The Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of Heaven
(Only to read online)
Preface. Often one hears about the coming of the Kingdom of God, the establishment of the Kingdom of God, the expansion of the service in the Kingdom of Heaven and what other terms may be about it. If one then asks for the meaning, it often appears that by this means labor and service in or mission to spread God's Word or build up in faith. For the most part these terms are not understood, not even by theologians. Not having an eye for the Israeli restoration, suffers from having no understanding of the other, the distinction between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God and their relationship to each other.
We want to explain a few things and thereby try to promote the understanding of Scripture, but above all demonstrate how God remains God and never abandons the works of His hands.
Heavens and earth. « In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth » (not: heaven, as the KJV says). They are the property of God. He produced them. He did more. He also created the celestials. Nor did He create the earth as an idleness, Isa. 45:18. In both spheres He sets beings and determines the relationships and rights. He is King above them, their Ruler. Heavens and earth form the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God in the spatial sense thus includes all the created of Gen. 1:1. In a moral sense, that is to say with regard to relations, it is strictly speaking there, where the creature submits to the laws laid down by God, where it accomplishes His will. Otherwise there is rebellion, waste and disturbance and God has to intervene to go against the wrong.
God Himself is not only King. He gives His Kingdom into the hands of His creature. He sets thrones, dominions, governments, powers. Col. 1:16. From this it follows that they too have other beings among them, over which they rule. So God is King above all.
God's Sovereignty (Supreme Highness). As an absolute Sovereign, God has power to do with the host of Heavens according to His will. No one can say, What are you doing?, Dan. 4:35, that is, has the right to carp God. God is Judge, He humbles this and increases that, Psa. 75:8. He does not, however, do this arbitrarily, for capriciousness. The firmness of His throne is his right and righteousness. Where the creature violates it and does not submit to it, there arises a struggle between God and that creature, which must end in humiliation and punishment, until it is recognized that the Supreme One has the power to humble those who walk in pride. Dan. 4:37.
Adam. Is God the King of heaven. Dan. 4:37, He is also of the earth. He also placed these under the power of His creature. But here, too, rebellion broke out and triggered a judgment. The earth became fierce and empty. Now Adam was created, among other things, to obtain dominion on the earth. « And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth ». « And all over the world ». Herein it is stated that man would have the kingship over the earth, over all its provinces and territories. However, this would not be done without opposition.
In vs. 28 is said to the created man: « Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it ». Here lies an opposition from the confinement of at least a resistance, the thought that something is not going to happen. The Hebrew word « kavash » does occur in other texts; from there the meaning is clear. We list all those texts according to the Hebrew in which they stand.
« Subduing ». Zec. 9:15 « ... they (de children of Sion, v. 13) shall devour, and subdued sling stones (of the Greek, v. 13) ».
2 Chron. 28:10 « And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you ... ».
Esther 7:8: « Will he (Haman) force the queen (Esther) also before me in the house? »
Jer. 34:11 « But afterward they (the princes of Judah) turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids. » (See also v. 16.)
Micah 7:19. « He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities ... ».
Neh. 5:5a « ... we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants ... ». See also v. 5b.
Num. 32:22 « And the land be subdued before the LORD ... ». See also v. 29, Joz. 28:1 en 1 Chron. 22:18.
2 Sam. 8:11 « ... the silver and gold ... dedicated of all nations which he subdued ».
One can see from this series that the Hebrew word in general means: bring under the rule, the power of, which as a rule includes opposition or resistance.
Adam had to subdue the earth, get dominion over it, break the opposition or resistance, surpass counter power in the power of the earth. Adam had to struggle or overcome opposition from the earth. Which this was, is not to be found in Genesis, but may be derived from the other texts. In all these texts there are in fact two reasonable-moral parties, two mutually opposing conscious powers, whether that is Israel against the enemies, or that Israel is fighting against Israel, or that Israel's social classes fight. In Micah 7:19 is spoken of subduing the iniquities, but is not this actually contained in a God-wrestling with men as carriers of iniquities? Gen. 1:28, seen in the light of the rest of the texts, leads to the idea that Adam was faced with another reasonable-moral power which he had to subdue.
The sons of God. Which were that? We suspect the sons of God of Gen. 6:2, the angels who have left their habitation, Jud. 6, the sinning angels of 2 Petr. 2:4, the spirits (i.e. spiritual beings) who were once disobedient, 1 Pet. 3:20. They had done an invasion on that earth. Adam had to expel them at least, to subdue that earth. It is often assumed that the invasion of the sons of God took place in the days of Noah. This does Scripture not teach. It does the opposite. Let us just see.
1 Petr. 3:20 says that they were disobedient in the days of Noah. It follows laterally that they were already there before those days. That is directly confirmed by Gen. 6:1 source text: « And it came to pass, when the man Adam (not men, Hebrew ha adham, the Adam) began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them (i.e. Adam and Eve). That the sons of God saw the daughters of the Adam that they were fair; and they took them women of all which they chose ». And v. 4 notes this above all doubt: In those days there were giants on the earth ... these are the violent who have been from the olam. Where with Adam started a new olam, a new aion, a new world age, the old world, as Peter says, Gen. 6 teaches that the giants, born from the mixing of angel and man, have been from the olam, i.e. from the first times and they did not come only in the last times, there is indication enough to establish that at Adam's creation the earth was taken into possession by angels who had left their habitation, their glory, and as soon as there were daughters of Adam, they went with them. Gen. 6:1, 2 has been incorrectly translated; there must be Adam, not men. And he who might doubt it is pointed out that Gen. 6:3 says: My spirit shall not always remain in the man Adam, for that the man Adam also, as well as the others is flesh. What does that word as well mean if Adam was not meant. Who else was flesh outside the people, if we had to read it according to KJV man was also flesh. Who else was this?
However, if we read: the Adam, then everything is clear. My spirit will not remain in Adam forever, that is, the whole aion in Adam, he may be the first man, he is no more than the others, he is also flesh. His years will be 120 years. So this was said when Adam was 810 years old. Adam's wickedness was on the earth those days and all the the thoughts of his heart only evil at all times. Here one finds Adam's downfall and he has become a type of the man of sin.
Now, after this digression, we return to God's commission to Adam, to subjugate and rule over the earth. In this assignment his king destination is decided. God wants to make Adam here to be « heir » of the world. The word heir is a less correct translation. Better is: taking possession, which reflects the same idea as subduing in Gen. 1:28.
The Kingdom of God. God wanted to establish His kingdom on earth, the realm, in which His will was completely done. To this end he created a son, Adam, the son of God (Luke 3:38). This son was not the sent one, but the one formed from the earth; the first man is from the earth 1 Cor. 15:47. Nevertheless, God wanted to develop his powers so that he could fulfill God's mission. As long as Adam fulfilled God's will, the Kingdom of God was on earth, in his person, God ruled through Adam.
Adam's rebellion. Adam, however, sinned, continued to listen to Satan and became rebel, revolutionary against God. The kingdom of God could not come through him, for the king was undermining his throne, and rejected Him who had called him to that throne.
Just as Israel later rejected the Lord, Adam did so when he sinned, he broke the covenant that God had made with him, Hos. 6:7 and thus lost his kingship. From this time on, the son of God became the enemy of God, the warrior for God the warrior against God, the founder of the Kingdom the united spanner against the Kingdom.
The Seed. What will God do now. He will take away the king and create another. He can do this. He has power to kill as well as He could create. Here we are faced with a conflict. According to His law, the rebel must die, but according to His mercy and love he must live. What is God doing now? He hits a higher road. The kingship is lost, the establishment of the Kingdom of God must be postponed, but still man will come to his calling and mission. God's honor does not mean that He would return to His steps and undo the creation of man. Then God would have missed His goal, so sinned, (sin is goal-missing). If man can not and will not, then the Son of man will do it, God takes away one, to set the other. And in the so-called mother promise lies in veiled language the promise for Him, Who like the Seed of man once the one who has had the supreme leadership in everything, will crush the head after it has crushed the heel of Him.
God will nevertheless establish His kingdom on earth despite Adam's sin and temptation.
On which earth. Here comes the question: On which earth. Whoever thinks everything through, will say: On a similar earth as the first. After all, the last Adam has to do what the first left behind.
Adam had to subdue the old earth (2 Pet. 2:5), and rule it. Christ as Son of man must do Adam's work, so also submit the earth. Christ is replacing Adam, so He must do his work. When Christ takes dominion over a new and glorious earth, if He does not take over Adam's task, then He is not the Son of man who enters into his rights and duties.
One sees that properly. Herein lies in principle the insight into the kingship of Christ. If He establishes the kingdom, on an earth purified from all opposition, then he does not act as Adam's replacement and God has dropped this part of the commission to man.
Sees one, however, that Christ will do what Adam should have done, submit the earth, have dominion over it, then the matter would stand differently and it follows that Christ must be King over the entire fallen earth.
Not yet. One does not say: That He is already, because He is given all power in heaven and on earth. We certainly agree with that. But between giving power and exercising it, is a difference. Christ as the well-born Man has traveled away to receive the kingdom and has already received it, but in the kingdom He has not yet returned. He is not yet honored, He is not yet on the throne of His glory Mat. 25:31. He is still in the Father's throne. Heb. 2:8 and 9 is decisive in this. « But now we see not yet all things subjected to Him ». Certainly, we believe that all power has been given to Him, but we do not yet see that the submission has even begun. It can not take place before He has returned to earth. He has traveled from the earth, He must come again to and on the earth. And it is only at the sounding of the seventh trumpet that there will be great voices: « The kingdom (not the kingdoms) of the world has become our Lord and His Christ ». Rev. 11:15. And no one has ever heard this Christ's royal seat introducing trumpet sound yet.
From Adam to Noah. The Kingdom of God can not progress through Adams failing. From this time on, the children of the kingdom, those who see it in faith, are oppressed. There is an Abel, who is killed because his works are good, there is a Lamech, who mourns over the work of man's hand, there is a Noah, who was only just, that is undefiled among his contemporaries.
And on the other hand are the giants, the mixture of angel and man, the violent, who claim the earth for themselves. They possess the earth, they have dominion there. But not in justice. And the Kingdom of God is justice, freedom, peace. God shows the consequences of Adam's failure. They are hard and bitter. And the pious of the old world sit down or mourn, or prophesy, that the Lord will come with His many thousands of angels to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him, Jude :14.
In the old world we do not see a Kingdom of God on earth. The starting point, the garden of Eden, disappears with the flood and it seems as if all of God's work is in vain. The children of the kingdom are oppressed, and the wicked are increasing in power.
Three groups. In the old world we see three different groups. There are those who walk with God. Type Enoch. They are the born-again and justified of that aion. They are born of God and predestined to subjects and also leaders of the future kingdom. They do not have a certain center on earth outside their family group.
Opposite them are those who are of the Devil, such as Cain. Satan mimics God in His rebirth and makes many of the people into devilish children who are hostile and murderous to God's children. 1 Joh. 3:11, 12.
And between them is an Adamsgroup, a neutral middle substance, driven here and there by fear. The giants and the violent persecute them, but to be persecuted for righteousness, they do not want that either. Among them Satan is tormenting, so that, after all, only Noah's family remains untouched with spiritistic influence and the whole earth has destroyed its way.
Above these groups stands the group of giants, who are a crowd of angelic people, in violence. They control the world to the physical strength side. Only faith can triumph over them, and an Enoch and Noah act as preachers of judgment and righteousness.
At last God intervenes and makes the aion end in the flood, the defiled people and the unsightly race-mix destroyed, the few faithful dragged away before the day of evil or keeping them in the ark.
The Noahic Covenant. After the flood Noah receives a blessing, which is very similar to that given to Adam, but one thing is missing. Just see:
We do not read anything about subduing of the earth in the Noahic covenant. This is remarkable. The kingship over the earth is not reserved for Noahic mankind. That is not currently being assigned to man. With this, all world conquerors are judged. They go against the covenant established by God. Rome also does that which claims kingship over the whole earth, is it not in political, then in a moral sense.
In retrospect, it appears what God's purpose was. Mankind could not bear that dominion. Where Adam sinned, mankind can not regain it. God has to go a special way to establish the kingdom on earth.
Babel. With Noah a new aion, the present world run, had begun, « this aion » , Luke 20:34, 35, Mat. 12:32. From his three sons, the 70 households arise, Gen. 11:32 (14 from Japheth, 30 from Ham, 26 from Shem, the families of the earth), in which the nations of the world find their origin.
Straight in opposition to God's command to fulfill the earth, they want to establish a world city and a world empire under the leadership of Nimrod in Babel. With this they moderate the kingship that God had reserved. They are a offense for God. Nimrod also means: Let us be rebellious or: Unruly, recalcitrant. From this name it appears that the families of the earth were consciously against God. They knew God, but did not glorify and thank Him, but were thwarted in their deliberations, Rom. 1:21. Their unwise heart was darkened. They turn their backs on God. That is why God gives them over to the lusts of their hearts, 1:26.
Babel is a great crisis in the history of mankind. It goes against God and if He does not give it it's will, it turns away from Him. Hence, God is now allowing them to walk in the unthinking of their dazed heart. The result is a continued obscurity in the mind, through ignorance, through the hardening of their hearts, Eph. 4:18. Nimrod, the great hunter in front of the Lord, who wants to erect a kingdom on earth, is the first forerunner of the Antichrist, who will do it once more in the end time.
God has reserved the establishment of the Kingdom. In order to prevent man from making an attempt again prematurely and in the past, he confuses the languages of the nations and scatters them over the earth. Now there is room for His way. Where not man, but His Son will obtain dominion, is therein locked in, that God must put a seclusion there. The Son of man does carry all of humanity into Himself, but is distinct from it. He will stand in that humanity, but not in it or undergo it. Thus, His production requires a separate part of humanity, also as a type of His separation.
Abrams calling. With Abram's calling, God makes the way of separation from the private that is already contained in the mother's promise. Abram's vocation is therefore a great event on the road to the establishment of the kingdom. The significance of his calling must be kept in mind. God's plan is the kingship and the kingdom over the earth. He does not go from it. The Kingdom will come. And in line, as it should have come through Adam: From a certain center and then expanding around the earth.
That plan does God not give up, for that He is God. In Babel, man wanted to set it up from his center. That was not God's center. Nor was it God's will that man should erect it. Man no longer had the right to do so.
God is promising to Abram that He will establish it in His line. He will start from a certain point and from there on it will come over the whole earth. The Kingdom will subdue the whole earth. God does not let go, what He has purposed. In spite of sin, the goallessness, He will come to His intent.
The Promises. God calls Abram from Ur of the Chaldeans. Not there, close to Babel, the Kingdom begins. Abram must go to the land, that God will give him, Acts 7:3, Gen. 12:1. Abram goes out and finally comes, after a delay at Haran, in Canaan. God has given him the promise that he will make him a great nation, and in him all the families of the earth will be blessed. Here is also the world domination decided. Not Nimrod, but Abram will be the leader of the nations. Not the Rebellious, but the Exalted Father will bless the nations.
After his return from Egypt and his separation from Lot, he hears the second word of promise: For all the land that thou sees, I will give thee, and thy seed for ever (Hebrew: the olam) Gen. 13:15. In this word the establishment of the Kingdom is well established. It begins with the land, promised to Abram and his seed forever. He will become a great nation, his seed will be like the dust of the earth, uncountable.
One pays attention what to is said. God promises to Abram and to his seed the land of Canaan for all eternity. He will give it to him.
The kingdom of heaven. In the promises of Gen. 12:2: « I will make you a great nation », and 13:15, « All this land that you see will I give to you and your seed for ever » is given the beginning of what is mentioned in the Gospels: the Kingdom of Heaven. Where the error has been made in the Gospels not to see the continuation of what was promised in the Law and the Prophets, which has been overlooked, that Rom. 15:8 teaches that Christ has become a Servant of the Circumcision that He may confirm the promises of the fathers, it is thought that with the Kingdom of Heaven something else was meant than the realm on earth. That is not the case.
In retrospect it appears that already in Gen. 12 and certainly in Gen. 13 it is promised that the Lord will erect it.
It is founded from Above by God from the heavens. It is the Kingdom of the that is out of the Heavens. This is no different, because what the First Adam did not do, the second will. And This one is from heaven, says 1 Cor. 15:46. He establishes the empire out of the heavens, and therefore it is called: the Kingdom of Heaven. It is not said that He said, My kingdom is not of this world. That says the KJV; Greek, however, has: out of the world, that is, emerging from below. It is emerging from Above, out of the heavens. On earth.
Characteristics. The Kingdom of Heaven is the Kingdom that will be established to Israel. It has the following characteristics;
The run. Whoever sees that, will understand that the lasting Kingdom could not come until the King Himself appeared. That was not on God's side, but was because of the sin of men.
Israel's history is the history of the unstable Kingdom, led by the hands of people. Hence the failing, hence the lying down in misery, hence the downfall. And if the Lord had not always given His preserving, establishing, strengthening and blessing power to lead Israel, all things would perish.
Satan did not have the least hand in the decay. It was there to do everything to prevent the Kingdom. Before the Flood he prevented the Seed from coming by the invasion of the sons of God and the mixing of the two kinds of beings: angels and men. After the Flood, he wanted to stop the empire by establishing his empire in Babel. But his hand can be seen especially in Israel's history. We want to verify that.
As soon as Abram went out from Ur under the direction of his father Terah, there will be a delay in Haran. Terah goes no further and Abram also stops. Only after his father's death, the Lord must bring him into Canaan. See Gen. 11:31, Acts 7:4. Hence the new promise, Gen. 12:1 — 3 (for « had said » is to read: « said »). Meanwhile, the sons of God have done a new invasion. Gene. 6:4 says that in those days, namely of the aion before the Flood, giants on earth and also afterwards, so after the Flood. These were born from the mixing of two seeds. The spies saw giants in Canaan. Num. 13:33, the descendants of this second invasion. Because of this, Satan wanted to slander the nations and make Israel afraid. Hence it was also that Israel had to exterminate the Canaanite people.
When Abram lived in the country, famine came and he went to Egypt. His wife was taken from him there. The Lord intervened, otherwise His promise would have been unfulfilled: I will make you a great nation, in whom Sarah was also included.
Then the enemies flood the land. Possibly Satan hoped that Abram would also be taken away or killed. It did not work. Then he stimulates Sarah to give Hagar to Abram and to get another mixed blood that God did not want, for out of Sems's line the seed had to be. And so there is more in Abram's life. One look up that one selves.
At Isaac he uses the weaknesses of the flesh and wants to play the blessing into the hands of an unholy man, leaving no choice for Jacob but to leave the country.
In Jacob the opposition manifests itself in the person of Laban, in the deeds of his sons, in the selling of Joseph, in the defilement of Judah, Gen. 38.
Then there is a famine, through which Jacob's House must leave Canaan. Now the tribulation follows in Egypt. Pharaoh is out to destroy Israel, to frustrate the coming of the Seed and the fulfillment of the promise. However, the Lord lives. He binds the battle with Satan, who uses Pharaoh. The end is a big defeat for the opponent. In the desert, Satan drives Israel to idolatry, to fear, to resistance. And despite all that, God brings Israel to the land of the fathers.
Then follows the time of the Judges, a time of trial and error, of oppression and deliverance. Israel remains. In Saul, it thinks that it has found its king. But this one also falls out, also because of Satan's influence.
Then David comes. This also becomes more than once a prey of Satan's wiles (Bathsheba, Absolom, counting the people). Nevertheless, he is the man after God's heart, to whom God confirms the Kingdom by promising him that his house would be permanent. But your house shall be steadfast, and your kingdom for ever before you, your seat shall be strong for ever. 2 Sam. 7:16. David can not but thank humbly for that. Among other things he says: « Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee. ... Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever: for thou blessest, O LORD, and it shall be blessed for ever », 1 Chron. 17:24, 27.
In Solomon's days the kingdom comes to a great splendor, there is external peace and quiet. But still no permanence. Satan seizes Solomon in his weakness and he becomes the plaything of his many wives.
After Solomon God limits the power of David's House, the kingdom is split and from now on there is a separation, which has never been dissolved.
Finally, the kingdom of the 10 tribes is taken away and the two-tribe-kingdom remains. Even then, sin continues and finally Nebuchadnezzar comes and takes away the city and temple and throne and the people lie completely trampled. Satan can triumph. His work seems to have succeeded. One thing, however, is still there that can not please him: the House of David lost indeed the throne, but does not lose its existence, there is always offspring. However, it is under the judgment of God: Never can anyone from Solomon's line sit anymore on the throne, because to Chonia, Judah's king is told that he will have no more offspring, who will sit on the throne of David, Jer. 22:30. Satan, who had tried to destroy the royal seed by Athalia, 2 Chron. 22:8 — 12 but failed therein, which had a new chance of preventing the continuation of the line by Hiskia's illness, since he had no son, can be content, the kingship is cut off.
However, in Babel he continues his activity. He prevents Israel's return from supernal opposition. Dan. 10:20. Later he wants to prevent the building of the city and temple (Nehemiah) if a part has been returned.
Despite everything, God continues His purpose. Israel may, for the most part, continue to live abroad, the returned part remain under the dominion of the world powers (Persia, Greece, Rome), He will cause to come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Seed will come and with it the Founder of the Kingdom on earth.
And so it happened. Finally the King of the Jews was born, Mat. 2:2 with whom the Kingdom could make a new start.
Subject of the O.T. In the light of these rays, which are easy to amplify, one now read the O.T. The O.T. speaks almost exclusively about the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven Israel's History is the history of the Kingdom on earth, but entrusted to sinful man. That can not but fail.
What history repeats with monotonous but therefore the stronger penetrating voice. Israel fails among the Priests in Joshua's and the Judges days, among the Kings in later times. Also under the direction of Pharisee and scribes in Christ's days.
Everything is against. And despite everything, God fulfills His counsel. The Kingdom will come. Hence the prophecies of the O.T. prophets. They predict the coming of the Kingdom on earth, they foretell Israel's glorious future under the God-given King.
Whoever sees that God wants to subdue the earth, whoever accepts the Scriptures, that Israel is the chosen instrument, can not but see Israel's restoration and future flourishing and glory. Whoever denies this, doesn't allow God to be God anymore and destroys His counsel. And He has said that His counsel will stand.
Some statements. We give as proof some statements of the prophets. « And the LORD shall be king over all the earth ... » Zec. 14:9. (You can also read here: about the whole country, apart of the article the same term as in Gen. 17:7). Who is this Lord? it is He, they shall look upon whom they have pierced, Zec. 12:10, all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, Zec. 14:16. Then the word of the LORD will go out from Jerusalem, Isa. 2:1 — 4. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart, Jer. 3:17.
God's restoration and calling are fixed in God's covenant. Just as the ordinances of heaven do not depart, neither will Israel be rejected for all that they have done, Jer. 31:35 — 37. The name of Jerusalem will be once: The Lord is there. Eze. 48:35.
The N.T. We already pointed out that Christ came to confirm the promises of the fathers. So he came to everything the O.T. promised to Israel, and to fulfill everthing that is still unfulfilled. Hence it is that we read of the announcement of the Kingdom of Heaven. Christ came to set up the Kingdom of Heaven. It was now near. And in His Person, the born King was there, if the People accepted Him, the Kingdom could come. For the coming of that Kingdom, the Lord taught His disciples to pray: « Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven ».
Israel could know these things. They had Moses and the Prophets. They only had to hear them.
We know the outcome. Israel rejected its King and He went to crucifixion. His blood was shouted over us, called out. Christ prayed, however. And God answered Him. Once again the Kingdom was offered by the 12 Apostles (the 11 and Matthias). But that also failed. Israel did not allow itself to be told, and finally the army was sent to destroy the murderers and set fire to the city. Mat. 22:7. See also Luke 19:43, 44; 21:2.
The end. The question is: What now. Messiah is exterminated. It was not for Himself, that is, His own did not accept Him, John 1:11. Will the Kingdom not come now? Did God fail? Certainly, the King has risen. But ascended to heaven. Does He not return? Certainly. The well-born Man has only temporarily gone away. He was entitled to the Kingdom, but let it be given to Him by the Supreme Power. He came to receive the Kingdom. Born to be King, He will be. Once he comes back, Luk. 19:11 — 15. Despite the hatred of the citizens.
This must precede His revelation. We find them indicated in many prophecies and worked out in the last Bible book. Satan's opposition will then also become manifest and powerless to persecute the seed that he once crushed the heel of, he will turn to anger against Israel, which God has maintained in spite of everything to date. And will keep. The Woman (part of Israel) will have to flee, but God will save her to set up the Kingdom to the Great Nation.
To this end, great judgments will have to cooperate. Just as Israel was once liberated from Egypt by great judgments, God will liberate it again, but much more powerfully, from the future world powers. By seal, trumpets and bows he will open the shackles and bring the kingdom. And then it will be: « The kingdom of the world (i.e., on earth) (not the kingdoms of the world, see Rev. 12:10) has become our Lord and His Christ and He will reign as king in the aions of aions » (the 2 future aions). Rev. 11:15. Then the Son of man sits down on His throne, Mat. 25:31. Now He is still in the Father's throne, Rev. 3:21 then on the throne of his glory. With that His dominion begins and the subduing of the earth. By Israel. The once-near Kingdom of Heaven withdrew. Then it will begin its continuous course and grind all the kingdoms until it has dominion over all the earth and becomes a mountain that fills the world, Dan. 2:44, 45.
All rulers will honor and obey Him, Dan. 7:27. Then the Lord, the Most High the Great King, brings the Gentiles to Israel and rules God over the Gentiles, Psa. 47:4, 9.
Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven Equal? The term: Kingdom of Heaven occurs only in Matthew. None of the other evangelists used it. This is because Matthew is especially written for Israel alone and the name: Kingdom of Heaven is a summary of the word of Dan. 2:44, wherein it is said that the God of heaven would set up a kingdom that would not be disturbed in the aions. In the other gospels the term « Kingdom of God » appears in the same texts. From this, one should not draw the conclusion, as if the Kingdom of God would always coincide with the Kingdom of Heaven. One can only say: The Kingdom of God can coincide with the Kingdom of Heaven, but is not always limited to it. Even as The Hague is Dutch territory, but not yet the Netherlands itself, the Kingdom of Heaven is God's territory, but not all of God's territory. Strictly speaking, they are two spheres, which as a rule do not cover each other. Only in the Gospels do they more coincide.
Those who live in The Hague live in the Netherlands. Those who live in the Netherlands therefore do not yet live in The Hague. For the residents of The Hague the territory of the Netherlands and that of The Hague coincide, for the other residents of the Netherlands not. Whoever is in the Kingdom of Heaven is also in the Kingdom of God, not the other way around, because the Kingdom of God extends beyond the Kingdom of Heaven.
Difference in sphere. The Kingdom of Heaven is in the spatial sense, Israel's kingdom, which has its territory Canaan, as capital city Jerusalem, as King the Messiah. It is Messianic, at least in future form. It does not exist now. Israel is scattered and does not live in Canaan yet (they do now but it is still Lo-Ammi).
Thus, strictly speaking, there is now no question of laboring in the Kingdom of Heaven. In the spiritual sense, laboring in the Kingdom of Heaven is to make Israel known to Christ as the God-given Davidic King and to accept Him as King of Israel. Thus the creation of Israel and the restoration of the fallen tabernacle of David are discussed, with the aim of preparing this establishment by informing Israel accordingly. Insofar as many Jews reading the Greek Scriptures do this, there can be a spiritual sense of the coming near of the Kingdom of Heaven. In a real sense this will happen only, when Christ will reveal Himself, returns to earth, Israel will be released by the judgments, in the book of Revelation communicated, and finally take possession of the Davidic throne.
The Kingdom of God in spatial sense is much more extensive. It includes heavens and earth. On earth it covers all areas, including Canaan. In that land, the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God thus fall together, but not further.
In a spiritual sense, the Kingdom of God on earth is that atmosphere in which God's will is made known with respect to heavens and earth. This includes all gospels, making all know about Christ, and also with the first truths revealed by Paul. To also make Christ known as Messiah. It is seen that here also the spiritual spheres coincide, but the spiritual side of the Kingdom of God is again broader than that of the spiritual Kingdom of Heaven (Spiritual = making known the truths of God).
From this it follows that one can enter into the Kingdom of God without going into the Kingdom of Heaven. In other words, that one can see some things from the Scriptures and deny Israel's restoration. It is a peculiar fact and yet it exists. Of course, one does not see the spheres that are there and identifies everything. Then they say: The Hague is the Netherlands, which is true. That it is also in the Netherlands, one does not see. For many believers, the Kingdom of Heaven is equal to the Kingdom of God, while it is a sphere in the Kingdom of God. It is two spheres, partly shifting into one another. Both coincide in the Person of Christ, since He is Messiah, Israel's Prince, and also God, as Israel's, Jehovah.
Yet one must distinguish. An example clear that. The German Emperor was formerly Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia. No one, competent, will say that this is the same. As King of Prussia he had matters that did not concern the entire German Empire, but only Prussia. As Emperor of Germany, he had occupations that entered the whole empire. A German had to deal with him as Emperor, a Prussian as King. A Prussian was in double sense his subject: as a Prussian citizen, as a German citizen. A German (Bavarian, Bader, Saxon, etc.) was only his subject in a general sense.
So now also with the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God. An Israelite is a double subject of Christ, namely in the Kingdom of Heaven and in the Kingdom of God. The Gentiles are only His subjects in the Kingdom of God. Both spheres are fixed in Christ. That is why Christ must be God, otherwise there is no unity in both Kingdom territories. A Prussian met the Emperor in his work for Prussia and for Germany. Thus a true Israelite must come to know Christ as King of Israel and King of Kings. A Gentile learned to know Him in His Possessor of the earth and could only come to know Him through Israel as Israel's King.
All this now concerns the situation on earth. The Kingdom of God, however, is still of a larger size. It also spans the heavens. And that higher side can now be known by someone from the Kingdom of Heaven and by someone from the Kingdom of God (on earth). Faith is needed for this in God, Who makes the dead alive and calls things that are not, as if they were. This also means that He can give a higher mode of existence to ascend into higher spheres.
Elijah belonged to the Kingdom of Heaven because he was Israelite. However, he has ascended into the heavenly part of the Kingdom of God. Enoch did not belong to the Kingdom of Heaven, because Israel was not there yet. Yet he has also ascended like Elijah. Many Gentile believers do not belong to the Kingdom of Heaven. However, they will be taken up into the air once and thus belong to the higher sphere of the Kingdom of God. The higher can descend to the lower, not the lower to the higher. To this end, a transformation is necessary, to be obtained only by the way of faith and the working of God's Spirit.
Yet another sphere. There is another sphere outside the Kingdom of God. There is in Col. speaking of the Kingdom of God and of His dear Son (1:13). This is what Paul calls in 2 Tim. 4:18 in the original text the « Over-heavenly Kingdom ». It contains the over-heavenly thrones, dominions, governments and powers.
This is another Kingdom. And in that sphere God now put Christ at His right hand. And with Christ the Church, which is His Body. Paul speaks about this in his later revelations. This is not in the heavens. We do not want to act on this further, but for the sake of completeness, to distinguish the spheres, this point had to be discussed.
Finally the following overview.
From sphere to sphere. The parts are spheres in spheres. Amsterdam is a sphere in the Netherlands, this in Europe, this in the world. Thus the Kingdom of Heaven is a sphere in the world, this in the Kingdom of God in the heavens, this again in that of the over-Heavenly. As a rule, those who see the higher spheres also perceive the lower. Not the other way around. What applies to one sphere does not yet apply to the other. The laws of the Netherlands do not apply in Europe.
In the way of faith God goes as a rule from the lesser to the greater. That is His progress. We can not go into this deeply. In the first place not, because this would be too extensive and secondly because this would, at this stage of explanation, give confusion.
Israel's 12 Apostles are called for preparation and for the Kingdom of Heaven, Paul through his further ministry to the Kingdom of God in the spheres of heaven (taking up); later he leads to an even higher sphere: the over-heavenly kingdom. Resistance must always be overcome in faith. Once again an sphere has passed through (in the spirit) the promise has been worked out. Earlier has not been worked out, what God has worked in and God can not go any further. Seen in this way, this exposition has its spiritual use and is: changed from glory to glory as by the Lord's Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:18)
Resume. The word kingdom often means sovereignty. Also: area. The latter results from the first. We all know countries that once were kingdoms, but now they are no longer. France, Prussia, Saxony, Hungary, etc. were once kingdoms, they are no longer, although they have the same territories and the peoples live in them. However, they no longer have a king. These countries remained, those peoples likewise, where the characteristic that lay in the kingdom disappeared.
The Kingdom of Heaven is the sovereignty of Christ as literal King over a literal people, Israel on earth. It is called Kingdom of Heaven because Christ will descend from above and make the Kingdom with Divine power. This Kingdom will have a lasting but not infinite duration, being political in sphere, that is, standing against other kingdoms, because Christ is: the King of kings and the Lord of lords. As a result, Israel will stand at the head of the nations. The O.T. prophecy. It is founded at the beginning of the 1000 years of Rev. 20, the beginning of the coming age and lasts not only 1000 years, but the future aions (eternities). This Kingdom directly receives the laws from Christ as King.
The Kingdom of God is the dominion of God, over heavens and earth. Where it is opposed, there is apostasy from Him and there is an effect from Him to restore it. The government is moral and spiritual: through Word and Spirit.
The over-heavenly kingdom is an even higher sphere. There are governments and powers. Many of them are spiritual evils.
Apendix. In Mat. 13:43 it speaks of the Kingdom of their Father. This is, among other things, the Kingdom of God but seen from the standpoint of birth from God. It is destined for those who see in Abraham the father of the believers, to whom God has promised the world as an inheritance, Romans 4:13. It is for those who become the « heavenly calling », Heb. 3:1. It is the sovereignty of obedient sons who will also govern. After the Son is seated on His throne, they will also sit in His throne. This is already contained in Gen. 12:3. In you all the families of the earth will be blessed. The superior blesses the lesser; so these the nations, why they also stand above them.
The Kingdom of the Son of man (Mat. 16:28) is the Kingdom of Heaven, seen as ruled by the Seed of the woman, so in connection with the commission to Adam: Subdue the earth. Herein lies the proof that God continues in and through the Kingdom of Heaven, what He meant to do with Adam: to establish a Kingdom on earth from a certain center. Where man has fallen, it must be done by the Son of man. See also Dan. 7:13, 14, 18, 21, 22.
The eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:11) is the same as the Kingdom of their Father, which is now seen as coming through the work of Christ as the Firstborn among many brethren.
The Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Rev. 11:15) is the Kingdom of Heaven established at the end of the judgments of Rev. 11 and that includes a double part: The Kingdom of Heaven and the earthly part of the Kingdom of God.
Now God is doing the Church that is to prepare His (Christ's) Body for the heavenly Kingdom. There it will reign with Christ over all things. The glory of the Body surpasses everything that has ever been or will be seen. In it is the excelling richness of God's grace. Until this is prepared, everything must wait for further fulfillment. Only then comes the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God will be further confirmed and restored.
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