What Is The Kingdom Of Heaven?

God's House

Copyright 2000 vveasey

11/19/09

(All Quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible)

You’ve heard a lot about the kingdom of heaven but do you know what or where the kingdom of heaven is?

I would say that most of you think it’s a place. Some place all good Christians go when they cast off this mortal shell (die).


Well let’s see what Jesus has to say on the subject

Let’s examine how he explains what the kingdom of heaven or God is in a few verses attributed to him in the New Testament.

We find him attempting to give people an idea of what the kingdom is in these words,

Luke 13:18 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? And whereunto shall I resemble it?Luke 13:19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it. Luke 13:20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?Luke 13:21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

In verse one Jesus asks, what is the kingdom of God like? Like means what’s it similar to. He asks what does it resemble? Resemble means what something looks like. (When you resemble someone you look like them or similar to them.) In verse two he says, the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed or something that grows like a seed, from it’s seed-state into tree or something like a tree, big enough for birds to nest in.


He’s obviously speaking symbolically because mustard seeds don’t grow into trees! He’s making the point that the kingdom of heaven resembles something organic, something that can develop from something insignificant into to something significant. So is he talking about a place?

But let’s look at some other verses, to see if I’m on the right track, or if I’m way out in outer space in my approach to the subject! Let’s look at some verses from Matthew as a comparison and to provide a little more ammo for those of you who think I’m just tripping out!

Mat 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: Mat 13:25 But while the man slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

Mat 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.Mat 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

Mat 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? Mat 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn".

My Symbolical Look At The Kingdom

Ok! In verse one Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a man (intelligent like a human) who sowed a good seed in his field. Again we have the imagery of the seed, of something that can go through a process of development and change. He’s saying it’s like a man; it can reason and think. (The man told his servants that an enemy planted bad seeds among the good)Jesus says the kingdom is like a man who uses good judgment or wisdom.

He tells his servants not to pull up the bad seedlings because they may accidentally pull up the good seedlings too. He tells them to wait until the harvest then they can separate the mature plants from the weeds (tares).) So is Jesus talking about a place? Do you know of a place that can reason and make choices like a man? I don’t think so. But let’s look further,

Mat 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Mat 13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

This is just a repeat of the text found in Luke. I don’t think any further comment on it is necessary. Let’s try another one,

Mat 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like leaven. Like Leaven? (We even have an interesting synonymy between heaven and leaven. They’re virtually the same word with interchangeable first letters.) The kingdom of heaven is like something that can be hidden in something else and has the power to alter that something's original state (the rising of the meal). So does it sound like he’s saying the kingdom of heaven is a place?

(It’s interesting that Jesus says three measures of meal. Three or the trinity symbolizes the three levels of human development:

Child, Adult, and Parent. And the three levels of developmental time: Past, Present, and Future. Or in the ancient spiritual systems the three degrees of knowledge or spiritual attainment: hindsight, insight, and foresight. 3 also symbolizes the 3 degrees of spiritual transformation purification, initiation and perfection. And of course, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost).
Let’s continue,

Mat 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; that which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

Jesus says the kingdom is similar to a treasure hidden in a field. Like something hidden, that you find, that’s more valuable than anything else you have; and you're willing to all other values for this one invaluable possession.
Let’s go on,

Mat 13:45 again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Mat 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Here Jesus says again that the kingdom is like a man, this time like a merchant, who found an expensive pearl (or the treasure hidden in the field) and sold all he had to buy it. He says the kingdom is like an intelligent man who can discriminate between things of greater and lesser value. This is virtually the same idea as in Mathew 13:44.

Mat 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Mat 13:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

This time Jesus says the kingdom is like a net cast into the sea, catching all kinds of sea life. This is the same idea as the field with the good and bad seeds growing in it. In the field symbolism they separate the good from the bad plants. In this one, they separate the good from the bad sea life and throw the bad sea life away.

So I ask you again does the kingdom of heaven sound like it’s place to you? And for those of you who’ll say, yeah! You may be right about the kingdom of heaven, but the kingdom of God is different from the kingdom of heaven. Well this next one’s for you!

"Mar 4:30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?
Mar 4:31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: Mar 4:32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

So you see here in Mark, Jesus is using the same analogy that’s in Luke 13:19 and Mathew 13:31 except this time, he uses the phrase the kingdom of god instead of the kingdom of heaven. (As he does in Luke also for those of you who didn’t catch it the first time around). The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are interchangeable terms for the same thing or experience!
I don't want to bore you but let’s look at a few more verses,

Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Here it sounds like Jesus is talking about a place called the kingdom of heaven, because his talks about being great and lest in the kingdom of heaven and of entering the kingdom of heaven, but considering what you’ve read so far is he?
Read on,

Mat 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Here Jesus says go preaching saying the kingdom is at hand! At hand means it’s here now! As proof that it’s at hand he says, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils. These were the signs that let his followers know that the kingdom was present there and then, because those things couldn’t be done under normal circumstances.

I "hate" to keep belaboring the point but is Jesus talking about a place?


Putting The Pieces Of The Puzzle Together

See if you can put all the pieces of this puzzle together and see what picture it presents to you. In the meantime take a look at how I put the puzzle together and the picture it presents to me. I know this is long piece but bear with me a while longer it may be worth your wile!

So if the kingdom of heaven isn’t a place what is it? Let’s look at Jesus' descriptions of the kingdom spiritually or symbolically.

The mustard seed represents the mind in its immature spiritual state. The tree represents the mind in its mature spiritual state. The birds represent the spiritual awakening of the mind. (Birds are creatures of the air. They fly through the air like thoughts fly through the mind. Air represents spirit because although it’s invisible and vital to life.)

The growth of the mustard seed represents the growth of the mind, from spiritual immaturity to spiritual maturity with all its spiritual powers developed (the birds nesting in the tree). (Luke 13:19)

The man who planted the good seeds and could discern the difference between the good and the bad seedlings. Represents how spiritual wisdom can sort-out the good from the bad thoughts in the mind (the field). And can detect and root-out bad thoughts planted in the mind by someone else (the enemy planting tares among the wheat while the man slept). (Matt 13:24)

The leaven, leavening the 3 measures of meal until it was all leavened, illustrates how a little wisdom can cause the whole mind to expand until its completely developed through the total process of spiritual development; childhood, adulthood, parenthood; hindsight, insight, foresight; purification, initiation and perfection. (Luke 13:21)

The treasure hidden in the field and the pearl of great price, illustrate how spiritual wisdom is hidden in the mind and how once we discover it, it’s the one thing we should value more than anything else. (Matt 13:44) (Matt 13:45)

The net cast in the sea illustrates how the mind is like a net that catches all kinds of good and bad thoughts and how spiritual wisdom can sort the good from the bad thoughts. (Matt 13:47)

The kingdom of heaven appears to be an expanded mode of spiritual wisdom where those so expanded (have entered the kingdom) can heal and do things considered impossible to us in our normal mode of awareness. (Mat 10:7)

But if you still think the kingdom of God or Heaven is a place, please write and publish your own article showing how you see it; how it all makes sense and how the facts in the text support your conclusion!

But to seal the deal here's one last quote from Jesus that proves the kingdom is not a place.

"Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you".

May the Light never cease to Lighten your mind!

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Comments 7 comments

Julion 6 years ago

I agree that believing in the kingdom of God will bring spiritual enlightenment for individuals, but the Kingdom of God is God's actual Kingdom or God's sovereignty. When Jesus told the Pharisees that the kingdom is within you, he could not have meant it was literally inside them because he called the Pharisees hypocrites(Matt15:7), but he meant it was among you.

To emphasize this Daniel 2:44 tells us that in our day God will set up a kingdom that will crush and put an end to other kingdoms, we realize that our mere minds can't do this. The kingdoms that God will crush are those of the earth, which are under the authority of Satan (Luke 4:5-6). Satan has questioned and tarnished God's universal sovereignty from the beginning of mankind, because of his envy of wanting his own kingdom/rulership. Fittingly at Matt 13:38-39 Jesus explains the illustration saying satan is the enemy and at verses 41-43 it shows how persons of lawlessness will be cast away and the righteous will be able to shine in the kingdom of [THEIR FATHER]. In other words when the wicked ones, who like Satan dont agree w/God's right to rule, are destroyed, God's sovereignty will be firmly established on the earth.

To those righteous ones inheriting God's kingdom it is like a fine pearl.


mwafriqa 6 years ago

El-veasey i almost closed this page but decided to read along just a little further...and then received a great blessing for the day.

U see all day 2day i was agonizing over how the Kingdom of heaven looks like. Like you for a while now in my journey i have realized that the Kingdom of heaven is not a physical place.... but the pieces of the puzzle were not complete. So thru google i found ur page and as i read through a great revelation occurred to me.

Lets Imagine the universe as a body say a human body, All that wee see in this universe is all part of the one body, each may appear different and/or separate but constitute a part of the whole. In this body each part has a unique function that serves the body, some are thumbs others middle fingers, others toes and so on but all work to serve the one body. So then everything we see dogs, cows, lions, water, trees, fishes, etc are part of this great body but each with a different function serving the same body.

Now one of the parts of this body(universe) is called humans, unlike the rest this part is...conscious! Its consciousness however does not make it special, its just like the eye...the fact that it sees the leg does not make it more special than the leg...does it. They all have different functions and roles but all the while serving the same body. (kindly keep following this is actually going somewhere)

Now this conscious body part (lets call it the hand of the body)wanted to experience itself. It knew itself..of its beauty, its amazing power, creativity and so on but could not experience these things because they were all it ever knew. If you have read the law of relativity you will understand this principle e.g. if all of us were born rich and poverty was not known to any of us then there would be no pleasure found in riches. Kind of like lighting a candle in the brightness of the sun...the candle needs darkness to experience its light. So to experience what it is, the hand (man) chose to know what it was not (remember the tree incident at Eden) but knowing what it was not meant that its consciousness fell from what it was...to that which it was not and after a while (generations) the hand could no longer remember what it was. It forgot that it was part of the body, it forgot that other parts of the body were also part of itself, it forgot it had unlimited power, it felt naked yet other parts of the body did not see a reason to cover themselves, it felt weak and inadequate and so to compensate it became greedy and selfish

And thus the plight of the hand(man)began. After a while the hand also forgot that it had willingly chosen this path to experience itself and so it got stuck in its situation. After sending enough messengers to remind the hand what it was, the body realized the hand was so stuck in its own delusion/forgetfulness that to save it the body had to send its own word into the hands' consciousness to remind the hand what it was and that it belonged to the body (the kingdom of heaven).

So now through the word (Jesus) the hand has a chance to re-member (bring back together with) the rest of the body, when it does so its consciousness will rise back into the body (kingdom of heaven as described in the verses you quoted)then it will know its unique function that the body has assigned it, it will see itself in other hands...not see them as different people, races, tribes, religions. It will see other parts of the body (animals, plants, planets) as parts of itself, and so the entire body (universe) will conspire to support what it (the hand) chooses to do as it will be doing so to serve the entire body. Greatest of all it will once again realize its limitless, boundless and infinite power, and perform the miracles that Jesus mentioned.

Sorry for the long story...i hope it makes as much sense to you as it has made to me. I think due to many translations and interpretations the bible has lost a significant portion of its meaning...so when the english bible version says kingdom...perhaps in the hebrew context it may have meant something else or more profound. When Jesus spoke in parables he did so not to confuse men but to retain the original meaning which he knew would get lost in the writing itself, its translation to diff languages and then interpretation by 'scholars'.

Thanks for making this post


vveasey profile image

vveasey 6 years ago from Detroit,MI Author

Thanks for your comments Julion!

They are a lot of things I could say in response to your comments but it would take way too long, like the Old and New Testaments weren’t always together in a book called the Bible that they were only put together as one book in the fourth century A.D. by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Old Testament was originally the Hebrew Bible written between 1000B.C. and 100 B.C. (The New Testament wasn’t written until sometime during the first century A.D.)

The Old Testament was the holy book of the Jews.

This was the bible Jesus used and was the only bible the early Christians used.

It wasn't until about four hundred years after Jesus’ death that the Old and New Testaments were combined to create the first Christian Bible in the fourth century A.D. called the Latin Vulgate.

If you haven’t done so, do some research and you’ll see what I mean

Although you quote back and forth between the Old and New Testaments, the Old Testament had nothing to do with Christians or Jesus.

You say “When Jesus told the Pharisees that the kingdom is within you, he could not have meant it was literally inside them because he called the Pharisees hypocrites(Matt15:7), but he meant it was among you”

Just because he called them hypocrites doesn’t mean the “kingdom of heaven” wasn’t in them, it just means they didn’t know that it was within them and he was making them aware that the “kingdom of heaven” is in hypocrites and everyone including you (you just haven't realized it yet).

And as far as all the bad things you say about Satan and the bad things he does; you should blame God for that, because created Satan. If God is the ruler of the world, he rules Satan and can stop him from doing bad things and cause him to do good things at any time he chooses.

That said; I don’t believe Satan exists outside of the human mind.


vveasey profile image

vveasey 6 years ago from Detroit,MI Author

Hi Mwafriqa

I’m glad you received a blessing and a revelation!

Your are correct, in order to be conscious there has to be something appearing as not you so you can be conscious of yourself and of that which is not you.

In the beginning there was existence but no consciousness of existence. Consciousness requires separation in time and space before individuality can exist or be recognized.

That’s why creation stories begin with the division of something that was originally undivided into separate entities, like in genesis, where light is separated from the darkness, because originally all was darkness, because there were no separate entities to require a need for light (consciousness). If you're the only thing in existence why would you need light? (consciousness)

Consciousness is only required to help the individual survive in its environment.

So I can agree in spirit with you but not specifically when you say,

“So to experience what it is, the hand (man) chose to know what it was not (remember the tree incident at Eden) but knowing what it was not meant that its consciousness fell from what it was...to that which it was not and after a while (generations) the hand could no longer remember what it was. It forgot that it was part of the body,”

I would say that it had a desire to know itself because it had no consciousness of anything, including its self, “darkness was upon the face of the deep”. The desire for self experience caused it to seek to know itself, “the spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep”.

But at the point where you start man (the hand) is already aware of himself and other entities (the foot, leg, arm, animals, planets) that were not him, so there would be no need to forget himself to know what he was not, because he would already be aware of what he was not.

In my view it wouldn’t be man who has the need to know himself, but the source spirit (God). Spirit is formless and imageless and can only know itself symbolically, maybe that’s why there are such a plethora of life forms all the way down to the microscopic level, they’re all symbolic ways that the source spirit tries to get to know its formless, imageless self, which appears doom to failure, because there appears to be no way something that imageless and formless can get a direct perception of its self. It’s like the ocean trying to get an image of its self by looking at its waves.

In genesis it says that "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth". But what did God create them out of?

If God was the only thing in existence before heaven and earth were created; they were created of God.

Therefore everything that exist visibly or invisibly is the substance of God (the source spirit).

That said I do agree with everything you said in spirit. It's a grand symbolic vision and may be correct.

Thanks


Right Black profile image

Right Black 6 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

vveasey, again I find this hub very interesting. For the most part I am in agreement with you. The kingdom of God is as Jesus said, "within you." Where I differ with you is that the Pharisees had not apprehended the kingdom and therefore, would not enter into eternity with Jesus. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." The Pharisees were not believers in Jesus therefore they could not apprehend the kingdom of God because of their unbelief.

I also would like to point out that Jesus didn't suffer from multiple personality disorder because if Satan is just in our mind (which I am sure he would love all of us to believe) then when Jesus was being tempted in the desert he was just arguing with himself.

Finally, if God could make Satan do good then he could make all humanity do good. Due to the fact that we have free will then we can choose to do good or evil just as Satan could. Once our choices have been actualized by our death then we will either be eternally good or eternally evil. See, without free will there is no such thing as love and God desires our love. We are not dolls where God just pulls a string and we involuntarily say, "I love you" or "I hate you." Again, very interesting hub.


vveasey profile image

vveasey 6 years ago from Detroit,MI Author

Vveasey: Thanks for your comments Right Black. Let me see if I can respond to your comments in an intelligent way.

You say, “The kingdom of God is as Jesus said, "within you." “Where I differ with you is that the Pharisees had not apprehended the kingdom and therefore, would not enter into eternity with Jesus”.

Vveasey: Jesus said the kingdom of God is within you, so that means it was in the Pharisees too, whether they knew it or not. Just as you can have the potential to do something, but if you aren’t aware of it you may never be able to actually do it. I hope that makes sense to you.

You say, “Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." The Pharisees were not believers in Jesus therefore they could not apprehend the kingdom of God because of their unbelief”

Vveasey: I agree with you but the kingdom was still within them, they just didn’t think that it was possible for it to be within them, as some of the those who read this hub don’t think it’s possible for the kingdom to be within them.

You say, “I also would like to point out that Jesus didn't suffer from multiple personality disorder because if Satan is just in our mind (which I am sure he would love all of us to believe) then when Jesus was being tempted in the desert he was just arguing with himself”

Vveasey: You’re right he was arguing with himself, as part of himself that he wasn’t aware and had to overcome in order to become who he became. It’s like when you try to make a major change in your life or personality, your subconscious will bring up all kind of feelings, thoughts and doubts to make you want to change your mind. I hope that makes sense to you.

You say, “Finally, if God could make Satan do good then he could make all humanity do good.

Vveasey: God created Satan and humanity so God can make Satan and humanity do good

You say, “Due to the fact that we have free will then we can choose to do good or evil just as Satan could”

Vveasey: God created everything, that means God created evil too It’s as if God created imperfect beings (humans) and an evil being Satan, the Devil etc, to tempt and lead imperfect human beings astray. Is this some kind of game God is playing?

You say, Once our choices have been actualized by our death then we will either be eternally good or eternally evil. See, without free will there is no such thing as love and God desires our love. We are not dolls where God just pulls a string and we involuntarily say, "I love you" or "I hate you." Again, very interesting hub”.

Vveasey: If God is the creator of all things and is independent of all things, is omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (all-present, present everywhere) and omniscient (all-knowing), why would God desire or need anything?

Thanks for interesting and thought provoking comments


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Fantastic! Thanks for referencing it. My kingdom is definitely inside my heart. But boy I sure wish it included a 3 bed 3 bath with the view in your picture -- that is sure bliss. Ok I admit it, deep fruitful discussion are more of a Nirvanna than a place.

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