18. Is the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God the Same?
The answer to this question should be evident, yes. Heaven is God’s dwelling place and it is reflected as such in many passages:
1Ki 8:49 Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause,
The terms kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven are synonymous.
When Jesus was speaking to the rich young ruler, Christ uses “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” interchangeably. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 19:23). In the very next verse, Christ proclaims, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (verse 24). Jesus makes no distinction between the two terms but seems to consider them synonymous.
Mark and Luke used “kingdom of God” where Matthew used “kingdom of heaven” frequently in parallel accounts of the same parable Compare Matthew 11:11-12 with Luke 7:28; Matthew 13:11with Mark 4:11 and Luke 8:10; Matthew 13:24 with Mark 4:26; Matthew 13:31 with Mark 4:30 and Luke 13:18; Matthew 13:33 with Luke 13:20; Matthew 18:3 with Mark 10:14 and Luke 18:16; and Matthew 22:2 with Luke 13:29. In each instance, Matthew used the phrase “kingdom of heaven” while Mark and/or Luke used “kingdom of God.” Clearly, the two phrases refer to the same thing.
Israel rejected the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah when He first came because the religious rulers of Israel were only looking for a political Messiah King who would make Israel the ruling kingdom of the world (See Jeremiah 23:5, Luke 1:32-33).
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (Act 1:6 )
“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, ..” (Luke 17:20 KJV)
They were expecting a warrior leader who would deliver them (Dan 7:27, Mat 20:21) militarily from the Romans. That is what led them to ask these questions of Jesus:
But they were blind to their need for spiritual deliverance and the true righteousness of God, which must be born into the heart.
And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. (Act 1:7 KJV)
“…he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation : Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21 KJV)
Note: It is, however, this particular passage (a metaphoric passage) that has caused confusion for many who try and take it literally.
“not with observation” indicates that no one knows when the Kingdom of God is to come, or be revealed, literally (Ref: Mark 13:32), and;
“the kingdom of God is within you.” is better understood as the “access to heaven” (God’s Kingdom) is within you. (Ref: FAQ/ Salvation/ 19. Where is Heaven for a more in-depth explanation.)
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