Because the sayings of Jesus Christ included in the New Testament Gospels were written down only after many years of verbal transmission, modern Biblical scholars in universities spend a great amount of time asking, "What is the likelihood Jesus really said these exact words?" After all, when people relate stories over the years it is inevitable that at least some words are lost, or added, or changed.
One simple statement that is very easy to remember and repeat without changing is:
"The kingdom of heaven is at hand."
(From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. - Matthew 4:17)
(And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. -Matthew 10:7)
There is every likelihood Jesus actually used these exact words. Yet this statement has been almost from the beginning most grievously misinterpreted.
For the first thousand years of Christianity, the phrase "at hand" was thought to mean "very soon," "any day now," and the "kingdom of heaven" was imagined to imply a marvelous and wonderful change from earth to a different existence.
When a wonderful, marvelous world-shift never did occur even after 1050 years, the "at hand" words of Jesus started to be ignored, and people started thinking of heaven as a far off realm reached at a future time.
But consider ... Jesus would not have told his disciples: "Go and preach to people that the kingdom of heaven is a far off realm reached in the future." Such a message would have been met with indifference if not sarcasm. "So what's new? We've always imagined that's how it works."
"At hand" does not mean in the future, nor does it refer to a realm in a different existence somewhere. The Greek words ἤγγικε ēngike ("at hand") refer to proximity of place and time, and could be translated: "here, now."
"At hand" means here, now.
Jesus was saying, "Go and tell people heaven is here and now." He wanted people to know that there is a realm of being even in the same existence as earth that is not a realm of pain, sickness, suffering and death, but a joyous realm of love and inner peace ... that is not hell, but heaven ... a real world behind a self-imposed veil which can be easily disappeared.
Jesus lived in heaven while walking earth. He tried in many different ways to describe it to his listeners, saying over and over again using numerous analogies, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto...." In other words in many ways he was saying, "I'll try my best to give you an idea of what you also can experience."
One Biblical statement of Jesus all but makes it clear that heaven and earth are the same existence: And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:19)
Maybe now that human beings commonly understand there are other dimensions ... maybe Jesus finally saw his chance to be better understood. In His modern revelation for the 21st Century, A Course in Miracles, Jesus explains more clearly than human beings have heard for hundreds of years the experience of earth becoming less while the experience of heaven becomes greater.
All power is given you in earth and Heaven. There is nothing that you cannot do. (ACIM Lesson 191)
And so today we find our glad return to Heaven, which we never really left. (ACIM Lesson 227)
The world will end in joy, because it is a place of sorrow. When joy has come, the purpose of the world has gone. The world will end in peace, because it is a place of war. When peace has come, what is the purpose of the world? The world will end in laughter, because it is a place of tears. Where there is laughter, who can longer weep? To turn hell into Heaven is the function of God's teachers, for what they teach are lessons in which Heaven is reflected. (ACIM "How Will the World End")
A Course in Miracles is a preparation device for human beings to be shifted into heaven, for the veil to be disappeared. Letting the Course work on us is like signalling thumbs up and saying: "Beam me out, Jesus!" Now God's angels switch on warp-speed and rejoice:
to all the world that freedom is returned,
that time is almost over,
and God’s Son has but an instant more to wait
until his Father is remembered, dreams are done,
eternity has shined away the world,
and only Heaven now exists at all.
Each month our Holy Spirit gives a message of prophetic revelation which helps individuals open spiritually and understand Jesus' teaching.
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"...nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21)
Click below for more information on A Course in Miracles Light Sessions:
Holy Instant Christian Fellowship in Salt Lake City