The year is about 33 A.D. Jesus had surprised surprised everyone by rising from the dead and he spent the next 40 days teaching the apostles about the Kingdom of God.
He didn’t tell them the Kingdom of God was shut up or out of reach to them. If he had; Peter, Paul, John and many other’s wouldn’t have given their lives preaching the Kingdom of God for the next few decades! But, they did preach the Kingdom; just as Jesus did because the Gospel/Good News is simply short for the “Gospel of the Kingdom of God” or “the Gospel of Christ” which are the same thing.
When Paul responded to Corinth’s letter; he spoke of the Kingdom ~ “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” and in his next letter (2 Cor. 11:4 ~ Approx.56 AD), he warned them not to be deceived by “another Jesus” or “another Gospel”. Around 50 A.D.,Paul spoke extremely severely to the Galatians in 1:7-9 ~
“there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”
There has only ever been ONE Gospel and Jesus even compared suffering for the Gospel to suffering for His very own Name! Because the Name of Jesus and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God go hand-in-hand!
It was Paul that declared the Gospel to Rome and defined “The Kingdom of God” in Romans 14:17 ~ “17for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Before the Disciples had “the Baptism of Holy Spirit” in Acts 1:5; they were still called “Children of God” and “brethren of Jesus” because they were “born-again” but, they were not “clothed with power from on high”. The Kingdom of God is more than talk but, power!
They were timid and scared. They didn’t understand many of the things Jesus taught them and they hid themselves away until the Promise from the Father came! Then everything changed…
Peter, who had denied Jesus 3 times after swearing he would die for him; rose up and preached to thousands of people who accused them of being drunk! Probably some of the same people that had heard him deny Jesus at his crucifixion, witnessed the former coward stand up and boldly declare things about the Kingdom of God!
“32“This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33“Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.…36“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2)
Peter knew that Jesus was the Living Lord and that the promise (even to the Jews, whom he was speaking too) was not a Kingdom of this world but “IN the Holy Spirit!” 2 verses later, he continued to exhort the very same people who passively (and some probably actively) watched Jesus get crucified ~
“38Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
“The Promise” is more than salvation! That’s like initiation into the promise. It’s also the gift of the Holy Spirit (See Romans 5:15-17) and the Jews would have immediately recognized “The Promise” as the promise to Abraham! Did you know that God preached “The Gospel” to Abraham!?
“8The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.”9So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.”
“The Promise” is the small font (v.8b) because it’s quoted from Genesis 12:3 Maybe that’s the first prophecy of the Kingdom of God but, the part Paul quoted above is really only a tiny part of “The Promise” because he didn’t need to reference entire passages of the Scriptures. These young churches searched the Scriptures to test what Paul was saying and they would have been well-versed in those passages…just like the people that Peter spoke too in Acts 2 and Jesus spoke to for 3 years! **However Paul does elaborate on “The Promise” in Rom.4 &5 and Hebrews 6:13-19**
Getting back to “The Promise” in Galatians 3:14 ~ “14in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham (the promise) might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
Once again, the point is that the blessing is simply by faith IN CHRIST. The Promise is IN the Holy Spirit; it’s the Kingdom of God as righteousness, joy and peace IN the Holy Spirit because we are already blessed with every spiritual blessing In CHRIST!
Because “30But by His doing (God’s) you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”…”Christ in us (IS) the hope of glory, “Christ Himself, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge…”
Peter wrote ~ “3seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness.”
John wrote ~ “He has (already) made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
The problem is that none of these things can be seen because “27but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise…God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,29so that no man may boast before God.
The Kingdom of God confounds the wisdom of man because they can’t see it with their eyes. “The righteous live by faith, not by sight”.
Consider Jesus’ words ~ “20Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
GOD’S KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD ~
Pilate examined Jesus and found him blameless but, he was very intrigued and asked him ~ “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” 35Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?” 36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” 37Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:33b-37)
Just like Paul, Jesus also defined his Kingdom as being from another realm (or another place/other side, more literally)
That’s why Paul told Colosse (around 61 A.D.) ~ 13For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Col.1:13)
(It’s not a visible kingdom of light just like we weren’t living in a visible kingdom of darkness!)
There are only 2 kingdoms in the universe. God’s Kingdom and the kingdom of darkness. We can’t claim to be in both and we can’t claim to not be in either of them. There is no middle ground. We are either in Jesus Christ or out of him.
Jesus told us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come and His will be done on earth (just) as it is in Heaven and to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” because “ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find!” Not because the Kingdom is out of reach or shut up to us! It is only shut up to those who refuse to believe!
The problem is that many believer’s have been in the Kingdom of God and deceived to believe that the Kingdom isn’t even here. It’s kind of hard to live as an “ambassador” for a Kingdom that a person doesn’t believe in…I can say that from experience.
The Kingdom of God IS here! It’s righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (and much more) and God has already given it all to us in the spirit…even in our spirit!