This is a subject that most of us have thought about at some point in our life. What is the Kingdom of Heaven, and where is the Kingdom of Heaven?
To answer these questions, I did a bible search on “kingdom of heaven,” and I was surprised at what I found. That phrase is only used 32 times, all in the book of Matthew. The word heaven alone, is used 551 times throughout the bible. The majority of heaven references refer to the sky above, or as the “holy habitation” of God. There are also many references to things coming down from heaven, but few about going up to heaven. I might add that hell is only mentioned 54 times throughout the bible.
When I was going through the effects of child abuse, I saw life from a mortal point of view, and my life was a disaster. That was hell. When I was in transition, my human point of view was evolving, and I was starting to see life from a better perspective. My earlier blogs are all about that transitional stage of my life. Heaven is a spiritual habitat, a state of mind. I try to view life from the divine point of view now, which keeps me in a spiritual state of mind most of the time. I believe that as long as I am in this experience, I will always be in transition.
I was amazed at what I found in my bible search. Three times Jesus said, “Repent (think again) for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” That tells me that it is here now, it is not necessary to wait for it. Twelve times Jesus prefaced his stories with, “The kingdom of heaven is like…” If you read these stories and parables, they are all about attaining a spiritual state of mind.
When Jesus said, “…and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.” based on all his other statements, I have to believe that means, not that we will go someplace and sit with them in the afterlife, but that we will be like-minded, in a spiritual state of mind with them now, or as Jesus put it, “at hand.”
Spiritually we are already in heaven. If we live, move, and have our being IN God, we have never been separated from God’s holy habitation, heaven. Humanly we have to work at it.
Jesus came to teach us about God and the Kingdom of Heaven. In the Lord’s prayer, he states, “Give us this day our daily bread;” Mrs. Eddy interprets that as “Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;” Humanly she knew we were hungry for the Truth.
So, let us talk about bread here.
“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.” John 6:32-34
“Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:49-51
Those two quotes say a lot. They tell me that bread (message) comes from God, in the form of Jesus. When they refer to “breaking bread,” it means explaining the message. Manna, the bread from the mortal point of view, does not give life, but the living bread from the divine point of view that Jesus gave us gives us eternal life. He taught us that God’s image and likeness is spiritual, not mortal. It is up to us to manifest that spiritual life here and now, and to follow Jesus’ example, to express God’s qualities, and to live for all humanity as he did.
“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” Psalms 139:7-12
It seems clear to me in that context, that “ascend up into heaven” means to elevate our thought or consciousness to the divine point of view, where “make my bed in hell,” is the mortal point of view.
I discovered that God is always with me, no matter where I am in my thought. It is up to me to chose, do I live from the divine point of view, where God gives me all the ideas and direction I need, or do I flounder in the mortal point of view, like a fish out of water, trying to find peace, without guidance. When we chose God, he is there for us, just waiting for us to take his hand.
Jesus also said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 18:1 Children are so humble, receptive, and eager to learn. I believe he meant we had to enter that child like state of mind, where we are open to new ideas, to enter the spiritual state of mind.
So, let us repent, (think again) about what and where the Kingdom of Heaven is; we do not have to wait, it is at hand.
Have a good day! Michele