“Truly I tell you, there are some who stand here that will not experience death before seeing the sanctuary of God appear with its power.” (Mark 9:1)This statement by Jesus has been mistranslated in many of the sectarian versions. Here, for example, is the King James Version translation:
"Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power."And here is the NIV:
“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”What the heck do these mean? How does the kingdom of God "come"? Is it moving around? Is it a traveling roadshow or something? Does it come and go?
The reality is that everything and everywhere is part of God's kingdom. His kingdom is always present and we are always within His kingdom.
A similar mistranslation takes place with part of Jesus' suggested prayer to God:
"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." (Matt. 6:10)Once again, "Thy kingdom come" makes no sense. Where does it come from?
Here is the translation from the Gospels of Jesus:
"Show us Your sanctuary. May Your will be done on earth as it is in the spiritual realm." (Matt. 6:10)
The sanctuary of God
At issue is the translation of βασιλεία (basileia) to "kingdom." According to the lexicon, the primary meaning of this word is: "royal power, kingship, dominion, rule - not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom."
Thus, Jesus isn't speaking of God's "kingdom" here - a location or region. Jesus is speaking of a particular consciousness. He is speaking about accepting God's authority. Accepting God as the center of my life.
From a practical sense, this means taking refuge in God. Jesus is speaking of taking shelter in God.
Furthermore, the word ἔρχομαι (erchomai) can mean "come" but also can mean "to appear, make one's appearance, come before the public" as well as "to come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence" when used in a metaphorical sense.
In other words, Jesus is referring to receiving God's refuge or sanctuary. God's sanctuary is becomes revealed to the person - shown to the person.
For example, today we find many people escaping their country out of fear of persecution, and taking refuge in another country. They become refugees.
But it is not their decision alone. A person can apply for refugee status in the new country. But the new country also has to give that refuge. The new country has to agree to provide refuge or sanctuary to the refugee.
God's sanctuary refers to God's protection and the facilities to embrace our innate relationship with God. The soft-hearted person who loves the Supreme Being depends on God. They take refuge in God and try to escape the self-centeredness of this material existence. For such a person, at the time of death, they will receive God's refuge.
What is the alternative?
The alternative is to not take refuge in God. For those, they will not receive or be shown God's sanctuary, because they want to go it alone. They have rejected God's loving shelter.
So they are basically on their own. They must deal with the consequences of their actions in this world, and at the time of death, where they go depends upon those consequences combined with the state of their consciousness.
Ultimately, Jesus is discussing God-realization. Coming to understand (being shown) one's relationship with God. This comes from allowing the Supreme Being to have authority over our life. Allowing God to take control over our life.
This means accepting our position as God's servant. Accepting Him as our Master and Best Friend.
This gives us shelter because when God takes over our life, our life is in His hands.
This point is reflected in Jesus' statement here. Jesus is telling his audience that those who follow his teachings will come to know their relationship with the Supreme Being. They don't have to experience death to come to know their relationship with God.
We each have a unique relationship with God
Jesus is indicating that one can come to know and love the Supreme Being during this lifetime. We don't have to wait. The human form of life gives us the intelligence to pursue knowledge about the Supreme Being. Once introduced to the Supreme Being by God's representative, one can come to know Him.
Coming to know God also means coming to understand our relationship with Him. Each of us has a unique relationship with the Supreme Being. This is why each of us has a slightly different personality. The basis for our unique personality is our unique relationship with God.
This relationship is spiritual, and it is eternal. Just as a person might have a certain type of relationship with a person on this earth, each person has a particular type of relationship with the Supreme Being.
If we look around at the different relationships people have with us, we can notice that some people relate to us as a mother or father, some as siblings, some as cousins, some as friends, some as an intimate partner, some as coworkers and so on.
Just as different people have different relationships with us, we each have a unique relationship with God - and as such, we each have a different way of serving the Supreme Being.
When we resume our eternal loving service relationship with the Supreme Being we experience the joy we are always hankering for.
This relationship has nothing to do with the temporary physical body we are wearing at the moment. When this body is worn out or gets injured, we will leave this physical body.
Just as our temporary physical body has a form and identity, the person within - each of us - who leaves the physical body at the time of death - also has a form and identity. This is our spiritual form and identity. It is related to the Supreme Being.
God and His associates are our true family
This means that God is our ultimate family member. Most people within the physical world take shelter in their physical families. They identify with their family, and their family is the center of their lives. The problem with this is that the bodies of all the members of our family will die at some point. So this family is not permanent. It is temporary. So it cannot provide us with real shelter.
Our intimate family relationship with God is permanent. All we have to do is embrace it.
When we take shelter in the Supreme Being we embrace our true spiritual family. This includes Jesus and all of those souls we have journeyed with. Everyone is a member of our spiritual family. When we receive the sanctuary of God we rejoin our spiritual family. This is why Jesus said:
"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ – this is the most important instruction. And the second is like it – ‘You shall love others as yourself.’ There is no other instruction greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-30)