When we consider the topic of the kingdom of God, it is obvious that many find the concept difficult and confusing. This is no wonder, since the theology and theologians of today can come to no common consensus on what the Kingdom of God actually is. Some would equate the Kingdom of God with heaven. Others make the Kingdom of God to be the same thing as the church. Still others claim that the Kingdom of God is a spiritual thing that is in our hearts.

I believe with all my heart and as a result of all the study I have done on the subject that the Kingdom of God is none of these things, but that it is a future time on earth when God takes control of all the affairs of men. The word “Kingdom,” in Greek “basilea,” is actually a word that means “government.” The translators of our King James Version lived in a government ruled by a king, and so translating this word by “Kingdom” made sense to them. If this passage had been translated in Russia, the word may have been “Czardom,” or in Persia it may have been “Empire.” But the fact is that in our country and the way we use English now, this word best translates as “government,” and that is the way we should always understand it.

God’s government is a future promise, not a present reality. If God were governing the world today, we would have to conclude that He is doing a really lousy job of it. All the strife, all the turmoil, all the wickedness, all the evil and heartbreak in the world…all of these are true because men are governing themselves, and their governments cannot deal with the problem of sin. No matter how good human government gets, it can never solve the basic problem of mankind, which is our own sinful hearts. God’s government, however, can and will solve this problem, and so the time of His Kingdom on earth will be a time of unprecedented glory and peace and joy.

I think most of us have difficulty picturing what it will be like to live in God’s Kingdom. We know very little of this in our day, having no personal experience with it whatsoever in the dispensation of grace. Indeed, though we can conceptualize of it, I do not believe that we can fully comprehend the impact of what it will be like. We are so used to the flawed and sinful system that we live in that a perfect system is, in some ways, beyond our imagination. Some have the idea that God’s government is all about punishment and wrath, or about a strict, hard-line, unforgiving stance on everything. But this is not the case. Rather, His government is about order, about fairness, about setting everything right. God seems to have created all of us with a longing in our hearts for that which is so lacking in our world…a world where all is fair, good, and right. Yet such a world is entirely beyond our ability to create in our current, sinful state. The bringing about of such a world is the job of God’s governmental side. If you would let me indulge in a bit of imagination here, I will try to illustrate for you what I believe God’s government is all about, and why it is so great and glorious, and even worthy to be held up to and compared with His grace. Imagine with me that you are a citizen living on earth during the time of God’s government. This is something that I know is beyond us, but let us try from what we know of it to dwell for a minute on what it might be like.

Let us start off by imagining you are at home wherever you happen to live at that time. Now, suppose you step out of your house and look up and down the street. Perhaps you see children playing in their yards, or people working on their lawns, much like you might see today. But here you do not have to wonder for a minute if these people, your neighbors, know God. You do not have to wonder because you know they do. In every house this way up the street and in every house that way down it, every person who lives here knows and loves God. Now, suppose your house is on the top of a great hill, and you can look out over the entire city. The same thing is true there as well. Every home, every building, every person as far as your eyes can see knows the Lord. You do not have to worry about telling them about Him…you do not even have to THINK about it…because they all do! From the greatest to the smallest. Hebrews 8:11.

Now you start walking through your neighborhood. You might see a child at play. Not too different from the way things are now, right? But suppose you look for a minute at his companions. There beside him lies a huge cougar, yawning patiently as he pulls on his ears or maybe licking his paws contentedly. Before him on the ground might sit a rattlesnake, playfully rattling his tail to make the child laugh. And not a bit of danger is he in, for these great beasts are perfectly tame. The cougar might even begin to eat grass as you watch, for this, not meat, is now his diet. Isaiah 11:6-8; 65:25.

As you continue your walk, you might pass by a school. Yet how different from the schools of today! In this school, the children are taught from the youngest age to recite the wonders of God and the depths of His truth. You might pass a business where many people are working. Yet as they work, you can hear them singing, every one of them, praises to God and the wonders of His name.

There are also buildings you will not pass in your walk, and they are significantly absent. There are no hospitals, for no one is sick anymore. Isaiah 33:24. There are no prisons, for these are no longer necessary. There are no bars, no whorehouses, no places of ill-repute…all such have been done away with, and, indeed, there are none left who would even want to patronize them. Revelation 22:15.

Yet suppose as you walk that a matter enters your head of some concern. Suppose there is some choice you need to make, some matter about which you are unsure of God’s will and desire for you to do. What will your decision be? What will be right and proper in the sight of God? You ponder this as you walk. And suddenly the answer comes to you. You hear a voice speaking in your ear, the voice of the Spirit, saying, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” Isaiah 30:21.

Yet what if He does not speak, but chooses to remain silent? In this case, you still need have no concern. All you have to do is look up and look for the house of the nearest member of God’s government. These are easily discernable to you, for over their roofs rest a pillar of cloud, a miniature of the pillar that led the Israelites out of Egypt, marking out that house as belonging to one connected to His government. Joel 2:30. Seeing the nearest one, you go to it, knock on the door, and enter to speak with this local representative. You present your matter of concern to him, and he gives you God’s answer on the matter.

Yet what if God does not give this local governor the answer, but still remains silent? This means that this is a greater matter than he can handle, and God wishes you to take it even further. Perhaps this local governor only has jurisdiction over the houses on his street, but he refers you to the one who is given authority over the entire neighborhood. Thanking him, you leave his house and go to the house of this higher governor, seeking from him the answer you are seeking. He, more than likely, will be able to give you the truth, and tell you God’s thoughts on the matter. Exodus 18:21.

Yet what if he, too, is not given the answer to your matter by God? Then, again, he will send you up the chain. Since God views this matter of such importance, he will tell you, you need to take it to the ruler of the entire city. He, no doubt, will be able to tell you God’s will on the matter. And so you leave him and make your way to the city ruler’s house, to hear from him what God wants you to know.

Yet suppose the city ruler is also unable to answer your question, since God remains silent and refuses to give it to him? Then he will again send you to his superior, telling you to go to the governor over your entire region. Perhaps this is a regional matter, and God wants everyone living in the cities in your area to know the truth of it. So you go to the regional governor to receive from him the answer to the question that is puzzling you.

But what if even the regional governor cannot answer the question that is so troubling your mind? Again, there is no need for anxiety. Perhaps this is a matter that everyone living in your country needs to know, and that is why God has so far remained silent. So the governor of your region sends you all the way up to the ruler of your country. Who knows who it might be whom God will set over this country we live in in that future time? Will the country as it is set up today even exist, or will God have split it or divided it differently than it is today? And who might He place in charge of it? Some great Christian leader of our past like Abraham Lincoln? Perhaps a spiritual leader like Billy Graham? Or maybe someone of whom we know nothing, a humble person, one not famous at all, but one known and loved of God? Only He knows the answer to this, but whoever this great leader of our country will be, this is the person you will go to at this time to receive the answer to the problem that is troubling you.

Yet what if even the leader of the country does not receive an answer from God? Then this matter must be important indeed, worthy of note not just to the country but to the entire world. Then the leader of our country will no doubt send you to the center of God’s religion on earth and the meeting place of all nations: the land of Israel. Isaiah 2:3. This will be quite a trip for a Midwesterner to make! How will you take this trip? What means of transportation will there be in that time? Cars? Trains? Horse and buggies? Airplanes? Ships? Perhaps all of these things. Or maybe you will just walk much of the way! There will be no need to hurry anywhere in the Kingdom. Unlike today, when we’re not getting any younger, in that day we won’t be getting any older! There will be no hurry. Yet wherever you travel and however you get there, one thing will remain constant: everyone you meet will know God. As you pass through towns, as you pass by children, as you see people working, as you are greeted by others passing by, every one of these citizens you pass is one who knows the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps you stop in a restaurant to eat. Whatever table you join, there will be little doubt what the people there will be discussing. They will be talking of our Lord and Savior, of the wonders He has wrought in the earth, and of the greatness of His power and the matchlessness of His love. You need not worry about language, for the curse of Babel has now been lifted and all men can understand each other once again. Acts 2:4. And you need fear nothing on your travels. All wild beasts are now tame, and all wild men have been removed or tamed as well. No culture hates another, no one looks now at outward appearance or sex or any other marker that divides people in our day. All now understand that they are brothers and sisters in truth, and rejoice together in their common love for the Lord and Savior.

At last your journey draws to a close as you arrive in the land of Israel. There, you make your way to the greatest of all cities on earth: the holy city of Jerusalem. This is the most glorious city of any you’ve seen on your travels, and its centerpiece is the most glorious of all: the temple of the living God. As you pass through the city on your way to the temple, you will find that you are not the only Gentile to visit that greatest of all cities of the Jews. Many men from all nations are in the city, seeking the Lord and His counsel and a better knowledge and understanding of His truth, His ways, and His government. Isaiah 2:1-4. You pass them by, and finally enter the temple and walk into the court of the Gentiles to present your matter to the leaders of that great nation. Perhaps you are directed into a courtyard to wait, where the rulers, already warned by God, no doubt, of your coming, soon begin to gather. Perhaps you see there some of the twelve, no longer disciples or apostles but now judges, each one ruling over one of the tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:30. Perhaps Moses, the great lawgiving is in attendance. Perhaps there are some of the prophets there, such as Elijah or Samuel or Isaiah or John the Baptist. Perhaps David, the Prince of Israel, has even come to help settle your matter. Ezekiel 34:24. Or perhaps Abraham, the patriarch of all that great nation, is there. Matthew 8:11. At last, when all have arrived, they settle down to hear your matter, and wait for God to give them the answer to it. They remain silent until one or another receives the word from God and tells you what His answer is to this most important of matters.

But, rarest of all occasions, perhaps even these great men are not given the answer to the riddle that has so long eluded you. In this case there will be only One to Whom you can take this matter further, only One Who can at last settle the issue and give you the truth that God has led you so far to find. That, of course, would be the King Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ. So at last you will be privileged with an audience with the King of all kings. Perhaps He will draw you up to heaven to speak with Him there, or perhaps He will make a personal appearance on earth, coming to speak to you in private or else in the company of the distinguished council you are surrounded by. If so, whom will He bring with Him? He might come alone, or He could bring some of His heavenly servants along. Perhaps He will be accompanied by His four guardian cherubs, two on His right and two on His left. Perhaps He will be attended by angels, maybe even the same two who dined with Him as He visited with Abraham all the way back in Genesis. Or perhaps He will be accompanied by some other heavenly being that we can only imagine. But when He comes, there will at last be no doubt: you will receive the answer to your question, and He will tell you the end of the matter.

Yet once the answer is given and the King is departed, the matter does not come to a close. Such an important matter that required a word from the King Himself is surely one that must be spread to all the world for all people everywhere to hear and know! Thus the council will break up around you. The twelve will return to their assigned tribes to spread to them the truth that the Lord has just communicated to you. But they are not the only ones who will leave to distribute this truth. Many ambassadors from nations around the world have congregated in the temple courts and have heard the great matter set forth. These too must attend to their duty and return to their constituent nations the great truth that has just been proclaimed by the Ruler of all the world. They scramble to get word back to the leaders of their respective countries. These rulers will then pass the word on to the regional governors, who will pass it on to the city leaders, who will pass it on to the neighborhood leaders, who will pass it on to the rulers of a few on a city block, who will pass it on to all those under them so that everyone in the Kingdom will soon know the same message that the Lord had communicated to you regarding the matter that ended up having such great importance. Perhaps this time you take a faster means of travel, and you might even arrive back in your city and at your block in time to hear your street ruler call together all who are under his authority. Then you could join in the crowd and hear this ruler speak, in perfect repetition, the very words that you had heard from the lips of the Lord Himself in answer to your question and in proclamation for all the world to hear.

This, in my probably inadequate words, is what I would look at as just a small, no-doubt flawed example of what that great Government will be like. This is the Order which will be brought about on earth by the great and unbelievable action of God. This is the Perfection which will cover the whole earth and make of it a jewel beyond anything we can even imagine in splendor. This is the ultimate result of the dispensation of government on earth, and the culmination of all God’s gracious work on our behalf to cleanse our world and make it once again what He would have it to be. And this is all the result of His government, His order, His judgment flowing out to the world. This is God’s flow, and when He begins to flow indeed the world will never be the same again.