invisible kingdom?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by amity, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. amity

    amity
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    John 3:3
    Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.​

    In a discussion a friend told me that this scripture means literally that the kingdom of God is invisible to those who are not born again. I think most folks would initially take it to mean that those who are not born again cannot go there as in "I'll never see Paris", but of course I realize this is an English idiom that probably would not be meaningful in another language.

    Here is a possibly parallel verse:
    Luke 17:20
    And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:​

    So is my friend right? Is the kingdom of God invisible to those who are not born again? If so, what does this mean?
     
    #1 amity, Apr 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2007
  2. reformedbeliever

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    I think the kingdom of God is now, but yet to come. There are those who have inherited the kingdom who will yet see it fully. There are those who will never see it.
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    My take on this is similar to the OP. Unless one is born again he cannot understand, or discern, the kingdom of God. And by extension, cannot understand the King of the kingdom.

    Here's why:

    I Corinthians 2:14--"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Sp;irit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned."
     
  4. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    I made a rather lengthy reply to this yesterday, and it seems to have disappeared.

    However, just as David was anointed King, but did not ascend the throne until the apointed time that the current rightful person was ousted (through death), Jesus has been anointed king, but will not ascend the throne to rule and reign until the current ruler (Satan) is ousted.

    John 3:3 says that only those who are born from above (saved) can see the Kingdom.

    John 3:5 says that only those who do some stuff can enter (fully participate) the Kingdom.

    There are 5 main passages that those who try to promote the fallacy of some sort of mystical Kingdom use and Luke 17:20-21 is one of those passages.

    Many people, such as amillennialists, point to this translation of the Greek word “entos” which has been translated by the KJV as “within you”. They say that the Kingdom of God is only spiritual or is somehow mystically inside a person. However, in this passage, to whom is Jesus speaking? Jesus is responding to the Pharisees, not His disciples! Jesus is answering the Pharisees’ question, “When the Kingdom of God should come?” In the next verse, verse 22, it begins, “And he said unto the disciples”. In the same context, he turns and addresses his own disciples in verse 22. The Pharisees were not his disciples! In verses 20 and 21, he’s talking to the Pharisees, and then he turns to talk to his disciples.

    The Pharisees rejected the signs that Jesus had given to prove that he was the Christ; the Messiah. How could God's spiritual kingdom be within them? If the kingdom of God were within anyone spiritually, would it have been within the unbelieving Pharisees?

    This verse completely goes against the view that the kingdom of God is within the hearts of people that have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, because the only time in the Scriptures that it is used, it is used in reference to those who had rejected Jesus to be the Christ.

    The English translation “within you” does not make any sense because the Pharisees had rejected Jesus as their Messiah. The 1611 KJV translators were not sure how best to translate this word, so they included a marginal note with the alternate reading, “among you”. This is obviously the true meaning of the word in this context. It is translated “among you” or “in your midst” in various other translations such as the NASB, RSV, BBE, NLT, NJB, NET and the Rotherham translation.

    The Lord Jesus also used similar terms in other passages such as Matthew 12:28 and Luke 10:9. Matthew 12:28 says, “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” In Luke 10:8-9, he’s giving instructions to the disciples as they’re going into different towns, and he says, “And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” John 1:49 tells us that Jesus, the Son of God, was the King of Israel. Has that happened yet?

    He was preaching to the Jewish people that the Kingdom of God was at hand. It was being offered to the nation of Israel on the condition of repentance and their acceptance of him as the Messiah. He was claiming to have the complete and absolute authority to establish the Kingdom in their midst, upon these conditions. Did he have that authority? He backed up his claims by demonstrating his authority with supernatural signs, wonders, and miracles. One of those signs was his full authority over the demonic realm.

    In Matthew 10:7-8, Jesus commanded his apostles, “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” The signs of the Kingdom were given to the nation of Israel to demonstrate that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, the Son of God, the King of Israel, and the very God himself. (Matthew 11:2-5; John 3:2; 9:32-33; 20:30-31; Acts 2:22) The King was present (within or among them) and the Kingdom could be established on the fulfillment of its conditions, which was the repentance of Israel. In Matthew 12:28, Jesus as the King was referring to himself as being the embodiment of the Kingdom at that time. This kind of language is also found in other passages in the gospels.

    So, when Jesus the King came unto Israel it was the Kingdom offer that had come unto them. The signs proved it! You cannot have a Kingdom without a King! They did not have to wait any longer for the Kingdom to come. However, the unbelieving Pharisees were being antagonistic toward Jesus and they were being antagonistic to the suggestion that He would be the One to fulfill the prophecies of the OT prophets concerning the coming Messiah King that would sit on David’s throne and reign over the nation of Israel. By questioning, “when the kingdom of God should come”, they were seeking to trap Him by His words and discredit Him in front of the people. In other words they were saying, "If you're the Messiah, where is your Kingdom?"

    The question was irrelevant and inappropriate because Jesus, the Messiah, who was standing in their midst, was the one who could set up the Kingdom, and the signs He demonstrated proved that; they authenticated that he was genuine. The Pharisees did not have to go looking “Lo here! or, lo there!” The healing of ten lepers in [Luke 17:12-19] that preceded their question should have been enough to prove the fact that he was the King of Israel and that they should not be going around looking for any other signs. Leprosy was looked as a direct act of the finger of God, and as such, it was illegal to try to cure it, because the one who could cure it would be the Messiah. That is why He said, “behold, the Kingdom of God is in your midst”. He was basically saying, “Hey, you're looking at the Kingdom of God!” All they had to do was look at the signs! The Messiah was present in their midst; He was the embodiment of the Kingdom, and all the miraculous signs He was doing should have proved to them His claim was true! In their case the kingdom of God was not going to come “with observation” because He had already shown them the signs of the kingdom and no other signs were needed. This was all the kingdom that they were going to see at His first coming.

    By the statement “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation” Jesus did not mean the Kingdom of God will never “come with observation”. That would contradict His words in other places where He plainly and clearly said that His kingdom would come with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30 is a good example of that: “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” However, what He meant was that His Kingdom would not come in this manner yet; it would not come that way at His first coming. Jesus knew that His physical, literal Kingdom would not come to this earth until His second coming, which would not happen until after His rejection at His first coming.

    This is apparent from other statements by Jesus. For example: [John 18:36; now is come…] The key word here is “now”. Jesus was saying that at His first coming His Kingdom would not appear as a physical Kingdom. The implication is that it will come later. Jesus did not deny the coming of His literal, glorious Kingdom on the earth. Rather, He taught that its arrival was delayed until His second coming.
     
  5. DQuixote

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    Wow, Hope. Lengthy, but good! :thumbs:
     
  6. skypair

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    Well, one thing I KNOW is true about this --- unless one is born again, one cannot "see" the parables and mysteries of the kingdom of God. It is "not given to them to see" as Jesus said in Mt 13. Paul repeats this in 1Cor 2:14. At this time, the kingdom of God is strictly a spiritual kingdom.

    skypair
     
    #6 skypair, Apr 15, 2007
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  7. Bartholomew

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    Some very good and helpful points, Hope of Glory. I'd just add that notice Jesus told no visible signs to the Pharasees - he said "the kingdom is within/among you". Yet to his disciples He gave several visible signs. It seems to me that Jesus is saying to the Pharisees, "for YOU the kingdom will not come by observation" because they need the One who is the King, who is within/among their number, before there is any chance of them receiving the kingdom. Yet to the disciples who accepted Him, there is a very different answer...
     
  8. skypair

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    Bartholomew -- which begs the question, was Jesus saying that the kingdom was within them because the Pharisees had the word of God to testify to them??? Interesting, isn't it? KoG in the Word of God??

    skypair
     
  9. DQuixote

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    That's sort of the icing on the cake. If one is not born again, one cannot possibly receive (understand; comprehend) Spiritual matters. This is the reason some folks like to create websites pointing out 265 errors in the Bible or whatever. They simply cannot possibly properly discern any aspect of scripture.

    :jesus:
     

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