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Keyword: ‘"Matthew 5:3"’

Here or There

November 19th, 2012 No comments

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

2 Corinthians 7:1

You see, it is, at least in part, up to us, how we will walk this Christian walk.  Verse after verse, command after command, the writers of the New Testament, in the shadow of the cross, call, exhort, and train us to live godly, after our example and High Priest of the faith, Jesus Christ.

Not one moment may we forget that it is the pure in heart that shall see God.  Nor, let us falter into the way of unbelief and die in the wilderness.  But, in the same way, let us not make this journey of our own effort, or of the devices of the flesh, but by the power of the Spirit, we do put to death the misdeeds of the flesh, and so live unto God!

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The Restoration

May 14th, 2012 No comments

Therefore, lo, I am enticing her, and have caused her to go to the wilderness, and I have spoken unto her heart, and given to her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for an opening of hope, And she hath responded there as in the days of her youth, and as in the day of her coming up out of the land of Egypt.

And it hath come to pass, in that day, An affirmation of Jehovah, Thou dost call Me — My husband, And dost not call Me any more — My lord.  And I have turned aside the names of the lords from her mouth, And they are not remembered any more by their name.

Hosea 2:14-17 YLT

The bridegroom woos his beloved to restore her.  He entices her to barrenness in order to restore her.  He causes her to depart from all else, or order to free her.

Surely, in the valley of Achor, that is, the valley of trouble, He has created the doorway of hope, and in the place of destitution, He has ordained deliverance for the wayward wife.

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A Bruised Reed

March 26th, 2012 No comments

Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

Isaiah 42:1-6

The eyes of the Lord are perfect, they are whole.  The knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ was perfect upon the Earth.  While it may not need to be said, while he walked upon the Earth, He only walked in perfection while in His flesh.

Consider the woman caught in adultery.  No doubt, she had many sins in her life other than the adultery.  Assuredly, there were underlying factors to this, this led to that, which led to that, which always occurs when someone eventually commits adultery.  It never comes out of thin air, but there is usually a host of other problems that leads one down the wrong road. But, Jesus barely addressed the issue directly, only to tell her to sin no more, lest something worse happen.

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Truth

February 18th, 2012 No comments

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

John 12:26

There is no other Truth than Jesus.  Paul didn’t surpass Jesus’ truth.  Peter didn’t understand more.  John, in his great revelation as the last book of the Bible wasn’t in possession of a greater revelation than that which Jesus is.

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

1 John 1:1-4

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The Gospel I Preach

January 9th, 2012 No comments

[The following is a letter I wrote to a friend, with a few edits for privacy]

Let me say this:  I appreciate your position, and I am not particularly in most of the camps that you might expect.

Summing it up, I hear about four main statements in your email.

First, there have been many different positions and view regarding holiness..  Which you cataloged quite well.

Second, you really don’t care which one is most doctrinally correct, but are sick of the compromise in your own heart and unless it can help with that, you’re not satisfied.   You said, “All I know right now is that I’m bound to sin and I don’t know how to get out”.

Third, You’re sick of the crap (scripturally, “dung”).  You want to know the experiential love, experiential forgiveness, and experiential cleanness of heart.  No more hypocrisy from yourself or others.  You want the real deal.

And, finally, the question of how to know anything arises.  “The only way I will know or anyone on this earth will know is if God shows us personally.”

I think some of these questions are proper place of a heart for your condition.  Let me remind you, however, truth is a person.

Let me present my Gospel, if you will…

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The Man of Faith in the Beatitudes

December 8th, 2011 No comments

The Man of Faith in the Kingdom

 

  1. Happy all the Time. The state of the man in faith is maximum happiness. Matthew 5:3, “Most Happy are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”  Not only this, but he is a prisoner of this happiness because of his faith. So long as he stays in faith, he remains happy. For poverty of Spirit, this can be described as “when you’re at the end of you’re rope, tie a knot in it and hang on, cuz God is on the way.” Or, “We start where most people let off”. We don’t have problems, we simply need faith in God.
  2. Happy is a byproduct of faith. It is not worked up, it is not labored for. It comes as a by-product of simply believing in the promise. Matthew 13:44, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who found a treasure in a field, and for joy, went and sold all he had and bought that field.”  A great way to teach faith is to meditate on the promise, such as kingdom of heaven being yours, and when happy comes, what changed is called “faith”. Afterwards, if happy leaves, what changed is called “unbelief”. Focus on the promise again to return to faith, and we answer any doubts in the interim with the Word of God.
  3. Happy is the promise of mature faith. Matthew 11:30, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” As a natural offshoot of the other two premises. Happy doesn’t always PROVE faith, as happy can come from ignorance, but happy is assured when, in the face of being assured of the dangers, you are MORE convinced of the provision. When your spirit sees, and faith is, happy is.
  4. The Kingdom is always “At Hand”. Isaiah 9:7, “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”  Only the first and the last beatitude promise a current reality, “Yours is the Kingdom.” The rest promise a future reality, such as “will see God”, “Shall be filled”, or “shall be comforted”. That means, for many, the manifestation of the good is at some time in the future. But, for the first and the last, the promise is now. The Kingdom always answers the immediate need, whether poor in spirit or persecuted for righteousness sake. It would stand to reason that the quickest way to the double portion is to be both at the same time. Jesus was this on the cross.
  5. Happy is the motivation. James 1:2, ” Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” Paul was shown the trials he would endure, but he also knew the exceeding weight of glory. It was for the joy set before Jesus, that He endured the cross. We don’t seek poor in spirit or persecution. And, while we do seek purity of heart and meekness and do not shun hungering and thirsting for righteousness, it is the bliss of being with Him that makes us both willing and able to endure, no matter what the cost to obey.
  6. Happy only works with a Father. John 15:10, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”Whether these are literal promises or merely the principles of God’s heart, they work with simple reliance upon the heart of who God is, as the Father of creation. There is no favoritism, and what you do for others will be done for you, and then some. Trying to manipulate these principles will only result in you being manipulated by God Himself (Psalm 18:26).
  7. This life cannot be your aim. 1 John 2:15, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. … If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  This teaching does not make one popular, it keeps you alive and going through. Maximumly happy, in its greatest form of course, is on the cross, breathing your last, and forgiving those who are mocking and spitting on you, when you’re innocent. It was this position that put Jesus on the Cross, and it is these priorities that moved the heart of the Father to take lift Him back up. But, He had to go through. So long as you can make it through, you win.
  8. There is always a reason to be happy. Matthew 5:3-12, “Most Happy…  Most Happy…  Most Happy…  Most Happy…..”  In the pursuit of Jesus and His Kingdom, we can be guaranteed of persecutions and tribulations. But, according to Jesus, there is always a reason to be happy, because to be oppressed for doing good is honorable before God, and He will not leave you hanging. If one doesn’t fit, try the next one. Or the next one. Until you’re happy.
  9. The happies are the proper commentary on the Old Covenant. Matthew 13:35, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” Think of the deliverances of the Old Testament. In general, they will fall into one of these categories. The Israelites were poor in Spirit in Egypt, and God heard their cry. When they felt comfortable, and no longer had the breakthrough of the Spirit, they backslid, and didn’t have the covering.
  10. The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Matthew 18:1-4, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  If you’re not on the edge, you’re taking too much room.  There is something about the constant drive of the Kingdom. You can stop any time you want to. You can choose to be a millionaire, but the moment you stop to enjoy what you’ve found, you run the immediate risk of losing the power. The Kingdom showed up not because you are something special, but simply because of Grace and Mercy. He showed up in mercy when you were poor in Spirit, and Grace when you were persecuted for righteousness sake. God is close to the broken hearted, and when God’s righteous law is broken, it is time for God to act (Psalm 119:126)! You could try to get out of the pressure, and you could say that you can’t survive the pressure, and it’s true, but God’s is able, and His strength is made perfect in weakness. What you are unable to do, when you reach consistently the end of yourself, you will consistently run into the provision of Him.

 

This is the promise of the Kingdom. These are the promises of Jesus. They are not the promises of today’s preachers or churches, but they are what the Kingdom is. They missed Jesus because He wasn’t the conquering King they expected, but we miss Him today, because He is still the same, Yesterday, Today, and Forever.

 

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Open Your Eyes And See

December 7th, 2011 No comments

Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

Matthew 13:12

One sad thing I see in the interpretation of Matthew 13 is a large branch of thinking that rationalizes that Jesus was saying that the Kingdom of Heaven is somehow corrupt, not holy, or not pure.  Because of lack of understanding, or partial revelation (which we all must deal with — 1 Corinthians 13:9), many have assumed the Jesus meant somehow that the Kingdom of Heaven was itself divided.

In the case of Matthew 13, most of the parables start with the phrase “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…”.  The Kingdom is likened to 7 things.  Some see believe that because they cannot find a species of mustard plant that grows from a very small seed into a large tree, that Jesus must have been implying some abnormal growth.  In addition, with parables such as the leaven which a woman hid, they assume that because in MOST of the references to the leaven in the Old Covenant are a reference to sin, and that sin was outlawed in most of the sacrifices, that Jesus obviously couldn’t be saying that the Kingdom was like leaven.  However, Jesus also plainly said in John’s gospel that unless you ate His flesh and drank His blood, you would have no life in you (John 6:53), a highly detestable practice in Jewish custom.  In the course of Jesus’ teachings, the fact that the image was abhorrent because of misunderstanding did not seem to matter to Jesus.

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Greater Works

November 26th, 2011 No comments

A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

Luke 6:40

There is exactly one reason why we do not see miracles on the order of Jesus.  We have not understood and applied His teachings.

This is not to question anyone’s authenticity in the Gospel, nor their sincerity, but the truth remains, that we as a church as a whole have fallen far short of the Gospel Jesus preached.

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The Upward Call

November 24th, 2011 No comments

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Romans 13:14

Every step forward in the gospel is important.  Every lesson learned, every difficulty overcome.  Peter referenced this proverb in his first epistle.

If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?

1 Peter 4:18 (portion)

The higher we go in the Gospel, the deeper in His love, the more opportunities we could have to step off the narrow road.

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The Happies

November 20th, 2011 No comments

Matthew 5:3-12 are what are commonly referred to as the Beatitudes.  They are simple phrases, which are the statement of the secrets of the Kingdom of God, hidden for the ages.  For some reason, even to myself, they seemed so hard to understand.  Perhaps it is that they are not taught that often, or looked at as not as relevant, but as I have come to know them, they perfectly describe the man in faith.

There are eight of them, all identical in form, each having four parts.  The word “blessed” is really a compound word meaning “happy” with the equivalent of the prefix “macro-“, so “macro-happy”, or “hugely happy”, or “super happy”, or, simply “Most Happy”.  “Most Happy are” is the first part.  Second we have a group of people.  The verb “are” is always present tense.  The people are happy in these conditions.  Third is the word “for”, meaning “because”.  The people in the condition (#2) are Most Happy  (#1) right then because (#3)…  Because of what?  That’s the place of faith.  Finally, the truth of the Kingdom of Heaven.  #4. Read more…