THINK – Part 4 – The Sermon on the Mount

(Please note, links are used in place of footnotes for references and citations.  Please review each link in order to get the full teaching on these matters.  Also, you can pause the Audio podcast to follow a link and resume the audio when ready.)

THINK – The Sermon – Part 4

Matthew chapter five contains a sermon by Jesus, which has been aptly named “The Sermon on The Mount”, simply because it took place on a small mount (hill) which overlooks the Sea of Galilee (the lake at Gennesaret.

This sermon has been named the “The Beatitudes”, again, simply because of the repeated use of the word ‘blessed’ in the sermon, which translate as ‘beatitude’, (beati sunt, “blessed are”), of sayings in the Latin Vulgate Bible. 

There are thousands upon thousands of commentaries, articles, published bible studies and more, about The Beatitudes. Most describe this as ‘the greatest moral teaching’ ever.  But, it is much more than that.

The Beatitudes can be found in Matthew chapter 5 and continuing through Matthew chapter 7.  It is presumed that Jesus preached this sermon over a period of several days.  I say it is much more than just ‘the greatest moral teaching ever’, which it is, but it is profoundly prophetic.  Jesus Words are prophetic because of what they do, to and through a disciple of Jesus.

– THE BEATITUDES –

A PICTURE OF SALVATION & THE PROCESS OF SANCTIFICATION

God speaks of people as having a body, a mind, and a soul. (see Matthew 22:37, Deuteronomy 6:5). We live and learn on all three of these levels. Our experience begins in our spirit (pneuma) sometimes called ‘the heart’ and work into our soul (psuché), our will and emotions; next, it works its way up into our mind, expressed in thoughts and ideas, and culminates in our body (soma) where our thoughts and ideas are acted upon.

These Words of Jesus work powerfully on all three levels.

Matthew 5:1,  “When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. Verse 2. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,

Verse 3. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

“Poor in spirit” has been described and ‘spiritually bankrupt’, which is like calling the ocean ‘a wet spot’.  ‘Poor in Spirit’ (Greek: ptochos) literally means 1) reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms 2) destitute of wealth, influence, position, honor

2a) lowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches

2b) helpless, powerless to accomplish an end 2c) poor, needy 3) lacking in anything 3a) as respects their spirit 3a1) destitute of wealth of learning and intellectual culture which the schools afford (men of this class most readily give themselves up to Christ’s teaching and proved themselves fitted to lay hold of the heavenly treasure)

 This definition comes from a root and alternate meaning “to be terrified”, “as a decaying corpse”.

The Jewish audience understood what Jesus was saying.  It should have caused them to wonder how could they possibly be considered “Blessed” if they are “poor in spirit”.  But, that is exactly what Jesus said.  He goes on to explain what He meant.

 (When was the last time your preacher explained how you could “enter the Kingdom of Heaven”?  Was it when he told you to ‘pray this little prayer’: God I have sinned…etc.?

Has he ever explained the true definition of being “poor is in spirit” and why you must be 1) reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms

2) destitute of wealth, influence, position, honor 2a) lowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches 2b) helpless, powerless to accomplish an end 2c) poor, needy

3) lacking in anything 3a) as respects their spirit 3a1) destitute of wealth of learning and intellectual culture which the schools afford. (people of this class will most readily give themselves up to Christ’s teaching and are will to be proved, IN ORDER TO INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. 

Has your pastor or preacher explained that this is the first step and the ONLY WAY to the Kingdom of Heaven?  If he has not, why not?  It is the first step and the only way into the Kingdom of Heaven!

(This series contains urgent and vitally important information.  Jesus warns us to not be deceived, for many will come saying “I am the Christ”.  This can come in the form of misinformed pastors, preachers and teachers through INSTITUTIONAL DECEPTION.  Beware!)

Please, pray, read, study, seek God on these matters.

Your Brother and Friend

Mike Young

Coming soon:  “THINK – PART 5 – BE COMFORTED”

Previous article:  “THINK – PART 3 – WHERE ARE YOU GOING?”

PS:  When I went into the U.S. Army, basic training gave me the impression that I could handle being a soldier.  But, when you finish the training and begin your life as a soldier – real life in them military – everything changes.  It is nothing like basic training.  It is for real!

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food”  Hebrews 5:12

SEEK THE KINGDOM OF GOD

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #14

  • Seek God’s Kingdom

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?   This teaching, once again, is about your state of mind or attitude.  This time, Jesus is specifically teaching about worry.

The word ‘worry’, as used by Jesus, means to be anxious, to be troubled with cares and to seek to promote one’s own interests and to be divided in your mind or to be ‘double minded’.

Worry is similar to doubt, which also mean to be double minded, divided against yourself, torn in your thinking.

Worry and doubt can be stumbling blocks to the Christian, the disciple of Jesus.  They both present an ongoing struggle for our flesh.  So, we are warned and instructed on how to overcome these obstacles.  In face, we must.

1.  This teaching begins in Matthew 6:24“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.

    • You cannot serve God and wealth.

2.  James warns us that we must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

  •  “For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

“THE THREE BIG TAKE AWAYS”

For the Christian – The Disciple of Jesus

I Will Not Serve Two Masters

I Will Ask in Faith Without Any Doubting

I Will Put on The Full Armor of God

MY CONFESSION:

As a disciple of Jesus – A Christian – I will be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  I will put on the full armor of God, and stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  I will not worry.  I will not doubt.  But if I do, I will pray, believing.

I know I will struggle against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

But, I am able to resist in the evil day, and I stand firm.  I will not worry.  I will not doubt.  But if I do, I will pray, believing.

HAVING GIRDED MY LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod MY FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, I will stand firm.  I will not worry.  I will not doubt.  But if I do, I will pray, believing.  (Taken from Ephesians 6)

This is what we do as Christians – Disciples of Jesus.

HOW CAN YOU DO IT?___________________________________________

HOW CAN YOU TEACH IT? _______________________________________

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Further reading about The Kingdom of God:

The Kingdom of Heaven

Heirs of The Kingdom

LAY UP TREASURES

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #13

  • Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

20  “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;

21  for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19–21).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?   Treasures on earth versus Treasures in heaven?

These words of Jesus, reveal.  They reveal the focus of the mind and heart and tell of your eternal destiny.

Jesus speaks of this “treasure” when He tells us that The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44  

The hidden Treasure, The Pearl of Great Price, all point to The Kingdom of Heaven.

Also, Romans 8:6 tells us, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”

There is not escaping the reality of this teaching.   

  • Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  • The Kingdom of Heaven is like a Treasure.  
  • The mind set on the flesh is death.  
  • The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.

The Apostle Paul helps us finally understand this profound truth in Colossians 3:1-4:

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Simply put, this reveals true Christians, the true disciples of Jesus.

This is not something you do out of obligation.  This is something that is revealed about  you, the direction of your life and your eternal destiny .

Ask yourself, “Where am I storing my treasures?” and you’ll discover your destiny.  If you are displeased with what you see, begin now to set your mind on the things of the Spirit.

Now, it is your turn:

HOW CAN YOU DO IT?___________________________________________

HOW CAN YOU TEACH IT? _______________________________________

(I heard a man once say, “If you want to know what you treasure, look at your checkbook ledger.”)

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #12

  • Practice Secret Disciplines

¶  “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

2  “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

3  “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

4 ” so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  (Matthew 6:1–4).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

This teaching begins with “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”  

It is easy to see what Jesus is teaching.  In plain terms, if you seek recognition for your good deeds, then that is all you will get.  Recognition.  No one will think of you as any more than someone needing to be recognized.  And, you will have detracted from the good you might have done in seeking to get glory for yourself.

Jesus gives us three examples of how a person satisfies their ego.

(1)  Giving to the poor in order to be noticed for their charity and generous character.

(2)  Praying in order to be noticed for their religious expressions.

(3)  Fasting in order to be noticed for their personal sacrifices and disciplines.

Some might call this type of person a narcissist.  Jesus calls such a person, “a hypocrite”.

So, let’s ask ourselves, do you ever feel like your giving, praying and your fasting goes unanswered or unrewarded?

There is something bigger at work here:  A Spiritual Law.

“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:38

There are three words, in the Bible…

  • “make”
  • “practicing”, and
  • “give”

And, all three are from the same Greek word, used by Jesus when He said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

All three words (1) GIVE  (2) PRACTICE (3)  MAKE, come from the exact same Greek word = POIEO ποιέω (poy-eh’-o) which means you fashion something by what it does.  If your intentions are wrong, the outcome will be made in that image.  If your intentions are right, the outcome of your efforts will be in that image.

This Spiritual Law is saying “Give, and it will be given to you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Whether good things or bad things, it will be given back.

If we give, pray, fast or whatever we do out of selfish motives, we will, likewise, have selfishness poured into our laps in good measure until it runs over us.

Matthew 6:4 ” Make your giving in secret; and your Father in Heaven, who sees what is done in secret will reward you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be given to you.”

 6  “When you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be given to you.”

 17  “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face

18  “so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be given to you.”

Now, it is your turn:

HOW CAN YOU DO IT? ___________________________________________

HOW CAN YOU TEACH IT?  _______________________________________

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

BE PERFECT

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #11

  • Be Perfect

“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

“If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:46–48).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Jesus is calling us to rise above our carnal nature.  Again, humanly, a most difficult if not  impossible task.  Yet Jesus says we must.

He compares how our human nature is to associate (love = AGAPAO = Which is to love, to feel and exhibit esteem and goodwill to a person, to prize and delight in) those with whom we agree and who agree with us.

But, Jesus is telling us IF WE ARE TO BE HIS DISCIPLES we must adopt a ‘view from above’.  We must see the entire picture of humanity as He sees it – from a ‘heavenly perspective’, “as your heavenly Father”.

He tells us we must be PERFECT, just as our heavenly Father is perfect.

PERFECT:  Strong’s concordance #5046 τέλειος teleios tel’-i-os

Brought to its end, finished ; wanting nothing necessary to completeness ; perfect ; that which is perfect; consummate human integrity and virtue, of men; full-grown, adult, of full age, mature.

In colloquial terms, to GROW UP and ACT LIKE JESUS.  Jesus, Who is PERFECT! We are to be full of integrity, virtue, adult, mature, LIKE JESUS.

Possess Integrity:  The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. The state of being whole and undivided.

Possess Virtue:  Behavior showing high moral standards.  Moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.

Doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong.

The virtues are temperance, prudence, courage (or fortitude), and justice. Christianity derives the three theological virtues of faith, hope and love (charity) – 1 Corinthians 13.

There is no escape from this.  If we call ourselves “Christian”, a disciple of Jesus, this is what we do.  It gives a new meaning to the phrase…

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

2 Peter 1:5  ¶ Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,

6  and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,

7  and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

8  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9  For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

10  Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;

11  for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

Now, it is your turn:

HOW CAN YOU DO IT?________________________________________

HOW YOU CAN TEACH IT? ____________________________________

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #10

  • Love Your Enemies

“v44  “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

v45  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

v46  “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same??” (Matthew 5:44–46).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Once again, Jesus brings a teaching which is counter-intuitive to the human mind.  It is a ‘radical’ departure from the long-standing practice of revenge and retribution.

However, Jesus is teaching from a “God perspective”.  This teaching, when put into practice, will transcend the natural and complete its task by the supernatural Work of God.

Just as Isaiah 55:8-11 says,

      8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
            Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.

      9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
            So are My ways higher than your ways
            And My thoughts than your thoughts.

       10“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
            And do not return there without watering the earth
            And making it bear and sprout,
            And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

      11So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
            It will not return to Me empty,
            Without accomplishing what I desire,
            And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

 Practicing the act of love, as a disciple of Jesus, takes both faith and self-discipline.

Secondly, a closer look at the command to “love your enemy” you will learn that the word “love” used here is AGAPAO = Which is to love, to feel and exhibit esteem and goodwill to a person, to prize and delight in a thing.

From its supposed etymology AGAPAO, (ἀγαπάω) is commonly understood properly to denote love based on esteem ( diligo), as distinct from (amo), or a spontaneous natural affection of emotional and unreasoning.

TO ESTEEM someone is to respect them but does not refer to a feeling an emotional type of live such as “philos” which is a brotherly kind of love nor an “eros” which is an erotic kind of love.

Once applied, we are told that a prophetic and supernatural act is manifest:  “So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven”

“May Be” – GINOMAI =  Means to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being; to become, i.e. to come to pass, happen; to be made, finished; of miracles, to be performed, wrought.

BY THIS, YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN IS GREAT

Now, it is your turn:

HOW MUST YOU DO IT? ____________________________________

HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT?  ________________________________

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

PS:  Consider this your “refuge and fortress” your “shield and buckler” as you ‘hide in Him’ and wage this Spiritual war under the cover of our God!  IT IS THE ONLY WAY.

I SWEAR IT!

Have you ever heard the idiom, “cross my heart and hope to die”?

Simply put, it is sort of a vow that someone is being truthful.  For example, I did lock the door-cross my heart and hope to die!  This phrase most likely originated as a religious oath based on the sign of the cross; it is generally accompanied by hand gestures such as crossing one’s hands over one’s breast and then pointing the right-hand skyward.  Sadly, there may be more truth to this idiom than one may realize.
 

MATTHEW 5:33-37 – “I  VOW”

v33 “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.’ 34 But I say to you, take no oath at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, nor by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. 36 Nor shall you take an oath by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. 37 But make sure your statement is, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil origin.”

WHAT DOES IT SAY

The Torah taught that if you made any vow or promise or told others you would do something, it was the same as telling God you would do it.  In contemporary terms, “your word became your bond”.

Jews were notoriously guilty of common swearing especially when making vow, for which our Lord particularly reprehends them, and warns his disciples against.  They swore by heaven, by earth, by Jerusalem, by their head, their own writings, adding a false sense of importance or weight to their vow and avoiding using the name of God in the vow in order to avoid profaning the Name of the Lord.

Jews would also swear by the prophets, the books of Scripture, the Temple, the altar, the lamb, the Temple’s chambers, the Temple’s dishes, the sacrifices on fire, the moon, stars, the sun, their hair, their beard, and on and on.  

The use of all these names gave the Jew an excuse to avoid filling their vow.  And, with so much swearing it was impossible not to profane God.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN

The word “Vow” here, literally translates to perjure oneself or to swear an oath falsely which is closely related to the 9th Commandment, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” which means to “give false testimony” against a neighbor;  It is also tantamount to taking the Name of God in vain.  Either way, it was a very serious matter.

What is crystal clear, however, is that whether you are lying or taking the Name of God in vain, you are sinning and the consequences of being separated from God, as we have already discussed, can be dire. – Isaiah 59:2.But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU

There is a distinction you must make between sinning, (in this case by making “false vows”) versus your sins being covered (forgiven) by the “sacrificial Blood of Jesus” – that is, being saved by God’s Grace through faith in Jesus.  

You can be certain that surrendering your life to Jesus, repenting of your sins and by confessing Jesus as Lord, that you will be saved and are forgiven, and you are “washed clean”.

The Bible teaches, however, that there is a difference  between repenting of those sins and continuing to practice those sins (without restraint or remorse).

Galatians 5:19-21  “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 You can read https://whitestone2020.com/2020/07/17/sin-no-more/ for more on this, but for now, just know that God is not mocked.  He understands your heart, which is “more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick; who can understand it?  The Lord searches our heart and tests our mind and will deal with each person according to his or her own intentions, your ways and the results of your deeds.”  (Paraphrase of Jeremiah 17:9-10)

Jesus finishes His teaching with the admonition with, Just make sure your statement is, Yes or No’ because anything beyond that is has questionable and evil intentions.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

This important teaching of vows, honesty and honoring God, is just one more reminder that “unless your righteousness far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

You and I can find real peace, security, genuine power and can live forever in the Presence of God, if we will 

“Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the Law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may achieve success wherever you go.   This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will ]achieve success.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:7-9

We tend to remember:

  • 10% of what they read.
    • 20% of what they only hear.
    • 30% of what they only see.
    • 50% of what they see and hear.
    • 70% of what they say and write down.
    • 90% of what they DO

You have seen it, you have read it, you have heard it, NOW, LET’S GO DO IT!

Your Brother and Friend, 

Mike Young

DID GOD REALLY SAY THAT?

MATTHEW 5:31,32 –  SAY, WHAT?

v31 “Now it was said, ‘WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY IS TO GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE’; 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery

WHAT DOES IT SAY

The language in these verses is so plain that very little more need be said, except perhaps to comment that we should not be lulled into complacency by the brevity of this verse.  This may be THE VERSE that will save a marriage and leads to a lifetime of peace and security – for some of those who read it and/or share it.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN

(The following explanation in quotes is an excerpt from the got questions.org website.). 

First, in order for a divorce to be granted, there had to be a problem related to “indecency.” Verse 1 reads, “If then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her . . .” (ESV). The Hebrew phrase used here was generally a reference to sexual indecency such as adultery (Leviticus 18:6–18) or indecent exposure (Deuteronomy 23:14). Jewish leaders would long debate what was considered “indecent,” but the original wording clearly referred to indecent sexual behavior.

“Second, a formal divorce certificate was required: “He writes her a certificate of divorce [and] gives it to her” (verse 1). A husband could not simply express his desire to be divorced and move on with his life. He was required to provide a written legal certificate, which would have required witnesses to the event.

Third, the divorced couple was no longer to live together: the husband “sends her from his house” (verse 1). Living together as an unmarried couple was not acceptable, and a divorced couple was considered unmarried.

Fourth, the divorced woman could remarry another man: “After she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man” (verse 2). The text does not explicitly teach the woman must remarry, but neither does it prohibit a divorced woman from doing so. In that society, a single woman would have had few other options than to seek another husband or to return to her father’s household.

“Fifth, the divorced spouse could not later remarry the first partner, if that partner had remarried: “Her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again” (verse 4).

The New Testament teachings regarding divorce offer additional insight into this topic. Jesus reminded the religious leaders that God never intended divorce: “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning” (Matthew 19:8). The “beginning” refers to Adam and Eve as one man and one woman in lifelong marriage—God’s original design.

Jesus also taught that sexual immorality was one legitimate reason for divorce: “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery” (Matthew 5:31). The apostle Paul added, “A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:10–11). Another instruction is also provided for Christians with an unbelieving spouse: “If the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances” (1 Corinthians 7:15).

Though divorce was not part of God’s original plan for marriage, sinful humanity demanded it, and the Mosaic Law addressed occasions when it was permissible. Jesus and the New Testament teachings affirm the original intent of marriage as being a lifelong relationship between a man and woman while specifying limited occasions when divorce is acceptable. “  (End of excerpt)

Although there may be times when divorce is acceptable, according to the Bible, (1) the results of divorce are still the acts of selfish and sinful men and women who are in rebellion against God and His plan for their lives (2) and, it is destructive.  The pain and damage to the family, can go on for generations

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU

I can remember a day, as a young boy, when divorce was socially unacceptable, it was at best, a social embarrassment, and at worst, a divorced person was somewhat of a social  outcast.  What I didn’t understand, at the time, was why a young child of a divorced mother would be shunned.  The hurt and resentment that was being planted in my psyche which would plague me for decades.

Society at large and Christians in particular have discarded God’s Word as their Guiding Principal, and as the divorce rate in America has climbed to 50%, the damage being done to future generations in incalculable.

(NOTE:  The following are excerpts are from “https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/how-could-divorce-affect-my-kids/  website)

  • Life expectancies for divorced men and women are significantly lower than for married people (who have the longest life expectancies). 
  • One study found that those who were unhappy but stayed married were more likely to be happy five years later than those who divorced.
  • The health consequences of divorce are so severe that a Yale researcher concluded that “being divorced and a nonsmoker is slightly less dangerous than smoking a pack a day and staying married.”
  • After a diagnosis of cancer, married people are most likely to recover, while the divorced are least likely to recover, indicating that the emotional trauma of divorce has a long-term impact on the physical health of the body.
  • Men and women both suffer a decline in mental health following divorce, but researchers have found that women are more greatly affected. 
  • Some of the mental health indicators impacted by divorce include depression, hostility, self-acceptance, personal growth and positive relations with others.

While virtually every child suffers the lost relationship and lost security described above, for many, the emotional scars have additional, more visible consequences. More than 30 years of research continues to reveal the negative effects of divorce on children. Most of these measurable effects are calculated in increased risks. In other words, while divorce does not mean these effects will definitely occur in your child, it does greatly increase the risks. The odds are simply against your kids if you divorce.

Research comparing children of divorced parents to children with married parents shows:

  • Children from divorced homes suffer academically. They experience high levels of behavioral problems. Their grades suffer, and they are less likely to graduate from high school. 
  • Kids whose parents divorce are substantially more likely to be incarcerated for committing a crime as a juvenile.
  • Because the custodial parent’s income drops substantially after a divorce, children in divorced homes are almost five times more likely to live in poverty than are children with married parents.
  • Teens from divorced homes are much more likely to engage in drug and alcohol use, as well as sexual intercourse, than are those from intact families. 
  • Children from divorced homes experience illness more frequently and recover from sickness more slowly. 
  • They are also more likely to suffer child abuse. 
  • Children of divorced parents suffer more frequently from symptoms of psychological distress. 
  • And the emotional scars of divorce last into adulthood.

(End of excerpt)

Additionally, statistics show that once divorced:

  • Second Marriages: 60 percent will terminate with a divorce as the result.
  • Third Marriages: 73 percent will terminate with a divorce as the result.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

(These are 2 real-life examples of people who made decisions about marriage and divorce)

I.  My wife and I were on a cruise ship in one of their specialty restaurants waiting for our meal to be served, when the restaurant manager, a lady, came by our table to greet us.  She asked if we were celebrating any occasion.  We told here we were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary.  The lady smiled broadly, congratulated us and asked “How did you do it?  How did you stay married for 50 years?” And laughed, as if she was communicating humor.  I assumed she laughed because so many people get divorced.

My wife, Betty, look at this lady and answered, very matter-of-factly, “Just never get a divorce.”  The lady laughed out loud.  But, when she saw my wife was not laughing, she turned serious and asked, “Really?  What do you mean?”

My wife proceed to briefly explain what the Bible says about marriage and divorce and why ‘sticking with it is worth it’.

The lady responded with, “I don’t know if I could do that.  You see, I have been in a relationship for 10 years and things aren’t working out, so we are thinking about splitting up.”

My wife asked, “You’ve been married for 10 years?

The lady answered, “Well, no, noT married.  But, we have been living together.”

My wife answer with, “Well, when you start wrong you won’t finish right.  A commitment of Marriage is an agreement, that can help you get past the tough times.  God wants you to be happy and happy in a marriage.  I’m sorry you are having a hard time.  God can help you through this, if you would like.”

The lady appeared nervous at this point, thanked my wife and said she need to attend to the other diners, and excused herself.  It seemed as if this lady had made her choice.

II.  I was out for a walk around the deck of this cruise ship one morning when I notice a couple sitting, drinking coffee and talking at one of the deck tables.  I recognized them as a couple I had seen at breakfast before we boarded the cruise ship.  They appeared to be in their early thirties.  The man had been loudly and publicly berating the woman for eating too slowly at breakfast, telling her that she would make them late boarding the ship.

I stopped and greeted them with a ‘good morning’ and they smiled and responded.  I initiated some light conversation by asking them where they were from and other small talk.  I discovered they were on their honeymoon.

I congratulated them and told them that we were celebrating our 50th anniversary.  The man remarked, “I hope we can make it that long.  What is your secret?”, he asked.

“Do you really want to know?”, I asked.  They both said yes, enthusiastically.

I sat down with them and said, “My wife and I were married in our teens.  Sometimes we would argue over small things – like you guys did at breakfast this morning.”  They both looked surprise and embarrassed.

“It’s normal to argue from time to time.  But, our marriage wasn’t going well after a few years.  We argued more and more, to the point we were drifting apart.  Then, through circumstances, we turned to God for help and we found the direction we needed.  It gave us a security and a sense of peace that got us through tough times.  Now, here we are 50 years later!

This couple agreed that what they wanted was a way to find peace and security.  I told them how to come to Jesus.  They were obviously grateful and thanked me.  I left the table, honestly feeling humbled.

It seemed, like the lady in the restaurant, they too, had made their choice.

So, what about you?  What will you do when faced with similar circumstances?  What is your choice?

I pray for us all that we have the courage and the conviction to decide to follow Jesus and find our peace and security in Him.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

PS:  If you have been through a divorce, just remember, there is hope for healing and restoring.  Although it is not always easy, it is always worth it.  What is done is done, and the future can be bright with opportunities and hope of peace, secuity and prosperity for your soul, in Christ!  Please, make the right decision.

SAYS WHO?

MATTHEW 5:27-30 / YOU HAVE HEARD IT SAID

Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; v28  but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 Now if your right eye is causing you to sin, tear it out and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand is causing you to sin, cut it off and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Jesus continues to contrast and compare the Old Covenant Law (Torah) with His New Covenant Truth. And, again, He is using the Mosaic Covenant and the Ten Commandments, specifically the “Second Five” which deal with personal relationships. Specifically, in these verses, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY”.

Jesus is warning against lusting after a woman even in your heart. There is much more that could be said, but, Jesus go straight to the point: “If you think it, you’ve done it!”  

He warns of the consequences of being ‘swept or dragged away and imprisoned’ by your sin (from the Greek language used in the Bible) and offers a radical and unthinkable remedy as opposed to spending an eternity in hell.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

What this means must be framed by the “Why” of the matter. Why did God warn against adultery (and murder), besides the obvious penalties stated, such as “Your whole body will go to hell” – and why that?
God is warning against a much greater threat. He is warning against separation from His Presence.

  Isiah 59:2. “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,  And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”

The willful lust of adultery (or murder), is Sin against God, and it separates you from the presence of God.  It is the litmus test of self-centeredness. It shows a deliberate rebellion against and a disregard for God and others. And, being absent from the presence of God opens the door to every sort of destructive harm and damage to the human condition, now in this life, and later, eternal separation from God, “

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

We, who call ourselves Christians, should experience God in the ways described in the Bible. Yet, we suffer needlessly because of our failures, blaming the ‘weaknesses of our flesh’.

Look at the example of Job:

Job 1:5 tells us that “When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send word to them and consecrate them, getting up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Job did so continually.”

Consider that Job was obsessed with the sins of his sons. So much so, that he was gripped with doubt and fear. Suddenly …

Job 1:6 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” 8 The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job?

Now the ‘spiritual door’ was opened and Satan came among them, and, God allows Job to suffer at the hands of Satan. Now read …

Job 3:25. “For what I fear comes upon me, And what I dread encounters me. 26 “I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.”

We call on the Name of God and beg for mercy, yet we fail to repent of our own rebellious ways, and a ‘spiritual door is opened’ and Satan comes among us, and we can no longer obey God and His Word. So, we say “All of these things you are asking are too difficult for me. This is a far-off thing you are asking of me. I won’t be able to do these things until I get to heaven!”

But, God says, in Deuteronomy 30:11

“For this commandment which I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it far away. 12 It is not in heaven, that you could say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us and get it for us, and proclaim it to us, so that we may follow it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you could say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us and get it for us and proclaim it to us, so that we may follow it?’ 14 On the contrary, the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may follow it.”

And again in Romans 10:6

“But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8 But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13f or “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

The contemporary postmodern Church in America, and most parts of the world, will tell you, if you are a Christian, that God is your loving “Daddy” (Abba), and that is true.  They will tell you that He understands your frailty to sin, and that you should “do your best and forget the rest” because “He loves you so much, He can never love you any less”. But, these are lies of a religion fallen into apostasy.  They neglect to tell you about the consequences of sin, rebellion against God and that continued deliberate sin separates you from Him.

NOW – WHAT WILL YOU DO?

The Bible tells us that “we don’t have to sin”, but when we do, we have an advocate in Jesus Christ, Who is before the Father on our behalf, Who is the atonement (payment) for our sins. But, that we must turn to Him, confess our sins to Him and repent (acknowledge sin is wrong and turn away from sin).

1 John 2:3  “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5but whoever follows His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6the one who says that he remains in Him ought, himself also, walk just as He walked.”

You can be assured that …

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.“

I pray that, as we who confess the Name of Jesus, will overcome by the word of our testimony and by the Blood of the Lamb.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

HAVE YOU HEARD?

MATTHEW 5:21-26 – YOU HAVE HEARD IT SAID

v21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ v22 “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell”

v23  “Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, v24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”

v25  “Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. v26 “Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.”

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

This section of Matthew is usually referred to as “The Sermon on The Mount”.  In it, Jesus is teaching and instructing His disciples in Kingdom principles and practices.

He teaches and contrasts the edicts of the Torah (the Law of the Old Testament) against the teaching, the fulfillment and the application of the New Covenant brought about by Jesus.

It is fitting that He starts His teaching with the words, “You have heard that the ancients were told” (verse 21), referring to the Old Covenants; and then begins this teaching with the 6th Commandment from the Mosaic Covenant, which deals with our relationships with one another.

It is worthwhile to highlight the main points:

1.  The Old Covenant Law says, “You shall not commit murder and whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court”.

 (a)  But. Jesus says, “everyone who is angry with his brother is guilty before the court”

(b)  And, Jesus goes on to explain, “Whoever call his brother ‘raca’ or him ‘you good-for-nothing’, shall be guilty before the Supreme Court”

 (c)  And, “Anyone who call his brother a “fool” shall be guilty enough to go to the fires of hell.”

2.  Verse 23 clarifies the matter by saying “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you…”

(b) You are to “leave your offering at the altar and go;

(i) first be reconciled to your brother
(ii) and then, come and present your offering

 3.  Jesus, then goes beyond simple reconciliation and says, “Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way,

 (a)  so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge,
 (b)  and, the judge to the officer,
 (c)  and, you be thrown into prison.

 4.  Jesus completes His instruction, with emphasis, by saying, “Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

 1.  Jesus is fulfilling the Old Testament law, which was written on tablets of stone which are an external standard for observance and practice and is bringing the new Covenant of His Grace and forgiveness and is writing it on the hearts of His people, so they will want to obey Him. (Ezekiel 11:19, 20 “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”)

 2.  Jesus is also telling us that continuing to think evil thoughts has the same effect as doing the act. Additionally, He is showing us that dwelling on an evil or sinful thought takes a person progressively deeper into evil thinking which will culminate in an evil act.  Finally, He is telling us the punishment that follows sin is self-inflicted and deadly.

 3.  Jesus then moves (literally) to the heart of the matter when He turns our attention to our offerings to God which originate in the attitude of our heart.

Proverb 3:9 admonishes us to “Honor the LORD from your wealth, And from the first, your produce; 10 Then your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

 1.  Jesus has extrapolated the meaning of “murder” to include anger, hatred, loathing or dismissing a person as worthless.

 (a)  If you treat someone as such, it means you are in jeopardy of being tried by God, found guilty and sentenced to a “prison” separated from God.

 (i)  Matthew 6:14-15. “If you forgive other people for their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive other people, then your Father will not forgive your offenses.”

 (ii)  Matthew 13:41,42 “ The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 2.  “Presenting an offering before the altar” is not a reference, strictly to money and belongings.  God is referring to the entire value of our being, which springs from the heart.

When our heart is right, God says, our “vats will overflow with new wine”. The vats are symbols of our natural being – our body, soul and spirit – and the new wine is the fruit of The Holy Spirit.

This means you cannot be right with God and at variance with your brother or sister and expect to prosper physically, emotionally or mentally.

3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”

 3.  Finally, Jesus is saying you should make friends quickly with your opponent on your way to the “court” or you may be judged, convicted and imprisoned. And you will remain imprisoned until you repay the offended person, in full.

There is no judgment as harsh, no prison cell as secure and sentence as long as one handed down by an offended person with whom you cannot make amends. Never let the offense go that far, or you may suffer a life sentence of misery and regret.

This means that you must always seek forgiveness quickly and forgive even more quickly. Initiate reconciliation and seek a lasting bond of friendship. This is what brings true peace, prosperity and freedom for your soul.

(There is a lot of preaching and teaching about God’s Grace without the corresponding teaching of His Holiness and requirements that we also be Holy, just as He is Holy.  God will discipline the one He loves, but, if you knowingly sin without conscience and never experience God’s discipline in your life, then, something is amiss.)

1 John 2:9  “The one who says that he is in the Light and yet hates his brother or sister is in the darkness until now. 10The one who loves his brother and sister remains in the Light, and there is nothing in him to cause stumbling. 11But the one who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

Jesus uses similes of courts, judges, judgments and prisons to explain the Spiritual consequences of anger, hatred and murder.  He is reminding us that whatever we bind on earth is bound in heave; in other words, once a matter is bound in heaven, then it is manifest on earth.

Romans 8:5 Is the perfect translation and explanation –

For those who are in accord with the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are in accord with the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

The word “flesh” in these verses comes from two root, Greek words:

 1.  “Saróō” – to sweep, clean by sweeping (to be swept away by)

 2.  “Sýrō” – to draw, drag, of one before the judge, to prison, to punishment\

The words “life” and “peace” in these verses translate as:

 1.  LIFE:  “Zōḗ” –  life, every living soul

 (a)  The state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate

 (b)  Of the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God.

 (c)  Life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever.

 2.  PEACE:  “Eirḗnē” – Peace; a state of national tranquility; exemption from the rage and havoc of war.

 (a)  Peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord

 (b)  Security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)

 (c)  Of the Messiah’s peace; the way that leads to peace (salvation)

 (d)  Of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is

 (e)  The blessed state of devout and upright men after death

This means we have the power to choose.  Let’s begin today by setting our minds the things of the Spirit and find Life and Peace, and all that it brings. 

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

THE END

IMAGINE – II

Imagine with me, if you will, that you have obtained reliable information contained in classified documents that a series of asteroids are going to hit earth, perhaps similar to what happened on Jupiter in 1994.

These classified documents don’t give the exact day or hour, but they do predict it will be soon.

 You have learned that these impacts will most likely create devastating worldwide earthquakes and that the force of these impacts could destabilize the earth mantle causing upheaval of the earth’s crust; the geography of the earth will likely become unrecognizable, as mountains and oceans would be displaced. Debris from these collisions will be blown into the atmosphere, with the potential darkening the sun and causing the moon to appear a reddish color. (Reference Index)

These reports estimate that as many as one in three inhabitants of earth could die from the resulting effects of these collisions.

The information you have obtained says the only chance of surviving the initial impact is to take refuge in deep underground bunkers.

Here are some of the predicted after affects:

There could be what appears to be “hail and fire mixed with blood” raining back down on earth from these impacts, as the polar icecaps, magma from the subterranean earth and human and animal remains fall back to earth; as much as a third of the earth would be burned up, destroying possibly as much as a third of all the earth’s vegetation. (Reference index)

Volcanic activity will most likely erupt across the globe.  Some of the most devastating effects would come from pyroclastic flows, a mixture of ash, volcanic gas, rocks, and lava that generally reaches temperatures of 300 to 1,300 degrees which can move at speeds greater than 50 miles per hour and can travel for miles. These pyroclastic flows will destroy almost everything in their paths, causing fires and floods, and would bury everything under a mixture of rock, ash, and accumulated debris. They would be hurled into the sea; and it is estimated that as much as a third of the sea would appear blood-like and that a third of the creatures in the sea will die-off and a most of the world’s seaborne ships could be destroyed. (Reference index)

It is predicted that the surviving inhabitants on earth would suffer radiation exposure causing painful sores and even death.

The oceans and all the fresh waters on earth would be contaminated and become virtually dead; much of the earth’s atmosphere would be compromised and the sun would scorch people with intense heat; the planet, at this point, would look more like an alien world of molten lava, flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and great earthquakes, such as there had not been since mankind came to be upon the earth. (Reference index)

If this were true, what would you do to get ready?

Whom would you tell?

How would you explain this to others?

ALERT:  This scenario is not imaginary.  This is recorded as a coming event, and now, you have been informed. 

For those who doubt the veracity or accuracy of this report, please read here: “What are the Odds?

There is a means of escape, but time could be very short. You need to decide.

NOTE: If you have knowledge of this event, and you have been largely silent, it is time to inform yourself and to speak out and warn others.

If you are a Christian, especially if have been trained and have knowledge of Bible eschatology, and you have been silent, you could be held complicit in the deaths of billions. It is past the time for you to inform yourself and others.

If you are a pastor, preacher, evangelist or a Bible teacher, please consider that the Main Bible Subject is “Jesus” and His Gospel.  Jesus warns of these coming events and provides a way of escape.  Everything else you might say about Jesus, those things which flow from Him, may be “Necessary, but they are Secondary”.  Jesus is the MAIN THING!

Every sermon or teaching should start and end with the subject of Jesus.  All of His teachings and anything else you might have to say may be “Necessary, but they are Secondary”.  Jesus, alone, is the MAIN THING.

Every Church program should start with and end with Jesus as the Subject and Object.  Everything else may be “Necessary, but it is Secondary”.

Audio by Pastor Alistair Begg at Truth for Life, on our need as disciples to stay focused on doing the Will of God and being about His Work.  Please – this is a MUST-LISTEN.

The Gifts of the Spirit are given to you but they are build up, to edify and serve the Church, but they are NOT the main thing.  They are “Necessary, but they are Secondary” to Jesus.

YOU and I and every Christian are frontline soldiers of the Cross.  Our mission is to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to follow all that Jesus commanded.”  Everything else may be “Necessary, but it is Secondary”.

Please stop talking “about it” and LET’S GO & GET THIS DONE!

Your Brother and Concerned Friend,

Mike Young

Another Type of Flood is Coming

Am I Really Seeing What I Think I am Seeing?

When Does the 7 Years Begin?

Get Ready and Stay Ready

The Pre-Wrath Rapture?

The Last Days

The Rapture Revealed 2020

SATISFACTION

MATTHEW 5:17,18 – FULFILLMENT and SATISFACTION

v17  “Do not presume that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.

v18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter shall pass from the Law, until all is accomplished!

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Although Jesus’ coming has fulfilled and satisfied all the requirement of the Torah, the Law, and it would appear that the ‘old covenant has passed away’,

Jesus is clearly saying the Law of the Torah for the has not been abolished but the requirements of the Law are now met or satisfied through Him.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Jesus is once again describing the connection between heaven (The Spiritual) and earth (the natural) and saying it is not finished until the natural laws have completely demonstrated or manifested the Spiritual. Once again, teaching about the “Law of Higher to lesser”.

This is critically important. Jesus is telling His present and future disciples about “secret of knowing” if you are truly His disciple. This will, of course, determine whether you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

Jesus says two things, in Matthew 5:19 and 5:20

(1)  v19 “Therefore, whoever nullifies one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Being “least in the kingdom of heaven” versus being “great in the kingdom of heaven” is, again, the law of “Great to lesser”. He is saying you cannot manifest the Greater Works of the Kingdom from the “lesser position”, i.e., in the natural man. But, when standing on the Spiritual basis, you will do the works Jesus does and GREATER works!

(2) v20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

The scribes and Pharisees were working through the natural mind (the lesser).
“Surpassing righteousness” means to super abound (in quantity or quality), to be in excess, be superfluous; also (transitively) to cause to super abound. This can only be accomplished through the Spiritual.

NOTE: Unless your righteousness far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

The fact that not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter shall pass from the Law, until all is accomplished, and this tells us that “It Is Written” and it will come to pass. 

Our choice is either to join God in what He has already accomplished or to be left behind.  Choose wisely.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

An excellent explanation and video of “The Law”:  https://bibleproject.com/learn/the-law/

So, what are you doing in the Kingdom from God’s point of view (not from man’s inventions or visions)?  If you are ready, contact me, please, and let’s do this!

(Previous Post from Matthew chapter 5https://whitestone2020.com/2021/01/08/the-light-shines/)

THE LIGHT SHINES

MATTHEW 5:15,16 – LIGHT SHINES

Verse 15.  “Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Verse 16. Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Jesus is using an extreme example and a simile to explain a profound Truth.  No sensible person will light a lamp only to hide it under a basket. So, naturally, you put a lamp on a lamp stand, so it is useful and effective. Similarly, your “light” (your goodness, truth and justice), in order to be useful and effective, must shine or be seen in such a way to glorify God, Who is in heaven. (give God all the credit).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

What comes next is critically important. Jesus describes the realty of the relationships between the Spiritual and the Natural realms. They are spoken of in parable, but, they are real.

There are both separation and connection between the Spiritual realm (the Kingdom of Heaven) and the natural realm of the world.  This is important for the Christian disciple to understand because any effort to “do the works of Jesus” are based on understanding these principles.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

Hebrews 11;1,2  “reveals to us that that FAITH is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  It is by faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

It is impossible to permanently affect or change the natural world from evil into good with just human effort or by our natural understanding.  We must begin on the Spiritual basis and the natural will follow – the natural must obey the Spiritual.  This is God’s Spiritual law of creation.  It is how He made the worlds.  It is known as “the order of Higher to the lesser”.  The natural must obey the Spiritual, or another way of saying is the Spiritual is always manifest into the natural and never the other way around.


NOTE: Scriptures warn us that this does not come easily.  It is “the fervent prayers of a righteous man which accomplishes much.

Jesus teaches this often and just as often it is overlooked and therefore misapplied or not applied in our Kingdom practices, at all.

In this particular teaching, Jesus says that “people do not light a lamp and put it under a basket, but they put it on a lamp stand, so it will give light to all who are in the house.”

It is important to recognize that (1) the “people” Jesus is referring to, at this point, are Israelites or Jews who are becoming His disciples; and the (2) “the house” is the House of Israel. So, those who are hearing His words immediately recognize the significance of His Words and their inclusion in this teaching.

This is also true for any and all future Christians. In other words, Jesus is talking directly to you and me and all of His disciples, that is, those who follow and wish to obey Him.

Jesus, next, moves from the Spiritual basis in verse 14 to the natural in verses 15 and 16. He is stating a Spiritual Truth in verse 14 and then describing what the looks like or how it behaves in the natural world, by way of metaphor. This give the natural mind a way to understand a Spiritual Truth and, hopefully, a way to grasp this teaching so to apply it.

I.e., WHAT IS SEEN (natural realm) = COMES FROM WHAT IS NOT VISIBLE (Spiritual realm). It has been spoken into being by God.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

It is not your light but the Eternal Light of God dwelling within you.  Will you step out of the shadows and Let His “Light” illuminate the entire house?

This is our calling!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Previous Post from Matthew The law of being

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THE LAW OF “BEING”

 

MATTHEW 5:14 – YOU ARE

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Jesus is speaking in the language of a metaphor. He is saying that His disciples are to be like light which is meant to illuminate goodness, truth and justice and to dispel the darkness of evil, error and fear. His disciples are to be like a city set on a mountaintop, visible to all, radiating the light of God’s character, His goodness, mercy and justice.

Jesus is stating a Spiritual Truth and a fact. He is not suggesting what you should be. He is stating what you are as a follower of Christ Jesus – if you are His disciple at all.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

An important word here is the small word “ARE” found in the statement “You are the light of the world…”. This is the Greek word “Eimi”, which is a basic Greek verb expressing the state of BEING, i.e. “to be” – am, is. Strong’s #1510 (eimí), defines this word and its counterparts, as properly conveying existence, without explicit limits. It translates “to exist, to live, to stay, remain in place”.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

When you have become “poor in spirit” through God’s process of sanctification and thereby become an heir of the Kingdom of Heaven (see Matthew 5:3), God fashions you into His image (poieo). He now resides in you and He is seen, and He does His Works through your mortal body as “The Light of the World”.

People may say they see your good deeds, but what they are seeing is God through you – literally.  The importance of this cannot be overstated.  If you are His disciple at all, you are to be seen in His Image.

Jesus says, that if you are to enter into a covenant agreement and to follow Him, that is, to be His disciple, you must know that the standards are impossibly high, the disciplines are impossibly strict and the commitment is for life.  And, He warns, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”, and that “MY RIGHTEOUS ONES WILL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF THEY SHRINK BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN THEM”.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

Will you be made Into His Image and be His Witness (martus) or will you shrink back?

These are urgent times which call for urgent measures.  Please, let’s measure up!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

The next post from Matthew 5 https://whitestone2020.com/2021/01/08/the-light-shines/

The previous post from Matthew 5 https://whitestone2020.com/2021/01/04/being-jesus-disciple/

BEING JESUS’ DISCIPLE

Matthew 5:13 – Jesus’ Disciples

Jesus was direct in His speech and in His teaching, especially when talking to and teaching His disciples. Read Matthew 5:13 as He tells His disciples,

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by people.”

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Imagine with me that you, as a disciple of Jesus, are sitting with Him as He talks to you and others.  He has just finished describing the difficulties of becoming His disciple and entering the Kingdom of God.

Now, He calls you “salt of the earth”.

The most common and important seasoning in Israel was salt (Job 6:6), demonstrated by how it is referenced throughout the Bible, and by how its use was mandated with most sacrifices (Leviticus 2:13). You would have been referred to as a person who, like salt, was precious. In Jesus’ day, salt was a valued commodity. Roman soldiers were sometimes paid with salt, giving rise to the phrase “worth his salt.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Jesus is saying that, like salt, His disciples would have a preserving influence. Salt was used to preserve and to slow decay. Likewise, Christians should have a preserving influence on their culture.

Disciples, like salt, should add flavor to their community, making the earth a purer and more palatable place to live.

Then, without pausing, He looks directly at you and says, “But, if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again?”

The word “tasteless” was a familiar word to the Jewish audience of that day as to mean “to be foolish, to turn to foolishness, tainted, and thus: tasteless, made useless.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

So, the question with which you are faced is

“If you, as a disciple of Jesus, who should be a preserving influence and a purifying influence on those around you, have lost those qualities and thus, have become useless as a disciple of Jesus, how you can be made useful again?”

This borders on shocking, almost an indictment. The question Jesus is asking is a direct interrogatory. In other words, “if you know of a way, tell me, because there is no way.”

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Then, as if to hammer the point home, Jesus bluntly says, ”It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by people.”  Staying with the metaphor of salt, at that time, garbage would have been disposed by throwing it out, into the street. This explains why once the salt is cast out it will be trodden under the foot of men as useless garbage. A stark warning to the disciples as to the commitment required to follow Jesus as His disciple and the consequence of failure.

He is saying that if you are going to enter into a covenant agreement to follow Jesus as His disciple, the standards are impossibly high, the disciplines are impossibly strict and the commitment is for life.

We should be reminded of another time Jesus was talking to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?”

And looking at them, Jesus said, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

The Disciples’ Reward

Somehow, you would expect it would be Peter to respond to Jesus and boldly ask, “We have left everything and followed You; what is in this for us?”

Jesus answered Peter and said, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, now in this life, and in the age to come, will inherit eternal life.”

The good news is that God is eternally faithful to finish the work He has begun in you. He is rich in grace and abounding in mercy and loving kindness. Jesus reminds you that His burden is light and, His yoke is easy and that all who come to Him will find rest for their soul, and He will in no way cast you out.

Now that you know a little more, will you follow Him?  He is calling.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

The next post from Matthew 5:  The Law of Being

The previous post from Matthew 5:  Blessed, blessed, blessed