what is the difference between the kingdom of god and the kingdom of

what is the difference between the kingdom of god and the kingdom of

"The time is fulfilled. The kingdom of God is at hand." Mark 1:14

“The time is fulfilled. The dominion of God is at hand.” Mark 1:14

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The phrase “kingdom of God” is used 68 occasions all through the New Testomony. As a comparability, “kingdom of heaven” is simply used 32 occasions and located completely within the guide of Matthew. Many (actually, very many) theories exist concerning the distinction between the “kingdom of God” and “kingdom of heaven,” and a few even say they’re the identical factor. It appears there isn’t a one, straight ahead reply.

Why would the opposite New Testomony writers use “kingdom of God,” however Matthew solely makes use of “kingdom of heaven?” Is there a distinction between the 2 phrases in any respect?

Let’s study just a few of those theories and why Matthew could have written his guide the best way he did.

Vine’s View of the Kingdoms

A really clear description of “kingdom of God” and “kingdom of heaven” (which I’ll abbreviate as KG and KH, respectively) is present in Vine’s Expository Bible Dictionary. In keeping with Vine’s, the 2 are usually not the identical.

KG is the realm the place God exists in full authority, filled with righteousness and holiness, and the place His rule is acknowledged within the hearts of believers. Vine’s goes on to say that God is the antithesis of man and the world. So, the KG signifies all of God’s rule, which has an ethical and non secular drive that man doesn’t have exterior of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives.


The KH, however, is supposed extra as a distinction from the earth. One is holy, and one is just not and can stay that means till Jesus’ triumphant return in energy and glory when heaven and earth will lastly turn out to be one. Till then, heaven is proscribed in its relation to the earth.

Vine’s additionally explains that God is just not the equal of heaven. God is all over the place, however heaven is just not. Although the KH is all the time the KG, the dominion of God isn’t restricted to the dominion of heaven. No less than for now.

To sum it up, the KG is the other of man, and the KH is the other of the earth. So, after we learn concerning the KG within the New Testomony, the Bible is describing God’s overarching authority and His common kingdom. The dominion of heaven, however, is the other of the earth and the sin the earth comprises. Subsequently, the KH should discuss with the approaching millennial kingdom.

Scofield’s View of the Kingdoms

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Scofield Study Bible supports the idea that the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven are two different things.

The Scofield Reference Bible makes 5 distinctions between the KH and the KG, however they boil down to 2 details.

First, the KG is product of solely believers, each human and angelic, who willingly topic themselves to God’s authority. The KH is made solely of people who profess God, whether or not they’re precise believers or not.

Second, the KG is everlasting and non secular in nature, whereas the KH is momentary and bodily.

Each of those concepts relate to what’s known as dispensational theology, which we received’t get into right here. However they will rapidly be dismissed in the event you consider the KG and the KH are one and the identical.

The Idea of Similarity

Most theories say KG and KH are the identical factor. We discover one of the best instance in Matthew 19: 23-24.

“Then Jesus stated to his disciples, ‘I inform you the reality, it’s exhausting for a wealthy man to enter the kingdom of heaven.’ Once more, I inform you, it’s simpler for a camel to undergo the attention of a needle than for a wealthy man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Right here, Jesus makes use of KG and KH synonymously. Likewise, the apostles Luke and Mark use KG whereas Matthew used KH after they wrote about the very same parable. So, it seems the 2 phrases are interchangeable.

Know Your Viewers

A supporting concept to this idea of similarity is that the guide of Matthew was written primarily for a Jewish viewers. Within the Jewish religion, any try at utilizing God’s identify in any means is a sin as a result of it’s very doubtless you’re going to get it fallacious. For this reason you may generally see references to God in Jewish texts as G*d or YHWH.

So after we discuss KG and KH, the thought goes that KH is merely a substitution for KG so {that a} religious Jew is not going to break the third commandment which says, “You shall not take the identify of the LORD your God in useless (Exodus 20:7).” That is known as the Circumlocution Idea.Marcus Jastrow wrote that the term "kingdom of heaven" was used by Daniel many years before Jesus came.

Creator Marcus Jastrow said in 1903 that the Aramaic translation of “heaven,” which may be very very like the Hebrew translation, was generally used as a substitution or nickname for God. He factors out that Daniel wrote this manner a few years earlier than Jesus ever walked the earth and that it is vitally doubtless the substitution was put into observe whereas the Israelites had been nonetheless in Babylonian captivity. Which suggests substituting KH for KG was a quite common a part of the Jewish religion a whole lot of years earlier than Jesus got here.

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A closing level is the KG is just not generally present in Jewish texts, however KH is steadily used, particularly in literature that discusses the top occasions of the world. Actually, their textual content is very like the Messianic themes of the New Testomony. Simply as Jastrow asserted, the Jewish folks had been very conversant in the time period “kingdom of heaven.”

If Matthew’s aim was to be as efficient as potential in instructing Jews that Jesus actually is the promised Messiah that the Previous Testomony prophesied, he very doubtless used phrases the Jews absolutely understood whereas providing a strategy to discuss God with out offending or violating any Jewish legal guidelines.

The Political Kingdom of God

Many Jews anticipated the Messiah to come back as a political or navy determine, somebody who would come charging in and save them from Roman rule. So, when Jesus confirmed up, they had been anticipating Him to be a revolutionary or some form of political insurgent. After all, Jesus ended up behaving very otherwise. However we all know from the guide of Revelation that He’ll certainly come charging in sooner or later to say His authority at His second coming (Revelation 19:11-16) bringing the complete KG with Him.

On the similar time, we all know the KH can even come someday sooner or later. It is going to be a literal kingdom ushered in by Jesus after the Father destroys the prevailing heaven and earth (Revelation 21:1).

In a barely totally different perspective, some have theorized that the KG has already come as a result of Jesus has already come (the primary time), and the KH remains to be but to come back.

“Now after that John was put in jail, Jesus got here into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the dominion of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the dominion of God is at hand: repent, and consider the gospel.” Mark 1:14

Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven?

So, which idea is appropriate? Are the KG and the KH the identical factor or not?


Whereas Jesus certainly did stroll the earth and introduced a tiny slice of the KG with Him, we should keep in mind He ascended once more to the proper hand of the Father (Acts 1:9) and that slice is not right here with us. In the intervening time, His authority is contained within the KG with God the Father.

We additionally know the KH is just not right here as a result of, fairly frankly, the earth is working amok in sin. So, the approaching of the KH is clearly one thing that can occur sooner or later.

Whereas it appears each the KG and the KH have just a few distinctions that make them distinctive, I’m inclined to agree with one writer who says the KG and the KH are the identical factor, however they won’t be totally the identical till Jesus comes once more and every thing turns into as one. The KG and the KH will merge as Jesus establishes His kingdom on a brand new earth, and we who consider will likely be caught up with Him.

What a day, superb day that will likely be.

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