Sermon given 19 March 2011

The Beatitudes - Part 4

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

You know, with the passing of the United Nations 'No Fly' zone over Libya, it certainly seems that we are living in the midst of wars in many respects and you probably do feel that the only wars you can think of are what is going on down in Libya at the present time and the Middle East generally, Afghanistan is another one, Iraq's another one and then you kind of run out.

Well that was until I went onto Wikipedia and actually looked it up; and it's got a page, a list of ongoing military conflicts and altogether - that is, as I speak, what is going on right at this present time there are 34 different conflicts around this earth, 34! Nine of them in 2010 have had casualties of over 1,000 people. Let me read the ones it brought out:

The Naxalite-Maoist Insurgency, now have you heard about that one? The Naxalite-Maoist Insurgency in India has been going on since 1967 and there were over 1,000 deaths last year from that one conflict.

The Afghan Civil War, which we do hear about, there's over 10,000 people killed there.

The Somalian Civil War, which again is ongoing, that's 3,000 killed there.

The Iraq War, there were 4,000 killed last year in the Iraq War.

The war in Northwest Pakistan, there were 5,000 killed.

The Shi'ites Insurgency in Yemen, they reckon there was over 1,000 killed there.

The Mexican Drug War, there were 12,500 people killed in the Mexican Drug War – Mexico is not a place to be.

The Sudenese Nomadic Conflicts, there again about 2,000 killed.

The Libyan Uprising which has just recently happened and they reckon since it began something between 3,000 to 10,000 people have been killed.

And on and on it goes – the Korean Conflict, internal conflict in Burma, the Arab-Israeli Conflict, the Basque Conflict, Columbian Armed Conflict, Insurgency in Northeast India, Papua New Guinea, Insurgency in the south of the Philippines and on, and on, and on, it goes. And there is a certain inevitability, you think, when you look at what in fact is going on in this world; "The way of peace they [certainly] know not..." (Isaiah 59:8). And just looking at the list there is certainly something that is very sobering. Thirty-four conflicts they reckon are ongoing as I speak right now within the world at large.

If you want to turn over to Matthew chapter 5, we have been going through the Beatitudes in the last few weeks and we are at Matthew 5:9 which says:

"Blessed are the peacemakers..." (Matthew 5:9)

Understand that these people to whom this was being addressed were students, it was being addressed to the disciples and these students are students of the way of peace. And the word 'peace' being used in Greek, (Strong's G1518) is 'eirene' it is from 'eiro' which means to join, (Strong's G1515;) so it's joining people together. When there is conflict it is separating people, it is pushing people apart, whereas the peacemakers are the ones that then draw them together and make them join together again.

And the reason why they are called 'Beatitudes' is; you think of the Beatific Vision, it is a Latin term and Beatific Vision is the Catholic idea that when you get to heaven you have this Beatific Vision for eternity. The Beatific Vision is that you sit there like a puppy dog and you look up at the face of God and that's your life for eternity. That's the Beatific Vision, it means; 'the blessed vision'. Well the Beatitudes are these because they begin "Blessed are the poor in spirit...Blessed are they that mourn...Blessed are the meek...[and so on]." (Matthew 5:3-11). Therefore they give them the term the Beatitudes. There is nothing sacred about the term whatsoever it just happens to be the Latin.

So what I would like to do today is I'd like to finish - I mentioned to somebody that I'll be finishing the Beatitudes today, he said; "Yeah, right, well we'll see about that!" Whether in fact I'll finish or not we'll see, but my aim is to go ahead and finish the last two Beatitudes that are mentioned here.

This first one is this one of the peacemakers and certainly this joining together is essential, it is essential this time of year. I mean what happens at the beginning of the Passover? What do we do? We get on our knees, we get water and we wash each other's feet, as a symbol of putting ourselves underneath somebody, actually serving, and helping, and pulling together, and being willing to go ahead and walk that extra mile. And having no conflict between us, there should be no conflict whatsoever. It is only then when you've forgiven others can we then receive forgiveness and that's why Christ undoubtedly put that at the beginning of the Passover so that we could in fact get in the right frame of mind so that we can approach the Passover emblems in that right frame of mind.

So it is a vital time of year for us and it certainly is that when we go through the Beatitudes. I want to show you as we go into the one that talks being persecuted for righteousness sake - which is the second one - I want to show you how all of the Beatitudes, each one of them are all tied together. They are all tied into that and the reason why we are persecuted for righteousness sake, in that respect.

Blessed are the Peacemakers (PLAY FROM 06:12)

So here in Matthew 5:9, let's have a look, it says first of all:

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9)

And it really means what it says; they were called the children of God and it is the fact that God is our Father and we are the children of our Father. We are going to be like our Father with the same character as the Father; "...fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:21). As far as Christ is concerned. And in that expression not only is the body able to subdue all things to itself, but the mind that then controls that body has got to itself be controlled, has got to itself be the mind of God. And that's why it is so vital that "Blessed are the peacemakers" because that is the way of God. God is a peacemaker and "they shall be called the children of God". Now if we turn over the page to Matthew 5:38:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:" (Matthew 5:38)

So here Christ gives this list of blessings of certain characteristics in the seven Beatitudes here and He then goes into the rest of the segment talking to His disciples explaining what in fact is involved with this, with this New Covenant concept of actually having the heart and mind and character changed; and changed to God's heart and mind and character. And it says in Matthew 5:38:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said [notice, 'it has been said' and this was something that was put on with a great deal of weight by the Jews, it was part of the oral law, it was also part of the actual laws as we'll go on and see; but they were applying it in a certain way], An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth [they were applying vengeance in every respect]: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matthew 5:38-39)

Now does that mean while you're walking down the road sometime somebody comes up to you and wallops you on the side of the face, does that mean that you say; "Oh, hang on a minute, I must turn the other cheek as well"? That's not what it is talking about, not what it's talking about at all. Let's just read the rest of this section through and then we'll go on and see what it is talking about, Matthew 5:40:

"And if any man will sue thee at the law [notice what it says], and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also." (Matthew 5:40)

It's part of being a peacemaker, that's what He's doing, He's elaborating on the fact that we need to be a peacemaker, we need to make reconciliation with the people that we're in contact with. Matthew 5:41:

"And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile [at law the Roman armies used to go ahead and compel people to carry things], go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." (Matthew 5:42)

In other words the attitude of mind and it is a frame of mind, it is God's frame of mind and the outgoing frame of mind extends into this area. And let's just have a look at some of the scriptures that relate. Over in Exodus 21:22 and let's have a look and see in the Law what, in fact, is being talked about when we're looking at; "...An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:" (Matthew 5:38). Here it says:

"If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine [if there's a problem and a woman is injured and the baby aborts as a result of that then this is the result]. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life [if the woman herself dies], Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." (Exodus 21:22-25)

But notice it is in a legal setting and it is a compensation to somebody else. That is the essence of what is being talked about. This is why it says; "And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also." (Matthew 5:40). It is in a legal setting.

Let's have a look at another one. So if you've done something to somebody, this is what is being said, if we've done something to somebody and they demand recompense you don't just merely recompense; you go above and beyond in your recompense. You do whatever you can to reconcile. You do whatever we can to be the peacemaker, to go ahead and give over and above what we need to. We don't just do the bare minimum but we go over and above so that the peace is then established. That is what is being talked about, notice in Leviticus 24:17 it says:

"And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death. And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast [again it is making good, it is reconciling]. And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him [again it's in a legal framework]; Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death." (Leviticus 24:17-21)

So here again with the; "...eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:" (Matthew 5:38). It is in the legal setting and it is in the restitution that is being mentioned. The final one in this segment is Deuteronomy 19:16 and we find here:

"If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the [Eternal], before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you. And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." (Deuteronomy 19:16-21)

So it is a false witness and again it is a restitution, it is making recompense and what Christ is therefore saying is; "Look if you have got to make a recompense it is not just 'eye for eye and tooth for tooth', it is if somebody is going to be evil and smite you on one cheek give him the other one as well, if someone takes away your coat give him the cloak as well". It is a case of going above and beyond and it is in the framework of the Beatitude; "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9). Here is the example of how you become a peacemaker; you go above and beyond in recompense, you try and do whatever is necessary to recompense a wrong that you have done or caused. Matthew 5:43, let's carry on reading a little bit further:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy [notice, 'it was said'; 'you shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy']. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That [remember it was; "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9)] ye may be the children of your Father..." (Matthew 5:43-45)

So this again is elaborating on that basic concept, that basic Beatitude is that not only do you recompense others that need recompensing, you go above and beyond in the recompense area; but you also do not go ahead and hold a grudge against your enemies. You love your enemies the same way as Christ loved His enemies and it says you don't bad mouth them, you good-mouth them, you build them up. Again it is recompense, it is trying to be a peacemaker, it is trying to build the bridges between people. It is this word 'eirene' which is the basis of joining together, not separating apart. That's what it is all about. Matthew 5:45:

"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? [publicans at that time were the ones that probably ran the brothels and also all the organised crime as well {1}]. Do they not do the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be [become] ye therefore perfect [mature, the same mind basically], even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:45-48)

I have said many times if it just ended; " Be ye therefore perfect..." (Matthew 5:48) we could go ahead and argue our way around that. But it doesn't do that, it says; "Be [become] ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48).

So it goes even further and it is in the context of loving our enemies and reconciliation, of joining and sticking people back together again. And it is not just a hard and tall order, it is an impossible order, humanly speaking. It is an impossible order humanly speaking and yet that is absolutely required. Turn over to Psalms 122:1:

"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the [Eternal]. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem [remember Jerusalem means the City of Peace, it is Yeru Shalom; 'Shalom' being peace and 'Yeru' being the city, the City of Peace. This City of Peace] is builded as a city that is compact together [joined together, it is this word 'eirene' which is translated as "Peace" in Greek, being joined together as one]: Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the [Eternal], unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the [Eternal]." (Psalms 122:1-4)

All under the one governance. We're looking forward into the future here, we're looking at the Kingdom of God. We're looking at the very children of God in that Kingdom in Jerusalem, the New Jerusalem. It's Jerusalem as it should be, as the way it ought to be. If you look at Jerusalem today it is anything but the City of Peace. In fact, you know, you've got one of the conflicts that I mentioned earlier on, one of the conflicts is the Arab-Israeli War, and that's ongoing. Psalm 122:5:

"For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem [be the peacemakers]: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee [they will be the children of God, the brethren, the companionship, a city that is compacted together, that is built together, that is pulled together as one people]. Because of the house of the [Eternal] our God I will seek thy good." (Psalms 122:5-8)

I will do everything possible to be that peacemaker, to bring the entire tribes together. Now that is what we're looking at into the future. We are looking at a time when the entire earth will be at one, the entire earth will be joined together. And the purpose of the disciples, of being disciples of God and being disciples of Christ and coming as students, is to learn the way now, and make our mistakes now, and go in repentance to God now.

So far as repentance is concerned, Mr Armstrong gave us the best example of repentance that I know of: when he said that some Bishop that was up to the front and said; "Can anybody illustrate what repentance is?" And this guy at the back put his hand up and said; "Yeah, I think I can," and he walks up there and he says; "I'm going to hell, I'm going to hell, I'm going to hell." And then turns around, walks away from the Bishop and says; "I'm going to heaven, I'm going to heaven, I'm going to heaven." But he says; "That is repentance, it is the actual turning." Indeed it is, it is the turning.

And certainly we all have got to turn, we have got to turn from a human way, turn to God's way, turn to God's mind in repentance and start putting on that kind of mind. And that mind will then join God's people together which will then eventually become God's - well they are God's sons in embryo, waiting for the resurrection. To become the very sons of God, born sons of God in the resurrection. The peace in Jerusalem being mentioned here in Psalm 122 is very much a forward looking prophecy. Turn over to Matthew 26:47:

"And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast [notice, He was about to be betrayed, this was the same night as the Passover, so He had washed Judas' feet, He'd gone ahead and implemented the symbols then went out to Gethsemane and that night this occurred]. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him." (Matthew 26:47-49)

He was lying, deceitful, out to not only just point Him out; but eventually to have Him murdered. Matthew 26:50:

"And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him. And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword [John 18:10, it was actually Peter that drew the sword], and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels [about 72,000 angels if necessary]? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" (Matthew 26:50-54)

Let's just face it: Peter wasn't aiming for the High Priest's servant's ear! It was not, it just happened to be that he ducked and as he ducked he happened to take the ear off the top. But had he not ducked it would have been his head that came off! That's what he was aiming for. And yet is that the peacemaker? And what did Christ do? Luke 22:51:

"And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him." (Luke 22:51)

Basically Christ then reached out and healed that ear, He healed the ear and He was in the process of being taken and yet what was He doing? He was the peacemaker, His mind and attitude and frame of mind, and it is this frame of mind, remember Christ was God in the flesh, He was God walking as flesh, it was God there. He was the God of the Old Testament walking as flesh amongst us and He was reflecting a certain frame of mind, a certain mindset, a certain way of doing things and that frame of mind was the frame of mind of a peacemaker. I John 3:1:

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (I John 3:1-2)

We will be the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. We are right now, in embryo the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. We've got to be building the character as brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ; that is the character. What do we see, what have we just read about on that night of the Passover? Peter's job was to try and take the High Priest's servant's head off, he missed and got his ear instead. Christ's entire response was to heal, was a peacemaker. He did not go ahead and react in a human way. I John 3:3:

"And every man that hath this hope [everyone of us in this room should have that hope] in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (I John 3:3)

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48). That is the aim, that's the goal and there's nothing short of that. You can't say; "Oh well, we're human and therefore we're going to make mistakes." Yes, we are human, yes we do make mistakes but that does not change the goal, not one smallest centillionth of an inch does that change the goal. The goal is absolute perfection as Christ was perfect, anything less than that is not acceptable. That is why we've got to continually get on on our knees and ask for forgiveness. Because we do make mistakes, we do screw up, we don't do it all right. But the goal must never change. We must never ever start lowering the bar because that goal as I John 3:1 says:

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God [these peacemakers are called; children of God]: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (I John 3:1-2)

We will have the same character and we will have the same frame of mind which is the frame of mind of a peacemaker. Now that mind must be converted, it must be changed and the way in which it is changed, the way it is converted is through the very spirit of God. If we turn back a few pages to James 3:5 you see the warfare comes from a certain spirit, comes from a certain mindset. Notice what it says here:

"Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?" (James 4:5)

It is a spiritual problem. Warfare is a spiritual problem, it is something that is in the heart, in the direction, in the way mankind is going, the cause is warfare. And so the solution to warfare, to bring about peace, to become a peacemaker, you've got to change the spiritual direction. That is repentance, instead of going like the old man that was coming down towards the Bishop: "I'm going to hell, I'm going to hell, I'm going to hell"; turned around and went the other way; "I'm going to heaven, I'm going to heaven." Again it was coming from a Protestant background – it's nothing to do with heaven or hell. But nevertheless it is a turning, the turning, the intent to turn which is repentance. And here in James 3:18 it says regarding peace, to make peace it says:

"And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:18)

They've got to be peacemakers. It's sown in peace if you're a peacemaker. And without a peacemaker you are not going to have peace. You're going to have war. The context of this it says in James 3:11:

"Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh." (I John 3:11-12)

So what is actually pouring out of the fountain, out of the spiritual fountain? Is the spiritual fountain giving sweet water? Or is it giving bitter water? When we open our mouths are the words that come out, are they bitter? And I know my wife said; "What are you talking about today?" And shut me up very quickly. That was on the trip here when somebody cut in, and I had to put my foot on the brake - and I was not very converted at that particular juncture!

"Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?" (James 3:11). Is the word that you get up here to speak as you get up to give a sermon the same word as you speak when you are behind the wheel of a car? All of us that speak – just to put everybody in the same position because quite frankly it should. But it says; "Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh." (James 3:12). It's not possible, it's coming from a certain spirit and the spirit isn't God's spirit and there's your problem, there's your problem. James 3:13:

"Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good [conduct] his works with meekness of wisdom [what is coming out of that spirit, the expression that is there]. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This 'wisdom' descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish [coming from a spiritual source]. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure [you've got to have the spiritual side sorted first], then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is [then] sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:13-18)

But to those that are the peacemakers, those that make peace. So where are the wars coming from? It's coming from a spiritual source, it's coming from the bitter water. Yet we have got to get our hearts cleaned up. And how do you get rid of that? James 4:7 says:

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

Notice human nature is not just something that is inbuilt within a human being. Now that's what we used to understand in the Church, we used to think human nature was something inbuilt, something God created within human beings; and that's not the way it was, that's not the way it should be, that's not the way it is. In fact Ephesians 2:2 says is coming from a broadcast:

"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:" (Ephesians 2:2)

That broadcast is coming from a spiritual source and it therefore becomes our nature. It becomes human nature but it isn't with a young child, a very young child, it isn't the nature; it's like a blank slate, that then tunes into that broadcast. It becomes the human nature and through life, through conversion, and that's what conversion is, conversion is to be converted from that human nature which is from that spiritual source, the wrong spiritual source, to a human nature which is the same nature Christ had. As God in the flesh, that's the aim. That's the aim and part of that is this subject of being a peacemaker. And James 4:8 says:

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners [if we're doing something specifically wrong we've got to stop it]; and purify your hearts [get the water right], ye double minded [if we're having the sweet water and bitter at the same time; it's got to be put right, we've got to go to God and He says how you do that]. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." (James 4:8-10)

You go to God in the right frame of mind and ask for it; you ask for it. As it says; "Ye...desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not." (James 4:2-3). Because the spirit's not right. If you go to God in the right frame of mind, in the humility of mind and you ask for it and ask for the peaceable spirit and that's how it is put right.

There's no other alternative, you can't do it humanly. Human love does not fulfil God's Law, human love just doesn't fulfil the Law of God. It's; "...the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts..." (Romans 5:5). That's the peacemaker and again as we've seen, as far as Christ is concerned; when Peter when he took a swipe at the High Priest's servant, missed his neck, hit him on the ear and took his ear off. But Christ's attitude was not like that, it was totally different; and our character has got to become the same character as Jesus Christ. And if we do, turn over to Ephesians 3:14, it's what we're aiming for and what we're looking for, the direction in which we need to go:

"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love," (Ephesians 3:14-17)

It takes faith to think that we are going to have a mind that becomes converted into the mind of God, that is impossible, that's where the faith comes in. We've got to have the faith that God is able to do that even with us when we really get to understand and know what we are like. "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love," (Ephesians 3:17). And it says in Ephesians 4:1:

"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called [this vocation; "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love," (Ephesians 3:17).], With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;" (Ephesians 4:1-4)

And this word 'eirene' has all to do with joining together, sticking together, becoming one, and it comes in a unity through the very spirit of God. It's not coming from our own efforts in that respect. Our efforts, the efforts that we have got to put out; are the effort to get plugged into the vine, the effort to get up in the morning and to get on our knees, the effort to open our Bibles and read the words of life. The effort to sit down and make the time to meditate and think about it, when we've got all the other million and one things to do, the effort to just take the time to ponder, and meditate on those words. To make them part of ourselves. There's your effort, that's something that we all have got to do and God expects us to do.

But the actual conversion process is being plugged into the vine. Having that spirit and that's where you've got the water. The water doesn't come out bitter and sweet, it comes out sweet if we're plugged into the vine. And we need to allow that to be the case. Turn over to John 14:25 it says:

"These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter [Parakletos, the one called to the side], which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:25-27)

So the peacemaking comes from the Spirit of God which then gives the peace. It says; "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things...Peace I leave with you..." (John 14:26-27). It's coming from that spiritual source. In John 16:33, it says:

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have [trials]: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

So the overcoming of the world and it says; "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace." (John 16:33). As we walk in the same kind of flesh as Christ was because we are the brothers and sisters of Christ, we are acting in the same way, we have the same character traits, the same mindset as Jesus Christ. And again to show this link, turn over to John 20:19:

"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, [Shalom]. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again [Shalom], Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy [Breath] Spirit:" (John 20:19-22)

The word 'spirit' and 'pneuma', Strong's G4151, is both breath and spirit. Let's turn over to Philippians 4:6, it says:

"Be [over anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And [then, if we do that; if we're plugged into the vine, if that source is right, if the water is not bitter and sweet, but all sweet] the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

Then you can be a peacemaker. But without that plugging into the vine we can't, it is impossible for us to be that way. And the reason for it, the reason for being a peacemaker; let's turn over to Isaiah 2:2. Something has got to happen in this world and what's going to take place in the future is going to take place because of the character that has been laid down within God's children. It says; "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9). The sons of God, so here it says:

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the [Eternal's] house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it [they shall flow to it in peace]. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the [Eternal], to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways [it's the ways of God that are then being taught], and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion [the Church] shall go forth the law, and the word of the [Eternal] from Jerusalem [centred in Jerusalem at that time]. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Isaiah 2:2-4)

The peacemakers within Zion will then give them correct direction in life to the entire earth. The entire earth then will be transformed. There won't be Ghadafis', there won't be Afghanistans', and the bodies coming back in the body bags and coffins. Virtually every news that you watch there's another young man that's been killed in Afghanistan and in the States it is exactly the same and more so.

But the way of God, the mindset of God will come out of Zion, out of the Church and the law – and this is God's Spiritual Law, it is summed up in the Ten Commandments. Yes, but it's the Spiritual Law which is; "...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matthew 22:39). It's to do with this peacemaking, this 'eirene', this joining together. This same mindset Christ had when Peter took a sword and tried to take off the servant's head, missed and got his ear but Christ healed. It is the same mindset that is there. If you turn over to Isaiah 9:6, let's just go through Isaiah and hit a few of the high spots:

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. [And it is] The zeal of the [Eternal] of hosts [that] will perform this." (Isaiah 9:6-7)

It is peace, the abundance of peace will go on for eternity. Turn over to Isaiah 32:1:

"Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. [Verse 17] And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever." (Isaiah 32:1,17)

Why? Because there are peacemakers. It says; "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9) because they will be needed as children of God to make the peace. And if we can't make the peace now within our homes, within our families, within our neighbours, and friends and so on, within the Church. And this a real major problem within the Church. The difficulty is that there are Two Commandments, there is in Matthew 22:39:

"...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matthew 22:39)

And there is also in Matthew 22:27:

" Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (Matthew 22:27)

And you've got to be positioned underneath God, clearly positioned underneath what God has left as the guidance. But the Church itself is shattered, shattered to the four winds but eventually that shattering has got to come together. The people of God have got to be brought together again. And that shattering, when it comes together, we have got to be the peacemakers. We've got to have the same frame of mind as Christ had in being peacemakers. But we've all got to be under the same Government, all be under the same direction. But here in Isaiah 32:17 it says:

"And the work of righteousness shall be peace...And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;" (Isaiah 32:17-18)

Because the peacemakers as children of God will rule in the world tomorrow. And one of their key roles, the key jobs, is to be the peacemakers. In Isaiah 48:18 it says:

"O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: [Verse 22] There is no peace, saith the [Eternal], unto the wicked." (Isaiah 48:18,22)

In other words there is a contrast between these two groups. Those that are going in the way of righteousness and make peace, again it is the same spiritual source, and you are looking at a spiritual spring. In one case it is bitter water, in one case it is sweet water. If you get the two together which unfortunately we all do, then there is something wrong and that is when we've got to go to God in repentance continually. But in the world it is as it says; "There is no peace, saith the [Eternal], unto the wicked." (Isaiah 48:22). In the world led by a spirit which is a wicked spirit which is a spirit which is going against God, there will not be any peace, it is impossible to have peace in such a circumstance. Isaiah 52:7 let's have a look:

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" (Isaiah 52:7)

This is what I was saying, it is not just enough to have; "...the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable..." (James 3:17). You've got to have the Two Commandments there but once the Church positions itself under what God has put over it, then we can have peace. Then we can pull together, then we can go in the same direction. It is interesting that the context of this passage is to do with the watchmen lifting up their voice Isaiah 52:8:

"Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the [Eternal] shall bring again Zion." (Isaiah 52:8)

Eventually God will indeed bring the Church back together again. And it is mentioned over in Romans 10:15 and the context of that, the context of how this Church is going to be put together again is apostleship. You go back and read it:

"And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:15)

Unless they are 'apostled'? That's what it says and that is certainly a large degree of the problems with the lack of peace within the Church today. In Isaiah 54:10 it says:

"For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the [Eternal] that hath mercy on thee. [Notice verse 13] And all thy children shall be taught of the [Eternal]; and great shall be the peace of thy children." (Isaiah 54:10,13)

That's the aim, that's the reason why we're in the Church, to be able to implement this into the future with the people, our relatives, our children, our own children, our own flesh and blood. And part of it is the peace that will be there as far, as the children are concerned. Isaiah 55:11:

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing..." (Isaiah 55:11-12)

But the peace will be a result of the very Word of God. That Word of God has got to be active at this present time and then eventually it can be used in the future. And finally in this section, Isaiah 66:5 it says:

"Hear the word of the [Eternal], ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the [Eternal] be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the [Eternal] that rendereth recompence to his enemies. Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children." (Isaiah 66:5-8)

These are the children of God – the peacemakers. Isaiah 66:9:

"Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the [Eternal]: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. 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 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], Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river [symbolising the very Spirit of God and the peace that flows from it], 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." (Isaiah 66:9-12)

In Jerusalem, yes, the very children of God will reside and the peace will come to that area of the world and will come from peacemakers. They will be the children of God because that was the start. It starts in Jerusalem, it then expands out and the nations say; "...let us go up to the mountain of the [Eternal], to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways...and they shall beat their swords into plowshares..." (Isaiah 2:3-4). And it's coming from the peacemakers, that's why it is so vitally important, that's why it is within the Beatitudes.

Blessed Are They Which Are Persecuted (PLAY FROM 52:32)

So let's go back to Matthew 5:9:

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God [then it goes on]. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:9-10)

Now this has come full circle because, if you remember, what did it actually begin with? It says; "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3). Here we've come full circle it says; "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:10). It's come right the way back to the beginning again.

Now you're probably thinking of James when you think of the persecution for righteousness sake, but I want you to read in James 1:2:

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into [different trials];" (James 1:2)

Now we think; "Well that's the same thing because for one thing blessed are you when you're persecuted for righteousness sake, and falling into different kinds of trials." Well it's not. It's different, because James 1:3 says:

"Knowing this, that the [testing] of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." (James 1:3-4)

So you rejoice, it says; "...count it all joy when ye fall into [different kinds of trials];" (James 1:2) because it is rounding off the character. It is giving the character the facets that are necessary, the facets that are needed within the character. And you go through different types of trials to do that. And that's the way God has designed it to be. But when you look in Matthew 5:10, I want you to notice it's not saying that, it's not saying it's a rounding off of your character, it's saying here:

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:10-12)

That's not rounding of character. It's saying it's the same as the prophets – what is happening to you is the same kind of thing. The answer really is if we turn over to Romans 8:5. Remember He is talking here to the students and it says; "Blessed are the poor in spirit...Blessed are they that mourn...Blessed are the meek...Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness...Blessed are the merciful... Blessed are the pure in heart...Blessed are the peacemakers..." (Matthew 5:3-9) . These are character traits which are there, which reflect a certain conversion level and the way in which the mind is being converted into the mind of God. When we look here it says:

"For they that are after the flesh [set their minds after] the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit [set their minds after the things] the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity [this carnal mind that he's talking about, this fleshly mind that is in tune with Satan with Satan's spirit, it's the spirit of Satan; it is opposite, going] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." (Romans 8:5-8)

They're going in radically the opposite direction. So what is Christ saying here, when He is saying; " Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:10)? If you find yourself being persecuted because of that, it is because you're radically different. You're becoming more and more different from the world. Becoming more and more different is not just rounding off your character, which is what James is dealing with, it's becoming more and more different from the world; because the Beatitudes that are being mentioned here are then in place to a greater and greater degree. And there is therefore going to be enmity. Turn over to II Corinthians 4:1:

"Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God [we are walking in a different way]. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels..." (II Corinthians 4:3-7)

We're walking in the flesh of a God-child, that's what we're walking as, that's what we're doing. And it says here; "...the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not..." (II Corinthians 4:4). That that are not walking in that way. So there's going to be this conflict between the two. So if we see the conflict, if we find ourself in the conflict, don't be worried about it, rejoice about it – why? Because the conflict is evident. That's what it is saying. It is different from James. James is saying; "Look, rejoice when you go into trials because that rounds off the character." What he is saying here is; "You rejoice when you find you're being persecuted because it indicates that you are being different". Again, look at the context, go back to Matthew 5:13 it says:

"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?...Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." (Matthew 5:13-14)

And you're going to invoke persecution. Persecution will come as a result of that because of the difference, the distinction and when that persecution comes, don't worry about it, don't fret about it. Christ is saying, "Look, rejoice about it because it is indicating the difference is there". The difference is therefore what He is stressing. Ephesians 2:1:

"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins [at one time we were dead]; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our [conduct] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly [positions] in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2:1-6)

Ready for the ages to come, so that we can as peacemakers, as the children of God administering the way of God, administering the mind of God. But I want you to notice that there is a distinct difference and that difference is huge, and it should become progressively more and more huge as time goes by, because of this; "...prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:" (Ephesians 2:2). By this broadcast that is there through the carnal nature. It has become their nature, it should not be our nature.

As Paul says; "... it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." (Romans 7:20). Because the 'I' has become converted. and that should be progressively more and more so. So that if we suddenly find that we are in conflict with those in the world, don't worry about it because that will happen. Get over it, that's the way it's going to be. That is going to happen and this is why Matthew 5:10 is saying:

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." (Matthew 5:10-11)

It is saying; "Blessed are you when they lie about you...Rejoice, and be exceeding glad..." (Matthew 5:11-12 paraphrased). For being lied about, why? Because the difference is there. They've got to lie and twist the truth and attack through a lie – if we're doing what is right. Now if we are doing something wrong we have only got ourselves to blame. But they will try and find something, whatever it may be.

What happened with Daniel? Basically what happened with Daniel was that the Medes and the Persians said; "Look, we can't attack him in any way except for one, that is his religion", and that's the way they got him. They made this decree by the King Darius and they therefore said nobody is to pray to any god and they knew that he would. And that's the only way but it didn't bother Daniel - it probably did bother Daniel, it probably did! But he handled it properly. And Matthew 5:11 says:

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely [lying], for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:11-12)

Because there is this distinction between the prophets and what the prophets said. Jeremiah for instance and the rest of them around him. There was this distinction and therefore he got it in the neck. And he said; "Look, if there is distinction there between yourself and what is around us in the world don't worry about it, don't fret about it." Recognise it for what it is and it is something that we need to understand. And remember where this is coming from with the world outside. It is not coming from human nature – what is this human nature? Yes, it is nature which the human being has taken on but it's coming from this prince of the power of the air. This expression that is coming from Satan.

It is interesting; just cast your mind back. I don't know how many of you listening to me right now were around during the 1960's and actually remember the 1960's, in the Church I'm talking about? In the Church, in the 1960's what was human nature? Human nature was something that God gave you, that is what it basically was, you were born with it. And even the child rearing understanding was warped because of it, quite frankly. You had this child that was all evil.

Well no, that's not true, and Mr Armstrong came to understand and he said; "That is not true. That is not the way it is." It is the fact that the child then starts plugging into the wrong spirit. What the child rearing is, is not to beat it out of him, but you are to guide that child to resist that spirit in the way that it says; "...Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7). You resist it and it will flee from you. You'll get out of the attitude of mind. It's encouraging the child in that direction. That's the way in which it needs to be done. Interestingly, in ‘Mystery of the Ages’ under "Mystery of the Church", on page 237 there's a section there that says:

"Thorough Conversion Necessary for Church"

"I cannot repeat too emphatically that those being called into the Church now are not being called merely and only for salvation. Nevertheless, in order that they may be kings and priests, as actual God Beings aiding Christ in the salvation of the world, those in the Church themselves must be genuinely converted."

It's conversion. If I go on and on about conversion until I am blue in the face, I'm in good company because Mr Armstrong used to go on and on about the Two Trees, and it's conversion he was talking about. He's talking about; "You are not getting it." What we were not getting at that time was the incredible difference between God's way and our way. It's the difference we weren't getting and we're still not getting it today.

"I cannot make this truth too plain [notice what he's saying – he's saying I can't make it too plain!]. I fear many, even in the Church, do not fully comprehend just what is a real conversion."

"Conversion takes place in the mind, and that faculty of mind we call the heart [the core, the deepest being that we have in our mental faculties; and I want you to notice]. This could never be fully understood without an understanding of the actual makeup of the human mind, as explained in Chapter 3 of this work. It could never be understood, until the knowledge was revealed through the Bible, of the human spirit in man and the actual composition of the human mind." ‘Mystery of the Ages’ page 237.

We didn't have that in the 1960's and 1950's. It wasn't there! So the understanding of conversion was flawed and people that go back to that time – and believe you me there are ministers that are doing this - I've seen it in the past that go back to that time. I remember one particular minister talking about the 1950's as the glorious age of the Church. They didn't have this understanding, and this understanding is all to do with conversion – change! And what was Mr Armstrong saying that we don't get? The degree of change; we're changing from a human being to a God being! That's the change.

And what is happening is a human being that has been plugged into a spirit that is Satan's spirit that broadcasts then converting that to plugging in to the Holy Spirit of a God that broadcasts to those that can receive it. And we have that flowing then through us and coming out of us. The only receptor of that Holy Spirit are the ones that are using it. If you're not using it, you don't receive it.

It's like the bike shop; you have a bike shop and the only way you get more bikes is by selling some. The only way you get more Holy Spirit is by using that Spirit, it comes out of your mouth. Not as you drive down the road and somebody cuts you up. Because how does the spirit, the spring, give the two different types of water? That's the problem, you double-minded Jon Bowles! That's what he's talking about, that's exactly what he's talking about. But here just notice what he says:

"Conversion takes place in the mind, and that faculty of mind we call the heart. This could never be fully understood without an understanding of the actual makeup of the human mind, as explained in Chapter 3 of this work. It could never be understood, until the knowledge was revealed through the Bible, of the human spirit in man and the actual composition of the human mind." ‘Mystery of the Ages’ page 237.

So back in the 1960's, back in the 1950's, and ministers kept on teaching or giving the impression, and teaching that carnal nature was something we were born with. We are born with carnal nature in the sense that we are flesh. Jesus Christ was flesh but Jesus Christ was not plugged into the Satanic spirit; that's the difference. Christ wasn't plugged into that, He had the Spirit of God without measure. What came out of His mouth came from the breath of God, the mind of God. He was God. Mr Armstrong said in 'What Is A Liberal?.'

"...Does He [Christ], as I asked before, really WANT TO sin, to think and act contrary to His Law, but because of His super power, restrain Himself?..."

"A THOUSAND TIMES, NO!..." 'What Is A Liberal?.'

That's not the way it was, that's not the way it works, that's not how it's done. And when we're looking here, he says basically; "A THOUSAND TIMES, NO!" He didn't want to do what was wrong, He didn't want to sin. His way was not the way of sin. He wanted to do what was right, He wanted to live the way God lives. He was God, His mind was the Spirit of God, it was led by the Spirit of God, totally. Because that's what He was. He was God in the flesh. and that's what we have got to become, God in the flesh." That's the aim and we don't change that aim one centillionth of an inch, or a millimetre. That must never change, you do not get rid of God's Law. Christ died so that we do not get rid of God's Law. But through repentance we in fact are converted, are changed to a new creation, a new being. So when Matthew 5:10 is saying:

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:10)

He's effectively saying; "Look, this difference is so huge". In the world - we look at these flowers, presumably flowers like this will be there but the bees that go into the flowers to pollinate them, are they going to have stings? I don't think so, I hope not. I don't like stinging bees and wasps. What about the digestive tract of a cat? It's going to have to be changed. What about the way we move from A to B? What about the vehicles that we have? They're going to have to be changed.

They are going to have to be converted to God's way of thinking about pollution. God's way of thinking about the family. About the way in which we construct things. About how we go about constructing things – do we do it in great factories? The entirety of society has got to be changed. It's going to be changed by the Spirit of God flowing out of Zion. And therefore Zion has got to be converted as well. And this is why Mr Armstrong said; "Look the degree of change is what we're just not getting, we don't really understand. We're not really letting it sink in". We have got to become as Christ was! That's the aim; "[Become] ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48). That's what we're aiming for. And here in Matthew 5:11 it says:

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad..." (Matthew 5:11-12)

Why? Because the change is there. There is a degree of change that is therefore causing problems with those in the world. If that's the way it is then - let it be, because that is exactly what we're aiming for. That's the direction in which we're aiming.

Here we find as we go through each of the segments, let's just go through each of the segments very briefly that we covered before. 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? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the [Eternal]: but to this man [house, is the indication] will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:1-2)

"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3). And Isaiah 66:2 says:

"...but to this man 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..." (Isaiah 66:2-3)

That is the essence of what is being talked about as far as a poor and contrite spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And if we go down to Isaiah 66:10:

"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 it says; "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4).]: 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." (Isaiah 66:10-11)

So here we see the passages that we went through as far as the poor in spirit and theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven and those that mourn that they will be comforted in Jerusalem. And in the context of this, notice Isaiah 66:5 which we read earlier on:

"Hear the word of the [Eternal], ye that tremble at his word [those that are poor in spirit and tremble at His word, putting ourselves under the right authority there]; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the [Eternal] be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed." (Isaiah 66:5)

There is a contrast, there is a contrast. Whether this is talking about our brethren in the world, or whether it is talking about our brethren that we thought were in the Church; and there is a very good possibility that the latter is the primary application of that verse. But the fact is that when we are looking at these two aspects, those two Beatitudes; the poor in spirit,and those that mourn, that they point us back to this passage of scripture in Isaiah, there is also this contrast being mentioned here in Matthew 5:11: of this:

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." (Matthew 5:11)

Again the contrast is there because there are two different mindsets, two different springs of the spirit. Let's turn over to Psalm 37:11 Here there is a direct quote and it says:

"But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." (Psalms 37:11)

So here; "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5) coming directly from Psalm 37:11. But again, we read it before – make sure that we also understand the context in Psalm 37:1:

"Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the [Eternal], and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the [Eternal]: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the [Eternal]; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the [Eternal], and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil." (Psalms 37:1-8)

What is He saying? "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake [Be joyful]..." (Matthew 5:11-12). Why? Because the difference is there, because there is this distinction between these two springs of the spirit. One is the spirit of Satan giving a carnal mind and the other is the Spirit of God. It means that we are starting to become, going down the right route, starting to be transformed, starting to be converted, to be changed back into the mind that we should have been in the Garden of Eden and beyond. Isaiah 66:9:

"For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the [Eternal], again; "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5) ]. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be." (Psalm 37:9-10)

You don't have to fret about it, you don't have to worry about it. In fact you should rejoice – why? Because it means what you're reflecting if you're being persecuted for righteousness sake – not doing something stupid because that's easy done! But for righteousness sake then we can rejoice in that, we can take great comfort and hope in that.

And if we turn over to Isaiah 51 because it says; "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." (Matthew 5:6). And filled to the brim; and Christ again in that passage in Matthew 5, 6 and 7 fills the law to the brim in the righteousness. The Law defines righteousness but it is filled to the brim in the spiritual application, it's developing the mind of God that is what it is. Isaiah 51:1 says:

"[Listen] to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the [Eternal]: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. [Verse 4] [Listen] unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people. My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth [they hunger and thirst after righteousness], and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust." (Isaiah 51:1,4-5)

Looking to eventually install that righteousness that we are hungering and thirsting after now, as sons and daughters of God, in the world tomorrow. Isaiah 51:6:

"Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. [Listen] unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings [that is what will happen, those revilings will come]. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation." (Isaiah 51:6-8)

Isaiah 51:12:

"I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgettest the [Eternal] thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor [who revile you, persecute you and say all manner of things falsely against you then be joyful because of this distinction between the two], as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor [in the longshot, the long term]? The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the [Eternal] thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The [Eternal] of hosts is his name." (Isaiah 51:12-15)

And again we don't have to fret about that. And if you turn over to Psalm 18:25, I'm going through each of the Beatitudes and showing in some of the scriptures that we read this alternate opposing side, this opposing aspect. And here it says:

"With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful [ "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." (Matthew 5:7), but also notice]; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward." (Psalms 18:25-26)

And with the entire psalm, if you read the entire psalm, is the way in which God will eventually sort the mess out. And sort out the people that are opposing David, and opposing us, quite frankly, as we sing this psalm. "With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward." (Psalm 18:25-26). So there is this opposing aspect as well. Turn over to Psalms 73:1 one we didn't actually quote but nevertheless I think that it fits very well with the pure in heart and the opposing side to this pure in heart because they will see God, and it says:

"Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart [are pure in heart]. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked." (Psalms 73:1-3)

"I was looking at the physical things that people have got and they got it by evil means and how come? How can they do this? How can God stand by?" He is saying. And Psalm 73:12:

"Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning [he's saying; why do I suffer all these problems?]. If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children [your children, the children of God, they will see God blessing the pure in heart and they will see God]. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end." (Psalms 73:12-17)

And then that's when he started to understand. Psalm 73:18:

"Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O [Eternal], when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image. Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." (Psalms 73:18-24)

So in other words when you look at the longer term, it's all going to work out. That's what it's basically saying - there's a purpose for what we see in the world today. But the pure in heart they will eventually see God, yes. And the ones that are not pure in heart will eventually receive, unless they repent, unless they turn round and go in the correct direction, they will receive the reward of that. This is what the psalm brings out. It says; "Look; they may be getting it all now, but in the long term the whole thing is going to come caving in around their ears." Whatever they have at the moment physically will not help them.

And as far as the peacemakers are concerned, let's just turn over to Isaiah 55:11 because there is this other aspect to that. We read a whole series of scriptures in Isaiah:

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace..." (Isaiah 55:11)

So the peacemakers will go out and they will indeed have peace and they will cause peace to reign. If you go over to Isaiah 57:15:

"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isaiah 57:15)

Remember; " Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9) And; "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3). And Isaiah 57:15 says here:

"...I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit...[Notice verse 19] I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the [Eternal]; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." (Isaiah 57:15,19-21)

I don't know how many of you have actually gone surfing with a wetsuit on but if you're going surfing and there is a really huge wave, and it's a sandy shore, and you go in with your wetsuit and your wetsuit is slightly open round the neck. Then the grit gets down in the back of your neck and down the front and everywhere else, up your arms – it's not very comfortable. I always think of that where it says "Cast up mire and dirt" because when those breakers pound into the sand all the mire and the dirt, the muck, gets up and goes down your wetsuit. Go back to Matthew 5:1 again:

"And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them [ the disciples, the students], saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God [if these qualities are all in place to the degree that it needs to be, then what we will find]. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely [lying], for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven [because of this difference, because of this distinction]: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:1-12)

Because they had that distinction as well.


Footnote:

{1} Strong's G5057 says 'publicans' were collectors of public revenue. Not to be confused with today's innkeepers and not necessarily brothel owners. However Adam Clarke says they were despised by both Jews and Romans alike.