Metaphysical meaning of kingdom of heaven (mbd)
Meta. When in His teaching Jesus likened the "kingdom of the heavens" (see Emphatic Diaglott) to various conditions in the earth, He was explaining, in terms that the outer man could grasp, the various laws and relations of the spiritual realm, or the "kingdom of the heavens."
Jesus definitely located the kingdom of God (heaven) when He said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo, here ! or, There ! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20, 21).
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Man adjusts his thought world to the kingdom of divine ideas through a process of denial by which he eliminates from consciousness all inharmonious ideas, and through affirmations of Truth by which he establishes himself in harmony with divine ideas.
Heaven is not confined to man's consciousness. It is everywhere present. When man's mind and body are in harmonious relation to divine ideas, his true thoughts flow into the realm of manifestation and bring forth the kingdom in the earth "as in heaven."
Jesus likened the kingdom to a seed because a seed has unexpressed capacities, and needs to be planted in the soil best suited to its growth. The word of Truth is the seed, and when planted in a receptive mind it brings forth the fruits of Spirit. The life of the word is the spiritual idea that it contains.
Jesus used many commonplace things to illustrate the establishing of the kingdom of heaven in consciousness in order that we might the more easily adjust all our thoughts and acts in harmony with the ideas that make heaven.
Jesus likened heaven to a man that sowed good seed in his field, but when he slept an enemy sowed tares there (Matt. 13:24-30). The explanation of this is: The field is consciousness; the good seed are our true thoughts, which are sown when we express our mind positively. The tares are the error thoughts that drift in when the consciousness is negative or ignorant. These subconscious errors should be left alone until the harvest, because man does not know enough about their subtle character to handle them wisely until he has the light of Spirit, or until the time of harvest, which is a day of judgment. The idea in this parable is that we shall be wise in using the law of affirmation and denial.
In the parable of the mustard seed (Matt. 13:31, 32) is taught the law of thought increase; from a very small idea (mustard seed) a thought grows until it becomes an abiding place for thoughts of a higher realm (birds of heaven).
Jesus, in "another parable," "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened" (Matt. 13:33), illustrates how the word of Truth penetrates the three states of consciousness, spirit, soul, body. (See HEAVEN.)
Teachers of metaphysics find that their most difficult work is getting students to recognize that heaven is a condition of mind. Jesus evidently experienced like difficulty in making Himself understood, which accounts for the numerous parables and comparisons that He gave of the kingdom. These were all illustrative of some condition pertaining to the kingdom, and never did He describe it as a place located in some distant realm.
In spite of these oft repeated illustrations by Jesus showing the kingdom of heaven to be a state of consciousness the great mass of Christians are today teaching that it is a place, to which people who accept Jesus as their Savior will go when they die. There is no authority in the Bible for such doctrine. If such a place existed Jesus would certainly have described it plainly instead of giving parable after parable and illustration after illustration showing it to be a state of consciousness to be attained by man. In Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52, there are five short stories illustrating six different problems concerning this condition and our relation to it. Applying some of the laws of mind as we know them, we find that Jesus was talking about universal Truth and its expression.
The mustard-seed comparison is to show the capacity of the apparently small thought of Truth to develop in consciousness until it becomes the abiding place of a higher type of thoughts (birds of the air).
The "leaven" is the Truth, and the "woman" is the soul. When a word of Truth is apparently hidden in the inner mind it is not idle, but quietly spreads until the whole consciousness is light with Spirit. People who have for years had this hidden word of Truth at work in them are quick to respond to a larger exposition of the divine law, and we recognize that they are ripe for receiving Truth.
The merchant is one who is seeking the jewel of the soul, or spiritual good, through exchange of thought, discussion, and argument. He also must give up all these so-called values for the inner pearl.
The "end of the world" is the point in consciousness where the true thoughts are in the majority and the error thoughts have lost their hold. This is the consummation of the regenerative process, and everything that has been stored up in consciousness is brought forth and becomes of visible, practical value to the man. This is the "householder" who brings forth his "things new and old."