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

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Luke 12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the 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. [See also John 18:36.]

Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.


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

Romans 14:17


CENTRAL THOUGHT: Jesus taught us to seek for and pray for the kingdom of God to come; saying of the persecuted and poor in spirit that the kingdom was “theirs”; that it was the Father’s good pleasure to give it; and that it was “within you.” When asked after His resurrection if He was now going to restore the kingdom to Israel, He answered by telling them that the Holy Ghost would shortly come upon them and give them power to be His witnesses, thus connecting the coming of the Spirit with the coming of the kingdom within them.




Matthew 5:3 “Poor in spirit”: one who crouches and cowers like a beggar; deeply destitute; completely lacking resources; humble and devout.

Luke 12:32 “Good pleasure”: same word as “well-pleased”; pleasingly acceptable. Luke 17:20 “Observation”: visible signs that can be observed by close watching. Luke 17:21 “Within you”: in the inward parts and of a spiritual nature.




The verses from Matthew come from what is called the Sermon on the Mount, a formal exposition of the kingdom of God and a setting forth of the burden of Jesus’ ministry. Seated upon one of the mountains around Jerusalem, Jesus addressed His disciples primarily, but the presence of the multitudes is also indicated. Jesus explained what the kingdom of God was, who it belonged to, and the righteousness associated with it.

Luke echoed many of the same teachings. In Luke 11 and 12 Jesus taught about prayer, explained what happened when He cast out devils, pronounced woes upon the Pharisees, forewarned the disciples about persecution, and exhorted about being ready for His second coming. Using various stories and parables, Jesus taught about the kingdom of God. Luke 12:32 gives us a hint, as do the verses in Matthew chapters 5 and 6, that the kingdom is something one can have or possess. Jesus taught us to ask for the kingdom and seek for it, comforting us with the promise that it is well-pleasing to Him to grant it at our request. In the same place, He taught us to ask for the Holy Spirit. In answer to the Pharisees inquiring about the kingdom, Jesus again taught that an earthly kingdom with outward demonstration was not what He intended. At Jesus’ trial before Pilate, He plainly stated that His kingdom was “not of this world.”

The disciples expressed the hope and desire of all Israelites—that of regaining the kingdom and David’s throne and being free from the yoke of Roman authority. Jesus did not promise an earthly kingdom; rather, He explained that the power of His kingdom would be by His Holy Spirit filling them with the power to be His witnesses, beginning in their local cities and spreading unto all the world. Later, when Peter and the other apostles explained to the multitudes about the miracle of Pentecost, they cited David’s prophecies about his throne, explaining that Jesus had risen, was exalted and reigning at the Father’s right hand, and had sent forth the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Paul, speaking to the Roman saints, encouraged them to not be consumed by judging one another in issues of food or observance of certain days; rather, they were to realize that the kingdom of God was the life of the Holy Spirit within them.

—Angela Gellenbeck




  1. The kingdom of heaven would belong to what kind of people?
  1. Share the words which express how the Father feels about granting His kingdom to His children.
  2. What two things did Jesus share about the kingdom in Luke and John?
  3. When the disciples asked about the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, how did Jesus answer?
  4. “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but ______________________________.”




In our preceding lesson, we shared the concept of entering the kingdom, and we were given proof that entering the kingdom means to be born again, as a new baby; converted. We were also instructed that there were some hurdles to be overcome, and that through persecution and tribulation we would be born into the kingdom by pressing our way and doing warfare to the flesh and satan’s opposition. When Jesus, as the stronger man, delivers us from satan’s power, He delivers us from satan’s kingdom and into His kingdom.

Today’s lesson expresses a deeper truth and a deeper experience: that of the kingdom entering us. Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God coming “unto you” or “upon you” (Matthew 12:28 and Luke 11:20). We are to seek for the kingdom of God to come, as Jesus said, “within” us. We are to seek for it “first”; we are to pray for it to come, and as Jesus instructed His disciples, we are to “tarry” or “wait” until we are endued with the power of the Holy Spirit. We are to be comforted by the knowledge that He has promised the Spirit to us, He loves to give good gifts (meaning the Holy Spirit) to His children, and it is His good pleasure to give us the kingdom. The kingdom belongs to those who are willing and humble; it is a power to those who experience opposition and persecution.

His kingdom within us is righteousness. His Spirit is a holy Spirit, and it will produce holy lives. His kingdom is peace. The prophet Isaiah said, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain” (Isaiah 11:9); and, “The work of righteousness shall be peace” (Isaiah 32:17).

His kingdom is joy. When the one hundred and twenty came out of the upper room they were overflowing with joy and told of the wonderful works of God. Their joy strengthened them to suffer the persecution they soon encountered.

“Tis a kingdom of peace, it is reigning within, it shall ever increase in my soul.
We possess it right here when He saves from all sin, and shall last while the ages shall roll.”

—Angela Gellenbeck




A few years ago this “city boy” took up gardening, since the climate here in Southern California allows for growing vegetables of varying types year-round. Over the years I’ve learned a few things. I’ve found out that some seeds can be duds; I have planted them and followed all of the instructions provided, but when the seeds didn’t activate I’ve had to go buy more in hopes of still getting a crop planted before the planting season was over. I’ve also learned about the DNA of seeds and how everything to make the plant into what it will be when it is mature is already encapsulated in the seed before it is ever planted. For instance, I have planted two similar varieties of tomato plants, and while they looked identical at planting, at least to my untrained eye, when they were ready for harvest I had tomatoes that were distinctly different in size, texture, taste and appearance.

When I think of the Kingdom of God being within us, I think back to those seeds. Every child of God that is born of His Spirit has received the spiritual DNA that will ensure they grow into the mature product He is expecting. In seeking for this kingdom within us, we must first humble, or as Jesus stated, “…fall into the ground and die…” Then, watered by the revelation of His Word, our hard outer shell falls away and the activation of His Holy Spirit within us causes us to spring forth from the earth (ourselves) exhibiting the tiny shoots of new life! As we begin to grow, the DNA within us causes us to take on His form, His nature, His characteristics, and those looking on can tell that we are indeed one of His. The brilliant sunshine of His smiles upon us as we walk in obedience with Him causes us to exude His righteousness, His peace, His joy, and finally, as we reach maturity, the fruit that we yield looks like, smells like, and tastes like Him.

Lord, help all of us not be “duds” who say we are Yours, but truly have your Holy Spirit activated within, and may we continuously experience this kingdom within us “springing up into everlasting life” as You promised in Your word! Amen!

—Fari Matthews