know what God’s kingdom is, they have concluded it may be a particular denomination or Christianity collectively—or a “warm feeling” in the “hearts of men”—or the Millennium—or British Empire. Some have even concluded the gospel of the kingdom is not for mankind today!
What incredible ignorance!
The masses are deceived by the god of this world, who uses his ministers as instruments to spread the most popular false gospel, that of the Person of Jesus, instead of Jesus’ message about God’s kingdom.
Paul also warned, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing [it is not surprising] if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness…” (II Cor. 11:13-15).
This is a shocking scripture. Satan has ministers who appear to be God’s ministers.
Paul next describes the work of such men. Notice: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve thru his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that comes [speaking of false preachers] preaches another Jesus…or if you receive another spirit…or another gospel, which you have not accepted…” (II Cor. 11:3-4). If Christ is the gospel, then why are “another Jesus” and “another gospel” shown as separate problems?
People need to wake up to the deception—the mass delusion—of a supposed Christianity that denies virtually all the truths of the Bible! God’s Plan for mankind is staggering—incomparable to anything human beings have devised to replace it. The world ignores plain, clear, unmistakable scriptures found throughout the Bible about God’s kingdom.
This Personal explains the astonishing truth so many ignore!
Like a newscaster far ahead of his time, Jesus came with an announcement about a complete change in the way the world would one day be governed. World peace, happiness, harmony, universal health and prosperity would come.
Everywhere He went, Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God. It was the subject of most of His parables. When commissioning His 12 apostles, He sent them to preach the kingdom of God. He later sent 70 more disciples, commanding them to preach God’s kingdom. Paul preached this same “kingdom” message everywhere he went. (Carefully read Acts 19:8; 20:25 and 28:23, 31.)
The terms kingdom of God and kingdom are found scores of times through the New Testament. Yet nearly everyone has lost the knowledge of—and meaning of—what this kingdom is!
“Gospel” is an old English word meaning “god spell” or good news. So is “kingdom,” which simply means government. In other words, Christ preached “the good news of the government of God.” Peace, happiness, health and abundance would certainly be good news for a mankind that has not known it for 6,000 years.
Jesus’ disciples asked Him what would be the sign of His Coming and of the end of the age. First, He warned His servants of future generations, that there would be deception from many who would come “in [His] Name” (Matt. 24:5), saying, “Christ was Christ”—meaning they would put emphasis on Jesus’ Person not His message. But He also foretold that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14).
We are now in the time of the end. Remember, if the kingdom of God had been preached throughout the centuries—from Christ’s time to the present—proclaiming it today could not be a sign we have reached the last days. Impostors and false leaders suppressed the preaching of the true gospel until 1934 when Herbert W. Armstrong began fulfilling this prophecy. The Restored Church of God is today preaching this gospel—but for only a little longer.
When Jesus spoke of the “kingdom,” what did He mean? The kingdom of God has two separate aspects.
Many speak of salvation—the belief in an afterlife. Some have supposed the gospel is exclusively about “receiving eternal life” or the popular, but unbiblical, idea of “going to heaven” upon death. Of course, the Bible says much about salvation. Actually, salvation is directly related to—is one aspect of—the kingdom of God.
The other is about government. When the kingdom arrives, it will be a world-ruling government. The Bible describes this government in detail.
Prior to Jesus’ birth, an angel appeared to His mother, Mary. Let’s read: “The angel said…you shall...bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:30-33).
While on trial, Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom [His government] is not of this world.”
Pilate asked, “Are you a king then?”
Jesus responded, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world” (John 18:36-37).
Jesus Christ was born to be a king—but where and over what?
Here is what the prophet Isaiah foretold about Christ: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever” (Isa. 9:6-7).
Obviously, heaven is not awaiting either God’s government or peace. When Christ establishes His government, it will usher in peace and justice for all nations on Earth! David’s throne is on Earth!
The apostle Peter spoke of “…when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution [or restoration] of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21). Of course, heaven has received Christ “until” this restoration.
Imagine! Every one (“all”) of God’s true servants have preached that Christ will return to restore “all things.” Prior to Satan’s rebellion, God’s government was present on Earth. For thousands of years, God’s servants have foretold its restoration in detail. I have studied all of the Old Testament prophets many times and seen that each did announce, in one fashion or another, the coming kingdom of God and restitution of all things.
The book of Jude records the preaching of Noah’s great-grandfather, Enoch. It is a record of what was spoken over 4,500 years ago—even before the Flood. Consider the incredible scope of these words: “And Enoch also…prophesied…saying, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints [note the number: there have always been, and still are, much fewer true Christians than most would ever believe], to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly…of all their ungodly deeds which they have…committed, and of all their hard speeches…sinners have spoken against Him” (Jude 1:14-15).
Get the clear meaning. The saints (all true Christians) are coming with Christ to judge the entire world, according to their conduct. The truth is astonishing—even shocking. But do not be ignorant of it.
The prophet Daniel also understood the kingdom of God was a literal government that would one day rule real people and real nations on Earth. He held no illusion that the kingdom was mere “sentimental fluff” or a “warm feeling” in the “hearts of men.” God used him to explain much special understanding about how and when God’s kingdom would come.
All that Daniel was shown was to be “closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (Dan. 12:9). I repeat, we are now in that time—and there are many proofs of this. You will want to read our eye-opening booklet Are These the Last Days?
Daniel’s message is for us, today! He reported big—tremendous!—news that will affect you in your lifetime! Daniel understood and spoke the same gospel Jesus preached—and it is critical we understand what he said.
In chapter 2, Daniel was speaking to the Chaldean King Nebuchadnezzar about matters that had come to the king in a dream. Nebuchadnezzar was the king of a vast empire—Babylon—that he ruled about 600 years before the time of Christ.
The king’s magicians were unable to reveal what God could reveal through His prophet Daniel. It was God’s purpose to reveal, through that worldly human king, that there is an Almighty living God who rules the entire universe and all kings, governments and nations on Earth are ultimately subject to Him. The humanly wise King Nebuchadnezzar had no knowledge beyond the existence of other human kings and their many false gods. It was the true God’s intention to reveal the existence of His government and that it rules the entire universe. He intended to make plain His supreme purpose of bringing that government to Earth in the latter days.
This astonishing prophecy details many things about the restoration of His government—including the time sequence for its arrival.
The first verses of chapter 2 describe the image of a giant man: “This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay” (Dan. 2:32-33).
The image is constructed in four distinct parts. Verses 34-35 then describe a supernatural “stone that smote the image [and] became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Dan. 2:35). Now notice this stone “was cut out without hands” (Dan. 2:34). This is because God, not men, had formed it.
The “stone” shatters the image and replaces it, and goes on to encompass the whole Earth. This can only be describing God’s government coming to Earth. Again, Daniel is merely announcing the same “kingdom” message that Jesus preached. You do not need to believe me, because this is what your Bible states in a series of verses no one must interpret for you.
Verse 37 plainly states, “You, O king, are a king of kings: for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory” (Dan. 2:37). Now verse 38: “You [Nebuchadnezzar] are this head of gold” (Dan. 2:38). We must always let the Bible interpret the Bible. This is what it just did.
Verses 39-40 go on to describe three successive kingdoms that would follow Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon.
These verses show historic world empires depicted by different metals in the image. These were literal kingdoms: (1) the Chaldean-Babylonian Empire of gold, (2) the Medo-Persian Empire of silver, (3) the Greco-Macedonian Empire of brass, and (4) the Roman Empire, made of iron mixed with clay in its final appearance. The record from history is that these four kingdoms (or empires) did rule successively. The fourth kingdom will one more time rule and influence the world just before—and up to—when God’s kingdom is established.
God expressly reveals to us now that He is the One who establishes and removes—and establishes and removes, again and again—earthly governments (or kingdoms).
Many ask, “But what is a kingdom?” Preachers and theologians have tried to spiritualize away the meaning, because they have not carefully examined God’s definition—what the Bible says.
This is found in verse 39, which refers to these kingdoms “which shall bear rule over all the earth” (Dan. 2:39). This cannot refer to the nebulous idea of a kingdom in the “hearts of men”—or some kind of church or churches. It speaks of rulership by governments with authority over literal nations—and literal people. Will you let preachers tell you otherwise—or will you believe the Bible definition of a kingdom? And remember, these kingdoms “bear rule over all the Earth”!
Note two important aspects of the towering image: First, the metals decrease in value descending from the head to the legs and feet. So the quality of each succeeding kingdom or empire is less in value than the preceding one. Second, the metals increase in strength descending the statue’s body. In other words, the power and scope of each succeeding kingdom or empire is greater than the one before it.
Finally, notice the two legs represent a divided kingdom. The Roman Empire was indeed divided, with capitals at both Rome and Constantinople. The 10 toes are part iron and part clay. Iron cannot mix with clay, so this pictures instability. When the feet break, the entire man will collapse. Careful study must be made of Revelation 13 and 17 and Daniel 7, with Daniel 2, to fully understand the succession of these four kingdoms, and to see more clearly that the 10 toes are in fact 10 separate kings who temporarily unite in the last days.
Together, these four chapters present a powerful and sobering prophecy about latter-day events—that will affect you and me in our lifetime! Revelation 17:8 describes a “Beast” that ascends out of a “bottomless pit” and is ridden by a “woman.” This Beast involves 10 kings who receive power and unite under a charismatic leader who will take the role of the “Beast.” This will be the seventh, and last, short-lived resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire—arising now in the heart of Europe. The booklet Who or What Is the Beast of Revelation? is vital for you to understand. I urge you to take time to read it.
A United States of Europe lies just ahead. It is crucial that you comprehend what these prophecies mean!
Something incredible happens “in the days of these kings” (the 10 toes, depicting the last 10 kings of Revelation 17:12). Christ’s arrival removes all doubt about exactly what the kingdom of God is. Also, God tells us when it will arrive: “And in the days of these kings [the last 10] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people [God will never allow human beings to seize control], but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:44).
God—not men—will establish the greatest world-ruling empire of all time. And He will never allow men and their opinions to disrupt it, for it will “stand forever.” This promise is sure. It will happen—whether men believe it or not! My job is to report it to you, not make you believe it!
Now let’s understand a vital connection to the seven revivals of the Roman system. Revelation 17 describes each as having “a woman sit[ting] upon [a] scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns” (Rev. 17:3). The heads are seven separate revivals, again, with a 10-horn final one composed of 10 kings.
Of the woman, “…upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Rev. 17:5-6). Verse 1 calls her a “great whore that sits upon many waters,” with verse 15 explaining the “waters” are many “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” (Rev. 17:1, 15).
This graphic description is of a large, very powerful modern-day church descended from the ancient system of Babylon. She is a “mother” of many “harlot” daughter churches. These left her in protest because they disagreed with some few of her abominations. Understand. This is not a small church, but rather a great church ruling many peoples and nations. The chapter speaks of the woman’s “fornication” with the “kings of the earth,” and of her as “that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.” This city’s identity is all too obvious.
Revelation 12 describes a very different woman—the true Church—that the powerful other “woman” church has persecuted for 2,000 years. God ultimately destroys the whore and her daughters by turning the Beast she rides against her. But first she must “ride” the final resurrection of the Holy Roman (Babylonian system) Empire!
There is not much time left until this last revival appears—with the wonderful kingdom of God to appear soon after. (Read Revelation 19:11-16.) All the governments of men—of every large and small country today—will be smashed and replaced by God’s supergovernment.
Soon all nations will see “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever,” as Isaiah foretold (Rev. 11:15). Just as countries today are real, literal, physical kingdoms, from just this passage, so is God’s government also real and literal.
Jesus Christ was born to be a King—to rule all nations of Earth forever with the help of other spirit-composed kings. This is the central theme of the entire Bible: “And out of His [Christ’s] mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron…and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords” (Rev. 19:15-16).
Have you been told about these passages—any of them? I never learned or even heard of them in the church of my youth—and yet, here they are, available with unmistakable clarity.
For more incredible truths about God’s soon-coming supergovernment, read What Is the Kingdom of God?