Overview: Introduction

Nearly all Biblical scholars agree that even the most cursory reading of the Gospels reveals a simple fact: the subject most often spoken of by Jesus Christ was that of the Kingdom of God. The exact meaning of that term, however, seems to have been misunderstood in many Christian circles. It is the purpose of this website to put forth an understanding of the Gospel of the Kingdom, and hopefully broaden the reader's understanding of this great subject, which can be described as the central theme of not only the Gospels but the entire Bible.

If the subject is so basic to the Christian faith, one might wonder why it is not spoken of more often. The fact is, however, that the average churchgoer hears little to nothing about the simple truths pertaining to God's Kingdom. They may assume, as I did for many years, that it is simply a generic term for "the things of God." They may have been taught that the Kingdom of God is meant to be understood figuratively, or that a literal kingdom on earth only pertains to Israel, and thus is of no importance to the Christian. But the coming reign of the Son of God in a physical, literal kingdom, to be set up at the return of Christ, which will usher in a new age of righteousness and peace, can be shown to be the hope not only of Israel, but of the first century Christian church as well.

For many years I was involved with a ministry that presented an interpretation of the Scriptures which embraced the above mentioned idea, that a future kingdom on earth was only for Israel. It is my desire to present the material on this website from this perspective, so that those with a similar background can see the contrasting ideas. Toward that end, I have given a brief account of my background in the About The Author section. I have also tried to maintain a broad enough scope that those of different backgrounds may understand and appreciate what the Bible has to say as well. In either case my desire is to systematically present the basics of Biblical Christian faith so one can see how it builds and fits together as a whole.

The ideas expressed on this site are not new or radical, nor are they the result of my -- or any individual's -- solitary study or contemplation. They are not the result of anyone claiming to have "special anointing" from the Lord to understand the Scriptures. These ideas are widely recognized by many Biblical scholars, and have often been written about by ministers from varying backgrounds. (See the Quotes From Others page.)

As an example, the following is from a book entitled The Theocratic Kingdom, written in 1884 by a minister in Springfield, Ohio, named George Peters.

"It is a fact, lamented by some of our ablest divines, that there must be something radically wrong in our prevailing interpretation of the Bible, which allows such a diversity of antagonistic exegesis [interpretation] and doctrine, and by which the truth is weakened and humbled, so that Revelation [the Word of God] itself, by its means, becomes the object of Rationalistic and Infidel ridicule and attack, and is even sorely wounded in the house of its friends by its stumbling, conceding, but well-meaning apologetic defenders. ... Dr. Auberlen quotes Rothe as saying respecting the defects of exegesis:

'Our key does not open - the right key is lost, and till we are put in possession of it again, our exposition will never succeed. The system of biblical ideas is not that of our schools; and so long as we attempt exegesis without it, the Bible will remain a half-closed book. We must enter upon it with other conceptions than those which we have been accustomed to think the only possible ones; and whatever these may be, this one thing at least is certain, from the whole tenor of the melody of Scripture in its natural fullness, that they must be more realistic and massive.'

This is a sad confession after the voluminous labors of centuries, and yet true as it is sorrowful. We may be allowed to suggest that the only way in which this key can be obtained is to return to the principles of interpretation adopted and prevailing in the very early history of the Christian Church, by which, if consistently carried out, the kingdom of God in its 'realistic and massive' form appears as the reliable interpreter of the Word. In other words, we have no suitable key to unlock Revelation [the Scriptures] if we do not seize that provided for us in the revealed Will of God respecting the ultimate end that He has in view in the plan of redemption and history of the world. A way is only known when the beginning and terminus [end] are considered; a human plan can only be properly appreciated when the results of it are fully weighed: so with God's way and God's plan, it can only be fully known when the end intended is duly regarded."

I have seen from my learning of this subject that much of the Bible begins to fit together more clearly than ever before, once the basic understanding of God's plan is understood. The understanding of the Kingdom of God is the context into which the whole Bible fits, and from which the whole Bible interprets itself. However, I must warn you: there may be things in these articles that will contradict what you have previously believed. I too have had to change my viewpoints on a number of things. I would encourage you, therefore to go to the Bible, and let it speak for itself. Read it as if you've never taken any classes, never heard any teachings, never been taught anything you currently believe. This may sound frightening, or even heretical, but if you do so, I believe you will find the truth of God's Word. After all, if what you believe now is the truth, you have nothing to fear. Reading the Bible in this way will just confirm your beliefs. But if you find that the Bible says something other than what you believe, should you not adjust your beliefs according to what the Scriptures say?

II Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth
. [see NASB]

When you rightly divide the word of truth, you will be free from men's opinions, which really only keep you in bondage (John 8:32). God's Word is profitable not only for doctrine but for reproof and correction as well (II Timothy 3:16). We must be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 and search the scriptures to find whether these things are so.

One tendency that I had for years was to skim over Biblical references because I thought "I know what that verse says." I was also taught not to even consider other points of view, for fear of getting deceived by the devil. But if we don't consider other viewpoints, we may miss some truths that we had not seen before, because our minds are closed. Or if the other viewpoint is indeed false, I wouldn't be sure, nor would I know how to respond to it, because I didn't look at it.

Proverbs 18:13
He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
[see NASB]

In contrast, we are encouraged to search for truth, and not limit our understanding to just the viewpoints of our own church or denomination.

I John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

I Thessalonians 5:21
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
[see NASB]

I encourage you to approach the subject in this way, and not take my word for it, but diligently search the Scriptures. Read these articles with an open mind and an open Bible and you too will begin to see the vast and panoramic subject of the Bible, which is the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

NOTE: The Overviews of each section will give the reader a good overall grasp of the subject, while the articles in each section provide more in-depth coverage of the main topics. Each article page has the illustration with the title of its section, as well as buttons linked to the other articles in that section. Click on the illustration to go to the Overview for the section. (In addition there are navigation buttons at the bottom of each page, as well as the buttons for each section at the top.)

All Bible quotations are from the Authorized, or King James Version, except where otherwise noted. This is largely for the sake of familiarity on the part of those who are from a similar background. It in no way implies a belief in the superiority of one version over another. Additional Scriptural references are linked to BibleGateway.com.

Update: For convenience, the full-text Bible quotations are now followed by a link [see NASB] to the New American Standard Bible  on BibleGateway.com. The additional references are still linked to BibleGateway.com with KJV as the default, but you can easily view the NASB (or any other version) by selecting it from the drop-down menu at the top of the BibleGateway page.

Back To The Top

Mark Clarke
E-mail: mclarke@godskingdomfirst.org