Luke 17:20-21 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The Kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the Kingdom of God is within you.” NKJV
The coming Kingdom of God was anticipated by the Jews for many centuries. Unfortunately the Jewish Rabbis looked for the Messiah to come as a conquering King and not a suffering servant. When we look back at the parting of the Red Sea, the parting of the Jordan River, and some of the other visible acts of supernatural miracles that God performed to accomplish His purposes, we can then get a sense of the Jewish rulers concept of how God would bring in His earthly Kingdom. This interpretation of the Psalms and the Prophets by the Jewish Rabbis completely blinded them to the reality of Jesus Christ being truly the Son of God (the Messiah). They totally believed the Messiah would come once in a mighty and powerful manner and crush all of Israel’s enemies as God had done for the nation on many occasions documented in the Old Testament. The fact is their thinking was absolutely correct except that visible coming Kingdom was to come at our Lord’s second coming to the earth.
Now we have one of the Pharisees ask our Lord when the Kingdom of God would come, and I’m sure this man was absolutely floored with the answer he received from our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord answered him by saying, “The Kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU.” (Luke 17:20-21) This must have been perplexing to this man for if it were not he would have never asked such a question. The sad thing is that it should not have been perplexing at all. But it must have been a universal blindness among the Pharisees because when our Lord spoke to the Pharisee Nicodemus and told him that he needed to be born again in order to enter the Kingdom of God, Nicodemus asked our Lord, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his Mother’s womb and be born?” The Pharisee here in Luke Chapter 17 and Nicodemus (also a Pharisee) both teachers of the Law of Moses had the same lack of spiritual understanding from the Psalms and the Prophets. Certainly both of these men read the words from the Prophet Ezekiel. Here is what Ezekiel said:
Ezekiel 36:24-27 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put A NEW SPIRIT WITHIN YOU; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. NKJV
Now we see what our Lord meant when He said THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU. The English word within means on the inside; internal and there is nothing lost in the translation as some supposed that our Lord was referring to the Kingdom being in their midst. The Greek word used for the English word within is entos and it means the exact same thing inside. The words our Lord gave to the Prophet Ezekiel were written to and for the nation Israel but they also were a prophesy of the new birth our Lord spoke to Nicodemus about. In these 4 verses of Scripture from the Prophet Ezekiel 6 times the pronoun I is used by the Prophet as the Lord God of Israel is the speaker revealing what He would do to and in the nation Israel by giving them a new heart and PUTTING HIS SPIRIT WITHIN THEM. This is why our Lord when speaking to Nicodemus all of those centuries later asked him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?” Nicodemus and the other Pharisee here in Luke 17 should have understood the prophetic implications of Ezekiel’s words that surely both of them had read numerous times. This is the reality of the Kingdom of God on earth after the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ AN INTERNAL KINGDOM of sinful hearts being transformed, resurrected, renewed, transfigured, and forever made new by the wondrous working power of God the Holy Spirit through regeneration and the new birth. The Kingdom of God is everywhere upon the earth right now, but it cannot be localized into a continent, or country, or state, or city, or town, or village because the Kingdom of God is individual men, women, girls, and boys that have been born again of incorruptible seed by the Word of God that lives and abides forever and the gates of @#!*% will never prevail against it.
Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. NKJV
John 4:20-24 “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” NKJV
Colossians 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory. NKJV
“For behold the Kingdom of God is within or among you - Look not for it in distant times or remote places: it is now in the midst of you: it is come: it is present in the soul of every true believer: it is a spiritual kingdom, an internal principle. Wherever it exists, it exists in the heart.” John Wesley
“If we do anything to further the Kingdom of God, we may expect to find what Christ found on that road - abuse, indifference, injustice, misunderstanding, trouble of some kind. Take it. Why not? To that you were called. In Latin America someone who feels sorry for himself is said to look like a donkey in a downpour. If we think of the glorious fact that we are on the same path with Jesus, we might see a rainbow.” Elisabeth Elliot
“Even to earnest minds the difficulty of grasping the truth at all has always proved extreme. Philosophically, one scarcely sees either the necessity or the possibility of being born again. Why a virtuous man should not simply grow better and better until in his own right he enter the Kingdom of God is what thousands honestly and seriously fail to understand.” Henry Drummond
“The Kingdom of God will not change men’s outward condition, but their hearts and lives. Then it comes when it makes those humble, and serious, and heavenly, that were proud, and vain, and carnal, - when it weans those from the world that were wedded to the world; and therefore look for the Kingdom of God in the revolutions of the heart, not of the civil government.” Matthew Henry
“We do not have the ability to enter the Kingdom unless the Spirit of God gives us life through the new birth. We are born again, then, by a sovereign, monergistic (that is, the Spirit working alone) act of the Holy Spirit. Then, as a result of that new birth, we exercise the faith given to us, and enter the Kingdom of God.” Jerry Bridges
“People shall never enter the Kingdom of God through our encouragement, persuasion, argument, inducement, excitement, or attraction; entrance can be gained only by new birth, by nothing less than the resurrection of the spirit.” Watchman Nee
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…