Bible Basics (5th edition): A study manual revealing the joy and peace of true Christianity

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The focus of the true Christian hope is the coming Kingdom of God on earth.  The Lord’s prayer shows this:


At  Christ’s return, “the kingdoms of this world (will) become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15).  Then God’s will and desires will be completely and openly performed in this earth.


The Kingdom on Earth

The “kingdom of God” is a phrase interchangeable with “the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 13:11 cp. Mark 4:11).  The Bible never speaks of the ‘the kingdom in heaven’; it is the kingdom of heaven which will be established by Christ on earth at His return.  As God’s will is completely obeyed by the angels in heaven (Psalms 103:19-21) so it will be in the future kingdom of God.

Entering the kingdom of God at Christ’s return is the end result of all Christian endeavour in this life (Matthew 25:34; Acts 14:22); as such, it is absolutely vital to have a correct understanding of it.  The doctrine of the Kingdom of God forms a vital part of the Gospel message (Acts 8:12; 19:8; 28:23,31).

“We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22), it is the light at the end of the tunnel of this life, and therefore the motivation to make the sacrifices which the true Christian life involves.


Old Testament Prophecy of the Kingdom of God

Daniel 2 is one of many prophecies in the Old Testament which speak of the Kingdom of God.  Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, wanted to know the world’s future.  He was given a vision of a great statue, composed of different metals.  Daniel interpreted the head of gold as representing the king of Babylon (Daniel 2:38).  After him there was to come a succession of major empires in the area around Israel until there would be a situation in which “as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly fragile” (Daniel 2:42).  This speaks of the present balance of power in the world split between many nations, some strong and some weak.



Daniel then saw a little stone hit the image on the feet, destroying it.  The stone grew into a great mountain which filled the whole earth (Daniel 2:34,35).  This stone represents Jesus (Matthew 21:42, Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:4-8).  The “mountain” which will fill the earth represents the everlasting kingdom of God, which will be established at His return to the earth.  Thus the kingdom will be on earth, not in heaven.


Christ the King

Christ will be the king and His personal return to earth will mark the start of the Kingdom of God.  He will reign as supreme ruler over all the earth.




Christ will share His rulership over the earth with His followers.


The Capital

Christ will reign from Jerusalem, the capital of the future Kingdom.  Whilst people will be praising God at various places worldwide (Malachi 1:11), Jerusalem will be the focal point of the world’s worship (Ezekiel 40:48).  Nations “shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” around the temple in Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:16).  This annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem is also prophesied in Isaiah 2:2,3:


There will be worldwide enthusiasm to learn the ways of God.  People will be so motivated by this desire that they will travel from all ends of the earth to Jerusalem in order to gain more knowledge of God.


One Universal Legal System

Instead of the confusion and unfairness created by man’s legal systems there will be one universal legal code – “the law, and the word of the Lord”, which will be pronounced by Christ from Jerusalem.  “All nations shall flow  unto”  these teaching sessions.  The true knowledge of God will lessen the friction between nations.  Respect will be paid to those who reflect God’s characteristics of love, mercy, justice etc. in contrast with the present exaltation of the proud and self-assertive:


Agricultural and Environmental Change

The absolute authority of Christ and total justice of His arbitration in disputes will result in the nations willingly changing their military hardware into agricultural machinery:


The Bible describes the dramatic change to the current environmental crises the earth currently faces.  We will see a fertile, fruitful earth in God’s kingdom:


Such immense agricultural enterprise will involve many people.  The prophecies of the kingdom of God give the impression that people will return to a self-sufficient, agricultural lifestyle:


Even the natural aggression between the animals will be removed: “the wolf and the lamb shall feed together”, and children will be able to play with snakes (Isaiah 65:25; 11:6-8).  Life spans will be increased (Isaiah 65:20).  Women will experience less sorrow in childbirth (Isaiah 65:23).  “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.  Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing” (Isaiah 35:5,6).  This will be due to the miraculous Spirit gifts again being possessed (cp. Hebrews 6:5).


The Ultimate Purpose of the Kingdom

The ultimate purpose of the Kingdom of God is to give glory to God.


Glory to God means that the inhabitants of the earth will appreciate, praise and copy His righteous attributes.


Possessing eternal life will almost be incidental to the real reason for our being in the Kingdom – which is to glorify God.  Just a few years of living in the joy of absolute perfection and good conscience with God would be worth all the trauma of this life.  That this glorious state will last forever takes us beyond the limits of human comprehension!



An Outline of Events at Christ’s Return






The Meaning of the Kingdom for us Today

Being in the Kingdom of God should be a believer’s supreme motivation to despise worldly advantages and materialism.  Everything which we can now imagine and strive for is incomparable to the ultimate fulfilment of being in God’s Kingdom.


A believer needs to seek “(God’s) righteousness”, i.e. try to develop a love of God’s character.  We want to be in God’s Kingdom because righteousness will be glorified there, because we want to be completely morally perfect rather than just because we, personally, want to escape death and live an easy life for eternity.

If we are “seeking first the Kingdom of God” our perspective about this life will change.  We will shun materialism and the effort which it demands.  If we selfishly build up our own possessions through ignoring the needs of others, we have denied God’s ways – even if we understand all the doctrines of God (1 Timothy 5:8; 6:10).

The fact that the Kingdom will be on earth not in heaven, means that we will not strive for present possession of it, neither will we be swayed by the pressure groups and political parties who only look at the state of the world as it now is (1 John 3:13).

By having this hope, we “draw nigh to God” (Hebrews 7:19).  The Hope we have compels us to God’s service.  And that same Hope inspires us to repentance, too.  For if Christ is soon to return, what manner of persons ought we to be?  We will want to tell others of this hope (Matthew 10:7; Mark 6:12).

If we will eternally walk in God’s ways in the Kingdom, we should strive to do so now.


The Kingdom of God is not just a time of personal, physical benefit.  Jesus Christ spoke of it as a time of peace, a time when God’s principles would triumph over men’s selfish desires.  This can begin right now in a quiet way, in the hearts of those who will be in the future Kingdom.

If we believe we really will be there, then we will look more earnestly for the day to come.  We can never be truly enthusiastic about the Lord’s return if we are unsure He will accept us into God’s Kingdom.  The Apostle Paul encourages those who take on the hope of the Kingdom:


The salvation God offers is by grace.  This enables us to look forward with eagerness rather than uncertainty to Christ’s coming and our lives are thereby changed.



Bible Basics: Contents

Part 1: "The things concerning the Kingdom of God" Study 1: God 1.1  The Existence Of God || 1.2  The Personality Of God || Belief In Practice 1: Knowing God || 1.3  God's Name And Character || Belief In Practice 2: Grace (John Parkes) || Belief In Practice 3: The All Seeing God || Belief In Practice 4: God Is Omnipotent || Belief In Practice 5: Responding To The One God || 1.4     The Angels || Belief In Practice 6: God As Creator || Digression 1: God Manifestation || Digression 2:  Why The Trinity Was Accepted || Study 1: Questions Study 2: The Spirit Of God 2.1  Definition || 2.2  Inspiration || 2.3  Gifts Of The Holy Spirit || 2.4  The Withdrawal Of The Gifts || 2.5  The Bible The Only Authority || Digression 3: Is The Holy Spirit A Person? || Digression 4: The Principle Of Personification || Belief In Practice 7: The Implications Of Inspiration || Study 2: Questions Study 3: The Promises Of God 3.1  Introduction || 3.2  The Promise In Eden || 3.3  The Promise To Noah || 3.4  The Promise To Abraham || 3.5  The Promise To David || Belief In Practice 8: Covenant Relationship With God || Study 3: Questions Study 4: God And Death 4.1  The Nature Of Man || 4.2  The Soul || 4.3  The Spirit || 4.4  Death Is Unconsciousness || 4.5  The Resurrection || 4.6  The Judgment || Belief In Practice 9: Judgment Now || 4.7  The Place Of Reward: Heaven Or Earth?|| 4.8  Responsibility To God || 4.9  Hell || Digression 5: Purgatory || Digression 6: Ghosts And Reincarnation || Digression 7: The 'Rapture' || Belief In Practice 10: The Motivational Power Of Understanding Death || Study 4: Questions Study 5: The Kingdom Of God 5.1  Defining The Kingdom || 5.2  The Kingdom Is Not Now Established || 5.3  The Kingdom Of God In The Past || 5.4  The Kingdom Of God In The Future || 5.5  The Millennium || Digression 8: The Kingdom Of God Now (Graham Bacon) || Belief In Practice 11: What The Kingdom Of God Means Today || Study 5: QuestionsStudy 6: God And Evil 6.1  God And Evil || 6.2  The Devil And Satan || 6.3  Demons || Digression 9: The Implications And Origin Of The Belief In A Personal Satan || Digression 10: Witchcraft || Digression 11: What Happened In Eden? || Digression 12: Lucifer || Belief In Practice 12: Battle For The Mind || Study 6: Questions

Part 2: "The things concerning...the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 8:12) Study 7: The Origin Of Jesus. 7.1  Old Testament Prophecies Of Jesus || 7.2  The Virgin Birth || 7.3  Christ's Place In God's Plan || 7.4  "In the beginning was the word" || Digression 13: Jesus The Son Of God (Michael Gates) || Digression 14: Did Jesus Create The Earth? || Belief In Practice 13: Jesus Didn’t Pre-exist: And So What? || Study 7: Questions Study 8: The Nature Of Jesus 8.1  Introduction || 8.2  Differences Between God And Jesus || 8.3  The Nature Of Jesus || 8.4  The Humanity Of Jesus || 8.5  The Relationship Of God With Jesus || Belief In Practice 14: The Real Christ || Digression 15: How The Real Christ Was Lost || Digression 16: The Divine Side Of Jesus || Study 8: Questions Study 9: The Work Of Jesus 9.1  The Victory Of Jesus || 9.2  The Blood Of Jesus || 9.3  Jesus As Our Representative || 9.4  Jesus And The Law Of Moses || 9.5  The Sabbath || Digression 17 The Crucifix || Digression 18: Was Jesus Born On Dec. 25th? || Belief In Practice 15: The Meaning Of Christ’s Resurrection For Us || Belief In Practice 16: Christ Died For Me- So What Should I Do? || Belief In Practice 17: The Real Cross || Belief In Practice 18: The Inspiration Of The Cross || Study 9: Questions || Study 10: Baptism Into Jesus 10.1  The Vital Importance Of Baptism || 10.2  How Should We Be Baptized? || 10.3  The Meaning Of Baptism || 10.4  Baptism And Salvation || Digression 19: Re-baptism || Digression 20 The Thief On The Cross || Belief In Practice 19: The Certainty Of Salvation || Study 10: Questions Study 11: Life In Christ 11.1  Introduction || 11.2  Holiness || 11.2.1  The Use Of Force || 11.2.2  Politics || 11.2.3  Worldly Pleasures || 11.3  Practical Christian Life || 11.3.1  Bible Study || 11.3.2  Prayer || 11.3.3  Preaching || 11.3.4  Ecclesial Life || 11.3.5  The Breaking Of Bread || 11.4  Marriage || 11.5  Fellowship || Study 11: Questions ||