The Two Olive Trees has refocused it’s writing on the exact message preached by the Lord Jesus Christ while He was on earth. This message is seldom preached in its purity due to human era and bias. It is the hope of the Two Olive Trees to earnestly transmit the Lord’s message while avoiding doctrinal errors through prayer and much study. With that said, let’s explore the Beatitudes.
Who Was Christ Speaking To?
In Matthew chapter 5, we find the teachings of Jesus commonly known as the Beatitudes. In movies and television productions, Jesus is commonly depicted as speaking to a large crowd of people, but a careful study of the text will prove otherwise. The Beatitudes are recorded by Luke and Matthew. It is Luke’s account that gives the impression that Jesus was talking to the multitudes following Him.
In Luke 6:12-16, Jesus goes up a mountain and prays all night seeking the Father’s will before selecting the twelve disciples that were to be apostles. This is the context of the events taking place at that time. After selecting the apostles, Jesus came down from the mountain with the apostles and stood amongst the rest of His disciples and a multitude of people (verse 17). At that time, He was healing people in the crowd (verses 18-19). Immediately after recounting these events, Luke records the Beatitudes, giving the appearance that Jesus was talking to the multitude and His disciples.
If we read Matthew’s account alongside Luke’s account, you will see the full picture of the event. Luke 6:19 says, “the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.” Matt. 5:1 reads, “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him.” This particular detail is not recorded by Luke, but it fills in the blank. These verses together show us that Jesus went up the mountain for the second time to get away from the crowd of people who were trying to touch Him to be healed. This means Jesus did not give this special teaching to the multitude. He reserved this lesson for His disciples.
This is a significant fact. Remember, Jesus taught the understanding of the mystery of the kingdom was reserved for His disciples (Mark 4:10-11). It is not given to everyone at this time to understand what God is doing on this earth. Unfortunately, most of the world’s population has their minds blinded to the truth of the gospel that Jesus preached and taught the apostles to preach (2 Cor. 4:3-4). May God open our minds to His revelation preserved in the Holy Bible.
Now, let us dig into the mysteries of God
Poor in Spirit
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:3)
Read the companion verse in Luke 6:20. This verse is much deeper than many think. First, the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are poor in spirit. The words theirs and yours denote possession. Contrary to popular belief, the kingdom of heaven is not a kingdom that is in heaven. There are many verses in the Bible that prove this point. We will explore those verses later in this study. Nevertheless, this verse makes it plain that those who are not poor in spirit do not have possession of the kingdom of heaven.
What does it mean to be poor in spirit? The Greek word translated into poor means to crouch, a beggar, i.e. pauper. These terms have to do with status or level. They signify low or lowliness. If you compare this phrase to the phrase rich in spirit or to be spirited, then the meaning becomes clear. Jesus is referring to individuals who are low in spirit or attitude. Jesus is saying those who are humble have possession of the kingdom of heaven. Humility is a trait that God expects all His children to possess. This understanding can be confirmed in other parts of your Bible.
“Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (Isa. 66:1-2)
According to these verses in the book of Isaiah, there is nothing we can give to God because He made all there is. All the material of the world is already His possession. Despite this fact, what we can give God is respect and honor. God wants us to be humble and tremble at His word. Those who do not stand before God in humility will not inherit the kingdom God will establish upon the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember, the apostles James and Peter tells us that God resists the proud (Jam. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5).
Also read Luke 18:15-17. Make sure that you read it more than once. Jesus Christ is making an analogy in these verses. He explains, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” (verse 17). This is the same point made in the Beatitudes about humility. A young child is humble in comparison to teenagers and adults. Children receive information with humility and joy with pure belief (faith) in what is being told. The same applies to those who will receive the kingdom. God expects us to believe what He says with the humility of a child.
Blessed are the humble who receive the word of God with joy and humility. They will receive the kingdom.
They That Mourn
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (Matt. 5:4)
Luke records this statement in a different order. Luke’s versions says, “Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.” (Luke 6:21). If only Christians would take heed to these words of the Lord. Jesus is explaining that His disciples will mourn which means to lament or grieve in the Greek. Disciples of Jesus Christ are not going to have the same joy in this world as those who are unconverted. Nevertheless, Jesus gives us a promise of comfort to come in the future.
It is important to note that the meaning of comforted in the Greek is to call near i.e. invite or invoke. Jesus is telling the disciples those who mourn in this world ruled by satan for following the Lord will be invited into the kingdom. Jesus is referring to the resurrection into the kingdom of God. In the kingdom, the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ will be comforted after the persecution of saints is ended. Jesus has promised to raise up those who are drawn near by the Father in the last day (John 6:44). This is a promise of the raising of the dead and the receiving of a glorified body. Paul also writes about this promise in Rom. 8:11.
Also read the words of Jesus in John 16:1-4, 17-33. Persecution will come to those who follow Jesus. Jesus tells us that some people will kill His disciples thinking they are doing God a service (verse 2). In these verses, Jesus makes it absolutely clear that, “ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” While Jesus is not physically on this earth, we will not have the same joy we shall have upon His return. Even though things will be difficult for those who walk after the way of God, Jesus wants us to have peace.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
We can find peace in the fact that Jesus Christ will return and raise us up in the last day. This should fill us with peace, but we also must accept that we will have much tribulation in this world. Please don’t think this only applied to the disciples of that time. Are we more special than they that we will experience no tribulation in this world? Absolutely not, but rest assured there is a kingdom that will be established on earth at the return of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and the faithful will be raised unto everlasting life.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea… And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:1,4)
Blessed are those who grieve for they shall be called near into the kingdom.
The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt. 5:5)
This is a frequently quoted seldomly understood verse. This verse amplifies Matt. 5:3. It helps to explained what the kingdom of heaven is. Meek means gentle, mild, i.e. humble in the Greek. This definition aligns with the phrase poor in spirit. Essentially, Jesus is referring to the same group of people with the added characteristics of gentle and mild. Those who are humble, gentle, and mild will inherit the earth. The Greek word translated into inherit means to be an heir. Notice, Jesus did not say this group will inherit heaven.
Did you know that Jesus was paraphrasing a passage from the Psalms?
“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Ps. 37: 8-11)
Even David, a man after God’s own heart, knew that the reward of those who are humble, gentle, and mild is the earth. Of course, this fact is recorded in other verses as well. Take the time to read Daniel chapter 2 and 7. Both of theses chapters contain prophecy of God destroying the kingdoms of this world that are ruled by satan. These kingdoms will be consumed and replaced by a kingdom built without hands that will stand forever (Dan. 2:44-45). This new kingdom will be a kingdom set up by the God of heaven. Remember, Jesus Christ was born to be king of this coming kingdom as He told Pilate (John 18:33-36). Also read Dan. 7:13-14 for more confirmation.
It is very important that you believe what your Bible says about God’s intentions. God will establish a kingdom on this earth and remove the evil of mankind under satan’s influence. You should also believe your Bible when it says the saints of the Most High will possess the kingdom of God alongside the Lord Jesus Christ (Dan. 7:22, 27). Please be sure to read the previously mentioned verses in the book of Daniel. This is the most inspiring message of all time. This is what the true gospel is about. God the Father want His saints to possess His kingdom and rule with Jesus Christ His Son. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ made it possible for man to be reconciled to God the Father and the Father wants you to be His son, an heir to His kingdom (Rom. 8:14-17).
During this time, God will regather all 13 tribes of Israel to the land He promised them. (The tribe of Joseph was split into Ephraim and Manasseh making 13). He will use Israel to fulfill the purpose for which He called them for. Read Isaiah chapter 60 to understand this more deeply. This point will be discussed more thoroughly in another Bible study. The reason for pointing this fact out is so that you understand that Israel will receive its promised inheritance and the saints will receive their promised inheritance which is the entire world. This is amazing truth behind Jesus’ words in Matt. 5:5. Also read Revelation chapter 20 and 21.
The last point that must be made regarding Matt.5:5 is those who behave contrary to the gentle, mild, and humble spirit God wants us to have will not inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor 6:9-10, Gal 5:16-21, and Rev 21:14-15 are just a few references to this fact.
Blessed are those who are gentle, mild, and humble, for they are the heirs of the kingdom the God of heaven will establish on earth.
Special Note: While writing this study, I generated an extensive list of references and notes. For this reason, the study of the Beatitudes will be published in multiple parts for easier reading. Be sure to check back with us soon for Part Two of this Bible study, as I am actively working on completing it for publication. We prayed that the Bible studies posted on this website bless you and that you share them with those you love. God bless you all!!!
– Bryant Muldrew