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The Difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven

Intro: A born again Christian should not confuse the kingdom of God that he was born into by a second birth, with the thousand year kingdom
age where his Christ will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords from the throne of David. The Jews, looking for the kingdom of God were told
 “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.”
 (Luke17) Jesus makes the distinction between the Kingdom of God you receive within you, and the coming day of the Lord when the Son of Man
will sit on the Throne of David and rule every nation. For a believer the blessed hope is not that he might be saved in the end, but that he will
see his blessed Redeemer come and fulfill the promises that he made. These promises are actual not figurative; real not allegorical; to us in the
 New Covenant and to God's chosen people, Israel in the Old Covenant. The literalness of the Kingdom of God in us and the Kingdom of Christ
soon coming can not be allegorized away. They are realities of Christianity and realities of His revelation. God says “My covenant will I not
 break nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure
forever, and his throne as the sun before me.” Shame on 'Christendom' for allegorizing away God's promises, and believing the textual critics
who rip verses out of this precious old book. In this, its 400th year, we should unite with the tiny remnant of believers that hold on to every
jot and tittle of this old King James Bible.

Definition of Kingdom - A king (dom) is the (dom) ain of a king.

Kingdom of Heaven - Matthew

Kingdom of God

What we find is that the term "Kingdom of Heaven" occurs 32 times in Matthew.  It is noteworthy that it appears nowhere else in the New Testament.

In contrast, the term "Kingdom of God"  occurs 63 times in the New Testament, 9 times in Acts and Paul's epistles, only 5 times in Matthew -- the balance being found in Mark, Luke and John.

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. ( Would have come if the Jews had not rejected their King)

Matthew 5:3, 10 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven... Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(Could enter into the Millennial Kingdom of Heaven because they had first entered into the Kingdom of God)

Matthew 8:11 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.( Millenium)

Matthew 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (The Kingdom could have came in their time had they not rejected Him)

Matthew 11:11 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.(Both statements do not contradict each other and there is no conflict in their teaching of both Kingdoms)

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

Matthew 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.  (No conflict only the saved enter into the Kingdom of Heaven))

Matthew 13:31 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: (It will increase in its scope)

Matthew 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened (The Kingdom of Heaven will encompass all the earth in its scope)

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Connection made between Kingdom of God and salvation)

Luke 6:20, 22 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God... Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

Luke 13:28 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. (Salvation came to the Jews but they especially the religious Pharisees rejected it.)

Luke 9:60 ...go thou and preach the kingdom of God. (Salvation)

Luke 7:28 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 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. (It is a narrow way into the Kingdom of God salvationMatt.7:13,14)

Mark 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all [these] things are done in parables: (No conflict – The unsaved do not believe or understand)

Mark 4:30-31 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...(The Kingdom of God increases as people are saved)

Luke 13:20-21 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?  It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.  (The everlasting Kingdom will be the whole heavens and earth)

Mark 10:14 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. (This Kingdom must first be entered in humble dependence upon God – like a child – or no entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven)

Mark 10:23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! ( If they aren’t saved & enter into this kingdom they will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven)

Luke 19:11-13 ...they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants... (Those who enter into the Kingdom of God will be in the Kingdom of Heaven most assuredly. They will as servants have reign and service to do in the Kingdom)

 

 Christ came to Israel and preached the kingdom

The kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven are at times interchangeable in the Gospels. One emphasizes the fact that it is God’s kingdom,
while the other emphasizes that it is a kingdom that will come from Heaven. Christ came to His own people, Israel, but they rejected Him
 (John 1:11; 19:15), and He warned them that the kingdom would be taken from them because of their rebellion and given to another nation
 (Mat. 21:42-26). Christ preached a literal glorious kingdom that would be established on earth. Peter, James, and John were given a fore view
of it on the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke. 9:27-31).

            Jesus came unto His own people, Israel, and was rejected, and this had been prophesied in Scripture. He then turned his focus from Israel
 and said, “I will build my church; and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” (Mat. 16:18). Christ stopped announcing the kingdom and turned
 His attention to dying on the cross for man’s sin, and after He rose from the dead He sent His disciples forth to preach the gospel to every nation
(Acts 1:8). In this present church age Christ is calling out a people for His name from among the Gentiles while Israel is largely blinded, but when this dispensation is finished He will turn His attention back to Israel and fulfill His covenants with them (Rom. 11:25-27).

This is the kingdom comprised of all who submit to God’s authority.
            The kingdom of God will come to earth in its prophetic fullness at the return of Christ. See Acts 14:22; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10;
 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Timothy 4:1; James 2:5; 2 Peter 1:11; Revelation 12:10.

            Believers are not building the kingdom of Heaven on earth today. They are snatching brands from the coming fire before the day of
 salvation is finished (1 Cor. 9:19; 10:33; 2 Cor. 5:11, 18-21; 6:2; Jude 23). Today the “whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19), and the
 devil is its god (2 Cor. 4:4). The apostles and prophets in the early churches (as described in the book of Acts and the Epistles) did not band
together to accomplish grandiose social-justice projects; they did not pursue artsy activities; they did not try to save the earth; they preached
 the gospel and shined as lights in this dark world by their holy lives. Christ’s Great Commission emphasizes gospel preaching (Mat. 28:18-20;
Mk. 16:15; Lk. 24:46-48; Acts 1:8). After Christ rose from the dead and as He was preparing them for His ascension, the disciples asked Him,
“Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Jesus’ reply is very instructive. He did not correct their understanding
 of the establishment of a literal kingdom of earth. He told that it was not time for that long-expected kingdom to be established and that our duty
 in this church age is to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. “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. 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” (Acts 1:7-8). After this, Christ ascended
 to Heaven and poured out the Holy Spirit upon the disciples to empower them for this great work. This commission of world evangelism will not be abrogated until church age saints are removed from this world and the Lord regenerates Israel and restores them to the front burner of His plan
for the ages.

The Rod of Iron

The Bible says that in the kingdom of Heaven the Law will be enforced with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:26-27; 12:5; 19:15; Psalm 2:7-9). Christ’s kingdom
 will not be a democracy but a divine dictatorship, a theocracy, and no one will be given a choice as to whether to obey Him or not. Christ’s law will be established as international law and every individual will be required to obey it, and disobedience will be dealt with quickly and rigorously. Justice and righteousness will reign because injustice and unrighteousness will be punished and punished quickly.

            The Kingdoms though similar in many ways are two distinct kingdoms. Even with that said there is the understanding in my mind that
cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven (Millennial reign of Christ) unless you have first entered into the kingdom of God.  I arrive there with the understanding of that which John 3:3, 5 tell us.

            Vs.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.
 Vs. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God is only entered through the new birth, period. It is a spiritual kingdom.

            With that said how do we find so many  in the Kingdom of Heaven who will be deceived by the devil when he is loosed for that little
season Rev.20:3, 7 -10 at the end of the 1,000 years and be killed. The answer must lie in the fact that there will be some in the Kingdom of
 Heaven
who will not be saved. I believe they are those who are born during the thousand year reign. Though Jesus Christ will literally be on the
 throne in Jerusalem ruling with a rod of iron ( Rev.12:5) there will be people who are not saved.
The Bible says that in the kingdom of Heaven
the Law will be enforced with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:26-27; 12:5; 19:15; Psalm 2:7-9). Christ’s kingdom will not be a democracy but a divine dictatorship,
 a theocracy, and no one will be given a choice as to whether to obey Him or not. Christ’s law will be established as international law and every
 individual will be required to obey it, and disobedience will be dealt with quickly and rigorously. Justice and righteousness will reign because
injustice and unrighteousness will be punished and punished quickly.
 The righteousness of Christ reigns and keeps peace so that even an unbeliever
must toe the line and do right. It is when Satan is loosed that they are deceived and follow him to their own destruction.

            The Kingdom of Heaven is entered into at the end of the tribulation by those who have not taken the mark of the beast and trusted in
Jesus Christ as the Messiah. These will be saved by believing the gospel message of the Jewish witnesses during the tribulation. What I am
saying is to enter into the kingdom of heaven you must be saved and have entered first into the kingdom of God. Once the kingdom of heaven
commences during the next 1,000 years children will be born who will be living in the kingdom of heaven but will not enter into the kingdom of
God, so they are unsaved.

             We preach the gospel and when someone believes they are born again and enter into the kingdom of God. This kingdom increases but
also will have an end to its increase when the last person is saved. We find from the cross on that it is the kingdom of God which is preached.

            The kingdom of heaven was preached by Jesus and John the Baptist to a Jewish audience. Jesus came unto His own people, Israel, and
was rejected, and this had been prophesied in Scripture. He then turned his focus from Israel and said, “I will build my church; and the gates of
Hell shall not prevail against it” (Mat. 16:18). Christ stopped announcing the kingdom and turned His attention to dying on the cross for man’s sin,
 and after He rose from the dead He sent His disciples forth to preach the gospel to every nation (Acts 1:8). In this present church age Christ is
calling out a people for His name from among the Gentiles while Israel is largely blinded, but when this dispensation is finished He will turn His
attention back to Israel and fulfill His covenants with them (Rom. 11:25-27).
           
That kingdom (I have to believe) would have begun if the Jewish nation had received Jesus Christ as their prophesied Messiah. They did not
 and the kingdom did not begin. The Jews were set aside till the times of the gentiles would be fulfilled and then God would deal with His people
again. It is during the tribulation that Israel is saved. It is during this time that they believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and at the end of the seven
 year tribulation they will enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 Concluding Thoughts

            I must say this has been an interesting and confusing study at times. It is me obviously and not the bible. It is just the magnitude of the
 information and subject. I will say I believe I convinced of two distinct kingdoms being mentioned in the bible; the kingdom of God and the kingdom
of heaven. The problem I find is where they separate on their individual teachings. Many times it seems they could be used synonomously. They
 have many similar things about them. I studied and read some and looked at thought and I have come to the conclusion that I am in the kingdom
 of God right now by being born again. With that said I also believe I will enter the kingdom of heaven after the seven year tribulation on earth is
over. During that time I will be in heaven with my King and come back with Him when He destroys the armies of earth with the sword of His mouth
– the word of God. Then the saved of earth and the saints in heaven will all go into the 1,000 year millennial reign of Jesus Christ on earth. This is
the kingdom reign that Jesus preached in the gospel of Matthew called the kingdom of heaven. Considering the amount more study it would take
to truly and completely know and defend this belief I can’t say it is over. What I mean is that now my spiritual ears and eyes have been opened
in a greater way. I will look and listen very carefully to teaching and preaching on this subject. 2Tim.2:15

Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."

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E-mail: eberlydc@juno.com
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             dceberly@gmail.com

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Pastor William Gaul
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