Bible Studies

The Kingdom Of God vs. The Kingdom Of Heaven


As I started to write an article this morning on my favorite Bible verse, which is Matthew 6:33, I got sidetracked on a different Bible study.  Matthew 6:33 states: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”


I kept finding verses that talked about the kingdom of God, but then I also kept finding verses that talked about the kingdom of heaven.  I noticed in the Greek that they did not mean the same thing and so my curiosity was pricked.


I discovered the difference was this:


The kingdom of God includes the sovereignty of God over the universe and includes the kingdom of heaven as part of the kingdom of God.  Some things could be said of both, but there are other things said of the kingdom of God that could not be spoken of the kingdom of heaven.


The Kingdom of heaven:

  • Messiah as King
  • From heaven
  • Upon earth only
  • Scope is limited
  • Political
  • Future
  • Under Christ
  • Given to Christ
  • Begins at Advent
  • Under heaven only
  • Jewish – earthly
  • Local – planetary
  • Earthly capital
  • Dispensational in purpose
  • Has a beginning
  • Tares are in it now
  • Comes with an outward show
  • Flesh and blood inherits it, for it is for earthly, natural people


Kingdom of God:

  • God as King
  • In heaven and earth
  • Scope is unlimited
  • Moral and spiritual
  • Past, present and future
  • God is over all
  • Not given
  • Is now
  • Overall
  • Angelic – heavenly
  • Universal – interplanetary
  • Heavenly capital
  • Eternal in purpose
  • Timeless – endless
  • Only born-again ones in it
  • Without show
  • Only resurrected, glorified saints inherit all things


With that new understanding, the whole outlook on my favorite verse changed.  I had always thought the kingdom of heaven was greater than the kingdom of God, but this morning I was corrected in my theology and so that changed the aim of my spiritual walk.  For all intense purposes, I am no longer seeking something that is here on earth, but something that is far above that.


I always understand Matthew 6:33 to mean that we are to:


“seek first”,

  • which means to “first hunt eagerly for first”,

the kingdom of God

  • (which was just explained)

“and his righteousness”

  • which is His right way of doing things,

“and all these things shall be added unto you.”

  •  What things shall be unto you?  Scholars disagree what that part of what the verse means.  Some think it means the “what shall we eat, what shall we drink, and what shall we wear” that is quoted in Matthew 6:31.  But then I heard others begin to teach that it meant something totally different.  I heard it taught that it actually means that the “things” that shall be added unto us are the items in the kingdom of God that we are searching.


What are those things?  In Romans 14:17, it clearly states that the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.  Righteousness according to the Greek in that verse means “equity of character or act; specifically, Christian justification.”  Peace in the Greek means “peace, by implication prosperity, quietness, rest.”  Joy from the Greek means “cheerfulness, that is, calm delight, gladness, joy”.


The things that will be added to us if we seek first the kingdom of God are the things from the kingdom of God.  That may sound simplistic, but it was a new revelation to me.  If I seek God first I will find the right way to live, peace, prosperity, quietness rest, cheerfulness, calm delight, gladness and joy.  Who doesn’t want those things?  I know I for one do.  How about you?