THE KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST
Dynamics For Living
A KINGDOM is a government with evidence of its power right among its subjects. Its authority is exercised in the country in which it is set up. It regulates the public affairs of the people in its domain, to conform to its highest ideas of equity, prosperity, and the general welfare of its subjects.
This was Jesus Christ’s idea of a kingdom. His kingdom was not of this world of sin, sickness, poverty, injustice, and death, but a kingdom in which righteousness, health, life, peace, and prosperity are natural to all its people. He proposed to establish such a kingdom among men, through the evidences of His power. Thus were the instructions given to His disciples whom He sent forth as His agents to inaugurate the new order of things.
Had the kingdom to which Jesus so often referred been a city with golden streets, in the skies, He could easily have located it. He did not do so. On the contrary, He again and again gave illustrations to show His listeners that it was a desirable condition, which would be brought about among them through the power of Spirit. He did not say that it could be attained quickly. For instance, He said: “What is the kingdom of God? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”
And again, “It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.”
It is a great mystery how these comparisons of heaven ever came to be construed as referring in any way to a locality in the skies. What relation to a city with streets of gold has a mustard seed, planted in the earth and springing forth into a tree, or a little cake of yeast fermenting a baking of bread?
A remarkably strange lot of comparisons Jesus used, if He had in mind a place where the good were to go after death! He never pretended to convey any such meaning.
Jesus’ idea of the kingdom of heaven is a condition to be brought about in the affairs of men, here on the earth. It is to grow from small beginnings, like a mustard seed or the yeast cake. His disciples were sent forth to sow the seed in a definite way, by carrying into the midst of men the signs that evidence the power of Spirit, through which the kingdom of heaven is to be established, right here on this planet. There is no basis for any other view.
All the theories about a place called “heaven” are founded on John’s symbolical description of New Jerusalem, which was pictured, in the imagination, as the fulfillment on earth of the very movement which Jesus inaugurated and which He described as having such small beginnings.
This city which John saw is among men. “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” All this describes what is to take place here among us. No reference is made to its being among angels, or to its being established at the time that John saw the vision. It is to be consummated in new conditions on earth.
If the kingdom which Jesus taught is in the skies, why did He direct His disciples to pray:
“Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven”?
Now that men are opening up the hidden resources of nature, in earth and in air, possibilities of achievement are dawning on them, and they see that human endeavor will yet make the earth a paradise.
No one should be deluded with the vague assumption that there is a place in the skies, or on some faraway planet, called “heaven.” There is not the shadow of a foundation in either the Old or the New Testament for such doctrine. On the contrary, the teaching is clear that all the heaven which men will ever find will be here. It is here now, and it will be revealed to everyone who rends the veil of sense.
The teaching, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand,” is not alone indicative of the quick ushering in of a new order of things. It states a fact of subjective consciousness in man. Nothing else is so near to man as God and the kingdom of heaven. They exist eternally in the depths of man’s own unrevealed consciousness. He has them in the hidden recesses of his mind, exactly as he has the circulation of the blood in the hidden veins of his body. He is not conscious of the blood before he looks for it; and he is not conscious of God and of his own spiritual nature before he gets into the deeps of his own soul.
It is the subjective or interior consciousness that is to be made objective or exterior. To the question of His disciples as to when the kingdom of heaven would come, Jesus answered, “when the without shall become as the within” (Apoc. New Testament).
This one passage should forever settle the location of heaven. It is the within, and it will come to the consciousness of humanity when it is brought forth to the without, when the without conforms to its conditions.
It is the within which Jesus set vibrating in the minds of His disciples when He sent them forth to do the works of power. He was familiar with the inner realm, and dwelt there much of the time. This realm exists today, and may be discovered by whosoever will look for it.
If the kingdom of heaven exists right here in our midst, and simply needs to be revealed to our veiled eyes, all we have to do is to proclaim the presence of the kingdom by faith and works. The way by which to make it visible will follow.
It is not alone a question of perception. The kingdom must be made manifest. All manifestation arises through action. You cannot exercise your right to be, without making manifest some of the potentialities of Being. You must use your talent. The talent of which man is possessed, surpassing all else, is that of thinking. To think is to make manifest the world of forms. Every time you hold a thought in your mind, you are forming a body for that thought; and bodies are things. A belief in matter and limitation forms a body of matter and limitation. If you want a body of freedom and light, think thoughts having at their base freedom and light. Man never rises higher in expression than his thought. His thought never rises higher than the idea back of it. If you want to rise in the scale of being, watch your ideas. From them flow your environment. Your environment is your prison wall when you are chained to the limitations of sense.
In the world of ideas, the metaphysician has discovered that there is a realm having potentialities, whose depths he has not sounded. This realm is to him the great storehouse of wisdom and life, and he finds that his own center of consciousness is like it. He is essentially one with it. His thinking faculty represents the mechanical device through which this All-Principle is made manifest. His word sets into motion the machinery, and results follow in the realm of ideas in a manner paralled with those in the realm of dynamics.
The kingdom is an internal condition first, last, and always. The internal opening of man’s finer faculties results in an externality corresponding in degree. This externality is not to be the gauge of the existence of the kingdom of heaven. That it is considered such, is the error of the sense man. He is cumbered with things, and his cry always is, “Make me happy in my possessions, and I shall be satisfied.” But this is not the attitude of the spiritual man. His possessions are of the soul. His pleasures are of the mind and of the heart. Whoever has these has at least begun the kingdom.
The wise man does not center his attention upon effects. They are to him as the ashes. The fire of the original Spirit is ever new and fresh. He does not identify himself with the ashes, consequently he never has to count himself at the end of existence. Ashes are carried out, and cast to the four winds, but the fire burns on and on.
You are here for a purpose. That purpose is never fulfilled so long as you are dazed by the demands of the senses; nor are you fulfilling the law of your being by going over, day after day, the petty round of human existence.
You have been cast in a larger mold than this. God did not create you to be forever dust and ashes, to be blown about by the four winds.
Awake! sleeper in the human mind. Rise out of low ideals into the high. Rouse yourself, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. You are a king! Bestir yourself; the Christ of God is born in you, and the hour of your reign is truly at hand!
Jesus was a very advanced soul, and His radiant body was developed in larger degree than that of anyone in our race, but we all have this body, and its development is in proportion to our spiritual culture. In Jesus this body of light glowed “as he was praying.” Jesus’ body did not go down to corruption, but He, by the intensity of His spiritual devotion, restored every cell to its innate state of atomic light and power.
Jesus lives today in His body of glorified electricity in a kingdom that interpenetrates the earth and its environment–the kingdom of the heavens.
Great teachers and leaders of the race have really developed and expressed a superconsciousness that is potential in all persons. When the natural world is scientifically and universally revealed, a great school of instruction in soul unfoldment will be established right here in our midst, and its results will be beyond all our present imaginings.
The mysteries of supermind have always been considered the property of certain schools of occultists and mystics who were cautious about giving their truths to the masses for fear that in their ignorance these might misuse them. Now the doors are thrown wide open, and whosoever will may enter in.
The kingdom of the heavens, the new dimension of mind and energy, is being unfolded today in spiritual substance. It is an ideal state in creative mind, ready to be ushered into the minds of men. Its source is not in outer things. It comes from sources within men. So we must develop spiritual understanding and spiritual power. Man is the outpicturing of the infinite and creative Mind, and all the capacity of that great Mind is his by inheritance.
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Dynamics For Living by Charles Fillmore
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