“POOR in SPIRIT”
The cornerstone truth of the entire sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7) is found in the very first words of our LORD when unveiling this elaborate, far-reaching, and profound message to His disciples of all ages. Here are His first words:
Note, "poor in spirit." Not poor financially or religiously. The two should be mutually exclusive. The Greek word translated into English as "poor" is PTOCHOS. It means pauper, beggar, poor.....desperate and spiritually impoverished. Christ looks to desperate, hungry and thirsty people who want more of Him (Is. 66:2). Their hearts pant for more of Him (Ps. 42:1-2). They deeply desire more of His presence and Word.
The LORD has no interest in the empty worship of men or religion which is vastly prevalent today
as it was in Christ's day.
“He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” Mark 7:6-9
No other sin so grieved the Savior as un-engaged religious pride and worship which actually insulated men from Him while claiming to be the only way to Him. No other group received more harsh and dooming words from Jesus Christ as those who were the very leaders of the religion He started 2 thousand years earlier (Judaism). The Jewish system of religion is the only religion God ever started or ever will start, and it is now obsolete. Christ came to bring all people into a personal relationship with Him and the Father and Holy Spirit (John 14:6, 17:3, 1 John 1:3, 7...).
Though it may appear outwardly to be different, today we have so much empty “worship” in the modern church world and this is why true disciples are coming out of her by the millions - “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4). If Jesus commanded those who will be His to “Come out of her,” there must be something to come out of! The Son of God is no lunatic - He is “the Great Shepherd of the sheep,” who gave His life for His people and seeks to feed them with His pure Word and protect them (Ps. 23; Jn. 10; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 2:2).
In today’s everything-and-anything-goes, trying-to-be-relevant-instead-of-Christ-like, church world of ungrounded people, a myriad of things have replaced Christ and His holy Word. In the world of evangelical religion today, there is anything but the pure Word of God. Here are some of the things that have crept in and are in full blown emphasis today in the modern church:
- a thrust to be “relevant” - a cloaked word used often by the emergent/seeker-friendly movement which boils down to being just like the world in order to win the world. Win them to what?! - to aself-serving “form of godliness” that denies Jesus instead of self?
- new Bible versions which are taken from corrupt manuscripts and are weak at best (see Amos 8:11 and BIBLE VERSIONS)
- fictional books from fad authors who misrepresent the Almighty through their caricatures and have and are leading many into idolatry as a result.
- soft, spineless leaders who do not present the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ with repentance, the holiness of God, and necessity of personal holiness, hell, and judgment to come, etc.
- an emphasis on entertainment using music and arts at the expense of declaring divine truth in its pure form
Does the LORD call His true people to be like the world (relevant), or to follow Christ and be unlike the lost? Think about this: what are the lost being won to if the church world is no different than they are?
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (conditional), And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
Jesus Didn’t Lie to Us
In this late hour, just as He foretold numerous times, “many” are being led astray by false prophets who have come in sheep’s clothing and are deceiving “many.” (Matt. 7:15; 24:3-5, 11, 24; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:13; 4:2-4; Jude 3-4, etc.) Eternal damnation awaits (2 Pet. 3). The prophecies of the final days are dancing on stage in our faces.
In the vast majority of modern assemblies of “worship,” Jesus is no longer tended to or bothered with, much less elevated as the Creator, Redeemer, and “Head of the body.” (Col. 1:15-18; 2:18-19) No, instead, men and women who having “itching ears” are making popular false prophets who tell them what their sinful hearts desire to hear (2 Tim. 4:2-5).
Why should we be surprised? This was all foretold. The adulterous emphasis in the apostate church world, perpetrated by wolves who wear sheep’s clothing, is clearly enumerated as it is shown in resume’ form in 2 Timothy 3:1-7. – They are leading astray those who are just like themselves - “lovers of their own selves…lovers of pleasures MORE than lovers of God…”
Christ told us differently. Who are you following? Jesus said: “If ANY (that includes you) man will come after me, let him DENY himself, and take up his cross daily (die), and follow ME. For whosoever will save (preserve) his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it….So likewise, WHOSOEVER he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Lk. 9:23-24; 14:33) These are the very words of the Alpha and Omega – when is the last time your pastor preached these words?
Instead of laid down lives, studying His Word to know and find out more about Him, self-serving and idolatrous emphasis bombard the people as they are constantly asserted by false leaders. “How to Get Rich,” “How to Live a More Fulfilled Life,” “How to Use God’s Word to get what YOU Want,” “12 Steps to a Better Life,” “How to have Better Relationships,” “How to Have Your Best Life Now,” “How to get Your Miracle from God,” “7 Keys to a New You,” “How to be a better Husband/Wife/Father/Mother,” “How to Get More for ME, Me, Me!!!,” etc. To the un-discerning eye, these things may seem harmless, but they are deadly. A man-centered gospel is a false, soul-damning heresy (Gal. 1:6-10; 2 Pet. 2:1-3). One can get a miracle, become a better wife or daddy, learn conflict resolution, read polluted fad “Christian” books, and use principles to get some self-help, and still die and go to hell. God is calling His people to become more intimate with Him, to repent of our sins, to know Him, to turn fully to Him, to become His disciples, and all else will follow (2 Chron. 7:14; Matt. 6:33; Jn. 17:3).
Jesus Christ is the Supreme God and Being of All that Is - the Whole Universe
“For by him (Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:16-17
Whenever and wherever the living and eternal Word, the divine Person of Jesus Christ, is not being sought after, studied, emphasized, upheld, elevated, adored, praised, feared, and obeyed, false teachers are the leaders (Col. 1-2). Walking in these things nurtures saints and fosters a heart after God in them (Acts 13:22). Read Colossians 1-2 closely and prayerfully.
We have but a mere “form of godliness” if we have not presently chosen to crave more of Jesus, crying from our hearts and mouths – “He MUST increase, but I MUST decrease.” (Jn. 3:3; 2 Tim. 3:5) One can be actively involved in a local church environment while “ever learning,” and yet “never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim. 3:1-7) All worship that does not elevate the Person of Christ is evil idolatry. Spiritual adultery is being spread in the hearts of men wherever Jesus Christ is not being peered into, loved, obeyed, and sought after with a whole heart! Any and all spiritual activity that does not begin and end with Jesus Christ is unadulterated idolatry. - “Thou shalt have NO other gods before me.” (Exod. 20:3)
Jesus is the Only Head of His True Body
“In whom (Christ) are hid ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge…As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. BEWARE lest ANY man spoil (ruin) you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in HIM, which is the head of all principality and power…Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” Colossians 2:3, 6-10, 18-19
It’s not how it makes us feel friend - it’s whether or not its biblical that matters! God forgive our sins! It’s time to repent, elevate Jesus Christ, and die to self that Christ might reign gloriously. - “Ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:3) The kingdom of God is all about Jesus, not me or you or any other mere man. IF in fact you are going to be apart of His eternal kingdom, you must die - if you don’t He won’t live in you and you will not be with Him eternally. - “they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Gal. 5:24) You must suffer the death of your personal will and self-life or you will not be an overcomer (Rev. 2-3). You will consequently die and go to hell with all other rebels (Rom. 6; 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:12; 1 Pet. 2:21; 4:1).
Embracing the Cross
The overcoming disciple must cling to that old rugged cross. He must die the death that Christ ordained Him to die and set the example for us to behold - “not my will, but thine, be done.” (Lk. 22:42) He must of necessity resist the ease of the modern church program which makes church attendees instead of making disciples. He must possess a love for divine truth as he refuses to buy into the un-biblical falsity of modern religionist who rob Christ of His due glory. He must “buy the truth and sell it not.” (Prov. 23:23)
Only those who choose to daily die to self that Christ – the Greater One – might reign in their mortal bodies, will escape the horrific times to come where many are promised to fall away (Matt. 24:10-13, 24; 2 Thess. 2:1-12; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-7; 4:2-4).
Listen closely to what Jesus said concerning the final days in which we are heading straight into:
“Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:33-36
The from moral coward runs from the cross which represents Christ’s sacrifice. He flees the life of a true disciple which demands laying down one’s own way, will, and life to love Jesus. He runs to the entertainment and the feeling of ease and would rather be told things that demand no repentance or sacrifice. He loves the wolves who don sheep’s clothing and their smooth messages (2 Tim. 4:3-4). This is the false form of Christianity (completely foreign to Scripture) that has lulled him to sleep in the first place. He denies Christ instead of self and His command for us to die to the self life. No, instead he relishes the temporal pleasures of this fleeting life. Like Esau, he is giving up his eternal birthright (Heaven) for a temporary fix (bowl of soup).
If you are going to be with Jesus, you must at once RUN from any leader who is not preaching the cross - he isn’t even saved (1 Cor. 1:18; Phil. 3:17-18). He’s an imposter. He’s part of the diabolical conspiracy against the LORD Almighty. He’s a counterfeit - in league with those who are “enemies of the cross of Christ.” (Phil. 3:18)
First, make sure you are coming to the LORD daily in prayer and worship and His Precepts. When gathering with other believers, bring a heart that is hungering for more of Jesus.
Any “church attendance” or “worship” that is not producing in your heart a desperate hunger and thirst for more of Jesus Christ, is completely misguided and being led by a person who has either never been saved or is backslidden! Run beloved, run for your life! Find true remnant disciples and flourish in worshipping the one true God, holding fast to His holy Word. Cease to further the cause of wolf ministries! Stop (by your attendance) endorsing and supporting with your finances ministries that are leading people away from Jesus instead of to Him!
In these precious words recorded in Matthew 5:3, the Master was saying that those who are desperately impoverished in their hearts, realizing their utter need for Him are "blessed." Undue loyalty to the organizations and futile programs of mere men invariably taint and hinder the personal relationship He made us to experience with Him. LORD, please bless us to know and love You and You alone! We will have "no other gods before You." (Exodus 20:3-4)
If you are serious about know Him, lift this prayer from your heart to Him who made and bought you back with His precious blood: LORD, in conviction and deep resolve, I this moment make the obedient determination I come out of the antichrist, apostate system where men are elevated in place of You! I this moment return to You O LORD and release my spirit and whole being into Your holy and perfect hands! I love You LORD Jesus. Please forgive my idolatry and spiritual adultery and fill me with Your Holy Spirit afresh. Send me forth and make my life a fruitful field to Your glory alone. Amen.
Here's how the blessing of knowing Him happens. Am I that weary and thirsty traveler in the hot, dry desert, panting after that glass of cold water laid before me? In other words, am I currently and personally seeking the LORD with outright abandonment and absolute desperation?
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for THEY shall be filled." Matthew 5:6
Q Who did Christ say were "blessed"?
A "they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness"
Q Who did Christ promise would "be filled"?
A "they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness"
"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?" Psalms 42:1-2
PRAYER: LORD, please forgive me for being deceived into thinking I don't utterly need You with every fiber of my being - every moment. You made me. Please forgive me for allowing the cares of this world, deceitfulness of temporal riches, lust for things other than You, and religion, consume me because I wasn't seeking and being filled with more of You. I begin this moment to set my heart affections upon You alone and find my whole identity and purpose in You. May Your presence in me increase as You fill me afresh with Your Holy Ghost. Please increase in me Jesus and I choose to decrease, purging all that does not belong to You. I love You my LORD Jesus Christ. Praise Your holy name forevermore.
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