Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Matthew 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.

4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

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:

17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

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.

3:5b Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

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.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.


MEMORY VERSE: Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. —Luke 12:32


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The kingdom of God is a heavenly kingdom of peace, joy and righteousness, given freely by Jesus and put by the Holy Spirit within the hearts of those who are born again, have sought for the kingdom, and have pressed into it. It is especially promised to the humble and lowly heart.




Daniel 2:44 “In the days of these kings”: the days of the Roman Empire. Daniel’s vision showed four kingdoms: the Babylonian Empire, the Medo/Persian Empire, the Greek Empire, and the Roman. During the Roman rule Jesus was born, fulfilled his earthly ministry, died, resurrected and ascended, and sent His Spirit into the church, establishing His kingdom that would never be destroyed.

Matthew 3:2 “The kingdom of heaven”: The kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Christ—all refer to the same thing: the sovereignty, authority, and rule of Christ in the heart of believers. “The dispensation of infinite mercy, and manifestation of eternal truth, by Christ Jesus, producing the true knowledge of God, accompanied with that worship which is pure and holy, worthy of that God who is its institutor and its object” (Adam Clarke, Clarke’s Commentary). “Is at hand”: approaches; is near; is about to be fully opened.

Matthew 6:33 “All these things”: all the things that the nations of the world seek after—material comfort, wealth, financial security; food and clothing.

Luke 16:16 “Every man presseth into it”: to use power to forcibly seize; laying hold of something with positive aggressiveness (Helps Word Studies).

Luke 17:20 “With observation”: in such a manner that it can be watched with the eyes, i.e., in a visible manner (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon).

John 3:3 “Born again”: born from above; born afresh, anew. “He cannot see”: cannot discern or perceive [the kingdom] because it is a spiritual, not worldly, kingdom; within the heart, and not outwardly visible to the eyes.

Luke 12:32 “Little flock”: the little community—the inner circle—of disciples. “Few in number, when compared with the wicked of the world; and mean and despicable in the account of men; and little in their own eyes” (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible).




When John the Baptist, and then Jesus, came preaching the “gospel of the kingdom,” commanding the people to repent, they both used the same message: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. No doubt they were referring to the prophecy from Daniel about the everlasting kingdom that would be set up in the time of Roman rule and would be given to the saints of the Most High. John introduced it; Jesus then began to explain it and describe the conditions for receiving it. He spoke of the kingdom entering into a person and of a person entering into it. He said that we must seek it FIRST. He said that we couldn’t see, perceive, or experience it unless we had experienced the new, spiritual birth. He gave numerous comparisons or similitudes of the kingdom through parables—a grain of mustard seed, a pearl of great price, a field of treasure, yeast hidden in bread dough, wise and foolish virgins, etc.

He spoke of it when referring to the power that delivered from devils. He pointed forward to the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, pinpointing the time and manner in which He would “set up” His kingdom. He also spoke of the kingdom in terms of the eternal, everlasting realm. But always, certain things are clear: it is not of this world, nor does it come with outward demonstration. It is within you.

Paul further told the Romans, it is not about physical food or drink; rather, it is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. He also told the Corinthians that the kingdom was not in word, but in power. Later to the Hebrews he wrote about receiving this kingdom which cannot be moved.

The special promise to the humble and lowly in spirit is that theirs—belonging to them, given freely to them, indwelling them—is this heavenly kingdom. It had been prepared for them from the foundation of the world. The rich, pompous, full-of-themselves, scornful, haughty people who neither sought for nor felt the need of this pearl of great price; who disregarded the needs of their fellow man and applauded themselves for their outwardly righteous appearance would have no part of it.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




  1. When: Jesus came and set up His kingdom during the reign of which earthly kingdom?
  2. Where: Not of this world, not of flesh and blood, but the kingdom of God is __________  _______.
  3. How: Explain the way you may enter the kingdom and the way the kingdom enters you.
  4. What: Share some of the verses that explain what the kingdom of God is and what it is not.
  5. Who: Describe the kind of person to whom the kingdom is given.





Jesus is teaching us what it means to be truly happy and blessed. But it seems that He pairs totally opposite ideas—we wouldn’t think that having a lowly estimation of oneself or trembling with contrition and reverence at God’s word would bring happiness. But the truly lowly person is given such a rich treasure. He is made partaker of all the greatness of the kingdom—grace to overcome weaknesses and sins, peace and joy right in the time of great distress and trouble, pure and holy fellowship with other saints of God, and a bright and glorious hope of eternal joy in the presence of God.

Though he may be destitute and needy in terms of this world’s goods, afflicted and accused by satan, and ever aware of the weakness and neediness of his humanity; he can know and rejoice that, deep within, he possesses the true riches of faith, godliness, contentment, and wisdom.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




In reflecting upon Luke 17:20-21 in our lesson, the words of Phillips Brooks came to my mind, as he expressed this truth so beautifully in verse three of the old familiar song, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

“How silently, how silently, The wondrous gift is giv’n!

So God imparts to human hearts, The blessings of His heav’n.

No ear may hear His coming, But in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive Him still, The dear Christ enters in.”

Without observation or outward show, Christ, the King of glory comes in spirit to the hearts of poor sinners who acknowledge their wretchedness and bow before Him in penitent contrition. As the Prince of Peace speaks peace to the troubled soul, the treasures of the kingdom begin to be unveiled as the inner man foretastes the realities of the heavenly realm. This is “the mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: … which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:26-27).

This kingdom is now “at hand.” Who would not want to humbly bow, meet the King’s conditions, and receive it? Those who do enjoy a foretaste of heaven here in this life as well as the hope of eternal bliss hereafter; for this kingdom has no end!

—Bro. Harlan Sorrell