"Blessed are the merciful…"
"Blessed are the pure in heart…"

Fred R. CoulterApril 12, 2008

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Let's review where we are. What we have found with these is that with all of these Beatitudes, are those things are what you might call 'bridge Scriptures' from the Old Testament to the New Testament, to show the unity of Scriptures.

There is an application in the Old Testament and an application in the New Testament, and this is actually the foundation for the New Testament based on the foundation of the Old Testament. This is why when we come to Matt. 5, it becomes a critical point as we go along, in understanding, concerning the Old and New Testament. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:17: "Do not think…" All Protestants ought to look at this very closely. That means that if you don't think it, you don't let it enter your mind. You don't even 'suppose.'

Let's reiterate something that's very important in understanding about Jesus Christ. He was God manifested in the flesh. Therefore, any changes in anything that God originally gave, God alone can change. Man cannot change it, because we're told not to 'add to or take away from.' That's why we have in The Holy Bible In Its Original Order, A Faithful Version, and in the New Testament, Appendix H: How Did Jesus  Fulfill the Law and the Prophets? That becomes very important in the instructions that we're going to find, here, concerning the Beatitudes.

"… that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets…" (v 17). It can also be translated, destroy, but 'abolish' is the best one, or to do away with the Law and Prophet. This is the whole foundational lynchpin of modern Protestantism.

When you go back and study the life of William Tyndale and what he wrote, you find that he upheld all of the commandments of God and said that you have to keep the laws and commandments of God from the bottom ground of your heart. In other words, the very innermost part of your being. I think in his last days, when he was translating the Old Testament, he began to see the need to keep the Sabbath and Holy Days vs Sunday and the holidays.

So, Jesus says: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets…" (v 17). Yet, isn't it interesting that the same Protestants who want to prove that Jesus was the Christ, where do they go? They go to the Old Testament, which they say has all been fulfilled, to show that Jesus is the Christ! Then from that rather than saying, 'This supports the Old Testament with the New Testament. We'd better listen to all the Word of God.' They say, 'Since that is done we can just eliminate it, avoid it and everything in the Law and the Prophets have been done away.'

"…I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill" (v 17). Here's the little 'catchword' that they use for fulfill: 'Since Jesus fulfilled it, that is, all the Law and the Prophets, therefore, it has been done away.'

There's another meaning to the word fulfill in the Greek, which comes from 'pleroo,' which means to fill to the full, which is more of what Jesus is talking about, because He came to fill to the full the laws and commandments of God with their spiritual intent and meaning. Also, to fulfill all the prophecies concerning Himself, which did not do away with them but are the foundation and ground of proving Who He really is.

Because of what Jesus said, He didn't want anyone to be in doubt. The next verse clarifies it, v 18: "For truly I say to you… [in other words, here is the truth of what I just told you] …until the heaven and the earth shall pass away…" It's very obvious, is heaven and earth still here? Yes!

"… one jot or one tittle…" (vs 18). That refers to what's in the Old Testament, because 'jots and tittles' are in Hebrew. In Greek there is emphasis and breathing points, which are equal to 'jots and tittles.'

"… shall in no way pass from the Law until everything has been fulfilled" (v 18). Where is it that it tells us that everything has been fulfilled for a new beginning? Rev. 21 and 22, 'And I saw a new heaven and a new earth!' They're not here either. Then, He goes on saying here, which is a very important Scripture:

Verse 19: "Therefore, whoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven…"—which doesn't even say that he is going to be there.

"…but whoever shall practice and teach them, this one shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I say to you, unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees…" (vs 19-20).

Which is why if you don't have the book Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried and Goldin, and have acquainted yourself with what is in it, you will never understand Judaism. You'll never understand what He is talking about, because most people believe that the scribes and the Pharisees followed the Bible. They did not follow the Bible anymore than Protestantism or the Catholics, today. They followed their traditions, which they claim are greater than what Moses gave. They have replaced all the commandments of God. You can read of that in Mark 7, about what Jesus said about their traditions, which reject the Word of God.

What righteousness would exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees? They were very punctilious according to the letter of everything, even when they used the Laws of God, they were very punctilious concerning that. So, the righteousness that exceeds it is what Jesus is teaching here: the spiritual application of the laws and commandments of God. We'll get to those a little later. I just want to emphasize it, here. Unless it does:

"…there is no way that you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven" (vs 20).

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall find mercy" (Matthew 5:7)

I haven't quite finished with that. I need to cover a few things concerning it.

Remember this: The very interior of the Holy of Holies was centered around the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant with the cherubim overarching it, was called the Mercy Seat. That's where the presence of God was going to be when it was the tabernacle and temple. The Mercy Seat reflects God's throne in heaven above. We know that Jesus is at the right hand of God dispensing mercy for all of those who repent. That's why Jesus is the propitiation of our sins, because of His sacrifice. So, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall find mercy."

Let's see something else that Jesus said, and this is something that the scribes and Pharisees couldn't understand.

Matthew 9:11: "And after seeing this… [that Jesus was eating with the tax collectors and sinners] …the Pharisees said to His disciples, 'Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and sinners?'"

What's another meaning that's behind asking that question? Rather than being with us, because they were the religious and political leaders! If Jesus was the Messiah, they thought that He ought to:

  • associate with them
  • become politically aligned with them
  • overcome the Romans
  • kick them out
  • take back the land for the Jews

They obviously couldn't answer it, but I'm sure that was in the back of their minds in answering the question.

Verse 12: "But when Jesus heard it, He said to them…" Here's a very interesting thing: When Jesus answers a question, He answers it more broadly to cover many more things than just the particular, small, little, question that is being asked. Here He gave a great principle.

"…Those who are strong do not have need of a physician, but those who are sick. Now, go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.'" (vs 12-13). That's what we're learning here:

  • it's not the sacrifice of animals
  • it is not a setting up of a religious 'letter of the law' thing

like we see in some of these very small religious movements where the minister is the 'kingpin':

  • he is the great whatever
  • everyone has to wear a certain kind of clothes
  • everyone has to, like the Mormons:
      • if you're dedicated, you have to have your 'holy' underwear
      • you have to wear it all the time
      • even when you're showering you can't let it be totally off your flesh

I suppose the way they did it when they were showering is, they had one hand on it while it was hanging on a hook, or something close by, while they showered.

Those are all physical exterior things. God wants the conversion of the heart. The first thing that is converting the heart is not something you do externally. That may be the first step, but the goal that God wants is that you change internally spiritually. What you do out here without the change in your heart and mind and in conversion, you'll never understand what Jesus is talking about.

He says, v 13: "Now, go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.'…. [upon repentance, forgiveness of sin, etc.] …For I did not come to call the righteous…" Since there are no righteous, who is He talking about? Those who think they are righteous!

"…but sinners to repentance" (v 13). The first step to receiving mercy is repentance. You cannot have mercy without repentance.

Let's see why Jesus went through the things that He went through:

  • Why did God come in the flesh as Jesus did?
  • Why did He have to go through the things that He had to go through?

As Creator, if He wants to reconcile all mankind, then He's got to do something to reconcile all mankind, that is for those who will repent. Here is what Jesus did. Let's get a full overview of this.

Hebrews 2:6: "But in a certain place one fully testified, saying, 'What is man, that You are mindful of him, or the son of man, that You visit him? You did make him a little lower than the angels…'" (vs 6-7)—that's true, we are lower than the angels; they are created spirit beings. In the original Hebrew, it actually means: 'You have made man a little lower than God,' being made in His image though, but of flesh, of the dust of the earth.

"…You did crown him with glory and honor, and You did set him over the works of Your hands…" (v 7) You can read that in Gen. 1. He gave him dominion over the whole earth and everything that's here.

Verse 8: "'You did put all things in subjection under his feet.' For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that was not subjected to him…. [on the earth] …But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him."

In other words, man, though he has the imagination to do anything he desires, is still limited because God has a greater fulfillment and potential for human beings. So that man can receive all things, here's what God did:

Verse 9: "But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death…"—referring directly to His crucifixion and everything that was connected with it.

"…in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone" (v 9).

That's why Christ died for our sins and in our stead. We'll see why He had to do this and why He had to go through all of the scourging, beating and everything that He went through, which is what we're covering here, before the Passover and during the Days of Unleavened Bread.

It's important to understand this: A lot of people have this in mind: God is not fair. He made us the way He made us, and He made us weak, and He made us so that we're subject to sin. God is way up there in heaven and:

  • nothing touches Him
  • He's always righteous all the time

God is not fair to man to:

  • put him through this
  • let him go through it
  • let him suffer
    • all the death
    • all the dying
    • everything all round

So, God said, 'All right. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to come in the flesh and I am going to become human. I will take the same judgment upon Myself that I gave to human beings.' The wages of sin is death, and though He never sinned, He took that death.

Nothing could be more fair than that. As the Creator of all human beings, God brought the justice through what He did. He has to make that known to people and He has through His Word, and so forth. We see this explained in the next verse:

Verse 10: "Because it was fitting… [proper or it was just] …for Him, for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings."

It's hard for human beings to understand that, but nevertheless, they cannot understand why there's so much suffering in the world and the suffering in the world is because of sin. So, Jesus took it upon Himself.

Verse 11: "For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, 'I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the Church I will sing praise to You.' And again, 'I will be trusting in Him.' And again, 'Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me'" (vs 11-13). Which is yet to be fulfilled and will occur at the resurrection.

Verse 14: "Therefore, since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, in like manner He also took part in the same, in order that through death He might annul him who has the power of death—that is, the devil." God has taken care of the sin of men and also the sin of the devil!

Verse 15: "And that He might deliver those who were subject to bondage all through their lives by their fear of death. For surely, He is not taking upon Himself to help the angels; but He is taking upon Himself to help the seed of Abraham… [we are the seed of Abraham if we have been baptized into Christ] …For this reason…" (vs 15-17).

Here's why: Since we started out with that God is merciful and gracious, as we found God's declaration to Moses (Exo. 34), now we see this extended forward in the same way, at this time.

"…it was obligatory…" (v 17)—meaning exactly that. Why was it obligatory?

  • God is Lawgiver!
  • God decreed that the wages of sin is death!
  • God gave us a nature that is subject to sin!

In order to redeem His creation, God Himself was obligated to do it this way. It couldn't be done by a sacrifice, which happens out here, exterior to you. What you do outside has nothing to do with what's on the inside, because God alone knows the thoughts and the heart! This is what God is interested in changing, because what you do on the outside must first originate on the inside. Before the physical work of doing something takes place, you must have the mental work of thinking of it, planning of it. This is where we need to change. Because of that and our nature, we need mercy! Christ is preparing to be the most merciful by doing what He went through!

"…for Him to be made like His brethren in everything that He might be a merciful and faithfulHigh Priest in things pertaining to God…" (v 17). Jesus said that He desires 'mercy and not sacrifice.'

"…in order to make propitiation for the sins of the people" (v 17)—meaning a continual source of mercy, which goes right back to the meaning of the original Mercy Seat, as talked about in the Old Testament and referring to the throne of God in heaven above. Remember, it started out that God is merciful and gracious "…to make propitiation for the sins of the people."

Verse 18: "For because He Himself has suffered, having been tempted in like manner, He is able to help those who are being tempted."

Psalm 145:8: "The LORD is gracious…" Let's take that word for just a minute and let's plug it in with a few New Testament Scriptures.

Romans 2:4: "…the graciousness of God leads us to repentance?"

'For by grace are you saved, through faith.' (Eph. 2). We have right here, again, this ties it together. When you bring the understanding of the New Testament to the Old Testament, that magnifies the Law, as it was prophesied that Jesus would do, to make it honorable and glorious.

Psalm 145:8: "…and full of compassion; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love…. [can also mean mercy] …The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works" (vs 8-9). This, again, shows the nature of God.

This is why in having us as the children of God, He wants to give us His character. In giving us His character, He wants us to understand about mercy. That's why there's so much having to do with the mercy and forgiveness.
Let's come to Psa. 86 and we'll finish with 'Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.' This is a wonderful Psalm:

  • in helping you in prayer
  • in coming to God
  • in confessing your sins

Psalms 86:1: "Bow down Your ear, O LORD, answer me, for I am poor and needy." God hears us. All we have to say is, 'God, hear us.' Just go to our place where we pray in private. Pray and ask God to hear us. He will!

I know many times I've opened up the Bible to this place where we are right now in praying to God, and this has helped me in establishing my thoughts in prayer, and so forth.

Verse 2: "Preserve my soul, for I am Holy; O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You. Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I cry unto You all day long" (vs 2-3). We all want mercy. As I pointed out last time, when we receive mercy, we also have to be ready to give mercy.

Verse 4: "Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O LORD, do I lift up my soul."

This ties right in with mercy, v 5: "For You, LORD, are good and ready to forgive…" A lot of people say, 'I wonder if God can forgive me?' Why did Jesus die? To forgive you upon repentance!

Note sermon: The Unpardonable Sin, #29 Hebrews series {truthofgod.org} If you committed the unpardonable sin, you would have no desire to even repent. You would not even care. A lot of people, especially after they're baptized think, 'I won't sin any more.' Yes, you will because God is getting the sin out of your mind, reworking your mind to be those who are pure.

Verse 3: "Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I cry unto You all day long. Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O LORD, do I lift up my soul, for You, LORD, are good and ready to forgive, and rich in mercy to all those who call upon You" (vs 3-5). Everything about these first five verses that we have read are:

  • attitudes of repentance
  • attitudes of praise
  • attitudes of crying out to God to receive grace and mercy in time of need.

Verse 6: "Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer, and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me" (vs 6-7).

God does in many different ways. You're not going to hear a voice, but He'll answer you in your life, in your circumstances. The first thing in repentance, He will lift the burden of the guilt that you have. That's what God desires.

Verse 8: "Among the gods there is none like You, O LORD; neither are there any works like Your works…. [here's a prophecy]: …All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O LORD, and shall glorify Your name…. [When will that take place? When Jesus returns!] …For You are great and do wonderful things; You alone are God" (vs 8-10).

  • once you have mercy
  • once you have forgiveness
  • once you have contact with God
  • once you know that He is dealing with you in a gracious way

Now what?

I was reading in the paper about Pope Benedict XVI's coming visit. He's actually going to be, I think it is, in Washington D.C., on the Passover Day.  All the things that they are doing for the preparation, protection and everything like that, they even in New York City have set aside 100,000 ponchos in case it rains. They are bringing in 530 priests from all over the world to help dispense the little wafer in the Mass.

I was thinking, 'They're all locked into this system and it's a system that's not of God. Yet, everyone looks upon how 'holy' this man is, and yet, at the same time we have the Dalai Lama up there in Seattle, so between the two of them, we're going to have a double whammy. Nevertheless, here is what God wants us to do, not do some silly thing before idols:

Verse 11: "Teach me Your way…" So that we can:

  • live in the way of God
  • walk in the paths of Truth
  • be led by the Spirit of God, which is the light of God to lead us

"…O LORD; I will walk in Your Truth…" (v 11). It doesn't take very much to find out that:

  • the commandments are true
  • the Law is true
  • God's Word is true from the beginning

That all ties in with that!

"…unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O LORD my God, with all my heart…" (vs 11-12). God desires mercy and not sacrifice!

Matthew 22:34: "But after the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together before Him. And one of them, a doctor of the law…" (vs 34-35). Very interesting. Since He was teaching the spirit of the Law, now, they want to know, 'What is the greatest Law?'

Verse 36: "Master, which commandment is the great commandment in the Law?' And Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" (vs 36-37). That's the whole purpose of mercy and repentance, that you love God! Then you love your neighbor, you love the brethren and even love your enemy.

Verse 39: "And the second one is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (vs 39-40).

In the account in Luke it says that one of them said, 'Who is my neighbor?' So He gave the parable of the man who was beaten up, robbed and left by the roadside. Here comes a priest walking along. He can't contaminate himself because this man is bloody, over here on the other side of the road. He goes clear on the other side, bypasses him and leaves him there dying and bleeding.

Then a Levite comes by and looks a little closer. He hurries on because he doesn't want to dirty himself with blood, because you become unclean with blood and 'I must get to the temple to offer the sacrifices. I must be clean.' Here comes what the Jews would call a dirty rotten Samaritan. He comes over there:

  • takes the man
  • binds up his wounds
  • puts him on his donkey
  • takes him to an inn
  • dresses up his wounds a little bit more
  • leaves the money with the innkeeper

And says, 'On my way back, if I owe you more, I'll pay you, but make sure that he's up and on his feet.' Then Jesus asked, 'Who was his neighbor?'

There are many, many, many things that Jesus was teaching to give us the spiritual application of the laws and commandments of God. We'll finish it off right here.

Verse 40: "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." That's an interesting way to put it. It doesn't say that on 'these two pillars the Law and Prophets rest.' No! He says that loving God and loving your neighbor, that's from whence everything that God does, comes. So, it hangs.

Psalm 86:13: "For great is Your mercy toward me…" Let me just say that as you grow in grace and knowledge from the time that you are baptized and you go through all the life experiences that you go through:

  • there are going to be some good
  • there are going to be some bad
  • there are going to be some small sins
  • there will be big sins
  • there will be in some cases. horrendous sins that are unbelievable and that you don't ever want to speak about again

What will happen is, you will come to understand the greatness of God's mercy in an incremental, step-by-step way. You will love God more for His mercy and kindness in forgiving you on a constant basis. That's why David says, 'great is Your mercy toward me.'

"…and You have delivered my soul from the depths of the grave" (v 13).

Romans 6:23: "…the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord."

This rounds out everything concerning the mercy of God:

Psalm 86:14: "O God, the proud have risen against me, and the company of violent men have sought after my life, and have not set You before them. But You, O LORD, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and Truth" (v 14-15).  That's what God wants on the inner part—Truth!

Verse 16: "Oh, turn to me, and have mercy upon me; give Your strength to Your servant and save the son of Your handmaid. Show me a token for good, so that they who hate me may see and be ashamed because You, LORD, have helped me and comforted me" (vs 16-17).

You can see how all these Beatitudes tie together, New Testament and Old Testament.

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Let's see how all of these fit together, that each one builds upon the other in showing the steps of building Godly character. In other words, the attitudes that we need to have so that God will:

  • fill us with His Spirit
  • fill us with His knowledge
  • develop His character in our heart and mind
    • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven

We have to start out not being exalted, but yielding to God. With every Beatitude, there's a blessing that comes.

    • Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted
    • Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth
    • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled
    • Blessed are the merciful, for they shall find mercy

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8)

What we see with each one of these steps is that they are in progression.

  • What does it mean to be pure in heart?
  • Why do we need our hearts pure?

Let's see how the apostles phrased it when they were talking about how God was calling the Gentiles without requiring them to have physical circumcision. After they were all together:

Acts 15:7: "And after much discussion had taken place, Peter stood up and said to them, 'Men, brethren, you know that from the early days, God made the choice among us that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the Gospel, and believe. And God, Who knows the heart…" (vs 7-8).

Another way of putting that is 'the heart-knowing God.' God is the only One Who can truly know the heart. That's why we need:

  • mercy
  • forgiveness
  • kindness
  • compassion

Everything from Him!

"…bore witness to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, even as He did to us, And made no difference between us and them, and has purified their hearts through the faith" (vs 8-9).

Purifying our heart and purifying our mind is the whole result of all of the Beatitudes leading up to this. We will see how God accomplishes that. What does it mean, 'pure of heart?'

  • you have no hidden agenda
  • your intentions and your motives are pure toward God
  • you have no ulterior motives
  • you're not in it to get something for yourself
  • you're not in it to take something from someone
  • you do not have hypocrisy
  • you're not hypocritical
  • you're not two-faced

We'll start out with the end result and contrast it with those who are not 'pure in heart.'

Titus 1:15: "To the pure, all things are pure…" You're also not imputing motives to others and sometimes those who do have wrong motives are taking advantage of those who are 'pure in heart.'

"…but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; rather, both their minds and consciences are defiled" (v 15). There are all too many in religion that fit this category.

Verse 16: "They personally profess to know God, but in their works they deny Him, being abominable and disobedient, and reprobate unto every good work."

This also tells us something that's important to realize. With a pure heart, you're going to be obedient and you're going to have good works. That's what you desire.

Proverbs 23:7: "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…" Whatever is the innermost part of your being:

  • how you think
  • how you react
  • how you view things

God knows it! That's why He gives us His Spirit. To receive a pure heart is also a process of cleansing.

"…'Eat and drink,' he says to you, but his heart is not with you" (v 7). This is the defiled in heart with hidden motives.

Proverbs 24:1: "Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them."

As I watch all of this economic news going on, I can see something that is just absolutely amazing. Everything is based on greed. Everything is how they can make profit, regardless of what happens to the ones that they're making profit on, whether they're making money or whether they're losing money.' They've got all kinds of schemes where they tell people, 'Wonderful! Wonderful! Put your money in here. We will make you a good return.' It's like a big stack of cards or a big domino display where you hit the first domino and they all topple. They don't care if you lose money. They don't care if they take it. That's just really something. So, don't be desirous of their wealth or what they're going to do. Their day is going to come!

Verse 2: "For their heart studies destruction, and their lips talk of mischief." That's the defiled. Those who are not pure, those who are defiled in heart and mind. That's how they think. This is the, what you might say, the first step in criminal behavior.

People give themselves into thinking how they can scheme and take. How they can steal and possess. This is what all 'con games' are based upon. If you see any television reports on some of these schemes that people have and how many fall for it, it is unreal.

I know that every once in a while I get an e-mail from someone in some weird country, mostly in Africa, mostly in Nigeria, and of course, one of the poorest nations on earth. One of them said, 'My husband was a colonel in the war in Kuwait and he made $25-million off of oil. He died of his wounds and now I need to process the $25-million. I will be very happy go give you several million, but you have to help me first. In order to get the money released from the bank, I need $25-thousand wired to this account, which then will free up the $25-million and I will send you 'X' amount of the $25-million.

I got an e-mail similar to that from a woman. She says, 'I have breast cancer and I'm ready to die and I need to get this processed before I die.' I thought, 'I'll test her out.' What I did was, I sent an anointed cloth. I said, 'I'm sorry to hear that you have breast cancer and before anything can be done, I think it's best that you petition God for your healing. Here's an anointed cloth that you can use.' After about three months—and I sent it express mail—it came back: 'Person Unknown, Address Not Valid.' If you think, 'Ooh, my! That's wonderful! I'm going to get all this money for just a little bit out.' Remember:

Verse 2: "For their heart studies destruction, and their lips talk of mischief." They're not with you. They want to take from you. You'd be surprised how many people have gotten caught up in that and have lost their money.

Let's see from where we start with our heart and mind so that we can have a 'pure heart.' Through the process of conversion and through the process of receiving the Holy Spirit after repentance and baptism, etc., then we have the process of having our hearts purified. Here is what many hearts are like. We will see the contrast all the way through here.

Jeremiah 17:1: "The sin of Judah is engraved with a pen of iron… [that's pretty strong talk] …with the point of a diamond; it is carved upon the tablet of their heart and upon the horns of your altars…. [in other words, everything that they do religiously is sin] …While their children remember their altars and their Asherim beside every green tree on the high hills…. [the Asherim is the obelisk in the grove] …O My mountain in the field, I will give your wealth and all your treasures for spoil, and your high places because of sin, throughout all your borders. And you, even of yourself, have let go of the inheritance, which I gave you"… (vs 1-4)—because God:

  • brought them in there
  • blessed them
  • gave them the land
  • watched over them

Fantastic!

"…and I will cause you to serve your enemies in a land, which you do not know. For you have kindled a fire in My anger, which shall burn forever" (vs 3-4). We're reaching that way in America today, much the same way.

There is so much sin all around, everywhere, that what people consider as an acceptable level of behavior, is defined downward. The deviancy, or the sin, is made more and more acceptable. You wait and see, the time is going to come that they will say that there are so many sex predators and there are so many sex sins that we need to eliminate all of those laws off the books, because we don't have the time to chase them down. Our courts are overloaded with it and we can no longer afford to do it. That will show you that we have reached the same point that they have reached here in Jeremiah.

Verse 5: "Thus says the LORD, 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man… [why you never have anyone between you and God] …and makes flesh his arm… [or his defense] …and whose heart departs from the LORD." You cannot have a pure heart unless you are with the Lord.

Here's what's going to happen. As you watch any of these things concerning the different nations and the things that take place in those nations, you can judge them by this: God will bless any nation that will be righteous! As you look at the problems and difficulties of the different nations of the world, what you are looking at the judgment of their sins that God has put upon them.

Verse 6: "For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes. But he shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land that is not inhabited."

When I look at some of these vast areas where people are still natives, running around in their bare skin with no clothing, in the deserts or in the jungles, or in the backlands, and this is what they are, I think about what a terrible, terrible situation it is, but true. God's Word is true! He wants us to understand this for a purpose, because you have to see the contrast here, in order to understand all of Jer. 17.
Verse 7: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose hope is the LORD." We just saw what happens to the rebellious and the warning that God gave to them before they went into captivity.

Verse 8: "For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters…" What does that remind you of? Psalm 1:3!

"…it sends out its roots by the river, and it shall not fear when the heat comes, but its foliage shall be green; and he is not worried in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit" (v 8). This is likened to what we are to do with our lives:

  • always growing
  • always overcoming
  • always producing
  • always loving God
  • always walking in the way of Truth

Verse 9: "The heart… [this is what needs to be purified] …is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" Look at all the sins that people get themselves wrapped up in and you understand what this really means.

Verse 10: "I the LORD search the heart… [the heart-knowing God] …I try the reins… [Is he going to yield to My direction?] …even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. As the quail that hatches eggs it has not laid; in the same way he who gets riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the middle of his days, and in his end he shall be a fool" (vs 10-11).

Jeremiah knew, realized and understood that he needed God, though he was God's prophet, and He needed God's correction, help and comfort! You read all about what Jeremiah had to go through. I tell you, it's something!

Jeremiah 10:23: "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his steps." Why? Because his heart is 'deceitful above all things!' The way that He thinks is right, as it says in:

Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25: "There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death."

Jeremiah understood that, "…it is not in man who walks to direct his steps." That's why so many thing go wrong. What we are seeing the world today is the collective sinfulness of everyone bringing out greater, greater and greater problems. It's going to come to a point where it's going to be too much. It's going to be just like that whole set of dominos. They all start collapsing! It includes every part of the society. Not only economics, but also every part of society:

  • schools
  • transportation
  • where you work

Everything! Notice the solution:

Jeremiah 10:24: "O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing. Pour out Your fury on the nations who do not know You, and on the families who do not call on Your name; for they have eaten up Jacob and have devoured him, and have destroyed him, and have made his dwelling desolate" (vs 24-25). That's coming, too!

What Scripture is a famous Scripture in the New Testament in the book of Romans that tells us about carnal nature? The carnal mind is enmity against God—which means that he's at war with God and an enemy of God—is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be! God takes this—this is where we all begin—and changes us and to make us pure in heart. That is the whole object of what God is doing.'

Remember, Jesus said, 'This generation shall not pass until all these thing have been fulfilled?'

Proverbs 30:11: "There is a generation that curses their father and does not bless their mother…. [that's today] …There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet, is not washed from their own filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up" (vs 11-13).

I want to read to you about the political scene today, v 14: "There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and their jaw teeth like knives, to devour the poor from off the earth and the needy from among men."

I thought to myself as I was preparing the sermon and reading that, I thought: Does that not describe this generation today, in degrees and progression, more and more. It's even hard to 'channel surf' to try and find something that's descent to watch. So, my wife watches My Homes, how they fix up homes and sell them I watch the History Channel and National Geographic and a little sports. However, even there, what do you have? Cheating, steroids!

Proverbs 21:2: "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD ponders the hearts." Always remember that God knows! You can lie to yourself. You can lie to others, but God knows. Sooner or later, one day or the other—because God knows—everyone's going to have to face the truth, because God 'ponders the heart.'

Verse 8: "The way of a guilty man is perverted; but as for the pure, his work is right." There again, we have the comparison. God is there to help. God is there to bless.

Let's see what they do in a 'religious' sense; Isaiah 66:17: "'Those who sanctify themselves, and purify themselves to go into the gardens… [the groves] …after the rites of Achad… [the one] …eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, will be cut off together,' says the LORD."

I forget which channel it is on, but every once in a while I watch this man who travels around who eats all these weird exotic foods. Some of them are really something, but he loves deep fried mice, a tender delicacy, which he eats head first. When I saw him crunching on the head, he said, 'Mmm! This is good. This is good.' I thought, 'Ugh!'

Then I got an e-mail from a woman in China. She said, 'Are the laws concerning clean and unclean foods still applicable today?' I e-mailed her back and said, 'Yes, they are.' I said, 'I know in China that you're going to have a very difficult time,' because 80% of what they eat is unclean.

I never will forget how this fellow who eats all these exotic foods—it's showing him eating termites, grubs and worms—when he was in Mexico, he got deep fried pork stomach. Nothing like a big mouthful of parasites! He was in China and they were taking him to all of these different places and one of their specialties is donkey meat. It is cooked and cured just like pastrami. You go to China and get a pastrami sandwich and eat it, you'll hee-haw afterwards. They use everything! They take the donkey hide, take the fur off of it, cook it tender, shred it in noodles and put it in hot sauce, and he devoured it. He thought that was wonderful. It also showed how that they have delicacies with swine snouts. I couldn't believe it, all the imagination of men, that's something!

Psalm 24:3: "Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD?…." Let's take this spiritually, because it says, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." The end result of coming from being:

  • carnal minded
  • sinful
  • being converted
  • having the Spirit of God
    • cleanse you
    • wash your mind
    • develop the character within you

The end result will be the resurrection and you are going to see God face-to-face, as we'll see a little later. Just project this forward to that.

Verse 3: "…Or who shall stand in His Holy place? He who has clean hands…" (vs 3-4). Not washed with soap and water. That means clean from sin and evil, because it talks about those who do sin, they use both hands, earnestly.

"…and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to vanity and has not sworn deceitfully…. [God knows the heart] …He shall receive the blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation" (vs 4-5).

Let's see how this is expanded, again. Actually, Psa. 15 amplifies what we just in Psa. 24.

Psalm 15:1: "LORD, who shall dwell in Your tabernacle?…. [live with God] …Who shall dwell upon Your Holy hill?.… [New Jerusalem] …He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart" (vs 1-2). Not saying one thing and doing another thing.

Verse 3: "He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the LORD; he who swears to his own hurt and does not change it; he who has not put out his money at usury, nor has he taken a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved" (vs 3-5).

All of these things show the blessings that come when you're yielding to God and He's cleansing your heart and your mind.

1-Peter—lots of times you forget the first couple of verses and you miss a lit when you do, especially in the Epistles of Paul, because he says, 'blessings, grace and mercy from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,' most of the time.

1-Peter 1:1: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect strangers scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; who have been chosen according to the predetermined knowledge of God the Father…" (vs 1-2). It is God Who leads us to repentance. It is God Who draws us to Him and then through that, we come to Christ.

"…by sanctification through the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you" (v 2). Again, this goes right back to what we covered earlier on grace and mercy.

Verse 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

We haven't been called to be good religious people. We have been called to become the sons and daughters of God. When Christ returns, we will be changed from flesh to spirit and be immortal forever!

Verse 4: "Unto an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for us, who are being safeguarded by the power of God through faith, for salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time" (vs 4-5). That's quite a salutation to a letter.

Verse 13: "For this reason, be prepared in your minds… [in coming to have a pure heart] …be self-controlled…" Which is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. By the way, you analyze all the Beatitudes and these are the attitudes so that you can develop the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is love, peace, joy and all of things listed in Gal. 5!

"…and be fully hoping in the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (v 13). What is the final grace we are going to receive? The resurrection!

Verse 14: "As obedient children, do not conform yourselves to the former lusts, as you did in your ignorance. But according as He Who has called you is Holy, you yourselves also be Holy in all your conduct; for it is written, 'You be Holy because I am Holy.'… [that goes right back to the books of Moses] …And if you call upon the Father, Who judges according to each man's work without respect of persons, pass the time of your life's journey in the fear of God; knowing that you were not redeemed by corruptible things, by silver or gold, from your futile way of living, inherited by tradition from your forefathers; but by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; Who truly was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for your sakes; Even for you who through Him do believe in God, Who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope might be in God. Having purified your lives… [purifying our heart] …by obedience to the Truth… [here we find the steps of purification] …unto unfeigned brotherly love through the Spirit, love one another fervently with a pure heart (vs 14-22). That's something! Notice how this is accomplished:

Verse 23: "For you have been begotten again, not from corruptible seed, but from incorruptible seed, by the living Word of God, which remains forever." That shows you and starts the process.

All Scripture from The Holy Bible In Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 5:17-20
  • Matthew 5:7
  • Matthew 9:11-13
  • Hebrews 2:6-18
  • Psalms 145:8
  • Romans 2:4
  • Psalm 145:8-9
  • Psalms 86:1-12
  • Matthew 22:34-37, 39-40
  • Psalms 86:13
  • Romans 6:23
  • Psalm 86:14-17
  • Matthew 5:8
  • Acts 15:7-9
  • Titus 1:15-16
  • Proverbs 23:7
  • Proverbs 24:1-2
  • Jeremiah 17:1-11
  • Jeremiah 10:23
  • Proverbs 14:12
  • Proverbs 16:25
  • Jeremiah 10:24-25
  • Proverbs 30:11-14
  • Proverbs 21:2, 8
  • Isaiah 66:17
  • Psalms 24:3-5
  • Psalms 15:1-5
  • 1-Peter 1:1-5, 13-23

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 21; 22
  • Mark 7
  • Genesis 1
  • Exodus 34
  • Ephesians 2
  • Psalms 1:3
  • Galatians 5

Also referenced:

    • From: The Holy Bible In Its Original Order, A Faithful Version, Appendix H: How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law and the Prophets?
    • Book: Code of Jewish Law by Solomon Ganzfried and Hyman E. Goldin
    • Sermon: The Unpardonable Sin {Hebrew Series #29 truthofgod.org}

FRC: nfs
Transcribed: 03-19-17
Proofed: bo—3/26/17

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