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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Kingdom From Heaven
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 3:1,2)
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)
Some believe that the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God are two separate kingdoms. It seems obvious to us that such is not the case, for three reasons: (1) the same parables to which Matthew refers as parables of the Kingdom of Heaven are referred to by the other writers as parables of the Kingdom of God; (2) there is no evidence that either John or Jesus preached about two different kingdoms, speaking part of the time about the Kingdom of Heaven and the remainder of the time about the Kingdom of God; and (3) the Prophets of Israel announced the coming of but one Kingdom.
The parable of the sower may be the most important parable of the Kingdom. Matthew refers to this parable as a mystery of "the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 13:11). Mark refers to the same parable as a mystery of "the kingdom of God" (Mark 4:11).
Daniel speaks of one kingdom.
But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. (Daniel 7:18)
"The kingdom" is the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom that is to descend from Heaven. It is the Kingdom of God because God is the supreme Ruler of it. It is the Kingdom of Heaven because Heaven is the Throne of God; although one day the Throne of God will come to rest on the new earth in the new Jerusalem.
Where is the Kingdom of Heaven—the Kingdom that is "at hand"? We understand from the teachings of the Lord Jesus that it is within us and also is in Heaven, and one day will descend from Heaven and govern the nations of the earth.
First of all, the Kingdom of Heaven is what we mean by "Heaven." It is the kingdom, the power, and the glory that today are in the spirit realm above us. It is the rule being obeyed in Heaven now and that will come down to the earth with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and His saints.
We are to pray for the rule of God and the Glory of God to descend from Heaven and fill the whole earth:
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9)
Heaven is a spirit realm. It is the Throne of God.
Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: . . . (Acts 7:49)
Christ is in Heaven with His father, His saints, and the holy angels. The Holy Spirit was sent down from Heaven.
If Heaven is the Throne of God, then, in one sense of the word, wherever the Throne of God is, there is Heaven. If God's throne is in the Lord Jesus Christ, then Heaven is in the Lord Jesus Christ. If Christ is in us, then Heaven (the Throne of God) is in us. If the Throne of God and of the Lamb are in the new Jerusalem, then Heaven is in the new Jerusalem.
To be continued.