My Space            My Store           My Email

RJ-7 & the BBs
The Meaning of Life
Spiritual Maturity
The Maturing of the Harvest
What or Where is Heaven
The Law
Biblical Affrimations


By Roger Duncan

Today's definition of the Kingdom of Heaven is "A PLACE CALLED HEAVEN". You know, "THE SWEET BY AND BY", "GLORY LAND", and other things that stir up in us visions of tranquility. We just can't wait to get OUT OF THE WORLD either by RAPTURE or DEATH so that we may begin to enjoy the GOOD LIFE. Now this may sound too obvious to say, but THE DEAD ARE DEAD. There are many theological debates over what the DEAD are doing right now. Whatever they are doing right now is not as important as the fact that we shall be reunited with them. Paul tells us in Thessalonians that we should not sorrow over the death of our Christian loved ones ,as those who have no hope, because when the LORD returns He will bring them with Him. Jesus said that God is the God of the LIVING not the DEAD. So why are told that life will be good when we are dead? Life is life, and death is death. The Kingdom of Heaven is not for the dead, but for the living.

John the Baptist preached "The Kingdom of Heaven". Jesus preached "The Kingdom of Heaven". The Disciples preached "The Kingdom of Heaven". What do preachers preach today? The thrust of the teaching ministry of Jesus was explaining what the Kingdom of heaven is like. The heart of the teaching of the kingdom of heaven is: "The Kingdom of heaven is like a seed that is planted, then it grows, then it matures and yields fruit." Does that sound like a PLACE to you. And why are we told by today's preachers that this place called HEAVEN will be our eternal abode, when Jesus told us that the meek shall inherit the EARTH. And there are countless other scriptures that tell us that the RIGHTEOUS shall never be removed. Jesus further tells us that the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS WITH IN US! And that WE are the TEMPLE OF GOD". You see the Kingdom of Heaven is not about where we are to live, but were God is to live. The Kingdom of Heaven has been reduced to a place where the dead shall receive their reward. However our only reward is God and each other. I dare you to say that there is any reward greater than God. Go ahead, I double dog dare you to say to God "YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH!"

So if Heaven or the Kingdom Of Heaven is not about death or a place of the dead, then what is it about? It is of course about life. And life is about birth, growth, and maturity. We hear the Gospel (Good News) of the new birth all the time, but that is only part of the Gospel. Yes we must preach the Gospel of the new birth, but we must also preach growth and maturity to preach the full Gospel Of The Kingdom OF Heaven. I can hear you saying to yourself right now, " But I preach growth and maturity!". If you do then where are the fruits. And I'm not talking about your works. Even a dumb ox can produce works. Any tree that is mature bears fruit, and any believer that is mature bears heavenly fruit (i.e. Righteousness, Peace, Joy, Love, Patience, ect, ect.). Did you just miss the KEY WORDS? HEAVENLY FRUIT. The dead don't produce fruit, only the living. Why is it that every time the word HEAVEN or HEAVENLY is used, it conjures up visions of some far off place reserved for God and the Dead?

All my life I have heard about how great things are going to be in Heaven. Most Christian songs seem to be about it. Most Christians will tell you they can't wait to get there. And it seems that every religion has it's own version of it. But what and where is Heaven? The Bible itself is the definitive work on the Kingdom of HEAVEN. It tells us that believers are "Seated in HEAVENLY Places" and that we are "Citizens Of HEAVEN". It also calls God "Our HEAVENLY Father", and Jesus spent a great amount of time speaking parables about The Kingdom of it under the rule of God.

Most people will tell you that HEAVEN is a place that you will GO to when you die, if you have been good, or if you accept Jesus, or both. They tell you that there you will receive your rewards for all the works you have done in your life here on earth. That in HEAVEN God will wipe away the tears from your eyes, and there will be no more pain, no more sorrow. That you will be happy and joyful always, while you abide in a beautiful mansion, the size and glamour of which is decided by your works here on Earth. Let me take a moment to address this concept of Heaven. First, when a believer dies, he is either asleep or is present with The Lord (take your pick, there are good arguments for both teachings). The main point, is that where Jesus is now, is not where He is going to stay. He is going to return to, and rule on EARTH. Secondly, the REWARD of the SAINTS is HIM, not based on what WE have done (WORKS), but what HE has done (FAITH). Without going into it in detail at this time, let me just say that being rewarded according to your works is not a good thing. Thirdly, there is coming a time when God will wipe away our tears, and there will be no more pain, but that's not in heaven, that will happen on EARTH , when there is a New Heaven and a New Earth (Rev.21:4). And finally, you are not going to receive a mansion, YOU ARE A MANSION! Jesus said "In My Father's House are MANY MANSIONS". Mansion means "DWELLING PLACE". You are the TEMPLE OF GOD, you are the HOUSE OF GOD, you are the DWELLING PLACE OF GOD! You see, you are not getting a mansion, HE IS! But enough about all of that.

Before we can really talk about heaven, I think that it is important to understand that MAN is a PHYSICAL / SPIRITUAL BEING. Adam was created that way, we are that way, and Jesus IS that way. When Jesus was resurrected He did not float around formless, as a ghost, but He had and still has a physical body, the same type of physical body that we will receive at His return. Man was created to be a Physical / Spiritual Being, and he was created to inhabit the Earth. Adam was not created a ghost and then given a body, his existence began as a Spirit in a physical body. He was not designed to die, but to live forever as a Physical / Spiritual Being. His physical part began to die at the fall. Jesus overcame physical death, and at His return we shall also overcome it through Him. Adam was created to live on this Earth forever, and when Jesus manifests His Kingdom in it's fullness, it will be here on Earth. The destiny of THE RIGHTEOUS is to live forever, as Spiritual / Physical beings, on Earth, with KING JESUS! How we ever got the idea that we are going to live eternally as some type of Ghosts, relaxing on a cloud somewhere, is totally beyond me. The Bible tells us clearly that "THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH" and "THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL NEVER BE REMOVED". You may at this point think that Jesus should have preached THE KINGDOM OF EARTH, but EARTH is physical only. Or that He should have just preached HEAVEN (as many seem to think He did), but HEAVEN is spiritual only. Praise God that the GOOD NEWS or the GOSPEL is about a NEW Kingdom, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, a SPIRITUAL / PHYSICAL KINGDOM for SPIRITUAL / PHYSICAL BEINGS, such as yourselves, that have received Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Keep in mind that anything that is physical takes up physical space, and can be perceived by the physical senses. While anything that is spiritual is not restrained to specific physical locations. Although we can sometimes see the effects of the spiritual realm, we can only perceive the things of the spirit by spiritual discernment.

Paul wrote about the THIRD HEAVEN, which means there must be a First and a Second Heaven. . The THIRD HEAVEN is obviously the realm where God's character is totally unresisted. Working backwards from there, I believe the SECOND HEAVEN to be, as it were, all around us. The word "HEAVEN" as it is used in the New Testament, can be translated "SKY" or "AIR" (as the King James Version does 12 times). A quick look at the Strong's definition tells us that the meaning of this word is "THROUGH THE IDEA OF ELEVATION". This is where the Devil and his cohorts are allowed to move freely, restricted only by God, as He sees fit, and Believers that know and exercise their God given authority, as they see fit. The FIRST HEAVEN is within ourselves. Here, we have total authority. We can choose to allow entrance into this heavenly realm from the Second or Third Heavens. Although God has total access to and authority in all three heavens, He allows rebellion only in the second and first heavens. At this particular time, those of us who have been born into God's Kingdom, resist rebellion (or sin) in the first and second heavens, as we grow in the character or nature of God (i.e. Fruit of the Spirit). Eventually God will destroy all rebellion in the first and second heavens, and in the physical universe.

The Kingdom of Heaven therefore is threefold in it's manifestation. It Begins, Grows, and comes to maturity. First in us (When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior), then through us (the growth of HIS CHARACTER in us, the fruit of the Spirit), and then when the Lord returns (He will fully set up HIS kingdom with HIMSELF as King, regardless of who likes or doesn't like it).

To learn more about the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, prayerfully read Matthew Chapter Thirteen. May The Lord give you eyes to see and ears to hear.


Copyright ROGER DUNCAN 1996