Why did the Great Writer of Truth create two kingdoms in which His people would reside? Unless the seeker of Truth understands the difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, he might believe that they are one in the same. They are, but actually are not. One kingdom IS, but IS NOT. The other IS NOT, but WILL BE. This mind-scrambling riddle is much like the one the angel placed before the Apostle John as recorded in Revelation 17:8. Here we find the angel telling John, “The beast that you saw WAS, and IS NOT, and SHALL ASCEND out of the bottomless pit and GO into perdition (Lake of Fire) … behold the beast that WAS, and IS NOT, and yet IS.” Recall that the angel said that the beast that IS NOT will later ASCEND and GO. How is this possible? Much Bible study (2 Tim. 2:15), proofing of spiritual doctrines (1 Thes. 5:21) and listening to those much wiser than oneself are necessary if one is to understand such Biblical language. Let us apply these rules when searching for God’s Truth. Without such stringent efforts, God’s Truth will remain a mystery. God wants true seekers of His will to know “… the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven.” In Matthew 13 Jesus is speaking to the “great multitudes” (plural) who had followed Him to the sea of Galilee. We find Him speaking to them in parables, which confounded His disciples who asked Him why He used such confounding language (3,10). He answered that it was given (by God) for them (the disciples) to “… know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them (the great multitudes) it is not given” (11). Why did He not want those people who had followed Him on foot out into the countryside to know how to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? He tells us in verses 14,15. He stated that the people had ears designed to hear but refused to hear what He said. The had eyes to see but refused to see what He was doing. They were interested what He could do for them (feed, heal, etc.), but had no interest in what He said. Their interest centered on what He could do for them, not for what they could do for him. They were not interested in embracing His Words, which would have required them to obey them. He noted that THEY had closed their ears and eyes. Only THEY could open them. Which they would not. They were not interested in obeying Him. They wanted only to use Him. Does this sound familiar?
At this point we will identify the two kingdoms. The Kingdom of God is in heaven at this time but will descend to the Holy Land where New Jerusalem will serve as its universe capital. This is the kingdom that Jesus was referring to in His model prayer when He said to the Father: “… thy (God’s) kingdom come, thy will be done on earth (later) as it is (at that time and now) in heaven.” This is the kingdom in which God’s true saints, His remnant, His Little Flock, His Very Elect will live forever. Entrance into the Kingdom of God is the goal of His true church. Which brings us to the Kingdom of Heaven. L.J.