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Thread: Poverty in Spirit

  1. #1

    Poverty in Spirit

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” – Matthew 5:3

    All through scriptures, it is very evident that God delights in the prosperity and greatness of his children. As a matter of fact, the scripture tells us that the Lord has bequeathed all his creation to his children—The Church.

    He has willed his ministers, the world, death, life, present things and things to come to us believers (1Corinthians 3:22). And I have expounded this fact in my article “All Are Yours”.

    All through scriptures, it is evident that the majority of the people that walked with God were made great in all ramifications. Including the chosen nation—Israel. The Lord says we shall be the head and not the tail. He says we shall be above only, and not beneath…

    Then again we are told in scriptures that the Lord has given us (Christians) all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Hence every believer in Christ Jesus is prosperous or rich in all ramifications through redemption and divine heritage. Now, with the above point established, we want to understand what Jesus meant when he said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”.

    What does he mean by being poor in the spirit? It is very important we understand this statement, because many Christians over the ages, have erroneously interpreted the above statement of the Lord to mean material or financial poverty…

    But Jesus never implied that in the context of his statement; hence he was specific. He didn’t say, “Blessed are the materially or financially poor”. Rather he says “blessed are the poor in spirit”. Because someone can be materially or financially poor, and yet not be poor in spirit.

    Then on the other hand, someone can as well be materially or financially rich but poor in spirit. Such was the likes of Abraham, Job, Isaac, David, etc.

    So What Does Poverty in Spirit Mean?

    To better understand poverty in spirit we have to consider the biblical examples the Lord spoke against their attitudes with wealth. Firstly, let’s consider the fellow that ran to Jesus to ask him how to inherit eternal life (Mark 10:17-20).

    After his conversation with the Lord, the Lord asked him to go sell all he had and give them to the poor, and come, take up the cross and follow him ( Mark 10:21).

    When he received that instruction from the Lord, the word of God says he was sad at the saying and went away grieved: for he had great possessions (Mark 10:22). Now the problem of this young man was not the fact that he had great possessions. No, that couldn’t have been the case; if it was, the Lord would have as well been displeased with Abraham, Job, Isaac and Jacob…

    The major challenge of this rich fellow, as it is with many today, is hearty attachment to their possessions. How did I know? I knew this by the Lord’s clarifying statement in verse 24 of the same scripture (Mark 10: 24). Here are the exact words of the Lord Jesus; “Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God”.

    So the challenge the Lord had with this rich fellow, wasn’t his wealth or great possessions. But rather his trust or hearty attachment to his possessions that hindered him from selling them off, giving them away to the poor and following him as the Lord instructed him.

    That said, let’s consider another example. Because a matter must be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses.

    “ And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; these things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God, I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot… Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”—Revelation 3:14 & 17.

    The same issue comes up again in the above scripture as we saw in the first scriptural example. This fellow became lukewarm concerning God and the things of God as a result of material possessions. And the Lord was displeased with him, not because of his possessions but with his material idolatry.

    And the Lord was specific about that in his rebuke. He says; “Because thou sayest I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing”. The Lord didn’t say “because you are rich and increased with good and have need of nothing”. So it wasn’t about his possession, but about the statement of his heart.
    It was about his material attachment or attitude in the heart.

    So from the above two examples, we can rightly define poverty in spirit to mean, a holistic trust in the Lord, and absolute detachment from possessions, position or achievements. Poverty in spirit means giving up on everything you possess to the Lord in your heart…

    It means owning everything, yet submitting all to the Lord in your heart (your spirit). Poverty in spirit means, “Not letting your possessions or position get into your heart or your head”.

    Poverty of the spirit means not putting anything or the possession of anything or position above God and his instructions in your heart. Thus poverty in spirit is a matter of the heart or spirit. It is not a function of material or financial possessions because like I wrote earlier, one can be financially or materially poor, yet not be poor in spirit.

    Key to Poverty in Spirit

    The major biblical key for maintaining poverty in the spirit (human spirit), no matter the level of your elevation in life… Is the realisation that we are actually, only receivers, not achievers. We must realise that whatever we own, possess, know; the heights we have attained, the goals we have achieved etc…

    Are all given to us by the Lord. We can receive absolutely nothing except it be given us from heaven (John 3:27). When this revelation dawn in our hearts or spirits, and we walk in it on daily basis, our ego will be humbled.

    And as such, we won’t have any need to glory in ourselves or be high-minded over anything. But rather, we’ll always give all the glory to God for all things at all times (see 1 Corinthians 4:7). And along the same line, we’ll also render our bodies and possessions as living sacrifice unto God.

    This is exactly what poverty in spirit mean. And the Lord will have us make this attitude our lifestyle. For he says the kingdom of heaven is the heritage or possession of the poor in spirit.

    The Lord does not have any problem with making us great to any level in life. But he does have a problem with our being high-minded and Idolising the greatness or possessions.

    I pray the Lord make this attitude of poverty in spirit a part of your new nature in Jesus Name!

    Remain Blessed!

    Emeke Odili
    Emeke Odili is a Christian Teacher, Preacher, Author, Writer and Blogger. He has a divinely given vision of practically teaching people how to make success in life through absolute righteousness and faith. Emeke is married to his best friend, Joy. He shares life-transforming articles at his blog: www.righteousfaith.wordpress.com

  2. #2
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    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    He actually did say blessed be the poor -Luke 6:20- God's provision.

    As for Matthew 5:3's poor in spirit, the context is the kingdom coming means relief from oppression and persecution.

  3. #3
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    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    I see it thus:

    In both Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven", and Luke 6:20, "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God", the Kingdom is is the object of both poverty in spirit and pecuniary poverty. Thus, any understanding of these two "poverties" must stem from a settled understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven and of God.

    They both can be easily defined by Matthew 6:10; "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Contrary to popular Christian belief that when a man dies he either goes to heaven or to hell, the Bible unfolds a narrative of man being made from the earth and for the earth (Gen.1:26-28, 2:7). And this narrative ends with a City made of men "coming down" to a New (renewed) Earth, having the glory of God and ruling THE EARTH forever (Rev.21:10-11, 23, 22:5). According to the grammar of Matthew 6:10 above, God's will, God's rule, God's laws are already followed in heaven. The problem area is THE EARTH. Initially the problem was Satan, fallen angels and demons that had to be "subdued" and cast out of the Garden of Pleasure where a holy God met with His man. But now, the earth is ruled by fallen men IN LEAGUE with Satan, fallen angels and demons. So the crucial issue facing God, and man, is, will God eventually subdue these enemies and institute His will, His rule and His laws ON EARTH?

    Christians in general, unwittingly, have a low opinion of God. They unwittingly give the victory for this earth to Satan. They believe that they barely make it to the refuge of heaven. And in all this they serve a God Who was defeated by a mere angel. Perish the thought! The councils of the ALMIGHTY cannot be thwarted. He WILL institute His will, His rules and His laws on earth. And when this great day arrives ON EARTH it is called (i) The Kingdom of Heaven - because the same rules and laws of heaven will be enforced on earth, and (ii) The Kingdom of God - because He will be the King over all facets of the earth. Anybody who takes a moment to consider this will have to admit that in this "Time of the Gentiles", the ruling, the laws and the philosophy of this earth is fully given over to Satan. So while God owns the earth, His will is yet to be realized on it. God, just as He restored the chaotic earth in Genesis Chapter 1 in SEVEN days, He has set aside SEVEN thousand years to restore the chaotic world to HIS RULE. By the "Kingdom of Heaven" and the "Kingdom of God" are meant the last 1,000 years when He will rest because His will, His rule and His Laws will be enforced by a Man - Jesus, with a rod of iron.

    So why is "poverty of spirit" and "pecuniary poverty" essential for a man to gain a place in this wonderful future reign of God over the earth?

    Here we must define both "poverties" for they are completely different. The easy one is in Luke 6:20. As the article above clearly show, money wealth does three things to a man;
    1. Wealth is "deceitful" (Matt.13:22; Mk.4:19). That is, is leads one to believe things that are not. So the wealthy are "deceived"
    2. The first "deception" is that they are somehow better humans because they have "achieved" riches. But anybody who has been around on this earth for a while, knows that wealthy people, in general, have a worse character than they had before the riches. A recent survey followed people who had won the lottery. Nine out of ten people fell into deep sin, even murder, and landed up bankrupt. The most notable was a successful Pastor who ended up bankrupt and killing his wife. Wealth corrupts!
    3. The second "deception" is that wealth will make one secure. The trust that should be accorded to God is now swung to focus on what this wealth can do to save you from the difficulties of life. But the rich and poor die of cancer, car accidents and strokes just as often as the poor. A wealthy person my afford the best doctors, but die you will anyway. Well has the Psalmist said in Psalm 127:1, "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

    So physical wealth deceives, corrupts and diverts focus from the True Supplier of blessings - God. It does to the wealthy person EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE when it comes to being a person worthy of the coming Kingdom of God. The man or woman in financial need looks to God, puts his/her trust in God (faith), is obedient to God and hopes in God - exactly the things needed to be qualified to administer this coming Kingdom.

    "Poverty in spirit" is connected to the above, but in a slightly different way. Maybe these four scriptures will give us the lead;
    Psalm 34:18; "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."
    Psalm 51:17; "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."
    Isaiah 57:15; "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."
    Isaiah 66:2; "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."

    Israel are truly privileged. They have been CHOSEN by God, they have CALLED by God, they have been REDEEMED by God, and they had Him as their SUPPLY and PROTECTOR. Let us consider the last of my verses above, Isaiah 66:2. In regard to "the things which His hand has made" - and the earth is one of them, how will a man be "looked to" by God? BY HIS ATTITUDE TO GOD'S WORD. Romans 3:1-2 agrees:

    1 "What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
    2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God."


    But what happened when these "Oracles of God" were committed to them? THREE TIMES, when the Law of Moses is given to Israel they boast, "... All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. ... ." (Ex.19:8). See also Exodus 23:3, 7! WHAT! Within days of making this claim they build the Golden Calf! What was the problem? How could they have made such a claim? The problem was that they had an appreciation of themselves that was totally wrong. According to James 2:26 the life of man is in his spirit. So the spirit of man sets the ATTITUDE for life. Intuition is part of the spirit of man. 1st Corinthians 2:11; "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." That is, the spirit is an organ for knowing things that the rest of the intellect cannot fathom. But the verse goes on to say that it is limited and cannot know the things of God. The unregenerate spirit of man is fully capable of being wrong. And so was Israel.

    If they had looked at their past record, their MIND (a part of the soul) would have told them that they were a bunch of unfaithful, fearful, blasphemers. But they overrode their memory like all conceited men do. Then, their INTUITION, if it had been in tune with God, should have told them that they were, as servants of the Most High - utterly useless. If their spirits had transmitted their POVERTY of nature, they would have answered God differently. They would have cast themselves down and murmured that there was no way tht they could keep such "Oracles" and begged for mercy. They were PROUD in spirit instead of being men "... that are poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at God's word." Their history at the Red Sea, at Marah, at Elim and at Rephidim should have make clear that they were NOT in the position to make Covenants with God about His Words. Their ESTIMATION of their NATURE was WRONG. They were a bunch of failures who, against all logic, thought that they were capable of fulfilling God's Words!

    And so are many Christians today. They might sparingly admit that they slip and fall now and again, but deep inside their spirits, they believe that they are UP TO GOD'S WORDS. It is not so much pride, but an innate BELIEF that if God requires something from them, THEY ARE UP TO IT. But each and every one of us must either EMPTY his spirit of any such folly and become POOR in spirit, or he must, like Israel, fail so many times that the failures themselves convince him. Either way, to become totally dependent on God's providence, not in money matters, but in our nature and character, we must EMPTY our spirit of all thought that we are in the least bit capable of doing God's Words. We have to be so POOR in spirit that at even the most mundane of commands, we cast ourselves down before God and admit that we will most probably fail.

    In the coming Millennial Kingdom of Jesus, some of us will be found worthy of being co-kings with Jesus over various cities (Lk.19:17-19). These men and women will NOT be those who made claims of their service to the Lord. They will neither be the wealthy in money, nor the wealthy in attitude. They will be those who TOTALLY DISTRUST themselves to achieve even the smallest thing. They are those who KNOW INTUITIVELY that they are puny, and but dust, and if God does not step in, they will not be up to it. Society today applauds the confident. From the Top Gun pilot, to the Formula 1 world champion to the successful businessman, we applaud CONFIDENCE. But for the gaining of the Kingdom of Heaven, we must become totally empty and dependent. We must become like the publican in Luke 18:9-14:

    9 "And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
    10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
    11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
    12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
    13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
    14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."


    You want to be justified? Be poor in spirit. You want to be exalted when Jesus names His co-kings in the Millennial Kingdom? Be poor in spirit! We are ALL POVERTY STRICKEN in matters spiritual. Just admit it and act accordingly.

  4. #4

    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    I see it thus:

    In both Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven", and Luke 6:20, "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God", the Kingdom is is the object of both poverty in spirit and pecuniary poverty. Thus, any understanding of these two "poverties" must stem from a settled understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven and of God.

    They both can be easily defined by Matthew 6:10; "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Contrary to popular Christian belief that when a man dies he either goes to heaven or to hell, the Bible unfolds a narrative of man being made from the earth and for the earth (Gen.1:26-28, 2:7). And this narrative ends with a City made of men "coming down" to a New (renewed) Earth, having the glory of God and ruling THE EARTH forever (Rev.21:10-11, 23, 22:5). According to the grammar of Matthew 6:10 above, God's will, God's rule, God's laws are already followed in heaven. The problem area is THE EARTH. Initially the problem was Satan, fallen angels and demons that had to be "subdued" and cast out of the Garden of Pleasure where a holy God met with His man. But now, the earth is ruled by fallen men IN LEAGUE with Satan, fallen angels and demons. So the crucial issue facing God, and man, is, will God eventually subdue these enemies and institute His will, His rule and His laws ON EARTH?

    Christians in general, unwittingly, have a low opinion of God. They unwittingly give the victory for this earth to Satan. They believe that they barely make it to the refuge of heaven. And in all this they serve a God Who was defeated by a mere angel. Perish the thought! The councils of the ALMIGHTY cannot be thwarted. He WILL institute His will, His rules and His laws on earth. And when this great day arrives ON EARTH it is called (i) The Kingdom of Heaven - because the same rules and laws of heaven will be enforced on earth, and (ii) The Kingdom of God - because He will be the King over all facets of the earth. Anybody who takes a moment to consider this will have to admit that in this "Time of the Gentiles", the ruling, the laws and the philosophy of this earth is fully given over to Satan. So while God owns the earth, His will is yet to be realized on it. God, just as He restored the chaotic earth in Genesis Chapter 1 in SEVEN days, He has set aside SEVEN thousand years to restore the chaotic world to HIS RULE. By the "Kingdom of Heaven" and the "Kingdom of God" are meant the last 1,000 years when He will rest because His will, His rule and His Laws will be enforced by a Man - Jesus, with a rod of iron.

    So why is "poverty of spirit" and "pecuniary poverty" essential for a man to gain a place in this wonderful future reign of God over the earth?

    Here we must define both "poverties" for they are completely different. The easy one is in Luke 6:20. As the article above clearly show, money wealth does three things to a man;
    1. Wealth is "deceitful" (Matt.13:22; Mk.4:19). That is, is leads one to believe things that are not. So the wealthy are "deceived"
    2. The first "deception" is that they are somehow better humans because they have "achieved" riches. But anybody who has been around on this earth for a while, knows that wealthy people, in general, have a worse character than they had before the riches. A recent survey followed people who had won the lottery. Nine out of ten people fell into deep sin, even murder, and landed up bankrupt. The most notable was a successful Pastor who ended up bankrupt and killing his wife. Wealth corrupts!
    3. The second "deception" is that wealth will make one secure. The trust that should be accorded to God is now swung to focus on what this wealth can do to save you from the difficulties of life. But the rich and poor die of cancer, car accidents and strokes just as often as the poor. A wealthy person my afford the best doctors, but die you will anyway. Well has the Psalmist said in Psalm 127:1, "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

    So physical wealth deceives, corrupts and diverts focus from the True Supplier of blessings - God. It does to the wealthy person EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE when it comes to being a person worthy of the coming Kingdom of God. The man or woman in financial need looks to God, puts his/her trust in God (faith), is obedient to God and hopes in God - exactly the things needed to be qualified to administer this coming Kingdom.

    "Poverty in spirit" is connected to the above, but in a slightly different way. Maybe these four scriptures will give us the lead;
    Psalm 34:18; "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."
    Psalm 51:17; "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."
    Isaiah 57:15; "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."
    Isaiah 66:2; "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."

    Israel are truly privileged. They have been CHOSEN by God, they have CALLED by God, they have been REDEEMED by God, and they had Him as their SUPPLY and PROTECTOR. Let us consider the last of my verses above, Isaiah 66:2. In regard to "the things which His hand has made" - and the earth is one of them, how will a man be "looked to" by God? BY HIS ATTITUDE TO GOD'S WORD. Romans 3:1-2 agrees:

    1 "What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
    2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God."


    But what happened when these "Oracles of God" were committed to them? THREE TIMES, when the Law of Moses is given to Israel they boast, "... All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. ... ." (Ex.19:8). See also Exodus 23:3, 7! WHAT! Within days of making this claim they build the Golden Calf! What was the problem? How could they have made such a claim? The problem was that they had an appreciation of themselves that was totally wrong. According to James 2:26 the life of man is in his spirit. So the spirit of man sets the ATTITUDE for life. Intuition is part of the spirit of man. 1st Corinthians 2:11; "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." That is, the spirit is an organ for knowing things that the rest of the intellect cannot fathom. But the verse goes on to say that it is limited and cannot know the things of God. The unregenerate spirit of man is fully capable of being wrong. And so was Israel.

    If they had looked at their past record, their MIND (a part of the soul) would have told them that they were a bunch of unfaithful, fearful, blasphemers. But they overrode their memory like all conceited men do. Then, their INTUITION, if it had been in tune with God, should have told them that they were, as servants of the Most High - utterly useless. If their spirits had transmitted their POVERTY of nature, they would have answered God differently. They would have cast themselves down and murmured that there was no way tht they could keep such "Oracles" and begged for mercy. They were PROUD in spirit instead of being men "... that are poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at God's word." Their history at the Red Sea, at Marah, at Elim and at Rephidim should have make clear that they were NOT in the position to make Covenants with God about His Words. Their ESTIMATION of their NATURE was WRONG. They were a bunch of failures who, against all logic, thought that they were capable of fulfilling God's Words!

    And so are many Christians today. They might sparingly admit that they slip and fall now and again, but deep inside their spirits, they believe that they are UP TO GOD'S WORDS. It is not so much pride, but an innate BELIEF that if God requires something from them, THEY ARE UP TO IT. But each and every one of us must either EMPTY his spirit of any such folly and become POOR in spirit, or he must, like Israel, fail so many times that the failures themselves convince him. Either way, to become totally dependent on God's providence, not in money matters, but in our nature and character, we must EMPTY our spirit of all thought that we are in the least bit capable of doing God's Words. We have to be so POOR in spirit that at even the most mundane of commands, we cast ourselves down before God and admit that we will most probably fail.

    In the coming Millennial Kingdom of Jesus, some of us will be found worthy of being co-kings with Jesus over various cities (Lk.19:17-19). These men and women will NOT be those who made claims of their service to the Lord. They will neither be the wealthy in money, nor the wealthy in attitude. They will be those who TOTALLY DISTRUST themselves to achieve even the smallest thing. They are those who KNOW INTUITIVELY that they are puny, and but dust, and if God does not step in, they will not be up to it. Society today applauds the confident. From the Top Gun pilot, to the Formula 1 world champion to the successful businessman, we applaud CONFIDENCE. But for the gaining of the Kingdom of Heaven, we must become totally empty and dependent. We must become like the publican in Luke 18:9-14:

    9 "And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
    10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
    11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
    12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
    13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
    14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."


    You want to be justified? Be poor in spirit. You want to be exalted when Jesus names His co-kings in the Millennial Kingdom? Be poor in spirit! We are ALL POVERTY STRICKEN in matters spiritual. Just admit it and act accordingly.
    Brother Walls,

    I did enjoy your exegesis once again. But concerning the pecuniary poverty part. Going by your interpretation. I wanted to know how biblical examples such as Job, Abraham and David actually fared righteously with God. Even in the absence of pecuniary poverty as you have explained. You know, these folks where super rich. Yet they won God's heart. How could that have been possible going by your exegesis?
    Emeke Odili is a Christian Teacher, Preacher, Author, Writer and Blogger. He has a divinely given vision of practically teaching people how to make success in life through absolute righteousness and faith. Emeke is married to his best friend, Joy. He shares life-transforming articles at his blog: www.righteousfaith.wordpress.com

  5. #5
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    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by emekrus View Post
    Brother Walls,

    I did enjoy your exegesis once again. But concerning the pecuniary poverty part. Going by your interpretation. I wanted to know how biblical examples such as Job, Abraham and David actually fared righteously with God. Even in the absence of pecuniary poverty as you have explained. You know, these folks where super rich. Yet they won God's heart. How could that have been possible going by your exegesis?
    Aahhh! A question that bothers many.

    You are correct in many, if not all of your statements in your OP. God did put man in a Garden called "Pleasure". The Land in which Eden was had gold, and precious stones. God does promise wealth. God even promises "all that is mine is yours to rule" (Lk.12:44). So why, "blessed are the POOR ... ." in Luke 6:20?

    The answer is - THE AGE WE LIVE IN.

    From Adam to Joshua the Gentiles, or Nations, ruled the earth. God's people were few - the Patriarchs. But those few, although they never ruled or owned any part of the earth, were blessed by God. Then, Israel receives the Law, and the Law promises wealth as a reward for keeping the Law. Israel, once they entered the Good Land, were to occupy the Land, rid it of the tribes that defiled the Land with their abominations, and rule it in such a way as to display the God Who dwelt in their midst. As long as they did this God protected their borders and prospered them above all others, so that at the peak of this all Solomon's wealth was beyond imagination. But Israel, always on the verge of Lawlessness, went speedily downhill. Their history is there for all to see. At Israel's deepest crisis their Messiah arrives - Jesus.

    Our Lord Jesus initially comes only for "the lost sheep of Israel" and offers them the Kingdom of Heaven/Kingdom of God. Had Israel embraced the Son of God, Son of Abraham and the Son of David, Israel's restoration to the Leading Nation would have been inevitable. And prosperity would have followed smartly. But, as we know, Israel rejected their Messiah and blasphemed the Holy Spirit by attributing His works to Beelzebub. With the rejection complete, our Lord Jesus turns to ALL MEN irrespective of their ethnicity. He now offers the Kingdom of Heaven to any individual man/woman from any nation. And, as we know, a certain percentage of men hear the gospel and believe. But Israel, the last Bastion of God on earth, is given over to attack, defeat and dispersion.

    The "New Man" - those who embrace the Son of God - are few. They are called "the LITTLE flock" by our Lord (Lk.12:32). In fact they are so few in comparison to the world's population that even the wolves can surround them (Matt.10:16). It is this MINORITY who are called "DISCIPLES". It is this MINORITY that have a New Birth, become a New Creature and all OLD THINGS, like their ethnicity, counts for nothing. They are a minority of men and women with no Land of their own. They are hounded first by the Jews until 70 AD. Then, they are hated and hounded by the Gentiles in every country. Why then shall God not rapture them immediately? The answer is TWOFOLD:
    1. God would be without a testimony on earth seeing as Israel is dispersed and the House of God empty and destroyed. So the Church is on earth as a shining testimony of an invisible God (Act.15:14). They are the shining light that should not be hid under a bucket. They are to act and speak like God would. They are to be a provocation to Israel to jealousy. In Daniel, because both the Temple and Israel are no longer, God is NEVER called the "God of heaven AND earth". He is only "the God of Heaven"! This tragedy should never happen again, and so God's new House, and new Testimony is left in the midst of a "perverse and crooked generation". The Church is salt and it prevents the world from sliding into such degradation that God must wipe out all men.
    2. God needs co-kings with Jesus when He comes again. 1st Corinthians 1:26-27 tells us that mostly, God chooses the "base things" for His Church to further show His wisdom and glory. The base men, one of whom is I, need to go from deranged sinners to having a righteousness greater than the Pharisees. For our fellowship with God we need no lesser righteousness than that of Christ. But for the entry into the Kingdom we need our OWN righteousness. And so, to TRANSFORM a base man into the image of Christ, IT TAKES TIME. In John 17:15 our Lord asks His Father, "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." The convert to Jesus NEEDS TRAINING, and the GOAL in this training is none other than a DISPOSITION LIKE JESUS. Thus the adherent is called "DISCIPLE". Those who wish to inherit the earth and the kingdom MUST TRAVEL THE SAME ROAD THAT OUR LORD JESUS DID, and they can only do this on earth and over time.

    Our Lord Jesus as we know, is the Creator (Jn.1:3; Eph.3:9). And Colossians 1:16 says; "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him." That is, the universe - the "made things" - are His by DEFAULT. He made them and they are FOR HIM. But when he came to earth the first time, He set all that OWNERSHIP aside so that He could SERVE MEN and not be served. As KING He would be bound to destroy His enemies. But as SERVANT He could suffer so that they might be reconciled to God. At His Second Coming He will come as KING - and destroy His enemies. But at His first coming He laid aside:-
    • His dignity. He was born in a stall not a palace
    • His position. As very God He must escape His enemies whereas He could have destroyed them
    • His well-being. He was a Man of sorrows and a Man persecuted
    • His LIFE. He dies as a Substitute for the sin and sins of all men
    • His WEALTH. He is Owner and Manager of the universe, including the Earth and all that is in it. Satan is presently "Prince of this world". Our Lord Himself called him that. And Satan is in a position to give the kingdoms of this world to whom he wants to.So in a very real way, our Lord set aside His possessions.

    Our Lord Jesus set aside every RIGHT He was entitled to so that men might be reconciled to God. And so in Matthew 10:24 our Lord Jesus lays a fundamental principle; "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord." For the sake of RECONCILIATION between God and man WE - THE DISCIPLES must be ready to travel any road that our Lord traveled. We must be ready, for the sake of the gospel, to set aside our right to justice - and turn the other cheek. We must LOVE those who hate us and spitefully treat us. We must help our enemies. And we must BE PREPARED TO LOOSE, OR GIVE AWAY OUR WEALTH FOR THE GOSPEL'S SAKE and become poor like Jesus.

    We have to eat, and we have to clothe ourselves. We must pay the doctor and the dentist. We are allowed to travel and buy a car. We may send our gifted children to a university. ALL THESE NEED MONEY. But the underlying principle is that we are STEWARDS. We don't accumulate wealth because it corrupts. But should the Lord place money in our hands, the philosophy is that these are HIS RESOURCES that we may, by His grace, manage them for HIS PURPOSE. BUT ....

    .... it will not always be so
    . The Lord Jesus, by DEFAULT, is the owner of all things made. And there will come a day when He is OWNED PUBLICLY BY THE FATHER. The reviled and blasphemed Jesus will be presented to this world from the clouds in glory. Every knee in heaven, on earth and under the earth will bow. The days of our Lord's humiliation ARE OVER. AND SO ARE YOURS! Great wealth and fame will be yours. Solomon will have nothing on you. Did not the Lord say that John Baptist was greater than Solomon (Matt.11:11; Lk.7:28), but that you, in the Millennial Kingdom, even if you are least in this Kingdom, will be greater than John Baptist? The POVERTY of a Christian in this age will lead to untold and immense wealth in the next. We will not only have wealth (for the earth is yours), but you will have FREE REIGN to spend it how you like. But I tell you a secret. YOU WON'T CARE!!!

    WHY? Because in the Millennium we will be co-kings with our Lord Jesus over cities, and what will the worthy co-kings do? THEY WILL JUST CARRY ON DOING WHAT THEY WERE TRAINED TO DO - use the wealth to benefit men to the glory of God. In the Millennium the co-king will have fame and wealth. He/she will have all the comforts. They can choose the house they want. They will be revered and respected. They will take whatever they like. It is their by gift from God. But a good STEWARD will be so thoroughly trained that he/she will use this untold wealth to mange God's affairs. Was not the promise to Abraham that in his seed "would all families of the earth be blessed". Although Jesus is meant in the first instance, this applies to you as well. Does not Galatians 3:29 declare you Abraham's seed "and heirs to the Promise." And what is this Promise. That the type of righteous rule that this seed brings to earth will benefit all "families" (not all "men" for some will be dealt with by the rod of iron).

    I'll end here for the point is made. God's pleasure is to bless people, especially His people. The Patriarchs were wealthy and had favor with God. Israel was wealthy if they kept the Law and had favor with God. The Christian is ASKED to follow his Master in POVERTY for God's benefit. And if he/she does, GREAT REWARD AND FAME awaits the DISCIPLE at Christ's return. Giving away your goods is ONLY FOR THIS AGE - the age of God's attempts to be reconciled with men.

    Time is pressing. I'll post this without a proof-read. Please excuse typos and spelling errors. God bless.

  6. #6

    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    Hi emekrus.
    Simply put, to be poor in spirit is to realize that everything we have belongs to God. We own nothing.

  7. #7
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    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    The influence the east has had on Christianity is sad indeed.

  8. #8
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    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by Noeb View Post
    The influence the east has had on Christianity is sad indeed.


    As opposed to the influence the west has had on Christianity?

    That's sort of funny seeing as Christianity started out in the east from a Semitic language, culture, and faith.

  9. #9
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    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    No, that's not east

  10. #10

    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    Aahhh! A question that bothers many.

    You are correct in many, if not all of your statements in your OP. God did put man in a Garden called "Pleasure". The Land in which Eden was had gold, and precious stones. God does promise wealth. God even promises "all that is mine is yours to rule" (Lk.12:44). So why, "blessed are the POOR ... ." in Luke 6:20?

    The answer is - THE AGE WE LIVE IN.

    From Adam to Joshua the Gentiles, or Nations, ruled the earth. God's people were few - the Patriarchs. But those few, although they never ruled or owned any part of the earth, were blessed by God. Then, Israel receives the Law, and the Law promises wealth as a reward for keeping the Law. Israel, once they entered the Good Land, were to occupy the Land, rid it of the tribes that defiled the Land with their abominations, and rule it in such a way as to display the God Who dwelt in their midst. As long as they did this God protected their borders and prospered them above all others, so that at the peak of this all Solomon's wealth was beyond imagination. But Israel, always on the verge of Lawlessness, went speedily downhill. Their history is there for all to see. At Israel's deepest crisis their Messiah arrives - Jesus.

    Our Lord Jesus initially comes only for "the lost sheep of Israel" and offers them the Kingdom of Heaven/Kingdom of God. Had Israel embraced the Son of God, Son of Abraham and the Son of David, Israel's restoration to the Leading Nation would have been inevitable. And prosperity would have followed smartly. But, as we know, Israel rejected their Messiah and blasphemed the Holy Spirit by attributing His works to Beelzebub. With the rejection complete, our Lord Jesus turns to ALL MEN irrespective of their ethnicity. He now offers the Kingdom of Heaven to any individual man/woman from any nation. And, as we know, a certain percentage of men hear the gospel and believe. But Israel, the last Bastion of God on earth, is given over to attack, defeat and dispersion.

    The "New Man" - those who embrace the Son of God - are few. They are called "the LITTLE flock" by our Lord (Lk.12:32). In fact they are so few in comparison to the world's population that even the wolves can surround them (Matt.10:16). It is this MINORITY who are called "DISCIPLES". It is this MINORITY that have a New Birth, become a New Creature and all OLD THINGS, like their ethnicity, counts for nothing. They are a minority of men and women with no Land of their own. They are hounded first by the Jews until 70 AD. Then, they are hated and hounded by the Gentiles in every country. Why then shall God not rapture them immediately? The answer is TWOFOLD:
    1. God would be without a testimony on earth seeing as Israel is dispersed and the House of God empty and destroyed. So the Church is on earth as a shining testimony of an invisible God (Act.15:14). They are the shining light that should not be hid under a bucket. They are to act and speak like God would. They are to be a provocation to Israel to jealousy. In Daniel, because both the Temple and Israel are no longer, God is NEVER called the "God of heaven AND earth". He is only "the God of Heaven"! This tragedy should never happen again, and so God's new House, and new Testimony is left in the midst of a "perverse and crooked generation". The Church is salt and it prevents the world from sliding into such degradation that God must wipe out all men.
    2. God needs co-kings with Jesus when He comes again. 1st Corinthians 1:26-27 tells us that mostly, God chooses the "base things" for His Church to further show His wisdom and glory. The base men, one of whom is I, need to go from deranged sinners to having a righteousness greater than the Pharisees. For our fellowship with God we need no lesser righteousness than that of Christ. But for the entry into the Kingdom we need our OWN righteousness. And so, to TRANSFORM a base man into the image of Christ, IT TAKES TIME. In John 17:15 our Lord asks His Father, "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." The convert to Jesus NEEDS TRAINING, and the GOAL in this training is none other than a DISPOSITION LIKE JESUS. Thus the adherent is called "DISCIPLE". Those who wish to inherit the earth and the kingdom MUST TRAVEL THE SAME ROAD THAT OUR LORD JESUS DID, and they can only do this on earth and over time.

    Our Lord Jesus as we know, is the Creator (Jn.1:3; Eph.3:9). And Colossians 1:16 says; "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him." That is, the universe - the "made things" - are His by DEFAULT. He made them and they are FOR HIM. But when he came to earth the first time, He set all that OWNERSHIP aside so that He could SERVE MEN and not be served. As KING He would be bound to destroy His enemies. But as SERVANT He could suffer so that they might be reconciled to God. At His Second Coming He will come as KING - and destroy His enemies. But at His first coming He laid aside:-
    • His dignity. He was born in a stall not a palace
    • His position. As very God He must escape His enemies whereas He could have destroyed them
    • His well-being. He was a Man of sorrows and a Man persecuted
    • His LIFE. He dies as a Substitute for the sin and sins of all men
    • His WEALTH. He is Owner and Manager of the universe, including the Earth and all that is in it. Satan is presently "Prince of this world". Our Lord Himself called him that. And Satan is in a position to give the kingdoms of this world to whom he wants to.So in a very real way, our Lord set aside His possessions.

    Our Lord Jesus set aside every RIGHT He was entitled to so that men might be reconciled to God. And so in Matthew 10:24 our Lord Jesus lays a fundamental principle; "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord." For the sake of RECONCILIATION between God and man WE - THE DISCIPLES must be ready to travel any road that our Lord traveled. We must be ready, for the sake of the gospel, to set aside our right to justice - and turn the other cheek. We must LOVE those who hate us and spitefully treat us. We must help our enemies. And we must BE PREPARED TO LOOSE, OR GIVE AWAY OUR WEALTH FOR THE GOSPEL'S SAKE and become poor like Jesus.

    We have to eat, and we have to clothe ourselves. We must pay the doctor and the dentist. We are allowed to travel and buy a car. We may send our gifted children to a university. ALL THESE NEED MONEY. But the underlying principle is that we are STEWARDS. We don't accumulate wealth because it corrupts. But should the Lord place money in our hands, the philosophy is that these are HIS RESOURCES that we may, by His grace, manage them for HIS PURPOSE. BUT ....

    .... it will not always be so
    . The Lord Jesus, by DEFAULT, is the owner of all things made. And there will come a day when He is OWNED PUBLICLY BY THE FATHER. The reviled and blasphemed Jesus will be presented to this world from the clouds in glory. Every knee in heaven, on earth and under the earth will bow. The days of our Lord's humiliation ARE OVER. AND SO ARE YOURS! Great wealth and fame will be yours. Solomon will have nothing on you. Did not the Lord say that John Baptist was greater than Solomon (Matt.11:11; Lk.7:28), but that you, in the Millennial Kingdom, even if you are least in this Kingdom, will be greater than John Baptist? The POVERTY of a Christian in this age will lead to untold and immense wealth in the next. We will not only have wealth (for the earth is yours), but you will have FREE REIGN to spend it how you like. But I tell you a secret. YOU WON'T CARE!!!

    WHY? Because in the Millennium we will be co-kings with our Lord Jesus over cities, and what will the worthy co-kings do? THEY WILL JUST CARRY ON DOING WHAT THEY WERE TRAINED TO DO - use the wealth to benefit men to the glory of God. In the Millennium the co-king will have fame and wealth. He/she will have all the comforts. They can choose the house they want. They will be revered and respected. They will take whatever they like. It is their by gift from God. But a good STEWARD will be so thoroughly trained that he/she will use this untold wealth to mange God's affairs. Was not the promise to Abraham that in his seed "would all families of the earth be blessed". Although Jesus is meant in the first instance, this applies to you as well. Does not Galatians 3:29 declare you Abraham's seed "and heirs to the Promise." And what is this Promise. That the type of righteous rule that this seed brings to earth will benefit all "families" (not all "men" for some will be dealt with by the rod of iron).

    I'll end here for the point is made. God's pleasure is to bless people, especially His people. The Patriarchs were wealthy and had favor with God. Israel was wealthy if they kept the Law and had favor with God. The Christian is ASKED to follow his Master in POVERTY for God's benefit. And if he/she does, GREAT REWARD AND FAME awaits the DISCIPLE at Christ's return. Giving away your goods is ONLY FOR THIS AGE - the age of God's attempts to be reconciled with men.

    Time is pressing. I'll post this without a proof-read. Please excuse typos and spelling errors. God bless.
    Even though I don't concur with this your exegesis to a great extent, I must commend your diligence.

    That said, I posted an article in a thread in this forum last week titled 'All Are Yours'. And my text was taken from 1 Corinthians 3:22. In that particular scripture, the Lord through the Apostle Paul tells us that all things are ours including the present things of this world. I wanted to know how you harmonise Paul's assertion with your exegesis.
    Emeke Odili is a Christian Teacher, Preacher, Author, Writer and Blogger. He has a divinely given vision of practically teaching people how to make success in life through absolute righteousness and faith. Emeke is married to his best friend, Joy. He shares life-transforming articles at his blog: www.righteousfaith.wordpress.com

  11. #11
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    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by emekrus View Post
    Even though I don't concur with this your exegesis to a great extent, I must commend your diligence.

    That said, I posted an article in a thread in this forum last week titled 'All Are Yours'. And my text was taken from 1 Corinthians 3:22. In that particular scripture, the Lord through the Apostle Paul tells us that all things are ours including the present things of this world. I wanted to know how you harmonise Paul's assertion with your exegesis.
    I read your thread. It contained much good and I decided not to contend and divert from its overall good. My answer to the above questions is;

    If we are HEIRS to ALL things, can I not correctly state that "ALL things are mine" even though at the time I do not have power over them? Let us take the narrative of the Prodigal son in Luke 15. The younger brother asks for his "portion" and received a PORTION (15:12) called "his living". The word "living" in the Greek means "present state of existence" (Strong). He departs and wastes it and returns. The faithful brother does not ask for his "portion" now. He is content to serve and wait until he inherits. And in his inheritance he will not receive a "portion". The father promises in verse 31, "And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." Note the tense - present tense. The son owned ALL that his father did but had no power over it YET. (The Prodigal had received his so there was going to be no inheritance for him. He had had power over it but (i) it was a much smaller portion, and (ii) it was used up.)

    Now, Galatians 3:29 says; "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise". And what are we HEIR to? Romans 4:13 answers; "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." But did Abraham OWN and have in his POWER the earth? No! He was a sojourner, so much so that he paid for his grave at Machpelah. He didn't even have power over that field. And he made a point of this by refusing it at the hand of men. Abraham's great faith was that he would inherit even after God told him he would die not having inherited (Gen.15:15). And Hebrews 11:39 confirms this; "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise" Abraham was so sure that he would inherit the whole of Canaan that he could offer no protest to God, he could let Lot take his choice, he could refuse the spoils of the slaughter of the kings, and he could refuse even his grave at the hand of men. In other words, Abraham, to who is bequeathed the WORLD, was happy to receive it (i) at the hand of God, and (ii) IN RESURRECTION!

    So too 1st Corinthians 3:22. ALL things are ours, but there could be, and will be, a delay TILL THEY ARE ALL IN OUR POWER.

  12. #12

    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    I read your thread. It contained much good and I decided not to contend and divert from its overall good. My answer to the above questions is;

    If we are HEIRS to ALL things, can I not correctly state that "ALL things are mine" even though at the time I do not have power over them? Let us take the narrative of the Prodigal son in Luke 15. The younger brother asks for his "portion" and received a PORTION (15:12) called "his living". The word "living" in the Greek means "present state of existence" (Strong). He departs and wastes it and returns. The faithful brother does not ask for his "portion" now. He is content to serve and wait until he inherits. And in his inheritance he will not receive a "portion". The father promises in verse 31, "And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." Note the tense - present tense. The son owned ALL that his father did but had no power over it YET. (The Prodigal had received his so there was going to be no inheritance for him. He had had power over it but (i) it was a much smaller portion, and (ii) it was used up.)

    Now, Galatians 3:29 says; "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise". And what are we HEIR to? Romans 4:13 answers; "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." But did Abraham OWN and have in his POWER the earth? No! He was a sojourner, so much so that he paid for his grave at Machpelah. He didn't even have power over that field. And he made a point of this by refusing it at the hand of men. Abraham's great faith was that he would inherit even after God told him he would die not having inherited (Gen.15:15). And Hebrews 11:39 confirms this; "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise" Abraham was so sure that he would inherit the whole of Canaan that he could offer no protest to God, he could let Lot take his choice, he could refuse the spoils of the slaughter of the kings, and he could refuse even his grave at the hand of men. In other words, Abraham, to who is bequeathed the WORLD, was happy to receive it (i) at the hand of God, and (ii) IN RESURRECTION!

    So too 1st Corinthians 3:22. ALL things are ours, but there could be, and will be, a delay TILL THEY ARE ALL IN OUR POWER.
    Brother, I do appreciate the fact that you did not detract from the OP. That's commendable for a christian character.

    That said, concerning the issue of the prodigal son you mentioned. If you check critically from the preceding verses you'll see that the good brother who didn't ask for his share actually protested when his father organised a feast for the prodigal brother. To me the father's reply to the good brother would mean that the father expected him to have access to anything he wanted so long he is with the father. But just that the brother didn't understand that fact until the father told him.

    And of course, if it was me that received that answer from my loving father, I wouldn't hesitate to slaughter any of my father's cattle when need be since all my father has are mine. Or do you think that would be wrong?

    Then concerning 1 Corinthians 3:22. The scripture says amongst other things the present things are ours. And if the present things are ours, and of course they are given to us for life and godliness in the now. I don't actually see the sense in leaving them on the table until after resurrection, when they would have been destroyed. I believe they have better use here and now than after the resurrection. After all, in the New World, everything there will be New.

    So I believe it is better to receive the present things now, including the present wealth bequeathed to me and use them judiciously for the purpose of the provision. Which life and godliness. So it they won't be wasted provisions. Wouldn't you agree?
    Emeke Odili is a Christian Teacher, Preacher, Author, Writer and Blogger. He has a divinely given vision of practically teaching people how to make success in life through absolute righteousness and faith. Emeke is married to his best friend, Joy. He shares life-transforming articles at his blog: www.righteousfaith.wordpress.com

  13. #13
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    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by emekrus View Post
    Brother, I do appreciate the fact that you did not detract from the OP. That's commendable for a christian character.

    That said, concerning the issue of the prodigal son you mentioned. If you check critically from the preceding verses you'll see that the good brother who didn't ask for his share actually protested when his father organised a feast for the prodigal brother. To me the father's reply to the good brother would mean that the father expected him to have access to anything he wanted so long he is with the father. But just that the brother didn't understand that fact until the father told him.
    I did not address the faithful brother's attitude because that in itself is another matter and not part of the thread. I only focused on the inheritance taken at present by the Prodigal, and the inheritance "stored" for the faithful son.

    Quote Originally Posted by emekrus View Post
    And of course, if it was me that received that answer from my loving father, I wouldn't hesitate to slaughter any of my father's cattle when need be since all my father has are mine. Or do you think that would be wrong?
    That, my friend is quite revealing. Not than I am any better. The tragedy is found in verse 29. "... and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends." Why not celebrate with THE FATHER!? And so it is with present riches. It is to satisfy the self and the acquaintances - not the FATHER.

    Quote Originally Posted by emekrus View Post
    Then concerning 1 Corinthians 3:22. The scripture says amongst other things the present things are ours. And if the present things are ours, and of course they are given to us for life and godliness in the now. I don't actually see the sense in leaving them on the table until after resurrection, when they would have been destroyed. I believe they have better use here and now than after the resurrection. After all, in the New World, everything there will be New.
    I understand your thrust. But if I was you I would have used 1st Timothy 6:17 rather than 1st Corinthians 3:22 for your founding verse. It reads: "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." Then your posting would have been founded on money - for that is the context. But the context of 1st Corinthians 3 is DIVISIONS IN THE CHURCH because of doctrine. In verses 3-4 it is;

    3 "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
    4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?"


    Now we know that Paul, schooled by the Lord for 14 years, and sent to the Gentiles, had revelation that Peter admitted that he did not (Gal.1:16 - 2:1; 2nd Pet.3:16). And Apollos we learn was, "... an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, ... instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John" (Act.18:24-25). So there were three prominent teachers of which Paul had the greater revelation and Apollos the least. This, like today, causes division. And so Paul writes that anyone taking sides was "CARNAL". When we get to 1st Corinthians 3:21-23 Paul concludes the solution to this problem of "carnality" by showing what the Corinthians Church had AS THEIR POSSESSION FOR BUILDING THE CHURCH . The preceding verses offer a reward for the diligent believer building on Christ, and loss for the slothful builder building on fallen humanity (wood depicts humanity in the bible - Mk.8:24. Thus our Lord was a Carpenter). So the things which are offered in verses 21-23 are not for personal use. They are gifts for the building of the Church. The hint is that "life" in verse 22, the central theme of the "living stones" that make up the Church in 1st Peter 2:5, is "ZOE" in the Greek, not BIOS. The theme is a House built with God's LIFE and not human living.

    So 1st Corinthians 3:21-23 says that the same three characters mentioned above as sources of DIVISION were actually PROPERTY of the Assembly for the LIFE needed to build the Church to what it would be NOW, and in the MILLENNIUM, when the rewards and losses were apportioned. We have few Pauls today. A few Peters maybe. But lots of Apolloses. Today's Christian teachers mostly are men of SOME learning and SOME GAPS in their understanding. Are we to throw them away? Do you refuse a chicken to eat because it has some bones?

    Quote Originally Posted by emekrus View Post
    So I believe it is better to receive the present things now, including the present wealth bequeathed to me and use them judiciously for the purpose of the provision. Which life and godliness. So it they won't be wasted provisions. Wouldn't you agree?
    I see it differently, as you can surmise from what I have written above. Money is not the theme here but the building of the Church. But the implication of your statement is basically the same as my understanding. I just wouldn't use 1st Corinthians 3:22 to explain it.

    Let me quite honest with you. I live in Central Europe. We have long winters and early pensioning. You must use the good times for the coming bad. So we accumulate some wealth. I worked long and hard for my money. What prosperity I have, I know has come from God's blessings. I have used some for my comfort and living, and I have used some for the things of the Lord that He has let pass before my eyes. I, in accordance with 1st Timothy 6:17 above, have enjoyed some luxuries. But I am ever awake to the fact that (i) the resources I have came from the Lord, and that I must be ready, at all times, to spend them on the Lord's things, and (ii) the Lord can, in a mere second of time, remove them and leave me like Job. I am thankful for the resources I have, but before my eyes is the Kingdom of Heaven and the Bema where the Lord will apportion reward and loss. Shall I be so stupid as to spend my inheritance NOW on myself? Am I mindful that 70 years of spending now is not worth 1,000 years later? Shall I be the Prodigal and have my "living" now, or shall I have 100-fold in the Millennium? What is just plain clever? Even the Lord said in Luke 16:8 in context of using ones resources, "... the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." I don't want this to apply to me!

  14. #14

    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    Let me quite honest with you. I live in Central Europe. We have long winters and early pensioning. You must use the good times for the coming bad. So we accumulate some wealth. I worked long and hard for my money. What prosperity I have, I know has come from God's blessings. I have used some for my comfort and living, and I have used some for the things of the Lord that He has let pass before my eyes. I, in accordance with 1st Timothy 6:17 above, have enjoyed some luxuries. But I am ever awake to the fact that (i) the resources I have came from the Lord, and that I must be ready, at all times, to spend them on the Lord's things, and (ii) the Lord can, in a mere second of time, remove them and leave me like Job. I am thankful for the resources I have, but before my eyes is the Kingdom of Heaven and the Bema where the Lord will apportion reward and loss. Shall I be so stupid as to spend my inheritance NOW on myself? Am I mindful that 70 years of spending now is not worth 1,000 years later? Shall I be the Prodigal and have my "living" now, or shall I have 100-fold in the Millennium? What is just plain clever? Even the Lord said in Luke 16:8 in context of using ones resources, "... the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." I don't want this to apply to me!
    Dear Brother Walls,

    In spite of the infinitesimal points which I still do not agree with your exegesis, with your above quoted last paragraph I believe your position concerning God's providence is not far from mine. And that my exact position is what I am passing across in the OP.

    Well, I do believe that in the context of 1 Corithians 3:22 that material wealth as well as other things are part of the present things. Only that we are to receive them and use them judiciously for life and Godliness. And that includes Church building as you said.

    My only problem is with the notion that we should deny the fact that we are richly blessed in everything including material wealth and accept poverty in order to live godly in this world.

    But your final paragraph fits almost perfectly with my biblical maxim of God's provisions.
    Emeke Odili is a Christian Teacher, Preacher, Author, Writer and Blogger. He has a divinely given vision of practically teaching people how to make success in life through absolute righteousness and faith. Emeke is married to his best friend, Joy. He shares life-transforming articles at his blog: www.righteousfaith.wordpress.com

  15. #15
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    Re: Poverty in Spirit

    Quote Originally Posted by emekrus View Post
    Dear Brother Walls,

    In spite of the infinitesimal points which I still do not agree with your exegesis, with your above quoted last paragraph I believe your position concerning God's providence is not far from mine. And that my exact position is what I am passing across in the OP.

    Well, I do believe that in the context of 1 Corinthians 3:22 that material wealth as well as other things are part of the present things. Only that we are to receive them and use them judiciously for life and Godliness. And that includes Church building as you said.

    My only problem is with the notion that we should deny the fact that we are richly blessed in everything including material wealth and accept poverty in order to live godly in this world.

    But your final paragraph fits almost perfectly with my biblical maxim of God's provisions.
    I'm happy to leave things at that, and as you have indicated, we are almost on the same page. Just for general information (or the interested reader) I would like to make short exegesis of 1st Corinthians 3 to show how I get to my understanding of the last few verses of which 22 is part. 1st Corinthians 3:1-23:-

    1 "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
    2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
    3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
    4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
    5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?"


    Verse 1 - 5 address a problem that blights every Church and especially this Forum - DIVISION. In Ephesians Chapter 4 we discover TWO unities in the Church. The UNITY of the Spirit which has been established. We are ONE by virtue of our rebirth into the Household of God. Divine family ties and love should make each us WANT to be ONE with each other. The second UNITY is found in Ephesians 4:11-14. It is the UNITY of the FAITH - or the unity of BELIEF. The gifted ones are given by the Lord to bring us to a place where we all BELIEVE the same thing. But alas, in both Corinth and every Assembly today, pride, sensibilities, ambition and personal opinions without scriptural foundation are rampant. And if we add the failure of the gifted ones to teach the truth (for whatever reason - you mentioned money in your OP), then we have the same conditions as Corinth all those centuries ago. There is ONLY DIVISION! NEITHER UNITY EXISTS! Can this House stand? Our Lord said otherwise in Matthew 12:25. Well has Solomon, under inspiration, said that there is nothing new under the sun.

    6 "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
    7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
    8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
    9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building."


    Verse 6 - 9 set forth what Matthew 24 shows - believers working in a FIELD. And in this is a TEAM EFFORT - not dysfunctional individuality. All want to reap, for that seemingly brings fame. But Gd is watching, and the rewards are equal for the planter, waterer, weeder, fertilizer and the harvester. He who seeks fame will be abased at the Bema, and he who took the background will shine forth in glory and reward.

    10 "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
    11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
    12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
    13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
    14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
    15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."


    Verses 10 - 15 show some crucial truths. Verse 10 indicates that ALL of us are building. The diligent and wise are building, and the slothful and careless are building. It is just the RESULT that will be different. The House id the House of God and it deserve no less foundation than Christ Himself. He/she who make Paul's doctrine, or Peter's doctrine the foundation is a "foolish" builder. He who take the name "Baptist" should ask what his foundation is. So also any Assembly that lowers themselves to take any name other than Christ, and any doctrine other than Christ's should look to themselves in fear. Was Moses allowed to build the Tabernacle on ANY foundation? Did Solomon follow instructions or did he add his own thoughts? Is it not an enormous AFFRONT to give an Assembly of Christ a NAME, or say we are grounded on such-an-such doctrine?

    Then come the materials; Gold, Silver, Precious stones and Wood with derivatives that are not worthy of an African hut. Even the Tabernacle, built of wood, was built with a special wood - Acacia Wood. Wood that is so hard that worms cannot enter and it outlasts concrete. Wood that has a higher specific gravity than 1 and sinks in water. Wood that depicts the fine and incorruptible humanity of Jesus. But now we are given the Materials of Eden - Gold and precious stones. Gold - the nature of God, and "living stones" that go through a process of PETRIFICATION. Our brother "PETRUS" never forgot that in Matthew 16 he was a stone for building the Church. And how does a precious stone come to be? By dying, falling into the obscurity of the earth, being covered and washed by water until the old elements are washed out and new ones washed in. Then come the extreme pressure and high temperature of a volcano. And the newly furnished wood first turns to coal and then to a sparkling diamond of great worth - fit to be part of the Walls of New Jerusalem. Fiery Trials?

    But in Eden we had Bdellium - a pearl from the sap of a Tree - the Tree of Life no doubt. But sin came in and the pearl for New Jerusalem must come from an animal that can be injured for our sins. And this Person was sold for 30 pieces of SILVER - the price of Christ's redemptive work for His Church. 50 pieces was the price of a man, but the Church is His Bride, so it is 30 pieces. The Church is NOT built on the doctrine of Baptism. Nor is it build on the doctrines surrounding Pentecostal Gifts. It is built on the SILVER of Christ's redemption. The posts of the Tabernacle were set in sockets of SILVER.

    But then, in all this glory, what do we find? Men and women who don't care how they build. They use worldly methods. They use human talent instead of spiritual gifts. They have rock band to entertain instead of a prophet to admonish. They have quaint stories for sermons instead of the two-edged sword of the Word. And they close their ears when you tell that God has promised LOSS for these entertainers. Is the LOSS their eternal life? Is it the divine nature they got at rebirth? Can they go to the Lake of Fire? NO! NO! NO! But they can be cast out of the Church's glory and position when Christ returns - where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness. Have you ever realized that in the THREE mentions of "Outer Darkness" the one is addresses to the Jews - "children of the Kingdom", and TWO are addressed to the BELIEVERS! Imagine 1,000 years of separation from Christ, soulish agony and even "stripes" in that age of glory?

    16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
    17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
    18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
    19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
    20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain."


    Verses 16 - 20 address a NEW BUNCH. Those who not only are slothful builders, but those that ACTIVELY hinder the building of the Church. Those who love to cause division. Those who slander the gifted ones and ruin their ministry. Those who make parties of this and that doctrine - for they know the age old trick; "divide and conquer". They are the Nicolaitans "that God hates". And the are those you mentioned in your OP. They rob the saints of their money and then spend it on themselves. Woe unto them when the Master returns. God has made a promise. He will "mar" (lit. Gk.) any man who "mars" the Church. Has God ever fallen short of His promises? If I was an Elder, or Pastor, I would tremble at such a promise. And when I open my mouth to teach, or lay pen to paper, I have this PROMISE before my eyes that I will NOT ESCAPE if I am found wanting! And that brings us to your text - verses 21- 23

    21 "Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
    22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
    23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."


    I will not comment. I will simply ask a question. Do you think, having read the above, that MONEY is meant in these verses? Even if you are disciplined in your spending, even if you are zealous to use money to God's glory, do you think that the Church is built with MONEY? Or is the Church built with things infinitely more precious than money like the combined teaching of Paul PLUS Peter PLUS Apollos PLUS YOU? Or like Gold - the nature of God, like Silver - the redemptive work of Christ, like Precious Stones - the transforming of the saints to be fit material for the New Jerusalem, and Acacia Wood - the fine and incorruptible humanity of Jesus!

    Money seems so out of place here. Will there be money in the millennium - or will it be a barter system? I don't know. What I do know is that the New Testament word for money is "FILTHY LUCRE". As it concerns the church it is, in;
    1st Timothy 3:3; "Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous."
    1st Timothy 3:8; "Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre."
    Titus 1:7; "For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre."
    1st Peter 5:2; "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind."

    In our pockets it is still "filthy lucre". In the Church it is to make God's House a "House of MERCHANDISE!"

    Wow! After proof-reading that it sounds like a tirade. But then again, it is not aimed at you. It is just my appreciation of the Chapter 3.

    Take care and may God bless your ministry.

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