What is the significance of the terms

What is the significance of the terms “Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 32) and “Kingdom of God” ("1 Corinthians 15:24)?

The expression “Kingdom of God” does not actually occur in 1 Corinthians 15:24, but I believe the Kingdom there referred to is the same to all intents and purposes as that proclaimed by John the Baptist. Any godly Jew, versed in the Old Testament Scriptures and especially Daniel’s prophecy, knew that God had transferred the Kingdom from Israel, for their sins, to the four great Gentile Powers—Babylon, MedoPersia, Greece and Rome, the last of which was exercising its sway at the time of the Baptist’s mission. It would also be known from Daniel that the next event on the divine programme was to be the smiting and total destruction of the great-powers, regarded in their integrity as an image, by the stone cut out without hands, to be followed by the “setting up of a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed,” and “which shall not be left to other people,”—”it shall stand for ever.”

What else could a godly Jew understand then by John’s proclamation, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand,” but that God was about to introduce His, the fifth Kingdom, upon earth? For that, God had His King ready, but the King was also the Lamb of God—for atonement must be made, the only ground on which the Kingdom could ever be set up on this sin-stained earth. Had the Jewish nation received the post-pentecostal testimony to the resurrection of the Lord, God would have sent back the Lord Jesus to destroy His enemies and set up His millennial Kingdom.

It is that Kingdom to which reference is made in 1 Corinthians 15:24, at the close of which the Lord will put down all His enemies—human and angelic—and then deliver up the Kingdom to God, purged of every “evil concurrent.” This will not be as is so often mistakenly asserted, in the sense of ceasing to reign, for the millennial reign will only be the first stage of the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, but in the sense of restoring it to Him. Then no less than before, God will be (not become) All in All, and the Lord will reign as universal King. God’s throne will for ever be the throne of God and the Lamb.

W.H.