Where Is the Kingdom of Heaven?
One day on my return flight to America, I felt bored, so I opened the to read. A lady next to me asked, “Are you a believer in the Lord?” I said, “Yes. All four generations of my family are believers in the Lord. Do you also believe in the Lord?” She replied, “Right!” “What a coincidence!” I said, “Thanks be to the Lord!” Learning that she also believed in the Lord , I was very glad. Then we launched into a talk about the condition of the churches. The sister asked me, “How about the condition of your church?” I answered, “Alas! I don’t know what’s wrong with me these years. I have no enjoyment at the meetings. Inland churches and overseas churches are in the same boat. I even don’t want to attend the service. When I thought back on the past, the gatherings were very good, and my father was a preacher at that time. We had great enjoyment in the gatherings all day. Unfortunately, such gatherings are little more than a memory now.” The sister said, “The churches are all in such a condition because the prophecies concerning the Lord’s return have come into reality. The Lord has already returned.” “Oh, the Lord has come back? But why didn’t we meet Him? If He really is back, we should have been raptured into the of heaven.” I said with confusion, and then opened the Bible, “The Lord Jesus once said, ‘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). The Lord Jesus has prepared a place for us in heaven. He will bring us directly into the kingdom of heaven when He comes again. If the Lord has already come, why are we still on earth and not taken into heaven?”
The sister said, “It is true that the Lord Jesus promised us He would prepare a place for us. Yet we should be clear that never did the Lord say He would take us to heaven in the future.”
I said, “Are you saying the place that the Lord prepares for us is not in heaven? In Matthew 4:17, the Lord , ‘Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Isn’t the kingdom of heaven in heaven?”
The sister replied gently, “Many believers think that the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven to prepare a place for man, so God’s kingdom is in heaven. However, is the place the Lord prepares for man truly in heaven or on earth? Let’s see the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught us, ‘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). And Revelation 21:2-3 says, ‘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 11:15 says, ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.’ From these verses, we can see that the Lord Jesus has already told us plainly that God’s kingdom will come down on earth and that His will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. He never said the kingdom He would prepare for us was in heaven.”
I said, “What you say sounds reasonable. These verses all refer to God’s kingdom descending upon earth. But in terms of the Lord going to prepare a place and then coming to take us, He obviously ascended to heaven for the preparation!”
Then the sister continued to say, “We all know that man created by God in the beginning lived in the Garden of Eden. Think about it: Was the Garden of Eden in heaven or on earth? Besides, after man was corrupted by Satan, is God’s work of saving mankind in heaven or on earth? Thus we can know whether God’s kingdom is in heaven or on earth. Let’s see Genesis 2:7-8, ‘And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground…. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.’ Genesis 1:28-29, ‘And God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.’ We can see from here that all things God created are on earth. After making man out of the dust of the ground, God allowed man to live in the Garden of Eden, and wishes them to be fruitful and multiply on earth. What’s more, He gives man every herb bearing seed and all fruits of trees yielding seeds on earth as their food, and allows them to enjoy and manage all things created by Him on earth. These are God’s intention in creating man and His requirements for man.”
I thought: Oh! I have read the Bible for many years; why didn’t I understand this? God’s creating man in the beginning is to let them live on earth.
I said, “Sister, what you say does make sense. God created man, allows man to live on earth and govern all things. It seems that God’s kingdom is on earth. Your fellowship is so great! Where did you learn these?”
The sister said happily, “Praise God! I learned all these from the words expressed by . Let me recite a passage of Almighty to you. Almighty God says, ‘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. God has God’s , and man has man’s destination. While resting, God will continue to guide all of humanity in their lives upon earth. While in God’s light, man will worship the one true God in heaven. … When humanity enters into rest, it means that man has become a true creation; humanity will from upon the earth and have normal human lives. People will no longer be disobedient to God or resist God; they will return to the original life of Adam and Eve. These are the respective lives and destinations of God and humanity after they enter into rest. Satan’s defeat is an inevitable trend in the war between God and Satan. In this way, God’s entering into rest after the completion of His management work and man’s complete salvation and entrance into rest likewise become inevitable trends. Man’s place of rest is on earth, and God’s place of rest is in heaven. While man rests, he will worship God and also live upon earth, and while God rests, He will lead the remaining portion of humanity …’ (“God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words tell us clearly that God and man will enter into rest after the completion of God’s management work; God’s place of rest is in heaven while man’s place of rest is on earth; humanity will only worship the God in heaven from upon the earth. At that time, man will truly enter a wonderful destination that God has prepared for him. That is to say, man will return to a wonderful life like that in the Garden of Eden. Actually, the Lord Jesus’ promise that He will prepare a place for us means that God become flesh descends upon earth in a hidden way in the last days; at the same time, He has predetermined us to be born in the last days and welcome His return on earth. When we accept Almighty God’s end-time work, and have been purified, saved, made overcomers by Him, we will have actually been raptured to God’s kingdom.”
I said excitedly, “Praise Almighty God! It is Almighty that has corrected my mistaken knowledge of years. I have been living in a vague belief, and even dreaming to go to heaven and enjoy good blessings. Now I’ve finally understood that only by accepting God’s work in the last days can we enter God’s kingdom. I am willing to investigate Almighty God’s work in the last days.”
The sister said, “Thanks be to God! I can meet you here, and to God’s end-time work to you. This is really God’s sovereignty and arrangement. I’ll give you my phone number so that we can make an appointment in the future.”
I replied readily, “Great! We shall be landing soon. This is my phone number in the United States. I’ll get to learn about when I am free.”
The sister smiled warmly, saying, “Good! This is the official website of the Church of Almighty God. You can visit it directly. There are Almighty God’s utterances, and various videos testifying to God’s work in the last days, like films, songs and dances, and so on. And there are also the testimonies of the overcomers. The content is very rich. You can browse it freely.”
I said with excitement, “Praise God! That’s great!”
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