Purpose

The purpose and intent of this site is twofold:

1. Share the Word of God as found in the Bible.

2. Comment on current events as they relate to Bible prophecy


Friday, January 16, 2015

The Commandments of the Kingdom of God



THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD


The Kingdom of God (or Heaven) is not exactly identical as a citizen of a particular country.  As an example, a citizen of the USA can be a fine upright person obeying the laws of the land, not stealing that which isn’t theirs, and possessing a certain love for their country.  Others can be a birthright citizen, refuse to have a job but prefer to live on welfare checks, steal things they desire but don’t have, only obey laws that suit them, and prefer the government be some form other than what it has always been.

A citizen of the Kingdom of God only desires one government and leader.  The government is the essence of the Sermon on the Mount and the leader is always and only the King Jesus Christ.  Jesus did not appear to re-preach the law of Moses, He came to fulfill every jot and tittle of the law, and He accomplished that task.  At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made the following comment concerning His teaching.

So anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever obeys them and teaches others to do so will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  (Matthew 5:19 NET)

THE COMMANDMENTS OF JESUS
Exactly what are the commandments of Jesus?  I’m glad you asked.

Blessed are the poor in spirit – (for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them)  This Greek word was often used of a beggar who was dependent on a provider. In the Old Testament this implied hope in in God only.  This does not refer to physical poverty, but one of a spiritual nature. The Kingdom citizen must recognize their personal inadequacy and their need to constantly rely on God through Jesus Christ.

Blessed are those who mourn – (for they will be comforted)  This Greek word means "loud wailing”.  The Kingdom citizen will mourn for their personal sin and be repentant.  God comforts all who believe and trust in Jesus.

Blessed are the meek – (for they will inherit the earth)  This does not mean, blessed are the sissies, but rather those who perform with their personal talents and with the means and goods at their disposal rather than constantly whine and complain.  The Greek origin implies domesticated strength, as a trained horse.  The Kingdom citizen must recognize his need for God and to direct one’s strengths to the purpose of Jesus.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness – (for they will be satisfied)  This is a present active participle describing the basic ongoing spiritual needs of mankind.  This phrase reflects a Kingdom citizen’s ongoing attitude toward God.  It means to do that which God requires.  It involves both justification and justice as well as sanctification and sanctified living.  The remainder of the scripture phrase is “for they will be satisfied.”  The word “satisfied” literally means "gorged," and was a term used of fattening cattle for market.

Blessed are the merciful – (for they will be shown mercy) The word merciful is the result of knowing God.  It is the Kingdom citizen’s ability to put one's self in another's situation and act with compassion.  “They shall receive mercy” is a future passive tense meaning, mercy is for now in this age.  It is a missing ingredient of Pharisaism then and legalism of today.

Blessed are the pure in heart – (for they will see God)  The Greek word for pure can mean either:  single-minded; focused; or cleansed.  It was used in the Old Testament for ritual washings.  The emphasis is on the heart, the center of the Kingdom citizen’s being and not the intellect or ritual religious actions.  Purity opens the spiritual eyes to view the creation of God.

Blessed are the peacemakers – (for they will be called the children of God)  This compound word only appears here.  It refers to reconciliation between God and humanity, which results in peace between persons. However, this is not a peace at any cost, but peace through repentance and faith.  The word “children” can also be used as “sons” which would be “sons of God”:  a phrase usually reserved for angels in the Old Testament but is used here to refer to any child or citizen of the Kingdom of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness – (for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them)  This refers to those who have been or continue to be persecuted by an outside source:  such as Satan, demons, or unbelievers.  This persecution can even be considered an expected reality for the Kingdom citizens in a world where the fully realized Kingdom of God is still future.  The persecution, if occurring, is due to the lifestyle and witness of the kingdom believers.

Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of Me – (Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way)  The words “insult” and “persecute” are both aorist subjunctives which represent a possibility but with a conditional structure which showed it was a possiblility.  Versions of persecution may be possible for believers but they should not be desired or pursued.  Jesus stated that Kingdom citizens who live and witness for Him will be rejected and persecuted until the Kingdom of God is fully realized.

Matthew 5:3-12 NET  "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.  (4)  "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  (5)  "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  (6)  "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.  (7)  "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  (8)  "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  (9)  "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.  (10)  "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.  (11)  "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me.  (12)  Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.

Salt of the Earth
Salt is always salt unless it has undergone a chemical reaction, but then it is not salt.  It can only lose its saltiness if adulterated such as being mixed with substances other than salt.  Salt that was unusable as a preservative or flavor enhancer was absolutely useless. It was thrown on the footpaths or roof tops to form a hard top seal. Salt taken from the Dead Sea had many impurities. The people in this part of the world were accustomed to unusable salt.

Salt is a preserver and Kingdom citizens are the preserving influence of the world.  It the salt is diluted by things of the world, it is of no use but to be thrown out.  Unusable salt during the earthly days of Jesus were thrown into the street or road to kill grass and harden the pavement.

"You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people.  (Matthew 5:13 NET)

Light of the World
Light has always been a biblical metaphor of truth and healing. It was used by Jesus to describe Himself:  (John 9:5 NET)  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."  All Kingdom citizens are a light of the world.  The question is:  What kind of light?  If your light is hidden as under a basket, it cannot be seen and lacks usefulness.  One’s light should be open and visible to demonstrate one’s citizenship of the Kingdom.

You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden. People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16 NET)

Other Commandments
It has been said, “Do not murder” but Jesus proclaims the righteous will not hate, insult, or call a brother a fool.

"You have heard that it was said to an older generation, 'Do not murder,' and 'whoever murders will be subjected to judgment.' But I say to you that anyone who is angry with a brother will be subjected to judgment. And whoever insults a brother will be brought before the council, and whoever says 'Fool' will be sent to fiery hell.   (Matthew 5:21-22 NET)

It has been said, “Do not commit adultery” but Jesus proclaims one should not look at a woman with desire.

"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  (Matthew 5:27-28 NET)

It has been said, “Whoever divorces his wife must give her a legal document” but Jesus proclaims that one should not divorce except for immorality.

"It was said, 'Whoever divorces his wife must give her a legal document.' But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
(Matthew 5:31-32 NET)

It has been said, “Do not break an oath, but fulfill your vows to the Lord” but Jesus proclaims that one should not take an oath under any circumstances.  Either say “yes” or “no”.

It has been said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” but Jesus proclaims that one should not resist the evil person.

It has been said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy” but Jesus proclaims that one should love enemies and pray for persecutors.

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