Skip to comments.Are the Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven the same?
Posted on 03/01/2014 10:42:07 AM PST by PhilipFreneau
Are the Kingdom of God and Heaven the same?
The teaching of the kingdom began in the days of John the Baptist, whose ministry was the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1. These are the prophecies and their fulfillment:
"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." (Isa 40:3 KJV)
"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts." (Mal 3:1 KJV)
"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." (Mat 3:1-3 KJV)
"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." (Mark 1:1-4 KJV)
John also fulfilled the prophecy of Malachi 4:5-6:
"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Mal 4:5-6 KJV)
"For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Mat 11:13-15 KJV)
Jesus made it clear that John the Baptist was the only Elijah that was to come:
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist." (Mat 17:11-13 KJV)
Now, after his baptism, and anointing with the Holy Ghost, Jesus began his ministry in Galilee where he preached the kingdom:
"Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Mat 4:12-17 KJV)
"Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:14-15 KJV)
That should be enough to prove the kingdom of God and kingdom of Heaven are the same. But we will delve a little further. This is Jesus preaching to his disciples the Sermon on the Mount, as written in the books of Matthew and Luke:
"And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Mat 5:1-3 KJV)
"And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God." (Luke 6:20 KJV)
Here, the "two" kingdoms are mentioned by Matthew and Mark in similar verses about little children:
"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Mat 19:14 KJV)
"But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:14 KJV)
In the following verses, Luke and Matthew interchange kingdom of God and kingdom of Heaven in writing virtually the same statement:
"Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Mat 11:11 KJV)
"For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." (Luke 7:28 KJV)
And Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are in "both" kingdoms:
"And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." (Mat 8:11 KJV)
"But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." (Luke 13:27-28 KJV)
Here, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven are used in the same passage about the rich man:
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Mat 19:23-24 KJV)
Even in the parables, the "two kingdoms" are interchangeable:
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." (Mat 13:31-32 KJV)
"And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it." (Mark 4:30-32 KJV)
The evidence is overwhelming that the kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven are the same. But what are they, and when were they created? Here, Jesus said the kingdom of heaven existed during his ministry, at least since the days of John the Baptist:
"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." (Mat 11:12 KJV)
That is crystal clear. In the following passages Jesus prophesied that he would eat meat in the Kingdom of God, and he fulfilled that prophecy shortly after this resurrection:
"And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." (Luke 22:15-16 KJV)
"And I appoint unto you [his disciples] a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Luke 22:29-30 KJV)
"And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him [Jesus] a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them." (Luke 24:41-43 KJV)
Therefore, the kingdom of heaven has existed at least since the days of John the Baptist, and the Kingdom of God existed at least since shortly after the Lord's resurrection. But, if they are the same, and the evidence is overwhelming that they are, then the kingdom of God also existed since, at least, the days of John the Baptist. Check this out:
"Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you [Israel,] and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." (Mat 21:43 KJV)
I don't know what nation Jesus was referring to, since the "kingdom" seems to have been given to anyone who believes in Christ, Jew or Gentile. It is clear that the kingdom of God existed at least before Matthew 21. We also know that the physical kingdom ended during the reign of Zedekiah about 600 BC. Let's get to the heart of the matter:
"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: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21 KJV)
So, the kingdom of God (or, heaven) is spiritual.
In any kingdom, there is the ruler (Christ,) and his servants, who rule and watch over the kingdom. We know of some servants, who were mentioned earlier: his disciples:
"And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Mat 19:28 KJV)
Other servants are mentioned as part of the first resurrection:
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Rev 20:4-6 KJV)
In summary, it appears the kingdom was taken from Israel, and given to everyone; and those of the first resurrection reign over the kingdom as servants of Christ.
I thought you might be interested in this thread.
Which name of the Almighty? YHVH? Elohim? And can you give an example in the NT of this circumlocution you are talking about? Other than "kingdom of heaven."
>>>No, “heaven” is merely a circumlocution for a Name of the Almighty. The author is ignorant of a basic circumlocution of the First Century, and thus repeats the supercessionist’s error to his own detriment, commensurate with the curses first mentioned in Genesis 12:3.<<<
I am confident in the inspired translation of the King James Version.
>>>Any student of First Century Judaism will readily recognize circumlocution.<<<
Are those the ones who were persecuting the Christians?
>>>In traditions going back thousands of years, distancing one’s communication for the Name(s) of G-d is a mark of reverence. (Yes, “G-d” is a sign of reverence.) <<<
I am confident my Lord is perfectly happy whether I use the word GOD, the LORD, the ALMIGHTY, or any other title as long as I have a good (circumcised) heart. Those who love God will also worship and reverence his Son, Jesus Christ.
No the “Kingdom of God” is the 1000 year kingdom on Earth after the Battle of Armageddon.
The “Kingdom of Heaven” comes after the last battle when Satan is bound and thrown into the pits of Hell, and the New Heaven and New earth are created.
They are the same. There are already people in the Kingdom of God/Kingdom of Heaven.
>>>No the Kingdom of God is the 1000 year kingdom on Earth after the Battle of Armageddon.
The Kingdom of Heaven comes after the last battle when Satan is bound and thrown into the pits of Hell, and the New Heaven and New earth are created.<<<
That is your opinion, or what you have been taught. I am challenging that teaching with the Word of God. If you read what I wrote, I believe you will find my position is well supported.
If I wrote anything that is contrary to the scripture, I would most interested in knowing.
Phil I have to agree with you on principle with regards to your response. Peter tells us the real deal and settles the matter of Names here:
Acts 4:10-12 KJV
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
A cursory examination of the Gospels and Acts show the terms to be synonymous. I know others will disagree and look forward to their presentation.
I agree. Jesus talked as if the Kingdom was already his before his ascension (Luke 22:15-16 fulfilled in 24:41-43;) and he said he would sit in his throne after he came with his holy angels, which occurred around A.D. 70:
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:" (Mat 25:31 KJV)
The book of Hebrews implied Jesus was already sitting on the throne:
"But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom' (Heb 1:8 KJV)
>>>A cursory examination of the Gospels and Acts show the terms to be synonymous.<<<
Thanks for you reply. It never dawned on me that anyone could think otherwise, until last summer.
There are countless places in the Gospels where circumlocution is used. See Luke 22:69 for an example.
>>>No, like His first disciples.<<<
I see. Thanks.
It’s been many years since I studied this, but that was my understanding at the time.
I studied Bible prophecy many years ago.
>>>Its been many years since I studied this, but that was my understanding at the time. I studied Bible prophecy many years ago.<<<
Two things I learned early one were: the kingdom of God and heaven are the same; and the kingdom is within us. My first bible was a little, green Gideon New Testament; so I started reading in the New Testament.
Heaven is where God is by definition.
I used to think that myself, it took a lot of study to understand that they are different. Again I learned from studying Bible prophecy.
That would be a good topic for discussion. This was the initial definition of heaven:
"And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day." (Gen 1:6-8 KJV)
And this is what God placed in the open firmament called heaven:
"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." (Gen 1:20 KJV)
It certainly seems like God is trying to tell us that heaven is our atmosphere.