What Is the Kingdom Like?

MEMORY VERSE: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” —Luke 12:32

MATTHEW 9:14-17

THE question, “What is the kingdom like,” is only partially answered in this lesson. Actually the kingdom of Christ is made up of its rulers and its subjects, and when the selection of the rulers is complete, then the rulership of the kingdom will begin. The whole world of mankind will become the subjects of the kingdom, and they will be blessed with the opportunity of gaining eternal life and happiness as humans.

Jesus will be the chief Ruler in the kingdom, and associated with him will be his faithful followers of the Christian age, selected by the Creator from the human race; those who have been willing to suffer and die with him, that they might live and reign with him. The Bible speaks of these as being “beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God,” and informs us that they will live again and reign with Christ a thousand years.—Rev. 20:4

Jesus and his disciples did not always follow the custom of John’s disciples and the Pharisees. They did not practice fasting. When asked the reason for this Jesus explained, “Can the children of the bride-chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then they shall fast.” Jesus is here likening himself to a bridegroom, who was present with his guests in the bride chamber. Later he was taken away in death and these “guests” were sorrowful indeed until they learned that the death of Jesus was necessary to redeem them and the world from death.

Jesus did not attempt to reform the society of his day, not even the Jewish religious society. He said that this would be like putting a piece of new cloth on an old garment, which would result only in the hole being made larger, or, illustrating the same truth, as putting new wine in old bottles, or wineskins.

MATTHEW 13:31-33, 51, 52

The Parable of the Mustard Seed is another illustration of the kingdom. It is true that, to begin with, the kingdom was very small, consisting first only of Jesus. But the kingdom seed was planted by him, and this great kingdom truth has brought growth in the sense of being the calling agent, and the preparatory element for the selection and preparation of those who would live and reign with Jesus.

But these are still unrecognized by mankind in general. This work of preparation for the kingdom has neither been known nor understood by the world. When it is complete, the power and blessings of the kingdom will become worldwide, and the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth as the waters cover the sea. Meanwhile there has been a counterfeit kingdom called Christendom. It has been very imposing indeed, but it will eventually be destroyed by the authority and power of the true kingdom of Christ.

The Parable of the Leaven definitely illustrates the corrupting influences of error which from nearly the beginning of the age have corrupted the pure Gospel of the kingdom. Leaven in the Bible, when used symbolically, always represents sin and its baneful influences. Some of these corruptions are the teachings of eternal torture, the trinity, and the notion that this earth is destroyed by fire at the return of Christ.

MARK 4:26-29

Jesus reminded us that one of the results of sowing seed is that “the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” Jesus did not establish his kingdom at the time of his first advent, but he did plant the seed, “the Gospel of the kingdom.”

Our memory verse reminds us of the happy position we will enjoy in that great consummation of the plan of human salvation; that is, the privilege of living and reigning with Christ in his kingdom. This is the Heavenly Father’s good pleasure for us. May we prove worthy of it by continuing to lay down our lives in his service.


Briefly, what is the kingdom like?

Who is the bridegroom of the lesson?

Explain the parables of the old garments and the old wineskins.

Explain the parables of the mustard seed and the leaven.

When will all the families of the earth be blessed?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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