For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 18:14.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21:2-4.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:
Do not be in such a hurry to read through the Bible, take it line by line, precept by precept. Isaiah 28:10. Each word is precious. Each word is there for a purpose. Read My Word with the Spirit of truth whom Jesus sent to be your teacher and guide to all truth.
Entrust and trust your life to Me.
Today we will begin a study of Jesus’ teaching that is known as the “Sermon on the Mount,” as applied to seeing with the heart. Jesus taught the gospel (good news) of the Kingdom. “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15. He taught that He was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah that He opened His public ministry with in the synagogue in Nazareth. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19. And what did He tell those in the synagogue that day? “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:21. He came to bring good news of deliverance and a time of grace, but He had not died and risen yet so He was ushering in the new age and teaching the good news that He came to undo the works Satan had done and open My Kingdom to you. And He taught them that they could live days of Heaven upon the earth even then by living the covenant life I had opened to them in Abraham and was consummating in Jesus. In the first covenant I had betrothed you to Myself forever and in the new and everlasting covenant the marriage was consummated forever. You are all invited to the great marriage feast in Heaven, as many as those who will come at the invitation.Paul, who joined in following Jesus after the death and resurrection of Jesus, taught the good news of Jesus, the good news of your salvation, and the good news of the Kingdom.
The day He delivered the “Sermon on the Mount,” a vast number of people, crowds, were coming to hear Jesus and be healed. Most of them came with faith for something wonderful to take place because they had heard about the healings and wonders He was doing. Jesus saw the crowds and He went up and sat down on the mountain. His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them. If you will note, He is addressing His disciples, this means people who are following Jesus and listening to His Words with faith. It is the same in the Gospel according to Luke when he also recounts Jesus speaking these beatitudes of Kingdom living. “And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to speak. Luke 6:20.
“Blessed are the poor (in Greek, ptóchos) in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3. “Blessed are the poor (ptochos), for yours is the kingdom of God.” Luke 6:20.
This is the first of the short sayings that connect you to Kingdom living as described in the book of Revelation, “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21:2-4. And that is My Will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven: no death, no mourning, or crying, or pain.
Who are the “poor in spirit?” They are the little flock who seek My Kingdom. “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:31-32.
You are probably asking how this first beatitude speaks of how to live days of Heaven on earth even now. Days of Heaven on earth would fulfill My desire that I have you authorize when you pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” This speaks of days of health, prosperity, and peace.
This beatitude does not mean, as many have taught, that you have to be of the destitute poor to be acceptable to Me. Far from that! For I tell you that poverty and lack are of the curse and I do not curse but bless. And that from the beginning. I tell you that for those who tithe and bring offerings for the work of the ministry I open the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing you cannot contain. I tell you that wealth and riches are in the house of the righteous. I tell you that My blessing makes rich and adds no sorrow with it. I tell you that as you sow you reap to have all sufficiency for yourself and plenty for every good work. I tell you that Jesus emptied Himself and became poor, so that you, by His poverty might become rich by receiving all He poured out of Himself to give you. I blessed Abraham to be a blessing and Jesus died to free you from the curse and give to you the blessing of Abraham and the promise of the Spirit by faith. And it is I who teach you to profit and the way you should go. And it is I who give you the power to gain wealth that I may confirm My covenant. Deuteronomy 8:18. The curse of poverty is not from Me nor does it please Me. I desire above all things that you prosper and be in good health even as your soul prospers by walking in the truth.
So what does this beatitude of Kingdom living mean? I would like to take you to the parable My Son taught that explains what it means to be poor in spirit so that yours is the Kingdom. It is the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector who went up to the temple to pray. Remember, I give grace to the humble but I resist the proud. Humility comes before riches and honor. But what is true humility and what is true pride?
Let us begin. In this chapter of Luke, right before this parable He had taught the parable of the unjust Judge and the widow demanding her rights. He told them this parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, that I am listening and I act quickly to bring about justice for My people. Luke 18:1-8. And He ended that parable with a question. “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:9. How would you decide? If you are praying or have given up hope and given in to doubt and unbelief due to the injustice you see on the earth. But that is not of My making and you, with your dominion authority on the earth, can bring Me in by prayer and authorize Me to work with, through, and in you to bring justice and tear down enemy strongholds in those whose eyes have been blinded by the god of this world.
But faith ONLY works by love. And that is what draws the line in the next parable of Luke 18.
And He addressed this parable to those who were convinced (confident, fully persuaded) of their own righteousness, and despised (held in contempt) everyone else: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and spoke his prayer to himself. He was praying this to himself. ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people—greedy, dishonest, swindlers, unjust, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, stood off at a distance, and would not even raise his eyes to Heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, make propitiation for me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14.
First note what I define as proud here, “convinced (confident, fully persuaded) of your own righteousness, and despising (holding in contempt) everyone else.” No love for Me or others.
You cannot truly have love for Me and despise those I have created. I find no fault in the good things the Pharisee was doing. The wages of sin are death. I have no pleasure in greed, dishonesty, swindling, injustice or adultery, these are totally against My law and not My Will. But I do not stop there. I love the world so much I sent My Son to die for you so that you could be cleansed and holy in My sight.
Holiness is lovely in My eyes. So lovely that Christ died to give it to you because of My great love and desire for you to be in close relationship with Me—reconciled, not counting your sins against you for they are all now on Christ. Through Christ I reconciled all things to Myself, having made peace through the blood of His cross. Colossians 1:20. “And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard.” Colossians 1:21-23. And, again, I repeat, faith works by love.
The Pharisee was doing great works in a sinful world but do you recall what My Spirit wrote through the apostle Paul, who at one time was also a self-righteous Pharisee, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. Love divides humility from pride. The heart of the proud one is not right; it is hard to Me and others. “Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4.
“For it is love I desire and not sacrifice (rituals, like the prayer, fasting, and tithing of the Pharisee done with no love but only for himself) and knowledge of God.” Hosea 6:6. Knowledge of Me gives you love, for I am love, and you cannot truly know and believe in My love for you and all it has brought Me to do in reaching out to you from creation until now without being humble. Humble in the sense of grateful and knowing the source of all your goodness is Me alone. My Son told you, “None is good but God alone.” And when you are filled with My love you are overflowing with goodness, My goodness becomes yours. For you who have faith in My Son are with Me always and everything I have is yours in Him. All My magnificent promises are “yes” to you in Him. And this is the poor in spirit, they know they are not their own source, Jesus is the vine and you are the branches and without Him you can do nothing righteous. But you can do all things in Jesus who strengthens you. And knowing that makes you qualify for the Kingdom, even now. Born again you become citizens of My Heavenly Kingdom.
“To those who have received a like precious faith to ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” 2 Peter 1:1-4.
And what is this humble love? Love that moves you to serve others and bring them to know the truth that will set them free so they can have a like precious faith and can receive all My magnificent promises that fill you with the fullness of My divine nature, which is humble love, for Jesus came to serve you, not to be served to give His life as a ransom for all. He was meek and humble of heart. “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
In contrast, when the tax collector came to pray, he only had his attention on Me while the Pharisee spoke his prayer to himself. He saw himself as the source of goodness and Me as required to reward him. On the other hand, the tax collector knew he could not attain righteousness on his own. He was classified as a sinner by the Pharisees for what they defined as an intentional sin by aligning with Rome, and the sin offering could only be offered by those who had unintentionally sinned, Leviticus 4:2-27; Leviticus 5:15, and not those who committed intentional sins. Their sin was not capable of propitiation by the holocaust and the blood sprinkled on the propitiatory (mercy seat). So since he could not offer the sacrifice, he asked Me to make propitiation for him. And I did, in Jesus. And on the Cross, Jesus cried out “Forgive them Father for they know not what they are doing.” And thus, since before Him acting together in His crucifixion were gentiles (the Romans), Jews and those who believed in Him, He qualified all for the sin offering, the burn offering, the guilt offering, and the peace offering and for His blood obtaining their forgiveness on the Mercy Seat in Heaven.
And it was love that gave you all that benefit. Should you not give the same to others and show them the way home to Me? Forgive as I have forgiven you, by love, by the blood of your spotless and eternal Lamb.
I want you also to know the truth about the tax collector’s prayer, for it is often translated “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” But this was first written in the Greek language, and the word for “mercy” in Greek is “eleeó (ἐλεέω),” which means “to have pity or mercy on, to show mercy,” and that is not the word used here. The word the tax collector used was “hilaskomai (ἱλάσκομαι)” which means “to make propitiation for.” You see both words used in Hebrews 2:17: “Therefore, He [Jesus] had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful (eleeó (ἐλεέω)) and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation (hilaskomai (ἱλάσκομαι)) for the sins of the people.”
And not only do the humble have the Kingdom as theirs, they also inherit the earth. And that is the third beatitude Jesus taught, “Blessed are the humble, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5. “For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17. And a second witness in My Word, “Worthy are You to take the scroll and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10.
It is all about propitiation by the sacrifice of Jesus, it is all about the gift of righteousness I gave you in Him, it is all about humility in receiving and knowing you did not earn it or accomplish it on your own. It is all about your heart. And yes, Jesus was poor in spirit and the Kingdom of Heaven is His. And it is for all of you who were poor enough in spirit to know you needed a savior, the LORD your righteousness.
I love you. And I really do, at all times and I want you to open the door of your heart to Me so I can bless and exalt you. Everyone who exalts himself (that is what the devil did and that is what he persuaded Adam and Eve to do) will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted (with Jesus). Now I think you will have new revelation about this passage of Scripture: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21.