...heaven is YHVH's Throne
by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
…He answered them and said, "The kingdom of YHVH does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' for indeed, the the kingdom of YHVH is within you." Luke 17:20-21
In Matthew 5:34 (click on highlighted words to view content) Yeshua reinforces that heaven IS YHVH's throne, His residency, the place where Spirit dwells and abides (quoting directly from Isaiah 66:1). The Kingdom of YHVH tells us whose it is and the Kingdom of heaven tells us where it is - but there is only one Kingdom referred to in scripture that belongs to Spirit.
There was an epochal event that occurred on Yom Shav'uot (Day of Pentecost) that had not happened since the separation took place in gan edan (the Eden garden). For it was on that day, as a result of the sacrifice of the Kinsman Redeemer that the promise of the restoration of the Kingdom was fulfilled. On that day, the Kingdom of YHVH's residency, His throne, moved from the "heavenlies" once again into the hearts of men who would receive His Words (Jeremiah 31:33, John 1:12). Yeshua said in Luke 17:20-21 above that the Kingdom of YHVH is "within" - not "over yonder". The throne of YHVH today resides in a tabernacle not made of stone, but in the hearts of men who have allowed His Words to cleanse and purify their hearts - YHVH's Kingdom is within and among His saints (Revelation 21:3, Psalm 73:1). It must be constantly stated that there is no scripture telling people to accept "Jesus" as their personal savior so they can "go to" a place called "heaven" - that is what is known as a symbolic reading of the text and, even though it has been repeated often enough to become part of the cultural vernacular, it still remains that heaven is where YHVH's throne abides.
Metaphor, allegory and symbolism are problematic when approaching scripture. Words like "do not lie", "do not murder" or "do not commit adultery" are universally understood literally at their face value. So, since much of the words of scripture are to be taken literally (and we are not given a codex anywhere spelling out what to follow); then, which words are to be taken literally and which words are to have symbolism, metaphor or allegory applied to them - and who gets to decide which ones are which? Symbolism, metaphor and allegory are artificial interpretations placed over the reading of what the words of the text actually say and mean. Words mean things. Reading into the text is what is known as eisegesis (metaphor, allegory or symbolism) as opposed to exegesis (reading out of the text) - what the words actually say. In fact, without any explicit statement from the text telling us otherwise, any attempt to override what the words actually say and mean will inevitably be found to simply be the opinion of the interpreter. The paradigm the interpreter brings to the text will lead him to find exactly the evidence he needs to support his opinion (metaphor, allegory or symbolic approach). While much of the Tanakh (OT) is written in figurative poetry, it does not speak in purely symbolic, abstract concepts. There is always a literal reality at the core of the subject, which is only then interpreted in a symbolic way to underscore and enhance the truth already contained in that reality.
Is there a real "heaven"? There is, but it must be seen from the Hebraic perspective these Hebrew texts describe it in order to understand that heaven is not a physical "place" - but, rather, a state of being that allows one to abide in the Present Presence. The usual Hebrew word for "heavens" is shamayim, a plural form meaning "heights, elevations". The Hebrew word marom is also used as an equivalent to shamayim, meaning "high places, heights" while the phrase "heaven and earth" is used to indicate the whole universe (Genesis 1:1, Jeremiah 23:24, Acts 17:24). According to Hebrew scripture there are three heavens: the firmament, as "fowls of the heaven" (Genesis 2:19, Psalm 8:8, Lamentations 4:19, etc.); the starry heavens - that which can be seen overhead (Deuteronomy 17:3, Jeremiah 8:2); and, while the religion of Christianity has laid exclusive claim to it, the "heaven of heavens" or the "third heaven" referred to by Paul in 2Corinthians 12:2 which actually originates in the words of the Tanakh found in Deuteronomy 10:14, 1Kings 8:27, and Psalm 148:4. Therefore, with the Hebraic definition of heaven considered to be that which is "lifted up or exalted, lofty" in mind - it is to this "third heaven" this discussion is focused for that is where the "throne of YHVH" is located. As referenced above, heaven is YHVH's throne. When YHVH changed His place of abode, His dwelling place, into the hearts of men who would embrace His Nature on Yom Shavuot (Day of Pentecost) - heaven moved with Him. This is the day when the Covenant YHVH made with Himself was fulfilled for it was on this day that the same words originally given in stone and accompanied with fire were now able to be written on the hearts of men. The manner of delivery had changed – BUT THEY ARE STILL THE SAME WORDS WITH THE SAME ACCOMPANIMENT OF FIRE (Exodus 20:1-17, Jeremiah 31:31-34).
|"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places ." Ephesians 6:12|
...the Kingdom of heaven is within
Understanding this Hebrew perspective brings clarity to the words of Ephesians 6:12 above. The Greek word translated as "wickedness" in this verse is poneria meaning "depravity" but is derived from poneros which, while translated as "evil", actually means "full of labours, annoyances, hardships" - not a persona. This poneros, translated into English as "wicked one" or "evil one" in 1John 5:18 can then be seen to mean that the person who keeps himself in YHVH's Words is not touched by this evil "force of labor" created from his own determination. It is the same word Yeshua uses in Mark 7:21 as He is describing what comes out of the heart of a man that defiles him. Yeshua also used this word when saying that evil proceeds from the heart of men in Matthew 9:4 and Matthew 12:34-35 - but Yeshua was only repeating what He had been taught of His Father.
It is with this Hebraic understanding of where heaven is and from where evil originates that places a new enlightenment on Yeshua's words of Matthew 6:10, "Let Your kingdom come, let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." The responsibility of Gatekeepers to the Kingdom of YHVH where His Throne, heaven, abides is to show forth the Glory of the Father by preventing the worldly forces of darkness from infecting the Body of Messiah through the embrace of the laborious thoughts of men from which those evil forces originate - and that begins with me. If the Words of Yeshua cleanse us from those evil thoughts and the Words He speaks are the Words of His Father - then, how can we expect to be cleansed if we reject YHVH's Words? How can we be equipped to resist the worldly forces of wickedness that bombard us on a daily basis if we say His Words are no longer applicable to us today? How do we keep from being separated from His Presence if it is in the keeping of His Words that assures He abides with us? It is much easier to blame what befalls us on some imaginary evil than to accept responsibility for where evil originates. And this brings us back to the primary usage of the Hebrew word sa-tan as any adversarial opposition to His Words - not some metaphorical physical entity.
Part One: Where Is Heaven?
Part Two: Is There A Hell?
Part Three: The Immortal Soul
|"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of YHVH, and take every thought captive into obedience to the Messiah..." 2Corinthians 10:5|
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to partake with you of what the Spirit is uncovering.