Prophecy – Part 83 – Preparing for Satan’s Attack; various scripture passages, cont’d.

Today we want to follow our previous help study of LIGHT and DARKNESS and being a TRUE DISCIPLE of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We want to think of light and darkness bringing the teaching of the Messiah to His disciples with parts from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:5-12).

We can say that seldom in history have so few words been spoken with so much meaning.  The Beatitudes cover the glorious hope and reward the believer can expect, now as well as in eternity.

The Beatitudes will also help those who are caught in the Tribulation Age.  We will direct our attention to specific areas of teaching, of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Hopefully this will encourage others to research the Beatitudes in more detail.

The Beatitudes of our Lord are powerful, here we will have a descriptive picture of the true disciple of God.  Note Jesus’s compassion as you read and study the principles found in the Beatitudes.  Jesus saw:

  1. the multitudes (Matthew 5:1-2). Fact:  Jesus also sees His disciples in the past, present, and future.
  2. the poor in spirit: they shall be given the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:3).
  3. those who mourn: they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4).
  4. the meek: they shall inherit the earth (v. 5).
  5. those who hunger and thirst after righteousness: they shall be filled with the compassion of Jesus Christ (v. 6).
  6. the merciful: they shall obtain mercy (v. 7).
  7. the pure in heart: they shall see God (v. 8).
  8. the peacemakers: they shall be called the children of God (v. 9).
  9. the persecuted: they shall be given the Kingdom of Heaven (v. 10-12).

The believer is to have compassion like their Lord Jesus Christ.

NOTE:  The Sermon on the Mount was given to the DISCIPLES, NOT TO THE MULTITUDES.  “Seeing the multitudes,” Jesus was moved with compassion over their need.  He knew that He could not teach them by Himself, so He was driven to get alone with His disciples.  He had to begin preparing them for their ministry to the multitudes (today this is a basic function of the church, as it will be in the future, even during the tribulation Age).

Good question: how long was He with His disciples on the mountain?  A day? A week? We did not know.  The Bible simply says that “when He had come down from the mountain, multitudes followed Him” (Matthew 8:1).

Note the two basic ingredients for reaching the multitudes.

1. Compassion: seeing the multitudes; keeping one’s spiritual eyes open so people and their needs can be seen. No matter the age one finds themselves in, this is basic to reaching people for Jesus Christ.

Remember, a true disciple of Christ is living under the might and control of the Holy Spirit.  The true disciple has the light of the Holy Spirit shining on His path and the surrounding circumstances of His life.  For instance, listen to Scripture:

“This I say then, Walk [live] in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).  Now listen to the Lord Jesus Christ concerning living in the Spirit:

“Finally, my brethren, BE STRONG IN THE LORD, AND IN THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT.  Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil [Satan].  For we wrestle NOT against flesh and blood, but against PRINCIPALITIES, against POWERS, against the RULERS of the DARKNESS of this world, against SPIRITUAL wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the WHOLE ARMOR of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day [end of the Tribulation Age], and having done all to stand” (Ephesians 6:10-13).   

“But when He saw the multitudes, he was moved with COMPASSION on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). Compassion brings to our attention, those in need.

“In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old” (Isaiah 63:9).

2. Discipleship {light}: realizing that one cannot accomplish the task alone. Others must be TAUGHT TO HELP IN THE GREAT COMMISSION and the compassion of reaching the lost for Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).

NOTE:  Crowds are important, but a small band of disciples is critical to accomplish the Great Commission. The mission of the Lord is reaching people, but the METHOD of the Lord is to make disciples.  It is giving intensive training to a small group so they can help in the ministry to reaching the multitudes.  Making disciples was also the method of Paul.

“Go ye therefore, and TEACH all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe ALL THINGS whatsoever I have COMMANDED you: and, lo, I am with you always, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD” (Matthew 28:19-20).

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

NOTE:  Preaching and teaching are not to be done only in the church, but wherever people are found—on mountains, by the seashore, in homes, on a trout stream, on the streets—any place and every place where you find people in groups or by singles.

NOTE:  All Christian leaders are to call small bands of disciples for special training and preparation.  Matthew says without any explanation that His disciples came to Him (5: 1) but Mark and Luke say that Christ called the disciples together for training and preparation (Mark 3:13; Luke 6:13).

NOTE: Three things are needed for training and preparation:

  1. a place
  2. a time
  3. a message

The words “He went up…and when He was set” seem to be saying that Jesus had deliberately chosen this place and time for this training.  All had been planned; Jesus was personally prepared. (What an example for disciples of any age). 

“Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek…Him would Paul have to go forth with him;” (Acts 16:1,3).

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” 2 Timothy 2:2).

“Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid” (Matthew 5:14).

“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:5).

“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” (Ephesians 5:8).

“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” (Philippians 2:15).                                                                                   

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” (Colossians 1:13).

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (I Thessalonians 5:5).

(Ephesians 5:9) Holy Spirit, Fruit:  light bears all good things – the fruit of the Spirit.  A life that illuminates light will give off three things in particular: 

  1. goodness
  2. righteousness
  3. truth

(Ephesians 5:9) – Righteousness (dikaiosune): means two simple but profound things.  It means both to be right and to do right.

There are those who stress being righteous and neglect doing righteousness. This leads to two serious errors. 

  1. False security.  It causes a person to stress that he is saved and acceptable to God because he has BELIEVED IN Jesus Christ.  But he neglects doing good and living as he should.  He neglects obeying God and he is serving man instead.
  2. Loose living.  It allows one to go out and do pretty much as he desires.  He feels secure and comfortable in his FAITH IN CHRIST.  He knows that what he does may affect his fellowship with God and other believers, but he thinks his behavior will not affect his salvation.  He thinks that no matter what he does he is still acceptable to God.

The problem with this stress is that it, too, is a false righteousness.  Again, righteousness in the Bible is BEING righteous as well as DOING righteousness.  The Bible knows nothing of being acceptable to God without being made RIGHTEOUS IN CHRIST JESUS.

“For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).

“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God:  I speak this to your shame” (I Corinthians 15:34). 

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness;” (Ephesians 6:14).

“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11).                                                                                  

“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness” (I Timothy 6:11).

“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;” (Titus 2:12-13). 

(Ephesians 5:9) Truth (aletheia) moral truth, saving truth, working truth, living truth.  It is not simply something to be KNOWN, it is something to be DONE (John 8:31).

  • Truth is the knowledge and experience of true reality and is opposed to false reality, DARKNESS VS LIGHT.
  • Truth is truth in “the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6; Ephesians 5:9).
  • Truth is diametrically opposed to sham and hypocrisy.  (8)
  • Truth permits no compromise with evil.
  • Truth even abstains from the appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22).
  • Truth is a regard for truth in every respect; believing it, reverencing it, speaking it, acting it, hoping in it.  Rejoicing in it.

Such truthful behavior frees one from all the bondages and impediments of life.

“Jesus answered them, and said, ‘My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.  If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself ‘ ” (John 7:16-17).

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made CONFORMABLE UNTO HIS DEATH;” (Philippians 3:10).

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” (Colossians 1:10). 

“Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth” (Hosea 6:3).

APPLICATION:

  1. As this study indicates, Christians are children of light and not darkness [living in sin]. Would you agree?  If you agree, then no doubt you realize that you should be living that way.
  2. If you agree with the first part of this message then you will take the Beatitudes seriously.  We didn’t finish them but you will want to seriously consider the rest.  Why?  Because “BLESSED, MAKARIOS”: is spiritual joy and satisfaction that lasts regardless of conditions; that carries one through pain, sorrow, loss and grief and is important for one’s positive testimony. 
  3. If you are not saved, please read John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13. If you go to the Father in prayer and receive His free gift of Salvation, then please confirm your salvation by accepting John 10:27-30 as your own truth.
  4. If you have questions about any part of this study that true disciples are light, not darkness, and that we have responsibilities in living for Christ, please send us an email to openbibleministriestn@gmail.com;  we will answer your questions.