As I walk with the Lord and as He is able to open up scripture to me I am amazed to what I thought I knew and even more amazed to what I really do not know. One important characteristic God is looking for in His children is for them to be teachable. I see so many Christians who think they know everything, but in reality they know nothing because they are un-teachable. Oh they may have a library full of the doctrinal sermons and reference books from the great teachers; Spurgeon, Moody (of whom I enjoy) and the rest, or the latest self-help book, but in God they disqualify themselves for service because of their un-teachable nature and attitude.

One of the biggest areas I see Christians really get confused in is the difference between the kingdom of God (what Jesus often times called the kingdom of heaven) and Heaven. Now both are places God has prepared for us, but unless one enters into the kingdom of God they will never make it to Heaven. My friend the kingdom of God is not a physical place like Heaven, but is an understanding, it is submission, it is coming under the authority of God. It is coming under the commandants and divine spiritual principles God has established for His kingdom to operate and function, where Heaven is a physical place of great beauty, I believe.

John does a great job in describing some of the splendor of Heaven. I will be honest, Heaven is beyond me. I do not have the mental and I guess spiritual awareness to understand what we call Heaven. John had to be in the Spirit, “ And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,” (Revelation 21:10) John continues then in verses 11-27 using his human understanding to describe something seen in the Spirit. You should know I am not into Heaven. Now I know Heaven is going to be a wonderful place and I will go there some day, but I am not into Heaven, I am in to Him. The Bible says Heaven and earth shall pass away (Revelation 20:11 , 21:1, and so many more). Revelation is so mystical I do not understand it. But, I wonder what all of my friends, who are into Heaven, going to do when Heaven passes way? It would be much better to be into His words, for they shall never pass away. “ Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)

Now if we really want to understand the word of God we must look to the little words that set up the big words. In God it is always the little and lowly that sets up the big and mighty. One little stone took down big Goliath. We are told to consider the ways of the little ant (Proverbs 6:6) not the ways of the big elephants. Three little words, that have eternal significance, really help us understand God’s word: if, as, and like. “If” sets the condition for receiving from God. “ If ye be willing and obedient , ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel , ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it .” (Isaiah 1:19-20) “If,” we do this then we get this or that. In Matthew we read; “And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is , God: but if thou wilt enter into life , keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:16) The condition for entering into life is obeying or keeping God’s commandments. “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe , all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Matthew 9:23) All things are not possible, but all things are possible for those “if” they can believe. “If” is probably the most important word in the Bible. Everything we receive from God will come by way of this word “if” and us meeting the condition God has established. Now “as” and “like” are both similes; a figure of speech in which two things that are different in most ways are said to be alike. “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children , ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child , the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3-4) We do not have to be children to enter the kingdom of heaven, but we must “be as little children.” We must be trusting, teachable, soft-hearted, and innocent. “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country , who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.” (Matthew 25:14) And “like;” “ Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field : 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” (Matthew 13:24-25) and ”Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed , which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. 33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. 34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: 35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 13:31-35) The “kingdom of heaven” is not a physical place like Heaven, but a secret and mystical place of rest and peace built for us from the foundation of the world, a place of knowing by the Spirit that you can only go to if you can understand how God operates and functions.

In Luke 17:20-21, Jesus speaks of the kingdom of God . “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21) Jesus here was making reference to a realm. In the Greek, “the kingdom of God ” is translated (Strong’s #932) realm, royal power, kingship, dominion, rule. We must never confuse this realm with an actual kingdom, but it is rather the right or authority to rule over us. We often parallel the kingdom of God with bugles, banners, horse, chariots, and thrones. Jesus is not talking about all that, but He is talking about a vast realm of spiritual reality. All spiritual reality is in this realm Jesus calls the kingdom of God which is the realm into which we are birthed into when we are saved. We have to live in this realm just as we have to live in this world into which we are born and we must learn to adjust ourselves to it. So many Christians use the term “kingdom of God” so that they can build something like a big ministry or church complex, they are seeking first a physical kingdom (Matthew 6:33) out from their own greed and ambition and not a spiritual kingdom as Jesus taught. Why you can even get a job and make money in a physical kingdom not to mention the power of manipulation and the allure of being able to coerce someone for favor and gain. The kingdom of God is not a building or fortress Jesus said, “the Kingdom of God is within you.” In Romans Paul tell us, “ For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 14:17) I wonder why Christians try so hard to make the kingdom of God more than what it really is? The kingdom of God is; “ righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” what more could we want in a kingdom? What more could we want in a King? Make no mistake my friend there is an entering into the kingdom of God we must do. The way into the kingdom is through the Spirit of God. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except (no other way) a man be born again (birthed from above by the Spirit (Greek)) , he cannot see (understand or know) the kingdom of God .” (John 3:3) It is through the Spirit of God we enter into the kingdom of God , my friend there is no other way. Let us enter into the kingdom of God , a place of submission, obedience, and a coming under God’s authority, but also a place of “ righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” not a bad trade off.