Seeking the kingdom of God should be our highest priority
We are not supposed to be careless about our needs and do nothing while we expect God to provide for us by letting someone regularly knock on our door and hand over money and a few bags of groceries. The general idea is that if we don’t work in order to provide for ourselves and our families, then neither should we expect to get something to eat. In Matt. 6:31-34 Jesus point is that miracles can indeed happen (we can get food, clothes or a sum of money) if we end up in severe circumstances and if we seek the kingdom of God first. If we seek the kingdom of God first, it results in us having the main goal to stay faithful to God, and also to be eager to keep a close contact with him and spread the gospel to others.
Matt. 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
2 Thess. 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
Jesus reason for making his statement (to not worry about what to eat or drink), is to warn us from serving two masters. In this day and age it’s a risk that we live too much in the world and think about worldly agendas and problems instead of focusing on God and his kingdom. We can’t serve both God and mammon and still survive.
Matt. 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
The final return of Jesus will definitely be apparent for everyone, but when it comes to the kingdom of God it can be said to be within us and will not be able to be observed in the same way. It’s also something that we can look forward to in the future. Thanks to the holy Spirit who is within us, we can get a foretaste of the love that we can expect in God’s kingdom.
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:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
The kingdom of God is of course GOD’s kingdom, so why does Jesus often say it’s his (Jesus) kingdom?
The above question must of course be addressed to anti-Trinitarian. Jesus talks about “MY table in MY kingdom”, and why does he do that if the kingdom belongs to his Father alone? Isn’t it particularly unfortunate to express oneself in such a way that takes honor away from his Father, and to confuse so many honest readers to believe that Jesus has a kingdom of his own as though he would be God? Anti-trinitarians would of course respond that the only reason for Jesus to have a kingdom is because his Father had given it to him, which would be further evidence for the Father’s superiority (they say). I’ve already addressed Jesus free will subordination here, but on top of this it would make more sense if Jesus made sure to always give all honor to his Father (who doesn’t share his honor with anyone according to Isaiah) by always referring to his kingdom as “my Father’s kingdom” or just “God’s kingdom”. Surely the kingdom doesn’t cease to be God’s kingdom also after having given it to Jesus? So it would never be wrong to consistently use the terms “my Father’s kingdom” or “God’s kingdom”, but Jesus often calls it his own.
Luke 22:28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;30 That ye may eat and drink at MY TABLE IN MY KINGDOM, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Matt. 20 20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in THY kingdom. 22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
Matt. 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
John 18:36 Jesus answered, MY kingdom is not of this world: if MY kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is MY kingdom not from hence.
Ps. 45:6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of THY kingdom is a right sceptre.
Acts 20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
The kingdom of God and the Kingdom of heaven are the same
Example concerning the rich young man who sought eternal life.
Matt. 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Example, when Jesus explained to his disciples why he spoke in parables
Matt. 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mark 4:9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
Luke 8:9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
Example, when Jesus explained the parable about the mustard seed
Matt. 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Mark. 4:30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
Luke 13:18 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
Example, when John the Baptist and Jesus urged people to repent in order to be saved
Matt. 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matt. 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
Mark. 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
See more examples by reading Matt, 5:3 + 10 Luke 6:20-22, and by reading Matt. 11:11 + Luke 7:28, and by reading Matt. 19:14 + Mark. 10:14
The famous THRONE of God that is in heaven is sometimes referred to as Jesus throne
Unless we’re talking about the twelve thrones of the patriarchs in the new Jerusalem, the throne of God in heaven is always stated in singular form. God sits on this throne, but Jesus is often depicted as sitting on his right hand side. Both the Father and the son are capable of being in several places at the same time (Jesus is for instance able to be in the midst of groups of 2-3 people who pray in his name) so nothing is out of line with the idea that they are separate individuals on this particular throne. (The trinity contains three “persons” in one and the same God.) Sometimes the throne in heaven is referred to as being Jesus’ throne.
The four beasts around the throne called the one sitting on the throne “God almighty”, and they declare that the reason for him to be worthy and to receive glory, honor and power is because he has created all things. As we will remember, both God the Father and Jesus are referred to as having created all things, which indicates that they are one and the same God. Similar expressions, and more, are attributed to the lamb (Jesus) “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing”, and they all worshiped him.
Rev. 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: FOR thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Rev. 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. —5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;—11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down andworshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
It’s a common Biblical expression that “the throne of David” shall endure for ever, even though everyone naturally understands that King David’s reign naturally won’t last for ever in a literal sense. Jesus Christ, however, is from the seed of David and his throne is promised to be established for ever. “His throne” can be applied to both God the Father and Jesus Christ.
1 King. 2:45 And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord for ever.
2 Chron. 18:18 Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the Lord; I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.
Ps. 9:7 But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.
Ps. 45:6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
Hebr. 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Ps. 89:3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.5 And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.6 For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.—13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.—28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.-–35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
Ps. 103:19 The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
Matt. 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
Hebr. 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
The “thrones” in plural seem to be related to the thrones in the new Jerusalem – the thrones of judgment. More specifically, the twelve tribes of Judah who will be judged from twelve thrones belonging to the apostles. But we can also read a psalm about thrones prepared for those who keep God’s covenant.
Ps.132:12 If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore.
Ps. 122:5 For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
Jer. 1:15 For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith theLord; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.
Jer. 17:25 Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever.
Matt. 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Rev. 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Paul makes it clear that nothing and no one was before Jesus since he created “all things” in heaven and on earth. Whether we’re talking about visible or invisible things, or whether we’re talking about THRONES, dominions, principalities, powers, etc. NOTHING existed before Jesus Christ since he was absolutely FIRST. This means that God the Father couldn’t have existed one single second prior to Jesus existence, but he could certainly have existed simultaneously as him. God is eternal, and God the Father and Jesus Christ both belong to the eternal Godhead.
Col. 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him