아래 내용은 어떤 분의 질문으로 인해 영어권 성도들을 위해 쓴 글입니다. 하나님의 왕국은 성경전체의 주제이며, 우리의 가슴을 뛰게 만드는 주제입니다. 영어가 편하신 분들을 위해 올려놓았으니 참조바랍니다. 좀 더 자세한 내용은 '성경공부' 방에서 '왕국'을 누르시면 들으실 수 있습니다.
When I hear the term, kingdom, my imagination goes to a land or a place where a palace is located and wherein a king and queen and their subjects are, discussing or having a party.
But the term kingdom (Greek basileia) actually means ‘to reign’ or ‘to rule.' It works like an abstract noun or a gerund of a verb. So it points to an abstract/physical area or a state of being where the reign is actualized. So kingdom of God is an area or a state of being where God reigns or rules. So sometimes it indicates the actual land or whole earth where Jesus, the God in flesh, will reign and rule when he comes again on the earth in the future (1st facet). It sometimes refers to our heart or a state of our heart when the Holy Spirit (God) reigns [hence, kingdom of God] when I am filled with Holy Spirit in my morning devotion (2nd facet). It sometimes points to the third heaven where actually God resides (4th facet). It indicates sometimes Jesus Himself where God fully reigned (Jesus obeyed Father completely) when Jesus was walking on the land at His first coming (Lk. 17:21). Furthermore, it also refers to the theocratic kingdom of Israel where God reigned through mediators representing Him (kings, prophets, etc.). Though the Christendom includes Fundamental baptists together with even Roman Catholics or Mormons (thus categorized by the world), this Christendom is also ruled by God somehow (5th facet) since the Christendom is also included in the 3rd facet, Universal kingdom, because the current ugly form of the mystery kingdom (Christendom) would have never come into being without God’s providential permission.
So, the Kingdom of God/heaven is the very main theme of the whole Bible, many scholars agree. But It has many facets or aspects. For more in-depth study, refer to Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Israelology; Alva McClain, The Greatness of the kingdom.
While older dispensationalists thought that kingdom of God is different from kingdom of Heaven, but now scholars including dispensationalists agree that they are the same.
But then why does the term sometimes seem to refer to different entities? Reading the Scriptures, we all find that it seems there are more than one kingdom of God/heaven, sometimes physical, other times not physical. Though scholars in other camps (including Amillennialists) don’t believe in the existence of the literal, physical, Millennial kingdom to be established on earth at the second advent, wrongly accepting that only spiritual aspect of the kingdom is all there is in the Scriptures. But I argue that it is why God commands us to rightly divide the word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15). If we accept what the Scriptures says as it plainly puts, considering the context, we will be able to find that the kingdom is a huge theme, having a few aspects. You should rightly divide the word of Truth regarding the kingdom of God since it has many aspects. You just don’t need to amalgamate many aspects of the kingdom, producing only one kingdom facade, but to accept them as they are put in the Scriptures, revealilng each aspect of the whole kingdom (like the concept of Trinity). Once you know it has many facets/aspects and read the Scriptures carefully considering the context, the context will reveal which facet of the kingdom the passage is referring to.
Here are the aspects/facets of the kingdom of God found in the Scriptures.
1st facet of the kingdom of God - Millennial kingdom, literal, physical kingdom, to be established on earth when Jesus comes again in the future (Zech. 14:4; Mat. 6:10; Rev. 11:15; Lk. 22:28-30; Rev. 5:10) - I think that this is the major facet when it comes to the kingdom.
2nd facet of the kingdom - spiritual kingdom, fulfilled in our heart when Holy Spirit controls my whole being, filled with the Spirit so that I feel elated, peaceful and joyful when I meet God in my morning devotion, etc.. “God’s rule in the heart of the believer” (Rom. 14:17; Co. 1:13-14)
3rd facet: Universal kingdom - related to the concept, “God is in control.” Without His providential permit, even a sparrow cannot fall because He is the king in this universal kingdom now, as of AD 2020. Psa. 45:6; Dan. 4:34
4th facet: the third heaven where every saved person goes when he dies. 2 Tim. 4:18; 1 Cor. 15:50; Isa. 57:15; Lk. 23:43
5th facet: Mystery kingdom, so-called “Christendom” where the saved and the unsaved are mingling in the same outfit of Christianity or Christendom. Matthew 13.
6th facet: Theocratic kingdom, like Israel in the Old Testament. Ex. 19:6. God established this kingdom and gave the law to Israel and made a covenant with them. God directly reigned in this kingdom so they had to die when they ate pork. NT Christians do not belong to this kingdom.
Some scholars might add one or two facets here more, but I think this should be enough to figure out which facet of the kingdom is mentioned when we read the Scriptures.