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Dictionaries :: Kingdom

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Below are articles from the following dictionary:
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g932 Greek: basileia


is primarily an abstract noun, denoting "sovereignty, royal power, dominion," e.g., Rev 17:18, translated "(which) reigneth," lit., "hath a kingdom" (RV marg.); then, by metonymy, a concrete noun, denoting the territory or people over whom a king rules, e.g., Mat 4:8; Mar 3:24. It is used especially of the "kingdom" of God and of Christ.

"The Kingdom of God is

(a) the sphere of God's rule, Psa 22:28; 145:13; Dan 4:25; Luk 1:52; Rom 13:1, 2. Since, however, this earth is the scene of universal rebellion against God, e.g., Luk 4:5, 6; 1Jo 5:19; Rev 11:15-18, the "kingdom" of God is

(b) the sphere in which, at any given time, His rule is acknowledged. God has not relinquished His sovereignty in the face of rebellion, demoniac and human, but has declared His purpose to establish it, Dan 2:44; 7:14; 1Cr 15:24, 25. Meantime, seeking willing obedience, He gave His law to a nation and appointed kings to administer His "kingdom" over it, 1Ch 28:5. Israel, however, though declaring still a nominal allegiance shared in the common rebellion, Isa 1:2-4, and, after they had rejected the Son of God, Jhn 1:11 (cp. Mat 21:33-43), were "cast away," Rom 11:15, 20, 25. Henceforth God calls upon men everywhere, without distinction of race or nationality, to submit voluntarily to His rule. Thus the "kingdom" is said to be "in mystery" now, Mar 4:11, that is, it does not come within the range of the natural powers of observation, Luk 17:20, but is spiritually discerned, Jhn 3:3 (cp. 1Cr 2:14). When, hereafter, God asserts His rule universally, then the "kingdom" will be in glory, that is, it will be manifest to all; cp. Mat 25:31-34; Phl 2:9-11; 2Ti 4:1, 18.

"Thus, speaking generally, references to the Kingdom fall into two classes, the first, in which it is viewed as present and involving suffering for those who enter it, 2Th 1:5; the second, in which it is viewed as future and is associated with reward, Mat 25:34, and glory, Mat 13:43. See also Act 14:22.

"The fundamental principle of the Kingdom is declared in the words of the Lord spoken in the midst of a company of Pharisees, "the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you," Luk 17:21, marg., that is, where the King is, there is the Kingdom. Thus at the present time and so far as this earth is concerned, where the King is and where His rule is acknowledged, is, first, in the heart of the individual believer, Act 4:19; Eph 3:17; 1Pe 3:15; and then in the churches of God, 1Cr 12:3, 5, 11; 14:37; cp. Col 1:27, where for "in" read "among."

"Now, the King and His rule being refused, those who enter the Kingdom of God are brought into conflict with all who disown its allegiance, as well as with the desire for ease, and the dislike of suffering and unpopularity, natural to all. On the other hand, subjects of the Kingdom are the objects of the care of God, Mat 6:33, and of the rejected King, Hbr 13:5.

"Entrance into the Kingdom of God is by the new birth, Mat 18:3; Jhn 3:5, for nothing that a man may be by nature, or can attain to by any form of self-culture, avails in the spiritual realm. And as the new nature, received in the new birth, is made evident by obedience, it is further said that only such as do the will of God shall enter into His Kingdom, Mat 7:21, where, however, the context shows that the reference is to the future, as in 2Pe 1:10, 11. Cp. also 1Cr 6:9, 10; Gal 5:21; Eph 5:5.

"The expression 'Kingdom of God' occurs four times in Matthew, 'Kingdom of the Heavens' usually taking its place. The latter (cp. Dan 4:26) does not occur elsewhere in NT, but see 2Ti 4:18, "His heavenly Kingdom."... This Kingdom is identical with the Kingdom of the Father (cp. Mat 26:29 with Mar 14:25), and with the Kingdom of the Son (cp. Luk 22:30). Thus there is but one Kingdom, variously described: of the Son of Man, Mat 13:41; of Jesus, Rev 1:9; of Christ Jesus, 2Ti 4:1; "of Christ and God," Eph 5:5; "of our Lord, and of His Christ," Rev 11:15; "of our Lord, and of His Christ," Rev 11:15; "of our God, and the authority of His Christ," 12:10; "of the Son of His love," Col 1:13.

"Concerning the future, the Lord taught His disciples to pray, "Thy Kingdom come," Mat 6:10, where the verb is in the point tense, precluding the notion of gradual progress and development, and implying a sudden catastrophe as declared in 2Th 2:8.

"Concerning the present, that a man is of the Kingdom of God is not shown in the punctilious observance of ordinances, which are external and material, but in the deeper matters of the heart, which are spiritual and essential, viz., 'righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit,' Rom 14:17." *
[* From Notes on Thessalonians by Hogg and Vine, pp. 68-70.]

"With regard to the expressions "the Kingdom of God" and the "Kingdom of the Heavens," while they are often used interchangeably, it does not follow that in every case they mean exactly the same and are quite identical.

"The Apostle Paul often speaks of the Kingdom of God, not dispensationally but morally, e.g., in Rom 14:17; 1Cr 4:20, but never so of the Kingdom of Heaven. 'God' is not the equivalent of 'the heavens.' He is everywhere and above all dispensations, whereas 'the heavens' are distinguished from the earth, until the Kingdom comes in judgment and power and glory (Rev 11:15, RV) when rule in heaven and on earth will be one.

"While, then, the sphere of the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven are at times identical, yet the one term cannot be used indiscriminately for the other. In the 'Kingdom of Heaven' (32 times in Matt.), heaven is in antithesis to earth, and the phrase is limited to the Kingdom in its earthly aspect for the time being, and is used only dispensationally and in connection with Israel. In the 'Kingdom of God', in its broader aspect, God is in antithesis to 'man' or 'the world,' and the term signifies the entire sphere of God's rule and action in relation to the world. It has a moral and spiritual force and is a general term for the Kingdom at any time. The Kingdom of Heaven is always the Kingdom of God, but the Kingdom of God is not limited to the Kingdom of Heaven, until in their final form, they become identical; e.g., Rev 11:15, RV; Jhn 3:5; Rev 12:10." (An Extract).


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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