Matthew 05:25-48 - Sermon on the Mount, part 2
God's demands are too high for us to achieve in our own strength. Trials are good for us. Never complain. Have faith.
MATTHEW 5:25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
Do not get entangled in legal wrangles, especially over money that is owed. Treat people in a way that they cannot accuse you.
If I do wrong then I must admit it and seek to recompense the accuser as quickly as possible to retain his good opinion so that he does not go around giving me a bad name. I must repair the damage to my reputation so that my light can still shine again. Rather lose and keep a good name.
Doing wrong and then trying to deny it or justify it will merely end in a court case and possibly a jail sentence.
This statement is also a subtle description of hell. If we do not repent of our sins and try to deny them or justify them then we will end up in the prison of hell.
The Word of God accuses us of our sin and the Holy Spirit convicts us. Let us repent and confess our sins while we can walk in the way of the Lord Jesus and receive His forgiveness. Do not wait till you are dead because then you can no longer walk in His way. Jesus is the Way in which we should walk.
JOHN 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Returning to the warning from Matthew.
MATTHEW 5:26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
Stay out of courts. Christians should never take each other to court. Rather lose than muddy the name of Christianity with unsavoury bickering over money.
Once we end up in jail, we may have to pay the full price which will usually cost us more than the money that we did not pay back.
From the prison of hell, no person can escape. People will suffer in hell until they have paid for all their sins to the last detail. No sins will be overlooked, however small. A farthing only has tiny value.
When all has been paid for, after a long enough time period of suffering, only then will that person cease to exist. Sinners will endure different time periods in hell in accordance with their sinfulness.
MATTHEW 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
It is wrong for a married man to be involved with another woman.
It is wrong for a married woman to be involved with another man.
The marriage vow actually starts with the engagement. When a man and a woman promise to marry each other, God regards that vow as binding even though they cannot yet live together as man and wife.
MATTHEW 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Espoused means engaged. They were engaged but were not allowed to live together.
MATTHEW 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Although they were only engaged, the angel called Mary the wife of Joseph.
Their promise to marry each other was binding.
II CORINTHIANS 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
The Bride is engaged to Christ Who is the Word.
If we believe what any church pastor says instead of listening to the Word then we are not being obedient to our Husband, the Word.
That way we are committing spiritual adultery.
MATTHEW 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
If a woman dresses provocatively to attract attention then all the males who lust after her commit adultery. But she is equally guilty.
If a man has a roving eye and lusts after modestly dressed women who behave properly, then only he is guilty of adultery.
At a deeper level, people look at church doctrines and deep in their hearts ignore Scripture and love the man-made beliefs of the unscriptural Trinity, a nameless Triune God, a nameless water baptism in three titles, and the unscriptural Christmas on the pagan 25 December, the birthday of the Roman sun god. People eye out the denominational church structure with its human hierarchy and the complacent lukewarm mixture of some Bible verses mixed up with worldliness, pagan ideas, and political involvement. This spiritual adultery with the commandments of men has made the church very rich as the church leaders guide the foolish virgins towards the Tribulation.
Jesus explains that we cannot trust our human thinking nor our own actions.
JEREMIAH 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Our own motives and bright ideas are worthless.
JEREMIAH 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
We will never understand just how evil our human way of thinking is.
Our motives are dominated by self-centredness, greed, and supposing that gain is godliness.
MATTHEW 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Unsparing self-discipline is needed. We can only achieve this by dying to self.
The right eye represents our deepest motives or insights.
Jesus wants to fill us with His Holy Spirit so that He can guide us through His Word in order for us to achieve what He wants to be done.
We must pluck out our own deepest motives because they are corrupted by the flesh.
Jesus healed a blind man and he first saw men as trees that walked.
In other words, he first saw the spirits of men which showed what they really were. He was looking at men with his right eye. He was seeing from a spiritual point of view, not from a natural point of view. An unsaved man would immediately be seen as a dead tree without any leaves.
We need to pluck out our personal opinions of the Bible and replace them with an understanding of the true revealed Word of God. Our own opinions will eventually get us into trouble.
We must totally reject the natural motives and lusts that make us want to look at any evil in the world.
We must reject the man-made attractiveness of church groups and their Bible-ignorance.
Looking at a woman to lust after her is bad, but lusting after the attractive errors of the churches is worse.
Lusting after money-making and popularity shows the corruption in our souls.
20% of your optic nerve is your brain telling your eye what to look for.
80% of your optic nerve is your eye telling your brain what it sees.
The eye itself does no harm.
It is the thoughts in your mind that are telling your eye what to look at that does the harm.
In the physical realm, with men, it is often a roving eye that makes men want to eye-out half-dressed women.
God wants us to pluck out the carnal right eye of our deeper motives that generate thoughts that make us want to look at, and be attracted by evil and church error.
These evil thoughts have to be plucked out of the mind and replaced with spiritual or Scriptural thoughts.
A saved Christian has two dogs fighting in his brain, a good dog and a bad dog.
The dog he feeds the most is the one who wins.
As we meticulously clean dirt out of our homes, so Jesus wants us to ruthlessly pluck out any evil thoughts out of our minds that lead us astray.
That is why Bible study is essential. It fills our minds with spiritual thoughts.
If we take time to praise and thank God for His goodness then that uproots many idle thoughts that would mislead us.
There are three brilliant ideas to keep our right eye, the eye of deep Bible-insight, focused on what is good.
But this is only possible if we invite Jesus into our hearts and give Him the full control of our minds as we die to ourselves, our opinions, our ambitions, our talents.
I THESSALONIANS 5:16 Rejoice evermore.
:17 Pray without ceasing.
:18 In every thing give thanks:
Evil thoughts struggle to enter a mind that rejoices, is thankful, and is always prayerful.
The right eye represents the spiritual insight into Scripture. That is the right eye that we cannot develop. Only the Holy Spirit can provide that when He dwells within us.
We must not think of ourselves. We must destroy our right eye, our deepest selfish motives and insights that make a mess of our lives. Then we must let God think for us by His Holy Spirit to give us a deep insight and understanding of Scripture. That alone can guide us.
60-0515 THE REJECTED KING
Then we find that the enemy set in, and he was going to come into a little bunch of God's people and was going to pluck out the right eye of every man. That's what the enemy always tries to do, is pluck out both eyes if he can, so that the people cannot see what they're doing. That's what Satan tries to do today to every Christian: pluck out his spiritual sight, that he can only follow the intellectual sense of things and not the sense of the Holy Spirit leading him.
The greatest battle ever fought is in the mind of man between the spiritual right eye of faith in Scripture and the natural right eye that lusts after evil in the form (usually) of women, money, fame, and church errors.
Satan wants to pluck out our spiritual right eye of faith in Scripture.
Hardly any Christians say that the 1769 Version of the King James Bible is the Absolute and Infallible Truth. Almost all Christians, because of their poor understanding of Scripture, claim that there are mistakes in the Bible.
The sun represents the Bible to give us the light to walk in.
The “sun being darkened” means the people no longer believe everything in the Bible.
MATTHEW 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven,
“The tribulation of those days” refers to Hitler’s murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust during World War 2.
After the war denominations multiplied with man-made ideas until there are now 45000 different kinds of churches and denominations because each one makes up some ideas that are not in the Bible. So the light of the Bible is getting less and less as man-made ideas multiply. The Bible's sun is darkening.
The moon reflects the sun. The church should reflect the Bible.
By finding fault with the Bible and only believing interpretations of quotes, the message-churches (and other churches) no longer just reflect the written Scripture. They all add in extras or remove what is written when it suits them. Thus, the moon (the church) no longer just reflects the written Bible.
The stars are the preachers. They have fallen from their heavenly calling of just preaching from the Bible. Today they just manipulate quotes into man-made beliefs.
MATTHEW 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
The right hand is a symbol of 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.
This Scripture says that in the end, only Jesus will be able to exercise power.
Nobody else is fit to exercise power.
So, Jesus wants to be in us, exercising His power through us. We cannot be trusted with power.
Because power corrupts, everybody except Jesus.
We have power over our own lives to do as we wish. That takes us away from the will of God and corrupts us.
So, we should rather die to ourselves and let God rule our lives. Let Him make our decisions so that we can be servants rather than masters.
Cutting off your right hand symbolizes destroying your own power to run your own life.
Evil starts in the thoughts which then motivate the hands to do harm.
Power over our own lives and power over others will destroy us.
God simply cannot trust us humans.
JOB 15:15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints;
We do not know what is best for our own lives much less what is best for the others who we seek to dominate.
One major evil is to exalt ourselves in this age of “selfies” where people are obsessed with photographing themselves.
We become greedy for gain. We love to have power over others as it boosts our self-image.
Preachers conquer and push down the laity so that they can be exalted above the congregation.
Pastors love to be noticed and admired at functions with special seats reserved for them in the church.
MATTHEW 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
MATTHEW 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
Today it is, Pastor, Pastor.
For some unknown reason, in the church world this title of "Pastor" is the only title that has to be attached to a man’s name if he calls himself a pastor.
You cannot call him Tim (if that is his name), you have to call him Pastor Tim.
Yet the title “Pastor” was never attached to any person’s name in the Bible.
The word “pastors” is only mentioned once in the New Testament and condemned six times in the Old Testament.
Not a great track record.
The love of being exalted and grabbing power over the laity or congregation (Nicolaitan) has distorted this pastoral ministry.
There is no Bible authority for making a pastor the head of the church.
There is no Bible authority for making a pastor into a Bible teacher.
ROMANS 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
The Holy Spirit needs to kill the evil desires in our minds. Especially our love of exalting self and our desire to think that we are better than others.
Few things are worse than competitive churchianity.
Then we want to control others and submit them to our will. This is a dangerous exercise
Power over other people is where humans go wrong.
The will-to-power drives the spirit of dictatorship causing a pastor to dominate his assembly.
The result of this is 45000 different kinds of churches and denominations that are all different because each pastor oppresses his congregation with his own opinions. This fragmented church body, where each leader is elevated and obeyed, has driven Jesus out of the church.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice,
Jesus no longer deals with the church. He is appealing to individuals in the church. Such is the damage done by the love of power exercised by one-man-rulers of each church.
Jesus and John the Baptist were never polite when they spoke to the Jewish religious leaders who had led the Jews astray. Times have not changed.
The seventh church age starting in 1906 has seen the love of power cause immense damage.
Lenin killed tens of thousands in his cruel rise to power in Russia. Stalin took over and killed millions with his barbaric savagery. Hitler’s demonic urge to rule saw him destroy 6 million Jews in his gas ovens as well as 6 million non-Jews. Mao Zedong in China killed tens of millions.
Scientists wanted power over the atom, the basic building block of nature. But the power was destructive as it produced the atomic bomb. The first bomb that exploded over Hiroshima vapourized the Shima Hospital. The second bomb exploded over Nagasaki which had the biggest number of Christians in any Japanese city. And we call ourselves intelligent?
In our love and lust for power, we humans have become educated above our intelligence and incapable of controlling our greedy selfishness.
Humans are not fit to rule over other humans which is why our world systems will be destroyed at Armageddon and billions will go to hell during the Tribulation.
MATTHEW 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
Adam and Eve were one man and one wife. Eve was supposed to bring forth the virgin birth of Jesus.
The animals lived by polygamy, one male with many females.
The serpent, the highest mammal or animal, seduced Eve. As she was no longer a virgin, God could not use her womb for the virgin birth. So God made His permissive will whereby Adam and Eve, and the future generations that formed the Old Testament, then lived by the animal law of polygamy.
In the Old Testament, where polygamy was allowed, a man could divorce his wife, and then she could remarry.
But Jesus now canceled polygamy to restore us back to how it was at the beginning, Adam and Eve. One man and one wife.
Sin entered because Eve lost her virginity to the serpent who was not her husband.
Jesus now tightened up on this issue. A woman must be a virgin when she gets married.
Thus marrying a divorced woman who still has her marriage vow to her living ex-husband was not allowed.
ROMANS 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
The marriage vow is binding until one partner dies.
MATTHEW 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
Fornication is sex before marriage.
A woman is given a veil of virginity as God expects her to be a virgin when she marries. If she is not, she must confess this to her future husband before he marries her. Otherwise, she makes a false marriage vow that is not binding on her husband. Then he has the right to divorce her and remarry when he finds out that she is not a virgin.
But a legally married woman who is divorced and remarries then commits adultery.
If a man marries a divorced woman then he commits adultery.
Once you are legally married, with no false vow, then you cannot ever divorce and remarry.
MARK 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Why is it important that a woman must be a virgin?
DEUTERONOMY 22:23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed [engaged] unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
:24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.
The first man to lie with a woman humbles her by breaking her virginity which she has guarded all her life. This helps her to accept her husband as her head.
But if another man has slept with her before she marries then she may never accept her husband as her head because he never humbled her. Then she is unlikely to be in submission to her husband.
Many men have discovered that the non-virgin that they married turned out to be a demanding, quarrelsome, and dominating wife. Not a happy marriage.
MATTHEW 5:33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
If you make a solemn vow, you must keep it.
If things turn out badly for you, you must still keep your vow. Even though you lose.
Losing is part of Christianity. Our final reward is in Heaven. But that does not mean that we will never lose on earth.
We rejoice when we win but our character is judged when we lose. How do we behave then?
MATTHEW 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
Do not swear an oath. If you always tell the truth than it is unnecessary to swear to tell the truth.
Have reverence for God. Never claim that Heaven knows that you are telling the truth.
It is a meaningless statement as the other person or persons have no way of knowing what Heaven’s opinion of your truthfulness is.
MATTHEW 5:35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
Never swear a vow at all. Everything that you see around you was made by God. None of those things can make you keep your word if you want to break it. So mentioning them is pointless.
MATTHEW 5:36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
Swearing to tell the truth is a waste of time. Liars will not respect their oath and lie when it suits them. Honest men will always tell the truth anyway. So, a sworn oath actually makes no difference.
We cannot control the colour of our hair. When people use hair dye it is a deception.
They are not what they look like.
If you dye your hair you merely indicate that you are unhappy with the way that God made you.
I TIMOTHY 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
If you are not content with how God has made you, then are you really godly?
MATTHEW 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
We should be recognized by people as someone who always tells the truth. Thus our “Yes” should always be a true yes.
If we say “No” then it always simply means no.
MATTHEW 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
This law is to advise a magistrate how to recompense an injury between two people. But it is not how individuals should react in their personal lives.
MATTHEW 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Being hit on the cheek is not a major physical offense.
Turning the other cheek means to take the high road on petty issues.
We learn to ignore humiliation and insults.
In life there is action and reaction.
He hits you (action) and you hit back (reaction). That means he is controlling you. You are subject to what he is doing.
But the apostles wrote the “Book of Acts” not the “Book of Reacts”.
When you ACT then God can control you. When you REACT then Satan controls you.
In your reaction you sink to the level of your enemy.
Winning the fight is not the main issue.
Who controls you, is the important point.
MATTHEW 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
Again, a cloak is something of small value.
We should not be involved in petty legal quarrels. Give them what they demand and give them more than what they ask. Returning their evil with good has more of an effect on people than arguing with them. They sense that there is a much deeper Spirit in you because people do not normally behave like you did.
PROVERBS 25:21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
:22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
God created that enemy to try you and mould you. Being kind to an enemy can make him more friendly rather than being hostile towards you.
But just doing what God says, rather than responding to our own offended emotions, indicates that we are letting God run our lives. Then we will be rewarded for our obedience. Pleasing God is far more important than getting even with our enemies.
MATTHEW 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
People do not think that it is reasonable to follow laws that are unjust.
Being told to walk a mile out of your way is unfair. But it was a harsh Roman rule.
By "going the extra mile," it means that you must do more than what is needed even if the command given you is unjust.
By doing extra you simply indicate that you are obeying a higher Power. People realize that God is in control of your life.
Again, it gives you the high moral ground.
Even the pagan Greek Stoics had a similar idea. "Should there be a forced service and a soldier should lay hold on thee, let him work his will; do not resist or murmur". Jesus took this rule one step further. Obey an unjust order willingly and do more than what was expected of you.
Suffer any injury that can be borne, for the sake of peace, committing your concerns to the Lord's keeping. And the sum of all is, that Christians must avoid disputing and striving.
If any say, Flesh and blood cannot pass by such an affront, let them remember, that flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God; and those who act upon right principles will have most peace and comfort.
We must be ready to serve God even when life is unfair.
Jesus was treated very unfairly. He took it all uncomplainingly.
ROMANS 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Be kind to those who hate you. It really baffles them and may cause them to change their thinking.
MATTHEW 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
We must be prepared to lose. This is a harsh lesson for us to learn as it is human nature to gain rather than to lose.
Jesus had very difficult advice for a rich man who trusted in his wealth.
MATTHEW 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
The only wealth that we can take with us to Heaven is what we give away on earth.
MATTHEW 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
We should never regard people as being our enemies. Each person has a role to play.
Hitler destroyed 6 million Jews in the Holocaust of World War 2.
When that shock hit the United Nations in 1947, they briefly overcame their hatred for the Jews and voted them a small portion of the Promised Land in Israel. Without the Holocaust that would never have happened.
Then the 5th Seal in Revelation Chapter 6 says that the Jews who were killed for their faith during the 7 church ages will be given white robes in Heaven. So that biggest of horrors, the Holocaust, won a place in Heaven for the victims as well as restoring the first part of Israel back to the Jews.
Thus, Hitler unleashed his hatred on the Jews and actually did them a favour.
There is a law of action and reaction. Hitler pushed 6 million dead Jews into Heaven and the survivors into the new nation of Israel. The reaction to that meant that he had to go in the opposite direction.
God’s grace is not just that He saved you. God’s grace to you also involves all your enemies whose dislike of you made them push and force you into God’s Kingdom by rubbing all the rough edges off you.
Lesson. When your enemies harm you then you will find in God’s Big Picture that they have actually helped you to find your place in God’s great spiritual Temple that He has built over 7 church ages.
MATTHEW 5:44 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;
Gold is purified by hammering it until all the impurities are knocked out of it.
God had to ordain people to dislike and oppose you so that their opposition could hammer you into shape.
Virtue is nothing without the trial of temptation for there is no conflict without an enemy, no victory without strife.
Virtue can only emerge as the product of an intense battle against a strong enemy.
Patience emerges from the tribulations which are beyond our personal control.
A character cannot be given to a person. Character is hammered out on the anvil of defeat and difficulty.
If there is no battle, there is no victory.
Faith only develops when we face situations that we cannot solve.
So, we need an enemy to develop us.
Thank God for your enemies.
They have, inadvertently, made you into the successful person that you finally become.
MATTHEW 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
God blesses both the good and the bad.
The bad are used to mould the good. We develop character by struggling against adversity.
MATTHEW 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
It is easy to love those who love us. That is no test.
MATTHEW 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Birds of a feather easily flock together.
Do we visit the unloved, the lonely, the unwanted, the poor, and those who disagree with you?
That is a sterner test.
MATTHEW 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Jesus is here setting a goal that is certain to be impossible so that we will realize this and be humble.
The pursuit of perfection is important, even if the attainment of it impossible.
Those who believe in Jesus and desire His revealed Word, then rely fully upon Him for all things. That way we put all our hopes and faith in Jesus Who is perfect.
We cannot do better than having the perfect Jesus in control of our lives.
Abraham and Noah are referred to as perfect because of their complete obedience to God. They fully believed in God's perfect plan and devoted their lives to fulfilling His perfect Will.
Their perfection was actually their total trust in God and their complete agreement with God's plan. They never argued with God. They never complained about what He told them to do.
Their perfection was not in themselves.
Perfectionists in the workplace are usually in two categories. They either fixate on achieving excessively high standards or else they are obsessed with not making mistakes. Either approach leads to an increase in personal pride, Satan’s original sin. This opens the door to competitive Christianity.
“Look how good and successful I am as a Christian”.
“Look what I have done for God”.
“My church is better than your church”.
This kind of perfection is not what Jesus is talking about.
Excessive focus on personal effectiveness easily leads a person to be a workaholic with the attendant stress-related problems of anxiety and burnout.
This is also especially true of the “failure avoiding” perfectionists who are more likely not to be very agreeable to work with. By throwing all their weight at one task, they inadvertently neglect others along the way.
The inescapable fact is that despite our best efforts we remain unprofitable servants.
We will never admit that we actually get more things wrong than what we get right.
LUKE 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
So, God has never expected much good from us.
What then is God’s biggest worry with modern-day Christians?
LUKE 18:8 Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Our inability to be strictly Scriptural.
We do not love the truth of Scripture as deeply as we should.
The only perfection that we know of is Jesus Himself and the 1769 King James Version of the Bible which expresses His thoughts. You cannot separate a person from their thoughts. Jesus is the Word of God.
If you criticize the Bible then you are criticizing Jesus.
So, our first attempt at perfection is to make certain that we never criticize the Bible.
That we believe everything that is written and reject any ideas that are not written in Scripture.
That way our spiritual thinking becomes perfect because we only believe and quote what the Bible says.
Then we hit the problem of our own inadequate lives.
Paul’s solution was simple.
Die to yourself so that you can be absorbed into the Body of Christ.
I CORINTHIANS 15:31 … I die daily.
You cannot be in God’s Body while you have your own thoughts because God’s thoughts are far too high for us to understand.
ROMANS 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
When you die to yourself then your life flows out of you.
Only then is there room for God’s Spirit to flow into you.
ROMANS 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
We can only be controlled by the Spirit of Life when we are IN Christ.
God only has full control of our lives when we die to our circumstances and the distractions of the physical world around us.
There is one human weakness that God detests.
Complaining about our circumstances and criticizing God’s Big Plan as being impossible for us to follow.
NUMBERS 14:36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,
When God’s Plan involves difficulty or sacrifice then people murmur and complain. Fatal.
NUMBERS 14:37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.
The problem with these men was in their thinking.
The problems were too big for them to solve in their own strength, so they complained bitterly.
They had absolutely no confidence in God’s ability to overcome the difficulties.
They thought in terms of their own strength rather than basing their thoughts on the promises of God’s Word. They never learned to think like God nor to trust in God.
Perfection means to love God’s thinking and to want to fulfill His Scriptures, whatever the cost.
Loving God’s Word rather than complaining about our problems is an essential ingredient of perfection.
We can only be perfect in our thinking when we never complain.
The Book of Jude condemns complainers.
JUDE 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts;
PHILIPPIANS 2:12 … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
This means being saved from the Tribulation that is coming.
Each individual must fear God’s Word more than the rejection from the church.
Trembling implies danger. There is a price to pay, a cross to carry.
ACTS 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
ROMANS 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Earthly trials and tribulations teach us dependence on God. We wait on Him for deliverance.
PHILIPPIANS 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
When we are in Christ then He is in full control.
So, He is guiding us through whatever is happening to us.
PHILIPPIANS 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
God has organized our situations and circumstances.
A sailor cannot complain about the wind. He has to change the settings of his sails to cope with the wind.
We must not complain or lament about our circumstances. They are all part of God’s plan to perfect us.
Sorrow is the sharp knife that carves out the cup that holds your joy.
The deeper your sorrow, the deeper the joy that you can experience in your deliverance by Jesus.
Revelation Chapter 10 sees the Archangel coming down to raise the dead who were buried on land and sea during the seven church ages.
When that Angel, of Revelation the 10th chapter, puts one foot on land and one on the sea, and a rainbow over His head, He swore, "time shall be no more." When that time comes, you'll rise up from among the dead. While the rest of them lay there, you'll go in.
The mighty Angel only comes down after the mysteries of Scripture have been revealed.
62-1230 IS THIS THE SIGN OF THE END SIR
He come down from Heaven, because the mystery is all finished. And when the mystery is finished, the Angel said, "Time shall be no more," and Seven Thunders throwed their voices out.
What if it is something to let us know how to enter into the Rapturing Faith? Is it? Will we run, leap over walls? And is there something fixing to happen, and these old, marred, vile bodies are going to be changed?
The wall that separates our natural physical dimension from the supernatural spiritual realm of Heaven.
63-0724 GOD DOESN'T CALL MAN TO JUDGMENT WITHOUT FIRST WARNING HIM
Yes, the "troop" of death will have no holders to it, She'll run right through it. Leap over the "wall" between natural and Supernatural, and go into the arms of God, into that great Eternity. Lord God, we thank You for this. We know the time is approaching at hand.
First, the mysteries of God must come down to brother Branham so that he can reveal the Bible mysteries.
Only then, after the mysteries are revealed, can the Angel come down.
So, there are two comings.
The coming of the mysteries and after that will be the coming of the mighty Angel.
63-0317 THE BREACH BETWEEN THE SEVEN CHURCH AGES AND THE SEVEN SEALS
… and the mysteries comes down from God as the Word of God and reveals the entire revelation of God.
… And when the Seals are broke and the mystery is revealed, down comes the Angel, the Messenger, Christ, setting His foot upon the land and upon the sea with a rainbow over His head.
Now remember, this seventh angel is on earth at the time of this coming.
“This coming” is a single coming. Not both comings.
Which coming? The coming of the mysteries or the coming of the Angel?
… And here He returns back in the 10th chapter after the coming time, that all the mysteries is to be finished, and the Seals are to be broke, and proclaiming that its time is no more. And he said, "When the seventh angel has begin to sound, then the mysteries should be finished and time for the Angel to appear.
The Angel cannot come down to raise the dead before the mysteries have been revealed. The mysteries were only revealed by the end of brother Branham’s ministry.
One month before he died, brother Branham was still waiting for the voice of the Archangel to come down and raise the dead.
65-1127 I HAVE HEARD BUT NOW I SEE
Dear God, in this solemn moment, it's going to be a time like this when there really will be a clap of thunder someday, and the Son of God shall descend from the heavens with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and the trump of God, the dead in Christ shall rise.
So, brother Branham had to be on earth to receive the mysteries that came down God.
Thereby, he was able to open the Book by revealing the written mysteries.
He did not thus have to be on earth when the Angel came down to raise the dead.
REVELATION 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
:2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
The Bride members must all be able to understand the revealed Word because the Angel only returns when the Book is opened to them.
REVELATION 10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
John now acts as an individual.
He eats or digests the written Word and is able to understand it because of brother Branham's, (the seventh angel’s) revelations.
It was bitter in his belly because there are so many people who are anti-Bible truth and condemn and persecute those who want to be Scriptural.
But there was a sweet testimony in his mouth as Jesus delivered him out of every difficulty.
People insist that the 1769 Version of the King James Bible is not infallible and thus it is not the Voice of God, the Absolute.
63-0630 THE THIRD EXODUS
Listen to the Bible, the Voice of God calling to you in this day.
63-1226 CHURCH ORDER
It's got to come to one final absolute, and my absolute is the Word, the Bible
65-0429 THE CHOOSING OF A BRIDE
I always like to read the Bible, because It's the Word of God. I believe that. And I believe It to be God's infallible Word.
Our thinking becomes perfect when we believe the Bible is absolutely true and we love to learn the truth of the deeper mysteries.
Our perfect rest is when our lives are so hidden in Christ that we can face life’s circumstances uncomplainingly. We know by faith that everything that happens to us is in our best interests. We totally commit our lives into His safekeeping.
Our perfection is not in our own works.
Our perfection is when we totally trust His Word, His Plan for our day and age, as well as having complete trust in the way He manages the difficulties of our lives.
Our faith can only be perfect when Jesus is worshiped as being the supreme Lord God Almighty.
When He is elevated far above any other person or any possible trial in this life.