The Sermon On The Mount is considered to be the masterpiece of all of the sermons that Jesus preached. It was presented by Jesus to his disciples. It was not given nor intended for the multitudes. For this reason Jesus separated himself from the multitudes and went up into a mountain, and when his disciples came unto him, he taught them. The Sermon On The Mount comprises Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7. This sermon is a picture of a perfect new born child of God. To have any possibility of living out this sermon, you must first be born again. Second, you must be a disciple of Jesus Christ. A disciple of Jesus is the one who obeys completely the conditions of discipleship that Jesus taught.
Luke 14:25-33 “And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest happily, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, this man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first, and consults whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is a great way off, he sends an ambassage, and desires conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.”
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Luke 9:23-25 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?”
Matthew 10:28-31 “Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed you. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.”
Many people say that they want to be like Jesus. Do they really? Jesus gave up EVERYTHING to leave his home in heaven and to come to earth. He again gave up EVERYTHING to begin his ministry and to travel throughout Israel as an itinerant teacher and preacher. Jesus owned nothing but the clothes that he wore and a staff. He was homeless, had no job, no income, and lived by prayer and faith alone. He was rejected, ridiculed, and scorned by his own nation. His own family doubted him and thought that he had lost his mind. The people of his hometown of Nazareth tried to murder him by throwing him off a cliff. He suffered persecution everywhere that he went. He was continually attacked and tempted by satan himself. He also commanded his disciples to live the same way as he did. So please be careful when you say that you want to be like Jesus unless you really mean it, and are ready to back it up with action. God may give you what you ask for, so please be certain that this is what you truly desire.
The Sermon On The Mount contains the laws that govern the Kingdom of God, also known as the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of God is found on earth, and the Kingdom of Heaven is found in heaven. It is one and the same kingdom with two locations. Although the Sermon On The Mount contains the laws that govern God’s Kingdom, for a complete knowledge of these laws it is necessary to study every single word that Jesus spoke. That would be every word that he spoke in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Book of Revelation.
Modern Bible teachers and theologians would tell us that it is not necessary to obey the Sermon On The Mount today. It is the spirit of AntiChrist that says that. Jesus and his doctrine are one and the same. You cannot have one without the other. So anyone who denies the doctrine of Jesus also denies Jesus himself. That is the spirit of AntiChrist. You cannot have Jesus as your Savior unless he is first your Lord. The offices that Jesus occupies cannot be split up. He doesn’t occupy the office of Savior apart from the office of Lord. He occupies the single office of Lord and Savior. Either Jesus is your God and King, and you obey him fully; or he is nothing at all to you.
2 John 1:9-11 “Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed: For he that bids him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds.”
1 John 2:3-6 “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we obey his commandments. He that says, I know him, and obeys not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keeps his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that says he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
What is meant by “Poor in spirit”? It is the opposite of “Rich in spirit.” The rich in spirit are proud and arrogant. They think that they know everything, and that no one can teach them anything. They think that they do not need any help from anyone. The rich in spirit are self-sufficient. This is what the American spirit is based on, being independant and self-sufficient. It is more difficult for people in this culture to truly become humble. Americans by nature are a proud people. I have noticed that Americans mostly seem to pray only for what they cannot do themselves, instead of admitting that they are powerless to do anything without God’s help. A truly humble person acknowledges their inability to do ANYTHING without divine help. They realise that their life, health, safety, prosperity, and their spiritual well-being all comes from God Almighty. They understand that it is the Lord who keeps the earth spinning in its orbit, and without his grace and favor, we would all perish in a moment.
The poor in spirit have emptied themselves of self and of sin. They are not self-sufficient unto themselves, they lean upon God for everything that they need through prayer. They know better than anyone else that they are nothing, that they know nothing, and that they can do nothing by themselves. They are teachable and they are submitted to the authority of the Twelve Apostles. (These are the original Eleven Apostles, plus Matthias, who was the replacement for Judas Iscariot, who was also the traitor.) These are the poor in spirit to whom the kingdom of heaven belongs.
Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”
Why do people mourn? For the death of a loved one, or for some calamity that has befallen them or loved ones. It is always for something negative and catastrophic. Happy, fun loving, laughing people do not mourn. You cannot mourn and be happy at the same time.
So why does Jesus say that those who mourn are blessed? There is a mourning over our own sins that is especially good for us. Unless we mourn over our sins we will never stop sinning.
James 4:6-10 “But he gives more grace. Wherefore he says, God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore unto God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
Mourning is part of the process of becoming humble. God gives grace to the humble, but not to the proud. Drawing near to God, cleansing your hands, purifying your heart, becoming single minded, being afflicted, mourning, and weeping all go together. All are necessary for true repentance of sin. Repentance isn’t just feeling sorry for your sins as modern preachers would have you to believe. It is the process of becoming free of your sins. A repented person no longer sins as he once did. Laughter is to be turned into mourning and joy is turned into heaviness.
We are to mourn also for the lost people who are going to hell. Jesus did this publicly on one occasion.
Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent unto you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not !”
Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs. Jesus is today portrayed as always being happy, joyful, and laughing. That portrayal is not the Jesus of the Bible. Jesus knew from childhood the suffering and the death that awaited him at 33 years of age. He carried that burden constantly. He knew that he would bear the sins of the entire human race. He was called an illegitimate child all of his life. As far as other people were concerned he was born out of wedlock, which was a grave sin in the Jewish culture. King Herod sought to murder him as a young child, and his parents had to flee into hiding in Egypt. He had the knowledge that the hundreds of small children that King Herod in his madness ordered killed, was done because of him.
Jesus called his disciples to carry a cross. As soon as you shoulder that cross, the life that you once knew is over and done with. You are dead to this world, and the life you now live is one of suffering, deprivation, and pain. A true disciple of Jesus Christ is in a state of mourning nearly all of the time. Jesus also spoke of fullness of joy when our prayers are answered. Being a disciple is a very curious mixture of mourning and joy. You have to experience being a true disciple of Jesus Christ in order to understand what I’m talking about.
Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”
A mouse is meek. Jesus called himself meek and lowly of heart. A meek person is teachable, and receptive to rebuke and correction. A meek person receives commands from Jesus and obeys them. Pride, self-will, and stubbornness are nowhere to be found in a meek person. A meek person is submitted to Jesus as his disciple and does his will.
Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
Everyone hungers and thirsts after something. Many people desire riches, fame, pleasure, travel, hobbies, businesses, sports, politics, comfort, a life of ease, sex, sports, news, religion, protection, safety, power, a high place in society, and many other things as well.
What you hunger and thirst after determines what you think about, and also determines your actions. Take a careful look at what you think about all day long, and also at what you do with your time every day. This will give you an accurate description of what you hunger and thirst after.
People hunger and thirst after what they do not already have. A person with a stomach full of food and water, does not hunger and thirst for more. Today people believe that they are already made righteous in Christ. Therefore they do not hunger and thirst after righteousness as Jesus commanded. Jesus would not have said that they who hunger and thirst after righteousness are blessed, if they already had this righteousness. Jesus said that by your words you shall be made righteous, and by your words you shall be condemned. When the rich young ruler approached Jesus and asked, “What must I do to be saved?” Jesus answered him, “If you will enter into life, Keep the commandments.” And Jesus also said the following:
John 5:28-29 “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
Revelation 22:13-14 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Jesus taught that righteousness depends upon what we do. There are works of righteousness as well as there are evil works. To hunger and thirst after righteousness is to desire at all times to obey everything that Jesus said and commanded. To combat and correct false doctrine, John said the following.
1 John 3:6-8 “Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
The books of James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation were mainly written to combat and to correct the false doctrine of extreme grace. Jesus ended the New Testament by telling us once again that everyone will be judged according to their own works, and that it is necessary to obey the commandments of God, in order to go to heaven.
Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
We all want to obtain mercy on the day of judgement. The only way to obtain mercy is to show it to others. The manner in which you treat others is exactly how God will treat you on judgement day. In a very real sense you are your own judge. Your own actions toward others will determine what your own judgement will be like. Jesus said to judge not and you will not be judged.
You are continually looking into a mirror. As you judge and condemn others, you are judging and condemning yourself. When you criticise someone, you are actually criticizing yourself. When you condemn someone else for being a murderer, rapist, or thief; God condemns you for being a murderer, rapist, and thief. The doctrine of Jesus is hard. There is no room for hypocrisy or a double standard. God has no favorites. Your own words and actions will either condemn you or prove you to be righteous on judgement day.
The best course of action is to continually forgive people, and to ask God to pardon them for what they did. Every time you see someone commit a sin, say, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Is this not the example that Jesus left us?
Luke 23:33-34 “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified them, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
The true disciples of Jesus Christ also have this same attitude.
Acts 7:59-60 “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
The pure in heart are 100% of one thing only. There are no additives or impurities. For the heart to be pure there needs to be a purity in what is put into the heart as well. If you have a barrel and want it to be filled with water, then you would turn on a water hose and begin to fill it. You wouldn’t then put gas, or mud, or soda into the barrel.
Deuteronomy 6:1-9 “Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgements, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that you might do them in the land whither you go to possess it: That you might fear the Lord your God, to keep all of his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, and your son, all the days of your life; and that your days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with you, and that you may increase mightily, as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you, in the land which flows with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord: And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart: and you shall teach them diligently unto your children, and shall speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the posts of your house, and on your gates.”
Moses gave detailed instructions of how to faithfully worship and to serve the Lord their God. If Israel had obeyed this, then they would never have departed from the Lord their God, and would have remained the most powerful and prosperous nation on earth, until this very day. Think of all the pain, suffering, misery, and death that their rebellion caused them through the centuries.
The instructions are very simple to understand, but require a heart that is totally dedicated to love the Lord our God, and to diligently obey his commands. There are people who did this and proved that it possible. Moses and Joshua are the first names to come to mind. In the New Testament we see people who did this. There was Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zacharias, Anna the prophetess, Simeon, John the Baptist, and many others. These were all people who according to the righteousness of the law were blameless.
To follow these instructions it is necessary to give one’s self entirely to meditation, study, speaking, and obeying the Word of God. It is a small price to pay to get in return all of the riches, protection, blessings, health, long life, and life eternal promised by the Lord. The Israelites failed to do this and they suffered greatly because of it. The church has also failed to do this and has become like the Church of Laodicea prophesied of in Revelation chapter 3. The end of the Laodicean church is to be vomited from the mouth of Jesus, unless they repent of their sin and rebellion. Those who die in this state will go to hell and to the lake of fire, unless they repent, and obey the commands of God.
God has commanded that we love him with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind, and all of our strength. The modern church gives lip service to this, but like the Laodicean Church, they do not obey it. They are in danger of forfeiting their eternal salvation as a result. The rewards and the glory are not for this world, but for the one to come. If our pleasures are those found in this world, then we will lose the eternal pleasures promised to those who love him. God help us!
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”.
Thank God that Jesus didn’t call his disciples to make war. He called them to be peacemakers. He said to be “wise as serpents, but harmless as doves”. He taught to turn the other cheek, and to pray for those who despitefully use you and who persecute you. Of course nations and people in general, do not obey what Jesus taught and commanded. Modern Christians are held in high esteem and honored for being soldiers. Professing Christians are many times the leaders who make war, and the people who are in favor of going to war. In recent times George W. Bush made war on Iraq and Afghanistan. President Bush is a born again Christian and had the backing of the professing Christians in America.
Yet Jesus said that the peacemakers are the children of God. American Christians are not peacemakers but are in favor of war. Therefore in this respect, they do not resemble the children of God. Jesus never made a fist to hit anyone. He never physically injured anyone nor was he in favor of it. Yes, he did make a scourge of cords to drive the defilers of the temple out. He didn’t harm anyone but he did momentarily cleanse the temple. Jesus commanded that when someone strikes you on one cheek, to offer him the other cheek as well. Jesus said to resist not evil men. The disciples did not harm anyone either. They were less perfect in their implementation of Jesus’ command, as when Peter cut off the ear of the High Priest’s servant in the garden of Gethsemane. There is ample evidence that mere humans are never perfect in obeying God’s commands. However that leaves absolutely no excuse not to give our very best effort to do so. No one is perfect except for the Lord and even the best of us make mistakes.
So be a peacemaker. Let us do our very best to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Over 200 million martyrs have done this very thing and did not resist evil, but died for the name of Jesus. Today, at this very moment as you read this, there are Christians being imprisoned, tortured, and murdered for their faith, by Isis and other evil regimes. Their possessions and belongings are being stolen, their women raped, and their elderly and children murdered. I have pictures of these things happening as proof, I am not exaggerating one bit. There is another group of martyrs from out of every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue who will die in the time of great tribulation. I believe that there is no rapture, and even if there was, Jesus is not going to take an unrepented modern church to heaven, when he promised to vomit those in that condition from his mouth. Rebels and habitual sinners will be punished, and not rewarded. In one of Jesus’ parables he said that he who knew his lord’s will and did it not, would be beaten with many stripes, and be cast out into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. So maybe you and I will be counted worthy to be martyrs during the time of great tribulation. It is an honor indeed and I welcome it. I would like to leave this earth, not in peace, but in dying a death similar to Jesus and his apostles.
One thing is for certain, millions and perhaps billions of people will take the words and commands of Jesus very seriously once the period of tribulation begins. All of their doctrine will be tossed away as insignificant once the woes begin to be poured out upon the earth, and God’s wrath is seen manifested. We live in very interesting times. The modern church has become adulterers and adulteresses with the world, but will be rudely awakened once the tribulation begins. It appears to be just around the bend. I welcome it. Why is that? Jesus said to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. It is his will to judge the world for its sin and rebellion. The modern church is nearly no better than the world, and will taste the wrath of God as well.
Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you 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.”
When a person lives righteously, persecution will come. I spent about five years as a street preacher. I lived in my car and in tents, and travelled around the USA. During that period I had my life threatened thirteen times, I was threatened with bodily injury multiple times, I was sworn at and cussed out more times than I can remember, I was rejected by people and by churches, I was ridiculed publicly in church services, people tried to get rid of me wherever I went, and frequently had the police called on me, and other such things.
Jesus promises a great reward in heaven for the ones who suffer persecution and rejection. The main thing is to be sure that the persecution comes as a result of living a righteous life.
Remember that Jesus was crucified with two other individuals. They both received the just reward for their wicked deeds. Only Jesus was innocent and received his persecution for doing righteous deeds. Jesus is now God in heaven. The unrepentant thief is burning in hell right now. Nothing is worse than to receive such torture and punishment, and then to go to hell, and to be punished eternally as well.
I worked with a man once who told me the story of what happened to him and his brother. They went down to Juarez, Mexico just to have a good time. In the neighborhood where they were at someone was killed. Most of the people left and the Federal Police took these two brothers into custody. For about two weeks they were regularly tortured, beaten, waterboarded, and electrocuted in their genitals. It was a sad and horrible story. But what struck me the most was that all of that happened unto them, and they will receive no reward for it. All of the time both of these young men were in danger of hell fire. To be tortured and at the same time to be without God, and without hope in this world, is the worst situation that I can imagine.
How sad for the Jewish people who have suffered so much during the past two thousand years. They rejected Jesus Christ, delivered him to be crucified, and told Pontius Pilate to let his blood be upon them and their children. God gave them what they asked for, and for all these years the Jews have been persecuted, hated, rejected, and murdered. It is a very sad plight indeed. The worst part is that they all died and went to hell for rejecting Jesus Christ as the Messiah that was to come.
So in the midst of suffering persecution we are commanded to rejoice and to be exceeding glad, for two reasons. The first is because great is your reward in heaven. And the second is because you are sharing in the persecution and the suffering of the prophets who were before you. Jesus has called his disciples to be persecuted and to share in his suffering. A church that lacks persecution is a sick church. The modern church is in a mess because it has received so little persecution. When the seven year period of great tribulation arrives, the church will once again become healthy.
Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Salt is a preservative. Before there was refrigeration salt was applied to meat to preserve it. One of the reasons why the Confederacy lost the civil war was because of their lack of salt. Salt was obtained by boiling ocean water to get the salt. The Union had ships patrolling the coasts of Florida and when they saw the smoke from fires, they shot cannon to destroy the salt making operations. The southerners were unable to properly feed their soldiers because of a lack of salt to preserve their meat.
The disciples of Jesus are the salt that preserves the earth. The entire world lies in wickedness except for the church of Jesus Christ. But today the church and professing Christians have lost most of their saltiness, and are in danger of becoming good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. When the church is like the world, as in our day, they no longer have much preserving power or characteristics.
The disciples of Jesus are also the light of the world. Light was never meant to be hidden. Light is meant to shine and to give light to all around. There is no such thing as a secret disciple of Jesus Christ. Either they let their light shine before men or they are not Christians at all.
Notice that Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works.” This is the type of light given off by Christians. It is good works. When a person lacks good works or produces evil works, then it is a sure sign that they are not disciples of Jesus Christ. There is reality in all of this. The modern false prophets such as Joseph Prince, Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, and many others; teach that a person is eternally saved because of the experience of the new birth. They claim that this experience is real regardless of there being any good works or not.
They claim that all that people have to do is to believe initially, and to pray the sinner’s prayer. And they are now guaranteed a place in heaven, because all of their sins past, present, and future are forgiven. They are now granted a license to sin because everything is already forgiven, so they can be homosexuals, adulterers, rapists, murderers, liars, bank robbers, and any other evil deed, because they are still going to go to heaven. I even heard once from a famous word of faith pastor that a person who once exercised faith in Jesus Christ, cannot go to hell even if they want to, because God will tell them, “I’m sorry, but because you once placed your faith in Jesus, you have to spend eternity with me whether you want to or not.” I call that heresy.
I remember Kenneth Hagin saying that an obnoxious sinner made an obnoxious saint. I understand what he is talking about. In what modern Christians call the new birth, only a partial change comes into the life of believers. A total change does not happen. This is because the modern version of the new birth is not what Jesus called the new birth at all. It is an illumination that partially changes a person, but it is not the new birth that wholly changes a person.
In my own life experience I was “born again” in January of 1980. I was actually illuminated and partially changed. I couldn’t cease from sinning. I sought truth on how to be wholly changed. In March of 2009 I was sanctified and since then the outward sin has almost entirely dried up and died. No longer am I bound by outward sin. This is the authentic new birth. Am I perfect? Hardly. I am like Peter after his conversion. I still deal with anger issues and inner struggles. However Peter was not guilty of any outward sins of the flesh.
It is our responsibility to let our light so shine that men may see our good works and glorify God. Before you can do this you must have the good works to begin with. Only by diligently seeking the Lord for the truth about sanctification can you attain to a true new birth. People need to know first that such an experience exists before they will desire it and seek for it.
Matthew 5:17-20 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus did not come to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill them. The righteous requirement of the law has never changed. What Jesus taught in his gospel is actually more difficult by far to keep than the law of Moses. No lawless person will enter into heaven. The kingdom of heaven is governed by holy and righteous laws. We also need the law to show us our sins and to convict us of them before any repentance and new birth can take place.
To be great in the kingdom of heaven you are to obey God’s commandments, and to teach them to others. Notice what Jesus told his disciples to teach, the commandments of God. The hyper grace teachers claim that we are not required to obey God’s commands to go to heaven. They lie and deceive the people. Jesus says we are to both do and teach them to others. Who will you believe and follow? Mere men? or Jesus Christ? I have already made my choice to follow Jesus Christ and to reject the false teaching of men.
Make your own personal choice wisely because your eternal well being depends upon it. Heaven is populated with law abiding citizens. Hell is populated with lawbreakers and rebels. Nothing that you can say or do will change even one commandment of God. He has established his kingdom upon his own laws and no one can change that. Those who have the kingdom of God within them will enter the kingdom of heaven. To have the kingdom of God within you is to be governed by God’s laws while living here on the earth. Those who do not obey God’s laws here on earth do not have the kingdom of God nor the Holy Spirit living inside of them. They will all spend eternity in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.
Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgement; But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgement: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
We all know that murder is wrong. One of the ten commandments is “You shall not kill”. This is speaking of murder and I know this because God sent Israel to war and they killed many people. It also did not apply to those who carry out capital punishment because God also commanded that they do that. So it applies to murder, that is when an individual not under the authority of the government takes it upon himself to kill someone, that is murder. These same laws are those which are the foundation of the western world today. They call it the Judeo-Christian ethics. The laws of the USA are founded upon this till even now.
Jesus changed the law from just the outward act to include the inner thoughts and feelings. Now, it is not necessary to commit the act of murder to be in danger of the judgement, but by being angry with your brother without a cause, you will earn the judgement. And to say, “You fool” places you in danger of hell fire. Why is this? It is because what you think and feel in your heart is the same as committing the outward act. And indeed out of the heart proceed these very deeds.
Matthew 5:19 “Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
So here is the main thing in all of this. Jesus has called all of his disciples to obey his commands and to teach others to do the same. We teach by both word and by our example. Jesus has called EVERY SINGLE DISCIPLE to teach others to obey the commands that he gave us. I hear people tell me all the time, “Not everyone is called to do what you do.” Jesus called EVERY SINGLE DISCIPLE to do the same thing. That is to obey his commands and to teach other people to do the same thing. I am told about different gifts and callings, and that we are all different parts of the body of Christ. This is vain philosophy.
How many of Jesus’ disciples left houses, lands, jobs, friends, father, mother, wives, children, brothers, and sisters? Every single one of them. How many of Jesus’ disciples lived by prayer and faith alone? Every single one of them. How many of Jesus’ disciples were homeless, walked everywhere they went, had only the clothes on their back, and gave away all their money and possessions? Every single one of them. How many of Jesus’ disciples preached the gospel, healed the sick, raised the dead, and followed Jesus everywhere that he went? Every single one of them. How many of Jesus’ disciples were severely persecuted and died as martyrs? Every single one of them, with the exception of John. John was boiled in oil to kill him, but the Lord performed a miracle and the hot oil did him no harm whatsoever. And after the day of Pentecost, all of the disciples lived together, had all things in common, and gave away their houses and their possessions.
So the teaching of not being called to do the same thing, to have different parts in the body of Christ, did not come from Jesus Christ. It is vain philosophy and was invented by man. Jesus called every single disciple to do the same things and to teach others to also do the same things. Jesus said that heaven and earth shall pass away, but his words would not pass away. Anyone who contradicts and annuls the commands of Jesus Christ is a false prophet sent to destroy the church. If you want to go to heaven, then obey all of the commands of Jesus Christ and you will.
Matthew 5:23-26 “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has ought against you; leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. Verily I say unto you, You shall by no means come out thence, till you have paid the uttermost farthing.”
When in prayer and before the throne of God, not only are we to forgive others, but if our brother has ought against us, we are to immediately get up and go seek to be reconciled to our brother. This is a very difficult thing to do. Our pride must be put to death completely. It is a total denial of self. This is one of the reasons why our prayers are not answered. Until we do this we have not met the conditions of having our prayers answered.
Today, many of the false teachers like Joseph Prince, tell us that by praying the sinner’s prayer we are automatically granted eternal salvation regardless of what we do or do not do. This is a lie. God places conditions upon every promise that he gives. We must discover what the conditions are and then we must satisfy those conditions if we are to receive the promise. Jesus here is placing before us some of the conditions to having our prayers answered. If we want our prayers answered then we must satisfy the conditions that Jesus set before us.
Whoever our adversary is, we are to agree with them. You can only have an adversary if there is a disagreement. If there is no disagreement then there will also be no adversary. When you keep silent and refuse to verbally disagree with someone, then there can be no argument. I am not saying that you agree with the content of their message, but to not be disagreeable with them. Modern Christians love to correct one another. This creates adversaries and causes our prayers to be hindered. It is not your job to correct anyone. If you don’t like or agree with what they say, then just keep quiet and then pray for the Lord to open their eyes to see the truth. Or maybe you should pray for the Lord to open your own eyes to see the truth.
Recently I have called customer service representatives of several computer oriented companies. One of them in particular has trained their representatives to agree with everything the customer says. All of the complaints are met with, “You are right”, “That is correct”, “Yes I agree”, and other such remarks. They also allow the customer to vent all that they want to in order to get it off their chest. The corporations that do this have made me like them in spite of the grievances, and even desire to do business with them.
How different with pastors, church staff members, and Christians in general. They want to correct me, set me straight, teach me something, and demonstrate that whatever I said is wrong. Truly the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. All of this attitude deviance is a hindrance to all of their prayers being answered. No wonder that people are always seeking others to do their praying for them. All of the prayer lines are full of requests.
It does little or no good to correct people. As long as their eyes are blind to the truth, you can correct them daily forever, and they still won’t see the truth because they are still blind. So agree with your adversaries so that your prayers may be answered.
Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: But I say unto you, that whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.
It has been a commandment from old time to not commit adultery. Now, Jesus has changed it to include lustful thoughts. This is why pornography is so bad. Pornography aids your imagination to lust after other people. Also sexual fantasy along with masturbation does the same thing. Jesus says that by doing this we commit adultery. All sexual immorality that we visualize inside is as if we actually committed the act.
Seeing that this is the case, what Jesus said about men becoming eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake takes on a greater importance. I can almost guarantee you that NO ONE except me has ever spoken to you about becoming a eunuch. Yet it is an option that Jesus set forth to be free from sin. ( Matthew 19:11-12 ). At the place I find myself in life I have thought a lot about becoming a eunuch. Fear and cultural taboo has held me back. No more. I have prayed for finances and the correct doctor to perform the operation and when my prayers are answered in this area, I will do it, and become a eunuch. The next verses we are going to look at have nailed it down for me. It is better to enter into the kingdom of heaven minus some body parts than to enter whole into hell.
Matthew 5:29-30 “And if your right eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell. And if your right hand offend you, cut it off, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members shall perish, and not that your whole body shall be cast into hell.”
Although this is not talking about literally cutting off your hand or your foot, it very well could be speaking literally about physical sexual body parts both male and female. If that is what it takes to cease from sinning then go the whole way. Anything is better than being cast into hell. It is high time that professing Christians take a very serious look at these issues.
In a non-literal sense these verses refer to things that are so much a part of you, that it is as dear to you as your own hand and foot. Habits and habitual sin are very much a part of you. In fact, they are you. What you habitually do is what you are, and it is who you are. For this very reason the Bible speaks of people being the sin that they commit. You are not John Doe who lies. You are a liar. You are not Jane Doe who has sex outside of marriage. You are an adulteress.
Revelation 22:14-15 “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they might have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.”
These sins are not listed as behavioral traits, but rather as names for people. People who commit murder are murderers. People who commit adultery are adulterers. People who commit idolatry are idolaters, and so on. The reason that habitual sin is so deadly is that people who commit adultery are adulterers, and adulterers do not go to heaven, they go to hell. People who commit idolatry are idolaters, and idolaters do not go to heaven, they go to hell. People who commit homosexuality are homosexuals, and homosexuals do not go to heaven, they go to hell. People who tell lies are liars, and liars do not go to heaven, they go to hell.
This is why the false teachers today are so evil. They are wolves who come in the beautiful clothing of sheep. They look innocent and desireable. They smile really big like Joel and Victoria Osteen, and Joseph Prince. But what they say and teach is what is so very evil, and not their outward appearance. They tell us that people who continue in habitual sins can still go to heaven. Their deception sounds really good. But to tell a homosexual that he can go to heaven while still practising his homosexuality, is to not only lie to him, but to guarantee that he will go to hell.
People do not only need their sins forgiven and washed away, but they need a transformation. Old time holiness people called it a conversion experience. If you take a liar and wash away his sins and forgive him, but then he continues to lie, he is a liar still. You do the person a great injustice to tell him that he is now saved and all of his sins past, present, and future are forgiven him. He then thinks and believes that he can continue to lie and still go to heaven. This makes a born again child of God into a liar. The same can be said for any other habitual sin. Yet this is exactly what teachers like Joel Osteen, Victoria Osteen, and Joseph Prince tell people. These false teachers are not only going to hell themselves, but they are sending millions of other people to hell as well. Jesus had something to say about them.
Matthew 23:15 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”
Wolves in sheep’s clothing do great damage to people who are seeking to enter God’s kingdom and heaven. They deceive the very ones who look to them for answers and guidance. Instead of truth they get lies. Instead of enlightenment they get deception and darkness. Notice that Jesus told the scribes and the Pharisees that they make them twofold more the child of hell than themselves. It is the false teachers who make them this way. The truth is that people are what they do. This is the truth that the writer of Proverbs was getting across.
Proverbs 26:11 “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly”.
2 Peter 2:22 “But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again. and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”
The pig that is washed and cleansed will return to wallow in the mud at the first opportunity that it gets. It is the nature of a pig to wallow in the mire. So even though the pig may be washed, cleaned, and even perfumed; it is still a pig and still has the nature of a pig. Washing and cleansing cannot change the inner nature of a pig into something else. So a liar that is washed and forgiven will continue to lie, because he is a liar still and it is his nature to lie. A true conversion is required to change the nature of a sinner into a saint.
Matthew 5:31-32 “It has been said, Whosoever puts away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, that whosoever puts away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery.
It has been said, refers to the law of Moses. Moses commanded to let them give their wives a bill of divorcement and to divorce her. ( Deuteronomy 24:1 ). Jesus now changes the law that Moses gave and no longer allows a letter of divorcement. Marriage can no longer be annulled for any reason whatsoever.
There is one exception. For the cause of fornication, which is any type of sex whatsoever that is done with someone other than her husband. Notice that this exception is for fornication on the part of the woman and not of the man. If someone gets a divorce for any reason other than this one exception, they commit adultery. And if anyone marries a divorced woman, he commits adultery with her.
There is some of the silliest doctrine floating around today. Many say that if a person gets re-married and thus commits adultery, but they ask for forgiveness, they are forgiven. But they also say that the married couple can remain married and now they no longer commit adultery because they have been forgiven past, present, and future. How does adultery stop being adultery? American Christians especially are guilty of committing adultery on a massive scale. Well over 50% of marriages end in divorce.
What Jesus said is the truth and it is the law of the kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is not a lawless kingdom. The Kingdom of God is governed by all of the teachings and commands of Jesus Christ. Lawbreakers will be cast out of the kingdom. Only the law abiding citizens will remain and live in God’s kingdom.
Matthew 5:33-37 “Again, you have heard that it has been said by them of old time, You shall not forswear yourself, but shall perform unto the Lord your oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: Neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: For whatsoever is more than these comes from evil.”
We are a society that makes oaths and the church people do the same. Our judicial system is based upon the custom of defendants and witnesses to place their hand upon a Bible and to say, “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” Our president, vice president, and other elected officials also place their hand upon a Bible and swear an oath. The pledge of allegiance is still said while placing the right hand over the heart. All of these are oaths which Jesus said come from evil.
A few years ago I had a meeting with the son of an internationally known Bible teacher. I had some documents that I left with him for his father to look at. To assure me that he would give them to his father he raised his right hand in the boy scout salute, and said, “I swear on a son’s honor that I will give this to my dad”. This also comes from evil.
Unfortunately people today almost totally ignore the teachings of Jesus Christ. They place no importance upon his sayings and do not submit themselves to his authority. This is a sign of a mass rebellion against Jesus Christ and a complete rejection of his Lordship. People all the while pray and sing that Jesus is Lord. They pray and sing lies. I have noticed that in churches just about every song sung is a lie. They sing things that they have absolutely no intention of actually doing. All of these lies that are sung will be brought to remembrance on the day of judgement, when Jesus casts all those who love and make a lie into the lake of fire.
Jesus said to simply let your Yes be yes, and your No be no. Whatsoever is more than these comes from evil. We are to be men and women of our word. We are to let our word be our bond and to fulfill every word that we speak. Yet this is exactly what the people in our modern church do not do. I have given my material to many church leaders and pastors to read and study. I have gotten a pledge from all of them to get back with me and to give me their honest opinion of what they thought. Months have gone by and not a single one of them has contacted me. To break a promise is to tell a lie, and all liars will go to the lake of fire.
We need to take an honest look at ourselves in light of the teachings and the commands of Jesus Christ. It will be readily apparent that we do not measure up. Not even close. Since Christians are those who follow and obey Jesus Christ, we need to be brutally honest and recognize that we are in danger of not being Christians at all. We talk the talk, but we don’t walk the walk. We are like the Church of Laodicea, and unless we repent and remove the blindness from our eyes, we will all be vomited from the mouth of Jesus into hell. Wake up! Repent! And begin to obey Jesus Christ!
Matthew 5:38-39 “You have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also”.
In the old testament the law was very strict concerning bodily injury done. If someone injured another person, they were to have the same injury inflicted upon them as their punishment. This was a great deterrent against people committing these acts against their neighbors.
Exodus 21:23-25 “And if any mischief follow, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe”.
If these same laws of punishment were meted out today, there would be a huge drop in violent crime. There would be no need for all of these prisons and jails. In Saudi Arabia when the hour for prayer arrives the store owners leave their store unlocked and unprotected. They know that nothing will come up missing. The penalty for robbery is to have a hand chopped off.
On a personal level Jesus says to not resist evil. If someone hits you on the right cheek turn to him the other also. I did this once when I was in the ninth grade at school. A bully came up to me and hit me on my cheek. I didn’t do anything and turned the other cheek and told him to hit that one also. There was no fight and no other violence either. I did get called a lot of mean names from other kids for doing it.
I spent five years travelling as a street preacher. I daily prayed for protection. I pray daily something like this, “Father thank you for a hedge of protection around me and everything that belongs to me. Thank you that the angel of the Lord encamps round about those who fear him and delivers them. Thank you that the angel of the Lord encamps around me and everything that pertains unto me and protects it. Thank you that you give your angels charge over me to keep me in all of my ways. They bear me up in their arms lest I should dash my foot against a stone. Thank you for your protection and provision today in Jesus’ name. Amen”.
I have had my life threatened 13 times, I’ve been threatened with bodily injury, sworn at and cussed out, had people try to run me off, had the police called on me frequently, and been rejected and shunned. I have slept in my car in unsafe areas and camped all alone in the forests. Yet NEVER has anyone laid a finger on me to injure me or to rob me.
It seems that to turn the other cheek is a sign of weakness, but it is actually a sign of strength. I sleep without fear of being robbed, injured, or killed. And that in dangerous places and among people who hate me. No one could lay a hand upon Jesus until his hour arrived and he allowed them to do so. He said clearly that no one took his life from him but that he voluntarily laid it down. Jesus told his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane that he could ask his Father for twelve legions of angels and they would instantly be given to him.
I have discovered that if I would just believe the promises of God and act upon them, then the Lord would honor his word to me. I had to do this in the face of great fear and obstacles. Little by little and victory by victory, I learned to trust in the promises of God, until now I live without fear or worry about bodily injury, theft, accident, or death. It is a much better way to live. And what the Lord has done for me he will do for you too. Your part is to trust, obey, and take action. God’s part is to do the protecting and the providing.
Matthew 5:40 “And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloak also.”
I have never seen this acted out. Today the Christians have lawyers and stand up for their rights. In the process they disobey Jesus and rebel against his command. Jesus basically said this, If one of you gets sued for $10,000 you are to settle out of court for the full amount of $10,000, and you are to give them an additional $10,000 as well. And you are to do this even if you are innocent!
People just simply do not have faith in what Jesus said today. Hardly anyone even gives him a chance to prove that he will turn everything out well. If you were to give away all that you possess as Jesus commanded, then he has promised you a hundred fold return in this lifetime. Why would you hesitate to give him an opportunity to do for you as he promised to do?
Matthew 5:41 “And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him twain.”
In Roman times the soldiers travelling along the roads had the legal right to stop anyone that they saw, and force them to carry their backpack for a mile. Jesus commanded to not only do it for a mile, but to do it for two miles. In other words do double what they ask. To translate this to our modern day, we are to help whoever asks us for help and to even do double what they ask. This sounds difficult and it is. Jesus said that straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to eternal life and few there be that find it.
Life is a test like we see in nature. The natural law of the survival of the fittest best describes the meaning of life. Jesus puts us through pain, hardship, difficulty, suffering, and many other negative experiences to teach us, strengthen us, mature us, perfect us, and to test us. The test is to see who truly loves Jesus. Remember that the definition of love that Jesus used is that if you love him then obey his commandments. Jesus is testing all of us to see who loves him and who does not love him. He then promises that we will all be judged according to our works.
Matthew 5:42 “Give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn not away.”
This is where many Christians miss it today. Homeless people approach them and they come up with all sorts of excuses of why they won’t give them anything. Some give, but complain at the same time instead of rejoicing. Many just avoid homeless people altogether so that they don’t have to deal with being asked for money. But there are also still many generous Christian people out there. I have met many of them when I was a homeless street preacher. Many of them have helped me with food, money, and sometimes even with shelter. They may be fewer in number today, but they have hearts of gold. I have praised God for them on many occasions.
Jesus said the same about people who want to borrow from you. He said not to turn them away. Now I have learned a few things over the years. I have had little of this world’s goods, but I attempt to give everyone who asks me something. I will admit that I have failed at this more times than I would like to remember. But I have discovered that if I am prepared ahead of time that it is much easier.
I have at times decided what I would give away and put that money in a separate wallet or coin purse. Then when someone asks me for something it has already been set aside for that purpose, and I have already determined that I would give it. Also I have discovered that if I don’t have it to give, I don’t have to give them the amount that they ask for, but I will give something. If they ask for $100 but I can only spare $5, then that is what I will give.
I CAN obey Jesus and practise what he commanded. It just takes a willing heart and a determination to do it. As I take action to obey, the way to do it becomes clear to me.
Matthew 5:43-45 “You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Jesus requires far more than the law of Moses required. Under Moses you only had to love your neighbor. Under Jesus you have to love your enemy as well. He gives an explanation of the love that he requires by saying, Do good to them that hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you. The love that Jesus describes is always an action. Just as faith is an act, so love is an act as well. Modern Christians mostly say that love is an emotion, a feeling. And to do the acts that Jesus describes is just good works. Many speak despairingly of these good works because they believe in faith without works, and in love without works. In other words they believe in dead faith and in dead love.
James 2:26 “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also”.
Look at what Jesus and John said about love and thus defining what it is.
John 14:21-24 “He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas said unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me”.
1 John 5:2-3 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous”.
Both Jesus and John describe love as being an act. To love God and to love the children of God is to obey God’s commandments. Jesus said the result of loving your enemies is that, “So you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven, for he makes his sun to rise on the just and the unjust”. Only those who love through obedience to God’s commandments are the children of God. Jesus taught salvation through a living love and a living faith that reveals itself through obedience to God’s commandments. God shows his love and his goodness to all people, to the just and to the unjust. So we are to do the same if we have God’s love in us.
Matthew 5:46-47 “For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? do not even the publicans the same? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others? Do not even the publicans so?”
It takes no great ability to love those who love you and to greet those who greet you. Even the worst sinners do that. There is no reward for doing this. Jesus promises eternal rewards in heaven for loving those who hate you and who treat you shamefully. There is no reward for greeting those who greet you, but for greeting those who ignore you and who hate you. God’s love requires actions that are not possible in mere human strength or ability. We seek God’s love in prayer and meditation. We get a blueprint clearly on the inside of us from the example of Jesus and others in the Bible, and then we act it out to the best of our ability trusting in the Lord all the while. This is the type of love that Jesus will both accept and reward us for having.
Matthew 5:48 “Be therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”.
The goal that we have set before us by Jesus is perfection. No one ever reaches it in this lifetime, but it is the goal set before us. We will attain to much more by attempting to be perfect than if we try only to better ourselves somewhat. The higher the goal the higher the attainment level will be. As I attempt to reach perfection I see only how imperfect and flawed that I am. When I look at the perfection of my Heavenly Father and of Jesus Christ, I am ashamed at how inferior I am.
This is why the law of the old testament is necessary to show people their sins and defects. The law is perfect and we are far from perfect. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus presents perfection, and when we attempt to obey this sermon, we see how imperfect that we really are. Our cry will be, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?” We will cry to God, “Lord have mercy on me a sinner!”
This modern era is marked by pride and self- satisfaction. The people believe themselves righteous without true repentance, and holy without obeying the commandments of God. Many will call what I teach here as being condemnation. They believe themselves born again children of God without ever being truly converted. The reason being, that we have rejected the law of the old testament and the law taught by Jesus Christ.
Matthew 6:1-4 “Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when you do your alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when you do alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand does: that your alms may be in secret: and your Father which sees in secret himself shall reward you openly”.
Here Jesus is speaking against hypocrites who give to the poor with the motivation of being seen by men. These people will receive no reward for their giving. The only motive that pleases God is the desire to please the Lord and no one else. So when you give to the poor do not do it to be seen by other people, but by God. Then you will be rewarded openly when the time for that comes.
Two People can do the very same act at the very same time, and one is doing a righteous deed and the other is doing an evil deed. What makes a deed evil or good is the motive of the heart. What is the heart motive with which something is done? One man can give $5 to a needy person and he does it out of compassion and love for Jesus. He will be rewarded for his deed. Another man can give $100 to the very same needy person, but his motive was so that others would know about it and think well of him. He will not be rewarded, and the outwardly good deed is in fact an evil deed because his motive was selfish.
We need to take the utmost care to purify our motives. This takes time and effort. Someone who desires to practise true religion has got to spend a lot of time in prayer and meditation. These things don’t just happen in an instant. We are very complex in our makeup. It takes conscious effort and persistence to change. It takes time. These are safety mechanisms that God created within us. We are meant to operate on habit. And to change these habits requires much time and conscious effort on our part. It can be done but not easily and not quickly. It is an act of our wills.
Matthew 6:5-6 “And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly”.
In a religious society like the Jews had, I can picture in my mind people who would actually stand on a street corner and pray, to be seen of men. The temptation would be there so that people would think that they are holy or someone special. People do the very same thing today in church services and on television and radio. There was a time in my life when I went to prayer services and I was good at praying. The temptation was there to appear holy or special. I keep away from praying in public nowadays because of what Jesus taught here.
Again it comes down to the heart motive of why we pray in public. Is it to be seen of men? or is our motive pure and holy before the Lord? Jesus tells us to pray in secret so that only the Father knows. Yet today we hear stories and testimonies where people tell others how many hours that they pray, and the experiences that they have had. Much of this is a desire to let other people know what we have done in secret, and by doing this we lose our reward.
By having the wrong motives in prayer we lose our reward. This is another reason why our prayers are not answered. Jesus said if we pray only to the Father in secret, that our Father in secret would reward us openly. Part of the open reward is the answer to our prayers. Why do we need to let other people know what we do in private? And if we do it then we need to be certain that our heart motive is to teach others to pray and not to be seen of men. Only when the desire to be recognized and to be seen of men is destroyed are we ready to speak about these things in public. For then the motives of the heart will be correct.
Matthew 6:7-8 “But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not like unto them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him”.
Many people use vain repetitions. The Roman Catholics pray hail Marys and the rosary. These are vain repetitions. Many protestants have written prayers, prayer lists, and prayer books. These also become vain repetitions. What Jesus is after is the heart motive and condition. Vain repetitions come from the head. There is little or no feeling in it.
When a person truly prays from the heart they are speaking what they feel deep inside. That is why a simple prayer from the heart can be so effective like, “Lord have mercy upon me a sinner!” God is not interested in your much speaking or the beauty of the words of your prayer. God only wants to hear what you truly feel and think deep inside of your heart. These are the prayers that God will cherish and answer. This is perhaps why people are drawn so much to the Book of Psalms. It is full of prayers from the heart of people going through difficult life experiences. These are the very best of prayers.
Prayers don’t need to be lengthy or poetic to be heard. They just need to be spoken in complete honesty and frankness. The more direct the prayer and the more feeling woven into it, the better the prayer. If we truly desire to get our prayers heard and answered then we need to learn to pray from deep within the heart.
James 5:16-18 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth for the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit”.
Elijah wasn’t some super saint so special that we can’t do as he did. He was of like passions just as we are. Yet he was able to pray the heavens closed for three and a half years and then to pray them open again. Be careful to remember that Elijah did not do this of his own accord but upon instructions from God. So many today are praying for things that God never instructed them personally to pray for. This is another reason why prayers are not answered.
Elijah prayed fervently from the heart and his prayers were heard. A prayer must be both effectual and fervent in order to be heard and to be answered. Until we meet these qualifications our prayers shall remain unanswered.
Matthew 6:9-13 “After this manner therefore pray: Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen”.
This is the manner in which we are to pray. We are not to pray this as a vain repetition. Rather this is a blueprint for how our prayers are to be modeled. Many churches have the entire congregation repeat this prayer in unison. They think that they honor and obey Jesus by doing so. They do not, they have only turned his prayer blueprint into a vain repetition.
Prayer is not to be addressed to Jesus. It is to be addressed to Our Father which art in heaven. It is very important to understand who your prayer is addressed to. If you are uncertain who your prayer is addressed to or have addressed it to the wrong person, then your prayer will not be heard. So be clear as to who Jesus said to pray to. When you send an e-mail you must be certain that the e-mail address is correct, or your e-mail will not get through.
Hallowed be thy name. Prayer should begin with praise and worship to the name of our Father which is in heaven. Jesus prayed to his Father and he called him Father too. So we are to do the very same thing. We are to praise and worship the name of our Heavenly Father. Spend some time just speaking and singing praises unto the name of your Heavenly Father. Worship his name. Jesus did not instruct us to pray to him nor to praise and to worship his name. We are to do this to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus. It is important that we follow the instructions that Jesus gave in order to enjoy the results of having our prayers answered.
Thy kingdom come. We are to daily pray that God’s kingdom come. The plan and the purpose of God is for his kingdom to be established in the hearts of men and women, and upon the earth as well. It is not God’s will for this world to remain in its fallen state. It is God’s will for his kingdom to come, and to be established upon this earth. In this day and age where the entire world almost, has rejected the Lordship of Jesus Christ, it seems apparent that his kingdom will be established on earth during the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ, and in the new heavens and the new earth. To bring this about there will come a seven year period of great tribulation that will come upon the earth. This will judge and cleanse the earth of wickedness.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In heaven Father reigns supreme. His will is done and there is no one to oppose his will. The laws that govern the kingdom of heaven are the same words that proceeded from the mouth of Jesus Christ. The laws that Jesus spoke and commanded to his disciples is the very same law that governs heaven. So we are to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
People pray for the people of this earth, for politicians and leaders, for Christians, and for the heathen. But I have noticed a great wrong being committed. They sometimes pray and ask God to do things that are their own will, and not the will of God. During the American Civil War both the Northerners and the Southerners prayed to the same God, asking him to destroy their enemies and to protect themselves. They were praying for God to destroy their enemies who for the most part were professing Christians just as themselves. And those enemies were praying to the same God beseeching him to destroy them as well. How could these prayers be the will of God?
Christian people pray for things thinking that they know what God’s will is. They do not, at least not when it is divorced from the written word of God. Right now there is an election going on in the USA for president of the United States. Many Christians pray for Donald Trump to win and many pray for Hillary Clinton to win. None of these prayers are God’s will. He never told us to determine what his will is. Jesus told us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. The correct way to pray is, “Father concerning the election let your will be done. If you desire Hillary Clinton to win then let it be so. And if you want Donald Trump to win let it be so. Father let your will be established in the USA just as it is in heaven”.
It is not for us to decide who will be a better president. Right now the USA happens to be under judgement for turning it’s back on God. Even the church has done this. They many times do their own will and not the will of Jesus Christ, even in the way that they pray. When God judges a nation he gives them wicked rulers who will make decisions that will bring punishment upon that nation. So whoever you think is the worst choice for president may be the person that God has chosen, for the very reason that they will be used as his instruments to bring judgement upon this nation.
All around us we hear people praying for God to bless the United States of America. What about asking for America to bless God? It may not be the will of God to again bless this nation. The USA has abandoned God, and it is God’s will to bring judgement and destruction upon this nation. If God did not judge and punish this nation then he would owe Sodom and Gomorrah an apology. If God did not judge and punish this nation then Tyre and Sidon and Capernaum would all have righteous accusations to bring before the Lord on judgement day. What we don’t know is when his full wrath will be poured out on this nation. I suspect that will happen during the period of great tribulation that will soon come upon the earth. But Jesus said that no man knows the day or the hour of his coming. So the only correct way to pray is for Father’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
So the very best way to pray is to pray the words that Jesus Christ spoke. Pray that his every word and command be established on earth as it is in heaven. Open your Bible to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Revelation and pray the words that Jesus spoke. Pray for them to be accomplished in the lives of people and in the events of this world. Do not be proud and vain to think that you know what God’s will is. Don’t think that God is your personal servant to do your bidding. He is not. You are only licensed to pray as Jesus commanded to pray, no more and no less.
To pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven is to trust him completely. It is to relinquish our own desire to control things and to allow God to be God. People always seem to think that they know God’s will concerning world events. We do not and cannot know until he reveals it to us. Just let go and let God be in control. Be willing to accept whatever he wills to do and to accomplish in this world.
Give us this day our daily bread. Jesus lived day to day by faith, and he taught his disciples to also live day to day by faith. This is exactly what professing Christians are careful NOT to do today. Many Christians live just as the worldly people live. Instead of a day to day faith, they live week to week, month to month, and year to year. Instead of giving everything away to the poor, they gather homes, properties, bank accounts, investments, gold and silver, and all other types of material things. They receive paychecks that they trust in instead of the Lord. However, there is still a remnant of God upon this earth. I have met in my travels some of the most wonderful people who have a heart to serve God. They are much fewer in number than 40 years ago, but they are still out there. I am blessed every time that I have met them. You who read this have met many of them too.
Show me the Christian who literally prays and lives by “Give us this day our daily bread”. Yet this is the way that Jesus and his disciples lived, and it is how he commands all of his disciples to live, including today. It is a wonderful thing to see the Lord provide through miraculous means on a day to day basis. I have lived this way for the past seven and a half years in a row, and many times before that as well. I have seen some of the greatest miracles of provision that I could ever desire to see. I know for certain that the Lord keeps his promises to those who trust him because I have trusted him. “Taste and see that the Lord is good and that his mercy endures forever”. I not only trust him for my day to day needs, but I feed about 40 other people as well. Only God could do that.
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Jesus didn’t teach us to simply pray for our own sins to be forgiven. That is what human nature does, for it is self-centered, and only thinks about itself. Jesus taught that we pray for our own sins to be forgiven as we forgive others their sins against us. If we do not forgive others their sins then our own sins will not be forgiven either. And our own sins will be forgiven us AS we forgive others. Just as we treat others is how God will treat us. This is an awesome and even a terrible thing to think about. It instills fear for God and what he will do to me on the day of judgement if I don’t obey what Jesus says. The fear of God is a good thing. In Proverbs it says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and it is the way of life.
The worst type of false teacher is like Joseph Prince. He teaches that when you are born again that all of your sins past, present, and future are already forgiven you. He says that he never prays to ask for forgiveness since all of his sins are already forgiven. By doing this he calls Jesus Christ a liar. He not only denies and disregards the command of Jesus to daily pray for forgiveness, but he teaches others to do so also. He is overturning the faith of perhaps millions of people. There are many other false teachers out there also.
And lead us not into temptation. I will confess my faults. I have not daily prayed that the Lord lead me not into temptation. Remember that it was the Spirit that drove Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil forty days and forty nights. The Lord does not tempt anyone but he does lead them to be tempted of the devil. Why is the devil in this world in the first place? Why did God allow the devil into the garden of Eden to tempt Adam and Eve? Why did God create man on a world inhabited by the devil and his angels? It is the will of God that man be tempted by them. Only in this way can he know who truly loves him and who does not love him.
However Jesus offers a way of escape to those who pray daily to not be led into temptation, but to be delivered from evil. The modern church no longer does this earnestly from the heart. I had a Baptist pastor tell me a few years ago that his congregation was a healthy congregation, sin was rampant within his congregation, but they were a healthy congregation. What a contradiction of terms! A congregation in which sin is rampant is a sick congregation and not a healthy one. The entire modern church is full of sin and rebellious people who do not obey the teaching and commands of Jesus Christ. But thank God for his remnant! They are wonderful people and I love them dearly. I meet many of them wherever that I travel to.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and they glory forever. Amen. Prayer is to end with praise and worship as well as to begin with it. Disciples of Jesus Christ are to be full of praise and worship. The nation of Israel had the Book of Psalms that they sang in praise and worship. Nothing has changed in the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven. All of God’s people praise, worship, and adore him. Today the problem is that many people sing praises to God but their hearts are far from him.
Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”.
We already have dealt with this issue. It is clear and to the point. If you want God to forgive you your sins against him, then you must first forgive men their sins against you. And if you refuse to forgive men their sins against you, then your Heavenly Father will not forgive your sins against him. You can claim to be born again and saved all that you want to, but if you refuse to forgive men their sins against you, then God will not forgive you your sins, and you will go to hell for all eternity.
Matthew 6:16-18 “Moreover when you fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; That you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father which sees in secret: and your Father , which sees in secret, shall reward you openly”.
Fasting is required of the disciples of Jesus Christ. It is to be a private thing and not an outward show to seem religious to other people. Again Jesus is dealing with the heart issue of whether you do it for God alone, or you do it to be seen and admired by men. To announce fasts and to gather groups to fast many times defeats the purpose. Jesus says that fasting is to be a private activity between you and God. If you do it before men then all the reward that you would receive from it is lost.
I’ve seen churches where the staff and the leaders went on retreats, and had to fast so many days each year to remain in leadership positions. I do not agree with this at all. They did it as it were publicly by letting everyone know about it. So it became will worship without any rewards whatsoever from the Lord. Again, Jesus told us that fasting is to be done in secret, and your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly. We need to follow the guidelines set forth by Jesus Christ and stop making our own guidelines. Men always want to change what Jesus said and to create their own new way of doing things.
Matthew 6:19-21 “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 does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”.
Jesus commands to not lay up treasure on earth where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. Yet the church people do just the opposite. The churches have financial planning seminars and retirement planning seminars. Church members own businesses and some of them corporations. They own homes, properties, vacation homes, stocks, bonds, CD’s, and on and on it goes. Jesus commands not to lay up treasure on earth and the rebellious church members do the opposite.
I heard a story of a young woman who had a vision and she saw the head of Jesus just bobbing along in the air. The vision was repeated a few times and the young woman prayed to know what it meant. The Lord told her that it was because he had no body in the earth. How true that is! The head always commands and the body obeys the commands given by the head. Yet Jesus commands and the church does the opposite. The very fact that the church totally rebels against the commands of Jesus reveals that Jesus has no body on the earth today. If he did then they would obey him.
Jesus also commanded to sell what you have and give it to the poor. Yet the church rebels against that command also and refuses to obey. The obstinate church will be vomited from the mouth of Jesus into hell unless they repent. Jesus promised this and his word cannot be broken. Judgement day is getting closer and closer. This world will soon be judged. Those who die first will already be in eternity and be reserved unto the day of judgement. Hell is already full of rebellious sinners against the commandments of God. Many of them are professing Christians.
Where your treasure is there will your heart be also. Christians verbally acknowledge that Jesus is their Lord. Their actions prove otherwise. By laying up treasure on earth their heart is with their treasure and not with Jesus. The Lord said of old that Israel outwardly appeared to be a nation that sought after God, but their heart was far from him. And so it is today. If you have earthly treasures then your heart will be set on earthly things, but if your treasure is in heaven then your heart will be set on heavenly things.
But again I thank God for his remnant. Although we live in a time when the majority of the Church world no longer lives holy lives, God always has his remnant of people who are true Christians. I meet many of these people and they are wonderful. Even in the Church of Sardis that had a name that they live, but were dead; Jesus said that there were even in Sardis some who had not defiled their garments, and who were worthy to walk with him dressed in white. Only God can judge righteous judgement. I raise a prophetic voice to warn God’s people and to call them to repentance, but I judge no one. I simply describe what I see and tell it.
I am a watchman. My given name is Gregory, and it means watchman. God caused my parents to name me that and so I am. I blow the trumpet of warning, but I judge no one. I desire for every person to repent, obey Jesus, and to go to heaven. I don’t want anyone to miss heaven. And I harbor no ill will or condemnation for anyone. I love you all. I am just fulfilling my calling to be a watchman and to warn people of coming destruction, with the hope that they will prepare themselves while there is still time. That is my heart. I don’t like having to speak negatively, but I like it even worse that people are not warned while there is still time for them to repent and to make it to heaven. On judgement day I don’t want anyone accusing me of not warning them. Just as the Apostle Paul said, “I have not ceased to warn everyone day and night. I am free of the blood of all men,” So I desire to be free of the blood of all people, so I warn as many as I can that the righteous sin not.
Matthew 6:22-23 “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, your whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!”
Wherever you place your attention, that is where your eye is and it will determine what your body or spirit shall be full of. If your eye is single, or focused upon only one thing, then your body shall be full of light – that is if that one thing is God and his word. If your eye is evil, or focused upon more than one thing, then your body shall be full of darkness. How great is that darkness! This is the astounding thing. If you are focused upon God and his word PLUS something else, the something else will always cancel out God and his word. God will not share your heart with anything else. Either he is Lord of all or he is not Lord at all. You will have to literally give up all things if you want to go to heaven. Jesus made it clear that you have to give up everything to be his disciple.
Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon”.
Every man has a master that he serves. We are not alone. We either serve God or we serve the devil and his underlings. When you try to serve two masters it just doesn’t work. Each master requires different things. They are opposed one to another. We all have an inner war going on between the things of God and the things of the flesh. We are all tempted to do things that are contrary to the will of God. For this very reason Jesus said to each of the seven churches in Revelation chapters two and three, “To him who overcomes I will give….” There are battles to be fought and a war to be won.
Mammon is the god of money. You cannot serve God and money. The modern Christian church today for the most part serves money as their god. Just turn on your television and see the Christian programs, and all of them are asking for your money, and have gimmicks to get you to give more. Money, money, money is the sign that they worship Mammon the god of money. Everything revolves round the collection of money. It is OK to briefly mention to people that a need exists and to give them an opportunity to give. But when they always ask for money and it goes to finance extravagant living, buildings, jets, theme parks, and other such things then their god is money and that is who they really serve.
Matthew 6:25-32 “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat? and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or. What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all of these things”.
To take no thought for your life doesn’t mean that you do not think about your life to make plans, corrections, changes, and the like. It is speaking about taking thoughts of worry or care. We are to be people of faith who trust in the Lord and therefore are not worried about what will happen in our life circumstances. So take no worried thought about your life, that is, the basic needs that you have. What shall you eat? What shall you drink? What shall you put on?
Remember that Jesus is speaking to his disciples who have left everything to follow Jesus. They have left their homes, their lands, their jobs, their businesses, their families, their friends, and every security and comfort that they had. They have absolutely nothing. They literally have the clothes on their backs and nothing else. They are not to work any longer in secular jobs but they are to follow Jesus and to assist him in his ministry. Now if Jesus had been rich and had a caravan of camels laden with all kinds of riches, tents, food, clothing, and had his slaves to serve them as well, then they would have no cause for worry or care. But the fact is that Jesus is dirt poor as well as they themselves now are. Jesus was walking, not riding a horse or a donkey. Jesus had no possessions, only the clothes on his back. Jesus has no home or lodging place, he is homeless. Yet he tells them to not worry or care about any of their basic needs.
I have lived like that for many years. I left everything, gave away all that I had, became homeless, and lived by faith. I did it in obedience to Jesus and his commands to his disciples. I have NEVER lacked my basic needs being met. I have never lacked shelter over my head. Even if I slept in my car or in a tent, I still was sheltered from the elements. Although I did not have any income, I have never lacked something to eat, or clothes to wear. I have never been stranded anywhere. Always the basic needs would come in when they were needed. So I KNOW that Jesus is real and that his promises are true. I have lived by them for many years. If I were to lose EVERYTHING that I have right now, I would not be worried or be filled with cares. Why? Because I have already lived by faith and I have seen the Lord’s provision in every area of my life.
Now if you have not done so, then if you were to lose everything this very moment, you WOULD be filled with worry and care about your situation. Faith can only come by experience. You must take God at his word and act accordingly. To have strong faith in God you must place yourself in the position where you have no source nor help but God and his promises. You have to LIVE it in order to develop faith. When I first began to live by faith I was nearly petrified by fear at the beginning. I was plagued by thoughts of fear and of lack. I stood my ground and MADE myself just wait on the Lord to provide my every need. I proved him over and over during months and years. I put his promises to the test in just about every conceivable situation that I could think of. And every single time he has come through and he has provided my basic needs. So by doing so I purchased a degree of faith where I no longer worry or have care about anything.
I have given away so much food that the Lord now leads me to where I can get food. I regularly feed 40-50 people. He will start dealing with me to go to such and such a place on a certain day, and sure enough, there will be an abundance of food waiting for me there. I eat well, very well. I enjoy the best name brands of food. I usually just think about something that I would like to eat and it will just appear within a few short days. I eat all of the meat, vegetables, fruit, bread, pasta, dairy, dry goods, canned goods, juices, sodas, and anything else that I want and I never lack anything.
This of course didn’t happen overnight. I had to start by stepping out by faith even though I was filled with fear and couldn’t see how God could supply my needs. I had to live day by day trusting in the Lord to supply my every need. The days turned into months and years. I learned to hear the voice of the Spirit of God, and he tells me where to go and what to do. I have absolutely no worry or care now. I have lived and experienced too much now for me to doubt. That is not to say that the enemy doesn’t try to test, tempt, and torment me. He does that on a regular basis. Remember how satan came to tempt and to test Jesus. So if he did it to Jesus, then you and I will never be exempt from his torments and attacks.
One of the greatest secrets of faith is to learn to shift your attention from one thing to another. Jesus commanded us to not worry. We are not to consider the possibility of not having sufficient food to eat, or beverages to drink, or clothes to wear. We are not to consider, focus, meditate, or think about these things. Instead, we are to consider the lilies of the field, how they sow not, nor reap, nor gather into barns. We are to look to the positive things in life and turn a deaf ear to the negative things in life. If God clothes the grass of the field more richly than Solomon was dressed, then he can provide my needs too. We are to look at the birds of the air; they do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns.
Consider the birds of the air, they too are not to consider with worry what they shall eat, what they shall drink, or what they shall put on. They do not store anything up, but each day they go out and find what they need for that particular day. In a reverse manner of suggestion, Jesus is telling his disciples to not work secular jobs, but to work full-time for God, and to live by faith in God alone. If God provides for all of nature, then he is highly capable to provide for you too. To let go of man’s ways to provide for his own needs, we are to embrace God’s ways and allow him to provide for us. Then all of our time can be dedicated to pursuing God, to know him, to worship him, to serve him, and to love him. There is no hindrance to the man or woman who desires to know God. Your time and your schedule can be freed up to pursue God, if you decide to do so.
I am not a hypocrite, for I have done this and I have lived like this for much of my adult life. I have quit my job and given away all of my goods on many occasions, so numerous that I would have to dedicate hours of careful thought to remember them all. I have just finished five years of being a homeless street preacher. I travelled the southern part of the USA living in my car, camping, and preaching the gospel. All with no support or regular help from anyone. Other than food stamps, I have had no regular income. And much of the time I didn’t have food stamps either. I have lived by faith and God has indeed met my daily basic needs. I have seen thousands of miracles of God’s provision in my lifetime. I have learned to be an expert dumpster diver, and I have eaten free meals at many missions and churches around America.
I have returned to my hometown to care for my elderly parents, to feed needy people, to witness, and to write articles and put them on the internet. I keep very busy and I serve Jesus still. I have not worked a secular job for the past nearly 7 years. I still live by faith and prayer alone. Jesus promised to give a hundredfold return to anyone who gave up everything and lived by faith. As I enter a more stable stage of my life, and continue the internet ministry especially, I am confident that the Lord will speak to people to support my ministry. I will not beg or plead, but I will trust in him as I have always done, and he will speak to those who he wants to give money to me. I have seen this happen repeatedly for a large portion of my adult life. It has given me a very unique way to see and to understand the Bible and to share it to others. And what he has done for me, he can do for you also.
Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
The first and most important part of life is to seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness. This is a fulltime job. It takes all of our attention and our efforts. People today mostly think that they already belong to God’s kingdom and have his righteousness. So they ignore what Jesus commanded and they do not seek for what they think that they already have. Now, the wisest person to ever walk this earth is Jesus Christ. He knows exactly what he is talking about. If he commanded his disciples to seek God’s kingdom, then they did not already possess it. If he commanded them to seek God’s righteousness, then they were not yet made righteous. Jesus clearly said to his disciples, “IF you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children.” He did not say “IF you being righteous.” So we are to seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness with every fiber of our being.
Jesus is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. No one coming after Jesus can add to his message, or take away from his message. Anyone who does so is a false apostle and a false prophet. Anyone who CHANGES or makes NULL AND VOID the commands of Jesus is an AntiChrist. Jesus is God and King who came to this earth to establish his kingdom. He taught and commanded in great detail the laws that govern his eternal kingdom here on earth. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” So do not accept nor listen to anyone who ignores what Jesus taught and commanded, and who taught and commanded something different. There are many deceivers who have gone into the world, and many rise up from among the ranks of professing Christians. Sadly, multitudes of people follow them.
So spend your time and life seeking God’s kingdom and his righteousness. Do not worry or care about your daily needs. Your heavenly Father knows everything that you have need of before you even ask. He has promised to provide for all of your basic needs. And if you give up everything that you possess to follow Jesus, then he has promised that you will one day receive one hundred times what you have given up, in this lifetime. That is a very fair exchange. It may take years for this to happen because you need to grow spiritually and learn how the faith life works. But rest assured that if you take Jesus at his word, and you act upon those words, then Jesus will do for you everything that he has promised that he would do. God is not a man that he should lie, or the Son of man that he should repent.
Matthew 7:1-5 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgement you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you meet, it shall be measured to you again. And why do you behold the mote that is in your brother’s eye, and consider not the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, let me pull out the mote out of your eye; and, behold a beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then you shall see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother’s eye.”
Most people today read this chapter as “Judge not”, and then cross out the remainder of the chapter without reading it. If I speak to people about sin, they say, “Jesus said to judge not”. If I warn people about certain false prophets by naming them, they say, “Judge not”. What they are doing is taking what Jesus said out of context and twisting it to make their own false doctrine. Also they do not want their own sins brought out into the light. As John the Apostle said, people love darkness and hate the light. Just a little further in this very same chapter Jesus commands us to judge the fruit of people to discover false prophets. We are to be fruit inspectors that look at the words and actions of others to determine if they are true brethren or if they are false prophets. Remember that John the Baptist lost his head, LITERALLY, by continually shouting to a king all of his sins whenever he passed near to him. He told the religious leaders that they were a brood of snakes and that their father was the devil. This certainly wasn’t the type of judging that Jesus was speaking of, because he said that John the Baptist was the greatest man to ever be born of a woman. He also said that John the Baptist was the greatest prophet who ever lived, and that they were willing to rejoice in his LIGHT for a short space of time, not darkness. So the type of judging that John the Baptist did was righteous judging. Jesus spoke of EVIL judging, which is a FAR different thing altogether.
So what type of judging is Jesus speaking of here. The good type of judging, or fruit inspecting, comes from our heart with the motive to discern what is holy and what is evil in people. We are to separate ourselves from evil people when we can do so. Remember the old sayings, “Birds of a feather fly together”, or “Tell me who you are with and I will tell you who you are”. The disciples lived TOGETHER and apart from the world. They were in the world and were among evil people, but when they withdrew to where they lived, it was with their own kind. You never see Jesus in close communion with sinners. He was a friend of sinners, but they were not accepted into his group of disciples. It was the disciples of Jesus that he communed with. This entire Sermon On The Mount was privately taught to his disciples on a mountain top. So Jesus certainly is not telling us that to judge the fruit or works of a person is evil, he commanded us to do that.
Jesus spoke of the evil type of judging. This also comes from the heart, but with impure motives. It is born of jealousy, envy, bitterness, strife, hatred, arrogance, and every other motive that is sinful and impure. It is the wicked person judging his enemies, or the proud Pharisee looking down his nose at everyone else and judging them as being inferior to himself. It is the person lacking God’s love judging his fellow man to condemn them and to judge them worthy of punishment, death, and hell. It is the proverbial judge, jury, and executioner all wrapped up in the same person. It is born of criticism with the desire to tear down people without building them up. All gossip is born from this type of inner motive. Gossips just want to tear down people and to destroy as many reputations and lives as is humanly possible. As with everything else that Jesus taught, it all has to do with the motives behind the actions. One person can judge with pure motives and it is a righteous act. Another judges from impure motives and it is a wicked, evil act.
Judge not that you be not judged. I do not wish to be judged in a negative and evil manner, so I no longer judge others in this manner either. I DO desire to be judged with righteous judgement that reveals my faults, failures, and sins. This will help me to repent, change, and improve. Therefore when I judge others it is with the motive to help them to repent, change, and to improve. It is also to point out false apostles and false prophets so people can stay away from them and their doctrine. I do not want anyone to be deceived by a false apostle or false prophet, and be injured by them, and even go to hell one day. I want any false doctrine that I may have to be pointed out to me in a constructive manner. So I only judge in a way that I myself wish to be judged. This is very healthy and constructive. I will be judged by God in the EXACT manner in which I judge others. So when I see my fellow man sin, I think or say, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing. Please do not hold this sin to their account”. This can become a habit and will guarantee that you will be judged in the same way by God. Indeed, if we judge ourselves and correct our own mistakes while here on the earth, then we won’t be judged for those things by God. So embrace wisdom and learn to see the inner motives that govern judgement.
What would you like a judge over you to be like? Would you like to go to a court of law and be judged by an impartial judge? Or would you like to be judged by a biased and prejudiced judge who hates your guts? We would all like to have an impartial judge who sees things as they really are, wouldn’t we? So that is the only type of judgement that we are to mete out ourselves. We all judge others in our thoughts each and every day. We weigh the actions, words, and motives of everyone that we observe each day. Don’t pretend to be blind and that you don’t do this. You DO do this, every single day. So you are to purify your heart and motives so that you judge righteous judgement, the type of judgement that you yourself wish to be judged by. And YES, when you discuss other people with your spouse or your friends, you ARE judging them. The question is, Are you judging righteous judgement? or Are you judging evil judgement? Don’t be deceived, and don’t be a hypocrite. You have judged everything around you, every single day, since you were born. And if you still insist to tell me to “Judge not”, then please be aware of the fact that you just passed judgement on me for judging. Ask the Lord to have mercy upon you and to open your eyes that they may see. If you do this with sincerity and you do it daily, then rest assured that he will do so. It will most probably happen by “Here a little and there a little”. Don’t be in a hurry, but wait patiently upon the Lord.
As far as motes and beams go, we are to correct and perfect our own faults and failures, before attempting to correct the faults and failures of other people. This is on a personal level. We see in other people things that bother us, so we inwardly judge them for it, and we point it out to them and attempt to correct their mistakes. This is pure and unadulterated hypocrisy. We are NEVER to point out the faults and failures of others until we correct our own faults and failures first. And that will be never. Leave other people alone. However when it is a sinful behavior like habitual lying, stealing, adultery, murder, fits of rage, idolatry, witchcraft, and other major sins; we are negligent of our Christian duty NOT TO point these things out to people in a loving manner. They will in all likelihood get mad at you and tell you not to judge. Most people who live in darkness hate the light to shine on them and to expose their sins. They want their sins to remain concealed and dear to them. Especially point out the ten commandments to people in a loving way. The Apostle Paul quoted Ezekiel the prophet when he said that he declared unto all those in Ephesus, that he was free from the blood of all men, because day and night he told them the truth. A large part of the truth is to tell people of their sins and what the Bible says about it. Ezekiel of course, prophesied that we are to be watchmen on the wall who warn the people that the righteous sin not. And if we fail to do this, we will have their blood upon our own hands. So don’t get the blood of all the people around you on your hands, because you did not warn them that the righteous sin not. You will most certainly be judged for these things on judgement day when all of your works are judged.
Matthew 7:6 “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again to rend you.”
In modern America and many other countries today, dogs are highly prized and loved. In the Bible dogs were considered to be filthy and unclean creatures. I’m not trying to be gross, but I would be very negligent in my duty as a teacher to not go into detail to explain why. Dogs sleep on the ground and roll in the dirt. Dogs love to roll around on dead rotting animal carcasses. They vomit and then return and eat it again. They lick their own genitals, and lick and smell the genitals and butt holes of other dogs. Females in heat will have sex with as many males as want to have sex with her. Male dogs are all bisexual. Dogs love to eat human excrement, especially from baby diapers. They drink filthy water and love to go around dirty all of the time. Give a dog a bath and it immediately wants to roll in the grass and the dirt. There is no need for me to continue. That is enough. So the Bible compares evil people with dogs, for these very reasons. Dogs and pigs are held as equals in animal filthiness, from the Bible perspective. Remember that dogs ate Jezebel and licked up all of her blood.
So to not give what is holy unto the dogs, is referring to people who act like dogs. To not cast your pearls before swine is referring to people who act like pigs. There are many evil people who have no appreciation for holy things. So don’t share what is holy unto these kinds of people. You are to present the ten commandments to them, so they can see their own wickedness and evil deeds in the eyes of a holy God. You are responsible to do that, but don’t share the deep and holy things of God with them. They cannot be trusted and they will return and attack you for doing so. They will trample the holy things of God under their feet to ridicule and to mock them.
It is also a mistake to share the love of God or grace to these people if they have no conviction of sin first. Only when they are brought under the conviction of sin, will they appreciate and see the truth with their own eyes. To make converts without true conviction of sin and repentance is the plague of the modern church. It brings about halfling converts. They only get half-saved and half-born again. These are false converts. We now have several generations of this type of converts filling the churches. It started in a big way right at the end of World War 2, incidentally it also coincided with when the nation of Israel was formed in 1948. This is when the time of the Gentiles ended and Jewish time began ticking again. The focus of these end times is the Jew and the nation of Israel. And one day in the not too far future, there will appear two witnesses at the wailing wall in Jerusalem, which will mark the beginning of the seven year tribulation period.
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.”
These amazing words by Jesus give direct and concise promises. There can be no doubt as to the meaning. Each of these three promises is repeated in a slightly different way, but the fact that they are said twice is to emphasize their importance. It also solidifies each promise as being set in stone. It would be as if you said, “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” The very few times that Jesus repeated himself, were to set apart what he was saying and to elevate it to a higher position of importance.
“Ask and it shall be given you, for everyone that asks receives.” Ask for what? That is up to you. There is not any limit or restriction placed here by Jesus. So we can safely assume that Jesus gave us a blank check here, signed by him, and only awaiting for the amount to be filled in. And then he adds, “For EVERYONE that asks receives.” Here the only possible restriction is that they are human beings. Every man, woman, and child on the planet belongs to the category of “everyone”.
There are possible limitations though, and I personally believe them to be authentic. Take a look again back to the beginning of this sermon. “And seeing the multitudes, he went into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying.” (Matthew 5:1-2). Jesus saw the multitudes, but he did not teach this sermon to them, he separated himself from them. Instead, he went up into a mountain, and his disciples came unto him, and he opened his mouth and he taught THEM. This sermon was given to his disciples only, and not to the multitudes. So it would appear that the condition of being a disciple is placed on these promises by Jesus.
They are still good to the entire human race without any respect of persons IF they meet the qualification of first becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. God does not respect persons, but he frequently places qualifying conditions to his promises. For example the promises and the blessings that God gave to Abraham, and to the nation of Israel, are good for the entire human race IF they become integrated into the nation of Israel, as Rahab the harlot did with her entire family. All the men were circumcised, and they placed themselves under the law given through Moses, just as every other Israelite was required to do. They were quite literally adopted into the nation of Israel.
Another qualifying condition is “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” God is promising the good of the land to every man and woman in Israel, IF they are willing and obedient to obey the law given through Moses. So Jesus is clearly promising these promises of asking by prayer to every man, woman, and child on the face of the earth IF they become his disciples first. There are other proofs that point us to this meaning of Jesus’ words.
Matthew 13:9-13 “Who has ears to hear, let him hear. And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why do you speak unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that he has. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”
Jesus places conditions here on his promises. It is for he who has ears to hear. Without the ears to hear, no one can receive what Jesus is saying. He also said that it was given unto the DISCIPLES to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to all of those who are without the group of disciples, it is not given to them. He says that it is only given to whosoever has. Whosoever has what? has ears to hear. And to whosoever has not. Has not what? has not ears to hear. To those who have not ears to hear, even that which they have already heard shall be taken from them. Jesus then says that the reason that he speaks to the multitudes in parables is so that they WILL NOT see, hear, or understand. His message was not given to them, but only to his disciples.
So to those fortunate ones who have ears to hear, and who have humbled themselves to become Jesus’ disciples, there is no limitation whatsoever to what they can ask for in prayer, and that they can have given to them. I would like to point out however, that by becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ, a transformation will take place. The old lusts and the need for pleasure and comfort, will no longer be a part of your character makeup. And that you will become very attuned as to what the will of God is for your life. You will no longer be asking for things just to fulfill your own lusts and desires. You will now seek what glorifies the Father. So a true disciple can ask for anything in prayer and have it given to him, but he will also only ask for what is pleasing to God.
This promise therefore is not given to anyone whose heart has not yet been converted and cleansed from the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life. God will not be a partaker in providing for these things. For an unconverted heart is capable of asking for a thousand wives because Solomon had that many, or a multitude of lovers because they can find women in the Bible who had them. This also explains the riddle of why so few prayers are answered today. Don’t get me wrong, many prayers ARE answered today, but the PERCENTAGE of prayers answered is very low. Who do you know that gets ALL of their prayers answered. Do you know of even ONE person who has this level of success in getting their prayers answered? I personally do not know of anyone, but maybe you do. I would like to meet them, and sit at their feet, to hear their words and to learn from them.
“Seek and you shall find. He that seeks finds.” Are you seeking for the truth? Or do you think that you already possess the truth and no longer seek for it? If you do not seek for something, then you have no hope of ever finding it. Most professing Christians think that they already have the truth, and therefore they do not any longer seek for it. Salvation for most people has become just a cold transaction. They say a “sinners prayer”, which is nowhere mentioned in the Bible, and they now have their eternal salvation. Just a quick purchase at the cash register, and they get to leave with the merchandise which was paid for. In this case they claim that is was for free, like buying a “free” e-book at Amazon with Kindle one-click.
This is not the type of salvation that Jesus taught. Jesus did say that a man must be born again or that he cannot see the kingdom of heaven. However he also said that we are justified by the words that we speak, or else we are condemned by the words that we speak. He promised that everyone will be judged according to their works. He said that every branch in him which bore no fruit would be cut off and cast into the fire. And he promised that everyone who claimed to belong to him, but did not clothe the naked, feed the hungry, give something to drink to the thirsty, visit the sick, lodge strangers, and visit the prisoners; would be sent to hell. Jesus NEVER taught that anyone could saved by saying a “sinners prayer”.
In Proverbs it speaks of seeking after wisdom and knowledge as you would for hidden treasure of gold, silver, and precious stones. It says that if you diligently seek for it, then you shall find it. Remember that Jesus said to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all the temporal things shall be added unto you. He also commanded in the verse that we are presently studying to seek and you shall find. We are not to have the attitude that we already have our salvation and to seek it no longer. We are to continue seeking after it as if we do not yet have it. Jesus said, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” This denotes great struggle on the part of every seeker to gain access into the Kingdom of Heaven.
“Knock and it shall be opened unto you. And to him who knocks, it shall be opened.” To gain entrance into someone’s home, you need to knock at the front door. If you think that you already have your ticket to heaven in your possession, then you will have no incentive to knock on heaven’s door. Yet Jesus commanded to knock so that the door may be opened unto you.” Now turn it around. In the Book of Revelation, chapter three, the Laodicean Church not only did not knock on heaven’s door, because they said that they had need of nothing, but they did not have Jesus in their heart, and they would not open when Jesus himself came to knock on the door of their heart. The modern church looks more like Laodicea all of the time.
Matthew 7:9-11 “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
Men are evil. Since the fall of Adam, sin hassed passed down to the human race. We have all been born with what has been called, “Original Sin.” Some have called it the sin nature, or the flesh. None are born without it, and without a spiritual new birth, and a very close walk with Jesus, we give into it constantly. Jesus sought no praise from men, because he knew what was in men. To Peter who called him the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and was greatly commended for it by Jesus; just a few moments later was speaking the words of the devil, and Jesus rebuked him and said, “Get behind me Satan!” So men who are still in a flesh body are evil. They are that way from birth. Even sweet babies do not like to share with other children many times. When they begin to talk they are immediately big liars, and are disobedient to their parents. It is inbred from birth.
So Jesus uses evil men as a comparison with God. What man if his son asks for bread will he give him a stone? And if he ask for a fish will he give him a serpent? If evil men know how to give good gifts unto their children, then HOW MUCH MORE shall your heavenly Father give good things to them that ask them? What a comparison! If evil men know what a good gift is, and how to give it, Then can they possibly be better than God Almighty? And of course the answer is no. God gives much better gifts than evil men give. So we serve the God of How Much More. Anything good that any man is capable of doing, God is capable of a whole lot more.
So the moral of the story is to get to know God. Is it possible that the modern church has a distorted view of who God is? Can it be that they do not really know him at all? If it were possible for the men in the Bible that Jesus addressed, then it is very possible and even probable that this is the case today as well. Adopt the attitude that you need to seek after the Lord with all of your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. Look at the attitude of the Apostle Paul.
Philippians 3:7-14 “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Do you have this same attitude that Paul had? Do you count everything as loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus? Have you suffered the loss of all things? Do you count yourself to not yet have attained unto the resurrection of the dead? Do you count yourself to not have apprehended, and forgetting the things that are behind you, and reach forth unto those things which are before? Do you press toward for the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus? This is the attitude of a true Christian. If you still lack this serious and dedicated attitude, could it be that you haven’t truly been converted? I thought that I was truly converted back in January of 1980. Yet, my true conversion didn’t happen until March of 2009. If I had not sought God for a deeper walk with him, then I never would have been truly converted.
Paul and the other apostles complained of false brethren coming into the churches. Jesus promised that wolves in sheep’s clothing would come to destroy the sheep. There have always been false converts. All of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day were of their father the devil and the works of their father they did. These same men falsely convicted and crucified Jesus. Even Jesus had a false apostle who was Judas Iscariot. And most of Jesus’ disciples stopped following him, when he said some difficult words to them. So it is possible that the modern church is like the Church of Sardis or the Church of Laodicea in Revelation chapter three. Sardis had a name that they lived but they were dead. And Laodicea was lukewarm and destined to be vomited from the mouth of Jesus.
Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
This verse has been called “The Golden Rule” by many people. Wouldn’t life be much easier if everyone practised these words? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Just put yourself in the place of other people, and then act as you would want them to act if that was you. Think of it. Have you ever taken the time, and I mean some serious time, to meditate on these words? Meditate upon every area of your life. Think of every situation that you would normally be in, and then think of how you would act if the other person involved was you. Put them in your place and yourself in their place. Do a role reversal in your mind. Wouldn’t you act differently than you do now?
Do you like to be lied to? I bet that you don’t. Then don’t tell any lies. Do you like it when people steal your things? No. Then don’t steal the things of other people. Would you like it if everyone smiled at you and was friendly? Yes. Then you smile at everyone and be friendly to them. Would you like it if your neighbors were respectful of you in every way? Yes. Then you be respectful of your neighbors in every way. If a street person comes up to you and asks for some money, How would you react if that was you? Would you like to be judged and told to go get a job? Would you like it if people avoided you and refused to give you any money? What if that was your own son or daughter? How would you like a stranger to act towards them if that was your own son or daughter?
Jesus said that this is the law and the prophets. The entire law and the prophets is summed up in doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Jesus told us in chapter five that he did not come to destroy the law or the prophets, but he came to fulfil them. Bible teachers have erroneously thought that as soon as Jesus died on the cross, and said that it is finished, that the law and the prophets ended. They did not. Jesus said that the law and the prophets were until John the Baptist, and since then the Kingdom of God is preached. Jesus didn’t begin his ministry until after John was put into prison, so the Sermon On The Mount is a part of the Kingdom of God. And in the Kingdom of God it is commanded to do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.
When questioned about what the greatest commandment in the law was, Jesus answered that it was to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second part was like it, to love your neighbor as yourself. The completion of the law is to love your neighbor as yourself. This is another way of saying The Golden Rule. To do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is the same as saying, to love your neighbor as yourself. So Jesus did not come to do away with the law or the prophets. He came to teach and to command his disciples to obey the righteous requirement of the law. He has established his kingdom for all eternity upon The Golden Rule.
If you desire to be a part of The Kingdom of God, then you must become a disciple. And to be a disciple, you must practise The Golden Rule. Are you seeing this? Is the train of thought clear enough for you? The greatest commandment that Jesus gave to the Church of God, is to love your neighbor as yourself, which is the same as, to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This is the law of the land inside the Kingdom of God. And Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is within you. So if you have the Kingdom of God within you, and you abide therein, then you will of necessity be a law abiding citizen of the Kingdom of God, and you will obey The Golden Rule. That is why Jesus said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you will and it shall be done unto you.”
The main part of the words of Jesus that must abide in you is to love your neighbor as yourself, which is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you abide in Jesus and his words abide in you, then you will bear much fruit, and so shall you be his disciples. The fruit that you will bear will be obedience to The Law of The Kingdom of God, which is to love your neighbor as yourself, and to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It is also to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. This is the concentrated version of the Law that Jesus came to establish in his Kingdom. The long version is every word that Jesus spoke.
King Jesus the Christ came to establish his kingdom. He came to invite people to live in his Kingdom while they live on earth. The Kingdom of God is within you. So to dwell in the Kingdom of God is to allow the commands of King Jesus the Christ to dwell in you and to control your life. When the commands of King Jesus control every aspect of your life, then Jesus is the Lord of your life. Every single person who is a law abiding citizen of the Kingdom of God while living on this earth, will automatically go to the Kingdom of Heaven when their physical body dies. The reverse side is also true. Every single person who does not abide in the Kingdom of God while living on this earth, will not go to the Kingdom of Heaven when their physical body dies.
Many, if not most of the professing Christians on the earth today do not abide in the Kingdom of God while living on this earth. Jesus said repeatedly that many are called but few are chosen. Every person who has had the “born again” experience today has been called. The ones who are chosen, the few from among that larger group, are the ones who have chosen to live in the Kingdom of God while living on this earth. They have made Jesus the Lord of their lives, and they live in obedience to The Golden Rule, and to love their neighbor as themselves. To tell rebels who refuse to obey the laws of God’s Kingdom that they are eternally saved, even though they have had the “born again” experience is a crime. All lawbreakers and covenant breakers will be cast out of God’s Kingdom and will end up in the lake of fire.
The grace of God is Jesus Christ himself. The Apostle John clearly said that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, in the first chapter of his gospel. The true grace of God is Jesus Christ himself. So King Jesus came to unveil his Kingdom to mankind, and to clearly teach the commandments and the laws that govern his Kingdom. So anyone who believes on King Jesus as their Lord, will also believe every single word that he spoke, and humbly obey his every command, and thus eternal life will be granted unto them. Modern religion for the most part has rejected the commands of King Jesus. For the most part they do not obey the golden rule and to love their neighbor as themselves. They teach that eternal salvation is based upon a “sinner’s prayer” being prayed, and not by living in the Kingdom of God as a law abiding citizen of that kingdom.
Because of this the modern Church is full of sin and of lawlessness. The modern Church bears a clear resemblance to the Church of Sardis and the Church of Laodicea spoken of by Jesus in Revelation chapter three. The modern Church for the most part does not resemble at all the obedient disciples and apostles that we find in the four gospels and in the Book of Acts. I cannot even imagine those saintly people being adulterers, adulteresses, homosexuals and lesbians, murderers, thieves, liars, kidnappers, covenant breakers, addicted to drugs, addicted to pornography, full of hatred, alcoholics, gossipers, law breakers, and every other sinful abomination with which the majority of the modern church is filled with.
A few years ago I spent the evening with a pastor. He told me that his church was a healthy church, but he also told me that it was full of sin. That sin was rampant among his members. His honesty was refreshing, because most church leaders will not admit this fact to other people. The modern church is full of sinful conduct. A hundred years ago churches were considered the house of God and filled with victorious saints. The modern church calls itself a hospital where sick people come to get well. They admit and they permit church members to be in good standing even though they have never repented of their sins. This is a HUGE paradigm shift of what the church is. And therefore I repeat again that the modern day church resembles the Church of Sardis and the Church of Laodicea in Revelation chapter three.
To judge in a sinful way is to condemn someone. I do not condemn anyone nor do I hold condemnation in my heart. I feel compassion for the modern day church members. To judge in a positive way, which is to look at the fruit that people bear to see what kind of tree they are, is commanded by Jesus. So take a careful look at the condition of the modern day church, and at your own life as well. Do not condemn anyone, but just simply observe. Be an impartial observer and allow Holy Spirit to talk to you, and to reveal his thoughts about this subject to you. If your heart is humble before him and is open to his voice, then he will illuminate your understanding about this subject. Let him minister to you and do what he tells you to do.
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.”
There is a gate and a way that leads to either life or death. Heaven has its gate and hell also has its gate. The wide gate leads to hell, and many enter therein. The narrow gate leads to heaven, and only a few enter therein. To follow the crowds of people will guarantee that you find the wide gate and the broad way that leads to hell. The multitudes are always wrong. Jesus told his disciples, “Fear not little flock. It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” The flock of Jesus has always been little and few in number. It takes a lot of searching to find the strait gate and the narrow way that leads to heaven. Modern preachers would have you to think that it is simple to go to heaven. Just pray the magical “sinner’s prayer” and you are guaranteed to go to heaven, they say. But Jesus did not say this.
There is no “sinner’s prayer” or altar call mentioned anywhere in the Bible. There is no modern advertising campaign for evangelistic crusades or church services. There are no ticket sales to hear the gospel preached as is common among the big name preachers. Neither Jesus or Paul took up huge collections in their offerings. There is no evidence that either of them took up any collections. The offerings that Paul took up were for the poor saints in another city, and not for himself. No one in the New Testament ever built a church building. All of the preachers walked everywhere that they went to preach, or they took a ship. No one who preached the gospel in the New Testament ever rode a horse, or a camel. Jesus on one occasion rode a donkey to fulfil an Old Testament prophecy, and it was borrowed. No one ever had a huge evangelistic caravan of camels, tents, slaves, furniture and comfortable living items, or any other luxury. They all travelled without personal possessions. There is no mention of any rented auditoriums, but they met in the open air, public places, or borrowed buildings.
So tell me, where did all of the ideas of how modern Christianity operates come from? They did not come from the Bible. So they had to have come from the imaginations of men. Men have invented their own way of doing things. Instead of following the safe paths of God’s word, they have created their own paths to dwell in. A man made religion cannot save anyone. Only a God ordained religion can save people. The Bible contains the blueprint for what true Christianity is. Whenever people deviate from its pages, they fall deeper into error. And the church is no longer founded upon The Golden Rule and to love your neighbor as yourself. So how can it be Christian? These are things that we need very desperately to consider and to meditate upon. Jesus came to show us the way to the Father, but many have left his way, and have followed their own way.
To leave the example that the Bible has left us, is to create our own way, and our own religion. If the Jesus presented today does not still command people to obey The Golden Rule, then he is a different Jesus than the one presented in the Bible. The modern Jesus has become a caricature of the true Jesus. The Apostle Paul warned us of different Jesus’ being presented. No honest Christian would think that the Jesus presented by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons, or the Muslims is the true Jesus, but a false Christ. They have robbed him of his divinity. The modern church for the most part has robbed Jesus of his Lordship, and thus the Jesus that they present is just as false as the one presented by Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Muslims.
To enter into the strait gate and to find the narrow way requires discernment on our part. We desperately need the Lord to grant us eyes that see, ears that hear, and hearts that understand. This is why Jesus commanded his disciples to loose themselves from the responsibilities and the cares of this world, and to seek God’s Kingdom and his righteousness. It is to be treated like a full-time job, this seeking the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. It cannot be treated as an unnecessary inconvenience. As previously stated, people will only seek for that which they do not yet possess. Modern Christianity preaches the “sinner’s prayer” to be the answer for mankind. Jesus never even heard of a sinner’s prayer, but he taught a very serious approach to religion that is sadly lacking among us today. I have decided to follow Jesus.
Matthew 7:15-20 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.”
False prophets always have to look good to sell themselves to the people. For a wolf to pass itself off as a sheep, it takes a really good disguise. The television preachers, the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other like people all look really good. They wear the best clothes, their hair is always freshly done, you can almost smell their expensive cologne or perfume over the airwaves, they are always smiling, they speak in a nice friendly voice, and they always claim to have your best interests in mind. They really look like the sheep that they pretend to be. In fact, they actually believe themselves to be sheep. They are themselves deceived and deceived people always believe themselves to be correct and honest. That is why they deceive so many people, they speak with conviction, because they truly believe their message to be the truth. False prophets believe themselves to be good and godly people. They believe themselves to be in contact with God, and that they have been chosen to be his mouthpiece. Their honesty comes across even though their message is false.
So if the false prophets look so good, then how can we recognise them? It is by their actions. In the natural world, grapevines do not produce thorns, nor do fig trees produce thistles. Jesus encourages us here to be observant. We are to use our God given analytical abilities to recognise that certain things do not go together. For example with Jim Jones, the famous cult leader who committed mass suicide along with his members back in the 1970’s. It was easy to see that adultery and homosexuality are not fruits that a Christian leader should participate in. He openly committed these acts, and he called them acts of love. Charles Manson of the famed Helter Skelter murders, was just that, a murderer. His family members couldn’t see the evil of it. All cult leaders twist scripture and teach false doctrine. He also participated in “free love” that was popular at that time.
Do not just accept people at face value. For someone to claim to be a Christian, or a preacher, or an apostle; don’t just accept them at face value. Check them out. Listen to what they say with a very critical eye upon the Bible, to see if what this person says is in line with the scriptures. Then watch and observe how they act. What are their deeds, and do they align with the word of God? The Apostle John told us to see if they listen to our doctrine and agree with it. Is their speech in agreement with our own? The caution that we exercise in carefully vetting ministers, will save us much heartache and harm in the future. Jesus warned that MANY false prophets and false Christs would arise in the last days. And so it is in the day that we live in.
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.”
Today the popular gospel being preached says that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved. That everyone who prays the sinner’s prayer will be eternally saved. That is in direct contradiction with what Jesus said here. Jesus specifically said that NOT EVERYONE who called him Lord would enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. There is a condition placed upon salvation by Jesus, and that is, to obey the will of the Father which is in heaven. Without meeting the condition, salvation cannot be obtained.
John 3:14-17 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
Jesus is not speaking of a belief, which is a noun, and requires no action. You can harbor a belief and never have to do anything about it. A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing. It is a descriptive word, but has no life in and of itself. Living faith is alive and produces actions as any living organism does. Jesus is speaking of believing, which is a verb. Believing faith always takes action, and it always produces action. You cannot have believing faith without taking action, because it is impossible to do so.”Faith without works is dead, being alone. And as the body without the spirit is dead, even so faith without works is dead also,” said the Apostle James. Dead faith cannot save anyone.
Jesus has spoken of living faith. To believe in Jesus is to believe in his character and his doctrine. You cannot possibly believe in Jesus without first knowing his character. You must first know who Jesus is and what he has done. You must know what he stands for and what he teaches in order to believe in him. You cannot believe in Jesus and at the same time disagree with his manner of living, and in the doctrine that he taught. You cannot believe in Jesus and separate him from his message. To believe in Jesus requires that you believe his doctrine and that you obey it by becoming his disciple. Jesus said, “Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, but do not do the things which I say?” Without obeying the things which Jesus says, you cannot have him as your Lord, and you cannot have salvation.
John 14:21-24 “He that has my commandments, and obeys them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas said unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If man love me he will obey my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loves me not obeys not my sayings: and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”
Those who love Jesus also love and obey his commandments. He who does not love Jesus also does not love and obey his commandments. Jesus and his doctrine and his commandments cannot be separated. You cannot have one without the other. Therefore you cannot possibly have Jesus as your Savior without first having him as your Lord. You cannot split Jesus into different offices and separate him. You cannot have Jesus as Savior, which is one of his offices, without having him as your Lord, which is another one of his offices. You either own Jesus as Savior and Lord, or you cannot own him at all. Jesus clearly said that the one who does not love him is also the one who does not obey his commandments.
Jesus is either Lord over all in your life, or he is not Lord at all. Jesus said that “He that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him.” Jesus only loves and manifests himself to those who obey and thereby love him.
Does jesus also love those who do not obey him? Yes he does.
Revelation 3:19-20 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Notice carefully that these people who Jesus rebukes and chastens are all members of the Laodicean Church. He loves them and therefore he rebukes and chastens them in the hopes that they will repent of their blindness and their sinful ways. He says to these Laodicean Church members that he stands at the door and knocks, and if any one of them hears his voice, and opens the door, that he will come into them, and will share a meal with them. These Laodicean Church members did not yet have Jesus in their heart. They thought themselves to be saved and true Christians. They said, “We are rich and are in need of nothing.” They were so deceived that they could not discern their true condition. Jesus said that their true condition was that they were wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. These Church members were still lost in their sins, but they thought that they were saved and that everything was OK.
If this is the condition that you are in, you will undoubtedly say that it is not true. You will say that you have been saved and born again. You will claim that Jesus is your Savior and that you have need of nothing. You will not know your own condition any more than the Laodicean Church members did. Jesus counsels you to buy of him gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white clothing, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and to anoint your eyes with eyesalve, that you may see.
The easiest test to know whether or not that this is your condition is this. Honestly ask yourself these questions and give an honest response. Do you study and obey the doctrine of Jesus Christ? (that is all the words that Jesus spoke, the red letter words in your Bible). And, Do you obey The Golden Rule and love your neighbor as yourself? Study Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to gain a clear picture of how Jesus and his disciples lived. Do you live as they lived?
Be brutally honest with yourself. If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then you are in the very same condition as the Laodicean Church members. If you answered NO to any of these questions, then you are like the Church of Sardis in Revelation 3:1 and, “You have a name that you live, and are dead.” If this is your condition, then cry out to Jesus for mercy. Ask him for eyes that see, ears that hear, and a heart that understands. Ask him to reveal to you the path of life, and immediately begin to obey all that Jesus commanded his disciples to do.
Doing this will take humility. Just as Nicodemus came to Jesus by the cover of night so that his fellow religious leaders could not see him, he came to Jesus to seek the truth. You may be a pastor or a television preacher. You might be famous and have thought yourself to be saved for 40 0r 50 years already. But if this is your condition, then humbly admit it, and call out to Jesus with a repentant heart, and ask him for his mercy to transform and to save you. While you still have life in your body, there is still hope for you.
Jesus said that MANY would come to him in that day and say, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? and in your name we cast out devils? and in your name we did many wonderful works? And Jesus will profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: Depart from me you workers of iniquity. Those who do not lovingly obey the commands of Jesus Christ do not know Jesus, and he has never known them. Believe Jesus and reject your own theology and doctrine. Believe and obey the doctrine of Jesus Christ and live.
Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
Whosoever hears these sayings of MINE, that is the red letter words of Jesus Christ. That is the Sermon on the Mount and every other word that Jesus has ever spoken. It is the red letters in the Book of Revelation. The one who hears these sayings of Jesus and does them, he will liken unto a wise man who built his house upon the rock. And the rains descended and the floods came, and the winds blew upon that house, and it fell not. Why did it fall not? Because it was founded upon the rock. The storms of life come to everyone. But Jesus is specifically speaking of the day of judgement. Those who will stand in the day of judgement, and who will be admitted into heaven, are those who obeyed the sayings of Jesus and thereby built their house upon the rock.
Notice that the rock is the sayings of Jesus, it is his words. And does that come as a surprise to you? It shouldn’t because Jesus is the word of God. We have all heard the preachers say that Jesus is the rock, as if he can be separate from his words. Jesus is the word of God spoken by Jesus, and that is the rock. If you are wise you will build your life upon the words that Jesus himself spoke while on the earth. You will with wisdom build your life upon the red letter words of Jesus Christ.
And whoever hears these sayings of MINE and does not do them, Jesus will liken unto a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and immediately the house fell, and great was the fall of it. Again this speaks of judgement day. If someone does not obey the sayings of Jesus, then they are foolish and when the judgement comes, they will immediately fall and be ushered into hell and the lake of fire.
Jesus is Lord and King. His every word is to be cherished, loved, respected, and obeyed. His words are life, and eternal is life is found in them and in no others. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes unto the Father but by me.” Only the words spoken by Jesus Christ himself can save you. There is no power to save in any others. And the salvation power contained in his words is only released and given to those who believe and obey them.
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