We all know that “Heaven” is always referred to as God. The “heavenly kingdom” obviously refers to God’s kingdom.There is no tears or sorrow, much less pain or death, so all Christians pursue and yearn for it. Then, where is it? Maybe some brothers and sisters will answer without any hesitation, “Of course it’s in heaven. The Lord Jesus said, ‘In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also’ (John 14:2-3). Since the Lord Jesus promised us that wherever He is He will ask for us to come there and He ascended to heaven after His resurrection, the place that God has prepared for us must be in heaven. So we have been longing for the Lord to return to receive us into God’s kingdom soon.” However, is God’s kingdom really in heaven as we believe it to be? As for this question, let’s see what the Lord Jesus said in the Bible, “Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). The Lord Jesus clearly told us that God’s kingdom will descend upon earth and that His will shall be done on earth, not merely in heaven. As such, God will obtain His glory on earth. Now let’s turn to Revelation 11:15, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.” And Revelation 21:2–3, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven…. 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.” These passages of scripture mention “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ,” “new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven,” “the tabernacle of God is with men.” According to these verses, we can clearly know that God’s kingdom will be built on earth and that the kingdoms of the world will all become Christ’s kingdoms. Thus we will be able to obey and worship God and follow His will on earth. From this we can see that God’s kingdom will be realized on earth and so God won’t take us up into heaven. John 3:13 says, “And no man has ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” The Lord Jesus clearly told us that no one can ascend up to heaven except for the Son of man, for heaven is God’s dwelling place. So how can we mankind deserve to ascend up to heaven? And let’s give it some more thought. If we are really raised up into the air, well, there’s no food and no place to live there, how will we survive? Thus, it is clear that the view that God’s kingdom is in heaven is indeed our conceptions and imagination. As we all know, when God first created man, He made them live on earth, and allowed them to obey, worship and honor Him on earth. And Satan corrupts mankind, also on earth. Moreover, after man sinned, God carries out His work of the salvation of man also on earth. For example: In the Age of Law, Jehovah God used Moses to proclaim His laws and commandments to guide man to live a normal life on earth. Thus mankind could know what kind of people God blesses and what kind of people God curses, and at the same time they could know what is righteous and what is sinful. However, during the later period of the Age of Law, since the human race had become more and more deeply corrupted by Satan, man all lived in sin. They were unable to abide by the laws and faced the danger of being convicted and cursed by these laws. That is why the Lord Jesus became flesh and came to earth to do the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. He served as a sin offering for man, exempting man from the conviction and the curse of the law, so we could be qualified to come before God and pray to Him, and enjoy His abundant grace and truth. The Lord Jesus taught us to be tolerant and patient and to confess our sins and repent, so that we can have the chance to gain God’s salvation and survive on earth. From this we can see that God first created man on earth and that His work in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace was also carried out on earth. Revelation 21:2-3 say, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven…. 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.” Revelation prophesied that the new Jerusalem shall come down out of heaven. So when the Lord Jesus comes back again, the kingdom of Christ will be realized among man. In other words, the kingdom of God will be established on earth and will last forever. Thus it can be seen that God does the work of the salvation of man on earth all along. About mankind’s future destination that is on earth, God’s words say, “God will return to His original position, and each person will return to his or her respective place. These are the destinations that God and man will respectively reside in after the end of God’s entire management….
Many Christians believe the kingdom of heaven is in heaven, but in the Lord’s Prayer, the Lord clearly tells us to pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth. Then where is the Kingdom of God?
Bible Verses for Reference: “Write, Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev 19:9). “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev 22:17). “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried” (Zec 13:9). “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 7:14). “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev 22:14). “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb” (Rev 14:4). Classic Words of God: In this age, God will bring about this reality among you: that every man shall live out the word of God, shall be able to put truth into practice, and shall love God earnestly; that all men shall use the word of God as a foundation and as their reality, and have hearts of reverence for God; and that, through the practice of the word of God, man shall then wield kingly power together with God. It is this work that God is going to achieve. Can you go without reading the word of God? There are many now who feel that they cannot go even a day or two without reading the word of God. They must read His word every day, and if time does not permit, listening to His word will suffice. This is the feeling that the Holy Spirit gives man, and this is the way He begins to move man. That is, He governs man through words so that man can enter into the reality of the word of God. If, after just one day without eating and drinking of the word of God, you feel darkness and thirst and you find it unacceptable, this shows that you have been moved by the Holy Spirit, and that He has not turned away from you. You are then one who is in this stream. However, if after a day or two without eating and drinking of the word of God, you don’t feel a thing, and have no thirst, nor are you at all moved, this shows that the Holy Spirit has turned away from you. This means, then, that there is something wrong with your condition inside; you have not entered into the Age of Word, and you are someone who has fallen behind. God uses the word to govern man; you feel good if you eat and drink of the word of God, and if you do not, you will have no path to follow. The word of God becomes the food of man and the force that drives him. The Bible said that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” This is the work that God will bring to completion today. He will realize this truth in you. How is it that man in the past could go many days without reading the word of God and yet be able to eat and work as usual? And why is this not the case now? In this age, God primarily uses the word to govern all. Through the word of God, man is judged and perfected, then finally taken into the kingdom. Only the word of God can supply the life of man, and only the word of God can give man light and a path for practice, particularly in the Age of Kingdom. As long as you daily eat and drink of His word without departing from the reality of the word of God, God shall be able to make you perfect. from “The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word” Wholehearted devotion to the words of God mainly means seeking the truth, seeking God’s intention within His words, focusing on grasping the will of God, and understanding and obtaining more truth from the words of God. When reading His words, Peter was not focused on understanding doctrines and he was even less focused on obtaining theological knowledge; instead, he was focused on understanding the truth and grasping God’s will, and achieving an understanding of His disposition and His loveliness. He also tried to understand the various corrupt states of man from God’s words, and understand the corrupt nature of man and man’s true shortcomings, achieving all aspects of the demands God makes of man in order to satisfy Him. He had so many correct practices within the words of God; this is most in line with God’s will, and it is man’s best cooperation in his experience of the work of God. When experiencing the hundreds of trials from God, he examined himself strictly against every word of God’s judgment of man, every word of God’s revelation of man, and every word of His demands of man, and tried to reach for the meaning of God’s words. He tried in earnest to ponder and memorize every word that Jesus said to him, and achieved very good results. Through this way of practicing he was able to achieve an understanding of himself from God’s words, and he not only came to understand the various corrupt states of man, but he also came to understand man’s essence, man’s nature, and the various types of shortcomings that man has—this is a true understanding of oneself. From God’s words, he not only achieved a true understanding of himself, but from the things expressed in God’s word—God’s righteous disposition, what…
Only those who follow the will of the heavenly Father can enter the heavenly kingdom. Does working hard mean doing the will of the heavenly Father? This involves whether we can be raptured into the kingdom of heaven.
Every Christian is longing to enter the kingdom of God. But what are the criteria for entering the kingdom of God? Through this sermon you’ll get the answer!
Can we enter the heavenly kingdom after being justified by faith? A letter brings you to understand the true meaning of being justified by faith and find the way to enter the heavenly kingdom.
Only those who follow the heavenly Father’s will can enter the kingdom of heaven. How can we follow His will? Does laboring for the Lord mean following His will?
Many people believe the place that the Lord has prepared for us is in heaven. Actually, according to the prophecies of the Bible, it is on earth.
I believe that all true believers in the Lord expect the Lord Jesus to come to take them into the heaven soon. Some firmly believe that they will surely be taken into the kingdom of heaven by the Lord when He returns, if they work hard for Him, shepherd the church believers, and even give up their family and marriage, dedicating their all to Him. In fact, such thought is wrong. Man’s sacrifice, expenditure, hard work do not mean that he is cleansed, because he is possessed of satanic dispositions of arrogance, self-conceit, self-rightness and self-importance and can still resist God. To trace the root, originally when in the heaven, the archangel was the greatest of heaven’s angels and God authorized it to govern millions of angels. After God created mankind on earth, its ambitions were so inflated that it even desired to stand equal to God and rule over mankind on earth. In the end, it was cast into midair by God. As man was corrupted increasingly deeply, his nature became that of the archangel: arrogance and self-conceit, self-rightness and self-importance and having no place for God in his heart as well as no respect for others…. With such corrupt dispositions, man can contend with and fight against God at any time. When he first believes in God, he produces conceptions about God when seeing God’s work conflicts with his will, and even talks about and judges the Lord Jesus and His work carelessly. After he does services for a period of time, he can often testify how much work he does or how much he suffers, even regarding himself a holy man and one that pleases God because he can expound on the Bible, support the believers, work and preach for the Lord. And in the end, he thinks that he has finished his course and cast away what he should, thus he asks God for the glorious crown and a place for him in the kingdom of heaven just like Paul. … The more work one has done, the more easily he thinks highly of himself, feeling that he has the capital. As a result, he becomes more arrogant, self-right and unreasonable. The Jewish Pharisees are typical examples. They served Jehovah God in the temple for generation after generation. Considering themselves to be well versed in the law, they frequently interpreted the law amongst the Jewish people, and thus often sat in the first place of the synagogue to receive people’s respect and worship. When the Lord Jesus came to do His redemptive work, their arrogant and self-right nature was completely exposed. They did not know God’s work, and used their brain and religious knowledge and theory to resist the Lord and His work. They thought that the One to come should be called Messiah rather than Jesus, and should be born in the royal palace or a noble family rather than in a poor carpenter’s. Therefore, they regarded the Lord Jesus as a man instead of God and thus spared no effort to condemn and slander Him. Even though they listened to the Lord’s preaching, they didn’t mean to seek the truth, but just tried to find a handle to hand Him over to the Roman government for condemnation. At last, they incited and deceived the Jewish people to nail the Lord Jesus onto the cross. When the Lord Jesus did His work, the Pharisees not only refused to seek His work themselves, but deceived and controlled the Jewish people and forbad them to convert to Him, fighting against God for His chosen people as well as status. Therefore, the Lord Jesus cursed them, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matthew 23:15) “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13). The Pharisees’ evil deeds of condemning and resisting the Lord Jesus, deceiving and controlling people reveal their devilish substance of antichrists thoroughly. Eventually, they paid the due price for their maleficence and were subjected to destruction of their nation. We can see that if man does not get rid of the corrupt dispositions of arrogance, self-rightness, self-importance and conceit, they will never be able to be purified, much less will they be approved into the kingdom of heaven by the Lord even if they work hard and spend for the Lord all his life. In Leviticus 11:45, Jehovah God says, “you shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” As God is holy, if the Lord receives man with satanic dispositions to His place, will He still be a God of holiness? It is also said in Hebrews 12:14, “without which no man shall see the Lord.” The Bible says that man can see the Lord Jesus only if he is cleansed. It doesn’t say that all those who can spend and throw things out for the Lord will see Him. Therefore, to be purified is the target that man should pursue in believing in the Lord. Only when man gets purified by God, no longer lives by his satanic dispositions of arrogance, conceit, self-rightness, self-importance, and can truly do God’s will in everything, can he receive God’s approval and be fit for the kingdom of God.
Question 4: All of us have believed in the Lord for many years, and have always followed the example of Paul in our work for the Lord. We have been faithful to the name and way of the Lord, and the crown of righteousness surely awaits us. Today, we need only focus on working hard for the Lord, and watching for His return. Only thus, can we be taken into the kingdom of heaven. Because it is said in the Bible, “for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me” (Isaiah 49:23). We believe the Lord’s promise: He will take us into the kingdom of heaven at His return. Could there really be anything wrong with practicing in this way? Answer: In watching for the arrival of the Lord, most people believe that they need only work hard for the Lord, and follow the example of Paul, thus can be directly taken into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord arrives. They think it is quite right to practice in this way, and no one disagrees. Yet we who believe in God should seek the truth in all things. Though practicing in that way is in keeping with people’s conceptions, is it in keeping with God’s wishes? I think we should know: God’s words are the principles of man’s actions, they are the standard by which all people, things, and matters are measured. If people practice according to the words of God, they will surely receive God’s approval. If they go against the words of God, and practice according to their own conceptions and imaginings, then they will surely be detested and rejected by God. As to whether or not people can be directly taken into the kingdom of heaven by watching and waiting and working hard for the Lord, let us look at what the Lord Jesus said in Matthew, “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23). In the words of the Lord Jesus we see that the Lord Jesus only said “but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.” He did not say that all those who are faithful to the Lord Jesus’ name and work hard for the Lord will be rewarded, and enter into the kingdom of heaven. Is this not fact? If, as in people’s conceptions, all those who keep the Lord’s name and work hard for Him will enter into the kingdom of heaven, why did the Lord Jesus say that those who preached and cast out devils in the Lord’s name committed evil? This shows that working hard for the Lord is not necessarily the same as doing the will of God. Many people work hard for the Lord so that they might be blessed, and not for truly obeying God. Their satanic disposition is still there. They still have conceptions about God, and still disobey, oppose, and condemn Him. Some even hate the truth, like the Pharisees. No matter how hard they work for the Lord, how could such people do the will of God? Such people oppose God in nature. To enter into the kingdom of heaven simply by working hard for the Lord, this is intolerable to Heaven! Don’t you agree? So how do we do God’s will? Doing God’s will means that people obey the work of God, view putting God’s word into practice as above all else, and obeying God as above all else. Thus, they can abide by God’s commandments, perform their duty as required by God, and truly dedicate themselves to God, without thought of what they might gain in return. All they do is to put the truth into practice and to obey God. Only then are they doing God’s will. We have seen many people though they work hard for the Lord and make great sacrifices, they do so to be rewarded, and enter the kingdom of heaven to enjoy rich blessings. It is not to love God and obey Him. Such devotion to God is nothing more than making a deal with Him. Despite working hard for God, many people have never put the truth into practice, nor do they exalt or testify to God. Instead, they often make an idol of themselves, and make others worship and follow them. Everything they do is to maintain their own position and income. Are such people those who put God’s words into practice and obey God? Are they those who do the will of God? Such people serve God yet oppose Him, they are the hypocritical Pharisees. It can be said that they are evildoers. How could people like this be qualified to enter into the kingdom of heaven? From this we see that those who work hard on the surface for the Lord, but have never put the truth into practice, are not exalting and testifying to God for loving Him and carrying out His will. Can such people do the will of God? Those who work hard for the Lord in order to receive His blessings and enter the kingdom of heaven, but have no change in their life disposition and still oppose God are the ones like the Pharisees, pretending to be good and will be cursed by God the Lord! Almighty God says, “I decide the destination of each man not on the basis of age, seniority, amount of suffering, or least of all, the degree of misery, but on whether they possess truth. There is no other choice but this. You must realize that all those who do not follow the will of God will be punished. This is an immutable…
Can I Enter the Kingdom of Heaven Only by Working Hard but Not Being Purified? Entering the kingdom of heaven is the goal I will pursue all my life. To this end, I often read Bible, preach the gospel and work hard for the Lord. It pays to pay more price because I can enter God’s kingdom to enjoy wonderful blessings together with the Lord. However, I find that I still often commit sins: I cannot help but judge others if what they did does not conform to my will; I hate my son when I can’t handle him. Gradually, I feel a little bit confused: Can I enter the kingdom of heaven by working hard but not pursuing to be purified? How can I enter the kingdom of heaven? For this, I often examined the scripture. Finally, I found a way to enter the kingdom of heaven according to one word of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesussaid, “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). “Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come to me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). Only following God’s will and becoming as little children, can man enter the kingdom of heaven. But, another question has arisen: I shouldn’t take “as little children” literally, then what does it mean? I had searched the answer for a long time. I didn’t find it in a book until very recently. It says, “those who are pure; those who are open; those who are honest; those who are not controlled by any person, thing, or matter; those who are childlike in appearance though they are mature in life, these ones are My beloved, the objects of My blessing” (“The Sixty-ninth Utterance”). “you ought to know that God likes an honest man. God has the substance of faithfulness, and so His word can always be trusted. Furthermore, His actions are faultless and unquestionable. This is why God likes those who are absolutely honest with Him. Honesty means to give your heart to God; to never play Him false in anything; to be open with Him in all things, never cover the truth; to never do that which deceives those above and deludes those below; and to never do that which is done merely to ingratiate yourself with God. In short, to be honest is to refrain from impurity in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man” (Three Admonitions). I got to know after reading these words, “as little children” in the kingdom of heaven refers to the honest. God’s substance is faithful, so He requires us to be honest. Whether saying or doing, we should act in harmony with God’s will and be an honest person who satisfies Him. Comparing these words with myself in real life, I displayed many behaviors that are dishonest. God has been wholeheartedly devoted to us mankind and requires us to love Him with sincerity. Thinking back on my years spent following God, I realize that all my sacrifices were paid for blessings and entering the kingdom of heaven, not for carrying out the responsibilities of a created being. Believing in God with making deals with Him is dishonest. Besides, when I get along with others, I also have lots of dishonest behaviors. Seeing that my co-workers are whispering, I guess whether they’re talking about me or have any opinions of me. In the church, I’m usually afraid of giving offense to others. Whenever the pastors and elders say something that doesn’t accord with the Lord’s teachings, I dare not come forward with what I see. Whenever brothers and sisters don’t follow the Lord’s way or live in sins, I won’t point it out but turn a blind eye to them. Even though I speak, I say half of it, and hold on to the rest, monitoring their expressions and then speaking accordingly. When I volunteer for the church, I’m doing it for show. I always have a chip on my shoulder about not having been known by others. All of the above should not be treated as honest actions. Even in my prayers, I don’t speak to God from the heart but promise Him the moon. Isn’t this tantamount to deceiving God? Not purified, how can I enter the kingdom of heaven? Because God is holy, and He doesn’t allow those who are impure to enter His kingdom. I realize that we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven if our sins are not purified. What Is the Way to Be Honest? One day, I chatted online with a friend in Christ. We talked about this topic. I got some enlightenment through her fellowship. At that moment, she read me a paragraph of words, “All that you do, every action, every intent, and every reaction must be brought before God. Even your daily spiritual life—your prayers, your closeness with God, eating and drinking of God’s words, fellowship with your brothers and sisters, living the life of the church, and your service in partnership—must be brought before God and observed by Him. It is such practice that will help you mature in life. The process of accepting God’s observation is the process of purification. The more you accept God’s observation, the more you are purified, and the more you are in accord with God’s will, so that you will not hear the call of debauchery and dissipation, and your heart will live in His presence. The more you accept His observation, the more ashamed Satan is and the more you are able to forsake the flesh. So, the acceptance of God’s observation is a path people must practice. No matter what you do, even during fellowship with your brothers and sisters, if you bring your acts before God and seek His observation, and if your intent is to obey…
Only when we pursue genuinely, remove our corruption and no longer believe in God according to our satanic dispositions, conceptions, and notions, and live by God’s words and truly obey God in everything, can we be approved by God and be brought into His kingdom.