We are going to begin our study on the Red Letters with Matthew and begin right after the event with John The Baptist in which Jesus “receives The Spirit” and goes through his tests and “temptation” in the desert. Those who have been through a “Dark Night of The Soul” experience which comes along with The Awakening process can probably identify with this is some ways. I know that for me, there were many remarkable similarities.
Immediately after these events, his baptism and the subsequent testing, he began to preach saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 4:17
So, we are going to begin our series on the Red Letters taking a deeper look at what Jesus truly meant here by the term “repent” and by the phrase, “Kingdom of Heaven”.
First of all let’s cover what the word “repent” means. To repent of something means to turn away from it, to not return to it, To change one’s mind & purpose. How does one change one’s mind and purpose?
This very first teaching is where many get off on the wrong foot in following “The Way”. The reason being is because they attempt to “will” this change to happen while fighting an internal battle with their ego, which in the materialistic world we live in today is even more difficult than it was 2000 years ago. This is especially true of those who have grown up in this current age of high technology where there is no end of constant ego appeasement and entertainment which prevents one from spending the time in stillness that develops communication with Consciousness.
Between the high tech toys and games, cell phones, and other electronic distractions there are also the distractions of working longer hours to pay for all of these superfluous possessions while the ego continually calls for more and more. So how does one “repent”, how does one change their mind and purpose?
This repentance in the way that it is meant to be cannot be accomplished by the human will which is being met head on by the ego. It can only be done with the intercession that comes from Consciousness, therefore, repentance and “the kingdom of heaven” must come together for a successful change of Consciousness.
So, let’s look at the kingdom of heaven. To gain a true understanding of what is meant by this phrase which Jesus repeated over and over in many teachings throughout His earthly ministry we will look at other quotes and PLEASE open your mind to the understanding that he was speaking to groups of people over 2000 years ago. Trying to explain concepts such as other dimensions would have been ridiculous, even today nearly 100 years after Albert Einstein introduced the concept humans have difficulty accepting it. This is one of the reasons why Jesus said “I have much more to teach you but you cannot handle it now.”
Let’s first look at The Beatitudes for more on the kingdom of heaven and then I will begin to show you why the kingdom is a State of Being, it is a dimensional reality that comes with the change in Consciousness.
The Beatitudes Matthew 5:3-11
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
In verse three He says “Blessed are the “poor in Spirit”. What does He mean by this cryptic saying? To be poor in Spirit is to realize that it is not by human power that One can attain this higher level of understanding, that as mentioned above the ability to truly “repent” even must come with the assistance of Source. This is why elsewhere in John 6:44 it is said that no one can come unless they are drawn…
This also goes along with my personal experience, I have seen so many who seem to seek after The Truth, the seem to want a the connection but they haven’t yet experienced it either because it simply isn’t yet their time or because they haven’t taken that first sacrificial step showing their commitment. So being poor in Spirit is KNOWING that it is not of your OWN power that the gift comes.
The kingdom of heaven is mentioned again in verse ten where He says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Who are those who are persecuted because of righteousness?
Those who are walking in The Way… Again, the religious teachers of today, like those of 2000 years ago would have you believe that these are only those who are attending church and “appearing to follow Christ”.
The fact of the matter is that righteousness comes with Consciousness. To be righteous is to be Conscious. He was saying those who are being persecuted for “doing right” will inherit the kingdom of heaven. This doesn’t mean those who are putting on an act and yet do not really show the love, forgiveness and non judgment that come with the Change in Consciousness of living in The Spirit.
Jesus states this here, in Matthew 5:20, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20 – He KNEW that the Pharisees and the Sadducee teachers were hypocrites, they were hearers and NOT doers. They would tell everyone else how they ought to live, but they did not hold themselves to the same standards. It is because they attempted to attain righteousness through legalism and human will and denied the transformative power of The Spirit. It is through the remembrance of Oneness that comes through The Spirit that one is able to “surpass the righteousness” of the religious…
By now you are probably asking, “So where do you get the idea that the kingdom of heaven is a state of being?” Patience is a virtue, I AM getting to that. 😉
As we ease into understanding the kingdom of heaven let’s take a look at this quote: ““Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
In the scripture referenced above you see that is being stated CLEARLY that many of those who have claimed to follow the teachings will NOT see the kingdom of heaven but ONLY those who do the will of the Father who is in heaven. Now, pay close attention as we go deeper… It isn’t those who claim to live in The Way but those Who DO…
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 Here, Jesus is saying that there MUST be a change. To become like little children is to trust and have faith. How are little children? They are loving, forgiving, and nonjudgmental…
You will notice that the phrase kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God are used interchangeably in various teachings. Here in Luke we see where it is said that the Kingdom IS within: “Nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you]. Luke 17:21
What He was trying to teach and what WE have ALL been trying to show is that the elusive “Kingdom of Heaven” that the religious have killed to find and to hide has ALWAYS been within. It is “found” by stripping away that which is NOT. By letting go of “the world”, the ego and the constant need to be appeased and satisfied by things outside of ourselves we open Ourselves to KNOWING Consciousness, that which has been known as The Holy Spirit, Christ Consciousness, The Spirit of God and so on. Upon remembering Oneness and experiencing the indescribable bliss of being that comes with it you see why Jesus put such a high price upon it.
It was never intended to be exclusionary. It is available to all who are OPEN to receiving and those who are willing to put aside the ego and the distractions of the world in order to be still and KNOW.
Love each other,