God's Kingdom

Although the New Testament does not always furnish a clear and dependable order of events, it furnishes ample reason for concluding that the first statement made by Christ Jesus in his public ministry was this one: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand" (Mark 1:14, 15). In effect, Matthew and Luke have shown the importance of this statement by describing the Master's entire teaching as the "gospel of the kingdom" or as "the glad tidings of the kingdom of God" (Matthew 4:17, 23; Luke 8:1). Indeed, the Saviour himself used the first of these descriptions for his teaching. (See Matthew 24:14.)

When Jesus spoke to them, the Jews regarded God as their king and as the rightful ruler of all peoples. Most of them, however, expected God's actual government to begin in the future, and expected it to be material and political, abnormal and supernatural, rather than mental and spiritual, lawful and divinely ordered. At the beginning of the Christian era, only a few of all the Jews ever had attained to the plane of thought which had been expressed in the one hundred and forty-fifth Psalm: "The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth." And it is to be observed that this Psalm is prominent in the Old Testament as an antecedent for the Master's gospel of the kingdom of God.

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Editorial
Freedom through Reflection
July 4, 1931
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