"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." (Christ Jesus; Luke 17: 20 & 21).
"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). (Jesus' response to Peter's spiritually enlightened thought).
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." (Christ Jesus; John 14: 12).
"And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." (Christ Jesus; Matthew 10: 7 & 8).
So, "The Kingdom of God is within you." Sounds simple, doesn't it? I mean, it's a short statement, telling humanity where to seek, find, and enter God's spiritual kingdom, Heaven, with all its everlasting life, health, abundance and harmony. So where, within us, do we find it? Where is its door? And what kind of keys do we need to enter this holy 'place' within, once we find it?
It takes no great mental effort to perceive that the location of the Kingdom of God's heavenly harmony is a mental location or spiritual state of mind. To be more precise, it's obviously a higher, enlightened state of mind or knowing than we, and what we've been taught in this materially human experience, are very familiar with.
So, over the centuries, many cultures and religions have realized that the heavenly state of mind we are seeking is an embedded, or innate, spiritual sense of reality which must be sleeping or dormant within each one's consciousness. Because we don't readily access this higher consciousness, it does seem to be sleeping in memory, except for flashes of spiritual insight that spring to thought, bringing the Kingdom of God (spiritual reality) into our human experience, if just for brief moments at a time.
Metaphysical religions of our day (like Christian Science, The Infinite Way, Unity) sometimes call this higher consciousness within, the Christ Consciousness—to distinguish it from the carnal mind, or material consciousness we believe to be our mind. This material mentality uses the five physical senses to define reality and life as physical.
Perceiving only a physical universe, the carnal mentality finds no evidence of spiritual things, let alone God. From the standpoint of the material mentality, we believe what we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch physically. That's mostly it. Yet, our spiritual sense is never totally asleep. Almost all of us have had little spiritual (other worldly) experiences throughout our lives. Some pay attention to that spiritual sense within; some don't.
To the extent that the outer, physical environment of form is accepted as the main truth of where we are and who we are, we are bound by our individual beliefs of this seemingly material realm, with all it's so-called laws of physical cause and effect. We learn to live with our woes, believing them to be according to physical law, which we can't escape. What is worse, we mentally charge God with the creation of, and responsibility for, all the evils, trials and tribulations that this false sense, and false laws, heap upon our daily experiences.
Yet, the location of the Kingdom of God is more than just a hidden place within our deeper conscious awareness. God is Spirit, and God's creation is spiritual—it is not material. Spirit's creation, the Kingdom of God, is not in the realm or dimension of matter. It has Its own realm. It has its own dimension. And that dimension underlies all space and time, needing no room for physical form.
More importantly, this invisible Kingdom of God has never gone away from us, anymore than we have gone away from it. It is present right where the physical universe of form seems to be, but is not. Thus, the spiritual Kingdom is not just within us, it is also without us, underlying the entire outer world of form, which we've erroneously accepted as reality.
The Kingdom or Universe of God is always a Kingdom of its own, unconnected to what we experience as the universe of matter. It is always separate from matter and material form. Yet, because we're not really in a realm of matter, but more of a mentally, thought-projected dream or illusion of a material place, the laws that really govern us are not laws of matter—they are laws of Spirit. Matter has no laws to rule any realm. That is why spiritual power can over-ride material so-called laws in what is called 'healing'. In other words, we're already in the Kingdom of God, the realm of Spirit; we just don't recognize the place, due to our materialization of it.
God delivers us from the evils of all the collective, material beliefs that take form (manifest) in our lives and bodies, here on this lowered level of thought awareness. This deliverance comes from calling upon the spiritual sense of our Christ Consciousness within to the forefront of our thoughts.
When mentally turning to this divine Consciousness within, we have used (what I believe to be) the First Key to the Kingdom. The first key is to put on the Christ identity as our own. This whole earthly experience is a matter of false identification. We are the Christ (the spiritual identity), not an Adam or Eve (the fleshly identity). Even Adam and Eve weren't really children of the flesh, but children of Spirit, God. By realizing that we are not an Adam or Eve identity, nor any of their descendants, we mentally re-birth ourselves to our spiritual identity, not of this world, along with its spiritually, divine conditions and circumstances.
Once recognizing ourselves (each as an individual, spiritual identity created by God, having only those qualities of good which belong to God) we have other spiritual truths to discern. Who we really are goes along with where we really are. When we read in the Bible, "For in him we live, and move, and have our being;" (Acts 17: 28) this means that our life and identity remains within the infinite, spiritual Intelligence that conceived us. We can't be cut off from God, anymore than a sunbeam can be cut off from the sun. We emanate from God.
Metaphorically speaking, we are each one of God's infinite faces. Like the facets of a cut stone, we each express God's infinite identities from a different angle. The universal Christ is used as a term, here, to mean, 'the spiritual one'. It does not mean we are Jesus; rather, it means Jesus (the fleshly man) was really the Christ (the spiritual man). I believe he was our spiritual brother, trying to show us our real selves. He was separating us from the finite, fleshly, corruptible sense of self in favor of the infinite, incorruptible spiritual Self. This Self is governed only by the spiritual laws of God, over-riding the assumed laws of matter.
When we do set aside our human identity for the Christ identity, nothing can stop the Christ Consciousness within from bringing forward, in thought, the message of spiritual truth we need. This message calms us and begins at once to dissolve our fear and continued suffering of the material lie plaguing us. It reminds us that "my kingdom is not of this world" (John 18: 36) as Christ Jesus told Pontius Pilate. Once we've re-connected ourselves to this very link with the God-Mind, that peace, not of this world, will come to us, even before the physical healing transformation occurs.
In Revelation 3: 20, this re-connection is described this way: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." The Christ Consciousness within is always knocking at the door of our un-enlightened human mentality, but we dismiss it and block it out. We must 'unlock' the door from our side, by recognizing this divine Selfhood as God's own off-spring.
We must "…call no man your Father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." (Matthew 23: 9) and re-establish in thought that only God is our divine Source and Origin, before we will remember to call upon this divine Consciousness to guide us in all that we do. Our Christ-Mind functions on our behalf, only when turned to and activated. Only then can it come forward in thought to guide and save us from whatever is wrong in our thinking and lives.
So, touching the Christ of our own being, (realizing our true identity as God's image and likeness) we have stepped through the door into the Kingdom. The Master, no doubt, taught his disciples and followers to call forth this ever-present, enlightened consciousness within, because it is our very link to God and the realization of that ever-present (though invisible to the five senses) Kingdom of God. What the five senses do not detect, our Christly spiritual sense, filled with all truth, always perceives.
Once we've remembered who we really are (Spirit's own children) and where we really are (God's spiritual kingdom and no other) all the truths concerning Spirit's reality begin to flow into the forefront of our thoughts. With these truths, or enlightenment, we discover, through each experience, this great fact: Right where the entire physical universe appears to be, right there is actually the invisible Kingdom of God, Spirit, which includes only the true, spiritual substance, form, and conditions of Spirit.
We simply don't yet recognize this place, because we cannot perceive it with the five physical senses. Spiritual sense, alone, perceives the Kingdom of God. And it is through spiritual sense that the other keys (divine Truths) dawn in thought—truths of all that is contained in our divine inheritance; such as, health, eternal life, ever-lasting provision of all good, and the divine Family of our Father-Mother, including all identities as our spiritual brothers and sisters.
Here's a brief (and practical) illustration of physical healing, resulting from the simple realization of the Christ identity as our true being:
In my childhood through my young adulthood, I would often twist my ankle. Even when ice-skating, I had to wrap one ankle that seemed weaker than the other. For me, a twisted ankle meant swelling, pain, discoloration, and being unable to walk for about three weeks. I just accepted it, when it happened throughout the years, since the injury was always so painful and explainable.
The healing of this phenomenon finally occurred when I was in my thirties and pregnant. I stepped into a hole in the ground and twisted the ankle again. By that time, I was healing regularly by spiritual means, so as I lay in bed in pain, I knew, logically, that the injury was not true of my real being. Still, the swelling and pain riveted my attention.
So, I turned to the Christ Consciousness within and asked to be shown, mentally, what the problem with my ankle was (in other words, what was the material claim about my ankle that warranted this injury?)
A quiet voice, within, began to speak to my thoughts. What came to me was to see that God is omnipresent and to realize my own omnipresence as God's image and likeness. The 'voice' within told me to see that my body was actually spread out all over God's universe, since God was spread out all over the universe. I was to try to SEE or behold my spiritual substance, unconfined by a material form. I did so.
Then the thoughts within said, "Do you see your true spiritual substance, including a part of your completeness that includes an ankle?" I thought back, "Yes," as I realized that the spiritual substance of my real body and ankle (whatever type of form it took) isn't in one, finite location, but everywhere present. Then the voice within said to me, quite clearly, "Now twist it."
I remember that that seemed funny to me, and I laughed at trying to picture a spiritual, twisted ankle. It made no sense. Yet, I got the idea: I had no fleshly ankle to twist, because I was Spirit's daughter, living within Spirit's realm and my true, spiritual body (whatever form Spirit might take). The pain stopped immediately; the black, blue and yellowish discoloration disappeared in about twenty minutes. When I step down on the ankle, I knew it was healed. For thirty years after that, I never twisted an ankle again—that is, until two weeks ago.
It happened suddenly; I don't know why it twisted. But I recognized the pattern from so many years ago. First pain and swelling, then discoloration. But as I experienced the first ten minutes of that phenomenon, I could feel a peace and joy deep inside. I smiled inwardly and outwardly. This sucker had no chance with me. I had grown beyond any temptation to believe in a material, fleshly ankle that could be injured.
With joy, I realized that my kingdom is not of this world, because God's Kingdom is not of this world. My body is not of this world. I'd learned the truth long ago—my true body, living and moving in Spirit's realm, couldn't be injured anywhere. Such a thing is impossible; it's a non-occurrence. My memory of the healing came right on the heels of the memory of suffering such a thing. I was safe and whole in God's love back then; I was still safe and sound in the same place.
The pain stopped, almost instantly upon these thoughts. That evening, as I sat down, I felt a slight twinge in the ankle. I quickly, mentally, declared the truth of my Christly being again. That was all there was to that occasion. The next day, no swelling, discoloration, or even twinges occurred. I was going up the steps in my home, two at a time again, with no hint of feeling from the ankle.
What I've just learned from that experience that happened two weeks ago is this: Once something has been healed from resorting to the Christ identity within, it stays a permanent triumph in one's memory. Twisted ankles will never be a threat, or affliction, for me again. Been there, done that! Once I thoroughly dismissed it from my thought, the physical body dismissed it from its manifestation. Appearances and physical sensations say that one is injured (or sick) but physical appearances and sensations have nothing to do with reality.
Physical healings occur when thought relinquishes the false, material identity for the spiritual one. God is the infinite Intelligence which conceives all identities and all things in creation. All creation is safe in its spiritual substance, never touched or harmed by anything in the world or universe of finite form. That's the reason that Jesus and his followers were able to handle any and all disease, disfigurement or scars, injury, even death. Material circumstances of ill-health and discordant conditions are not spiritual realities; therefore, they can be fixed.
These manifestations of the flesh are never realities belonging to God's children. They're never a part of anyone's true being. NOTHING IN THIS WORLD EVER TOUCHES OUR TRUE BEING, NOR OUR TRUE CIRCUMSTANCES, WHICH REMAIN SAFE IN GOD'S LOVING CARE FOREVER. Realizing this, material consciousness is corrected by spiritual fact, and the physical form changes to more perfectly pattern this spiritual reality.
Armed with this knowing all people can learn to heal with it. This knowing means that Spirit's creatures and children (you and me) are separate and apart from the material body we seem to inhabit. We are here, where we seem to be hiding in a fleshly form, but we are here as spiritual beings, not fleshly beings.
Right where a physically sick body or mind appears to be us, right there is the spiritual, forever-whole body and mind that is the REAL us. It is the carnal mind (the belief of accepting ourself as material) that seems to feel the physical body's sensation. Consider this: When someone is unconscious or dead, does the body feel pain? No. The consciousness of the individual has withdrawn into deeper sleep or from the form entirely. Without the consciousness to animate it, the fleshly form begins to disintegrate into the nothingness it really is. (His spiritual enlightenment complete, Jesus ascended out of the physical form, causing it to disappear immediately into nothingness, instead of disintegrating over time.)
The belief that we are in a finite form is the veil over consciousness that has afflicted humanity since the beginning of the Adam dream of material existence. Neither Adam nor the generations of collective 'mankind' has yet awakened. This collective mentality has never awakened from the dream of material existence, to the spiritual truth that we are still in the Kingdom of God, and still at one with our divine Source of all good.
God has never cast out anyone away from Its own Self. Our ancient ancestors (Adam and Eve) were never thrown out of their spiritual home, Heaven, or God's Kingdom of Spirit; they had no need to hide in a fleshly shell for safety. Material existence is still the mental sleep of life in matter. This material belief is all there is to the carnal mind, which throws the veil of materiality over consciousness, afflicting all of us here, in this human experience.
Many people on the spiritual healing path miss this all-important fact. They often try to heal a physical body, instead of realizing that their body, soul and mind are spiritual in substance, always safe in Spirit's kingdom, despite the appearance of being trapped in a material form. We "live, and move, and have our being" ONLY in God, our spiritual substance, and Spirit cannot be cut, burned, diseased, old, or dead.
We won't ascend out of these beliefs over night, or even over just a few years. Yet, Christ Jesus showed that all things are possible to them that believe in the truth of spiritual, rather than material, being. Once the realization of our Christly identity opens the door to spiritual, rather than physical being, we've taken our first step into the Kingdom. Each step we take after that brings us to another wondrous new door to unlock, until the fullness of life in Spirit forms us anew.