A common question that people ask me when I tell them that hell is not real is that if hell isn’t real, then what about heaven? It is almost like they are trying to prove that one cannot exist without the other. The truth is that the belief in a literal physical place called “heaven” that people go to immediately after death is actually unscriptural. Christians believe that when a person dies, they either go to hell or to heaven. If you have done “good” and accepted Christ, you will go to heaven to be with God forever. If you have done evil or you just failed to accept Christ means you will spend an eternity in hell. Well if you have read any of the other papers on this site, you should know by now that the doctrine of hell is a Christian fable. Also, man doesn’t have an immortal soul allowing him to live on after death. The whole idea of a person literally going anywhere after death other than the grave is totally unscriptural. In my paper titled, “Does Man have an Immortal Soul”, I explain with scripture that we all return to the dust from where we came. In order for us to understand the true meaning of the word heaven, we must first denounce the unscriptural, illogical, and carnal teaching of a literal physical heaven that believers go to after death.
Before I can continue, I need to explain a spiritual truth in order for you to understand what heaven is as it spoken about in the scriptures. You must understand that there is a distinct difference between heaven as God’s kingdom here on earth and heaven as the actual abode of God. In regards to going to heaven and actually seeing God, the scriptures teach us this truth;
John 1:18 NO MAN HATH SEEN GOD AT ANY TIME, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. This clearly tells us that nobody has seen God save Christ. When a person is said to go to a literal heaven when they die; isn’t it taught or believed that the person will see or be in the presence of God? In this context, isn’t going to heaven considered to be going to the abode of God in the invisible spiritual realm? The scriptures do not support this teaching. The bible describes the word heaven as the way for man to experience God as in the kingdom of heaven or kingdom of God. We must understand the difference between the kingdom of heaven and the actual abode of God as it is stated in this scripture;
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; but he that doeth the will of MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN. In this scripture, Christ makes a reference to not everyone entering the kingdom of heaven and his Father which is in heaven. Clearly we know that God the Father is in heaven which we understand to be the abode of the invisible spiritual realm. This is not the same thing as the kingdom of heaven because of this truth;
Exodus 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. All of these magnificent and unbelievable revelations of people being taken to heaven to see God and Jesus Christ are nothing but delusional or made up stories. Entering the “kingdom of heaven” has nothing to do with a person literally going to God’s heaven or the abode of God after death.
The word “heaven” appears 582 in the entire King James Bible and this word was translated from 12 different words in the original languages. Contemplating this truth alone can make it difficult to understand the true spiritual meaning of the word. However, if we study the teachings of Christ, we can learn much about heaven and what it really means. For the purpose of this paper, I will be focusing on the word “heaven” as it was used by Christ and its relationship to God’s kingdom. Furthermore, I will show to you from the scriptures, that there is no such thing as a literal physical “heaven” with streets of gold, mansions, pearly gates, and babies flying around in diapers playing harps.
The first thing that we need to discuss about heaven is that when Christ talked about heaven, He referred to it as “the kingdom of heaven” or the “kingdom of God”. It is important to understand the difference between “heaven” as a kingdom and “heaven” as the sky or pertaining to the celestial. All kingdoms have a king and Christ obviously is the king of the kingdom of heaven. The phrase “kingdom of heaven” is translated from the Greek word “basileia” and it is also translated as kingdom of God, kingdom (in general – good or evil), thy kingdom, his kingdom, my kingdom, and the kingdom. Basileia is a root word of the Greek word “basileus” which means king or commander. This word is used in scripture as king, king of Jews, King (God or Christ), and king of Israel. Many of these phrases are synonymous including the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven. Both of these phrases come from the same Greek word “basileia”. If you look at the Greek texts, the word basileia actually just refers to the word kingdom only. There is a different word that is used for the words “heaven” and “God”. The word heaven is translated from the Greek word “ouranos” and it is used as the words heaven, sky, air, and heavenly. The word “God” is translated from the Greek word “theos” and it is used as God, god, and godly. This all may seem confusing so let’s look at some scriptures to see how some of these words have been translated;
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the KINGDOM [basileia] OF HEAVEN [ouranos].
Luke 12:31 But rather seek ye the KINGDOM [basileia] OF GOD [theos]; and all these things shall be added unto you.
In these two scriptures above, the phrases “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” aren’t translated from just one Greek word. It is a combination of the two Greek words shown above. One could easily conclude that both of these phrases mean the exact same thing. Let me show you the scriptural proof;
Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
Luke 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the KINGDOM OF GOD as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
In the two scriptures above, Jesus is speaking a parable about entering the kingdom of heaven as it is written in Matthew and kingdom of God as it is written in Luke. In both scriptures, Jesus is making the same reference to entering the kingdom as little children. Notice that in Matthew, an extra detail is added (being converted) in addition to becoming as little children. Does this sound like the heaven that is preached about in church? Do you think Christ is talking about a literal place in the clouds where adults are flying around acting childish? Being like little children is spiritually figurative for being humble. Children are considered to be innocent because of their ignorance. When children start to learn about the ways of the world, they are no longer considered innocent. It is the ways of the world that corrupt men and if you get completely consumed by the world, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven (God). Christ also tells us that we must also be spiritually converted and I will talk about that later. For right now, it is important for you to understand that the belief in a heaven as a literal physical place that a person goes to after death is just not scriptural. So when you think about heaven as it is used in the scriptures above, think about it as God’s Kingdom for us (mankind to experience while alive on earth) and I’m not talking about church buildings. The Christian church of today’s world is not God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom is a spiritual kingdom.
I know this is most likely a new teaching for you but are you still in denial about these scriptural truths that has been revealed to you? Do you need more proof that heaven isn’t a literal physical place? Okay then; let’s look at some phrases in scripture that include the word “heaven” as it is used in scripture to see if we can learn more about the truth concerning the word heaven and what it really means. Let’s first look in Isaiah 14 in regards to the phrase “fallen from the heavens”;
Isaiah 14:12-14 How hast thou FALLEN FROM THE HEAVENS, O shining one, son of the dawn! Thou hast been cut down to earth, O weakener of nations. And thou saidst in thy heart: THE HEAVENS I GO UP, ABOVE STARS OF GOD I RAISE MY THRONE, And I sit in the mount of meeting in the sides of the north. I go up above the heights of a thick cloud, I AM LIKE TO THE MOST HIGH. [Note: the above passage of scripture has been quoted from Young’s Literal Translation. I purposefully selected this version because the King James Version is a terrible translation of Isaiah 14:12 as it includes “O Lucifer” as the translation of the phrase “O shining one” which is a gross translation error. In Christian circles, Isaiah 14 is typically used as the unscriptural teaching about the fall of Satan who was formerly Lucifer, an angel in heaven. This teaching is a Christian fable. If you would like to read more about this, go to the paper titled, “Satan: God’s Perfect Instrument of Evil”.]
I’m showing you Isaiah 14:12-14 to show you how the word heaven has been misinterpreted with the carnal mind and how it should be interpreted with a spiritual and logical mind. The first thing you need to understand about this passage of scripture is that the text is referring to Nebuchadnezzar – the king of Babylon and not a supposed angel named Lucifer. The context of Isaiah 14 tells us this;
Isaiah 14:4 That thou shalt take up this proverb against the KING OF BABYLON, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
Nebuchadnezzar was an evil oppressive king and he came to be referred to as the destroyer of nations. As he rose in power, he became puffed up with pride and arrogance. Nebuchadnezzar failed to realize that it was God who gave him his power.
Daniel 4:30-32 The KING SPAKE, and said, IS NOT THIS GREAT BABYLON, that I HAVE BUILT FOR THE HOUSE OF THE KINGDOM BY THE MIGHT OF MY POWER, AND FOR THE HONOUR OF MY MAJESTY? (I recommend that you read the whole chapter of Daniel 4 to get a better understanding of the fall of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon because of his pride.)
If we are to believe that the king of Babylon literally fell from heaven; one could presume that at some point, he had to literally ascend to heaven – the actual abode of God in order to fall from it. If we continue with this literal belief, tell me what it is about this king that makes him worthy of ascending up to heaven to be in the presence of God? We just read that he was evil, arrogant, and oppressive. Is there any scripture in the bible that teaches us that we can inherit “heaven” by being evil, arrogant, and oppressive? The word heaven as it is used in this passage of scripture is figurative. It is not referring to the actual abode of God in the invisible spiritual realm.
Daniel 5:20 But when HIS HEART WAS LIFTED UP, and HIS MIND HARDENED IN PRIDE, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: Nebuchadnezzar’s heaven exists in is his own mind, will, and thoughts about himself – the height, power and glory of his kingdom. All these things are a “figurative heaven” and it represents man’s belief that he can will and accomplish anything he desires with his own power and without God. Nebuchadnezzar thought that he was god not by proclaiming that he is god, but by failing to give God the glory for everything he had achieved. Because of his actions, God put him in his place hence the phrase, “how hast thou fallen from the heavens”. Nebuchadnezzar didn’t literally fall from the abode of God since we now know that “no man has seen God at any time”. Nebuchadnezzar was brought back down to the earth (the realities of the lowness of man) and he was made to realize that he was nothing without God. Would you like to know what God did to punish king Nebuchadnezzar for his pride?
Daniel 4:33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and HE WAS DRIVEN FROM MEN, and DID EAT GRASS AS OXEN, and HIS BODY WAS WET WITH THE DEW OF HEAVEN, TILL HIS HAIRS WERE GROWN LIKE EAGLES’ FEATHERS, AND HIS NAILS LIKE BIRDS’ CLAWS. For 7 years, God made Nebuchadnezzar believe that he was literal beast of the field and there is even a historical account of this and it is known as Nebuchadnezzar’s bout of insanity. After the 7 years passed, Nebuchadnezzar realized his folly and blessed the Most High and his kingdom was restored to him.
Let’s look at another example of scripture that uses the phrase, “exalted to heaven”;
Matthew 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art EXALTED UNTO HEAVEN, shalt be brought down to hell: This is Jesus speaking about the people of the city of Capernaum. Do you really think that Jesus was literally referring to the whole city of Capernaum being exalted up to heaven in the spiritual abode where God exists eternally? This too is a figurative phrase as in the example of king Nebuchadnezzar that we just discussed. Remember again what is required to enter the kingdom of heaven;
Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, EXCEPT YE BE CONVERTED, AND BECOME AS LITTLE CHILDREN, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Again, this is the parable of Christ in regards to entering the kingdom of heaven and in this verse, he gives two requirements – spiritual conversion and having a humble heart and spirit (this is what is meant by becoming as little children). What does it mean to be converted?
Matthew 13:15 For this PEOPLE’S HEART IS WAXED GROSS, and THEIR EARS ARE DULL OF HEARING, and THEIR EYES THEY HAVE CLOSED; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and SHOULD BE CONVERTED, and I should heal them. Christ is clear that believing truth is essential to spiritual conversion. Notice that being healed and converted is predicated on a person having an open heart, ears to hear and eyes to see. Were the people of Capernaum spiritually converted? Let’s look at what Christ spoke about the people of Capernaum;
Matthew 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for IF THE MIGHTY WORKS, WHICH HAVE BEEN DONE IN THEE, HAD BEEN DONE IN SODOM, IT WOULD HAVE REMAINED UNTIL THIS DAY. The people of Capernaum had personally witnessed the “mighty works” of Christ. The phrase “mighty works” come from the Greek word “dynamis” and it means “power”. Capernaum was a city in ancient Israel and the name Capernaum means “village of comfort”. This town was known to be a flourishing city at the time and even in the midst of the power of God, they didn’t believe. Remember that we already learned that believing truth is a requirement to spiritual conversion.
Matthew 11:20 Then began he to UPBRAID THE CITIES WHEREIN MOST OF HIS MIGHTY WORKS WERE DONE, because THEY REPENTED NOT: The people of Capernaum despite personally witnessing the power of God, they refused to believe and repent. They thought they had it going on while Christ comes along preaching the kingdom of God – healing the sick, casting out evil spirits, giving sight to the blind, and raising the dead. This is what is meant by the phrase “exalted to heaven”. It makes no sense to think that Christ is literally saying that the whole city of Capernaum was exalted to heaven. It should be clearly obvious that this is figurative language. The people of Capernaum were exalted to the heaven of their own minds by saying in their hearts that they were their own god and in no need for the one and only true God. They didn’t see a need to believe or repent despite experiencing the power of God. You do not have to literally say, “I’m god” to be guilty of this sin. If you deny God of his entire due worship and honor, then you are essentially claiming to be your own god as if you deserve the glory.
This next scripture is probably one of most misinterpreted scriptures in the whole bible that includes the word heaven.
Revelation 12:7-8 And there was WAR IN HEAVEN: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Was there literally a WAR in heaven? The Christian church teaches that this was a “literal” war in heaven I guess like World War I with Michael and the angels throwing heavenly bombs at Lucifer and the fallen angels that “chose” to rebel with him. This is nothing but an example of the carnality of the human mind. Revelation 12:7-8 has nothing to do with a literal war in the abode of God. It is quite foolish to even think that an entity created by God could do anything other than what was allowed by God in the first place. So what is this “war in heaven”?
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against PRINCIPALITIES, AGAINST POWERS, AGAINST THE RULERS OF THE DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD, AGAINST SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES.
Notice what Paul says first; we wrestle NOT against flesh and blood. So this tell us that this is not a literal physical war. Paul identifies what we wrestle against and they all include things that are invisible. The word “high” as in “high places” is translated from the Greek word “epouranios” and it is translated 16 others times as the word “HEAVENLY”. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that there is spiritual wickedness in the heavenly. How can there be spiritual wickedness in the fabled heaven of Christianity since they believe that heaven is a literal place of nothing but good? Heaven is not a physical place, it is a spiritual realm. Humans are NOT spiritual beings but rather earthly and physical beings so humans cannot actually see the powers of spiritual wickedness in the heavenly realm. Satan is the ruler of the darkness of this world and he controls the spiritual forces that influence us to do evil. One of Satan’s trademark abilities is the power to DECEIVE… To be deceived requires a person to be influenced in their MIND and people stand or fall based on their belief system. This is the only way that a human can access the spiritual realm and it is through our minds. Sure we live inside of a physical body but our mind with all of our thoughts, beliefs, and convictions represent who we really are.
So with this understanding, we should be able to see that “heaven” is not a literal physical place that people (souls) go to after death. Heaven is a realm of spiritual understanding, spiritual thinking, and a spiritual way of existing in this physical realm. We cannot acquire anything spiritual without God because God is Spirit. The bible uses the words heaven, earth, and sea to describe the different levels of spirituality.
Revelation 5:13 AND EVERY CREATURE WHICH IS IN HEAVEN, AND ON THE EARTH, AND UNDER THE EARTH, AND SUCH AS ARE IN THE SEA, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. I sincerely hope that many understand that the creatures spoken of in this verse is understood to be mankind. Revelation 5:3 And NO MAN IN HEAVEN, NOR IN EARTH, NEITHER UNDER THE EARTH, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. Men do not literally dwell in heaven – the abode of God. This is referring to the different levels of spirituality. There are people who dwell in the spiritual realms of heaven, earth, and the sea (under the earth).
Heaven – this is the highest level of spiritual understanding
Earth – this is the mid level of spiritual understanding
Sea – this is the lowest level or the level of no spiritual understanding
People who dwell in heaven are considered to be God’s elect (those who overcome the world) and who have been called out of the church. This group represents the few chosen of God who believe and understand the truths of God’s word. Heaven dwellers represent the highest level of spiritual understanding and there are even higher levels in heaven.
People who walk in the earth are the people who attend church or “religious folk” as this group of people have some spiritual understanding. However, this group is still deceived and under the power of Satan.
People who walk in the sea are the people of the world who have little or no spiritual understanding in accordance to the word of God.
Consider this verse;
Revelation 12:12 THEREFORE REJOICE, YE HEAVENS, AND YE THAT DWELL IN THEM. WOE TO THE INHABITERS OF THE EARTH AND OF THE SEA! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. This is not talking about literal men dwelling in a literal heaven (the abode of God). This is spiritual and figurative language. The real saints of Christ have left the earth (not the physical earth) and they dwell with Christ in the spiritual realm of heaven. Of course this isn’t literal but rather spiritual. None of this will make any sense if you think this is to be interpreted literally instead of spiritually. This truth alone should reveal whether you dwell in heaven, earth, or the sea. Notice that the scripture says, “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and sea”. The reason this is stated is because Satan still has dominion over those who dwell in the earth and sea but not those who dwell in heaven. Remember Revelation 12:7-8
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. Satan didn’t prevail in heaven because heaven dwellers know the truths of God word. They cannot be deceived so there is no place for Satan in heaven because deceiving is what Satan does. There was no literal “war” in heaven in which Satan decided that he wanted to be God and subsequently starting a riot in heaven. That is nothing but the foolish carnal ideas of men.
Now we are all familiar with Christ’s teachings concerning the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND. Was Jesus referring to a literal physical kingdom or was He referring to something spiritual? I presented this as a question but I think you should know the answer by now given what we have already discussed.
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: THE WORDS THAT I SPEAK UNTO YOU, THEY ARE SPIRIT, AND THEY ARE LIFE. Jesus spoke of the spiritual matters of things pertaining to the will of God the Father. It isn’t possible to fully comprehend the spiritual while experiencing the physical but Christ gave spiritual clues about the kingdom of heaven in many of the parables he spoke about. Let’s look at an example of a parable that Christ spoke about in regards to the kingdom of heaven;
Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. What is Christ talking about in this parable? This has nothing to do with literally entering into a physical kingdom. The scribes and Pharisees represented the old covenant which held onto the laws of Moses (the Ten Commandments). They believed they were righteous in the eyes of God because they were capable of obeying the laws of God. In the Old Testament, we have examples of godly men such as Abraham, Noah, and Job who were counted as righteous men because they were able to keep the law and they had faith. The scribes and Pharisees were unable to see the kingdom of heaven because their hearts were wicked, they were carnally minded, and they were self-righteous hence they were unable to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Romans 8:4 That the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW MIGHT BE FULFILLED IN US, who walk not after the flesh, but AFTER THE SPIRIT. When Christ speaks about the kingdom of heaven he is speaking about a spiritual kingdom, a kingdom in which we walk after the Spirit. This is what Christ spoke of to the prideful religious leaders of his day and it also applies to self-righteous Christians of today who use the wisdom of this world in the vain attempt to seek after God’s kingdom;
Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: Christ isn’t talking about literal physical things. These physical things have a spiritual meaning. Just because things look good on the outside doesn’t mean that things also look good in the inside. Christ doesn’t judge you based on the state of your physical affairs. If you are a true child of the kingdom of God, then you are judged from a spiritual perspective which involves the state of your heart and mind. This has absolutely nothing to do with physical possessions.
Remember that the words of Christ are spirit and one must be thinking and walking spiritually to understand the teachings of Christ. Many Christians are familiar with the phrase being born again when a person accepts Christ and gets “saved”. These same Christians do not realize that the spiritual conversion process that is conducted in the church today is a counterfeit spiritual conversion and no spiritual conversion has taken place at all. The reason I can say this with confidence is because of the nonexistence of truth in the church. God doesn’t associate himself with lies and deception. The Christian church of today is full of lies and deception and I have exposed many of those lies on this site. Here is what Christ teaches us about being born again;
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN AGAIN, HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Notice that Christ says “see” instead of “enter”. In other scriptures, Christ makes statements about entering the kingdom of heaven. In this scripture, Christ states that one cannot see the kingdom of God without first being born again. It is a common Christian claim to be “born again” as it this claim that Christians believe makes them a saved saint of God. Being spiritually converted and born again are two different events. One can be spiritually converted as in being transformed into the likeness of Christ but this is a process. A believer is not “born again” at any time in their earthly life.
John 4:24 GOD IS A SPIRIT: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
God is Spirit and flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (heaven). This is teaching us that God’s Kingdom is a “Spiritual Kingdom”. We can only experience and access God’s heaven in the carnality of our human bodies but we can a experience or dwell in God’s spiritual kingdom based on our spiritual mindset and understanding. The spiritual kingdom of heaven is not a physical literal place. If you continue to think about spiritual matters with a worldly carnal mind, these things will never make any sense to you. Do you still think that “heaven” or the kingdom of God is a literal place somewhere in the clouds? If you do, I think it’s time that I reveal to you exactly where God’s spiritual kingdom of heaven is located;
Luke 17:20-21 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.
The kingdom of God or God’s “HEAVEN” for us to experience here on earth is within YOU!!!!