Kingdom – BT4
The Kingdom is possessed by the beggarly poor in Spirit and the little children
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Jesus tells us who will possess the kingdom of God: “Blessed/enviably-happy are the ptochos beggarly poor [people] IN the Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (a). Here “Spirit” with the definite article “the” in the [singular] dative case (tw pneumati) almost always refers to the Holy Spirit and not to all plural human spirits, and certainly not to all people who were emotionally down and humbled by life’s circumstances! It’s crazy what people come up with! Also, “Spirit” above is singular and “poor” and “their” are plural, so they can’t be referring to the same person. Therefore, you absolutely cannot translate it: “All those who are poor in their human spirits are blessed, because they possess the kingdom of heaven.” The crazy things people come up with! <Notes> a) Matthew 5:3; see Luke 6:20 for an abbreviated version.
Remember that James 2:5 says: “God has chosen those who are ‘poor’ (context: physically) in the world to be ‘rich’ in trusting-relying-faith and/coupled heirs of the kingdom, which He has promised to those who unconditionally-love Him.” And Jesus certainly isn’t saying in the next verse of Matthew 5:4 that “All those who [physically] mourn are comforted.” Our experience will tell us this – many people commit suicide after great sorrow that found no comfort! This would be a forced reading, but that’s the way I’ve heard it preached so many times, that the “remorseful, tearful, sorrowful, humbled, even oppressed” poor are the ones especially blessed by God! Crazy! That’s not what I see at the homeless shelters in my town – they are miserable! And many of them have no intention at all of repenting from their road straight to hell!
Jesus told the religious leaders, “I have not come to call ‘the righteous’ (a) but sinners to repentance” (b) and to “bear fruit(s) in keeping with repentance” (c). “Beggarly poor in Spirit” is not simply a state of “remorse, sorrowful tears, regret, or humility” of a human spirit either that brings the blessing of heaven’s kingdom! Remember what Paul said: “I rejoiced, not because you were grieved (e), but because you were grieved eis towards-and-reaching repentance. For you felt a Godly grief, . . . , for Godly grief actually, ongoingly produces (f) a repentance eis towards-and-reaching salvation (g) without emotional regret, whereas grief (e) of/from/belonging to the world ongoingly produces death” (d). Only turning away from the world to Christ rescues a person from this dying world, no matter how much you cry over what we experience in it! Paul was confident the Lord would rescue him from every evil deed and bring him safely into His heavenly kingdom – that’s salvation (h)! <Notes> a) at least they think they are, b) Luke 5:32, c) Matthew 3:8; Luke 3:8, d) 2 Corinthians 7:9-10, e) sorrowful or in pain, f) works out, accomplishes, g) deliverance from danger to safety, health, and wholeness, h) 2 Timothy 4:18.
Furthermore, the dative case of “the Spirit” (tw pneumati) from Matthew 5:3 above is most often treated as the “Dative of Means or Instrument” to translate as: “The beggarly poor are blessed by the means of the Holy Spirit…,” for certainly many blessings come by the means of the Holy Spirit, such as when we are justified (a) in the name/authority of the Lord Jesus Christ by the means of the Spirit of our God (b); when we are sanctified (c) by the means of the Spirit through our trusting-relying-faith in The Truth (d); when we were sanctified (c) for God so that we would no longer practice sin lest we not receive our inheritance (e) but to walk in a manner worthy of God who calls us into His own kingdom and glory (f); or as we continue to put to death the misdeeds of the body by the means of the Spirit (g). <Notes> a) made/declared righteous, b) 1 Corinthians 6:11, c) set apart, consecrated, made holy, d) 2 Thessalonians 2:13, e) 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:20- 21; Ephesians 5:5, f) 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:5, g) Romans 8:13.
When we increasingly practice the qualities of virtue, knowledge, self control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and unconditional-love, we are kept from being ineffective and unfruitful, and confirms our election and calling so we won’t fall, and this richly provides an entrance into the kingdom (a). We are to walk by the means of the Spirit (b), live by the means of the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit (c), be led by the means of the Spirit as mature sons of God (d), be built together into a dwelling place for God by the means of the Spirit (e), and teach what we are taught not by human wisdom but by the means of the Spirit (f). There are so many more verses about the means or instrument of the Spirit, for He is the dunamis supernatural enabling-power of God! <Notes> a) 2 Peter 1:5-11, b) Galatians 5:16, c) Galatians 5:25, d) Galatians 5:18; Romans 8:14, e) Ephesians 2:22, f) 1 Corinthians 2:13.
However, not 1 other NT verse would support the idea that “the beggarly poor [made that way] by the means of the Spirit, are blessed/enviably-happy.” The Holy Spirit’s role is the exact opposite! Since “the Spirit” (tw pneumati) in Matthew 5:3 above comes immediately after the words “beggarly poor” in the Greek – and word order in Greek is vital to proper emphasis – it is more likely that the “Dative of Sphere, Realm, Place, or Location” is being used here, indicating where “the beggarly poor [people]” that are “blessed/enviably-happy” are those “IN or in company WITH the realm or sphere of the Holy Spirit” – these are the ones being blessed,” or “The beggarly poor who are blessed are the ones IN or in company WITH the realm or sphere of the Holy Spirit.” Again, from the arguments found above, this has nothing to do with the common human spirits of all men, for again “the Spirit” is in the [singular] with the definite article, and again, in the dative case this almost always refers to the one and only Holy Spirit.
If a person abides/lives/remains “IN or WITH the company of Christ” or stays connected to the “Vine of Christ,” which is surely “the realm or sphere” of His Holy Spirit (a), then the Holy Spirit (of Christ) can then bless that person with zoe genuine-life to produce much fruit, for apart from Me (Christ) you can to nothing (b). The flesh (c) is of no help at all – it is the Spirit who gives zoe genuine-life (d). The law (e) of the Spirit of zoe genuine-life has set us free IN [the realm or sphere of] Christ Jesus from the [Mosaic] Law of sin and death (f). The gramma letter/writing [of the Law] kills, but the Spirit gives zoe genuine-life (g). <Notes> a) see Romans 8:9 and 1 Peter 1:11 for “the Spirit of Christ,” and Luke 4:18, Acts 5:9, and 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 for “the Spirit of the Lord”, b) John 15:1-17, c) See Identity and Might and Power pages, d) John 6:63, e) nomos used generically as principle, rule, f) Romans 8:2, g) 2 Corinthians 3:6.
Although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is zoe genuine-life because of [Christ’s imparted] righteousness. If the Spirit of Him (Father) who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He . . . will also give zoe genuine-life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you (a). The last Adam (Jesus) became a zoe genuine-life-giving Spirit (b). For to set the mind (c) on the flesh is death, but to set the mind (c) on the Spirit is zoe genuine-life and peace (d). For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption (e), but the one who sows to the Spirit from the Spirit reap eternal, zoe genuine-life (f). There are many such verses of the blessings derived from being “IN the realm or sphere” of the Holy Spirit – IN Christ! It’s an amazing thing that we can be “IN Christ” and “Christ can be IN us by His Spirit!” <Notes> a) Romans 8:10-11, b) 1 Corinthians 15:45, c) direction, world-view, d) Romans 8:6, e) pollution and destruction, f) Galatians 6:8.
Finally, Matthew 5:3 is absolutely not saying “every poor beggar or everyone who mourns is satisfied and comforted,” but instead ONLY those who hold out their hearts openly or are teachable (a) for the Holy Spirit to ‘feed’ and comfort them. The Holy Spirit is called the Parakletos (b). Unless we are “meek (c) can we thus receive our inheritance.” Unless we desperately “hunger and thirst for righteousness will we ever be satisfied” – everything else but Christ will leave us empty wanting more, for Christ is “the Holy and Righteous One” and “our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption” (d). <Notes> a) the meaning of humble, b) Close-beside’ caller, summoner, or inviter; helper, succorer, or assistant; encouraging teacher, counselor, comforter, or consoler; defense-attorney, judicial-advocate, or court-intercessor: John 14:26-27, 16:6-7; Acts 9:31; 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, 7:6; Philippians 2:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:16, c) yielding, teachable, and humble, d) Acts 3:14, 7:52, 22:14; 1 Corinthians 1:30.
We also have to remember that early in His ministry Jesus speaks very broadly in the Beatitudes to Jews concerning the insufficiency of the Law and their efforts in order to lay the groundwork for His later more specific teaching about the gospel logos message. For example, it’s not the righteousness of the Law or the Pharisees or our own personal idea of self-righteousness or that of any other religion that Jesus speaks of in “Bless are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (a), for in the same breath He says, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account” (b) and a little later: “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (c). Even later Jesus says: “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (d). Before Christ comes, during the church age, Jesus said “they (the world) will lay their hands on you and persecute you, . . . for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness” (e). <Notes> a) Matthew 5:10, b) v. 5:11, c) v. 5:20, d) John 15:20, e) Luke 21:12-13.
When Christ’s disciples were arguing to decide who would be the leaders or “great ones” in Christ’s kingdom (a), Jesus picked up a little child and put it in their midst and said they had to be like this little child to even enter or receive (b) the kingdom, for to such children belongs the kingdom (c)! That certainly involves totally trusting the Father concerning His Son! “No one who denies the Son has the Father” (d) – it doesn’t matter how religiously faithful you are as a Jew or Muslim that believes in “one God.” Jesus made it clear: “Absolutely in fact no one actually, ongoingly comes to the Father except through Me” (e). There is only one Messiah! All roads do NOT lead to God! <Notes> a) Matthew 18:10, 20:20-28; Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48, b) grab a hold of, c) Mark 10:14-15; Luke 18:17, d) 1 John 2:23, e) John 14:6.
To be great then in the kingdom, we have to lower ourselves to be like a little child, to continue having trusting-relying-faith in the Lord, but also to be as humble or teachable. To be a so-called leader or ‘first’ you have to be like a servant who doesn’t give orders but takes them, even a slave or ‘last’ one – the bottom of the world’s totem pole! Jesus makes it clear that in His kingdom there is only one Head, one Master and one Teacher, and we are all brothers of equal importance (a). If Jesus, the Lord and Teacher could wash their feet like a slave would, shouldn’t they serve one another in like manner (b)? This really shoots the world’s (c) idea of leadership full of holes! In fact, Christ’s only entole official decree or commandment to the Church was to unconditionally-love one another as I have unconditionally-loved you” (d). This has generally not been my experience from the many church leaders I’ve known, though I’ve been privileged to have a few good examples! <Notes> a) Matthew 23:8-10, Ephesians 1:22 – see Teach One Another – BT10, b) John 13:14, c) and unfortunately too much of the Church’s, d) John 15:12.
As Christian musicians, if we want to be blessed and enviably happy, we are have to simply by “IN or WITH the company of Christ” and thus “IN or WITH the company of Christ’s Holy Spirit, and so it doesn’t really matter if we are physically poor or persecuted for our trusting-relying-faith in Christ. The Lord will reward us! We didn’t just weep over our losses in this world, but surrendered our lives to Him, regardless of the cost to us. We didn’t have a world sorrow, but a Godly sorrow that led us to repentance and salvation. If we stay connected to Christ, we will produce much fruit to glorify God. Regardless of our suffering in this world, the Holy Spirit within us will bless us. He is our Parakletos comforter and consoler and the one who gives us peace and joy as part of His unconditional-love within us. Even if we are humbled in poverty, we must remain humble like little children for God’s grace to abound, for surely God opposes the proud. Even if we are physically poor, even from persecution, we can be rich IN/WITH the Spirit.
Lord, despite our suffering, even poverty, in this world we will find our strength, peace, joy, and riches IN/WITH the company of Your Holy Spirit. Fill us with more of Yourself.