Christian Churches of God
(Edition 2.0 19940702-19991127)
This paper examines the place of the beatitudes and their meaning. The place of the Church in the application of rulership is also discussed.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 1994, 1996, 1999 Wade Cox)
(Summary by Ron Proposch, Ed. by Wade Cox)
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The beatitudes are quite significant. This sermon by Christ at Matthew 5:1 ff. has power and far reaching impact.
The beatitudes are the blessings to his church; to his people. They are taken as a model or a guideline for the conduct of the elect. But they are described by mainstream Christianity in a weak way; the principles are turned into a gospel of weakness.
We will see how we can draw lessons from them in terms of strength (Mat. 5:1-12). Christ speaks here to the church, which is centrally to the disciples. He then goes on to talk about salt (Mat. 5:13-16).
Christ does not finish here. Most Christians have heard these things before, but they are generally split up and put into little pockets. But they are not to be split up. Christ is talking in a sequence with a definite message. He goes on (Mat. 5:17-20).
There are people in the Church of God who have taught the diminution of the law in various ways. They have taught that you don't have to keep one or another of a number of aspects of the law. There are some aspects of the law that we do not observe today because of the customs of the society in which we live. It is not because those laws were done away, with but rather that society has made them no longer applicable.
The law is there in its entirety. Not one jot or one tittle has passed from the law. The sacrificial laws are not being kept because we are the Temple. When the Messiah comes he will reintroduce the system. But it's not up to us. The Messiah was the atoning sacrifice and that is sufficient once and for all. That is the only law that has been fulfilled in its entirety.
We will examine the beatitudes one at a time and go through the intent behind them and see the power they actually possess. The first beatitude is Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
This is an apparent contradiction. You are poor in spirit, therefore you are going to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Yet everything we've been taught says that we have to be rich in spirit. We have to work and labour to fulfil and imbibe of the spirit and grow in the spirit. Being poor in the spirit means that you willingly sacrifice the good of yourself for your neighbour, your brother – that you are poor by choice; in subjugating your self-interest to the people who you serve. It means that wealth is not, in itself, an objective of the elect. This view strikes directly at the materialistic health-wealth gospel.
We can see then that the subject of being poor in spirit is not in terms of being low in spirit but being poor by the placement of the interests of others, and the work of Jesus Christ, above your own personal or self-interest.
The second beatitude is Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. From where do we get this concept of mourning? What is mourning? Why is it a blessing to mourn? Mourning is basically the loss of something; or is it? From Ezekiel 9:4 we get an idea of what is meant. Christ is actually expanding the concept of what Ezekiel was saying (Ezek 9:1-11).
This process starts at the highest levels with the very elect and the process proceeds down through our people. We are marked on our capacity to mourn and to sigh to cry, and to repent and overcome. Those who do not mourn and repent will be killed: men, women and children. This is not a message of weakness. This nation will be brought to its knees by the sword.
The third beatitude says Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Is it a contradiction to say we have to warn this nation and the world, yet we have got to be meek? What does it mean to be meek? Is meekness weakness? No! Meekness is not weakness.
From 1Corinthians 13 we can get an idea of what Christ is talking about in the way he speaks of this meekness and inheriting the earth. It is the kind of meekness that comes from placing yourself below your brothers.
The world is degenerating into tribalism. The English-speaking people are also degenerating in this way. The minds of our people are being systematically destroyed by Hollywood and the media, along violent and base lines.
Europe has declared war on itself twice this century in acts of great insanity.
The fourth beatitude is Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Such desire is to hunger and thirst for the knowledge of God.
Psalm 119 shows the concepts in the law, and righteousness follows from the law.
The beatitudes form a key. There is a flowing on, through the beatitudes into our capacity to become the salt of the earth and the lights of the Temple. We can become a light to the Gentiles.
The fifth beatitude is Blessed are the merciful (see also Zech. 7:8-10).
It has been a teaching of some Trinitarian churches that you do not have to keep faith with people who are not of your own denomination. They taught that you have a different standard of dealing with people if you are of the same faith. In terms of honesty and widows and orphans and the poor under the law that is not true. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
There is going to be a time when the Lord of Hosts will not hear. He will not hear when the nation cries and it will be dealt with and turned over to other nations who will be given a heart of stone to deal with us (Zech. 7:11-14).
Desolation and war follow from a failure to heed the word of God.
The sixth beatitude is Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.
Paul and John laboured; that no man had seen God, because God is a spiritual power. We have to be in the form and capacity of spirit to see God, and no man can be that way. It is something to be achieved after the resurrection. We will achieve that distinction.
The seventh beatitude is Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
The making of peace is a way of expressing the Holy Spirit. The bringing of peace is the capacity Jesus Christ exhibits to rule this planet. He rules by uniting his planet in one accord under God. Monotheism is not that God is one by having three heads. Monotheism is that God is one, because everybody, Jesus Christ and all those included in the Host, subjugate their wills to God.
To be children of God, we have to be peacemakers. We have to demonstrate the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Christ said, as the eighth beatitude, Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Stephen's martyrdom in Acts is important. Stephen says to the council you stiff necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears (Acts 7:51). They became enraged and grated their teeth.
At the end, at the ninth beatitude, we read Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely, on my account.
Christ personalised it. He centred the persecution on each and every one of the elect. The people who persecute the elect are those who are in authority or say they are in authority in what purports to be the Churches or Congregation of God. That was initially Judaism but the greater persecution came from so-called mainstream Christianity. It continues in the Protestant system and in the very Churches of God. These are those who say they are Christians, and are not. Those outside in mainstream Christianity, who claim to be the Churches of God, persecute the elect because they do not know our master (Isa. 66:5).
Christ said rejoice and be glad for your reward is great in heaven for as they persecuted the prophets who were before you, so also they will persecute you. Bear the persecution of the world in the light of the hope that lies within us. Strive hard to do the work of God.