Matthew 05:1-24 - Sermon on the Mount, part 1
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Jesus sets standards that are impossibly high. Complacency, arrogance, and pride stop us climbing this mountain.
- The Sermon on the Mount. Welcome to mission impossible
- The Millennium rises on the ruins of our Gentile kingdoms
- It is only God's power that can overcome Satan
- If we complain then we do not love God
- Adversity is a way to change our thinking to God’s way of thinking
- Defeat and difficulty are the hammer and anvil that forge character
- Show mercy and forgiveness to the undeserving
- Be happy when you get hammered
- Preaching must always make the comfortable uncomfortable
- We work for God's Bigger Plan, not our personal circumstances
- Every detail in the Law has a deeper meaning that will be fulfilled
- We must live more Scriptural lives than others, whatever the cost
The Sermon on the Mount. Welcome to mission impossible
Jesus preached from a mountain, which forms an uphill barrier in our path.
We thought that all we had to do was get saved. True, that is enough to get us to Heaven.
But there are saved wise virgins who will get caught up in their eternal bodies to the Wedding Supper (in the near future) and also saved foolish virgins who will go into the 3.5 years of great Tribulation. This group of church-goers who love church more than the Bible only get their eternal physical bodies 1000 years later after Judgement Day. Both groups consist of saved Christians which is why they are called virgins, clean women. A woman symbolizes the church. The true church is the Bride of Christ.
But what Jesus teaches us here pushes us beyond our human limits.
Yet He requires us to climb this mountain if we want to be part of the wise virgins who are caught up to Heaven.
Basically, this is about an impossible mission, if we try to do it in our own strength.
Welcome to real Christianity.
The intense effort needed to be part of the Bride of Christ.
PHILIPPIANS 2:12 ... work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
This is not salvation from hell. That cannot be achieved by works.
In this scary age of church error, where Jesus stands outside the church, each individual has to oppose certain church teachings.
The pastor and the congregation will detest and hate this person.
So it is the fear of rejection and the uncertainty of having to stand on your own amidst the torrent of verbal abuse that makes an individual frightened. The path to Bible truth is not for timid Christians who want to be accepted and popular.
HEBREWS 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Repentance from our sinful dead works and faith in God's saving grace are the foundation that enables us to make Heaven.
Getting saved is critical but there is further progress to be made in the Christian walk if we want to be caught up to Heaven at the Second Coming of Jesus.
First, we have to be saved. Then Holiness. Then the Holy Ghost baptism. Then each individual finding his or her place or position in the 2000-year old Body of Christ. (This last step is the hardest because there is so much church-deception around).
But the wise virgins push on to perfection in order to be the Bride of Jesus Christ.
They desire a perfect understanding of the Bible mysteries.
That is the goal that inspires only the most dedicated Christians.
Christ is the Word of God. So His Bride will always be Scriptural.
The hard work of understanding the mysteries of God will be their main goal. Only then will they understand how Jesus thinks. But it is an uphill struggle against church error and Bible ignorance.
We will never scale this mountain in our own strength, however hard we try.
This mountain acts as a barrier that stands between us and the Kingdom of God which is the 1000 years of peace, often called the Millennium, that will be set up after Armageddon.
Yet we have to get to the top of this mountain that Jesus preached from if we are to catch a view of God’s Kingdom, the Millennium, as our next home.
The Millennium rises on the ruins of our Gentile kingdoms
Daniel saw this Kingdom as a great mountain that rose up from the ruins of the Gentile image.
Daniel saw a Gentile image of four Old Testament Gentile nations.
Their pagan spirit ran through the Old Testament and then entered the Roman Catholic church. From there it spread to the daughter Protestant churches. That is why the Babylonian high priest was called Pontiff and the Pope is still called Pontiff.
Salvation belonged to the Jews at that time but at Calvary, when the Jews rejected Jesus as a Man, salvation crossed over to the Gentiles and entered the feet of the image, that represented the seven church ages.
At the end of the feet are the ten toes that represent the 10 military dictators who enable the antichrist Pope to rule the world during the 3.5 years of great Tribulation. This is the final result of the Gentiles rejecting Jesus as the Word of God, the Bible. Churches, even message-churches, no longer believe that the 1769 Version of the King James Bible is the Absolute and Infallible perfect Word of God. Thus, Jesus stands outside the church, as the rejected or criticized Bible.
So, the Coming of the Lord will be a Stone or Capstone that smashes into the feet of the Gentile image.
At His Coming, the Lord Jesus will raise the dead from the seven church ages. Spiritually, they will look like a pyramid without a Capstone. This pyramid-Bride will be trampled by unscriptural Gentile churches and the evil that is manifest in the Gentile world systems which mock, reject, and oppose the true Word.
The Capstone is the Stone that the church builders rejected. That is why you have to be rejected. The church leaders rejected the fully revealed mysteries of the Bible and stayed with their limited man-made ideas and Bible-ignorance.
REVELATION 10:2 And he had in his hand a little book open:
The mighty Angel with the open Book, meaning the fully-revealed Bible to the Gentile Bride, comes down to raise the dead saints from the 7 church ages. They form a mighty spiritual Pyramid that has no Capstone. When they are resurrected, they will be looking for the Coming of the Lord as He alone can Cap the complete church. The Capstone that comes down to catch up this Pyramid also destroys the Gentile world systems by plunging them into the horrors of great Tribulation.
The Capstone completes the spiritual Pyramid and will catch up the resurrected Bride-church to Heaven.
At the same time, the Capstone smashes into ruins our Gentile human systems and civilization, that are built on Science, Technology, and Knowledge.
61-0806 THE SEVENTIETH WEEK OF DANIEL
They had never put a capstone on that pyramid. It wasn't cut by man's hands. It's God's hands that cut the Stone. You see it? And what did It do? It hit the image right smack in the feet, and broke it to pieces, ground it into powder. Hallelujah. What happened at that time, the coming of that Stone? Up went the church into glory at the rapture, 'cause it ended the Gentile dispensation. God ended it up, the coming of that Stone.
That is what God thinks of our modern human knowledge. Just a bunch of unwanted rubble.
The smashing of the Gentile image means that God wants nothing from our Gentile civilization and technology. Our knowledge has produced pollution, poisons, harmful radiations, germ and virus mutations, waste, corruption, selfishness, greed, violence, and racial hatred. Incessantly demanding our own rights has made us altogether unfit to be in His new Kingdom called the Millennium.
Human knowledge will not get us into the Kingdom.
There is a deeper meaning here.
If we are to climb the mountain then all of our personal knowledge, strength, and efforts is basically a waste of time.
God’s requirements are far too demanding.
JOHN 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Bible truth reveals that we are part of a deeper, unseen warfare between God and Satan.
It is not just an issue of being a dedicated Christian in our personal spiritual lives. We also need to know where we stand relative to the truth of God’s Word being revealed at the end time.
Can we understand revealed truth or do we reject what someone says when they explain the truth to us?
The real battle is between God and Satan for the mind of each individual.
And Satan is stronger and cleverer than what we are. So, we will never beat him in our own strength.
Thus, we will only win if we allow God to fight for us, and then we must abide by His rules, not our wishes.
We have to totally depend on the right hand of God's power.
It is only God's power that can overcome Satan
EXODUS 15:6 Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power:
MATTHEW 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
The only power that will enable us to be ready for the Second Coming is for us to be in the right hand of God's power.
There are seven stars in His right hand. The messengers to seven church ages. So we have to fit into the pattern of the seven church ages which requires us to return to the beliefs of the first church age.
The Bride-seed that is harvested by being pulled off the church-plant at the end, is identical to the Bride-seed that was first planted by the apostles. The first and last stages or church ages have to be the same.
Only with this mindset can we begin to climb the mountain and get over the barriers that are between us and the Coming of the Lord.
If we complain then we do not love God
We tend only to see only our immediate circumstances and problems. We are blind to the deeper spiritual pattern that is unfolding which guides our age through its triumphs and disasters.
We think that this life is for God to ensure our personal success. But we were given life in order to be a part of the fulfillment of God’s great Plan. But we first have to understand God’s great Plan. He has been building a Gentile church over a period of about 2000 years. We have to fit into our predestinated place or position in that great body.
And His thinking is far too high for us to understand His moves.
ROMANS 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
That means that if we complain about anything then God is not in control of our lives.
When we regard adversity as something bad, then we are admitting that God has not called us to follow His purpose for us. We are simply following our own purpose and are objecting to God intervening in our lives.
We have to learn to love God’s truth and never complain about what God is doing. That is a hard lesson to learn.
Adversity is a way to change our thinking to God’s way of thinking
God is the way, the right way of thinking.
We cannot change the wind, but we can change the way we set our sails so that we can sail against the wind.
Thus, we can change the way we think in order to put God’s Kingdom first.
MATTHEW 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
This is virtually impossible for us humans. In our own thinking, we are always planning for the future and looking for something better.
You will only really know that you actually want to follow the Scriptures if you can reject the temptation of something that looks better and more appealing.
So, life will keep offering you alternatives that make it look like you are justified in deviating from God’s Word.
For instance, people with big problems turn to drinking alcohol to dull their minds and briefly feel artificially happy. But their problems remain and they gain the extra problem of a hangover as well as the bigger additional problem of becoming an alcoholic.
When clay vessels are shaped, they are too soft to be used. Clay vessels are hardened by hot coals that are held in a bigger vessel. Thus, we need to be surrounded by enemies who hold the heat of temptation, criticism, and persecution against us, in order for us to become toughened so that we can be used.
In the end, we will be thankful for the hot coals of opposition as that made us fit vessels for God’s use.
When our enemies have made us useful, we will be used by God and they will be dumped.
God’s grace is thus two-fold.
That He chose us to be vessels of honour and the enemies around us were chosen to be vessels of dishonour. Chosen to make us fit for His service.
REVELATION 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich;
We need the fire of opposition and persecution.
REVELATION 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace;
Jesus knows all about walking through the hot fires of hell when He went down, as the Scapegoat, to carry our sins down to the Devil and dump them there.
The feet of Daniel's image represent the seven church ages. The clay in the feet of Daniel's image represents the Bride. So, it is no surprise that the clay in the feet must go through the fiery furnace of affliction.
REVELATION 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
The Potter knows how to shape the clay and harden it as a vessel of honour, as long as we do not retaliate against the hot coals and the big vessel that holds them. They are just doing their predestinated tasks.
Character, virtue, and patience can only be gained the hard way through continual struggle.
We are born sinners and had to experience the grace and love of God Who alone forgives our sins. The scars in His hands will endlessly remind us of the price He paid for our sins. Needing a Saviour cancels out our pride. Knowing that we were wrecked by sin and headed for hell will remove any interest we may have in sin. We had to be born in sin and see the suffering and grief caused by sin in order to know its horror, so that we long for a sin-free world. Having been forgiven of sin ourselves, that should make us less critical of other people and thus we become nicer and more sympathetic people.
Hardship and suffering build up our faith until our total trust is in Jesus, not in ourselves or any other man.
In Him, we become born again of the Spirit, not the flesh.
We will only get our perfect body at the time of the Lord’s Coming. Until then we have an uphill struggle that we cannot win in our own strength.
The two world wars and the 2020 coronavirus are some of the birth pains as the earth is struggling to give birth to the glorious Millennium Kingdom of 1000 years when Jesus will rule.
Armageddon will be the last great birth pain.
Defeat and difficulty are the hammer and anvil that forge character
Let us start with the sermon on the mount to see what God expects of us after we have been saved.
MATTHEW 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
The crowds wanted to know the way to Heaven. Jesus showed them that the path was an uphill battle. Climbing a mountain is hard work, but the view makes all the effort worthwhile.
Then He sat down.
His teaching style was not theatrical. There was no emotional outburst. The great Teacher relied on the substance of His talk, not trying to impress with the arm-waving and jumping-around style of many orators.
MATTHEW 5:2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
The people were paying intense attention to Him. They noticed His mouth open a fraction of a second before His words came out.
His words had value and would stick in their memories. Jesus was appealing to their minds to tell them how to think. He was not appealing to their emotions.
He was going to tell them things that were contrary to what they expected to hear.
MATTHEW 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed means deep-down happiness.
His wisdom was the exact opposite of ours.
Poor in spirit is how we feel during failure and rejection.
But Jesus was destined to be rejected so we must realize that truth will be rejected.
Rejection is usually the main sign that we are on the right path.
LUKE 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
This publican was poor in spirit. He had no self-image. He regarded himself as a worthless wretch and threw himself entirely on the mercies of God.
But that was the secret of his success.
He saw no value in himself and his own efforts.
He was totally dependent on God’s grace and mercy.
LUKE 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
The Law of Action and Reaction.
Elevate yourself above others and God will bring you down from there.
Bow low and seek nothing for yourself and God will uplift you.
God will do to us the exact opposite of what we do to ourselves.
So, God’s ways do not line up with our thinking.
The only solution is that we must die to self and search God’s Word for guidance. Only God’s Word can tell us God’s thoughts.
Your own thoughts and your church's thoughts are not to be trusted.
I CORINTHIANS 15:31 … I die daily.
Corpses do not think for themselves, nor do they complain.
Are we dead to ourselves? Or do we demand more for ourselves?
MATTHEW 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Mourning speaks of loss.
Loss is one of the hardest things for a Christian to cope with.
Having to lose is one of the severest tests for our Christian faith.
I TIMOTHY 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
We must learn to be content in every situation, however severe the loss.
This is beyond our human abilities.
Only God’s Spirit can achieve that peace in our discouraged and sorrowful minds.
Coping with the loss of what is very dear and precious to us drives us into the arms of Jesus. That is the safest place to be. As humans, we cannot ease our pain. Only Jesus can.
MATTHEW 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
The meek are those who quietly submit to God; who can bear insult; are silent, or return a soft answer.
Who, in their patience, keep possession of their own souls, when they can scarcely keep possession of anything else.
ROMANS 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Meekness is a total subjection to the will of God.
He called me and I will follow Him wherever He leads and whatever the situation is.
Meekness is the desire to be totally Scriptural and to want to be ruled by the Scriptures only. Not by what others say.
MATTHEW 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
59-0628E QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
The word "sanctify" means "clean and set aside for service." But then, "blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled," then they're put in service.
Filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit.
Then they are blessed because God can use them in His service.
The baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit is when God takes control of their lives.
Some people go hungry and thirsty because they put their bodily needs second and first concentrate on God’s Kingdom.
They went without rather than fail in their duty to God.
Food and water are basic essentials for our survival. But such was their dedication that they ignored even these fundamentals in their determination to seek and to serve God.
A deeper hunger to understand the Bible verses. That is food indeed.
A deeper thirst to have a more profound relationship with Jesus. That is drink indeed.
An intense longing for the Truth of Scripture and the Spirit of God. Like the intense longing of a starving man for food.
Show mercy and forgiveness to the undeserving
MATTHEW 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
What you sow you reap.
We love justice and seeing the guilty pay for their crimes. We love revenge when we get a chance to settle a score.
Past hurts linger bitterly in our memories.
What can we do? Die to ourselves
Now comes a new approach.
Be merciful and forgive, however undeserving the guilty person is.
We relied on the mercy of God when we undeservedly asked Him to save us from our sins.
We must treat others the same way. Whatever they have done.
MATTHEW 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
A day can mean a year in prophecy.
Laban said to Jacob
GENESIS 29:27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
The Jews were promised 70 weeks until the end of time. That is 70 x 7 days.
DANIEL 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,
So “seventy times seven” means until the end of time.
In other words, we must never cease to forgive everyone who hurts or trespasses against us.
Then why has the end not yet come?
Because God stopped counting when they killed the Messiah.
He turned to the Gentile church and pushed the last half-week of Jewish history into the distant future.
God made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15 that involved animal sacrifices. This sacrifice for sin was finally confirmed when Jesus died.
DANIEL 9:27 And he [God] shall confirm the covenant [made with Abram] with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,
After three and a half years of the ministry of Jesus, He was killed at Calvary. That bought salvation for all. And all the Jewish sacrifices ended as they no longer had any value.
But there are three and a half years left to the Jews to fulfill that last week of 7 years.
MATTHEW 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
The heart represents our desires and affections.
Selfishness. Self-centredness. Greed. Ambition. Hate. Lust. Desire to dominate.
Humans cannot clear these evils from their hearts.
Personal agendas always lurk in our motives.
Only by letting God completely take over our thinking can we achieve purity of heart.
But how often do we allow Him to do that?
Only if we can completely die to ourselves.
MATTHEW 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Peacemakers have to be completely unbiased. They have to reflect the wishes of both sides in the dispute as they search for a fair compromise. Being completely unbiased means that we must die to our own opinions and prejudices. An issue must be decided by what Scripture says.
The United Nations has failed to gain the respect of many people because of its obvious bias against Israel.
We, humans, tend to put the interests of our family, or our regional community (or tribe), or our nation first.
A country like Nigeria has some 200 different ethnic communities. Resolving issues to everyone's satisfaction must be extremely difficult.
The more peaceful we are, the better our different communities can co-operate.
But in the age of Laodicea, which means “people’s rights”, each community, or family, or the individual tends to get more demanding of their rights which generates friction.
Today’s news is dominated by chaos, corruption, and violence which shows how far our modern age has fallen from God’s standards of peacefulness.
Today the American culture is dominant. It teaches us to be a selfish person with a consumerist culture where we worship self-indulgence and consumption. Identity depends on what we own not what we do. This self-interest leads to a fragmentation of society. We see freedom as the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. This is a path to conflict and chaos ending in failure.
What has developed is mob rule by social media. A callous disregard for any other opinion than my own church.
Human thinking has not brought peace on earth.
Be happy when you get hammered
Sadly, those who want to be strictly Scriptural get hammered.
MATTHEW 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The Devil hates the truth. Satan wants everyone to lose faith in the King James Bible by finding some excuse to criticize it.
Speaking of Abraham, the Bible says:
ROMANS 4:5 … his faith is counted for righteousness.
ROMANS 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Our only righteousness is not our good works but rather our faith in the Bible.
ISAIAH 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;
Not even our good works are clean in God's eyes. That is why we cannot be saved by works.
But today, if you stand up and say that the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) is Infallible and the Absolute truth you are attacked by the churches who claim that there is no perfect Bible. They criticize the ancient documents that were translated and they criticize the knowledge of the translators. What they are actually saying is that it is impossible for God to give us a perfect Bible. Notice how far their error stretches. They claim to have found something that God cannot do.
They think that God has not been able to provide us with a perfect Bible.
Message people in turn claim that all brother Branham's quotes are the basis for our faith.
Instead of using the quotes to explain the Bible, they replace the Scriptures with quotes.
They claim that brother Branham is infallible and that his message (or sermons) is the Absolute.
62-1007 THE KEY TO THE DOOR
… that I am perfectly infallible. That there's nothing... And, oh, some of the awfullest things you ever heard.
Leaving Scripture is the spiritual desolation that the prophet Daniel warned us against.
Brother Branham was the voice of the seventh angel. The New Testament never promised us the Voice of God.
So, to call brother Branham the “Voice of God” has no Scriptural basis.
The Voice of God is the Bible.
65-0429 THE SEED SHALL NOT BE HEIR WITH THE SHUCK
And what is the Voice of God? Is the Word of God.
64-0719 THE FEAST OF THE TRUMPETS
And we who are in, Lord, may we take inventory now, that we have seen and heard the Voice of God speaking through His Word,
65-1204 THE RAPTURE
If you're in Christ, there's not a Word written in Here but what you believe It.
Those who regard the King James Bible as the only foundation of faith are thus rejected by message-churches and denominational churches. Character assassination, endless personal accusations, and shunning become their lot in life.
This teaches us that our rewards are in Heaven, not on earth. In the meanwhile, we simply move on and believe what the Bible says as we learn to uncover the truth by fitting different Bible verses together.
MATTHEW 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Climbing the mountain will not make you popular.
People will run you down and detest you. They will be happy to harm you if they can. They will make up all sorts of false accusations against you.
The sad irony is that they are not really against you. What they cannot stand is the Bible that you are quoting.
The Bible exposes the errors in their carefully constructed man-made beliefs.
Exposing those errors dents their pride and makes them angry.
MATTHEW 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Suffering and persecution have been part of church history.
Look what happened to the great messenger of the first church age, Saint Paul.
II CORINTHIANS 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
You have to be tough if you want to survive as a true Christian.
Tens of millions of non-Catholics were killed in the Dark Ages.
MATTHEW 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Salt stops the decay of meat. Meat represents doctrine. We are responsible for the maintenance of the high standard of being Scriptural in the lax and complacent church-world.
Despite all their hardship and suffering, Christians have to set a high standard for the rest of the world. By refusing to participate in corruption and evil, Christians act as a brake on the evil impulses in society. Thus, they help to limit the spread of evil. Christians must also refuse to believe anything that is not strictly Scriptural.
If Christians join in with the drinking, smoking, partying, swearing, and pornography-obsessed people in order to be popular and accepted then the church is actually worthless. Believing error in order to belong to a church is an equally worthless activity.
Preaching must always make the comfortable uncomfortable
Christianity was not designed to appease worldliness nor unscriptural beliefs.
John the Baptist left people shaken and convicted.
MATTHEW 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Our light is derived from Christ and His Word. We have no light of our own but are supposed to reflect His light, the Bible.
The city on the hill speaks of the uphill struggle to build the city on the hill. Christians should be an example of a patient struggling against life’s difficulties in a way that reflects Christ’s Life.
Being on top of the hill implies that the city has a higher inspiration than its surroundings.
However bad, sad, or unfortunate your surroundings are you should be able to rise above them and thus demonstrate God’s ability to help His children overcome all the evil that Satan has been able to create on earth.
God needs to show the Devil that God is more powerful than the Devil under all circumstances.
Jesus never complained. He submitted His Human will to the supernatural Will of God the Father Who dwelled in Him.
LUKE 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
We love to complain to try to gain sympathy. But wallowing in self-sympathy is not a way to climb a mountain.
We must always have our eyes on God's Will, not our own wishes.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 For in him [Jesus] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
This is the key to success. The more of God we have in our lives, the more able we will be to overcome whatever life throws at us. Our strength comes from above.
The logic of God's mountain is very different to our usual way of thinking.
Love your enemies. It is more blessed to give than to receive. Father forgive them, they know not what they do.
This kind of inspiration can only come from above.
Living that kind of life gives the Christian the higher moral ground as he or she moves up the mountain.
MATTHEW 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Theodore Roosevelt, previous President of America, said, “There is no effort without shortcomings. But striving amidst failure for a worthy cause is still a victory. Better than the cold and timid souls who know neither defeat nor victory”.
The foolish virgins in the church are the people who long to be popular and accepted. They avoid doctrinal debates and just agree with the majority opinion. They are scared to stand up against the errors of their church and are terrified of being kicked out of the church. So, they preserve their own comfort and security but play no role in the unveiling of deeper Bible revelations.
The Bride has to stand up for revealed truth despite the criticisms and persecutions. Thus they make the church world uncomfortably aware that there is a deeper truth that the churches are ignoring.
They will be hated and despised for that.
We work for God's Bigger Plan, not our personal circumstances
MATTHEW 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Whatever happens to you, reflect the Scriptures.
God is developing a much deeper Plan that we are hardly aware of. It is His Kingdom that counts, not our individual lives.
Good works cannot save us but God expects us to do good works in order that the revealed truth is not discredited.
MATTHEW 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
We must submit our personal lives to God’s Bigger Plan as He prepares our age for the Coming of the Lord and the Tribulation that will follow.
Six million Jews died in Hitler’s Holocaust. They never knew that this was the price that had to be paid for the nations to briefly feel sorry for the Jews and vote them a small portion of their Promised Land. Then many Jews died in the 1948 War of Independence. But they beat the Arabs, miraculously, and that was the only way that they could extend their portion of the Promised Land. Then they had the stunningly successful Six-Day War in 1967 to win back a lot of their Promised Land. But they were greedy and took back the Sinai Desert that was never given to Abraham.
In 1973 the Jews were dangerously overconfident and got caught off-guard and took a hammering. Richard Nixon rescued them with a massive arms airlift. They defeated Egypt and Syria but then agreed to hand back the Sinai desert to Egypt. Nixon was forced to resign over the Watergate scandal. God used a so-called “bad guy” President to save Israel. Saving Israel took precedence over Nixon’s flaws. In His Big Plan, God does not always use the good guys. But Nixon had the courage to stand up against the Russian and Arab objections as he helped Israel.
By giving up the Sinai peninsula, God had chased the Jews back into the southern limits of the Promised Land that never included the Sinai desert.
More recently the “good guy” Presidents were too scared to oppose the Arab’s wrath by declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. So, God used another “bad” guy, Donald Trump, to win an unlikely Presidential election in 2016 so that he could recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The Heavenly Will of fulfilling prophecy overrides any human deficiencies. God values the courage of “bad” men who stand up for His Word more than the “good” men who are too scared to oppose world opinion in order to be Scriptural.
Moses was a murderer but also a brave man who stood up to Pharaoh. God needs brave men today.
God is most concerned with getting the Promised Land ready for the return of the Messiah.
Thus, superimposed upon all their individual lives, God was preparing a Bigger Picture which is the return of the Jews to their Promised Land, as prophesied so that they will be able to meet their Messiah there. This is the part of the Big Picture that we lose sight of because we get distracted by our personal circumstances.
MATTHEW 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
The Law and Prophets of the Old Testament were like a caterpillar that unfolded into a beautiful butterfly called the New Testament.
The Law and Prophets were full of types and shadows that pointed to Jesus and the seven Gentile church ages.
In the Law, two goats were chosen to get rid of Israel’s sin. One goat was killed to pay for the sin and the other scapegoat became the carrier of Israel’s sin and carried it far away into the wilderness where it could not be found anymore.
This was a preview of the ministry of Jesus at the time of His death and resurrection. He died and rose alive again. The goats could not do that, so there had to be two goats.
Jesus performed both the functions of the two goats.
He died and shed His blood on Calvary to pay for our sins. Then, as the Scapegoat, He carried our sins far away down to hell and dumped them on the Devil.
Thus, His Life fulfilled all the symbolism and types of the Law.
MATTHEW 5:18 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.
Every detail in the Law has a deeper meaning that will be fulfilled
The Tabernacle was in the form of a cross.
“Repent” is applied to the altar of sacrifice where Jesus died for us and went to hell
“Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” is applied to the laver as a symbol of water baptism.
“You will receive the Holy Ghost” is applied to the Holy Place or tent where you begin to see the 7-branched candlestick as the 7 church ages. The 12 loaves of shewbread are the 144000 Jews from the 12 tribes of Israel in the Tribulation. The bread had to be eaten in the Holy Place. So, the Jews must be back in their Promised Land to meet Messiah.
The Holy of Holies was where God lived. The Law of Moses was there. God dwells in His Word. He wants to dwell in the human heart so that He can reveal His Word to us and make it come alive.
A "cross" divides the heart into four sections.
Four Gospels tell us of the life of Jesus that led Him to the cross.
Everything in the Law had a deeper meaning.
MATTHEW 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least 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.
If we break one aspect of the Law then we are in trouble as we are also denying the deeper meaning that was there.
Christians dismiss the verses that they cannot understand as "a detail". All they are admitting is their total ignorance of what those verses mean and their lack of interest in knowing what they mean.
John the Baptist, as a man, was scared to baptize Jesus. Then he realized that the sacrificial Lamb had to be washed before It could be offered up.
II CHRONICLES 4:6 He [Solomon] made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; ….
When we fit in with the New Testament, we automatically see the Old Testament fulfilled.
In II Kings 5:14 Naaman, a Gentile Syrian, had to dip in the River Jordan seven times to get cured of leprosy, which is symbolic of sin. That was symbolic act. The Gentile church has to go through 7 church ages and be washed in the water of the Word in order to be cured of sin and unbelief.
LEVITICUS 19:19 Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.
Wool and linen speak of judgement and righteousness which do not mix.
DANIEL 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
Wool forms the wig of a judge. Our Judge is the Word of God. This Judge demands that we know the revealed truth of our day. No excuses.
A covering of the head speaks of submission. The wig indicates that the judge is under submission to the law of the land.
The Judge on Judgement Day has to be under submission to the Word of God.
JOHN 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge
Jesus is the Word of God. So He alone can be the Judge.
JOHN 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
Jesus is our Judge. But our Advocate is also Jesus Who paid for our sins and is desperately trying to open our eyes to His revealed Word. If we believe the full Truth so that the Bible is an open Book that we can understand, then we escape the Judgement of the Tribulation.
Speaking of Abraham:
ROMANS 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Abraham did no works in order to be righteous. He simply believed that God alone could pay the price for sin in order to save and thus justify a sinner.
This total faith in God was counted for righteousness.
ROMANS 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Our only true faith is believing what the Bible says.
Our real righteousness is our faith in the revealed Word of God.
Do we reject what God has revealed because it disagrees with the church that we are comfortable in?
Believing what the church says when the church is unable to prove its belief from Scripture is neither righteousness nor faith. It is just wishful illusions.
Linen represents righteousness.
REVELATION 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
The Law says you cannot wear linen (righteousness) and wool (judgement) at the same time.
In other words, the righteous saints, the Bride, who believe the full revealed Word of God will not go into the judgement of great Tribulation.
We must live more Scriptural lives than others, whatever the cost
MATTHEW 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
The scribes and Pharisees lived clean and holy lives and they thought that made them righteous.
But true righteousness is the faith that believes in the revealed Word of God. That they were unable to do because they were hanging onto their positions as the religious leaders of the Jews.
Faith that is built on the written Bible is our real righteousness. That is what God wants in our day.
Living a good life is little more than an illusion of righteousness because many atheists, many Muslims, many Hindus, and many Buddhists also live good lives. But we are not saved by good works.
A righteous person will live a clean and decent life like the Pharisees did. But he or she must have more than this. Because real righteousness is to be free from all church-bondage so that you can believe the revealed Word of God in your day.
There is not much point in living a good life if you are unable to believe the Scriptures and especially if you deny the revealed truth just because it opposes your church beliefs.
MATTHEW 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
Killing a person is a serious offense. That is obvious.
But what about character assassination? Killing the reputation of those who disagree with you.
This is also a serious offense.
We must learn to oppose the doctrine, not the person who believes the doctrine.
The biggest weakness in today’s church is that Christians dislike and shun somebody who can prove that some church doctrines are unscriptural. Church-goers are in love with their churches and just follow their pastors. They reject any Scriptures that disagree with what they believe. Then they condemn the person who is Scriptural and who tries to correct them. That is why Jesus, Who is the Word of God, stands outside the church today.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:
Jesus is knocking on the door of the church, not on the door of the heart of a sinner.
MATTHEW 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: 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.
A harsh spirit that condemns anyone who disagrees with the Trinity doctrine is prevalent in the churches.
Message-people who uplift brother Branham to the Godhead by calling him the infallible and Absolute Voice of God condemn those who do not believe that the supernatural cloud of 1963 was the coming of the Lord or the coming of the mighty Angel of Revelation Chapter 10.
ROMANS 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Christians who judge and condemn those who disagree with them actually judge and condemn themselves.
Being angry when debating doctrine simply means you cannot prove your point from the Bible.
Thus, your doctrinal knowledge is faulty as well as your attitude.
Being unable to prove doctrine from Scripture results in church-goers becoming angry and offensive. Especially when they are asked questions that they cannot answer.
For example, Trinitarians become angry or evasive when asked what the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is. They attempt to browbeat you into silence. They refuse to admit that they cannot find one name for three People and prefer to condemn you as lost.
Playing with words, they try to use El, Elah, and Elohim as names but all these three words are translated as God. And “God” is not the name of God.
They try “Jehovah” but that is contentious as Hebrew has no vowels. The correct term is JHVH or YHWH which is unpronounceable and thus cannot be used as a name.
If we accept Jehovah or Yahweh as a name, they still cannot explain why Jehovah and Yahweh are never mentioned in the New Testament.
They cannot see that the Jehovah of the Old Testament became the Yahweh of the New Testament.
They play desperate mind-games by saying “Lord” is God’s name.
God is referred to as “the Lord”. The word “the” is never attached to a name in Scripture.
We do not say “the Jesus” nor “the David”.
So “Lord” is a title like “prophet”. We do say “the prophet Jonas”.
In their desperation, they even say “I AM THAT I AM” is God’s name. That is no name, it is simply a statement of eternal self-existence.
They leave out the following Scripture:
EXODUS 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
Even they admit that Jealous is not really a name. It is just an attribute of God. God does not want anybody promoted up to be equal with Him.
Samson's parents saw an angel which they later realized was God. They asked Him what His name was.
JUDGES 13:18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?
But God's name was secret and would only be revealed in the New Testament as "Jesus".
Trinitarians cannot explain why “God the Father” is never mentioned in the Old Testament and why "God the Son" is never mentioned in the Bible.
They are scared to admit that God never revealed His name in the Old Testament.
So, they cannot find a name for the Father in the Old Testament.
They also cannot find a name for the Father in the New Testament.
Nowhere in the Bible can you find a name for the Holy Spirit.
Trinitarians claim His name is “Lord” but that, of course, is a title.
So, in the whole Trinity, only the Son has a name, Jesus.
But He is never called “God the Son”. Trinitarians cannot explain why.
Proof that none of these words is a name is the fact they never use any of those titles in water baptism.
They just repeat the formula “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” without having any clue what that name is. Memorizing a formula to be repeated off-by-heart simply indicates a lack of understanding.
Then they cannot explain why the name “Jesus” is used three times in the Book of Acts for water baptism. Always with at least one title to make sure which Jesus is being referred to because various men have the name of Jesus today.
So Lord Jesus or Jesus Christ tells you that it is the Jesus of the Bible whose name is being used.
"Christ" is not a name. Christ is a title that means "The Anointed One".
They then feel free to treat you with contempt because “all the churches believe in the Trinity” and thus you are not allowed to disagree with the rather pathetic defense of their Trinity doctrine. The worse their argument gets, the more they rely on anger and insults.
“Raca” is a term of contempt.
“Fool” is a humiliating insult.
Church-goers then attack the person because they cannot find one name for their Triune God.
They use unscriptural expressions like “God the Son” and “One-God-in-three-Persons”.
They cannot explain why Colossians 2:9 says that the fulness of the Godhead dwelled bodily in Jesus, because they claim that Jesus is in the Godhead.
Unable to prove their point from the Bible, they feel entitled to treat a person with contempt and insults in order to humiliate them and force them to change their viewpoint.
But these next few verses show how they should discuss doctrine. Although this virtually never happens.
II TIMOTHY 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
If we are not meek, then we are unfit to discuss doctrine with some person.
II TIMOTHY 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
MATTHEW 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Having insulted and humiliated a fellow Christian in a doctrinal debate does not make you fit to go into the presence of God. Even if you are fortunate enough to possess profound spiritual gifts of the Spirit. Even if you make impressive sacrifices for God.
Disagreements on doctrine should always be done in a calm and respectful manner.
The way you treat others is the way that God will treat you.