The Treasure of Wisdom

Wisdom’s Gold,  and a Honeycomb – Proverbs 16:16-24

Verse 16 –  The worth of wisdom and understanding compared to gold and/or silver.  What, if anything, is lost by having one without the other?  Prov. 3:13

Verse 17 – 19 —   Life is sometimes compared to a road.  Is that a good comparison?  Why?  How would you describe the “Highway of the upright?”  Think about what it means to stay on (“Keepeth his way”) that highway.
In what way does pride lead to destruction?  Is “Pride” some of the time, or all the time related to refusing to see and acknowledge there is a problem?  Jeremiah 49:16
The “Humble spirit” needs no spoils.  For verse 19 reference see Psalm 84:10.

Verse 20 – 24 —

“Prov. 16:20–24  These verses commend the speech characteristic of the wise of heart (vv. 21a, 23a): the wise consider their words carefully (vv. 20a, 23a) so that their words are both persuasive (vv. 21b, 23b) and good for body and soul (v. 24);  they exhibit faithfulness to God (v. 20b) and are considered discerning by others (v. 21a).  Such wisdom is a fountain of life, and foolish speech is empty of any such benefits (v. 22).”  Note from the ESV Study Bible

Pleasant and precious words are sweet and comes from hearts of wisdom of understanding (verses 16 and 24).

-Tim A. Blankenship

Preparing to Rebuild the Temple

These events take place following the 70 years which Jeremiah had prophesied (Jeremiah 25:11).  Ezra is God’s man for returning to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple which was razed by the Babylonians and carried many captives of the land away.  Ezra had been faithful to God and His word through all the time of his life in that culture.  Hear the word of the LORD concerning these things…

This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him. And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. Ezra 7:6-10 (KJV)

I want us to keep in mind that today the temple of our Lord is His people – those who have believed and received the grace of God through the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son.  Sometimes even this temple needs a rebuilding.  We can let sin carry us away from God, His Spirit and His word; but He is never away from us.  If there is any rebuilding to do it starts with God doing the work in us, calling us to repentance, forsaking our sin, and coming back to what we believe in Christ.

Consider the following verses from Paul’s epistles…

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, to do it, and to teach it to others.  Let us as the temple of God be as committed, devoted and faithful to the LORD as was Ezra; and follow Jesus faithfully.

Educating the Youth

“ And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.“ Daniel 1:3-7 (KJV).

THE EDUCATING OF THE YOUTH – On the first campaign against Jerusalem Nebuchadnezzar took hostages/captives and temple items. Youth are very impressionable to say the least.

The king wanted some youth who were attractive, intelligent, willing to learn the languages of the world. He wanted what would make his court look quite impressive.

The king asked “Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs” to pick out youth who were of noble lineage.

“The kings meat” would have been the best of the land. However, it was rich foods. It was foods forbidden by the Mosaic law. The right meats required the right kind of handling and care. The Babylonian’s probably did not take that kind of care. There are some cultures that believe eating and drinking the blood of animals that have been slain gives them the strength and spirit of that animal. That may be a partial reason why the eating of blood was forbidden in Jewish law.

These young students would be required to learn about the gods of this heathen land. Learn the culture. Learn their sciences. Learn their language. They would become the “wise men” of Babylon.

When Hitler wanted to begin a change in Germany under his rule he began with the youth. He wanted a “pure race”. He picked only the brightest, most attractive, and only of the white race. He learned the hard way that no one is perfect. No race of people is perfect. In fact he is paying for his crimes through all eternity.

The thinking here is that, if you start young enough teaching the things contrary to one’s culture, religion, and race you can win the world to your way of thinking. However, the king of Babylon was about to come face to face with the children of God. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah who were four young men fully dedicated to Jehovah-Sidkeneu [The LORD our righteousness].

Upon being chosen, these men of God were given new Babylonian names. Daniel was renamed Belteshazzar; Hananiah was renamed Shadrach; Mishael was renamed Meshach; and Azariah was renamed Abednego. They had wonderful godly names and were given pagan godless names.

Daniel means “God is my judge” ……….Belteshazzar means ‘the keeper of the treasure of Baal’;

Hananiah means “Jehovah is gracious” ……Shadrach means ‘command of the moon god’;

Mishael means “Who is like God” ……………… Meshech means ‘the goddess Shach’;

Azariah means “Jehovah is my helper”…………………. Abednego means ‘the fire god’.

The enemy will try to get you to forget who you are, where you came from, your heritage, and your destination, and then, laugh in your face if and when he succeeds. This enemy would find out, however, that they would not succeed with these four. What a great witness these four men have been down through the centuries and millenniums of time.

O my Christian brother and sister today is a day we must stand as the youth of Daniel’s day.  Stand on the Word of God.  Stand on the cross; the death, the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Stand strong.  Stand firm.  Love the Lord.

Jesus in Genesis (5)

“…For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10c)

We are going to look at a picture of Jesus in Genesis 22 in this study. It is surely one of the clearest pictures of Jesus, the crucifixion, and resurrection that you will ever find in all of the Old Testament.

First of all I want you to put from your mind the old Sunday School picture of Isaac being a small child as he and his father, Abraham went on this journey of sacrifice. It is highly, more probable, that he is a man in his thirties. I will explain that a little later. Now, how do we see the Lord Jesus in the text of Genesis 22.

The command from God to Abraham is,

“Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering up one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” (v.2).

God the Father offered up His only Son for the sacrifice for sin upon the cross of Calvary. Which is said to be the very place where Abraham came to offer Isaac. It was a planned place, “which I will tell thee of”. Abraham rose without question, “early in the morning” maybe to avoid the questions of Sarah, but he went in faith. If you will notice how many times it is stated rather emphatically that it was a “certain place” (vv. 2,3,4,&9).

After Abraham had gathered all the necessary items, his son, a couple of servants, the wood, and the fire they journeyed for three days (v. 4) and “saw the place afar off.” In the heart and mind of Abraham, Isaac had been three days dead. He had been committed to obey God believing according to the eleventh chapter of Hebrews that God was able to raise Isaac from death (Hebrews 11:17-19). From this point on Abraham and Isaac proceed up to the mountain top alone. What is about to transpire can only happen between the father and the son. What happened on Calvary between the Father and Son was such a transaction that no one will ever be able to describe. Three hours of darkness. Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell us about the event.SEE Matthew 27:45-46; Mark15:33-34; and Luke 23:44-45.

If you will, now, notice the wood that Abraham, “…laid it upon Isaac his son…” Notice also who took “the fire” and “a knife”. By whose hand was this judgment to fall? The father. See Isaiah 53:4-5ff.

Now, back to something I mentioned earlier. Isaac would have been a grown man, not a child as is often pictured in many Sunday School quarterlies. He could have been 37 years of age. I base that on Sarah’s age at the time of her death (Genesis 23:1) 127, and age of Isaac at the time of his marriage to Rebekkah – 40 (Genesis 25:20; also see 24:67). The reason I mention this is because as a grown man he would have been able to overthrow his father, and not be the sacrifice, but Isaac went as a willing participant in the offering. He was submissive to his father’s will. 1) He took the wood (v. 6); 2) He walked up the hill carrying the wood (v.9); 3) He allowed his hands and feet to be bound (v. 9). Does that sound familiar?

Isaac’s typology of Christ ends here at the altar. He was an unworthy sacrifice for sin. Isaac himself needed a substitute, and that would be the ram. At the point where the “angel of the LORD” stops the hand of Abraham from slaying Isaac, in the heart and mind of Abraham Isaac is alive again. He has been resurrected and lives. Three days dead, now living. On the way, alone with his father, Isaac had asked, “…Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”, and Abraham responded, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering… (vv. 7-8). God has provided HIMSELF as a sacrifice for sin in the person of His own only Son.

I do not think it to be an accident that it says, “…and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns…” In Scripture horns represent power and authority. The ram was held by his own power. Christ “…Stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem…” (Luke 9:51).

May they who have a heart for seeing Jesus see Him clearly here. If you cannot see Him here you will miss Him elsewhere.

How This Conservative Evangelical Died…

Here is some food for thought.

brandon andress

This is the first of two posts that I have to preemptively tell you that my heart in this is motivated only in love and service to helping Christians (including me) more closely align in following the way of Jesus. I simply ask that if you are a Christian and one who struggles with anger when a person challenges your faith perspective, then maybe park this post until you can read it in a non-defensive, non-oppositional, and peaceful posture. These words are meant to begin a civil conversation and dialogue and then to guide us into deeper reflection and dependence on the Spirit of God in our lives.

Too many times, Christians read what I write (with the most recent example being about Christians and politics) and quickly retort, “Well, I disagree with your position,” or, “Well, that is just your opinion.” Others immediately dismiss what I have written and…

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Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Ninety and Eight

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the “kingdom of heaven” to be mine through Jesus Christ my Lord; to be so dependent upon Him that there is no pride, arrogance, or selfish bone in me.

This morning I wrote of this verse in my journal;

Those who have no rebelling spirit against God and right; those who humble themselves  before God and the holy; those who realize their purpose in life is to give glory to God, the One who made all things.

Day Three Hundred Twenty and Five

What do I want for Christmas?

That the world may know that we are Christians by our love for one another.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”” John 13:34-35 (NKJV)

Day Three Hundred Forty and Two

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to live in peace with all people; as much as is possible; and want all to live  in peace with me.

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7 (NKJV)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:43-45 (NKJV)

“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18

What Do I Want For Christmas? Day 351

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the lotteries in our States and Nation to cease.  They are, in the end a tax on the poverty stricken people of the nation, through the deceit and lust for more.

“And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”” Luke 12:15 (NKJV)

This Man will Receive You

One of the things that causes jealousy in the hearts and minds of men and women is when someone else gets more notice, and attention than we do.

This jealousy is quite evident among the religious leaders of Jesus’s time on earth with us; walking, talking, teaching, living for the Father, and His glory. The way He lived, the words He spoke, the kindness in His voice to the weak, the lame, the sick, the poor, and the outcasts was what drew these people to Him.

Luke the Historian of the life of Christ writes:

“Then drew near unto Him all the publicans and sinners for to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This Man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” Luke 15:1-2 (KJV)

Why do the religious always want to seek after those who have? Why do those, even, who profess themselves to be Christian go after the same? Jesus had no ill motive of seeking what the wealthy, religious leaders had to offer. He came to save souls (Luke 19:10).

The publicans were the most hated of people. They were the tax collectors of the day. Hebrew people who were collecting money from their own to give to the Roman government; therefore very despised, and hated; yet, Jesus would sit with them speak with them, and treat them with dignity and respect.

As Christians in the world of 2015 we must be as Jesus and treat all people; no matter their race, their economic level; their political affiliation; their illnesses; or transgressions; must treat them with the love and respect that Jesus would. Yes! That would include the muslim religion, and any other religious sect.

In loving them; we still confront sin; and its crippling, killing affects on those who are enslaved by it.

Draw near to Christ today. He loves you so much that He died on the cross for you, was buried, and rose again.

When You are God’s, He will not Leave You Undisciplined

Much of the Scripture we will look at today have to do with the judgment upon Egypt. Judah was or had been depending on Egypt for their deliverance, and fight against Babylon; but they were in grave error and sin for doing so. Judah’s help was in God. Because of their trust in Egypt God gives Judah the following words…

“But fear not thou, O My servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid. Fear thou not, O Jacob My servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.” Jeremiah 46:27-28 (KJV)

Egypt would fall. Judah would be in captivity for seventy years; but God reminds the one’s who are in Egypt now; against His word; that He will not utterly destroy them.

He also will not leave them altogether unpunished; for God disciplines those who are His.

Note the LORD is still referring to Jacob as “My servant” and “Israel”. Jacob means “heel holder” or “supplanter” or “deceiver”. Israel means “God prevails”, and though Jacob was a trickster, always getting things done his way; God still loved him. Even when Jacob wrestled with God at Bethel (Genesis 32:24-32), and named him Israel God knew he was not perfect nor sinless.

The child of God, in Christ Jesus, will always have chastisement for sin in his/her life. We must be grateful for that; for without it we are not a child of God (Hebrews 12:8). We can rest assured that what God has began through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; He also will complete, and bring to His desired end (Philippians 1:6).

DANGEROUS BUSINESS

Jack Woodard's Blog

Defile Temple

DANGEROUS BUSINESS
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are”.
[1 Corinthians 3:16,17]

The local Church at Corinth was a troubled Church, about everything that shouldn’t be going on within a local Church was not only going on, but was having a destructive impact upon the Church.

In verses 16 & 17 the Apostle Paul gives a solemn warning to those individuals within the local Church that were literally destroying the Church; God would repay in like kind. If they destroy the Church, which is Holy unto the Lord, God would certainly destroy them in return.

This warning, this threat, this promise from the Lord has not been revoked and is still applicable to those within…

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Peter Hitchens, brother to acerbic atheist Christopher, came back to Christ

Mustard Seed Budget

peter and christopher hitchens

To inaugurate his atheism, 15-year-old Peter Hitchens burned his Bible outside his Cambridge boarding school in 1967 in front of a group of curious and enthusiastic fellow students.

The desecration turned out to be anti-climatic. The Bible didn’t catch fire in the hoped-for dramatic fashion. As a matter of fact, the thick stack of paper pages were poor kindling and the wind put it out. Only with much coaxing and much patience did it partially burn. His friends, eager to gawk at the anti-God defiance, lost interest and drifted away.

Today, Peter Hitchens, has come full circle. After enlisting with Troskty communists and championing atheist causes, he is now back to Christianity. His older brother Christopher, a media darling and atheistic provocateur with a best-seller God is Not Great, never came back to faith.

Peter-HitchensThe brothers faced-off in a 2008 debate in Grand Rapids over the existence of God. Peter…

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“Curved in” on Self

This blog is appropriate for all ages, male and female.

Ezerwoman's Blog

girl looking in mirror

I am “curved in” on myself.” My curved-inward self lives “as if God did not matter and as if I mattered most” (LSB, p. 292). “The tug of our flesh is always and ever toward self-justification,” writes Rev. John T. Pless. “Self-centeredness is not just socially inappropriate; it is a matter of idolatry. It is the way of the flesh to fear, love and trust in the self above all things.”

Will things improve if I just forgive myself? No! This is “not only a cruel impossibility” writes Pless, “but blasphemy. Only God can forgive sin, and the self is not God! It is one thing to say that one must learn how to live by the promise that sin is forgiven. That’s faith. It is quite another thing to say, ‘You must forgive yourself.’ That’s idolatry because it makes the self the savior.”

In a world that celebrates…

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Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.” Psalm 122:6-9 (KJV)

The word “Peace” is used three times in these four verses. Peace is a sought after thing for most people. The name “Jerusalem” means “city of peace”; and yet this city has been one of the most fought over places in all the centuries since the death of Christ.

David took Jebus from the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5), and called it Jerusalem. He later would bring the tabernacle, and the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. This city is called “the city of David” (2 Samuel 5:7). There are references to the “City of God” which could be references to this city as well (Psalms 46:4; 48:1; 87:3).

David longed for the peace of Jerusalem, even to the building of the temple, and making it a place for all people to come and worship the one God of all creation and all people; a place where they could come, worship and pray;

“And He taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? But ye have made it a den of thieves.” Mark 11:17

We all; those who love God, Israel, and Jerusalem must pray for the peace of Jerusalem. For when there is peace in Jerusalem there will be peace in the world. That will come only when the Prince of Peace returns to reign from His rightful throne in Jerusalem. His name is Jesus the Christ Son of the Living God

With the enemies of God, and of Israel crouching around the land today; Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Jesus  will be returning soon.

The LORD Reigns

“The LORD reigneth, He is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith He hath girded Himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: Thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh Thine house, O LORD, for ever.” Psalm 93:1-5 (KJV)

The place where my wife and I live is along a continuous flowing stream called Flat Creek, in Southwest Missouri. We are out of any danger of flooding, barring a world wide flood; and I am certain that is not going to happen, because of God’s promise never to do that again.

I begin telling you this, because we can step out our back door, and hear the water from the creek flowing over the rocks, with a comforting, still noise of flowing waters. When we get a lot of rain, and the creek rises; then it sounds like a roaring storm. It is even noisy where you must speak louder when you speak to another person. My wife and I love living here. We like to call it “our little piece of heaven on earth.” The road to get here is rough, rocky, and could be treacherous. Does that not sound like Jesus’s description of the road to heaven (Matthew 7:13-14)?

This is about our Lord. The LORD reigns. Even in a perilous, dark, evil, wicked world our God reigns. When the storms rage; our God reigns. When the kings of earth rebel against the way of God (Psalm 2); our God reigns. When the voices which hate God make decisions that are contrary to God, His Word and His way; our God reigns.

The idea of the “flood” reminds me of the prophet Isaiah’s inspired words, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19b).

We need to remember the silence of God speaks louder than any king or ruler can ever speak. The LORD is mightier than the noise of many waters.

Come to the LORD through His Son Jesus Christ who died for your sins, was buried, and arose bodily from the grave and is alive forever more.

Unaltered, Unbroken

“If his children forsake My law, and walk not in My judgments; if they break My statutes, and keep not My commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips.” Psalm 89:30-34 (KJV)

The Psalm has much to do with God’s promises to the Davidic line of the kingdom of Israel. Written by Ethan the Ezrahite; possibly a Levitical singer mentioned in 1 Chronicles 6:43, and 15:17-19 (From the MacArthur Study Bible note on Psalm 89: Title).

One of the things that I have noticed in the study of Scripture over the years; that there is one thing that truly stands out; and that is that God loves His people, and receives us just as we are; but He loves us too much to leave us the way we are. That is why He chastises, disciplines, and corrects us.

No one of us would ever think or say that the discipline or chastisement of the LORD is a pleasant thing; no more than we would say that when our father took us out behind the wood shed that that was a pleasant thing. We learn from our Father’s chastisement; and we should be grateful for it.

Even though God chastens His children He will never forsake us. His covenant will not be broken, neither will the thing that has gone out of His lips be altered.

Something those who claim to be Christian and God’s people need to realize in our day. God, neither His Word, neither His covenant changes with the times or the seasons. He does not change to fit the culture; neither does His Word.

God’s word is sure, stedfast, relevant for the day, and it is still powerful; and every jot and tittle will be fulfilled (Matthew 5:18). Stand with God, and His Word; or fall for anything.

People of the Earth… Know that the LORD is God

“And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto His people Israel, according to all that He promised: there hath not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses His servant. The LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers: let Him not leave us, nor forsake us: that He may incline our hearts unto Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and His statutes, and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the LORD, be nigh unto the LORD our God day and night, that He maintain the cause of His servant, and the cause of His people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: that all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else. Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes, and to keep His commandments, as at this day.” 1 Kings 8:54-61 (KJV)

Prayer was given by Solomon in veres 15-53, a prayer of dedication for the Temple. The above verses are a blessing on the people, and what is required of them.

The ultimate responsibility of the people of God, Israel, is found in verse 6o “….That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.”  That is the desire of God through the cross of Jesus Christ and through those who are Christians; through the Church, the Body of Christ on earth.

The Christian’s life lived is to show forth to the world that the LORD is God, and that there is none else. We do that through the Spirit of Christ Jesus who is in us. Our lives are to be a continuing, growing testimony of the glory and power of God. Is it?

When the Church ceases to fear God; we cease to fear sin.  When we have ceased to fear sin, then we have adopted the gods of the world around us, and there is no differentiation between the two. Then, the people of the earth have no motivation to fear God, or to know Him.

Words From the Heart

“Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Jesus Christ (Matthew 15:17-20 KJV)

The things we easily speak is what is in our hearts. When it flows with confidence and ease – whether it be good, bad, nasty, vulgar – if it comes with ease that is what is in our hearts.

May my heart be filled with the Spirit of Christ, that I may freely and with ease speak of Him, His glory, His passion – the cross – and His coming again.

~T.A.

Theirs Is the Kingdom

Matthew 5:1-12 conclusion…

 

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12 (KJV).

These two have the tendency and practicality of standing together, so I will include them together. What is your position in relation to persecution? If you are a normal, red blooded American, then you probably don’t like it, won’t tolerate it, and would despise wherever it came from. Nobody likes persecution, and most people would seek means of staying away from it. There are however, reasons to stand your ground, and face the trials of persecution. The best reason of all is for the person of Jesus Christ. When you are living by faith in Christ you will suffer persecution; “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 (KJV).

Anyone who has heard of “The Voice of the Martyrs” knows that there are many cases of persecution going on in the world today. There are many instances of Christians suffering because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Many of them have turned from Islam to face angry parents, employers, city leaders, and supposed defenders of peace and placed on trial, rejected by their families, fired from their jobs, and treated ruthlessly by the police. Let me be clear that it is not only Islam which persecutes those who turn to Christ. It is also Hindus, and various other religions of men. Stand firm in the faith; stand firm.

The “Blessed(s)” in these two statements are not just toward anyone who stands firm in what they believe. The object of their belief is of utmost importance. If one is to receive these “Blessed”, then it will be because of their stand for “Righteousness” and that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Righteousness – simply put; means being right with God. No one – man, woman, boy or girl; and no matter what the color of their skin – is right with God except through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If you are being persecuted because of your faith in Jesus, then, be assured that there will be a day of reward in Heaven. You are in good company. They also persecuted the prophets. Jeremiah was thrown into a pit; he was beaten and mocked by his own people. It is said by tradition that it was Isaiah the prophet who is mentioned in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews as being “Sawn asunder”, and some say it was while he was stuffed into a hollowed out tree. When it comes to Jesus Christ; in Him alone you have reason to “Rejoice and be exceeding glad”, but also in knowing that you are in a great company of others who suffered for righteousness sake through Jesus.

After looking at these “Beatitudes” can you see that this is not a thing attainable by human desire? There is deffinitely fulfillment in the lives of those who live the life of the “Beatitudes”, but it is only possible by grace through faith in Jesus.

Children of God

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” Matthew 5:9 (KJV).

Many use this Beatitude to lavish praises on those who work for world peace, or peace from a certain war going on at that given time. Let’s think again of ‘Attitude’ – ‘the position of something in relation to something else’.

John MacArthur writes concerning this verse in THE MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY on Matthew Vol. I, pg. 211;

“The essential fact to comprehend is that the peace about which Jesus speaks is more than the absence of conflict and strife; it is the presence of righteousness”.

It seems that a very definite verse of Scripture could be Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.

Peace in the world would be a wonderful thing. Peace with God is an even greater thing. As long as men are at war with God; not believing Him or in Him; not believing His Word; not trusting in His truths; there will never be peace with God. No peace with God. No peace with men; and to complete a phrase I have seen; Know peace with God. Know peace with men.

“Men can stop fighting without righteousness, but they cannot live peaceably without righteousness” IBID.

Having peace with God makes one righteous. Some where, some time in days to come there will be peace on earth. That will be when Jesus Christ the King of all kings sets up His kingdom on earth.

How do we help people have peace with God? By taking the Word of truth to them. Preaching God’s love through the cross of Jesus Christ. Letting the Holy Spirit take the Word and convict of sin and convince them that Jesus is the Christ; the Son of God who died for our sins, was buried and He rose again, and ever lives to intercede for us.

Though it is the Spirit of God who uses us to lead a soul to peace with God we have this verse in Proverbs 11:30; “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise”. Those are the “Peacemakers” who shall be called ‘the children of God’. When your position with God is right; you will have peace with God, and you too will be a “Peacemaker”.

They Shall See God

The Be-Attitudes continuing…

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” Matthew 5:8 (KJV).

Purity is such a sweet word. When we think of purity we might think of fresh fallen snow; without any yellow spots, of course. We might even think of a new born baby boy or girl. When it comes to Christianity we should think especially of Jesus Christ, for He is the essence of purity. The word “Pure” according to the MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICTIONARY ‘Unmixed with any other matter: free from taint’ also, ‘Free from moral fault: innocent’. There was/is nothing about Jesus that is tainted. He is fully God and fully man, and free of any mix, and free of any taint; His life is free of any moral fault; He is innocent. He was innocent as He was condemned by men to die. As an innocent man He died for guilty men, that we might be made pure through His own blood.

The only way any other person can be pure of heart, ie., ‘holy’ is by the very holiness of Christ Himself. No one can see God without a pure heart [holiness], “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14 KJV). None can appear before God without a pure [holy] heart – “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” Psalm 24:3-4 (KJV).

There is a pure heart only by looking to Jesus. As you look to Jesus you see God.

They Shall Obtain Mercy

The Be-Attitudes continuing…

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” Matthew 5:7 (KJV).

When you are in the right position with “Mercy” it is most likely because you have obtained mercy. (See Matthew 6:14-15; and Luke 7:41-42). We live in a very competitive world. Many believe it is okay to exact revenge on someone who has bettered you. You could call that “Get-Even-Ism”.

That is not the way of mercy. That is not the way of God. In the Luke reference given it tells us, “There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?” (Luke 7:41-42). The answer given to this question was, “The one who was forgiven the most”. Mercy is what all of us have received, but very few practice it toward others.

To define Mercy, it has been defined this way. It is not receiving what we justly deserve – that is judgment. We have all received mercy from God, because He withholds the judgment in order that many might, at least have opportunity, to be saved.

The next time you are about to release a verbiage of criticism on someone over something that has offended you; take a look at yourself. Someone has been merciful to you in the past, and probably over this same thing that has set you off. The prophet Habakkuk prayed to the LORD, “…In wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2 KJV). It is the merciful who will obtain mercy. His kingdom way is mercy. What is the position of your attitude concerning mercy?

They Shall Be Filled

The Be-Attitudes continuing…

 

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” Matthew 5:6 (KJV).

Remember the definition of “Attitude” is ‘the position of something in relation to something else’. In this case the subject is righteousness. Righteousness most easily defined is; ‘being right with God’. That would involve many things including worship, our deportment, both with God and with others.

The kingdom child is hungry for God and His ways. Righteousness is the way of God, and it is the way of the child of God to hunger for it. His/Her desire is for Jesus Christ and nothing else.

The individual who is righteous, because of grace through faith in Jesus Christ, will have a specific hunger and thirst. That hunger will be to devour the truth of God through His Word, and His Word affecting the direction our lives take for serving the Lord. It seems that it would be accurate to say that when Jesus was being tempted by the devil in the wilderness He had righteousness on His mind. He was physically hungry and thirsty, but when He was tested to turn stones to bread; he was more attuned to being right with His Father rather than disobedience.

The “Blessed” ones who hunger and thirst for/after righteousness, are those who labor in diligent, earnest hearing of the Word of God and prayer. They feed daily at the table of the BREAD OF LIFE. They drink deeply of the One who is the Water of Life.

O, that we as the people of God grew in that hunger; never completely filled; but satisfied with Jesus, wanting more of Him, and His righteousness. The thirst never completely quenched; with longing to drink from the well of the Water from Heaven. Drink from the ‘river of water’ that flows from out of the throne of God Himself (Revelation 22:1).

This hunger and thirst comes only into the hearts of those who have joyously received the free gift of God’s grace. Ones who have seen Jesus as the divine Son of God. The Ones who have seen Jesus dying for the sins of mankind upon the cruel cross so many years ago. The ones who have witnessed the resurrection power of Jesus per a changed life. You have been clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. You will never be filled without that hunger and thirst, and finding satisfaction through Him alone.

They Shall Inherit the Earth

The Be-Attitudes continuing…

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” Matthew 5:5 (KJV).

Someone has defined ‘Meekness’ as “Strength/Power under control”. If there was ever a picture of meekness in men it came from Jesus Christ Himself. It is also said of Moses. ” (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)” Numbers 12:3 (KJV). Meekness can also be called ‘gentleness’. Meekness comes when we realize the greatness of God.

The meek are those who know and realize who they are in Christ, but do not seek to exploit their position, power or person above others. The meek are not quick to defend themselves, but will be quick in defending others, and standing for the righteousness, holiness, and justice of God.

The meek are those who will not complain about the rough spots in their lives, but are grateful, thankful, and trusting that they are in the care of God, and that all things are under His control. This attitude would be the position of the meek in relation to their world. The meek would see the positon of themselves as apposed to the thinking of the world.

The inheritance of the ‘Meek’ is the earth. This is mentioned in the Psalms; “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” Psalm 37:9-11 (KJV). Those who are always out for themselves; never defend the holy; never defend the helpless, but are always stepping on others to get their way – they will be “Cut off”; but the “Meek shall inherit the earth”. Notice that it says that of “…Those that wait upon the LORD..” as well.

Through Jesus Christ is there meekness, true meekness in the earth.

They Shall Be Comforted

The Beatitudes continuing…

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 (KJV).

Remembering that the MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICTIONARY definition for ‘attitude’ is ‘the position of something in relation to something else’ we can see this Beatitude as the attitude of sorrow for something that is not correct. Seeing ourselves in ‘the position of sin and against God’ should bring us to tears and sorrow. Seeing others in sin should cause us to mourn for them.

Because we sin, and when we realize our sinfulness, that should bring us to our knees. People of our day love laughter. They will pay really good money to go hear a comedian make them laugh. They will sit for hours watching situation comedies on television for the laughing. People will set around telling funny, though sometimes vulgar stories just for a laugh. Am I against laughter? Not at all. Are we supposed to spend all the time of our lives in mourning? I do not believe so. There is a time for everything, for everything a season (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). As a matter of fact the Bible even mentions laughter. Isaac; the son of Abraham and Sarah was named laughter – that is the meaning of the name Isaac. The writer of Proverbs said, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” Proverbs 17:22 (KJV).

For the most part; considering the condition of the hearts of people, and even professing Christians, we should be mourning the situation of our hearts and lives before God. Our lives and the lives of friends and loved ones. Laughter helps us feel better now, but still people are perishing, our lives grow colder, and more distant from God, and we laugh. While we mourn we pray for the perishing; we pray for our growth in grace; we pray for our friends and family. There is comfort for those who mourn.

There will be comfort when we see that lost loved one come to faith. There will be comfort when we can see our lives growing in grace. There will be comfort as we see family and friends blessed. There is an ultimate comfort for those who mourn. It will be when we are forever in the Kingdom of our King. O, such laughter and joy there will be. We can have it now as we see the lost redeemed; as we see brothers and sisters growing in Christ.

Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven

The Be-Attitudes continuing…“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (v. 3)

 

These are characteristics and attitudes we should possess as disciples or followers of Jesus Christ the King. The first one is being “Poor in spirit”. This is opposite of being haughty, arrogant, and proud. Especially when we are considering the things of God. There is no room for pride before the throne of God. The one who is “Poor in spirit” realizes they are bankrupt before the God of all creation. We could not stand in His presence, except that He provides us a way.

Arrogance and pride before men is one thing, but to be arrogant and prideful before God is an eternal matter which will cause you to be cast into everlasting fire. When one is humble before God that will show in our dealings before men as well.

The definition of “Attitude” – ‘the position of something in relation to something else’ MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICTIONARY. In the case of these Beatitudes it seems this is the best of the definitions given. The position of your thinking in relation to God is of extreme importance. The way you think of yourself in position to God. If you do not see yourself as God does there will be no way you can walk along side of Him. When you do; you will inherit ‘the kingdom of heaven’.

The “Poor in spirit” are not poor toward God.  It has been said; and I believe wrongly so; “Good guys finish last.”  With God the “Poor in spirit” finish first.

Looking At The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:1-12 continuing…

We will be looking at each of the Beatitudes individually through the next few posts.

LOOKING AT THE BE-ATTITUDES

Matthew 5:1-12

When we begin looking at the Sermon on the Mount we see how Jesus expects His dedicated followers to live. There are far too many professing Christians that are saying and believing, “We are not required to obey the law any longer”, thus we have a bunch of reprobate professors of Christianity. There could not be anything further from the truth.

Where the law only told us the way, but did not provide aid in the way; Jesus came fulfilling the law and because of His Spirit living within also enables us to live the law in our lives. The law which once was only written in cold hard stones, and could not reach stone cold hearts, is now written in hearts of flesh.

Anyone professing today that they live by the Sermon On The Mount had better read it before they make such a bold announcement. It is far more binding, and has much more it requires than does the Ten Commandments. We will look at some of those things when we get to those areas.

In this lesson of the ‘BE-ATTITUDES’, using a little play on words; we find the attitudes the individuals who are in the Kingdom of Christ Jesus the King, are to have.

There are nine “Blessed(s)” given. The meaning of the word “Blessed” is ‘happy’. That is a “Beatitude”. Each “Blessed” is a reference to more than happiness – it has most certainly to do with spiritual joy. Happiness (as often defined or thought of) is determined by circumstances; events which take place in one’s life which can either add great excitement and temporary happiness, or great distress and sorrow. If it is an event which brings temporary happiness and excitement, it is only fleeting. Spiritual joy is an attitude attainable only by faith in Jesus – having a close personal relationship with Him. The happiness of which these Bible Blessings speak of is an enduring happiness, an inner joy, which is everlasting, and cannot be taken away.

Matthews Gospel tells us that it was the disciples whom Jesus taught. After having multitudes following Him He probably felt a need to get away. If not only for His disciples sake. This is the first major teaching of Jesus in this Gospel. It covers chapters five through seven. It could be called PRINCIPLES FOR KINGDOM LIVING. This was the King’s way of setting up His kingdom, and preparing the hearts of His people for what was to come. It was a different kingdom, than what the religious rulers had heard and taught. For some reason they missed the part of the “Suffering Servant” (Isaiah 52-53), dying by the hand of God, and taking away our transgressions. We see by these that there is happiness, fulfillment, and joy in the kingdom of our Lord and Savior.

Look To Your Maker

“At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.” Isaiah 17:7-8

It is the desire of the heart of God that the world know that He is the LORD God.  That sentiment is expressed all the way through the Scriptures.  He is holy, righteous, and just.  There is none like Him.

Too many people; even professing Christians; have erected idols: gods of their own making, and place more trust in an electronic device they can hold in their hands, sit on a entertainment center, drive down the road, or their bank account; even our own thoughts, than we place in God.

Thee is coming a day when you and I will look to our Maker, and have great respect and awe for Him, rather than treating Him as if He is a spare tire.

Let us begin today to look solely to Him as our defense, our defender, our shield, our provider, our only hope, and salvation.

God’s Purposes

“The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, ‘Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand…’”

“For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” Isaiah 14:24, 27 (KJV)

Too many times we Christians think the world, and God’s purposes are all about ourselves.  Well, guess what.  They are not.  The purposes of God are for His own glory.

The prophet’s words, God’s words above declare to us that the thoughts that He has will come to pass.  His thoughts are found in His Word.  No man, woman, boy or girl; no thing on earth or beyond earth can stop the thoughts and word of God from coming to pass, just as he has said.

He asked, “Who shall disannul it?”  There is no answer given, because none is needed.  The answer is to be understood as “NONE”.  There is none who can void the Word of God.  Thee is none who can stop it from coming to pass.

As Christians our purpose is to glorify the Father with our lives.  Our words, our actions, and our faith should show forth the work of Christ Jesus.  Jesus’s work was to do the will of the Father, and glorify Him; and He did that by going all the way to the cross.

Are you glorifying God by living His purposes?

Seek GOD and His Word

“And when they shall say unto you, ‘Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter:’ should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:19-20 (KJV)

There is a whole lot of seeking going on.  People seeking for wealth, treasures, truth, life, liberty, happiness; just to name a few.

In the days of the prophet Isaiah they were seeking to know what tomorrow holds by way of wizards, sorcery, and/or mediums, channelers, and such as that.  May I say to you, if you happen to be one of those people; there is only One who knows tomorrow, and who knows and will give you the absolute Truth; and His name is Jesus the Christ.

The people of God; those who follow Jesus should never seek out those kinds of things.  Like the prophet says above, “Should not a people (and he is referring to God’s people) seek unto their God?”  Most definitely so.

There are many places to search for peace, happiness, justice, and love; but the only place you will find it to be lasting is in the arms of the Father God through His Son Jesus who died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose bodily from the grave, and will return one day.

Turn to the pages of God’s Word [The Holy Bible] to find out more about Him.

Words for Christian Living – Our Treasure

In January I posted a short article on this same topic.  I awoke this morning with this topic on my mind; and it has been just about everyday I live.  The topic of “Treasure”; in particular: what is my treasure.  It is something for which I am ashamed to mention.  First let us look at what Jesus said;

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21 (KJV)

Jesus knew we would have treasure; however those treasures are not to be earthly treasure; and that is the first thing we think of when we think “Treasure”.  Gold, silver, precious jewelry, houses, lands, boats, cars, and sometimes spouses and children.  Jesus does not tell us these things are bad.  They are, in fact, good to have; remembering from whom they have come.

My shame lays in the thought that I see in myself more affinity for speaking of things like a good movie, book, car, a football game; than I do of speaking of Christ Jesus.  That tells me that Jesus Christ is not my Treasure.  Why is it when the subject of those other things come up I can speak without fear; yet when the subject of God comes up I can get really quiet?

I have no excuse.  Jesus is the greatest treasure.  I am endeavoring today, by the power of the Holy Spirit to make Jesus Christ my Treasure.

Commandments of God – Traditions of Men

“Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honour thy father and mother:’ and, ‘He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.’ But ye say, ‘Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, ‘It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;’ and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.'”  ~Jesus  (Matthew 15:1-9)

Making Judgments, Bearing Fruit, From the Heart

“Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?  The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, ‘Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye,’ when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye. For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”   ~Jesus (Luke 6:39-45)

Jesus On the Matter of Judging

“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”  ~Jesus  (Luke 6:37-38)

When You Love Your Enemies

“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? For sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”  ~Jesus (Luke 6:27-36)

Blessing on the Poor, the Hungry, the Sorrowful, and the Persecuted for Jesus’s Name Sake

“Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.”  ~Jesus (Luke 6:20-26)

Jesus Encounters the Devil

“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days He did eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered.  And the devil said unto Him, ‘If Thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.’  And Jesus answered him, saying, ‘It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’  And the devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, shewed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the devil said unto Him, ‘All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If Thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be Thine.’  And Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.’  And he brought Him to Jerusalem, and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Him, ‘If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down from hence: for it is written, ‘He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’  And Jesus answering said unto him, ‘It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’  And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season.”  ~Jesus as He dealt with Satan (Luke 4:1-13)

Of Treasure, Pearls, A Great Catch, Stewards and the Judgment

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.  So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Jesus saith unto them, “Have ye understood all these things?” They say unto him, “Yea, Lord.”  Then said He unto them, “Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.”  ~Jesus (Matthew 13:44-52)

Evil Within the Kingdom of Heaven will be Dealt With

The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.  So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, ‘Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?’  He said unto them, ‘An enemy hath done this.’  The servants said unto him, ‘Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?’  But he said, ‘Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.’”  ~Jesus (Matthew 13:24-30)