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.
Many people say 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 don’t say that you want to be like Jesus unless you really mean it, and are ready to back it up with action.
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 Anti-Christ 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 Anti-Christ. 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.
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, or for that matter anything at all. The rich in spirit are self-sufficient.
The poor in spirit have emptied themselves of self and of sin. They are not self-sufficient unto themselves, they but 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. 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 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 a bastard 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.
Jesus has 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 desire riches, fame, pleasure, travel, hobbies, business, 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 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 the false doctrine of Paul, 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 that 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 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, 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 talk 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, Ana 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 the Church of Laodicea prophesied of in Revelation chapter 3. The end of the church is to be vomited from the mouth of Jesus, unless they repent of their sin and rebellion. Those who die in this present 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 they do not obey it. They forfeit 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 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 they cannot possibly be 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, 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 out of every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue who will die in the time of great tribulation. There is no rapture and even if there was, Jesus is not going to take the unrepented modern church to heaven when he promised to vomit them 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 their 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 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 5 years as a street preacher. I lived in my car and in tents and travelled around the USA. During that time I had my life threatened 13 times, I was threatened with bodily injury many 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 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 die and go 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 their saltiness and are 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 any 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.
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 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 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 law breakers 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.
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