Heaven the Kingdom of God
What Did Jesus Really Say and Teach?
By: Steven R.Walker
Most Christians believe in life after death. Their faith teaches that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, was unjustly accused, sentenced to death, and crucified on the cross. His blood was spilled to wash away the sins of all who believe and accept Him. He was the perfect sacrifice that ushered in the Age of Grace in the New Testament, from the Laws of Moses in the Old Testament after he descended to Hell, and was resurrected three days later. To understand, believe and accept this story is the basis for all Christianity.
The history of Christianity is extremely rich in fact and fiction. It has many facets and aspects that would take a lifetime to explore, even if one were to eliminate all of the various Christian Denominations that exist and simply focus on the fundamentals. However, in order to glean a base understanding of such fundamentals, it is extremely important and necessary to focus on one particular subject at a time in the evangelical Christian culture. This particular paper was based on a question posed by a born-again Christian young lady, who asked the following:
“If you were to die right now, are you 100% sure that your soul would go to heaven?”
It is my desire that not only will the reader learn the true answer, as given by the Christian Bible, but will also begin to see how the truth of the answer found, begins shedding light on common misconceptions of Christian beliefs.
Furthermore, the reader should be able to see the how Jesus's teachings parallel and are synchronous to various truths also found in Ancient Eastern Philosophies. Fortunately, spiritual truth is all around us, and in all religions. To use a biblical analogy, we only have to separate the wheat from the chaff, to personally see the light at the end of the tunnel of truth. May your journey for awareness be blessed, so that you may always discern truth from lies, and the endless shades of gray.
John 3:13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven."
Jesus clearly tells us that no one has 'ascended' to Heaven, except He who came down from Heaven, which of course, was Him. But Jesus was physically there talking to the people. He was physically on the Earth speaking these words, and yet, He said that He was also in Heaven at the same time. This could be interpreted and explained in a couple of different ways:
1. Jesus was referring to God the Father, who was in Heaven as Jesus spoke. Since Jesus and the Father are considered one in the same in most evangelical faiths, the Lord was in both places simultaneously.
2. Another possibility is to think about the word 'ascended,' as used in this particular scripture, in a spiritual sense. Meaning that Jesus “ascended” because he was spiritually enlightened in knowledge, understanding and wisdom. This is very different than what Christians would normally tend to think and accept. Usually, they take this to mean that Jesus literally rose upwards (ascended) to Heaven.
Note #1 - It’s important to understand that what Jesus is teaching us here about ascension is completely different than rising up in the 'resurrection,' which occurs much later after His death and has a completely different idea, and meaning.
It is explanation number Two, that is in fact, what Jesus was truly saying. He was referring to His own personal spiritual ascension in understanding, knowledge, and wisdom. He was the Master, and perfect. Simply put, no one else was His equal at the time. However, He did offer an explanation and taught people a way to know the Kingdom of God spiritually.
This is shown in scripture:
John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
As we saw above, no man has actually gone to Heaven. To enter into the Kingdom of God, a man must first be born of water (which simply means to be physically born), and then born of spirit. This is then explained, but most often misunderstood, as we shall see soon.
Fortunately, all of us can experience the Kingdom of God here and now, while we are experiencing this lifetime on Earth. In fact, that is the whole point and idea of spiritual birth and growth. Jesus clearly said this to those around Him the day he spoke the following words:
Mark 9:1 And He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God present with power."
These words were not only true then, but are still true for each one of us today. To further illustrate that the kingdom of God isn't a place you literally ascend or rise up and go to, nor a place you can literally see, we can read more.
Luke 17:20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The Kingdom of God does not come with observation;
And Jesus went on,
Luke 17:21 nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the Kingdom. of God is within you."
The Kingdom of God is inside of each and every one of us. It is your personal and individual spirit within your very being. Like your body, it too requires attention, nutrition and energy in order to grow. Your studies, prayers, and meditations allow you to 'ascend' within yourself, spiritually. By doing so, you grow in faith, hope and love, which is encouraged in all faiths:
1Corithians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
All three of these are important, but as the verse says, Love is above all. This is more easily understood when we think about the very nature of God.
1John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
Yes, God is Love! Here we see one more affirmation that as we grow spiritually, faith leads us to believe and more importantly, 'Know,' that as long as we abide in Love, then God (Love) abides in us. The kingdom of God is most certainly within us, because of our individual decisions of choice to abide in and through Love.
However, let’s not forget that Hope and Faith are important too. Most, if not everyone reading this can understand why Hope is so important and necessary. It provides us with that glimmer we all need when life and times seem pointless and lost. Hope fortifies faith, and reminds us of love when we need it most. Hope is like a wish you desperately want to be true. Faith is taking that next step within your soul, making a choice and believing the wish to be true. Finally, Love is the knowledge, the “knowing,” that your hope and faith is true.
When we allow ourselves to grow spiritually like Jesus taught, we then strive to abide in Love. We become determined, which is a freewill choice. Our soul then chooses the kingdom of God (Love) to abide within us. Once we make that choice, we allow our spirit to grow and flourish, because we simply allowed love to enter and reside.
Read Note #2 at the end of this paper.
Once you choose to allow this to happen, then faith, hope and love are no longer intangible things that cannot be seen or felt. That’s why the bible teaches that faith without works is pointless. You may have hope, and you may have faith, but if you don’t have anything to show for that hope and faith, then what’s the point? You forgot the last and most important step, Love. Only through your belief built on Love, will you take action and accomplish anything. In fact, Jesus told us that all things are possible if you can believe:
Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, 'If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.'
Jesus also said this in a slightly different way:
Mark 10:27 But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."
Let's look at this from a slightly different perspective by changing one word:
Mark 10:27 But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with Love; for with Love all things are possible."
Once again, Jesus shows us that with God/Love, all things are possible. Your every thought, and feeling, wishes and desires, healing and miracles can and will be done. It is so simple. All you have to do is understand what Jesus was really trying to teach us. The kingdom of God is within you. God is Love, and all you have to do is believe it.
How is this done? As I mentioned above, we study, we read, we pray, and we meditate. Through this, we allow Love to abide in us, which is where the kingdom really resides. But don't take my word for it; once again, the Bible spells it out plain and simple:
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Well then, what is the 'Word of God?' Is it the Bible? What does the Bible call the 'Word?'
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Straight, and to the point: Jesus is the Word, the Word was with Love, and the Word was Love. What we have been studying here are the very words of Jesus, who is the first original Word. Thus, I would strongly suggest that anything Jesus then uttered should be taken very seriously.
Not only did Jesus then say that all things are possible, but He also said that for those who understand and believe these things, they would do even greater things than Jesus Himself did! And to top it off, he verified once again the simple truth of what this paper has attempted to shed the light of truth on:
John 14:11 "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”
John 14:12 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”
God, and the kingdom of God, is in you. Simply put, it is Love! That is why Jesus said, it is not a place, …'See here!' or 'See there!' Jesus affirms the simple truth that He is in God, and God is in Him, and all we have to do is believe. Jesus also reaffirmed this truth by commanding only two things from people: Love God, and Love your neighbor. When these two commandments are followed, all else falls into place.
Unfortunately, for those people who do not understand this simple truth, Jesus has something to say to them too:
Luke 8:10 And he said, "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.”
Jesus continues on to say:
Luke 8:11 "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.”
Yes, the seed in the parable needs to grow within you, within all of us, because once again, the kingdom. of God and all that it encompasses is not a place we go to. It is already here; inside each of us, just waiting to be tended to, watered and fed. If you do this my friends, you will watch yourself grow spiritually in the truth that only Love can provide.
The seed is the Word of God, God is Love, Love is Truth, Truth is Light, Light is Energy, Energy is Life, Life Produces, a seed is made, a cycle repeats.
See the wonder here? God is part of us, as we are part of God. It is never-ending (Eternal). It has endless lives (Infinite).
Love is the Light that feeds our spirits. If not, then you truly do not believe, not because you don’t want to, but because you can’t. The only limitations of faith are those that we each choose to restrain ourselves within. Therein lies Free-Will and the ability for infinite experiences.
Remember, Jesus said that YOU have the ability to do even greater things than even He himself did. The choice is ultimately your free-will.
1. God the Holy Ghost - The Eternal Love that Binds all that Exists. the Common Link. Eternal. (Spirit)
2. God the Father – The Creator: The Free-Will Mind that Thinks,
Decides and Chooses. Infinite. (Soul)
3. God the Son – The Word: Physical ability to take Action.
Finite, Temporary. (Body)
Another very important distinction to be recognized here is that the two words, Mind and Soul, are the same thing. These two words can correctly be used interchangeably. Some, if not most people reading this may pause here to try to make sense out of this. Others, because they simply disagree and it goes against the grain of everything they had thought and were taught. However, let me point out one particular scripture in order to prove that, indeed, our spirit, soul and bodies, are different and separate.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray to God that your whole Spirit and Soul and Body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I hope you found this paper informative and interesting. If nothing else, I hope that whatever your personal faith and beliefs may be, you have seen just how important Love really is for all of us. I personally “know” it to be the fundamental truth that powers and drives all of life and all that exists.
The Christian bible not only says that God is Love, but it also says that God is Light. Many other religions have similar beliefs. One day, as we allow Love into our minds and bodies more so than we do now, we will eventually begin to see the parallels between spirituality and physical science.
For example: If God is Love, and Love is Light, and Light is Energy, and Energy is measured across the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum, then one day we will be able to measure God. Perhaps we already do, but our perspective is blinded or skewed. Either way, it is thought that the short wavelength limit of the (EM) spectrum is in the vicinity of the Planck length, which is a fraction of the size of an individual atom, and the long wavelength limit is the size of the universe itself, which by definition, is infinite and eternal.
Thank you for reading this paper, and keep in mind that as I continue my spiritual meditation, creative thinking and physical research, I am constantly expanding and clarifying these thoughts, ideas, into knowns.
By: Steven R. Walker
Scriptures and references:
The Open Bible
By Thomas Nelson Publishers
King James Version
The Life Application Bible
By Tyndale House Publishers
New King James Version
The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of The Bible
By Thomas Nelson Publishers
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