THE KINGDOM IN THE ACTS
In Acts the kingdom was taught by the Lord after His resurrection. Acts 1 :3 tells us that He was with the disciples for forty days, "speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God."
The kingdom was also preached by the apostles. In Acts 8:12 Philip preached "the good news concerning the kingdom of God." Paul also preached the kingdom of God (Acts 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31). The last two verses of Acts tell us that Paul "remained two whole years in his own rented dwelling, and welcomed all those coming in to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God..."
Some Bible teachers believe that the kingdom has been suspended due to the rejection of the Jews. They believe that this is not the kingdom age but the church age and that the kingdom will come later on. This teaching is incorrect. As we have seen, the church actually is the kingdom. Even in this age, the church age, the age of grace, the kingdom is here. This is clear from the many references to the kingdom in the book of Acts.
THE KINGDOM IN THE EPISTLES
We can also see the kingdom in the Epistles. The Epistles tell us that the believers have been transferred into the kingdom (Col. 1:13; Heb. 12:28). Also in the Epistles the kingdom is the church life (Rom. 14:17).
First Corinthians 4:17 and 20 also show us that the kingdom is the church life. Verse 17 says, "I have sent Timothy to you..who will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, even as I teach everywhere in every church." Verses 18-20 say, "Now some have been puffed up as though I were not coming to you; but I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know not the speech of those who have been puffed up, but the power; for the kingdom of God is not in speech, but in power." These verses show that the kingdom of God is the church everywhere, and the church everywhere is the kingdom. The kingdom is here because the church is here.
Also in the Epistles some of the believers were the apostle’s fellow workers for the kingdom of God (Col. 4:11). Paul and his fellow workers were working for the kingdom. That means they were working for the church. To work for the church is to work for the kingdom, so the church is the kingdom. The church people will also inherit the kingdom (1 Cor. 6:9-10; 15:50; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:5; James 2:5; 1 Thes. 2:12; 2 Pet. 1:11).
THE KINGDOM IN REVELATION
The kingdom is also seen in the book of Revelation. John said he was a joint partaker with the believers in the "kingdom and endurance in Jesus" (1:9). If the kingdom is something for the future, then the endurance must also be for the future. If the endurance is here today, then the kingdom must also be present today. The mentioning of endurance in Revelation 1:9 indicates that the kingdom in which John was is not something yet to come. It is here right now; we are partakers with John in the present kingdom.
This present kingdom will come in its full manifestation after the great tribulation (Rev. 12:10). Then, finally, the kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ in the millennium (Rev. 11:15). This is a brief sketch of the teaching in the New Testament concerning the kingdom from the Gospels to the end of Revelation.
(The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)