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THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN AND
THE KINGDOM OF THE GOD
By Dr. Fred Wittman
As one begins to read The Gospel According to Matthew, it is soon discovered by the end of the sixth chapter that The Lord Jesus Christ referred to two kingdoms, the Kingdom of Heaven (4:17; 5:3,10,19,20) and the Kingdom of The God (6:33, the Greek Manuscripts contain the definite article throughout the Gospels and every time in the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation except three times in First Corinthians, and once in Galatians and Ephesians). Many have jumped to the conclusion that these are two terms for the same Kingdom. This is understandable because many similarities can be found describing both kingdoms. If the focus is only upon the similarities and the differences are overlooked, ignored or disregarded, a great and fatal error in hermeneutics occurs. However focus upon careful examination of the differences reveals that these are two distinct and vastly different kingdoms. Obviously careful examination of all the Scriptures which refer to these two kingdoms, both the similarities and the differences would require the volume of a book which is not undertaken in this paper at this time. Only the references showing the sufficient, significant differences, which shall put the average mind to rest that these are two distinct Kingdoms of which Jesus speaks and teaches His disciples, are addressed. The other Scriptures are left for the reader to further investigate on his own (footnotes on Matthew 13 in the Scofield Reference Bible pp. 1014-1017 are recommended for reference and further study; also the enclosed chart of Comparison of The Kingdom of The God and The Kingdom of Heaven and Strong’s Concordance will assist the reader in such a careful and complete study ). Only the true regenerated disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ will recognize this distinct difference if careful study is undertaken.
The present day church has lost the art and science of proper hermeneutics (see Here’s How The Bible Can Make Sense To You Today by this author). The reason for this is that when many of our Bible Institutes upgraded to Bible Colleges some Bible courses had to be displaced by liberal arts courses and the most frequently dropped course was Hermeneutics. This course was required by almost all if not all Bible Institutes and Bible Colleges prior to conversion to liberal arts accreditation.
More than seventy-five years ago, R. T. Chafer published a book entitled “The Science of Biblical Hermeneutics” in which he called attention to eight axioms (self-evident truths) which determine proper Biblical Interpretation. A many years before Chafer’s book was published, Dr. Clinton Lockhart wrote, “Principles of Interpretation” and included sixteen axioms, eight of which Chafer emphasized. Axiom IV states, “The function of a word depends upon its association with other words.” No other axiom is of more importance, and no other principle is more often violated. Yet if this axiom were consistently observed there would be far less differences in interpretation of Scripture. Just in connection with the term ‘kingdom’ alone, there would be much greater understanding of the teachings of The Lord Jesus Christ if this axiom were observed.
Closely linked to the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of The God is the word ‘gospel.’ How many people who have read and / or studied the Bible are aware that there are five different ‘gospels’ mentioned in the New Testament? I am not referring to the first four books of the New Testament, but to the ‘good news’ or ‘glad tidings’ (the meaning of the Greek word translated ‘gospel’). This axiom, “The function of a word depends upon its association with other words,” when carefully applied to the New Testament Scriptures, clarifies to which gospel the writer is referring. The five gospels mentioned above are: the gospel of the Kingdom (Mt. 4:17,23), the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 1:1) with sixteen different titles, another (of a different kind or false) gospel (2 Cor. 11:4,13-15; Gal. 1:6-11), the pre-gospel of faith to Abraham (Gal. 3:8), and the everlasting gospel (Rev. 14:6). All the other references to ‘gospel’ pertain to one of these five gospels. Just as each of the gospels is identified by the word(s) associated with it, so also is kingdom, seed, truth, law (ten different laws), church, life, and death.
But this paper is concerned with ‘kingdom’ and particularly the differences between the Kingdom of The God and the Kingdom of Heaven. The differences are most prominently noted in The Gospel According to Matthew where both the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of The God are described. The Kingdom of Heaven is described only in Matthew, and no where else in the New Testament! But the Kingdom of The God is described by only five verses in Matthew (6:33; 12:28;19:24; 21:31,43) but also in all New Testament Books except 2 Corinthians, Philippians, 1 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, 1 Peter, 1,2, and 3 John, and Jude. Matthew writes about The Lord Jesus Christ from the aspect of His life and ministry as the Messianic King for Whom for centuries all Israel was looking to come to set up the Messianic Kingdom, which was prophesied by the prophets of the Old Testament. Matthew majors on the earthly reign of the Messiah (the Christ). His emphasis is on the rule of Heaven in the kingdoms on Earth.
The first mention of and introduction to the Kingdom of Heaven in the New Testament is by John the Baptizer (Mt. 3:1-3 cf. Mal. 3:1). The gospel he proclaimed was preparation for the Messianic Kingdom and in order to prepare the way for the Messiah (Mt. 3:1-12). It is true that Mark recorded that John preached the gospel concerning the Kingdom of The God (Mk. 1:15). Both kingdoms have many similarities and the gospel concerning both was preached before Jesus died on the cross. ( This can be seen by the two concentric circles represented on the accompanying colored chart displayed on the website.) The Messianic Kingdom contains both kingdoms until the end of time. However there is a distinct separation when the Lord Jesus Christ comes in the air for His redeemed and regenerated church until He returns to Earth with her. (This is illustrated by two concentric circles and the brown and yellow lines proceeding from them. The larger, brown, outer circle represents the Kingdom of Heaven and the smaller, yellow inner circle represents the Kingdom of The God.)
When John was cast into prison, The Lord Jesus took up the proclamation (preaching) of the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt. 4:12,17). He preached to His disciples the Sermon on the Mount, in which He stipulated the criteria by which the Kingdom of Heaven will be governed and its people expected to conduct themselves (Mt. 5:1-7:29). In the Kingdom of the Heavens it is possible to breach or break one of the least of the commandments and even teach the humans to do so (Mt. 5:19), but in the Kingdom of The God Christ’s commandments are to be kept (Jn. 15:9,10; 1 Jn. 2:3; 5:2.3). Then Jesus spoke of self-righteousness as a possible means of entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven by alluding to the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees (noted for their self-righteousness). But in the Kingdom of The God only true righteousness prevails (Rom. 14:17). Then in the midst of this Sermon on the Kingdom of Heaven, The Lord Jesus emphasizes seeking the Kingdom of The God and His righteousness first rather than the necessities of life so that these necessities be added to those who do seek God’s righteousness and the Kingdom of The God first (Mt. 6:33). This is the first indication in Matthew’s Gospel that The Lord Jesus gave of contrast between the two kingdoms. God’s righteousness and the Kingdom of The God must have total priority and preeminence in life for those in the Kingdom of The God. No such priority is stipulated for the Kingdom of Heaven. Many of the references to the Kingdom of Heaven indicate a mixture of false and true believers, wheat and tares, good and bad fish, and good and bad fowl, even self-righteous ones and those having God’s righteousness imputed, and those with and without the anointing oil of The Holy Spirit, all representative of those with and without the vital ingredients necessary for admission into Heaven with The true God.
For the moment we shall lay aside the focus upon the Kingdom of Heaven and focus on Matthew’s emphasis on the Kingdom of The God. Matthew’s next reference to the Kingdom of The God (12:28) is an emphasis that The Lord Jesus Christ’s powerful presence indicates to the doubters and religionists that “the Kingdom of The God is advanced upon you” (Mt.12:28 APT*) and a sharp distinction is made between forgiven and unforgiven Jews of His day (12:22-33). Again the Lord Jesus referred to the Kingdom of The God contrasted with the Kingdom of Heaven (19:23,24) when He declared the difference between the two Kingdoms by the entrance of a rich one. “A rich one will difficulty enter the Kingdom of the Heavens” but “ It is easier for a camel to go between through a needle’s aperture than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of The God.” The first example is a difficulty while the second example is an impossibility since The Lord does not use the definite article. The term “needle’s aperture” is two Greek words without the definite article thus it is not referring to a particular place referred to as “the needle” as some refer to the Aramaic word for “the eye of the needle,” but indicates the quality and nature of the opening or entrance to the Kingdom of The God. The Greek words for “needle’s aperture” are trupáymahtohs rahféedohs and not trumahlee-áh the one word meaning orifice. Also the Aramaic word in the Aramaic New Testament gahmláh means “camel, a large rope and a beam,” but the Greek word Kahmaylohs is only used for camel. The Greek word for rope is sxoinéeohn and the word for beam is dohkóhs. Therefore the Greek does not allow for the numerous variations in translation and interpretation which make it possible for a rich one to enter the Kingdom of The God, when in fact it is near if not altogether impossible. But such a rich one may enter the kingdom of the Heavens with difficulty.
Two more times in the twenty-first chapter (21: 31,43), Jesus made reference to the Kingdom of The God. He indicated the priority of entrance into the Kingdom of The God, hated tax collectors and harlots who repented and committed trust would (lead before or) enter the Kingdom of The God before unrepentant chief priests (religious leaders, v. 23), Pharisees (religionists, v. 45) and elders (v. 23). Jesus indicated that those responsible for killing the Son of the Possessor of the vineyard (Earth) shall have the Kingdom of The God taken away from them and given to a nation (1 Peter 2:9) bringing forth the required fruits and the others shall receive dreadful judgment (21:43,44).
Now back to Matthew’s focus on the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus also indicated that the Old Testament saints represented by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will (future) recline to eat with many who will arrive from east and west in the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt. 8:11) when the Christ shall return and rule on the Earth for a thousand years according to Old Testament Prophecies (esp. Is. 11:1-12;16:5:32:1,2; 33:21,22; Zeph. 3:15-18; Jer. 23:5-8; 33:14-16; Zech. 6:12,13; 9:9,10; 14:1-9,16). But the sons of the Kingdom (of Heaven, understood) will be cast out into outer darkness (Mt. 8:12). Future study of the Kingdom of The God in Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation will show that all of those belonging to the Kingdom of The God will inherit eternal absolute life and dwell with Christ forever, while those belonging to the Kingdom of Heaven but not regenerated, not totally committed to Christ, and have not abandoned their sins will perish. (The Greek word for ‘forgive,’ Ahféeaymee is also the same word for ‘abandon’ which means ‘to give up with the intent of never again claiming a right to or interest in” (Webster). God can only forgive i.e. abandon our sins if we really mean business and abandon our sins ourselves. If we want The God to forgive our sins, we must repent of and abandon our sins; Lk. 24:47; Acts 26:18,20; Heb. 10:6; 1 Pet. 2:24 APT*). Peter called it departing in death to sins.
Who Himself bore up our sins in His body upon the wood in order that we, ones becoming departed ones in death to the sins, absolutely live in the righteousness; by Whose lacerations you were cured (1 Pet. 2:24 APT*).
Paul called it being crucified with Christ. We must die to sins as Paul did (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20) and to the flesh and its lusts (Gal. 5:24; Col. 2:11) and to the world (Gal. 6:14).
The Lord Jesus committed the gospel of the Kingdom to His disciples to proclaim to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Mt.10:5-7-42). The opportunity was given to Israel to hospitably receive The Lord Jesus as the Messiah and bring in the Kingdom. Jesus knew His disciples and their message would not be welcomed. Therefore as they went, He asked the multitudes concerning John. He told them, “Among them that are born of women (wives) there has not risen greater then John the Baptizer, notwithstanding he that is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.” He went on to say that “until this present time the Kingdom of the Heavens is being forced and forceful ones are seizing it” (Mt.11:12 APT*). Such force is impossible in relation to the Kingdom of The God. It was the kingdom of Heaven and His Messianic rule which Christ was offering to His own nation. However, it is recorded that Israel rejected the Christ and the gospel of the Kingdom and attributed what He was doing by the power of The Holy Spirit to Satan, the prince of the demons (12:14,22-24).
From this point in time Jesus emphasized the difference between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of The God in His teachings beginning with Chapter thirteen. In this chapter The Lord Jesus described the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven by likening it in eight parables only three of which are recorded in Mark or Luke. These three parables reflect similarities of the two kingdoms. However the five parables recorded only by Matthew reveal the distinct difference between the kingdoms. A mixture of good and bad, i.e. a mixed multitude which shall be separated at the end of the age is prominent in these parables. All those since the crucifixion and resurrection-ascension of Christ, who do not become Christ’s disciples and die while not being regenerated by the Holy Spirit shall go to the Greek Hahihdays (Hell) or the Hebrew Sheol. They will be resurrected at the end of the millennium to stand before The Great White Throne and be judged according to their works. Then they will be cast into the Everlasting Lake of Fire. (This is demonstrated on the accompanying colored chart by the brown line while the people are living and the black broad lowest line hell, so labeled, where the dead professors and rejecters abide until judgment.) At the end of time, (the brown line representing those of the kingdom of Heaven who professed knowing Christ but never totally committed to Christ and abandoned their sins, so were never regenerated by The Holy Spirit and the black line representing the those who rejected Christ, the hard-hearted, both morally and immorally wicked), both groups are resurrected and summoned to the Great white throne to be judged, condemned, and banished from His presence to the Lake of Fire forever (Mt. 13:40-42,49,50; Rev. 29:11-15).
The first parable that Jesus told in Matthew was spoken to great multitudes by Galilee’s seaside. He indicated there are four kinds of soil upon which the seed of God’s Word is sown. Each kind of soil represents a type of heart upon which God’s Word alights or is heard. The first kind is the Hard-hearted represented by the soil alongside the way, close to where people walk and the soil is packed hard so the seed, The Word, does not penetrate but lies on the surface where it is plucked away. The hard-hearted are those who have such hard hearts that God’s Word cannot penetrate; therefore they will not respond to the message of the Salvation, to the Blessed Gospel, and to the witness to The Lord Jesus Christ because Satan, the wicked one snatches away The Word from their hearts.
After telling the multitudes this first parable, the disciples asked Him why He spoke to them in parables. He told them, “Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of the Heavens, but to those it is not given”. By this statement He indicated that the Kingdom of Heaven has mysteries. But later He indicated that the Kingdom of the God is mystical. It is not coming with observation but it is inside you (Lk. 17:20,21). One of the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven is that it contains a mixed multitude, whereas the Kingdom of The God is pure (1 Cor. 6:9,10; 15:50; Eph .1:4; 5:5-8,26,27; Col. 1:22).
The second kind is the Heavy-hearted represented by the rocky ground where a thin layer of soil covers the large rocks. The heavy-hearted are those who do not have any depth and when they hear the message of the Salvation and the Blessed Gospel. They respond readily to the Gospel and directly receive The Word with joy. This kind is temporary with no depth of root in the heart. So when tribulation or persecution, affliction, hard times, difficulties in life, and even when others laugh at them or poke fun at them, or ridicule occurs because of The Word, or they are persecuted for having received Christ as Lord and Savior, they are directly offended and wither away.
The third kind is the Half-hearted represented by the seed sown among thorns. The half-hearted are those who respond to the Gospel, profess to receive Christ as Savior, and appear to begin to grow. But when the cares of this world press upon them, they give more attention to the cares than to their growth and relationship to Christ. Or, the deceitfulness of riches or the desire for material things take precedence to the desire for spiritual things and their growth and progress in Christ is stunted. Or, the lusts of other things or their pride in life (wanting to get ahead, enjoy popularity with the crowd, or higher position in the company, or the satisfaction of their passion, or some hunger or thirst in life such as for alcohol, or for drugs, or for possessions, or gluttony for food will choke the Word so that they do not grow spiritually. Rather they find these things more important than the things of Christ and giving attention to the Spiritual life in Christ and so depart or apostatize from Christ as did Daymahs (2 Tim. 4:10 cf. 1 John 2:15-17). If the love of The God, The Father is not abiding in a person, that one cannot be regenerated. He or she may be in the Kingdom of Heaven but absolutely not in the Kingdom of The God. The tendency of most Bible students is to label these half-hearted people as “backsliders.” But the words ‘backslider(s)’ and ‘backsliding’ are not found in The New Testament. Backsliding is an Old Testament word describing the rebellious ones of God’s people, Israel, who act like a backsliding heifer. She stiffens her legs, stretches her halter, plants down her hoofs, and pulls backward. It does not refer to slipping back away from the Lord. The use of the term comes from a wrong Hermeneutic which proposes the use of the English word ‘church’ which could also be translated ‘assembly’ as used by Stephen to refer to Israel as the church or assembly in the wilderness (Acts 7:38). And from this to conclude that the Church of Jesus Christ began at Mount Sinai. This is an illustration of the violation of Axiom IV as indicated in paragraphs 4 and 5 on page 1 above. The true Church of The Lord Jesus Christ began at Pentecost with the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5; 2:1-4 cf. 1 Cor. 12:12,13). Any other position on this matter is heterodoxy and comes from the reasoning of Christendom, the Kingdom of Heaven but not from Scripture. However the New Testament uses the words ‘defect’ from the Greek ahféestantai (Lk. 8:13 APT*) and ‘apostatize’ from the Greek ahpohstáysohntai (1 Tim. 4:1 APT*) and ahpohstâynai (Heb. 3:12 APT*) and ‘apostasy’ from ahpohstahséeah. In Greek literature the word Ahpohstáhtays designates a deserter, an apostate. So the proper Scriptural term which more accurately identifies those who have made a profession of receiving Christ as Savior but are no longer walking with Christ is ‘apostate’ and not ‘backslider.’
The fourth kind is Honest or Whole-hearted represented by the seed sown on intrinsically good soil which produces fruit abundantly. The honest or whole-hearted are those who respond to The Word of God, heartily receive The Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and grow steadily in Christ until they become fruitful, some bearing fruit 3000%, some 6000%, and some 10,000% for God’s glory by bringing others to Christ. After He told the parable of the soils to the multitudes, the disciples asked Him why He is speaking to them in parables ? His answer, To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of the Heavens, but to those it is not given (v. 11).
The second parable Jesus told to the multitude is very sobering. He likened the Kingdom of Heaven to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while humans were sleeping his enemy sowed tares among the wheat. When the grass sprouted and made fruit, at that time the tares appeared also. Then the bondslaves called the house-master’s attention to the tares by asking, “Did you not sow good seed in your field? Then from what place did the tares come?” The response, “A human enemy did this.” When the slaves offered to collect the tares, they were told, “No! Lest ever while collecting the tares, you up root the wheat at the same time. Permit both to increase together til the harvest. At that time the reapers will be told to collect the tares and bind them into bundles and utterly burn them up and then gather the wheat into the barn.”
When relating the first parable to the second parable, the first three kinds of soil in the first parable relate to the tares. The fourth kind of soil relates to the wheat that comes to fruition and is harvested after the tares are removed and cast into the eternal fire. Therefore the Hard-hearted, the Heavy-hearted, and the Half-hearted relating to the tares, all belong to the Kingdom of Heaven. And the Honest or Whole-hearted relating to the wheat belong to the Kingdom of The God
Then Jesus told two more Parables to the multitude. He likened the Kingdom of Heaven to the growth of a mustard seed. This tiniest of all seeds grows to be the greatest of garden herbs and becomes a living tree in which all the flying birds lodge in its branches. If one turns to Deuteronomy 14 a list of all unclean fowl (vs. 11-19) which are an abomination to The God (Lev. 11:13-20) is given. In the parable both clean and unclean birds lodge in the branches. Then Jesus told the parable of leaven which a woman took and kneaded (hid) into flour until the whole was leavened. Leaven in Scripture is a type of sin which permeates and spoils first an individual (small portion of the whole) and then the congregation (the whole) in the Kingdom of Heaven (1 Cor. 5:6).
After Jesus told the multitudes these parables (the mustard seed and the leaven in flour), He released the crowds and entered the dwelling where he was staying while in Kapernah-um. There His disciples approached and requested that He expound to them the parable of the tares in the field.
37Then He answered and said to them, The One sowing the intrinsically good seed[aggregate] is The Son of Man[The Human], 38but the field is the world. Now the intrinsically good seed[aggregate], these are the sons of the Kingdom. But the tares are the sons of the wicked+ one. 39Now the enemy who sowed them is the devil. But the harvest is the consummation of the age and the reapers are angels. 40Therefore even as the tares are collected and utterly burned up in fire, in this way it shall be in the consummation of this age. 41The Son of Man[The Human], shall send His angels and they shall collect out of His Kingdom all the offences[causes of stumbling] and |all| the ones committing the lawlessness. 42And they shall cast them into the furnace of the fire. There shall be the loud weeping and the gnashing of the teeth. 43At that time the righteous ones shall shine out as the Sun in their Father’s Kingdom. The one having hearing organs to hear, he is to continually hear! (Mt. 13:37-43 APT*).
What are tares? Andrew Robert Fausset in Bible Encyclopedia printed by The S. S. Scranton Company, Hartford , Conn., 1917 informs us that they are weeds known as darnel, which resembles wheat at first. In the early stages tares are impossible to distinguish from wheat. Because the roots become intertwined, any attempt to separate them will uproot the wheat. Only at harvest can they be distinguished. As is commonly known wheat as it matures turns from green to brown and when ripe for harvest, the field looks white. But the seed of tares is black, has poisonous properties, and causes dizziness, intoxication, deleteriousness, sometimes paralysis, and even death. Jesus said that the tares represent the sons of the wicked one who is Satan, the devil. These are sowed by him among the sons of the Kingdom, the righteous ones. At first there appears to be no difference, until near the harvest, when their true identity will appear. These are unrighteous ones committing offences and lawlessness. They may have repented and even believed in their head but have not totally committed trust unto Christ. They are not regenerated sons of God. Therefore their end is the Lake of Fire even though Satan has deceived them into thinking they would go to Heaven. But the wheat, the sons of the Kingdom, the righteous ones shall shine out as the Sun in their Father’s Kingdom.
Immediately after explaining the meaning of the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus told three more parables to the disciples, the second of which relates another marked difference of the Kingdom of Heaven in relation to the Kingdom of The God. A great net is drawn to shore full of every species of sea creature, both good and bad. The good are gathered into vessels and the bad cast away, Jesus then adds,
“In this way it will be at the consummation of the age. The angels will exit. And they will segregate the wicked ones out of the midst of the righteous ones. And they will cast them into the furnace of the fire. There shall be the loud weeping and the gnashing of the teeth” (Mt. 13:48-50 APT*).
The Lord Jesus told His disciples the means by which to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, To become as the little children and be converted (18:3). In contrast to the necessity of conversion to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus insisted to Neekóhdaymohs that it is absolutely necessary to be regenerated (born from above) to enter or even to behold the Kingdom of The God (Jn. 3:3-5). A new leaf versus a new birth. Conversion is not regeneration. Regeneration is the work of The Holy Spirit in the heart and life of the truly repentant sinner with childlike faith who repents, confesses, and abandons his or her sins and totally commits trust to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then he or she confesses Christ to be His or her personal Savior and Lord (Rom. 10:9,10). While conversion is the result of repentance which is a change of one’s mind about the way one has been living, it may be only temporary or it may only include certain sins which plague the individual and ignore other sins that do not seem so bad or are considered minimal. Or it can be religious conversion which results from one religion to another. There are Catholics who convert to become Protestants or Seventh Day Adventists; or Baptists who convert to Russellism (Jehovah’s witnesses), or Protestants to Catholicism, etc. which may entail only token commitment to Christ which does not result in regeneration, but rather a deception by Satan to get one to think he or she is saved. This kind of conversion is incomplete and results in entering the Kingdom of Heaven. Or it can be childlike faith conversion and total abandonment of sins accompanied by totally committed trust to The Lord Jesus Christ with determination to wholly follow Christ as His disciple, which is the necessary step that results in regeneration and is followed by discipleship.
There are many different and various conversions in Christendom which is the rule of the Heavens on Earth in the name of Christianity, the Kingdom of Heaven. Christendom, The Kingdom of Heaven is the realm of profession and conversion from the time since John the Baptizer proclaimed the gospel of the Kingdom until The Lord Jesus Christ comes in the air for His Saints known as the Rapture. Those in the Kingdom of Heaven who die, go to Hahihdays (Greek) or Sheol (Hebrew), the same place as the wicked and outright rejecters of Christ go when they die, even though they think they are saved and going to Heaven and are taught so by the various denominations and cults of Christendom. Those in the kingdom of Heaven who did not commit total trust to Christ and still alive on Earth when The Lord Jesus Christ comes in the air for His Saints will be left behind to experience at least part if not all of the Tribulation before dying during that terrible time. They will believe the Devil’s lie then as they did before when they thought all was well (2 Thes. 2:8-12).
The preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom, which was first preached by John the Baptizer and taken up by Jesus when John was imprisoned until He was rejected by the Jews, shall resume after the rapture. It will be preached throughout the seven-year Tribulation period on Earth to Israel and to all the peoples who never heard the gospel of Christ (Mt. 24:7-14-22; 2 Thes. 2:8-12). Those of Israel and the nations who respond through trust in the gospel, repentance and abandonment of sins (as John the Baptizer taught cf. Mt. 3:7; Lk. 3:7-14) enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (Those who respond to the gospel of the Kingdom are represented by the green line on the chart.) After the Great Tribulation Christ shall return to Earth with His true Church to set up His millennial Kingdom. The nations shall be brought before The Lord Jesus Christ for judgment. The goat nations and sheep nations shall be separated and the Kingdom of Heaven purged. The indifferent goat nations (gray line on chart), who rejected the gospel of the Kingdom, shall depart to the eternal fire and excruciation. While the obedient sheep nations (green line on chart) who cared for The Lord’s brothers, the Believing and Faithful Jews, shall join them and go into the Millennial Kingdom (Mt. 25:31-46). The Lord Jesus Christ shall reign with his Church for a thousand years over the Earth while Satan is bound in the Abyss (bottomless pit). When the thousand years are up (Rev, 20:1-3,6-10), Satan will be released and shall exit to lead astray the nations in the four quarters of the Earth to gather a multitudinous army together as the sand of the sea to battle with the saints in Jerusalem. Fire from Heaven descends and devours them and Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone.
But the Kingdom of The God among humans on Earth only begins after The Lord Jesus Christ’s death on Calvary, His burial, and His resurrection-ascension. It continues on Earth until He comes in the air for His Saints known as the Rapture and takes His Church to Heaven (as shown on the chart by the yellow line). This Kingdom descends with Him to set up His Millennial reign on Earth. Then it continues in the New Heaven with Christ and his saints ruling over the saved out of the millennium on the New Earth with David as viceroy over Israel (Jer. 30:9; Ezek. 34:23,24; 37:24,25) and the apostles sitting on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Mt. 19:28).
Yet another parable is told by The Lord Jesus in Matthew 22:2-13 where he described the Kingdom of the Heavens by means of the marriage of the King’s son and wedding feast. Evidently wedding garments were provided for all guests who did not have one. Since both good and bad were invited from the highways, some would not arrive in a wedding garment. However there was no excuse for not wearing a wedding garment since it was supplied at the door before anyone without one entered. But the King discovered one who was not wearing one. So he asked him, How come? No doubt he decided he didn’t need to wear the one provided. As a result he was cast into outer darkness. So in the Kingdom of Heaven there are those who do and those who do not wear a wedding garment even though the Lord provides one for everyone he regenerates by the Holy Spirit. But the end of those who do not have one because not regenerated is the Lake of Fire and Brimstone where outer darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth prevails forever. However in the Kingdom of The God at the marriage supper of The Lamb not one reaches there without a wedding garment. Everyone in Heaven has a wedding garment (Rev. 19:8).
The last similitude depicting the Kingdom of the Heavens which Matthew records is the one that The Lord Jesus spoke to His disciples in chapter twenty-five. Ten virgins went to meet the bridegroom who delayed his coming. The virgins became drowsy (25:1-13). Five wise virgins took oil in their vessels with their torches, but the worthless thinkers did not take oil in their vessels. At midnight the shout occurred, Lo the bridegroom comes! All the virgins arose and arranged their torches in order. The worthless thinkers asked the wise to share their oil because their torches were going out. The wise virgins told them to go and buy in a marketplace for themselves lest there not be sufficient for both parties. While they were gone the bridegroom came and the ready ones entered. Then the door was locked shut. When the other virgins came asking, O lord, O lord, open to us! He answered, I am not aware of you. Then Jesus made the application of the parable, encouraging His disciples to continually watch because you are not aware of the day nor the hour in which The Son of Man, represented by the bridegroom, is coming. The contrast: in the Kingdom of The God all have the oil (anointing) of the Holy Spirit (1 Jn. 2:20,27), but some in the Kingdom of Heaven do not have the oil or The Spirit’s anointing (Rom. 8:9; Jude 19).
Another important difference has to do with the Great Commission. Jesus not only taught His disciples, “Journey unto the entire world and proclaim the gospel as an herald to every creature! (Mk 16:15). But He also taught His disciples, “Therefore journey and consecutively disciple |people of| all the nations, then baptize them in the name of The Father and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit and repeatedly teach them publicly to keep all things watchfully secure as many as I commanded you! (Mt. 28:19,20 APT*). We have not been commanded to make converts to a religion, “only believe,” but we are commanded to make disciples (by intimate training) and then congregate them to teach them publicly.” If we belong to the Kingdom of God we will carefully, persistently, and faithfully obey The Lord’s command to consecutively make disciples and teach them publicly rather than shortcut the process and be only concerned with getting converts. “Winning souls” is not found in the New Testament (only in Proverbs 11:30). And it is to be noted that Solomon mentioned it not as a command, but only as an observation. But the Greek word meaning “to disciple” and its cognate which means “to learn as a disciple” is found several times in the New Testament (Matthew 11:29; 27:57; 28:19; Romans 16:17; Ephesians 4:20; Philippians 4:9,11; Colossians 1:7; 2 Timothy 3:14,15; etc.). And among His last words before ascending to Heaven, Jesus commanded to disciple people of all nations (Mt. 28:19,20). Are we doing that? Or are we taking the shortcut to hurry up and get a decision for Christ rather than total commitment which involves on-going intimate training and guidance in studying The Word of God?
Then in Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles, both Philip and Paul preached things concerning the Kingdom of The God. Paul entreated the Galatians to continue in the faith and that it is absolutely necessary through many tribulations to enter into the Kingdom of The God. Then in First Corinthians, Galatians, and Ephesians Paul emphasized the sins which must be abandoned if one is to inherit the Kingdom of The God. You can only inherit a legacy if you are alive. Just so it is with the eternal Kingdom of The God. You can only inherit the Kingdom of The God if you have absolute eternal life which is imparted upon regeneration by The Spirit of The God. Paul indicated that those continuing in sexually immoral sins and other sins of the flesh shall not inherit the Kingdom of The God.
Or you are aware that unjust ones shall not inherit God’s Kingdom, are you not? Stop erring! Either fornicators or idolaters or adulterers or effeminate ones or homosexuals or thieves or covetous ones or drunkards or revilers or greedy plunderous ones shall definitely not inherit God’s Kingdom (1 Cor. 6:9,10 APT*).
Now the works of the flesh are conspicuous, which are: Adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, excessive unbridled shameless life-style, drug abuse, enmities, contentions, jealousies, passionate wraths, strifes, dissensions, heresies, envies, murders, intoxications, revelries, and the similar ones to these, which I am foretelling you, according as I also told before, ‘‘The ones practicing such things shall not inherit God’s Kingdom’’ (Gal. 5:19-21 APT*).
For this you are constantly knowing, that every sexually immoral one or unclean one or covetous one, who is continually an idolater, is continually not having inheritance in the Kingdom of The Christ and of God (Eph. 5:5 APT*).
Please note at the top of the list of those not regenerated are sexually immoral ones - adulterous ones, fornicators, effeminate ones, and homosexuals - all are covered by the Greek word Pohrneh-éeah - a sexually immoral one. Pohrneh-éeah also includes other sexually immoral sins , such as: pornography and peeping toms, nakedness and lewdness (Lev. 18:6- 29 ), prostitution and harlotry, and mental adultery (Mt. 5:28; 2 Pet. 2:14). Sexually immoral ones are equated with idolaters (Eph. 5:5). Paul describes adulterous ones in his Epistle to the Romans.
Or are you ignorant, O brothers, (for I speak to ones knowing law,) that the law exercises lordship over the human for as long a period of time as he absolutely lives? For the married woman stands bound by law to her absolutely living husband. But if (and it may be) her husband die off, she stands negated away from the law of the husband. Therefore really while her husband is absolutely living, if (and it may be) she become |married| to another husband she shall be given an identifying name, Adulteress. But if (and it may be) her husband die off, she is free from bondage away from the law, so that she is not an adulteress if she become |married| to another husband. (Rom. 7:1-3 APT*).
The same is true of the man who marries another woman while his original wife is still living. He is looked upon by God as an adulterer. Both the remarried divorced man and the remarried divorced woman are living in perpetual sin as long as they cohabit. And The God says that their part shall be in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone and they positively shall not enter the New Heaven, the New Earth or the Holy city. This is so because in Revelation after John beheld the New Heaven and the New Earth and the Holy City descending out of Heaven, He heard the One on the Throne speak,
The continually overcoming one shall inherit all things. And I shall be his God and he himself shall be My son. But to frightful ones and to faithless ones and to sinners and to abominating ones and to murderers and to sexually immoral ones and to sorcerers and to idolaters and to all the lying ones, the part of theirs |shall be| in the lake, |namely| the one continuously burning with fire and brimstone, which is second death. . . . And every kind of defiling thing and one doing abomination and falsehood positively shall not enter into it, except the ones standing written in The Lamb’s Book of The Absolute Life. (Rev. 21:7,8,27 APT*).
Therefore it is essential for us all to be continually overcoming ones. And if one is committing remarriage adultery he or she is to cease from adultery and cohabitation in order to be fit for the Kingdom of The God and Eternal life with Him. Certainly this provokes a number of questions. Therefor for further study on this matter go to the paper entitled, The Sin of Remarriage Adultery on The website, www.happyheralds.org or to www.happyheralds.com.
The reader is recommended to carefully look up all the references on the accompanying chart on the Comparison of The Kingdom of The God and The Kingdom of Heaven , to carefully study it, and to refer to the colored chart, The Kingdom of The God and The Kingdom of Heaven which is also included as well.
Dear Friend, it behooves us to examine ourselves as Paul encouraged the Corinthians to do (2 Cor. 13:8). “ Repeatedly examine yourselves! Are you in the faith? Continually scrutinize yourselves!” Be not deceived into thinking that because the culture and many denominations and churches teach that remarriage adultery is acceptable to God. Ask which god? The god of this world is a deceiver and against Christ. He delights to keep as many as he possibly can from total commitment to The Lord Jesus Christ and from being with Him in Eternity. But The Only True God has clearly stated repeatedly that only those who abandon sexually immoral sins of which remarriage adultery is a perpetually ongoing sin. Be an overcomer today!
If you find you really are not in The Kingdom of The God, totally abandon your sins, repent with determination not to continue in them and totally commit your trust to the Lord Jesus. You will find help on our website under the topic, Knowing The Savior at www.happyheralds.org or to www.happyheralds.com or write to us.
* A Precise Translation | |understood
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