The Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God  ---- PDF Format


The first mistake is that throughout history various groups have mistakenly divided the kingdom of Heaven and the kingdom of God. All the prophets, up to and including John, divided the kingdom territorially. They thought it would be a physical kingdom on the earth that we live in now. In the 1800's this same error became a common fault of that generation. At some point in the evolution of the Watchtower's theology, they came up with two classes of people and fitted them into two physical kingdoms: one an earthly kingdom which they called the "other sheep" and the other a heavenly kingdom which they called the "little flock" or the 144,000. A popular book among Fundamentalists, Principles of Biblical Hermeneutics by J. Edwin Hartill, also records the dividing of the kingdoms. On page 36, Hartill divided the kingdoms as heavenly and universal. He presented the kingdom of Heaven as earthly, national, limited, and temporal and the kingdom of God as universal, unlimited, and eternal. 

The term kingdom of Heaven is used 32 times exclusively in the gospel of Matthew. The kingdom of God is used 62 times in the other gospels in parallel passages to those in Matthew. Because both of these terms are used to identify the same thing, it is hermeneutically incorrect to divide them into two different groups representing two different kingdoms. Also there are 6 references in the epistles that refer to the kingdom as Christ's kingdom.

The second mistake is that this kingdom would be on this present earth. The kingdom which Jesus was speaking of will be a kingdom of righteousness in a newly created heaven (atmospheric heaven) and on a newly created earth where God will never be separated from His people.

Rev 21:1-5 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

2 Peter 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


The reason for the errors comes from a misunderstanding of the nature of the kingdom. The kingdom that Jesus was speaking about was not on this present earth.  The Jews and many others were looking for the power and glory once given to the Nation of Israel.  That's why Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world [is not this physical world] : if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence [It will begin in Rev 21].

Heb 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost [the kingdom of righteousness begins in Rev 21].

The Watchtower's false division of two classes of believers is corrected in part by accepting the truth in the above scriptures. It is further corrected by accepting the truth in the following verses that clearly show there is ONE BODY, ONE HOPE, and ONE FAITH for ALL true born-again Believers in Christ.

Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body (not two bodies, one earthly and one heavenly) , and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope (not two hopes, one earthly and one heavenly) of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith (for all Believers), one baptism, 6 One God (yes, one God, Who is Triune, not three as the Watchtower suggests) and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

In the Eternal State (Rev 21) there will be an earthly, spiritual kingdom where God will be all in all.

1Cor 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.


An expression used in the New Testament to signify the reign, dispensation, or administration of Jesus Christ. The ancient prophets, when describing the character of the Messiah, Da 2:44; 7:13,14; Mic 4:1-7, and even when speaking of his humiliation and sufferings, were wont to intersperse hint of his power, his reign, and his divinity. The Jews, overlooking the spiritual import of this language, expected the Messiah to appear as a temporal king, exercising power over his enemies, restoring the throne of David to all its splendor, subduing the nations, and rewarding his friends and faithful servants in proportion to their fidelity and services. Hence the contests among his disciples, ere they had fully learned Christ, about precedency in his kingdom; and hence probably the sons of Zebedee desired the two chief places in it, or those nearest to their endeared Master and Lord. They afterwards learned that his kingdom was not of this world, Joh 18:36-37; that its origin, spirit, means, and ends were spiritual and heavenly. It has indeed its outward form, the visible church, Mt 13:47, and bestows on the world the richest of temporal blessings; but its true dominion is in the souls of men. It embraces all who by the Spirit of Christ are united to him as their divine Head and King, to love, serve, and enjoy him for ever. His work on earth was to establish it, Mt 3:2. He introduced his disciples into it while on earth, and more fully after his resurrection and ascension, Joh 20:22; Ac 2:32-36; is "head over all things," in order to make it triumphant and supreme even on earth, Dan 7:27; Eph 1:20-22. It will be perfected in heaven, Mt 8:11, and will never cease, Lu 1:33, even when the mediatorial reign of the Savior is accomplished, 1Co 15:28.


(Mt 6:33; Mr 1:14,15; Lu 4:43) = "kingdom of Christ" (Mt 13:41; 20:21) = "kingdom of Christ and of God" (Eph 5:5) = "kingdom of David" (Mr 11:10) = "the kingdom" (Mt 8:12; 13:19) = "kingdom of heaven" (Mt 3:2; 4:17; 13:41), all denote the same thing under different aspects, viz.: (1) Christ's mediatorial authority, or his rule on the earth; (2) the blessings and advantages of all kinds that flow from this rule; (3) the subjects of this kingdom taken collectively, or the Church.

Luke 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

KINGDOM - STRONG'S #932 basileia basileia bas-il-i'-ah

AV-kingdom (of God) 71, kingdom (of heaven) 32, kingdom (general or evil) 20, (Thy or Thine) kingdom 6, His kingdom 6, the kingdom 5, (My) kingdom 4, misc 18; 162

1) royal power, kingship, dominion, rule

1a) not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom

1b) of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah

1c) of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah's kingdom

2) a kingdom, the territory subject to the rule of a king

3) used in the N.T. to refer to the reign of the Messiah