Are the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven two different realms?
By Dr. Timothy Lin
Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven
Perhaps you have heard people say that the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of heaven are two different realms. Such words are not in accordance to the Bible! All one needs to read is the gospel of Mark 19:23-24 and one will know. Jesus told the disciples: “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to 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." It is impossible to say that the Kingdom of Heaven in verse 23 is one realm and the Kingdom of God in verse 24 is another realm!” The ‘Kingdom of God’ and the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ both point to the same thing. Then, why did the gospel of Matthew use the ‘Kingdom of God’ only four times and the rest as ‘Kingdom of heaven?’ The reason the gospel of Matthew uses the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ more frequently is because it is written for the Jews. During the inter-testament period, the Jews started using the word ‘Heaven’ as a substitute ‘Jehovah’ and ‘God’ just like the Chinese. In the Prodigal Son story that Jesus told, when the prodigal son turned around, he prepared a confession speech. He said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight!” (Luke 15:21) Certainly, he was not talking about the blue ‘sky’ but ‘Jehovah’! On another occasion, Jesus asked the Jews, "The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?” The word heaven here certainly refers to God. The Jews cannot use God's name in vain because of the Ten Commandments. So, they first used the word LORD in place of God. Subsequently they used the word ‘Heaven’ in place of Jehovah. So, the ‘Kingdom of Heaven' in Matthew is the same ‘Kingdom of God’ in Mark and Luke. Since Mark is written for the Romans and Luke for the Greeks, the term ‘Heaven’ would be easily misunderstood as the blue sky. So, they have to use ‘Kingdom of God’ and not the ‘Kingdom of heaven’.
(Please visit this website: Kingdom Truth – A Recruitment call for overcomers, Part A What overcomers must know, II. The first step of becoming an overcomer)