The Kingdom of God exists on three levels – physical, spiritual and Celestial.
At the physical or earth level, the kingdom of God consists of those who are obedient to the laws of God for human conduct. Thereby the natural human love is purified and restored to the condition before the Fall of the first parents. Many of Jesus earthly teachings were intended to help his followers to develop their moral qualities and free themselves from the destructiveness of sin. By observing these teachings, humans gradually let go of their evil thoughts, desires and passions foreign to man’s true nature and replace them with a purer love and more spiritual thoughts and desires which lead to cleansing of heart and soul. This is the way of renunciation, also taught by the Old Testament teachers and prophets, as well as later reformers. It leads to happiness on the physical level. It however does not make a person divine in any way, except that by virtue of being God’s creation, they have partaken of the divine image and the emanating God-given life force.
The Kingdom of God of the Perfect Man in the spirit world consists of the spirits of departed humans who likewise have come to live in harmony with the laws ordained for their existence. Those who have reached the highest level in that kingdom reside in the Sixth Sphere. They have been restored to the original pre-Fall condition where humans were created with perfect human love. However, they are not divine neither do they possess any “divine spark” – only a divine image. Nor are they immortal and if God so willed, could be destroyed and reduced to constituent elements. However, the observance of moral laws and the purification of the natural love given at creation enables humans and spirits love God and one another – becoming their neighbour’s brother and keeper. There is thus much happiness when beings are living in such way.
The progression of the natural love is outlined in 2 Peter 1:5-7: “make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;and to knowledge, self-control;and to self-control, perseverance;and to perseverance, godliness;and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” If this path is followed by humans, the Kingdom of God on earth will be realized. It will however not be established by divine decree, fiat or force. Its coming into existence largely depends on humans getting in harmony with God’s will. Jesus is not coming to establish and rule this kingdom with the assistance of his followers. Man brought sin into the world and so man must also destroy sin and restore harmony with God.
God, however, is also involved in the restoration of the kingdom of God on earth. He works through His angels upon the souls and thoughts of humans to bring the kingdom about. But it cannot be done by force, but only through voluntary human cooperation. Because of the gift of free will that humans received at creation, God will let them make their own decisions. Built into the system, however, is that breaking divine laws brings penalties and unpleasant consequences. God is waiting for humans to turn to him in love, but this needs to come voluntarily and without constraint, fear of punishment or hope of reward – except for the reward which will automatically follow the blending of the Divine Love and human love.
As mentioned, the inhabitants of neither the earthly nor the spirit kingdoms possess Divine Essence or Substance, though they have a very happy existence as they live in harmony with the laws of God. The truly Divine Kingdom is the Celestial Kingdom reserved for those who receive the Divine Essence and whose souls are transformed into God’s Divine Nature whereby the natural human love becomes Divine Love. They also possess immortality.
Death (loss of immortality) came through Adam’s sin, but was reversed through Jesus’ righteousness (see 1 Corinthians 15:21). Having accepted Divine Love into his soul, Jesus became qualified to teach and live the way to immortality. His teachings first showed humans how to restore the purity of their natural love. By loving God and neighbor, and thinking in ways whereby they could renounce sin and evil, they could harmonize their lives with the laws of their existence.
The Bible also contains some of Jesus’ teachings on how the enter the Celestial Kingdom. These however were not clearly understood by most of the disciples with the exception of John, and therefore were not clearly preserved in the scriptures. The key elements are that God is love and man must be born again to enter the Celestial Kingdom. Over time, as the writings of the disciples were copied and edited, few of the original teachings remained. Church leaders created texts that enabled them to control people and grow in wealth at their expense. The God of love became a god of wrath that would punish those who disobeyed the church hierarchy.
The Bible reflects misunderstandings of the original disciples as well as distortions as a result of later copying and editing. Coming from a Jewish heritage, the disciples believed that the Messiah would establish a physical kingdom and restore their nation. Some Christians still believe a version of this. In reality there is only a Spirit Kingdom of the Restored Man (or Perfect Natural Man) and Celestial Kingdom of the Divine Angel.
As mentioned however, the Bible does allude to the way to the Celestial Kingdom and that is the new birth (John 3:3-6). Few have understood the true significance of what Jesus taught here – it has been hidden from their spiritual senses. What happens is that those who receive the Divine Love into their soul become, in the process of time, human souls born into the Divine Reality of God and cease to be merely created beings. The Divine Love is a part of God and has the nature and substance of God. When possessed by humans in sufficient amount, it imparts divinity and God’s nature, transforming the perfect human into Divine Angel. It is the only way that humans get to possess a “divine spark” – the natural love or the human soul of and by themselves have no divinity. However, they, and all creatures, only exist through God-given life — universal energy emanating from God. All humans have the potential to receive the Divine Love and enter the Celestial Kingdom if they so desire and make the required effort.
The only way to receive the Divine Love is to believe that the Father is eager to give it to those who seek it and earnestly pray for it with a sincere longing in their soul. The Father will open the person’s soul and the Holy Spirit will impart the Love. This will enable to soul, in the process of time, to be transformed into the essence of the Father’s Love. No mediator is needed in this process, nor priestly ceremonies, for God Himself responds to man’s prayers for the Divine Love by sending the Comforter. So each person can choose their destiny whether to become a perfect human in the spiritual heaven or a divine angel in the Celestial Heaven.
Reference: New Testament Revelations of Jesus of Nazareth
Photo: Alex Peck