| The "Good News" (Gospel) > Archives > Postings at theekklesiachurch > The Kingdom|
Some thoughts which may be helpful. My intention is to record them
intuitively, hoping that my intuition is partly the result of good
influences. They may seem simple, perhaps simplistic, but that is not
necessarily bad. If your wisdom confirms them, I have saved the time needed for newly researched evidence. If you correct me, I will do the research, and we will all learn.
Regarding "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Kingdom of God":
Because we are spatial creatures, we tend to equate people in our thinking with the place where they usually are. Children we know speak of going to "John and Mary" or to "John and Mary's house" with no difference in meaning. Someone might speak of the government of Castro or the government of Cuba with no intended difference. Until recently the Kingdom (or whatever the term) of Iraq, the Kingdom of Baghdad, and the Kingdom of Saddam Hussein might have been used interchangeably.
I have understood "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Kingdom of God" in the same way.
In scriptural language, heaven is where God is. It is his dwelling. So the Kingdom of God is the same as the kindom which centers where God is, in heaven, or the Kingdom of Heaven.
Regarding "What is the Kingdom of God (Heaven)":
A kingdom is a king('s)dom(inion). It is his realm, where he rules.
To identify a kingdom, we need to know who is the king, and where is his realm or dominion.
Human rulers try to keep things simple by assuming the realm is generally a geographically defined territory, and the bodies within the territory are subjects of the king.
But there seems to be another law of the universe, often given indirect recognition by would-be rulers, that the subjects of a king are those who choose to recognize him as their king.
Only the Creator can in his own right say, I am your God (Lord, King, Ruler, Master, Owner). Yet even He seeks our voluntary and willing recognition and acknowledgment that we are His subjects and He is our God. Consider all the Biblical pleas that His people recognize their rightful (pick the word) and return to Him. Consider Joshua's admonition, "Choose whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Rulers need to be chosen by their subjects. That is recognized in the words of the Declaration of Independence (not to imply that it is any kind of authority), "...governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Even after the Kings of Israel were chosen by Yahweh, they didn't begin to reign until they were affirmed (coronated) by the people in a public ceremony, saying something like "Long live the King!"
Among nations there is a recognition of the right of expatriation--to choose to be a subject of another king(dom).
What's the point of all this?
The Kingdom of God exists where people choose God as their King. It is internal in this sense. When we in our hearts choose God as King, and set our hearts on His throne room (Heaven), we have entered to Kingdom of God (Heaven). Our thoughts, feelings, and actions are willingly put completely within his directives, and His desires are accomplished through us. We are His. What we do gives evidence of what He wants and is doing, in the same way that the actions of soldiers in Iraq should give evidence of what George Bush wants.
I am tempted to go down other trails, but this is probably enough for now.
Besides, you will see from the time of posting that it nearing bed time for all seniors.
My brothers and sisters are all those who know the will of God and do it--those who are in His Kingdom.