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Kingdom Study

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This is one of the studies in the First Principles series.

The Kingdom Study

Scriptures Used:

Before the study:

The person leading this study should have an idea of where and how often the student goes to church. The student of this study should have already accepted and been fulfilling the Berean Challenge from the Word Study.

The primary goal of this study is to understand some of the basic concepts that the Bible teaches about the Kingdom of God and His church. A secondary goal of this study is to help the student learn how to dig into the Bible, in this case learning how to study out a topic and learn what the Bible teaches about it. By looking at scriptures with a given keyword in them and then asking themselves questions about what it says so that they can go from readers of the Bible to students of the Bible. If the student has been reading, but not learning from their personal Bible study, this study may also help them learn how to learn from the Bible.

Intro: This study starts by asking 6 questions and then we'll look into the bible for the answers:

The 6 questions:

  1. Does the Bible (Old and New Testament) fit together?
  2. What is the Kingdom of God?
  3. When does the Kingdom of God come?
  4. How do I get into the Kingdom of God?
  5. Does it matter if I go to Church?
  6. Does it matter where I go to Church?

Daniel 2: 1-47 - for brevity, you may choose to read only 31-45, and describe the rest.

This is a long passage; even if you don’t read all of it, reference the full passage on the notes so that when they are home, being a Berean, they can read it.

  1. The king had a dream
  2. The king wanted it interpreted
  3. The king wouldn’t tell his interpreters what the dream was so as to validate their interpretation
  4. What was the dream?
    1. A statue, with many parts
      Draw a picture on the notes
      1. Head gold
      2. Chest/arms silver
      3. Belly/thighs bronze
      4. Legs iron
      5. Feet iron/clay mixture.
    2. Rock not of human origin
      1. Smashed the feet
      2. Statue destroyed and blew away
      3. Rock grew into mountain and filled the earth
  5. What was the interpretation
    1. Statue a succession of Kingdoms
      1. Head was present time, The Babylonian Empire until 539 BC [1]
      2. Chest/Arms was next, the Medo-Persion Empire until 331 BC [2]
      3. Belly/Thighs was next, The Greek Empire (Alexander the great)
      4. Legs Roman Empire
      5. Feet, the Roman empire was a blend of cultures that didn’t blend
    2. Rock comes from God
      1. Arrives during those kings (the Romans)
      2. Destroys the old order of things
      3. Grew to fill the whole earth
      4. This is a prophesy of the establishment of God’s Kingdom
  6. The interpretation from Daniel (God) was validated because he also knew the dream.

So when does the Kingdom of God come? In the time of those Kings, the Roman Empire.

Isaiah 2: 2-3

What did the rock in Daniel grow into?
A Mountain.
What did that mountain represent?
God's Kingdom
What does Isaiah say about the mountain of the Lord?

  • It will be most important
  • all nations will stream to it
  • It will begin in Jerusalem.

Matthew 3: 1-5

What is the current Kingdom?
Roman empire
Who is preaching?
John the Baptist
What is he preaching?
Kingdom is near, repent
Did the Kingdom of God come?
Not yet.

Matthew 4: 17

Who is preaching?
What is he preaching?
Kingdom is near, repent
Did the Kingdom of God come?
Not yet.
Jesus is alive, and preaching and the kingdom hasn’t come yet.

John 3: 1-5

Which question can we answer here?
#4: How do I get into the Kingdom of God?
So, How do I get into the Kingdom of God?
Be born again, born of water and the spirit.
Do we understand what that means?
Some students will understand that this is talking about baptism based on previous Biblical knowledge.
Does Nicodemus understand it?
No, we’ll find out more.
Did we learn what that means in our studies?
No, somethings we know, or think we know, about the Bible are true, and some aren't. We'll examine the scriptures to see if this is, in fact, talking about baptism.

Mark 9: 1

When will the Kingdom come?
During their lifetimes.
Who is standing there?
The crowd and Jesus’ disciples (v8:34)
Are any of them still alive?
No, so the kingdom must have come
Note: When the kingdom came, it came with power.

Matthew 16: 13-20

What is similar to this and other passages?
"rock" is used here as in Daniel.
What is the "rock"?
The truth that "Jesus is the Christ". It is on this truth the church is built upon.
What is "church"?
In this context it isn’t a building. The Greek word is "ekkl Esia" and is translated as "out-called". Jesus uses "church" to mean people.
Which people is Jesus talking about?
His disciples. The word didn’t have a religious meaning yet. Just a group of people. A bowling league, a group of day laborers chosen for a job. Jesus' church, as he is describing here is everyone, worldwide that is a disciple.
When we (americans) use the word "church", what do we usually mean?
Usually the building, though sometimes we mean a group that gathers together for worship. Sometimes we use the word a "congregation" to distinquish between the two.
Look at the footnote: it says "Peter" means "rock". Does this mean that Jesus' church is built on Peter?
No, these are two different words. "Peter", in Greek is "petros", the masculine and "rock" is "petra", the feminine. Peter is named after the truth, but isn’t the personification of the truth. Georgia is named after George the King of England, but no one would confuse the two.
What is special about Peter?
He is given the keys to heaven. Note this is plural, so there are at least 2.
What is the relationship between the words "kingdom of heaven" and "church"?
What does a Kingdom have? A ruler, rules and subjects.
Who is the ruler of the church? Jesus/God, and it’s rules? The Bible and who are the subjects? The disciples.
Who is the ruler of the Kingdom of heaven: Jesus/God, and it’s rules? The Bible and who are the subjects? The disciples.
There are subtle differences, but in essence these are congruent, effectively the same. The church are those in the Kingdom is another fine way of understanding the relationship. Remember 2 Peter from the Word Study. Over time this is something that may be understood in more richness.

Luke 23: 50-51

What has happened?
Jesus died.
Did the Kingdom come?
Not yet!

Luke 24: 44-49

What has happened?
Jesus rose from the dead.
Did the Kingdom come?
Not yet! Soon
What will happen?

  1. Repentance preached
  2. Forgiveness of sins preached
  3. In Jesus’ Name
  4. To all nations
  5. Beginning in Jerusalem
  6. Power from on High will come

Acts 1: 1-19

Acts was written by Luke, this is a continuation, what happens next after what we just read.

What has happened?
Jesus is resurrected.
Did the Kingdom come?
Not yet!
Other things to notice:
Stay in Jerusalem
The Holy Spirit is coming.
Who is there?
some but not all of that other group.
Note: Someone died, Judas.
Note: "Hanging". Not the modern method with a rope around neck. But in the manner of the times. He impaled himself on a long sword or spear in ground, jumped on it, and died, impaled upon it.

Acts 2: 1-41

This is a long passage; if you don’t read all of it, reference the full passage on the notes for when they are home, being a Berean, they can read it. At the minimum read these parts:

Acts 2: 1-5

What has happened?
Violent wind inside the house
tongues of fire
Speaking in other languages
Where are they?

Acts 2: 36-39

What is being preached?
forgiveness of sins
Who is there? To whom is being preached?
People from all nations
Where is it beginning?
Was there power?
What is the ruling Kingdom?
Roman Empire
So what happened?
The Kingdom arrived!
On the day of Pentecost.


Are the original 6 questions answered?

#1 Does the Bible (Old and New Testament) fit together?
answer, yes, Prophesies from Daniel fulfilled.
#2 What is the Kingdom of God?
answer, the church, or the church, governed by Jesus/God by the Bible
#3 When does the Kingdom of God come?
answer, the Day of Pentecost after Jesus died.
#4 How do I get into the Kingdom of God?
answer, repent and be baptized in Jesus name
#5 Does it matter if I go to Church?
answer - ??? not answered yet
#6 Does it matter where I go to Church?
answer - ??? not answered yet

To answer #5, let us look at the original church,

Acts 2: 42-47

What is Jesus’ church devoted to?
the apostles' teaching
the fellowship
the breaking of bread
each other
What was Jesus' church like then?
Devoted to the Bible, each other, communion and prayer, they were a part of each other’s lives. Meeting together and people joined them.
So what should the church that we go to be like?
The same.

1 Cor 3: 11

Jesus’ church is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. not on another set or sub-set of principles. Only 15 or 20 years later this was already an issue.

Question #5, answered

Matthew 6: 33

What priority should seeking the Kingdom be?
top priority
Does it matter if I go to church, even if when I go that I go to the right one?
We need to go to church, and we need to go to the best church we can.

If they are worshipping in a church, ask them to discuss it. This can sometimes be hard. If necessary, remind them that taking the Bible as our standard will cause us to redefine things we thought we knew. Ask them about the devotion of the congregation to the things in Acts 2, ask them about the foundation of the church. Ask them about their church’s devotion to Bible study, and to their helping of people join them. Ask them to make conclusions about it.

Ask them to evaluate your church. It’s the best one that you’ve found (if it isn't, why are you still here?).

The Kingdom challenge is: come to all the services for at least a month to evaluate it and to compare it to the scriptures. If there are legit conflicts, have them be specified and challenge them to commit to all the services that don't have conflicts.

Alternativly The Kingdom challenge could be to go to all the services of their current church for a month and compare it to the scriptures. This might not even take a month as they are expierenced with their current church. Most people that are active in a church are able to draw comparisons from their current expierences.

Remember the goal is to help someone make a decision about what is the best way they can apply the scriptures to their lives.

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This page has been accessed 10,462 times. This page was last modified on 9 January 2009, at 03:02.


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