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Author Topic: What is the Difference Between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God?  (Read 1294 times)

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watchfulChristian

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The Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God

Let us review the things we have already seen previously concerning the kingdom of heaven. After the birth of Christ, there comes one who prepares the way for Him. His name is John, and he proclaims that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The Lord, together with the apostles whom He sends forth, announce the same news. What does it mean? Later on, as noted in chapters 8 and 9, we see that the Lord heals the sick and casts out demons, and that all these are closely related to the nearness of the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5-7 speaks of the nature of the kingdom of heaven: which is, that those who belong to this kingdom are absolutely righteous towards themselves, absolutely gracious towards others, and absolutely pure towards God. In Matthew 10 we learn that the Lord sends out His apostles. And in Matthew 11-12 we see that a great transition begins occurring, as though the kingdom of heaven is now being taken away from the Jews.

Now with regard to the kingdom of heaven found spoken of in Matthew 13, some interpreters have asserted that the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are the kingdom of heaven in mystery. Such an assertion is logically unsound when it is held up against all the things which we have just seen: how that both John and the Lord as well as His disciples proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, how that the Lord then announces the nature or character of this kingdom, and how after He is rejected by the children of Israel He in the thirteenth chapter is found declaring only the outward boundary of this kingdom (what we see in this age being but the outward appearance). So that chapter 13 does not deal with the character or nature of the kingdom of heaven, for this has already been described in Matthew 5-7.

Some, on the other hand, contend that all who desire to enter the kingdom of heaven mentioned in chapter 13 must possess the character of the kingdom of heaven as laid down in chapters 5-7. This interpretation again is impossible to accept, since in chapter 13 we have presented the tares, the leaven, and so forth as being in the kingdom of heaven. So that this chapter presents to us nothing but the outward appearance of the kingdom of heaven.

The kingdom of heaven is not the millennial kingdom; it is the reigning in the millennial kingdom. Let us see that the kingdom of heaven has three different aspects.

(1)     An outward appearance, boundary, or scope as is shown to us in Matthew 13.

(2)     A spiritual reality, that is to say, a kind of spiritual conduct which is formed as a result of learning righteousness and grace progressively under the authority of God and which is elucidated for us in Matthew 5-7; and

(3)     A reigning with Christ in the future millennial kingdom as revealed in the fact of our future reward as told to us in Matthew 5-7.

Accordingly, we must first of all enter into the sphere or boundary of this kingdom of heaven by being sons of the kingdom; then secondly, we need to have the kind of conduct described for us in Matthew 5-7 – which is to have real spiritual conduct; and lastly, as a consequence we may reign with the Lord.

Today there are three different kinds of people:

(1)     those who have entered within the sphere of the kingdom of heaven and yet unsaved; these are represented by tares.

(2)     those who have been saved and are in the domain of the kingdom of heaven, ye they fail to keep the teaching of Matthew 5-7.

(3)  those who are saved and also keep the teaching of Matthew 5-7; they truly overcome, and therefore in the future they shall reign with the Lord in the third stage or aspect of the kingdom of heaven.

A Comparison Between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God
 
The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are distinguishable but are not separable. Let us consider in some detail these two descriptive phrases found in Scriptures.

(1)     With certain parables Matthew employs the statement “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto . . . “; but Luke uses the words “The kingdom of God is like. . . . “ for the same parables – thus indicating that the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are one and the same. Both the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven in these parallel instances refer to the outward domain of the kingdom. On this level, it can be said that the outward appearances of both the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are alike. Parables such as that of the leaven belong to this category.

(2)     Yet the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are not synonymous with respect to the second aspect of the kingdom of heaven, inasmuch as what is described in Matthew 5-7  speaks of actual overt behavior whereas “the kingdom of God is righteous and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

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Offline watchman333

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Dear Watchful,
     You must be a schoolteacher!  I'm not going to argue with much of what you said, after all, the sermon on the mount is the sermon on the mount!  However, in Chapter 13 it is stated that Lord Jesus was fulfilling prophecy by speaking in parables.  "I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things that have been kept secret from the FOUNDATION of the world."  Foundation here meaning the Katabole (Greek) or the Tohu Va Bohu (Hebrew) in Genesis 1.2.  This was Satan's overthrow in the age before this flesh age.  Then He went on to explain to His disciples how the tares were the children of the devil, and how they would be bundled up and thrown into the fire at the end of this age.  Any opinion on that?  Also, since you are a teacher, how do I use the Italics or underline on these replies?  When I punch them I just get squirrely figures.  Thanks.

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watchfulChristian

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watchman333,

What you said is true. One of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced in the word of God was the opening post and really understanding every line of Matthew 13.

http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/Matthew_13.htm

I don't know why you get squirrely figures.

The adequacy of the explanation people give to Matthew 13 leaves me wanting but not when I read this link every line of it.


Delta12

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for those who are interested, and I don't want to leave people where they were, however, your free to ask the person if they have changed for yourselves.

 http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/what-does-the-dividing-of-spirit-soul-and-body-look-like-pictorally/msg1054705334/#msg1054705334

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Delta12

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for those who are interested, and I don't want to leave people where they were, however, your free to ask the person if they have changed for yourselves.

 http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/what-does-the-dividing-of-spirit-soul-and-body-look-like-pictorally/msg1054705334/#msg1054705334


I will also add. Look it ALL over carefully. Maybe the person has since changed.  But you need to know what you are dealing with, if you are to seek instruction from this person.

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Offline Funguy33

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The Kingdom of God & Heaven have been created and are now the New Jereusalem.

"In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. " (John 14:2,3 NKJV)

The New Jerusalem was and is the capital city Zion of the New Covenant Kingdom of Heaven. It descended from heaven to receive the NT saints and return with them to heaven. Their City was built in such a way that it REPRESENTED them both individually AND corporately, in a perfect and glorious way. This is why the angel could take John to view the heavenly city of New Jerusalem and inform him that this was Christ's Bride, the wife of the Lamb. This was how GOD saw the Bride, and this was the dwelling He had prepared for her.

In the ancient, Near Easter cultures, the groom prepared a habitation for he and his wife, for after they were wed and had left their parent's dwellings. This was what Christ Jesus did and this is what the New Jerusalem was. It was the "father's house with many mansions" prepared for the NT saints and Church in which Christ returned to receive them unto Himself (see John 14:2,3). Look at the specific details of the city in Rev. 21:11-27. It was a REPRESENTATION of the Bride, both the individuals who composed her corporate "body" as well as the entire community of saints of that day.

Note again in John 14:2,3 that Christ Jesus stated that He would return to receive them into these mansions "that where I am there you may be also". In other words - the New Jerusalem is not, in fact, "on this earth". It is NOT an invisible, planetary entity among us. Rather, it returned to heaven forever, and we will enjoy its glory WITH the NT saints AFTER this life. But it is the seat of all authority in the Kingdom of Heaven - it is the capital city of the Kingdom.

When we read in Rev. 21:3-5 concerning God making His tabernacle with men, we are reading a reference to God's making His habitation among His NT saints. Verse 4 clearly defines the context as being God's removal of all sorrow and grieving for THEM, at the end of their Great Tribulation from which they were delivered.


Lively Stone

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The Kingdom of God & Heaven have been created and are now the New Jereusalem.

"In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. " (John 14:2,3 NKJV)

The New Jerusalem was and is the capital city Zion of the New Covenant Kingdom of Heaven. It descended from heaven to receive the NT saints and return with them to heaven.

No it didn't. The Lord is still preparing our places of dwelling until He comes. You have allowed yourself to be taught falsehoods and now are presuming to teach others. It ain't gonna happen.

The City of New Jerusalem is the final act of God that is recorded in scripture---He will come down and dwell with us.




watchfulChristian

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When Jesus returns He returns with not all Christians and not all believers of the OT, but just those believers who were watchful, prayerful, and kept the word of His patience--who kept the conduct of Matthew 5-7. He returns not with carnal, soulish, fleshly Christians but overcoming spiritual Christians. The percentage of overcomers to total saved is about 1 in 7 because only the Philadelphia church of the 7 churches was an overcomer church.

He returns with His overcomers to reign over the nations for 1000 years. Naturally the nations will include still many unsaved souls during the millennial kingdom.

At the end of the 1000 years the non-overcomers in outer darkness along with the overcomers reigning during the 1000 years will be moved into the New City. And the last generation of souls at the end of the 1000 years will live outside the New City in the New Earth, and they will still be able to procreate but sin will be done with.

They will need to enter the New City periodically though to receive rewnewal from the tree of life because though there is no more sin the body is still inherently weak.

So procreation takes place with those who still have a body of flesh and blood, but the overcomers (which now at this point includes the non-overcomers) will no longer pocreate and be the the pillars of the New City.

This is apparently confusing for many to understand but for me it is exceedingly simple to grasp. That's why I am able to explain it so simply.

Apostle.

Offline Michael A

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Since (as Jesus Christ Himself said) "the kingdom of God is within you" I have a simple question.

Who then are "the host of heaven"?

Think about it.  It really IS a simple question.


Michael A

Offline JohnDB

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There is a difference and a lot of "word play" by Jesus with these two. I'm not exactly sure as I've not studied it yet.

But I'm fairly sure that the two principles of this thread haven't nailed it yet.

watchfulChristian

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We know the kingdom of God is inside believers, but surely you don't deny the kingdom to come, that is, the millennial reign of Christ on earth?

Take word play out of your heart and think of context.

The explanation in the opening post is the best explanation ever delivered by anyone in the human race.

You can see how it deals with all aspects of the kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven.

 

     
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