Sermon given 19 February 2011

The Beatitudes - Part 1

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

A couple of days ago I had a telephone call from somebody, who I had been told was going to call; and I had actually met with the minister that he was previously meeting with and had talks with this particular minster. The minister himself is dead now. We had talks with him and we decided not to walk the same walk because we were thinking different things.

He wouldn't accept the fact that Mr Armstrong was the Elijah to come. He didn't believe there was a Chief Apostle. He had various ideas regarding Atonement. He said that basically if someone was to keep Atonement and had a medical condition, they should fast regardless, and even if it leads to death it was still the case that they shouldn't take any liquid or solids. The Sabbath you should never eat out. At Unleavened Bread you must have unleavened bread at every meal. And basically by going into God's word and blinkering your minds on one particular passage of scripture he came up with these ideas.

And the person who gave me a telephone call - we ended up agreeing to disagree because as far as I am concerned Mr Armstrong was the one who God revealed the truth through and it wasn't just the truth of the bits that I accept, it was the truth of God. It was the actual way of God. It was the mind of God as well; and the way in which the word of God was to be understood and to be applied.

But you know, if you turn over to Matthew 5:17, - and what I strongly recommend to you is that you put a marker here because we are going to be coming back there periodically. This was one of the scriptures I quoted to him:

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to [fill it to the brim.]" (Matthew 5:17)

And the word 'fulfil', [Strong's G1437], here means to 'fill full.' It is used and applied in the case of a net. A net is actually filled to the full. It was filled to bursting point. Remember when Christ was on the seashore; " And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes." (John 21:6). Matthew 5:18

"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be [the word is different here - Strong's G1096 - it is 'brought to pass', so certainly the Law itself remains, absolutely, no question at all]. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven [or least - the elipsis is - by those in the Kingdom of Heaven]: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:18-20)

Now they were meticulously keeping the Law by taking each individual item and meticulously keeping them. Building this plethora of other laws around the Law to prevent them ever even treading over any of these points they were going down. And in fact that we learned from Mr Armstrong - or from Jesus Christ who led the Church and revealed to the Church the way of God through that man - the way in which we understand this Book. The way we understand it by its principle, by its intent, by its spirit, by what in fact is the thinking and the mind of God.

It's conversion that is necessary. The entire section here of Matthew five, six and seven goes into conversion. Goes into a completely different way of life, a different mindset; that is coming from a mind that is a converted mind. A mind that is plugged into God through His Holy Spirit, being led by the Holy Spirit, and it keeps the Law in a way that the Pharisees can't keep the law. You can try to keep it like a Pharisee and it will not be possible. But you keep it according to the administration of the spirit and not the letter.

Let's just turn over to Leviticus 20:10 and we can see here a passage that is a Law. If you focus on that Law, this is what the Law says. But the intent, as we will come on to see, was not to apply this in one of the cases that Paul had to deal with. Here it says:

"And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death [very, very clear; the adulterer and the adulteress will be put to death]. And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." (Leviticus 20:10-11)

So it is specifically mentions the case of a man with his father's wife. So it wasn't as if that was excluded in any way. It actually mentions that specifically, and deals with that. And yet when you come over to II Corinthians and see what it says there, as to the way and the approach that Paul used.

Let's face it, when you are looking at these areas of things like adultery, things like murder, there was no sacrifice. You couldn't go out and make a sacrifice to apply in the case of murder. In fact it says you can flee if you commit manslaughter, you could flee to a city of refuge, or you could flee to the altar and hang on to the altar. But it says you will take that man away from the altar if he has actually committed murder and you execute him. (cp I Kings 1:50) It wasn't a case that you commit a capital offence, such as that; and then you offer a sacrifice to go ahead and overcome that capital offence. The capital offence carried a capital penalty. And it is very clear from Leviticus 20:11 this was a capital offence.

Here in II Corinthians, let's just pick it up and just read a little bit more because what I want to do today is, as we are approaching the Passover, I want to examine repentance. And specifically I want to look at Matthew 5, 6 and 7.

Because what was actually happening is that Christ was laying out this new and living way, as we will go on and see in Hebrews, and it was a way which was not the way of the Pharisee. The Pharisee kept the law, listed the laws and ticked them off. And when we are approaching Passover we are to examine ourselves whether we are repentant or not. The repentance is that we move FROM a certain mindset TO a certain mindset. From our way to God's. That is basically the essence of it.

So what we are looking at in Matthew 5, and 6 and 7 as well, is looking at what we are moving TO. What we are repenting to. The direction in which we need to go, the way that our thinking is. The way that we think, the way that we approach certain topics. And certainly here this is a classic one which I have brought our before, but here in II Corinthians 1:15 notice what it says:

"And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit [he is talking to the Corinthian Church now]; And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea [he was planning to go across to Macedonia to Corinth up into Macedonia and then back again through Corinth again and then back down to Judah]. When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay [am I ambivalent about what I was trying to do; is it yes, no]? But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay [in a kind of lackadaisical way]. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea." (II Corinthians 1:15-19)

It is a very positive, overarching approach to life. It is an overarching approach to the word of God. It is what we find Mr Armstrong had, the way in which he described what was needed. It wasn't a case of disobeying the Law by any stretch of the margin. In fact you can stretch the margin as large as you like, but quite frankly, you will be keeping the Law to a much greater degree than you could possibly do in any other way. But it wasn't a case of 'yes' and 'no'. II Corinthians 1:20:

"For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen [so be it], unto the glory of God by us. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;" (II Corinthians 1:19-21)

And this is where the source of this comes from. This is how it is to be. Totally positive, totally pointing in the right direction to eternal life, to a mind which is totally converted ultimately. Ultimately when we get into the very Kingdom of God we will have a converted mind, we will have a God mind. That is what we will have. And the repentance that we are looking at today as we approach the Passover is; is our mind turned from the way we were, to this God mind? What are we turning it to? And it is this essence of what it is turning to which is so vitally important. And is dealt with in Matthew 5, 6 and 7.

"Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest [down payment] of the Spirit in our hearts [it is this conversion within that is vital]. Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness." (II Corinthians 1:22-24-2:1)

Basically, he had to correct them. In I Corinthians he had corrected them - and we have just seen in the Law in Leviticus 20:11 that it was a capital offence and death was the result of that within the Law. He says in II Corinthians 2:1:

"But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?" (II Corinthians 2:1-2)

In other words, if I was going to come to you we would both be miserable because this particular individual had to be put out of the Church. But he went on. It goes on to verse 6, it says:

"Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many [this man had repented, this man had changed, he wasn't committing the same sin again at all]. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." (II Corinthians 2:6-11)

So Paul saw the problem had been rectified and he applied the sacrifice of Christ in a way that no sacrifice could be applied in the Old Testament. You couldn't apply a sacrifice for a capital offence. You would be executed! But in this case no, it was not the case. Yet in II Corinthians 2:17 it says:

"For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity..." (II Corinthians 2:17)

It is a converted approach. It is genuinely trying to take this word of God and saying; "Okay, what is God's mind? What is the mind and the thinking and the outlook of God in this particular subject?" And this is where this particular individual who phoned me up, we had to go our separate ways; because, quite frankly, his view of life was not what we had learned from Mr Armstrong. Put that another way, it is not we learned from Jesus Christ, through Mr Armstrong. That is where we learned the truth.

Because we also learned the word of God was not corrupted, it was not twisted. But as of sincerity, but as of God, as if God Himself was saying; "Look this is the way, this is the direction that I want you to think. This is how, what this book is all about. You live by every word that preceeds from the mouth of God." Not in the way of a Pharisee, not in a way of going down each word and analysing it in such a way, and building this wall of other rules and regulations to try and protect the Law, which is a Pharisaical way of doing it. But by conversion, by changing the very heart of man, the total transformation of that heart and therefore thinking the way God thinks. Of approaching things like the Sabbath, the way God approaches the Sabbath because He is the one who created it in the first place. II Corinthians 2:17:

"For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ." (II Corinthians 2:17)

As if walking in the same kind of flesh that Christ walked in, remembering continually that God is the one that is watching all the time. Everything and anything that we do, whatever we say, whatever we do. Every step that we take. It doesn't make any difference what area it is. We can't say; "Okay, we'll switch off and go and do our thing for a bit, and then we will come back and we will switch on again." That isn't the way it works. This is the way in which it works and it works 24/7. It goes down to chapter three and this is why he saysin verse 6:

"Who also hath made us able ministers..." (II Corinthians 3:6)

Or administrators - these are ministers that he is talking about. Basically Paul was talking about Timothy specifically, but he is also talking about Silvanus and various others that he mentioned in back in chapter one as well. "Who has made us able ministers, or able administrators" In other words, administering this word, this word that we don't corrupt, of sincerity, as of God, in the sight of God. Speaking as if in Christ administering the word in the right way. II Corinthians 3:6:

"...of the new testament [or the new covenant]; not of the letter [not the way the Pharisees were doing it, analysing each word, each letter, focusing in a blinkered way on each word], but of the spirit..." (II Corinthians 3:6)

Of the intent, of the thought, of the thinking that is behind those words, so that we are starting to think the way God thinks. And that is the repentance. And when we go into Matthew five, six and seven, that it what we repent to; that is why this is so important. II Corinthians 3:6:

"...for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." (II Corinthians 3:6)

The purpose of Christ's sacrifice is to give life, therefore he applies Christ's sacrifice even in this specific case where the penalty would be death. Providing that person repents, the sacrifice applies and the slate is wiped clean. Even with such a case as where somebody slept with his father's wife, even in such a case which is specifically dealt with within the Law. Specifically saying that they should die. And yet Paul applies it because the purpose of God, the aim of God is not yes, no, it is not ambivalent. It is YES; it is so that this earnest of the Spirit, this down payment will lead to eternal life for the people in God's Church, for the people who are repentant. That is the purpose and that purpose carries precedent over one Law that basically says that if someone should sleep with his father's wife he should die. That carries precedent.

Now, as I say, the Passover is eight weeks away and that is what we need to be examining at this time. As we approach the Passover we examine ourselves and the principle thing - go back and listen to the sermon Mr Armstrong gave on self-examination; 'Passover Examination' But it is repentance , it is repentance that is the key area as he brings out in that sermon. He says Simon Magus, he got baptised, he believed, he could see what was going on but he wasn't repentant. He didn't receive God's Spirit because he wasn't repentant. But he was baptised and he did believe. So belief and being baptised is not sufficient.

When we are looking at examining ourselves and examining the subject of repentance, it is a case of examining whether we are in fact correctly turned from our own ways and it says here in Hebrews 5:12, it says:

"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe." (Hebrews 5:12-13)

The word of God is to define righteousness and; "...all thy commandments are righteousness." (Psalm 119:172). Yes that is very, very true but God is the One who is righteous; "... Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." (Mark 10:18). That is what Christ said and that is exactly what He meant. So for us to be righteous we have got to be converted. We have got to be changed. We have got to be changed from being human to having a mind led by the Spirit and breath of God. Hebrews 5:13:

"For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use [or habit] have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil [to make the correct discernment between good and evil]. Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God," (Hebrews 5:13-14,6:1)

The very starting point, and when we are looking at Passover we are casting our mind back to the time that we were baptised. Each year that goes past, each year that we come to, the degree and the depth of repentance should increase. We should be able to see that much more of the way that we were and the way that we are, the human thinking; and we should also be able to see that much more, the way of God. The way of thinking that we need to have, that we need to develop, and allow God to develop within us. Notice here, it says; "...not laying again the foundation of repentance..." (Hebrews 6:1). And it is not just repentance - it is repentance from dead works. From living a life that is leading on the direction of death. Now if you turn over to Hebrews 9:14 it says:

"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14)

So the repentance is from dead works to serve the Living God . It is serving the Living God. It is going in His way. It is thinking the way God thinks. Hebrews 9:15:

"And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament [new covenant], that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first [covenant], they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." (Hebrews 9:15)

The law has not changed. The Law defines the way of life. But you have got to look at it with spiritual eyes. You have got to look at it in the way in which Christ explained in Matthew 5, 6 and 7. It is a giving of the Law that has the very spirit of God that is there; that then through that spirit leads us in a certain direction to be obedient to that Law. Not as a Pharisee, because the righteousness has got to exceed that of a Pharisee, but of a converted son of God.

And it is that again that when we are looking at Passover, it is what we need to be examining. It is what we need to examine as our foundational fundamental area. As it says here; turning from dead works to serve the Living God, from going in a direction that produces works that lead to death. And as Mr Armstrong brings out continually we all have works. They can be good works, they can be bad works, but we all have works of some description. And it is the works that therefore need to be serving the Living God. Going in the direction of the Living God. Now if we look over in the next chapter in Hebrews 10:15 it says:

"Whereof the Holy Spirit also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;" (Hebrews 10:15-16)

It is not just a rule and a Law that is on paper that you therefore go by and tick off. But here in Hebrews 10:16 it says that they have got to be in the very heart, in the very mind and they are written in those minds. So those minds, so the very heart, the very core of us thinks as God thinks. It is not just in a certain area. In the area say of sleeping with your father's wife; therefore we must not do that, therefore we tick it off. It is whether you, in fact, have a lust towards a woman or not, as Christ brings out in Matthew 5, 6 and 7. It is a total different mind, a way of thinking. Hebrews 10:17:

"And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 10:17)

It is not a case of having a capital offence when you go over that line you therefore are executed. It is a 'yes', it is for something which is positive. So that somebody can be totally converted, can be in the very Kingdom of God.

"Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus [we can go into the very Holy of Holies and get on our knees and have access to the Father], By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:18-22)

So we see this new and living way. This new and living access to God which ancient Israel didn't have. The laws were the laws and if they broke the laws the penalties were imposed. In certain cases sacrifices could be applied to wash away, to get rid of the sins. But in other cases they were capital offences. In Hebrews 13:7 notice, it says:

"Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their [conduct]." (Hebrews 13:7)

Here again, where did the truth come from? Did the truth comes from Mr Herbert Armstrong? It did not. It came via him but it did not come from him. It cannot have come from him. The truth that we understood had to come from Jesus Christ. It had to come from the Spirit of God and we have to make sure that we go back to that same spirit; the same outlook and mind. Hebrews 13:8:

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8)

So we can go back into the Law and we should be able to see many of these things that Christ brings out in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5. We should be able to go back into the Law and actually see them written there in the Law and see the context in which they are written and that is what I want to do today. I want to go back and deal with some of the Beatitudes, as many as I can get through. And go back and read and see what is the context that these are being discussed in the Old Testament. Because as we were reading earlier on in Hebrews 9:15:

"And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." (Hebrews 9:15)

So we can go back, because as it says here; "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8). It is looking at these words that were given, these spiritual words that were given to people whose heart wasn't right, but we have the ability to actually look at them and to understand them from a spiritual perspective. To actually apply the administration of the spirit and not the letter. Not the way the Pharisees were administering it. Hebrews 13:9:

"Be not carried about with divers and strange [teachings]. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with [rules of diet, as J B Phillips Translation says], which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. [And now verse 20:] Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (Hebrews 13:9-10,20-21)

It is to do His will, that is the key. That way is through the sacrifice of Christ that covers all of our sins. Being able to have access to the Father. The access to the Father then allows us to get the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit converts us to do His will. This is the new and living way that is mentioned there.

Christ Himself mentions about it. The Law doesn't change, the Law does not change at all. The administration of that Law however is different. The administration is according to the Spirit and not the letter. It is not the way a Pharisee administers it. And we have been given an example of the way to administer it, because the carnal mind will either go to the Pharisaical route or it will swing right the way round to the other side and will go in a direction to a licentious route. As it says, not as one that goes ahead and misuses the word of God as we read earlier on in II Corinthians. But here in John 4:19

"The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet [this is the woman by the well]. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain [this mountain was Gerizim, there is Ebal and Gerizim, Ebal was the mountain of cursing and Gerizim was the mountain of blessing; and to this day you can go and you will find that the Samaritan religion makes a big deal about Gerizim]; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father [it is not the place, that is not what is important]. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews." (John 4:19-22)

The word of God was given to the Israelites originally and has been preserved down through the ages by the Jews. John 4:23:

"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23-24)

It says except your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees you won't even be in the Kingdom of God. It says: "...and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23-24). The administration has got to be according to the spirit and truth, not the way the Pharisees apply it. Not the way the Pharisees have in the past applied the word of God and to this day still apply the word of God.

The Initial Giving of God's Law (PLAY FROM 31:25)

Now when we look at the Law being given, you find the one who was Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever, He came to Adam and Eve and He said; "Look, of all the trees in the garden you may freely eat, including the tree of life." (Genesis 2:16 paraphrased). It was there in the midst of the garden, that tree of life was available to them. in Genesis 2:17:

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof [dying you will die]." (Genesis 2:17)

You will then begin the process that will end up in death. Will go in a direction of death. And that was the two ways; the way of give and the way of get. These are the two broad principles that were being explained to our forefathers; forefather and foremother. But that was the first giving of the Law. The first giving of the Law was of all the trees in the garden you may freely eat but not that one. Here is the way of get, which is the taking to yourself of the knowledge of good and evil. And here is the way of give which is the tree of life, that will lead to life, which will lead to eternal life.

Now that was given again to Israel. As Israel came out and went to Sinai and at Sinai in Exodus 20 and again you find that this giving of the law are to Israel where the one who became Jesus Christ. The one who is the same today, yesterday and forever came down on that mountain and thundered out the Ten Commandments. And it was an expression of that same way of give. That same way of life, that you love God with heart, soul and might and your neighbour as yourself which He gave later on. And so we see this giving of the law to the nation in Exodus 20.

You then come to Deuteronomy and the word 'Deuteronomy', just think about it. If you have something which is 'duo', what is duo? It means two, doesn't it> Duo is two. So it is the second, and Torah is the law, so you have 'deu-torah-onomy'. It's the second giving of the Law. That is where the word comes from. It is actually comes from the Septuagint Version, which is the Greek. And 'onomy' whether it comes from 'pneuma' or not, I am not quite sure, what is coming out of the mouth. But that is Deuteronomy which is the second giving of the Law. The Law is then expounded for the time that they were just about to go into the Promised Land.

You will find that the animals mentioned in Leviticus when it describes the clean and unclean are desert animals. The animals mentioned in Deuteronomy describing clean and unclean are animals that they would therefore come in contact with as they went into the land. It was the re-giving of the Law after 40 years in the wilderness so that they could then take that Law, take that thinking, that mind of God and apply it in the position they were just about to go into in the Promised Land.

The Giving of the Law in Matthew (PLAY FROM 34:44)

Now when we come over to Matthew 5, this also is a giving of the Law. It is a giving of the Law in the way of the New Covenant and the new understanding, it is the new administration. It is the administration of the spirit, the intent, the purpose of God. The development of the character within man to be able to become like God. It even says here; "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48). So that is what it is aiming for. It is aiming for the kind of perfection that the Father Himself has; and quite frankly, there is no wonder that it says; "That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:20), because the aim is so far, far, beyond anything that a scribe or a Pharisee would achieve. And the only way of doing it is to have a conversion there.

So what I would like to do today is to examine what we repent to, and why? What we repent to, and why? And I want to look at the Beatitudes initially.

Because Christ was giving here this New Testament, this New Covenant administration of God's Law. Just has you see the administration of God's Law in the garden of Eden being given, the administration of God's Law in Exodus being given, the administration of God's Law in Deuteronomy being given and here we see the administration of God's Law again, by Jesus Christ to the initial individuals - to the students who were eventually to become the very nucleus of the Church, the start of the Church itself. Here in Matthew 5:1 it says:

"And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples [that is, His students] came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying," (Matthew 5:1-2)

This is who He was addressing, He wasn't saying this to the crowd. It is important that we understand this, because if we are to be disciples, if we are to be students of this way of life, if we are going to be followers of Christ - and 'Christian' therefore, in the truest sense of the word - we also need to listen to what He was saying to disciples, to students, to the people that were studying this way because that is what it is all about. That is what a student is of a student of; he is studying the way of God, the Kingdom of God, the rulership of God that is over us. Matthew 13:10:

"And the disciples [the students, notice] came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? [We see in Matthew 5 He went to a mountain, he saw the multitude and he went away from them, He went up in the mountain and when He was set, the students came to Him and He taught them] He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." (Matthew 13:10)

So what He was describing was; it is not a Kingdom 'in' Heaven, it is a Kingdom 'of' Heaven. It is a kingdom that is owned by Heaven, a Kingdom that was the Kingdom of God. It's like the Bank of Morgan, that Mr Armstrong tends to use. It is not a bank that is in Morgan, it is a bank that Morgan owns. So it is not a Kingdom in Heaven, it is a Kingdom that Heaven owns. A Kingdom of God, a Kingdom God owns. Matthew 13:11:

"...Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath [or what he appears to have]. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." (Matthew 13:11-13)

So He was anything but trying to emblazon His teaching across the world. He was teaching those students as a nucleus of the Church. And in Matthew 13:16 it says:

"But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear." (Matthew 13:16)

Remember it says; "And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit...Blessed are they that mourn...Blessed are the meek..." (Matthew 5:2-5). And here in Matthew 13:16 He is saying:

"But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them." (Matthew 13:16-17)

So it is very clear that when He is talking to the students here and He is saying to them, look you are exceedingly blessed to understand these things, whereas the rest of mankind has no concept of them. And it is very, very true when we come to Matthew chapter 5. The rest of mankind reads Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7 and does not understand it because it is addressed to the students.

Now those students, if you turn over to Luke 14:25, those students of which hopefully you and I are part - there is a price to be paid. And repentance - remember Passover examination is repentance and is the predominant thing that we examine - and we repent from something to something as it was brought out in Hebrews. But here it says:

"And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father [love less by comparison], and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my [student]." Luke 14:25-26)

There is this great difference, this great gulf between the ones who were His students and the ones who weren't. And the ones who were His students had to understand that really they had to give up everything. Absolutely everything. And you and I, if we are to be the students of Jesus Christ, we have got to be prepared to give up everything. Every aspect of life has got to come up under the authority of God. The authority of God is totally and utterly predominant. And it is not a man, it is not me getting up here, it is not any human being, it is God Himself. That is the one who we must be under. Luke 14:27:

"And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my [student]. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?" (Luke 14:27-28)

Again we are examining ourself prior to Passover. We are examining this subject of repentance as part of the process that we went through when we were baptised. When we were baptised we have to do what? We have to count the cost. We have got to say; "Am I prepared to really give up everything, if necessary, in order to gain this fantastic prize that is being offered." Luke 14:29:

"Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? [The cost has got to be counted first] Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my student. [Our whole life has got to come under that authority]. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Luke 14:29-35)

That is what is required. So if we go back again to Matthew 5:1, we see in these first couple of verses, who it is being addressed to:

"And seeing the multitudes [the ones He wasn't talking to, He went away from them], he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his [students] came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying," (Matthew 5:1-2)

This was to individuals who were prepared to give up everything. Who were prepared to bring their lives underneath the sovereignty of God, underneath the Government and the Kingdom of God, so that they could be part of that Government and Kingdom as children of God, with converted minds. With converted bodies eventually as part of the very family of God. That is what the disciples are all about. That is why we are where we are. That is what the entire subject matter is all about.

Now in that context, I know it has taken half the sermon to go ahead and get this far, but in then in that context you then come to the Beatitudes. You then come to understand what Christ is actually saying when He opens His mouth and He teaches these individuals that are prepared to go ahead and give up everything to put themselves under the Kingdom of God, to the word of God, the authority of God.

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit (PLAY FROM 45:21)

And it says here, in Matthew 5:3:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew (5:3)

The Kingdom of Heaven notice; it is not 'in' heaven, it is 'of' heaven, it is owned by Heaven. The Kingdom, the Government, the rule, the family that will do that ruling. It is the fact that we will become the born sons of God and the only ones that will do that are the poor in spirit. It is not talking about poor in Holy Spirit, it is talking about a certain frame of mind that is there. And if we turn over to Isaiah 66:1 it says:

"Thus saith the [Eternal], The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest [where is this temple of God, where is this temple in which He dwells]? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the [Eternal]: but to this [it doesn't say 'man', Strong's H5027, it says 'this', and the inference is house, this temple, that is what He is talking about] will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:2)

So here is the poor in spirit, a poor and contrite spirit that trembles at the word of God, that fears the word of God. It is the same frame of mind that we just read where it says; "For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God [thinking the way God thinks], in the sight of God [recognising the way God can watch every single move we make] speak we in Christ." (II Corinthians 2:17).

As if walking in the same kind of flesh as Christ. As Isaiah 66:2 says here:

"...but to this [temple] will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man [you do some physical ritual? You might as well slay a man, but when you are examining this particular subject, the poor in spirit and the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God]; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations." (Isaiah 66:2-3)

In other words they are doing the rituals, they are doing the physical things. They are going ahead and fasting to death if necessary on Atonement. Never going out and eating on the Sabbath and always having unleavened bread with every meal perhaps at Unleavened Bread. But it says: "...Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations." (Isaiah 66:3). Their thinking and their way of mind. The concept, the actual way the mind works is not the way God's mind works. Our righteousness has got to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. We are not to think the way a scribe and a Pharisee thinks. We have got to think the way God thought - the way Jesus Christ when He was here on earth thought, that is the way the thinking has got to be. Isaiah 66:4:

"I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not." (Isaiah 66:4)

So we see here the poor in spirit; and the context of this notice in Isaiah 65:25, the preceding chapter:

"The wolf and the lamb shall feed together... " (Isaiah 65:25)

This particular passage as I have said many times; "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth..." (Isaiah 65:17). It is looking backwards in time to; "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together..." (Isaiah 65:25) in the Millennium. And then it goes backwards in time to our day right now. So these words, talking about the poor in spirit, in the context of the Kingdom of Heaven, in the context of the Kingdom of God, is actually talking specifically to us. So when we are looking at Matthew 5, here we are in 2011 analysing and saying; "Well OK; how has my repentance grown or not from the time of baptism until now?" And in this particular time, this is the time where it says; "Thus saith the [Eternal], The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house?..." (Isaiah 66:1). Where is this temple? Just before the Millennium, right at the close of the age.

And again, they didn't have this book. This book was not in wide circulation when Isaiah was written. It all had to be hand printed and hand written and very carefully copied. To own a book like Isaiah would cost a fortune, because someone had to sit down and manually write out every single word. But today we have the book, we have internet, we have a computer, and the various words that we have got on the computer. We can cut and dice to our heart's content. And this word is available in such a way; and it is that time - the time that we find ourselves in today that this is talking about, because it is right before Isaiah 65:25:

"The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the [Eternal]." (Isaiah 65:25)

And in Isaiah 65:21:

"And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them." (Isaiah 65:21)

Again, you are looking at the Millennial rule. Go forward a little bit in time to Isaiah 65:20, remember it is a back-facing prophecy:

"There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days..." (Isaiah 65:20)

And go back again to Isaiah 65:17:

"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth..." (Isaiah 65:17)

I say go back - it is actually going forward in time to Isaiah 65:17 even though you are going backwards on the page. But you are looking at the Kingdom of God. The context of this entire passage is the Kingdom of God. So if we are looking at this passage over in Matthew 5:3 He is talking to these students and He says:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3)

This is the passage that certainly springs to mind as to where you can go and you can start to understand where this Individual who gave those words to His disciples, who is; "... the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8) also gave a similar instruction.

In one sense it is going back to the time of Isaiah, but it is not. In another sense it is coming forward to our time today because it is talking about a people that is the place of God's rest - "...to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:2) - just before the Millennial rule begins, and before the temple is actually made; because "this is the house you will build for me, this is the place of my rest". And this is the focus of this particular passage.

Now when we look at being poor in spirit. It says; "...for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3). When when we are looking at repentance, it's the starting point. Let's turn over to Luke 18:8 - another scripture that fits firmly with the time that we find ourselves in today:

"I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth [that again is all in the context of the end of the preceeding chapter which is all to do with the time that we find ourselves in today]? And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." (Luke 18:8-13)

This aspect of being poor in spirit, of having the humility to start off with is a starting place. It is a starting place that is necessary for any of us to be part of the Kingdom of God: part of the family of God. The Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God, the family of God are all synonymous. And when we are looking at the frame of mind, it is this humility that is necessary.

As I say, what we are looking at is what we are repenting to. Is our basic fundamental view the one of the publican, the one who wouldn't bring his eyes above the parapet, up to heaven, and say; "...God be merciful to me a sinner." (Luke 18:13). Do we recognise that we do sin? Or do we somehow justify ourselves and say; "Well I give tithes, I go ahead and I pray twice a day, I fast every month. I do all these physical things."

But is the mind converted? That is the problem, because that is what is necessary. Converted to be perfect as our Father which is in heaven, that is the conversion. That is the only way. The righteousness has got to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. If it doesn't exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees we will not be in the Kingdom of Heaven. That is what it says; and that is what it means. Here in Ephesians 2:8:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast [it's not all the good things that we do - it doesn't mean to say that we don't do them; that doesn't earn us Brownie points to get into the Kingdom of Heaven]. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10)

In other words; God Himself works in us. The Spirit of God is what leads us and that Spirit therefore converts us, changes us into that same mind, that same thinking, that same way of thinking. It is not the way the Pharisee approached God when he tried to pray within himself, saying; "I fast twice in the week, I do this, I do that, I do the other thing." But it is a case of us putting ourselves in the right relationship to God. I am human, I make mistakes, I get angry, I get boiling angry. I read the newspapers and sometimes I become murderous in my mind. I shouldn't be like that.

It says the fearful and the unbelieving are not going to be in the Kingdom of God. Am I I'm fearful and unbelieving when I can't believe that God will take care of this kind of mess that you see in the country? We do, we sin, I know I do! Reading the newspaper is a fraught experience quite frankly because I sin in my mind when reading the newspaper. But nevertheless; "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10).

The way of life; "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8). But the administration is different at this time. The administration is according to the intent, the purpose, the thinking of God, the spirit. Not the letter, not just going down ticking the boxes, I do this, I do that, I do the other thing, but am I converted? Do I think like God thinks. That is what it is. What comes out of my mind - and not just my mind but my mouth - does that reflect the way Christ actually expressed Himself? Ephesians 2:11:

"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: [now verse 18:] For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:11-12,18-22)

And again that ties back to what we have just been reading in Isaiah 66:2 to this man will I look, to this temple, to this individual will I look, that is indeed poor in spirit, that is in fact able to get that first starting point put right, which is aiming in the direction of the very family of God. The very thinking of God, with the character of God and the mind of God within His children.

Blessed Are They That Mourn (PLAY FROM 1:00:23)

If we go back now to Matthew 5:4 and it says:

"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)

Now again we say, where is that? But if you go back to Isaiah 66:1 again you find here that this section talking about 'blessed are they that mourn for they will be comforted' is also coming from the same passage of scripture basically. Two things are being mentioned together. It is interesting that when you are looking at the poor in spirit and the fact that; "Thus saith the [Eternal], The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house [where is this temple, where is the dwelling place of God]?..." (Isaiah 66:1). In this particular position, just before the point that deals with the Millennium - so we are talking about our time that we find ourselves in today - we also find, notice in verse 10, it says:

"Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:" (Isaiah 66:10)

So it says; "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4). Again what passage in the Old Testament do you go back to that indicates people that are mourning, that are going to be comforted? Well it goes back to this chapter here; Isaiah 66. So it is exceedingly pertinent to our time that we find ourselves in today. It is talking about this house, this Temple of God to which Christ is going to return just before the Millennial rule and it is talking about mourning for what? For Jerusalem! And what is Jerusalem? Jerusalem is a type of the Church - the extended Church. And here in Isaiah 66:10 it says:

"Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her [because he is looking forward into the future]: "That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations..." (Isaiah 66:10-11)

Because the Church will then be dwelling in Jerusalem physically, that's why! So this house that is of a contrite spirit and trembles at my word will then form the Temple that will be dwelling in Jerusalem physically and being comforted there. Being comforted having mourned for that Jerusalem and the chaos that we find ourselves in today. Isaiah 66:11:

"That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus saith the [Eternal, thus said Jesus Christ, the one who became Jesus Christ], Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem." (Isaiah 66:11-13)

That is where the comfort will be. So you are mourning for Jerusalem, mourning for the Church. When that Church eventually, as a resurrected Church, is going to be in its location which will be Jerusalem. Before eventually in spiritual Jerusalem, which is what the entire passage about. Here in Isaiah 65:17 it says:

"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy [the New Jerusalem]. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying." (Isaiah 65:17-19)

And the initial point is the start of the Millennium where we will be in physical Jerusalem. And we will as it says; "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem." (Isaiah 66:13).

So He is teaching His disciples, his students, about the poor in spirit, theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven, theirs is the family of God; those who mourn shall be comforted. Pointing back to exactly the same passage of scripture in Isaiah 66 and it is pointing specifically ourselves back to this passage of scripture here. Isaiah 66:14:

"And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the [Eternal] shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies." (Isaiah 66:14)

Now it is the same kind of feeling that Christ had of Jerusalem physically. When we see the Church that we were once part of, or still part of, we haven't changed, we have not gone away from the congregation of God, we are still holding that fast. If we are not, we need to repent and change and make sure that we do. But when we see that Church shattered to the fragments that we find today, we see here in Matthew 23:37 Christ also forseeing what was about to occur to Jerusalem physically, and having a similar kind of response that we should also have towards what we see spiritually. But here it says:

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! [So here we see Christ's reaction towards Jerusalem} Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple." (Matthew 23:37-24:1)

So here was the physical temple. But again we are mourning for Jerusalem, the spiritual temple that is still to be built, still has to come together. The stones are being prepared but we still mourn for that Jerusalem and we look forward into the time when we will be comforted. And where will we be comforted? In Jerusalem physically, when the Church will actually have the establishment within Jerusalem. Zion will be built and we will start the rule of Almighty God in the very Millennial rule. And that is the comfort, that's the comfort.

What is Christ doing in Matthew 5? Well He is saying this to His disciples. And it is not just the disciples just way back then, it is His disciples now and specifically ourselves, that find ourselves just before the time that the Millennial rule will start. Turn over to Ezekiel 9:1 here it says:

He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate [what city? Jerusalem; again it ties in with what we are seeing here today], which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; And the [Eternal] said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem [notice it is not talking about Israel, it is talking about Jerusalem; it does talk about Israel later on], and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." (Ezekiel 9:1-4)

And all you have to do is go on the internet and go and scout around and see the abominations that are done in the midst thereof. Ezekiel 9:5:

"And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary..." (Ezekiel 9:5-6)

Do we sigh and cry? Do we mourn? Because if we are not sighing and crying for the abominations that are done therein, are we going to be comforted in Jerusalem as spirit beings at the beginning of the Millennial rule? To actually extend that rule, as the product of being disciples, being students of this way of life, of this converted way of life, of this converted mindset. Ezekiel 9:6

"Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city. And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah [Eternal] God! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel [Israel is mentioned here] in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?" (Ezekiel 9:6-8)

Again realise that when He is talking about Jerusalem it is not talking about the house of Israel; that is the house of Judah. And the type and the parallel is with the Church. Ezekiel 9:9:

"Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness [and you can say that again!]: for they say, The [Eternal] hath forsaken the earth, and the [Eternal] seeth not." (Ezekiel 9:9)

We find that out in the world, in Israel particularly, in the land of Israel and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh. But it almost seems as if you find it in the Church as well. This same kind of mindset, the people decide, the people make their own minds up and decide for themselves. Ezekiel 9:10:

"And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head. And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me." (Ezekiel 9:10-11)

So we see here; "And the [Eternal] said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." (Ezekiel 9:4). And has we have seen over in Isaiah 66:10 where it talks about:

"Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her [that sigh and cry for the abominations done in the midst thereof]: That ye may suck...[you are rejoicing because you are looking forward to this time; verse 13] As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem." (Isaiah 66:10-11,13)

In the context of the very Kingdom of God. So we haven't got very far into the Beatitudes. But I thought it was necessary to go into a bit of the background.

He saw the multitudes and He went into a mountain, so He went away from the multitudes and when He was set, the disciples, the students came to Him. The first two Beatitudes that He deals with - if you go back to them - you are actually finding Isaiah 66 is the most pertinent place I suppose that you can find within the scriptures. You find the two aspects, the poor in spirit, and Kingdom of Heaven; and those who mourn, and those who are going to be comforted. And you find that put together, and you find it put together in an area that is dealing with the time that we find ourselves in today.

So as we prepare for the Passover and we are looking forward into the Passover and we are looking to examine ourselves, it is certainly an area we can look at; the area is repentance. And it is not just repenting FROM something, it is repenting TO something as well. It is turning away from our ways, from the taking to ourself of the knowledge of good and evil to the tree of life. To the very Spirit of God being led by the Spirit of God of a converted mind. Matthew 5:2:

"And he opened his mouth, and taught them [His students, His disciples], saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [theirs is this Kingdom of God, this very family of God] Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:2-4)

Pointing back to Isaiah 66 in both cases and I think we can leave it there and we can then go on with the rest of of the Beatitudes in the next sermon.