Journey to the Inner Kingdom of God

Andrii Zvorygin yN-PH2196 mtH2a1* & GPT4
from Owen Sound,
attender of Glad Tidings Fellowship, Tara, ON


1 Disclaimer

This leaflet is designed to serve as a catalyst for your spiritual growth. It aims to offer you a deeper understanding of the journey to the inner Kingdom in the context of Jesus’s teachings and biblical prophecies. We encourage you to ”test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) and to peacefully set aside what does not resonate with you.

2 Personal Journey to the Inner Kingdom

This leaflet is an expansion on the ”Journey to the Inner Kingdom” found in the ”Kingdom of God in Anabaptist Perspective” leaflet.

3 Justification

3.1 The Divine Invitation

Every individual’s journey towards the Inner Kingdom commences with an invitation – a divine beckoning that resonates deep within the human heart. This call is not based on one’s deeds but is rather a gracious extension from God Himself. Paul, in his writings, underlined this sentiment, stating, ”But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” (Romans 4:5). This profound statement emphasizes that it is not by human effort or merit that we find favor with God, but through unwavering belief in His promises.

3.2 A Renewed Perspective

Upon accepting this divine invitation, one’s perspective starts to undergo a remarkable transformation. The priorities of the world gradually fade, replaced by an insatiable thirst for righteousness and spiritual growth. Jesus Himself declared, ”Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6). This hunger reflects the yearning of a soul that has recognized its true purpose and is unrelenting in its pursuit of divine knowledge and connection.

3.3 Anchored in Grace

However, the journey is not without its challenges. In the face of adversities, doubts, and even personal failings, it is crucial to remember that our justification is not anchored in our perfection but in God’s unending grace. As Paul assures us in his letter to the Ephesians, ”For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). These words serve as a comforting reminder that our relationship with God isn’t transactional; it’s based on His overwhelming love and mercy.

3.4 Walking Hand in Hand with God

With the foundation of faith securely established, the believer is then called to walk daily with God, seeking His guidance and reflecting His love in every aspect of life. This daily commitment brings us closer to the essence of discipleship. As the Apostle John succinctly captured, ”Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” (1 John 2:6). To abide in God, therefore, is to emulate Jesus, absorbing His teachings and embodying His love, kindness, and compassion.

3.5 The Lifelong Commitment

In conclusion, justification is the door that opens up the path of discipleship. But walking this path is a lifelong commitment, a daily decision to live in alignment with God’s will and purpose. The writer of Hebrews captures this sentiment beautifully, ”Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23). This timeless truth encourages every believer to remain steadfast, always drawing strength from the knowledge that God’s promises are unchanging and eternal.

4 Sanctification

Once an individual commits to the spiritual journey, they transition into the vital phase of sanctification, as described in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. This phase isn’t merely a passing moment; it’s an encompassing process characterized by intense spiritual and moral refinement. At the heart of this refinement are practices like prayer, meditation, and in-depth study of scriptures.

”Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8) This verse serves as a clarion call for those undergoing sanctification, emphasizing the reciprocal nature of our relationship with the Divine.

4.1 Trusting in God’s Divine Provision

One of the key attributes developed during sanctification is an unyielding trust in God’s provision. This trust transcends mere belief; it manifests as an unwavering faith that regardless of external circumstances, if we place our trust in God, all will be well. The Psalmist beautifully captures this sentiment:

”Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” (Psalm 37:3). In this trust, believers find peace, confident in God’s benevolence and the understanding that their needs, both spiritual and temporal, will be met.

4.2 Recognizing the Divine Within

Central to sanctification is the realization of the divine spark within ourselves and others. Every soul carries this divine essence; as the scripture attests, ”Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7). This breath of life, bestowed by God, illuminates the divine within all of creation. Recognizing this transforms how we perceive the world, shifting our focus from the mundane to the sacred.

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians emphasizes the depth of this divine connection: ”Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). As followers of Jesus, who declared, ”I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), we too share in this divine union. With the heart of God within us, we are called to let His love radiate outward. ”By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35).

This love is all-encompassing, reminding us of Jesus’ command to ”Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Acknowledging this divine indwelling challenges us to honor God not only in our personal lives but also in our interactions with others. Embracing the sentiment of Psalm 24:1, ”The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,” we are beckoned to love and respect all of God’s creation without exception, embodying the boundless love of our Heavenly Father.

4.3 The Imperative of Love, Forgiveness, and Acceptance

With the recognition of the divine comes the sacred duty to love, forgive, and accept – starting with ourselves and extending to those closest to us, like spouses, family, friends, and colleagues. Jesus’ teachings emphasize this: ”A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34). This love isn’t restricted; it’s expansive, pushing us to extend our love, fueled by the Infinite Father’s love within us, to all of creation. That includes ourselves, our spouse, our family, close friends, but also the stranger, the criminal, the addict, the poor, the downtrodden, and rejected and the suffering. There are no exceptions to God’s love that flows through a true disciple of Christ, since even the least is God (Matt 25:40). This love is the lamp we must hold as wise virgins until the bridegroom comes for us, refilled by the oil of the Infinite Father’s love for all creation.

4.4 Historical Pathways of Introspection and Service

Historical precedents underscore the depth of the sanctification journey. Moses’ 40 years in the desert epitomize profound introspection and communion with God. In contrast, young Samuel’s dedication in the temple showcases a life devoted to service and worship. Their diverse paths emphasize that sanctification can manifest differently for each individual but culminates in an intimate relationship with God.

”Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) This Beatitude underscores the outcome of sanctification: an internal transformation so profound that it allows the seeker to glimpse the Divine.

4.5 Conclusion: Sanctification as the Beacon of Spiritual Growth

Sanctification is more than a phase; it’s the guiding light of spiritual growth. As believers immerse themselves in this process, they become more attuned to God’s frequency, allowing His love and wisdom to permeate every facet of their lives. Through this journey, we are called to transcend our limitations, embrace the divine within, and become true ambassadors of God’s boundless love on Earth.

5 Piercing of the Veil

Once the disciple is sufficiently prepared the piercing of the veil in the context of spiritual experiences and encounters with God represents a profound and transformative moment in various religious traditions. It symbolizes the breaking down of barriers that separate humanity from the divine and allows individuals to enter into intimate communion with God.

5.1 Moses and the Burning Bush:

One of the most iconic moments of divine encounter in the Bible is found in the story of Moses and the burning bush, as recorded in the book of Exodus (Exodus 3:1-6). As Moses approached the burning bush, he experienced the voice of God and was instructed to remove his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. This encounter marked the beginning of Moses’ divine calling and intimate relationship with God, illustrating the piercing of the veil that separates ordinary life from the sacred.

5.2 Samuel’s Calling:

In the book of 1 Samuel (1 Samuel 3:1-10), we read about the young Samuel’s calling. While sleeping in the tabernacle, Samuel heard a voice calling his name. Initially, he thought it was Eli, the priest. However, after recognizing God’s voice, Samuel responded, ”Speak, for your servant is listening.” This moment marked the beginning of Samuel’s prophetic ministry and was a clear instance of the veil between the earthly and the divine being pierced.

5.3 Prophetic Visions:

Prophets like Ezekiel and Isaiah often had awe-inspiring visions of God’s glory. In Ezekiel’s vision of the divine throne-chariot (Ezekiel 1:4-28), he described the extraordinary sights and sounds he witnessed. Isaiah’s vision of the Lord in the temple (Isaiah 6:1-4) included the seraphim singing, ”Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.” These visions represented profound encounters with the divine that transcended ordinary human experience and signified the piercing of the veil between the earthly and the heavenly realms.

5.4 Jesus’ Baptism and Crucifixion:

In the New Testament, the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17) is a pivotal moment when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove, and God’s voice affirmed His divine identity. This event marked the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry and was a clear instance of divine revelation piercing the veil of human existence.

Furthermore, during Jesus’ crucifixion, after He declared, ”It is finished” (John 19:30), the temple veil was torn in two (Matthew 27:51). This dramatic tearing of the veil symbolized the removal of the separation between God and humanity. It was a profound moment when the barrier between the sacred and the ordinary was torn asunder, signifying the possibility of direct communion with God for all believers.

These biblical examples highlight moments when individuals experienced the piercing of the veil, allowing them to draw closer to God and engage in intimate communion with the divine. These encounters serve as reminders of the profound potential for spiritual transformation and connection with God that exists within the human experience.

While we may not know the day or the hour when the piercing of the veil will occur, there are essential actions we can take:

5.5 Asking and Receiving:

In Matthew 7:7, Jesus encourages us with these words: ”Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.” This verse underscores the importance of actively seeking a deeper connection with God. Just as we knock on a door to enter a room, we must seek a connection with the divine. To experience the piercing of the veil, we should ask for this divine gift in our prayers, meditation, and moments of reflection. Asking is the first step toward receiving the profound revelation and communion with God.

5.6 Steadfast Faith and Love:

Maintaining steadfast faith and holding our light of love are essential components of preparing for the piercing of the veil. Faith is the anchor of our spiritual journey, keeping us grounded in our belief in God’s presence and His desire for us to draw near to Him. Love, as emphasized by Jesus throughout His teachings, is the core of our spiritual existence. We are called to love one another, and this love becomes the light that guides us toward divine encounters. In 1 Corinthians 16:14, we are reminded, ”Let all that you do be done in love.” By living a life characterized by love and faith, we prepare our hearts to receive the divine revelation that pierces the veil.

5.7 Accepting All Outcomes:

While we earnestly seek the piercing of the veil and long for moments of divine encounter, we must also embrace the reality that the timing and manner of these experiences are known only to God. Just as Jesus warned in Matthew 24:36, ”But about that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” We must accept that God’s plan may include various outcomes. Some may experience the piercing of the veil in profound ways during their earthly lives, while others may encounter it as they cross into the next life. Accepting all possible outcomes is an act of surrender and trust in God’s divine timing and wisdom.

In essence, while we may not have knowledge of the precise moment when the veil will be pierced and we will enter into intimate communion with God, we are encouraged to actively seek this divine connection through prayer, faith, and love. We must hold our light of love as we walk in faith, and in doing so, we prepare our hearts for the moment of revelation, whether it comes in this life or in the eternity that awaits us. Ultimately, our faith, love, and surrender to God’s will align us with His divine plan and bring us closer to the profound experience of the veil being pierced and the presence of God being revealed to us.

6 Temptation

Throughout spiritual journeys, temptation has been a persistent challenge, serving as both an obstacle and an instrument for personal growth and self-realization. The test of temptation is universal; even Christ, during His time on Earth, was not exempt.

The Temptation of Christ: In the wilderness, Christ faced three significant temptations from Satan: the allure of physical sustenance, the promise of worldly power, and a test of divine protection (Matthew 4:1-11). His unwavering responses, deeply rooted in scripture and faith, set a precedent for us, highlighting resilience and an anchoring in divine truth.

Lust: Temptations of lust have been deeply addressed in various religious teachings. They can be navigated through abstinence, deep-seated loyalty to one’s spouse, or an even more profound loyalty to the divine. As Corinthians 6:18-20 expresses, our bodies are sacred, being temples of the Holy Spirit, urging us to honor God through them.

Power: The lure of power, authority, and dominance is another profound temptation. St. Augustine reflected on this, stating, ”Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Anchoring in humility and service, as Christ exemplified through His life, can guide us past the seduction of power.

Violence: Inclinations towards violence, whether in thought, word, or action, can be tempered by a commitment to pacifism and meditation. The teachings in Romans 12:21 advise us, ”Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Meditation and contemplation offer solace and transformative peace.

Testing the Spirits: It’s crucial to discern and test our spiritual experiences. As 1 John 4:1-3 counsels, ”Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” By consistently grounding ourselves in scripture and divine guidance, we ensure alignment with the pure essence of God’s love.

Embarking on this journey towards the inner kingdom is a path filled with challenges, yet the life and teachings of Christ shine as a beacon, leading us towards a realm of profound peace, love, and divine connection.

7 Integration and Witnessing

Following the moment of piercing the veil and experiencing intimate communion with God, a period of integration and witnessing becomes crucial. This phase allows individuals to assimilate the profound encounter and incorporate its transformative effects into their lives. It is a time of deep reflection, understanding, and alignment with the divine purpose that has been revealed.

7.1 Biblical Examples:

Jesus’ 40 Days in the Wilderness: After His baptism, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, where He fasted and faced various temptations (Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13). This period of solitude and contemplation allowed Him to prepare for His ministry and fully embrace His divine calling. It was a time of spiritual strengthening and integration of His identity as the Son of God.

Apostle Paul’s Damascus Experience: The Apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul, had a life-changing encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9). This encounter left him blinded and transformed. However, Paul did not immediately embark on his ministry. Instead, he spent three years in Arabia, likely in contemplation and integration of this experience (Galatians 1:15-18). This period of reflection and preparation was essential for him to fully comprehend the depth of God’s revelation and his calling to be an apostle to the Gentiles.

7.2 Permeating the Soul:

During the phase of integration and witnessing, the experience of piercing the veil and being in the presence of the Holy Spirit begins to permeate one’s entire being. It is not merely a memory but a profound transformation that influences thoughts, actions, and character. As 2 Corinthians 3:18 beautifully expresses, ”And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” This transformation is an ongoing process, deepening the connection with God and aligning one’s life with His divine will.

7.3 Preparation for Ministry:

This period of integration serves as a preparation for ministry and service to others. In Acts 1:8, Jesus tells His disciples, ”But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” The disciples needed time to absorb the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and understand their role as witnesses to the world. Similarly, those who have pierced the veil must prepare themselves to share the transformative message of God’s love and presence with others.

In conclusion, the period of integration and witnessing is a crucial phase that follows the profound experience of piercing the veil. It allows individuals to assimilate the divine encounter, deepen their connection with God, and prepare for their unique ministry and service to others. Just as Jesus and Apostle Paul took time to reflect and integrate their experiences, we too must allow the transformative power of God’s presence to permeate our souls and guide our journey of faith and service.

8 Kingdom Powers

Throughout Christian history, various saints and devout followers have been attributed with manifesting ”Kingdom Powers,” signs of divine intervention and a testament to the transformative nature of faith. While these abilities are awe-inspiring and can serve to strengthen the faith of believers, they also come with certain caveats and cautions.

1. Historical Instances of Kingdom Powers:

Healing: One of the most well-documented abilities, Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and even raised the dead. Likewise, apostles like Peter and Paul performed miraculous healings in Jesus’ name. Levitation: Saints, including St. Joseph of Cupertino and St. Teresa of Avila, reportedly levitated during intense spiritual experiences. Transfiguration: The most notable instance is the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain, where He appeared radiant in glory alongside Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1-9).

2. The Challenge of Public Display: It’s believed that when Jesus was on the cross, in the presence of many unbelievers and skeptics, He tried to transfigure Himself but faced challenges. The deeply poignant cry, ”Father, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34) is sometimes interpreted in this context. Later, in the seclusion of His tomb, Jesus successfully underwent a transformation, which was a divine testament to His followers.

3. The Warning against Publicizing Miracles: Jesus often advised those He healed or for whom He performed miracles, ”Do not tell anyone” (Matthew 8:4, Mark 7:36). The possible rationale is that disbelief and skepticism can interfere with the divine, potentially diminishing the impact of these Kingdom Powers.

4. Persecution Due to Kingdom Powers: Historical accounts reveal that several disciples and early Christians faced accusations of witchcraft or sorcery. Their divine abilities, seen through a lens of suspicion, became reasons for persecution. The Apostle Paul, for instance, was once mistaken for a god and later stoned for perceived blasphemy, reflecting the volatile reactions to manifestations of Kingdom Powers (Acts 14:11-19).

5. Exercising Discretion with Kingdom Powers: For those who believe they possess or witness Kingdom Powers, discretion is advised. As history and scripture indicate, public displays can attract skepticism, disbelief, and even hostility. Instead, these powers should be understood as intimate experiences between the believer and the Divine, cherished in the heart and shared with those of genuine faith.

In conclusion, while Kingdom Powers can serve as profound affirmations of faith, they are best understood, not as proofs for the world, but as divine intimacies to be treasured by true believers. As Jesus mentioned after the resurrection, ”Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

9 Divinization and Spiritual Growth

Divinization, often referred to as ”theosis” or ”becoming one with God,” is a profound spiritual process where individuals grow ever closer to God, becoming more like Him in character and purpose. It is a journey of spiritual transformation and union with the divine. In 2 Peter 1:4, we are reminded of this divine calling: ”Through these, he has given us his very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” This participation in the divine nature signifies the transformative journey of divinization.

9.1 A Life of Ministry and Prophetic Service:

As individuals progress in their journey of divinization, they are often called to a life of ministry or prophetic service. This calling is rooted in a deep desire to share the divine love and truth they have experienced with others. In the New Testament, figures like Matthew, James, Paul, and John exemplify this calling. They dedicated their lives to spreading the message of God’s kingdom, teaching and nurturing disciples, and bearing witness to the transformative power of faith.

9.2 Being Lights on a Hill:

In Matthew 5:14, Jesus tells His disciples, ”You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” This metaphor signifies that those who have experienced divinization and are growing closer to God become beacons of light and hope in a world filled with darkness. They lead by example, radiating God’s love, wisdom, and compassion, drawing others toward the divine presence.

9.3 Preaching the Good News of the Kingdom:

Jesus’ central message was the proclamation of the good news of the kingdom of God (Luke 4:43). Those who have undergone divinization are often compelled to carry forward this mission. They share the message of God’s kingdom, emphasizing the values of love, justice, and reconciliation, inviting others to embrace the transformative power of God’s reign in their lives.

9.4 Rivers of Living Water:

In John 7:38, Jesus speaks of those who believe in Him, saying, ”Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” Individuals who have experienced divinization become vessels through which the living waters of God’s Spirit flow. They bring refreshment and life to those around them, nurturing spiritual growth and renewal.

9.5 A Light for the Gentiles and Making Disciples:

Acts 13:47 emphasizes the role of divinized individuals as lights for the Gentiles, bringing salvation to the ends of the earth. This mirrors the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, where Jesus instructs His disciples to make disciples of all nations. Those who have drawn closer to God through divinization take up this commission with a fervor to share the message of salvation and discipleship with people from all walks of life.

In summary, the journey of divinization leads individuals toward a life of ministry and prophetic service. They become bearers of God’s light, proclaimers of the kingdom, channels of living water, and instruments of salvation. Drawing inspiration from biblical figures and the teachings of Christ, they strive to make disciples and bring the transformative love of God to the ends of the earth, fulfilling their divine calling.

10 Transfiguration and Divinization:

Transfiguration is a remarkable spiritual phenomenon where individuals undergo a profound transformation, often experiencing a temporary manifestation of divine radiance. This concept is exemplified in the biblical account of Jesus’ transfiguration on the mount (Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36). During this event, Jesus’ appearance changed, and His divinity shone forth, revealing His true nature as the Son of God. This experience highlights the culmination of divinization, where one becomes more like God in character and essence.

10.1 Rainbow Body in Tibetan Buddhism:

In Tibetan Buddhism, particularly within the Dzogchen tradition, there is a phenomenon known as the Rainbow Body (Tibetan: Jalü). This practice involves achieving a state of spiritual realization and purity through rigorous meditation, ethical living, and deep devotion. Those who attain the Rainbow Body are said to be able to manifest their physical bodies into light upon death. This process results in the dissolution of the physical body, leaving behind only hair and nails, as the practitioner transcends into a state of pure consciousness.

10.2 Purity of Heart and Forgiveness:

Achieving transfiguration or the Rainbow Body typically requires an extended period of inner purification and spiritual practice. This involves forgiving, loving, and being kind to every thought, feeling, word, and action, over a period of at least several years. The cultivation of a pure heart is essential in this journey. Such purity is not merely external but extends deep within one’s consciousness, aligning it with divine love and compassion.

10.3 Miraculous Feats of Service:

Transfiguration can serve as a means to perform miraculous feats of service, such as healing or imparting spiritual wisdom. In the case of Jesus, His transfiguration marked a pivotal moment before His journey to the cross. It provided His disciples with a glimpse of His divine nature, strengthening their faith for the challenges ahead. It also confirmed to Jesus that he could indeed rise again after his crucifixtion on the cross, so therafter he set events in motion with confidence in his ability.

10.4 Temporal Transfiguration and Post-Mortem Ressurection:

Transfiguration can occur temporarily while one is alive, as exemplified by Jesus on the mount. It can also be accomplished at the end of life, where the physical body transforms into light, similar to the Rainbow Body practitioners and by Jesus when his body was in the burial chamber. In some cases, individuals who achieve the Rainbow Body can visit their disciples after the cessation of their physical body for a period of days or weeks, serving as spiritual guides and sources of inspiration, similar to how Jesus visited his disciples after his Ressurection.

10.5 Visualization, Intent, Asking, and Faith:

The process of transfiguration often involves visualization with intent, where the individual envisions their divine nature and connection to God. They ask for divine intervention and provision, trusting in God’s guidance and grace throughout their spiritual journey. Faith in the transformative power of God’s presence is a driving force behind these miraculous experiences.

In conclusion, transfiguration, whether exemplified in the biblical account of Jesus or in practices like the Rainbow Body in Tibetan Buddhism, signifies a profound spiritual transformation rooted in purity of heart, forgiveness, love, and devotion. It serves as a testament to the potential of human beings to draw closer to the divine, manifesting their inner light, and ultimately, to serve as beacons of spiritual illumination for others.

This transformative journey invites us to walk in the footsteps of the saints and prophets who have gone before us. It offers each of us the chance to live as a living testament to God’s transformative power and love, truly becoming a disciple in the Kingdom of God both within and around us.

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