Seek First the Kingdom
(If you go to the Bible Browser Advanced Home Page, you can do a search on any topic or word you like. I searched under "Kingdom", as a substring in the King James Version, and got 140 responses. I put a few of the Bible references on this page, with a few others I remembered about. I stopped when I got to Matt. 19-20. )
[Mat 6:33.2] But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. [Previously mentioned were: Food, drink, clothing, & money.]
In order to follow this command to seek first the Kingdom, we need to understand what the Kingdom is. Thinking and dwelling on the promises of what life will be like in the Kingdom can give us great hope and faith that God will make things all right in the end. All of the scriptures about the Kingdom can be confusing because there are several aspects to the Kingdom. These different aspects may seem new to you, so bear with me & my words, and let the scriptural descriptions of the Kingdom prove all. Many scriptures about the Kingdom have to do with (1) its arrival & (2) how the different aspects of the Kingdom arrive, (3) how to get into it & (4) how to get into various parts of the Kingdom. Finally, there are the descriptions of (5) where the Kingdom is, and (6) what various aspects of it are like, and finally, (7) allusions analogies and parables about the kindgom. (Matthew 13.)
You can build up your faith by seeking understanding of the kingdom. Remember, thinking about the rewards of the Kingdom is not bad. We are commanded to seek the kingdom, and to pray for it to come.
[Mat 6:10.2] Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Here is my summary of my understanding of the aspects of the Kingdom. Scriptures below will support my statements.
1. There are people on the earth who will reign in Heaven over an Earthly Kingdom. These people are the ones who have died in Christ during the Chruch Age, and those who are taken up in the Rapture, and the Saints who will die for Christ during the Great Tribulation (the seven years of Judgement talked about in Revelation.)
2. There will be an earthly Kingdom, populated by the people left who were not killed during the Great Tribulation or Armageddon.
3. Christ's reign will last 1000 years, he will rule with an iron fist to make people obey God's laws, he will make it stop raining on the nations that don't worship him, occasionally people die at about age 100 (a rare event) and it's as if they are mere "children" of age, and animals will no longer be carnivorous. Isaiah 65
4. After Christ's 1000 year reign, Satan is let out for a while to tempt and test people for the last and final time. After that last challenge, God's authority will never again be allowed to be questioned in the entire Universe, and death will be no more, not even among animals with souls. (I do not think insects have souls.)
Angel to Mary about Jesus: [Luke 1:33] And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
[Mat 5:10.14] Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[Mat 5:19.23] Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
How 'good' do we need to be? [Mat 5:20.27] For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
[Mat 7:21.14] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
[Mat 8:11.27] And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
[Mat 13:38.14] The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
[Mat 19:14.20] But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
No sickness or disease in the kingdom
[Mat 9:35.20] And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
No unrightous in the kingdom
[Mat 13:41.17] The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
No rich men, in theory & principle, should make it into the kingdom of heaven.
[Mat 19:23.21] Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
[Mat 19:24] And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
[Mat 19:25] When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
[Mat 19:26] But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
John the Babtist not ranked high?
[Mat 11:11.30] Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Rank in the kingdom of heaven, and entrance requirements.
[Mat 18:3.23] And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
[Mat 18:4] Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
[Mat 11:12.12] And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
The presence of the Holy Spirit is the presence of the Kingdom of God.
[Mat 12:28.14] But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
[Mat 16:19.11] And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
[Mat 16:28.27] Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
The Kingdom did not come in their lifetimes except by and through the example of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Also, some there were "translated" and did not taste death. Paul said he knew of one who may have fit this category of not tasting death as Jesus said. Whether this man was standing near Jesus or not, I don't know.
[2 Corinthians 12:2] I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven--whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.
[2 Corinthians 12:3] And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise--whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows--
So, the Son of man has not yet come in his kingdom, for if he did, then other scriptures would be fulfilled, and we would be experiencing the type of life as is described in Isaiah 65.
Forgiveness is in the kingdom of heaven. As you forgive others, so shall you be forgiven...
[Mat 18:23.4] Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
[Mat 18:24] And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
[Mat 18:25] But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
[Mat 18:26] The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
[Mat 18:27] Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
[Mat 18:28] But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
[Mat 18:29] And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
[Mat 18:30] And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
[Mat 18:31] So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
[Mat 18:32] Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
[Mat 18:33] Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
[Mat 18:34] And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
[Mat 18:35] So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Yikes! Serious stuff!
[Mat 19:12.36] For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
[Mat 22:30] For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
[Mat 22:31] But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
[Mat 22:32] I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
[Mat 22:33] And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
[Mat 22:34] But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
[Mat 22:35] Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
[Mat 22:36] Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
[Mat 22:37] Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
[Mat 22:38] This is the first and great commandment.
[Mat 22:39] And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
[Mat 22:40] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Prophesy in Isaiah about preparing the way for Jesus: Isa 40:3:5 Prepare the way of Yhwh, you people! Make his roads straight. L3:5 Every gully must be filled up, every mountain and hill levelled down, the curves must become straight ways and the rough places smooth ways; L3:6 and all flesh will see the saving means of God
L9:62 Jesus said to him: "No man that has put his hand to a plough and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God."
And every one, that has left his house, wife, brothers, M19:29c sisters, L18:29c parents or children because of the Kingdom of God M19:29c and because of my position (name) will receive L18:30 during this period of appointed time many times more, and during the coming period, everlasting life."
M19:30 "But many that were first will be last and the last will be first. M20:1 "For the Kingdom of the heavens is like a man, an estate holder, who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. M20:2 After agreeing with the labourers the wages of a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. M20:3 When going out himself at about nine o'clock, he saw others standing unemployed in the market place; M20:4 so he said to them, 'You also, go and work in the vineyard, and I will pay you the fair rate.' So of they went. M20:5 He again went out about midday and again at three o'clock in the afternoon and did the same thing. M20:6 Again about the five o'clock in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around, and he said to them, 'Why have you been standing here unemployed all day?' M20:7 They said to him, 'Because nobody has hired us,' He said to them, 'You also go and work in the vineyard.'
M20:8 "When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, 'Call the labourers and pay them their wages, start with those hired last and proceed to those hired first,' M20:9 When those hired at five o'clock came, they each received a full denarius. M20:10 When the turn came for the first, they expected they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. M20:11 On receiving this they began to grumble against the estate holder M20:12 saying, "Those hired last put in only one hours work; still you paid them the same as us who laboured all day in the burning heat!" M20:13 But in reply to one of them he said, "Friend I do you no wrong did you not agree to work for me for a denarius? M20:14 Take what is yours and leave, if I want to give these men hired last the same as you, M20:15 is it not my right to do what I want with my own things? Or do you view me badly because I act in a good way?" M20:16 In the same way the last ones will be first, and the first ones last."
[Isa 65:17] For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
[Isa 65:18] But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
[Isa 65:19] And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
[Isa 65:20] There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
[Isa 65:21] And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
[Isa 65:22] They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
[Isa 65:23] They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
[Isa 65:24] And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
[Isa 65:25] The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
Finally, I want to leave you with a few words of my own, and how I think the Kingdom will be.
First, it will be a paradise, much like the Garden of Eden, when Adam had plenty of fruit trees to eat from. Every person will own their own piece of land, with fruit trees on it, and every person will own their own home. The trees will produce fruit year round, in every part of the globe, as the entire globe will be turned into a paradise like in the Garden of Eden. Thus, nobody will have trouble with food or housing. Imagine what it would be like if all your year's wages were just spent on clothing! That's the kind of economy the Kingdom would have.
Speaking more about the economy. The Kingdom will have laws like the laws given to the Jews. Perhaps not exactly the same, because a few of the Old Testament Jewish laws were about making the Jews stand out among the rest of the people living in the world. Specifically, how the men were instructed not to cut the hair on the sides of their heads, thus growing long sideburns. The economic laws are these: You cannot loan money to another at a rate of interest. Charging interest was against the law. We all know how economies boom when the interest rate is low, well, imagine a zero interest rate! Money will still be "invested" into companies and the economy, because that's how you make money grow and work for you. But, without bankers charging everyone interest, the money will stay in the hands of the people, and not end up in the hands of corrupt bankers. Thus, money would not be invested in someone else's impulse purchases, and thus, people could not throw the millstone of credit card debt around their necks.
There will still be debt, but all debts are forgiven every 50 years in the Jubilee, as specified in the Hebrew laws. Read Leviticus, Chapers 25-27.
[Lev 25:10] And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants; it shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his family.
Also, there is to be no inflation or deflation. The price for certain goods, and the price for certain punishments in the Old Testament is fixed at a specific amount.
Imagine what our society would be like without a few simple curses that will be removed.
1. No lazy people, no bums, no people living on welfare. Everyone working, everyone contributing to the economy.
2. No sick people, no old people who can't work either. No hospitals, no doctors, no nurses, no nurses aids, no psychiatrists. Everyone who is currently sick or curing the sick will have a chance to add to the productive value of the economy, because all the sick will be cured by Christ, and/or local priests with Holy Spirit power to instantly cure any ailment, even broken arms. Currently, about 10% of the GNP in the United States is spent on health care, and this does not include the loss due to people not working.
3. Total taxes not exceeding 10% for anyone, with most people not even paying any taxes at all, people only paying taxes if they have anything in excess of what they need. Today, in the U.S. the highest tax brackets are over 50%, and government spending is about 1/5th (20%) of the GNP. The government spends 1.5 Trillion a year, and our total GNP is just over 7 Trillion a year. The three biggest chunks of government spending, (20% of GNP) are 1. interest on the national debt, 2. national defence, and 3, social spending mandates like welfare, social security and medicade. None of those spending categories would be needed in God's government.
Paradoxically, we are told today two things about defense spending. 1. That too much defense spending can bankrupt an economy and create a recession/depression, ie Russia. 2. That too little defense spending causes lack of work and a recession/depression. Funny thing is, people believe both of these statements. Fact is, all defense spending is wastful, all jobs in the defense sector represent lives wasted. Granted, in today's world, nations need armies, but in God's Kingdom, there will be no need.
The other paradox, is that we are told two things about deficit spending. 1. That we need extra government spending (deficit spending) to jump start or kick start the economy and give it a boost. 2. That deficits strangle the economy and bring it down. Once again, both of these statements are lies to a certain extent.
4. Imagine zero loss due to employee theft, or white-collar crime. Imagine no criminals in the streets. No need for investment in security programs or any police forces. Wow! There's another big chunk of the economy that was being lost, and is now regained.
5. In Genesis, God told Adam that the land would be cursed on account of his sin, and that Adam would have to toil to make a living. Although today, only 2% of the population in the United States is needed to feed the 100%, just about everyone is still toiling to make a living. Today, we have evidence that before the flood came, the entire Earth was filled with lush plant growth, even in the poles. In fact, some of the world's largest oil fields are in Alaska. (Oil that was created from dead compressed plants from the flood.) I would think that the earth would return to that previous, original state, with easy growth everywhere, but this time even better, as I tend to think it would be without the curse that was bestowed upon Adam.
6. Imagine a legal system without all the lawyers. A legal system with Judges who could not be tempted with gold, silver or any money because they reside in Heaven. A system of law that is so simple and fair, it's understandable and comprehensible by every man, woman and child. I'd wager most cases today are because people today are looking to take advantage of one another, refust to take responsiblitity for their action or inaction, or because people are criminals. In the Kingdom, I'd imagine that most cases would all be because of honest misunderstandings that happen because of miscommunication, or miscalculations that result in unexpected results. No legal judgements because of injury, because all personal injury could be instantly cured. No legal judgements because of crime, as there would be no criminals.
And finally, the Kingdom will not be a thing to look foreward to for everyone. For people who prefer to lie to cover thier mistakes, for people who don't like to work, for people who don't want to take responsibility for their actions or choices, it won't be a good place to live. For people who are lazy, who like to take advantage of others, for people who are selfish, they may not like or want to live in the Kingdom. For the prideful, they won't want to bow down to anyone, even Jesus.
If you follow Jesus command to "seek first the kingdom of God" and think about how great life should be like, you will find yourself disgusted with the evils of this world. You will seek to live in harmony with laws intended for maximum happyness in a world where all people are respected. You will seek to think in terms of living forever, instead of thinking of how much "fun" you can selfishly squeeze into the short lives we all currently live.