What is the kingdom of God or Heaven?
But he [Christ] said to them: I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other cities also. For this reason I have been sent. (Luk 4:43)
In this study I look for answers from the Bible for example to these questions:
- What is Kingdom of Heaven? Is it the same as the Millennial Kingdom?
- Where does it exist? In the Heavens or on earth? Within oneself?
- Who is allowed to enter? Is it difficult to enter there? Who are not allowed to enter?
- When shall the Kingdom of God come?
- What was the main purpose of Jesus on earth and why have the main churches forgotten it?
First of all, the Kingdom of God is NOT the same as the Millennial Kingdom whose king is Christ and which is governed by the saints of resurrection at the service of the Christ. This becomes evident by Luke 12:32:
Don’t be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.
God gives the reign of the kingdom to this small number of people (called ‘little flock’), of which size is announced to be 144 000. Only the righteous ones may enter the kingdom of God. The participants in the first resurrection have access as the saints of resurrection. It is important to notice that in resurrection they gain immortality, and they are like God’s angels.
When this little flock, forms the government in God’s kingdom as subordinates of Jesus, there are people in the Millennial Kingdom, who have not even heard of God or Christ. Would these people qualify for admittance?
Other possible “subordinates” of the kingdom may be so called the so-called “great multitude“, a great number of people who have survived the tribulation of the last day. They are the survivors of the great tribulation who have fallen and found the faith. It is said in the Book of Revelation that they have washed their robes and made them white. Naturally a kingdom has subordinates and they are from all nations. They are, however, ordinary mortals who are subjects of the kingdom, but they are not yet in the kingdom of God!
Who are the inhabitants of Heaven?
In Heaven, before Christ, there were only angels and God the Father. There are millions of angels, in many different roles and ranks. You may point out: “What about Jesus, wasn’t he in heaven and descended from there down to Earth. Jesus was already God in heaven.”
God made Jesus “Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). If Jesus was God earlier in heaven, why did God the Father degraded Jesus from God to ”Lord and Christ”, in any case well above the angels? God, according to the Bible, also gave Jesus eternal life. But everybody knows that a God already has eternal life. John 5:26: “For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself.” Why did God the Father have to give his son eternal life if Jesus already was God?
Jesus is the only human in heaven. He is not a man of flesh and blood, but a spirit just like God and the angels. How do we know that Jesus is a man in heaven? The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” This letter of Paul has traditionally been thought to be written in the 60s, that is about three decades after Christ ascended in heaven. Why does Paul understate Jesus? Wouldn’t you rather imagine that Paul wanted Jesus to be God in heaven?
There are not yet other men in heaven i.e. in the Kingdom of God. Many believe that there are many good people in heaven. The dead sinners are, according to their belief, in hell. Particularly confident are especially the Catholics, that Virgin Mary is in heaven. Likewise, all the Saints proclaimed by the Catholic Church are there. The fact that the Bible says that no one besides Jesus has ascended to heaven does not seem to mean anything.
God’s kingdom can only be accessed through the resurrection. When the first resurrection takes place, the resurrected saints are in the spirit body. They are also inhabitants of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God will have lots of new members after the second resurrection and the last judgment following it.
Read more about the Millennial Kingdom in the following articles.