Entering the Kingdom

While still alive in the physical body


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In the truly spiritual revelation of The Way, the most dedicated and worthy of disciples were given the true gifs of the spirit, which included the ability to enter into the Kingdom that Yeshua/Jesus declared was within us (Luke 17:20-21).  


To enter the indwelling Kingdom, one must become a Nazirene -- i.e., they must live the vow to be totally set apart for the Lord -- they must purify and consecrate their physical body and mind -- they must let loose of all manmade doctrines and traditions, and seek to learn in the presence of the Lord.


The disciple who lived in accordance with the Royal Law of Love and the vow of the Nazirene, was able to enter the Kingdom and ultimately dwell simultaneously in both worlds.


THE KINGDOM: When Yeshua/Jesus said the immortal words: "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt 4:17 KJV), if a more precise Greek to English translation was to be made, this would instead read: "Open and unloose the mind, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand"!   Which words conveys the reality and the essence of New Covenant teachings with respect to The Way being a bridge between this world of the "outer darkness" that leads the Genuine Christian along the "narrow path" that opens the "strait gate" into the indwelling Kingdom of God.   

The idea that we must die in order to enter the Kingdom, is recognized by the disciple to mean that we must die with respect to the thinking and culture of this world. This fact is especially seen in the words of Yeshua/Jesus when one of his followers asked if he could go and bury his father who had just died, and Yeshua/Jesus replied: "...Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead”. we can begin to see that those people who are of this world have never even begun to live. 

Throughout his Epistles the Apostle Paul writes that the carnal mind is dead to man’s spiritual reality.   In this respect, what the believer would ignore as being too extreme, the disciple understands that these more mature Gospel concepts convey the means of waking up from the stupor, sleep, or death of being focused in the physical, as seen in the words: “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt 12:36 KJV).   It must be understood that to be consciously aware of “every idle word” requires one to be in total control of their mind.   That this total control of one’s words begins with a total control of one’s mind, can be seen in the commandment of the Apostle to “…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5 NIV).   James, Yeshua’s brother, the first leader of the New Covenant Church who was known as a true holy man, wrote that in order to fulfill the vision of the Gospel, one had to “…bridle the whole body” (James 3:2 KJV).   The Apostle Paul confirmed these words when he wrote of the necessity to “…beat my body and make it my slave...” (1 Cor 9:27 NIV).   And commanded the followers of Yeshua/Jesus to “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (Col 3:5 NIV).   The problem is that these biblical commandments have absolutely nothing in common with the doctrine of faith that was developed by Martin Luther in the Middle-ages.  Moreover, these things can only be accomplished by one who has taken the vow of the Nazirene, and has dedicated their lives to the pursuit of following in The Way and entering into the indwelling Kingdom of God.


THE VOW OF THE NAZIRENE: In the article on the Nazirene which I previously presented on this web site, I examined the many biblical quotations dealing with this vow (see Nazirene)The primary quotation is found in the Book of Numbers 6:1-8 where it is written: " The LORD said to Moses, Speak to the Israelites and say to them: If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of separation to the LORD as a Nazirite, he must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or from other fermented drink. He must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. As long as he is a Nazirite, he must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins. During the entire period of his vow of separation no razor may be used on his head. He must be holy until the period of his separation to the LORD is over; he must let the hair of his head grow long. Throughout the period of his separation to the LORD he must not go near a dead body. Even if his own father or mother or brother or sister dies, he must not make himself ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of his separation to God is on his head. Throughout the period of his separation he is consecrated to the LORD"

These words convey a number of meanings with respect to keeping the vow of the Nazirite.  In view of the fact that the followers of Yeshua/Jesus were Nazirenes, and the Lord's Supper is comprised of un-leven bread and wine, it must be understood that the wine in the vow of the Nazirene is symbolic of the spirit of this world instead of the wine or spirit that only the Lord can give to the disciple.   The spirit of this world is that of Satan, whereas the spirit which the Lord provides is of the life-giving vine.  

In the article on this web site that presents the modern findings of science, I demonstrated that all physical matter is surrounded by a field -- which field is actually the source of the physical matter (see science).  When a man, then, cuts his hair, he is actually severing the part of the physical body that acts as nerve endings into the higher centers of the mind and spirit which surround the body.  Thus, for good reason the disciple who takes the vow of the Nazirene does not shave his hair.  

In order to comprehend what is being presented, we must first understand that each person has a different calling -- i.e., “And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability” (Matt 25:15 NKJ).   In the parable of the Master who travels into a far country, he gave one servant one talent, another two, and to yet another he gave five -- each in accordance with their "own abilities".  Thus, it is seen that the Master expects greatly differing accomplishments from each of his servants in accordance with what has been given to them. 

Perhaps we can understand what is being said here when we look at the contrast between James, the leader of the Jerusalem Church, and what he said were the minimum expectations for the Gentile converts.  In the eyes of everyone who knew him, James -- or more appropriately, Jacob in Hebrew -- it was said of him that he was a true holy man -- a Nazirite, or one who was consecrated to the Lord.  The Church Historian Eusebius quotes Hegesippus and writes of James: "He drank no wine or strong drink, nor did he eat meat. No razor came near his head, nor did he anoint himself with oil, and he did not go to the baths".  Reluctantly I add the witness of Eppiphanius, who adds that he abstained from sex, and embraced – "life-long virginity" -- and he did not wear wool, only linen.  Yet James, who everyone considered a true holy man -- a man who was known to be in constant prayer and communion with God -- a man of whom is was said that he embraced all people with his Godliness -- if we are to perceive the mark of his true greatness, then we must acknowledge that he required perfection of himself, and did not expect the Gentile converts to embrace such a lifestyle as he, himself, lived.

In order to even begin to comprehend the great truth that is being presented here, we must understand the thinking of the historical person who spoke these words.  What James said was that the same requirements are not expected of entry level believers and Gentile converts, as those who were mature men and women of the spirit.  Thus we must ask: If this entry level manner of life which was conveyed to the Gentile converts was all that was required to walk in The Way, then why would James continue to live the austere lifestyle that he embraced? Here was a man who was the brother of Yeshua -- surely they had an uncountable number of conversations on the subject of the manner in which the faithful believer is to live their life. Further, if we believe the witness of the scriptures, then we must also believe that both the risen Messiah and the Holy Spirit communicated with James with respect to what was required of the Gentile converts, as seen in the words: "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements" (Acts 15:28 NIV).

What is being said here is very much in accord with when Yeshua/Jesus was asked about eternal life: "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Matt 19:16 KJV) Yeshua then answered this question from the perspective of what is required of an entry-level believer -- i.e., "but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matt 19:17 KJV).  Yeshua said nothing about faith and belief -- the need to say a prayer and accept Yeshua as his personal Lord and Savior. In fact, a great number of modern Christians would be found in opposition to what Yeshua said in his reply to this question. Why? Because the total focus on man’s ability to gain eternal life is placed upon his willingness to "keep the commandments".

Why didn’t Yeshua just answer the question in the manner that modern Christians would and say to the man: Profess your desire to repent -- believe that Yeshua/Jesus is the Son of God -- and accept him as your personal Lord and Savior. The most important reason that is simply beyond the comprehension of the modern Christian is the fact that we cannot come to the Son of God on our own accord -- this blessing must be given to us from the Father.

What is being presented here goes to the very core of the teachings of The Way and man’s quest to be born into the realm of higher reality and enter into Life. What the Bible states is that only those who the Father chooses as being even worthy to believe, are able to come into the Presence of the Son of God.  A constant theme throughout the Gospel of John is the great truth that the followers and disciples of Christ did not choose to follow Yeshua/Jesus -- but rather, Yeshua chose them!   Moreover, the Bible states that they are chosen even before they enter into this life -- i.e., "All that the Father gives me will come to me" (John 6:37 NIV). Thus, we are presented with another core New Covenant teaching that is not understood in the words: "It is written in the Prophets: They will all be taught by God. Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me" (John 6:45 NIV).  

The problem is seen in the fact that we cannot be "…taught by God", or "…learn from Him", unless we have proven ourselves worthy by "…keeping the commandments". Thus, that one must first prove themselves worthy -- that they must prepare their mind and body-vessel to permit entrance of the Son of God by living in accordance with the Royal Law of Love and the Commandments of the Most High -- and only those who are found worthy are permitted to enter into the Presence of the Son of God -- is an important concept that is no longer understood in our present time.

From a biblical perspective, the beginning of faith and belief in the Son of God is demonstrated in a life where the person lives and observes the Commandments of the Lord throughout every aspect of their lives.  In like manner, James, who had been counseled by the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28), invoked the same process as did Yeshua/Jesus when he was asked how one can inherit eternal life, as seen in the words: "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath" (Acts 15:19-21 NIV).

This was in preparation for being found worthy that the Father might permit those Gentiles who proved their faith and belief to come into the Presence of the Son of God. They were therefore initially required to "…abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood". Further, they were to learn the Law as revealed through Moses where it was "…read in the synagogues on every Sabbath." These entry-level requirements would then prepare the Gentiles to become a disciple of the Light, and enable them to truly begin the journey of walking in The Way.

The transition from carnal to spiritual is a process that must be embraced one step at a time. In the same way that each of the servants were given varying amounts in accordance with their own abilities, different requirements are expected of different people in accordance with what has been given to them from God.  Where the believers were led by shepherds of the flock in the way of the fundamental principles of the Gospel Message, the disciple who had been given more was expected to live their lives very differently than those who were given the equivalent of one talent.  In fact, what most believers fail to understand today is that the disciples of The Way who ardently lived by the Royal Law of Love, the Commandments of the Lord, and the vow of the Nazirene, were permitted entrance into the Kingdom where they would receive instruction directly from the Son of God. 

The narrow path which the disciple must walk is not one that can be traveled by everyone.   "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22 NAS) -- and in the knowledge of this fact the Holy Spirit counseled James that he should "…not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God".  James and the disciples knew and understood the futility of an entry-level convert attempting to live in the manner of a mature spiritual child of God. Therefore, neither did James or the disciples expect the Gentile converts to live the biblically centered lifestyle that was ordained among the congregational body of the Jerusalem Church.  

Why, then, did a disciple under the vow of a Nazirite not eat flesh?  Because the presence of death in the body inhibits the disciple's entrance into the inner Kingdom of God.  Thus it was therefore said of James: "He drank no wine or strong drink, nor did he eat meat. No razor came near his head, nor did he anoint himself with oil, and he did not go to the baths".   Thus, to enter the inner Kingdom, one must return to the purity of when mankind dwelled in Eden: "And God said, See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day" (Gen 1:29-31 NKJ).

Unlike the carnal Jewish sects of the Sadducees and Pharisees, Spiritual Israelites who were the true people of the New Covenant, were always vegetarians. If the objective of the teachings of The Way is the return of the prodigal son to the Kingdom, then the disciple of Truth must live in the manner of God's original vision, and do no harm to any living creature. With respect to the above verses in the Book of Genesis, the Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament writes: "From this it follows, that, according to the creative will of God, men were not to slaughter animals for food, nor were animals to prey upon one another; consequently, that the fact which now prevails universally in nature and the order of the world, the violent and often painful destruction of life, is not a primary law of nature, nor a divine institution founded in the creation itself, but entered the world along with death at the fall of man, and became a necessity of nature through the curse of sin. It was not till after the flood, that men received authority from God to employ the flesh of animals as well as the green herb as food (Gen 9:3); and the fact that, according to the biblical view, no carnivorous animals existed at the first, may be inferred from the prophetic announcements in Isa.11:6-8; 65:25, where the cessation of sin and the complete transformation of the world into the kingdom of God are described as being accompanied by the cessation of slaughter and the eating of flesh, even in the case of the animal kingdom." 

What the Keil & Delitzsch Commentary clarifies is the fact that if man is to return to the Kingdom, then he must inflict no harm upon any living creature. This is one of the main tenets of what is referred to as the Royal Law of the Most High. With respect to the above verses sited at Isaiah 11:6-7, Keil & Delitzsch Commentary writes: "There now reign among irrational creatures, from the greatest to the least -- even among such as are invisible -- fierce conflicts and bloodthirstiness of the most savage kind. But when the Son of David enters upon the full possession of His royal inheritance, the peace of paradise will be renewed, and all that is true in the popular legends of the golden age be realized and confirmed. This is what the prophet depicts in such lovely colours. The wolf and lamb, those two hereditary foes, will be perfectly reconciled then. The leopard will let the teazing kid lie down beside it. The lion, between the calf and stalled ox, neither seizes upon its weaker neighbour, nor longs for the fatter one." 

Unlike the Old Testament, in the New Testament there is the very clear and open declaration that the Kingdom of God will never come upon the earth as carnal man expects, because it already exists within us (Luke 17:20-21). The objective, then, of the teachings of The Way, was to prepare carnal man for the next stage of birth that will enable him to gain access into the inner Kingdom. While this could not be accomplished by those who were given "one talent", it was well within the ability of those who are given what Yeshua portrayed as "five talents".  As demonstrated in the example of James of whom it was said that he "...drank no wine or strong drink, nor did he eat meat. No razor came near his head, nor did he anoint himself with oil, and he did not go to the baths", a much lesser set of requirements are expected of the entry level believers where James states: "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath" (Acts 15:19-21 NIV).

While the requirement to refrain from eating the flesh of slain beasts is contained in many of the first century writings that are not in our Bibles today, the oldest known complete copy of our Gospels is called the Evangelion Da - Mepharresh and in it we find Yeshua/Jesus saying at Luke 21:34: "See that you do not make your minds heavy, to do this, never eat meat or drink wine."  In my own experiences, on my very first journey into the Kingdom when I was brought into the Presence of the Light, I was told to cease from eating any flesh for food.  In like manner, the Apostle Matthew was himself a vegetarian, as seen in the words of Clement of Alexandria: "Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, and nuts, and vegetables, without flesh" (Clement; The Instructor). In the Clementine Homolies, the Apostle Peter is quoted as saying: "I live on Olives and Bread to which I rarely only add Vegetables." 

Even among the Gentile converts, the earliest of Christians abstained from the eating of flesh. The Church Father Irenaeus recounts how, when the followers of Yeshua were accused of cannibalism with respect to the eating of the Lord's body and drinking his blood, the martyr Blandina replied: "How should those persons endure such accusation, who, for the sake of the practice of piety, did not avail themselves even of the flesh that was permitted them to eat?" In like manner St. Jerome wrote: "The eating of Flesh Meat was unknown up to the big flood, but since the flood they have the strings and stinking juices of Animal Meat into our mouths, just as they threw in front of the grumbling sensual people in the desert (Essenes). Jesus Christ, who appeared when the time had been fulfilled, has again joined the end with the beginning, so that it is no longer allowed for us to eat the Flesh of Animal Meat."  In total agreement St. Basil wrote:  "The steam of Meat meals darkens the Spirit. One can hardly have virtue if one enjoys Meat meals and feasts. In the Earthly Paradise, no one Sacrificed Animals, and no one ate the Flesh of Animal Meat." Clement of Alexandria in like manner explained: "Sacrifices were invented by men to be a pretext for Eating the Flesh of Animals." 

Further confirmation that the original followers of Yeshua/Jesus ate no flesh foods is seen in the Clementine Homily 7, chap 4, where it reads: “Wherefore, as then ye were deceived by the forerunner Simon, and so became dead in your souls to God, and were smitten in your bodies; so now, if you repent, as I said, and submit to those things which are well-pleasing to God, you may get new strength to your bodies, and recover your soul’s health. And the things which are well-pleasing to God are these: to pray to Him, to ask from Him, recognizing that He is the giver of all things, and gives with discriminating law; to abstain from the table of devils, not to taste dead flesh, not to touch blood; to be washed from all pollution; and the rest in one word, — as the God-fearing Jews" 

Inner Kingdom: When Yeshua/Jesus was asked when the Kingdom would come upon the earth, he replied: "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: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21 KJV). With respect to this saying Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament writes: "Within you [entos (grk 1787) humoon (grk 5216)]. This is the obvious, and, as I think, the necessary meaning of [entos] (grk 1787). The examples cited of the use of [entos] (grk 1787) in Xenophon and Plato where [entos] means 'among' do not bear that out when investigated. Field (Ot Norv.) 'contends that there is no clear instance of [entos] in the sense of among' (Bruce), and rightly so. What Jesus says to the Pharisees is that they, as others, are to look for the kingdom of God within themselves, not in outward displays and supernatural manifestations. It is not a localized display "Here" or "There." It is in this sense that in Luke 11:20 Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God as 'come upon you' [efthasen (grk 5348) ef' (grk 1909) humas (grk 5209)], speaking to Pharisees. The only other instance of [entos] (grk 1787) in the New Testament Matt. 23:26 necessarily means 'within' ('the inside of the cup'). There is, beside, the use of [entos] (grk 1787) meaning 'within' in the Oxyrhynchus Papyrus saying of Jesus of the Third Century (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, p. 426) which is interesting: 'The kingdom of heaven is within you' [entos (grk 1787) humoon (grk 5216) as here in Luke 17:21)]."

One of the references made in the above is the two important recent Christian archeological discoveries known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri and the Gospel of Thomas where we are able to see an essential teaching of Yeshua to his disciples on how they were to gain entrance to the inner Kingdom in the words: “When the Lord was asked by a certain man, when should his kingdom come, he said unto him, when two shall be one and the without as the within, and the male with the female, neither male nor female”. That this is an authentic teaching of the Lord to his disciples was affirmed by St. Clement, the disciple of Peter, in his The Second Epistle of Clement where he writes: “Let us expect, therefore, hour by hour, the kingdom of God in love and righteousness, since we know not the day of the appearing of God. For the Lord Himself, being asked by one when His kingdom would come, replied, 'When two shall be one, that which is without as that which is within, and the male with the female, neither male nor female’”. What these important teachings convey is the reality of an inner Armageddon, and the spiritual birth of the disciple in the Kingdom within.

In what the Bible describes as entering a purely spiritual realm (Rev 1:10), the disciple who is able to fulfill the above saying of Yeshua/Jesus within himself, is able to move beyond the three-dimensional barrier of this physical place in which we presently dwell.  A mature Jew or Christian who lives in accordance with the Royal Law of Love, the Commandments of God, and is under the vow of the Nazirene, is permitted to gaze out into these other worlds that exist in parallel dimensions to this physical world.  This is readily seen in the words of the Apostle when he wrote that he would “tell about the visions I've had, and revelations from the Lord. Fourteen years ago I was taken up to heaven for a visit. Don't ask me whether my body was there or just my spirit, for I don't know; only God can answer that. But anyway, there I was in paradise, and heard things so astounding that they are beyond a man's power to describe or put in words (and anyway I am not allowed to tell them to others)” (2 Cor 12:1-4 TLB).  That the Jews and Christians of the simple faith will look upon the Mysteries of God as "foolishness" -- and thus, the mature Jew or Christian who has overcome his carnal nature is "...not allowed to tell...others" about the realities that are taught to him as he is permitted to enter the indwelling Kingdom, is well documented in the first three chapters of Paul First Epistle to the Corinthians.