The Kingdom Breaking In

Can we grasp that something even greater than the early apostolic times must come, namely the kingdom of God, which will change the whole world? Throughout his life, Eberhard Arnold eagerly anticipated the coming kingdom. This excerpt from the book God’s Revolution catalogues some of his key thoughts.

If in all we do we have no other goal than this: that his kingdom come, that his will be done on earth, then our prayer will be answered (Matt. 6:33). God will prove greater than our hearts can grasp. Much more will happen than we dare put into words. His answer will surpass our boldest prayer. And so that we may be sure it is God who does it all, it will happen while we are yet praying or even before we have spoken our prayer (Isaiah 65:24). All people who knock at God’s door and seek God alone will receive what they ask for before they know it (Matt. 7:7–11).


Let us ask God to send forth his Spirit with renewed authority. New thoughts must break forth from the depths of God’s heart that go far, far beyond our own human thoughts and weak notions. Let us pray for God’s mighty deeds, deeds that are completely independent of us human beings. Our prayer is that his rulership really breaks in, that his love is revealed, that his kingdom becomes visible, ready for the Holy Spirit and Christ to descend. To this we will give ourselves, even if it costs us our lives. We will pledge our lives that this may come about for the deliverance of all nations.

September 1935

Jesus challenged us to work while it is still day (John 9:4). He compared his kingdom to labor in a vineyard, the investment of entrusted money, the good use of every talent. If God’s kingdom is to transform this vale of tears into a place of joy, it has to be a realm of work. Work, and work alone, befits the destiny of the human spirit. By our nature as human beings we are called to a life of creativity. Healthy joy in life will be ours only through unclouded, loving fellowship in work.


We have been given an important calling in the context of the tremendous struggle between two opposites. We are unworldly in that we deny recognition to mutual displacement and annihilation. Yet we are close to the world and to nature in that we acknowledge the constructive social force of mutual help and interdependence. And we do not exclude anybody. We believe that all human beings, whoever they may be, are drawn together by this deep-down sense of solidarity and mutual service. We believe that all, however deeply they may have sunk into darkness, do yet have a spark of light in the depths of their hearts. We believe that this spark of light in every person must in the end gather them all together in the ocean of light – fellowship with God.

June 1935

Christ fulfills everything, for in him everything is already fulfilled. Boundless joy is given to us when we turn away from the old life and find forgiveness for it, when we turn to a new life with courage to dare. That is the joy of the gospel, the joy of the Holy Spirit, joy in the Lord, the joy that encompasses all of life because it springs from the eternal God (Phil. 4:4). It is joy in the certainty that this same happiness belongs to all, that the future is the Lord’s.

The coming down of God’s kingdom when Jesus gives this earth back to God on the day of the new creation will be something different. Our prayer shall call on God to bring this about. We cannot do it, not even with our faith. God alone can do it.

An awakening must come; but something still greater must come. Can you grasp this? Can you grasp it that something even greater than the early apostolic times must come, namely the kingdom of God, which will change the whole world?

February 1935

Adapted from God’s Revolution (Walden, NY: Plough, 2021).

Article edited for length and clarity.