the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
KINGDOM OF GOD
PRINCIPLES OF THE KINGDOM
Of all the beatitudes, or the be-attitudes of the sons of the Kingdom,
the third is the one that seems to bear the greatest contradiction.
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Mat. 5:5).
After all, isn’t it the high-energy, self-motivated, grasping,
ruthless, promoter, wheeler-dealer, fast talker, power broker who really gets
super rich, famous, and powerful, and inherits the earth?
What did Jesus mean when He said that the meek shall inherit the earth? Wouldn’t
it have made more sense if He had said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall
That we could understand. But
inherit the earth? To the natural
mind that doesn’t seem to add up. And
it doesn’t add up until with the spiritual mind we understand what it means to
be meek and how the principle of meekness works in the Kingdom of God.
The word “meek” means “to be mild, gentle, free from retaliation,
self-defensiveness or avenging oneself.”
How many are born meek? Not
one of us! We all want our way and
from a babe we will cry for it, scream for it, fight for it and defend our
“rights” to the bitter end. But
Jesus says, “Learn of me, for I am meek
and lowly in heart.”
Let me give you an illustration. “Now
the man Moses was very meek, above all
the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Num. 12:3).
Moses, when he first felt the call of God upon his life, sensed that God
was with Him and had raised him up to be the deliverer of His people.
God had called him to this deliverance ministry.
One day it happened that he went out among his brethren, the Israelites,
and looked at their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of
Moses’ brethren. At the sight
something rose up within Moses’ spirit and he rushed over and smote the
Egyptian with his fist. Moses was a
real macho man! I do not doubt for
one moment that he worked out in the palace and had bulging, rippling muscles. He was no jelly fish or wimp.
He grabbed that Egyptian and slew him and buried him in the sand.
He went out again the next day to observe his brethren. On this occasion he saw two Hebrew men quarreling and
fighting. He said to the unjust
aggressor, “Why are you mistreating your comrade” The man snarled at Moses and said, “Who made you a prince
and a judge over us? Do you intend
to kill me, as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?”
Then Moses realized that his actions had been observed and the news of
what he had done was spreading among the people, and he was afraid.
And sure enough, in due time the news reached the ears of Pharaoh.
Pharaoh was furious and put a price on Moses’ head.
So Moses fled the land of Egypt and took refuge in the land of Midian, a
desert land beyond the Red Sea. God
took Moses to that backside of the desert and kept him there in seclusion for
forty years. It was there that God
enrolled Moses in the school of the Spirit.
God stripped him, purged him, taught him, dealt with him, processed and
prepared him, and when Moses came out of that wilderness experience he said,
“Ah, Lord God, I can’t speak — I am not a man of words or
ability or influence,” and the Spirit testifies that he was the meekest man on
The Hebrew word for meek is ANAV which can be translated this way, “He
was the most worn out man on the face
of the earth.” God drew Moses to
the backside of the desert and there He wore him out.
He conquered him. He broke
him. He took all the fight out of
him. He purged all the arrogance
and self-reliance and self-sufficiency and self-defensiveness out of him.
He stripped him of all his spirit of retaliation.
He brought him to the place where he was worn out and meekness was the
hallmark of his life. God changed
him. God prepared Him to be a deliverer. Today God is preparing us to be deliverers, to deliver all
creation from the bondage of corruption — self, rebellion,
sin, sorrow and death. God is
preparing us to rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom.
And He is wearing us out, bringing us to the end of ourselves!
One day Jesus was up in Nazareth preaching and the people didn’t
receive Him too kindly there. James
and John, the sons of thunder, began to defend Jesus.
They wanted to do like Elijah did and call fire down from heaven and
consume the adversaries. “We
won’t let them get away with this. They
can’t treat Jesus this way. We’ll
teach them a lesson or two. We’ll
show them who we really are. We are
the rulers in the Kingdom. We have
the power and authority for this new Day, and the mandate to establish the new
order of the Kingdom of God in the earth. We’re
not going to take this sitting down.” Jesus
stopped them in their tracks, saying, “Wait a minute boys.
You don’t realize what you’re doing.
You don’t know what spirit you are of!
That is the spirit of the law, the spirit of the prophets, the spirit of
the passing order, not the spirit of
sonship and the Kingdom. God has
not sent His Son, or His sons, into the world to destroy men’s lives, but to
save them. This isn’t the way my
Kingdom operates!” So God took
John out in a boat and dropped him off on a little island there called Patmos,
and by the time John got off the isle of Patmos he wrote, “Little children,
let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of
God and knoweth God.” John’s
epistles are epistles of meekness. Ah,
yes, God has a way of breaking us and qualifying us for the Kingdom!
King David prophesied, “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall
delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Ps. 37:11). The word “meek” in both the Hebrew and Greek conveys the
idea of being humble or saintly. And
indeed, God’s firstfruits shall be just that.
The spirit of the firstborn Son was the spirit of humility and virtue.
Paul wrote, “Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility
count others better than yourselves. Let
each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of
others. Have this mind within you,
which also was in Christ Jesus who, though He was in the form of God, did not
count equality with God a thing to be grasped or held onto, but emptied
Himself, taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men. And
being found in human form He humbled
Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil.
Two striking statements stand out: “He emptied
Himself,” and “He humbled
Himself.” The most startling
thought of all is that GOD HUMBLED HIMSELF!
We can hardly conceive of such a thing.
The high and holy One, The omnipotent Creator and omniscient Lord of the
universe humbled Himself!
Yet, it could not be otherwise. Let
me state it this way: God is humble! Have
you ever thought about that? If God
were not humble there would have been no babe in Bethlehem’s manger, no Son
growing up in a peasant home in dusty, riotous Nazareth, no Redeemer dying in
agony upon a Roman cross. If God
were not humble there would be no indwelling Spirit, no habitation of God in
vessels of clay. If God were not
humble it would mean the destruction of God Himself.
He would then have almighty power and infinite knowledge without the
balance of mercy, love, compassion, and identification with His creation.
Thus, He would be a tyrant, and tyranny holds within itself the seeds of
its own destruction.
Furthermore, God requires
humility of all His sons and daughters. “Humble
yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up” (James 4:10).
“Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility:
for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble
yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God...” (I pet. 5:5-6).
“Put on therefore, as the elect
of God, holy and beloved...humbleness
of mind...” (Col. 3:12). God does
not require an attitude of mind or a state of being of His elect that He does not Himself possess.
Nay! “He humbled
Himself.” In Jesus Christ we
behold the meekness and humility of God!
And now comes the word: “Have this mind in you which was also in Christ
Jesus, who being in the form of God emptied
Himself, and as a man humbled Himself.”
The sons of God must be like Christ in His self-emptying and
self-humiliation. The first great
act of self-abnegation in which as God He emptied Himself of His divine glory
and power and laid it aside, was followed up by the no less wondrous humbling of
Himself as a man, to the ignominious death of the cross.
And in this amazing twofold humiliation, the astonishment of the universe
and the delight of the Father, the Word with utmost simplicity tells us we must,
as a matter of course, BE LIKE CHRIST.
People have great difficulty understanding an abstraction or a force.
It must be personalized. And
that is why God has come in the person of Jesus Christ, so that we might see Him
and see what God is like. The
only begotten Son, He hath revealed Him, hath led Him forth and made Him
visible. God has been personalized
in Jesus Christ, and this personification, this embodiment of God Himself,
HUMBLED HIMSELF! That One who
walked by the sea of Galilee and through the dusty roads of Palestine was none
other than the Living God, the great Creator who emptied Himself and humbled
Himself and came into this world. Humility,
self-abasement, serving, laying down our
lives to pour out to others —
these are the very principles of the Kingdom of God!
“Whosoever therefore shall humble
himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the Kingdom of
Heaven” (Mat. 18:4). “But he
that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall
humble himself, shall be exalted” (Mat. 23:11-12).
God said, “I will invade humanity and come down in the person of my
Son, limit myself to a human, physical body just like man has, with all its
appetites, emotions, possibilities of suffering hunger, pain, weakness and
death, and I will demonstrate the character, the life, the love and the power of
God on the human level.” The
incarnation was God manifesting Himself within the limitations of a human body.
As a man Jesus could not fly, He could not see further than anybody else,
He could not run faster than the other young men in Nazareth, He got as tired as
anyone else, He got as tempted as anyone else, He got hungry and thirsty and
weak, fell asleep, they could spit on Him and finally kill Him.
Yet in Jesus Christ you have the perfect expression of God.
The meaning of the incarnation is that God could drink out of a bottle if
Jesus drank out of a bottle, God in Him learned to crawl before He learned to
walk, God learned a language and stumbled over the words before He got it
straight, His mind could increase.
When God invaded humanity in the body of Jesus Christ, He took upon
Himself human nature and limitation. He
was made in the likeness, not of glorified flesh, but of sinful flesh, and for
thirty-three and a half years lived, walked, slept and died in that body,
manifesting God in the scope of humanity. God
was not in Christ as a separate entity, as a separate personality and reality
dwelling in His body. No, God was
in Christ as Christ, as the
personality of His life. Being
mocked, God was living in Him. Asleep
in the boat, God was living in Him. Hungry,
and He goes to a tree and finds nothing to eat on it, God was living in Him.
When He was weary, pressed, persecuted, hated, reviled, slapped, His back
beat, His brow crowned with thorns, His hands and feet nailed to a cross, His
side pierced, yet, dying on the cross in agony with the blood and spittle
running down His face, GOD WAS LIVING AND MANIFESTING IN HIM — God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself!
Do you see what God did? He
made it possible for Himself to be at home in human bodies.
“The tabernacle of God is with
men” (Rev. 21:3). Not with
angels, with man. “And the Word
was made flesh and dwelt among us,
and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full
of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). Oh,
the mystery of it! The wonder of
it! It means that God can, by His Spirit, Jesus can, by His
Spirit, come in and live in these human bodies of ours, grow up in the fullness
of His nature, mind, and power within us, becoming the personality and reality
of our lives, living in us, loving in us, and manifesting Himself in us, yea, as
us, until with Christ we can say, “If you have seen me, you have seen the
Father; I and the Father are one.”
Described negatively, meekness is the opposite of self-interest and
self-assertiveness. In keeping with
this Ricky Evans wrote, “Meekness is the state of being where we have lost
self-interest. How hard it is to
lose this self-interest! We have
all our lives been taught to set goals and strive for those goals.
Find what it is you want in life and go for it.
Choose a worthy vocation and make it the center of your life.
Plan around it. Let nothing
stand in the way. For role models
we are given examples of those who have worked hard and become ‘successful.’ Meekness doesn’t fit into the modern person’s life-style.
Ask people today and you will soon discover they have everything well
planned out. They know what they
want and how to get it. They have their five year, ten year, and twenty year plan.
All of this is geared to enjoying the ‘good life’ and being
“People who have been born of the Spirit, and yet have not had their
soul realm dealt with, are no different. One
only needs to take a drive around their community some Sunday morning for it to
be obvious that born again people are most often still full of self-interest.
One can see the great buildings filling with people whose one great
interest is to get blessed.
‘I come here because I get fed, I get a blessing, I like what Dr. So
and So preaches...’ Self is still the motivation behind what is being done.
Those who build the great buildings and great ministries, for the most
part, are simply those who have redirected
their self-interest into religious areas, saying, ‘Let us make a name for
ourselves’ (Gen. 11:4). Turn on
your television and soon you will find Brother So and So’s or Sister So and
So’s ministry. Does not all this
reveal that there is yet self-interest
involved in our lives? When we see
those who promote their ministry, their books, their tapes, their
meetings, does this not speak of the self-interest behind such actions?
“Ah, meekness. Meekness
says, ‘I do only what I see the Father do’ (Jn. 5:19).
‘I seek not my own will, but the will of Him who sent me’ (Jn. 7:16).
These statements show a lack of self-interest.
The interest is not in self, but in the Father and His purpose.
We are not learning and growing in the spirit so we can preach better or
prophesy better. Oh, no.
We are learning and growing into a mature relationship with the Father,
that we might be led by the Spirit as mature
sons of God (Rom. 8:14). Maturity
is not measured by the amount of knowledge
we may attain about God and His Kingdom; maturity is measured by the
degree that we are led by the Spirit.
Meekness means no self-interest, no self-assertiveness, not occupied with
self, every vestige of self pushed aside for the will of the Father.
The Father’s will becomes our only
concern. We now find a new freedom
from all that religion would impose upon us.
We are now free to be led by the Spirit, and not by religious rules and
regulations. Meekness finds its
expression toward God.
When we learn the meekness of our Lord Jesus Christ we find developed in
us the attitude that is interested only in the will of the Father.
Those who have meekness developed in them seek
first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, knowing that all other
things shall be added unto them” —
Another adds yet a further depth of meaning to this principle of the
meekness of the sons of God. “Meekness
is not timidity, as some suppose. If
you review the life of Jesus, you will not find any timidity about Him. Yet, He was meek and lowly.
The personal life and ministry of Jesus demonstrated great meekness
associated with great boldness of character and fearlessness of opposition.
He was never plagued by fear or timidity when brought to verbal blows
with the pharisaic religionists of His day.
Well aware of the opposition being incurred by His utterances and the
logical outcome to which it would eventually lead Him, Jesus never compromised a
principle, or declined a declaration. He
had no misgivings about the reactions even from the king of Israel, when He
said, ‘Go tell that fox, that I heal and do cures today and tomorrow, and the
third day I shall be glorified.’
“Meekness is a relationship between Father and son.
The son senses a meekness in His fellowship with the Father.
The Father gives the command — the
son performs it. The Father
administers discipline — the son submits to it.
The Father instructs the son in wisdom — the son
receives enlightenment with thanksgiving. The
acid test of true meekness comes
when the Father uses someone else to bring His discipline to us.
If we are truly meek, we will not only rejoice in submitting to the
Father’s process, but will level no blame or accusation against the one who is
the immediate instrument through whom the correction reaches us.
Meekness as an attitude of soul toward the Father results in an attitude
of love, humility and kindness toward those who despitefully use us, recognizing
that Father does all things well although we may not understand at the moment
why it is done in the manner in which, and by the instrument with which, He
performs it. But we meekly submit
to it. This is the most difficult
test of sonship meekness! Jesus
displayed it as He hung upon the cross. Rather
than silently or openly cursing or retaliating against His murderers, in
meekness He prayed, in essence, ‘Father, you do all things well.
I am on this cross because it is your will. These fellows are not putting me here. It is the fulfillment of your plan that I am here.
And Father, because it is your will, forgive them, for they do not know
what they do.’ That was nothing
short of perfect meekness in
submission to the will of His Father. ‘Not as I will, but as Thou wilt.’ That is true meekness.
“These are the kind of meek ones who
are going to inherit the earth. It
looks impossible! Man says, ‘It
is the strong who will inherit the earth.’
Surely it would seem that those who are skilled in the art of warfare
should inherit the earth. The human
attitude declares that might makes right.
Not so! God the Almighty’s
principle is different. Meekness brings dominion and rulership, the son of God
assures us. What does ‘inherit
the earth’ really mean? Jesus
took the phrase from the Old Testament scriptures.
It was not a new phrase with Him. It
is found in Isaiah 60:21 and in many other passages.
Psalm 37:9 declares, ‘For evil doers shall be cut off.
But those that wait upon the Lord, they inherit the earth.
For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be.
Yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place and it shall not be.
But the meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the
abundance of peace.’ The 29th verse reads, ‘The righteous shall inherit the land
and dwell therein forever.’ The
34th verse continues, ‘Wait on the Lord and keep His way and He shall exalt
thee to inherit the land: when the
wicked are cut off thou shalt see it.’ Those
who become submissive (meek) in their spirit shall enjoy this inheritance of the
earth. This does not forego their
possession of the heavens. Some
seem satisfied with inheriting heaven, and some with inheriting the earth.
But the sons of God will possess
“The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that
seek Him: your heart shall live forever” (Ps. 22:26).
The meek are those who eat the bread of God, which is the bread that is
come down from heaven as the Christ of God, and are abundantly satisfied.
Their heart, their inner, deepest self, their very nature and life are
quickened by the bread of God, for the bread of God is the life of God in
Christ. The sons of God are right
now experiencing this precious reality from day to day, as God spreads a table
and gives us spiritual, heavenly bread that the world knows not of and of which
the church systems have absolutely no conception.
By this bread they shall LIVE FOREVER.
What a wonderful promise of abundant life!
There shall be a marvelous result
of this celestial bread of life manifested in a company of “meek ones,” the
sons of God. When mankind finally sees
the pure and abundant revelation of the fullness of life in the son company, it
shall cause them to remember a state
they once possessed and enjoyed in union with
God. Like a person who catches a
glimpse of someone from out of his distant past, and the recognition brings a
sudden flood of memories of wonderful
events of another time, so it is that when mankind sees the full revelation of
divine life and glory upon the sons of God there shall come instant recognition
and recall of a time when GOD WAS THEIR LIFE. The very next verse following the one I quoted above
declares, “All the ends of the world shall remember
and turn unto the Lord; and all the
kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and He is the governor among
the nations” (Ps. 22:27-28). If
all the peoples of the earth are to “remember” something, it means that they
have already heard the voice of the Lord, they have at some previous time seen
His glory, and have in some distant eon experienced His life!
Certainly that was before the race fell into the futility of sin and
death! And when “the meek”
shall eat of the heavenly life of God until they are “satisfied,” until they
have appropriated all of His divine life,
nature, and power — it is then that all the kindreds and nations of the earth shall be caused
to remember and turn unto the Lord! And
I am convinced by the Spirit of God that we are right now standing wonderfully
close to that very day!
It would be of utmost profit if every Christian would diligently study
the oft repeated scriptural term “in Christ” or “in Him.”
I will now quote one passage that appears to teach that our Lord Jesus
Christ is the Creator of all things. He
is, of course! But that is not the
truth set forth in these particular verses.
I will quote this first from the King James version, since it is in this
translation that the apostle Paul seems to say that all things were created by
Jesus Christ. “Who is the image
of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature; 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. And He is before
all things, and by Him all things
consist” (Col. 1:15-17). From
this scripture we would be led to believe that the creation was made by the Son;
but it is important to note that the word translated “by” here in the first
instance is the Greek word EN, and means in,
And this is the way that nearly all other translations render it: “For
IN HIM were all things created.”
Words are totally inadequate to articulate a truth so sublime, so I must
leave this ultimately to the Holy Spirit of Truth to unfold within your spirit.
You see, when God planned the universe, He planned it in and around His
Christ. The Christ is the center
and the circumference of it all. He
is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
The whole vast creation, including the spirit of every man, was made in
Him and for Him. It all began in
Him because He is the beginning; and it will all end in Him because He is the
end. The Christ was the beginning
of the creation of God, the firstborn of every creature; that doesn’t mean
that He was personally created before everything else, but that originally ALL
WAS CREATED IN THE BEGINNING IN HIM.
“These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, THE
BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD” (Rev. 3:14).
You see, beloved, creation began in Christ.
Christ is the origin of all things, including all men.
That was the first reality of the universe.
He will also be the end, for all things must not only begin in Him, but
all must end in Him, for this is the Father’s purpose for His Son.
Everything that can possibly exist or be, is included in the scope of
both creation and redemption in that wonderful passage in Colossians 1:16-20.
Within the compass of five verses we read no less than eight
times that the things created in Him
and for Him are all-inclusive and
all-pervading. He is the firstborn
of every creature.
All is created in Him, and all
is created through and for Him. He
is before all. All is bound together by Him. In all He is
becoming first, having preeminence. All
fullness, or the fullness of all,
dwells in Him. He reconciles all through the blood of His cross and on two occasions this is
amplified and defined as all that is
in the heavens and all that is on the
earth. It is said to include both
visible and invisible — all
matter and all spirits!
Nothing is omitted and nothing can be left out.
It certainly includes ALL MEN!
Our God and Father has been pleased to leave us in no doubt or
uncertainty as to how or where all things began, but in clear, unequivocal
language stated the source and goal of all things for our assurance and joy. All originated IN HIM, created from the substance of His own
divine energy and being, and held together in a harmonious wholeness in
His eternal Word, or the Christ. But,
for His own wise purposes, all did not remain that way.
The scriptures are clear that all did not remain in that pristine state
“in” Him. We are assured that
there was initiated another stage of activity whereby all things were brought
“out” of Him. Nothing can be
clearer than the fact that “in” and “out” are opposites!
You cannot be both in and out of any place or thing at the same time.
It indicates a COMING OUT of. The
Word of God declares that not only were all things created in the Christ, or in God,
but there was a process by which the same all things came out of God. Let us
read it: “We are aware that an idol is nothing in the world, and there is no
other God except One. For even
if so be that there are those being termed gods, whether in heaven or on earth,
even as there are many gods and many lords, nevertheless to us there
is but one God, the Father, O-U-T OF WHOM ALL IS, and we for Him” (I Cor.
And again, “O, the depth of the riches and of the wisdom and of the
knowledge of God! How inscrutable
are His judgments, and untraceable His ways!
For who knew the mind of the Lord? or who became His adviser? or who
gives to Him first, and will be repaid by Him? seeing that ALL is OUT of Him and
through Him and for Him: to Him be glory for the ages!
Amen!” (Rom. 11:33-36).
Now let us read these last verses from the Emphatic Diaglott.
“For who knew the mind of the Lord? or who was His counselor? or who
first gave to Him, and it shall be given to him again?
Because OUT OF HIM, and through Him, and for Him are ALL THINGS.
To Him be the glory for the ages. Amen.”
This is without doubt one of the least understood statements in the whole
of the Word of God. And yet, a true
comprehension of the real purpose of God from the dawn of creation to the final
consummation of all things cannot be had apart from it.
In that primeval and pristine glory the spirits of all men were one with
God. All began in the bosom of God
and all came out of God. In the
glory of that celestial beginning there was no trace of sin, no evil, no
adversity, no death, and no darkness or discord at all.
Everything everywhere existed in
Christ and every spirit stood forth in its full majesty, pulsating the
dynamic anthem of exulting creative glory.
It was preeminently a spiritual
creation, vibrating as a symphony of unutterable beauty, a triumphant
masterpiece of dynamic harmonious accord. What
O my Father, Thou that dwellest
In a high and glorious place;
When shall I regain Thy presence,
And again behold Thy face?
In Thy holy habitation
Did my spirit once reside;
In my first primeval childhood,
Was I nurtured at Thy side.
For a great and glorious purpose
Thou hast made me here on earth;
and withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth.
But at times that secret something
Whispers, “You’re a stranger here;”
And I feel that I have wandered
From a more exalted sphere.
O my Father, Thou that dwellest
In a high and holy place;
Yet shall I appear before Thee,
And again behold Thy face.
Day by day Thy Spirit leadeth,
Ever onward up to Thee;
Till at last I find contentment
In Thy pure reality!
And now, Oh the wonder of it! — “The meek
shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek Him: your heart
shall live for ever.
All the ends of the world shall remember
and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall
worship before Thee. For the
kingdom is the Lord’s: and He is the governor among the nations.”
And that is how the meek shall inherit the earth — the meek, the sons of God, are first restored in their
remembrance and enter back into their inheritance in God; then as all creation
is quickened to remember the sons shall restore every man and every thing back
into God again. What a plan!
To be the instrument of God to restore all things unto Him requires that
we be changed. We must become meek
in all our ways, for the ministry of Christ is specifically directed to the meek and through
the meek. Our own hearts have been
won by the forerunner of meekness, the Man of Galilee now exalted in the
heavens. The prophet declared of
this firstborn Christ, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the
Lord hath anointed me TO PREACH GOOD TIDINGS UNTO
THE MEEK” (Isa. 61:1). The
good tidings of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the joyous message of the
Kingdom of God, is a message reserved for the meek. The meek shall inherit the earth — that is, all
things shall be delivered into the hands of the meek!
This is a principle of the Kingdom of God, and it is a principle of the
realm of sonship. Therefore, all
the great declarations of God throughout scripture in regard to the meek
(check your Concordance) are revelations of God’s great purposes in
His sons. The meek inherit the earth and all things, and the same is
stated of the overcoming son company. “He
that overcometh shall inherit all things;
and I will be His God, and he shall be my son”
(Rev. 21:7). If the Lord has
appointed us to hear and embrace the good news of the Kingdom, He will process
us, thus causing us to be meek. And
when God makes us meek, we then have no reason to glory in ourselves.
The meek have that inner ear of the spirit to both hear and do the will
of the Father, and therefore God can trust them with omnipotent power and
universal dominion. What a calling
rests upon the firstfruits!
THAT HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS
“Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for
they shall be filled” (Mat. 5:6). This
is a great saying. It is so great
that we will never be able to grasp it in its rich and rounded completeness
except by the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
It speaks of being satisfied; it speaks of the only thing that can
satisfy — righteousness. And the
article is used in the Greek, the
righteousness, the one real righteousness, the righteousness of the Kingdom of
Now to hunger and thirst after a thing is to feel that we need it and
need it badly, and need it so badly that we are determined to have it, whatever
the cost. The Lord Jesus takes the
most familiar of physical cravings, the appetite for meat and drink, and applies
these to the cravings of the soul. He
is not asserting the blessedness of righteousness in itself, but the blessedness
of those who hunger and thirst after
righteousness. The Lord looks upon
the heart. It is not a question of
what we are, but of what we are called to be, and therefore want to be.
He promises to fill the sons of God, not with the elementary blessings
and benefits of free grace, but with that high and holy thing we desire above
all else. Our deepest longings
shall become our greatest possessions! And
this is the principle of His promise to the sons of the Kingdom!
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after the righteousness of the
Kingdom of God! Blessed are those
sons who shall reign in righteousness!
One scholar says that the Greek expresses it this way, “Blessed are
those who hunger for the entire loaf
and thirst for the entire pitcher.”
God is raising up a people that is not satisfied with the firstfruits of
the Spirit, that is not satisfied with the Spirit by measure, that is not
satisfied with mere gifts and blessings, that
is not satisfied with just the feast of Passover or the feast of Pentecost, who
will not settle for salvation and speaking in tongues and a few healings and
miracles along the way — they want the whole package. They want the fullness of God.
They want perfection, the mind of Christ, maturity, and incorruptible
life and glory. Some think these
are extremes, pipe dreams, things that are too high for us.
But such desires are “blessed” in the words of the first manifested
son of God! Blessed
are those who hunger and thirst for the fullness of God!
Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst for the Holiest of all! Blessed
are those who hunger and thirst for the feast of Tabernacles!
And these are blessed simply because they
shall be filled!
The Kingdom of God is infinite just as God Himself is infinite.
Our progression into God is infinite, and that is just why the prophet
declared by the Spirit, “Of the increase
of His government and peace there shall be no
end” (Isa. 9:7). Eternal
increase! Can we even comprehend
that? The story is told of a man in
the Patent Office in Washington, D. C. who resigned his position in 1835 because
he had come to the conclusion that about the last of the inventions had been
made, and his office would soon close. That
was almost a hundred and sixty-five years ago, and still the inventions come
pouring in thicker and faster than ever! There
are no limits to the field of invention. It is as boundless as space.
And the possibilities of the life of sonship are equally rich and ample.
The thirst of the soul is not soon quenched.
It is like the asymptote to the parabola in mathematics, in that the line
only reaches the curve at infinity.
The greatest curse of religion is that it settles,
it forms its dogmas and creeds, its rituals and forms, it institutions and
programs, and builds its fences around them and there is nowhere to go beyond
that. But the Kingdom of God is
like walking across the earth. On
yonder hill I see the horizon line, but when I climb the hill and put out my
hand to touch it, the line retreats and is just as far off as ever.
So when I know one truth I see another.
When I attain one experience in God there is another just ahead. No
explorer in the vastness of the Kingdom realm need ever sigh that there are no
more worlds to conquer. We are on a
journey. What is behind is
interesting but it is not half so interesting as what lies before!
We are sons of God, children of the infinite and only the infinite can be
our eventual home. If you eat a
meal you lose your appetite, but if you feed on the Lord Jesus Christ your
appetite is intensified and you cry for more.
Ah, that we might know Him, not
just in a measure, but in the infinitude of His fullness; this, O Lord, is the
cry of our hearts! The attainable
is not attained until we “awake in His likeness.”
Hunger and thirst after God is not a condition that comes at will.
We cannot will ourselves to be hungry. We
cannot put an edge on appetite if the appetite is not there, except by some
questionable temporary stimulant; just as at the old Roman feasts men would
drink bitter mixtures to make them thirsty and regurgitate their food to regain
their hunger. Only God can give man
a hunger for the Kingdom, just as it is only God who can satisfy the hunger.
We pray for our loved ones, we cry out to God because we are concerned,
dismayed, or alarmed that they have no hunger for the depths of God.
It distresses us that they are satisfied with the husks that the swine
eat in the pig pens of the world or the church systems of man. And yet, they cannot
hunger until God’s time for them
arrives and He Himself creates within them the hunger.
They cannot will to hunger. Nor
does God command us, “Hunger! Thirst!”
Jesus merely explains the way of the Kingdom, the principle of the
Kingdom — Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst!
Happy are they! We are happy because
we hunger, and we hunger because our
heavenly Father sovereignly laid His hand upon us and apprehended us to His Kingdom.
Yes! WE ARE BLESSED!
And, furthermore, the quest for righteousness is the only quest that is
certain of fulfillment. In this
blessed crusade there can be no disappointments, no failures.
We have our Lord’s own word for it.
If you are truly hungering and thirsting after the fullness of God, my
beloved, it is not possible to fail. “They
shall be filled” is the promise.
Fed, Filled, Satisfied! The
peacemakers are going to be called the sons of God; the merciful are going to
obtain mercy; the mourners are going to be comforted; the meek are going to
inherit the earth. All of these are
divine certainties, absolute principles of the Kingdom of God.
And those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are going to be satisfied.
Only righteousness can satisfy. That
is the law of the Kingdom. Should
you be given power without righteousness, it would not satisfy. Would not it have been surprising, for instance, if Jesus had
said, “Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after knowledge.” How great
a thing is knowledge! “Knowledge
is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven,” said Shakespeare. There is not much danger these days of underrating knowledge.
The pursuit of truth, the unveiling of nature’s secrets, the
development of technology, the exploration of the universe is mind-boggling.
Alexander the Great so valued learning that he used to say that he was
more indebted to Aristotle for giving him knowledge than to Philip his father
for giving him life.
“Knowledge is power,” said another; on which yet another comments
that knowledge is power in the sense that wood is fuel.
Wood on fire is fuel and knowledge on fire is power.
There is no more power in knowledge of itself than there is in pieces of
sticks or lumps of coal. Knowledge
is not power until it burns and sparkles in some earnest, consecrated life.
When such a life hungers and thirsts for knowledge then it becomes power.
If we desire the knowledge of God
and the knowledge of His Kingdom only for
the sake of knowledge, then we will never be conformed into God’s image,
we will never attain unto incorruptible life, nor will we ever rule in the
Kingdom of God. Head-knowledge of
Kingdom truths is only so many sticks and pieces of coal. There is no power. Nothing
will ever be accomplished. I meet
people continually who can mouth all the right phrases and are able to speak
Kingdom terminology, they know all the doctrines inside-out, but it has never
burned in their lives, it has never been translated into power in their
experience. But even when the power
of the Kingdom begins to operate within, we are not satisfied.
There is yet a void, a lack, something is missing, we are still hungry
and thirsty. ONLY RIGHTEOUSNESS CAN
would not be mistaken in saying that you will be far more blessed, dear friend,
more satisfied, more filled by possessing righteousness without power than in
having power without righteousness. That
is the law of the Kingdom of God.
“They shall be filled.” “Whosoever
drinketh of this water shall never thirst.”
Filled with righteousness means that they shall be righteous. They
shall be like Him. God has made
man’s spirit so great that no created thing can possibly feed it, much less
fill it. There is a vacuum in the
soul that nothing can fill but the life of God Himself.
The world’s concoction is like rich confectionery to a starving man.
Only spiritual realities can satisfy the spiritual life.
“My soul thirsteth for the living God.”
I believe that I would be correct in saying that the soul thirsts and the spirit
hungers after God. And we who
hunger and thirst after God and His Kingdom and His righteousness in this hour
are being filled! To be sure, this
reaches far beyond the present. It
can only be true in its literal completeness
when we stand on mount Zion with the Father’s name written in our
foreheads. To be satisfied is to
cease from hungering and that can only come in the fullness of God.
George MacDonald once put it so well: “To be filled
with righteousness is to forget even righteousness itself in the bliss of being
righteous, that is, a son of God. The
thought of righteousness will vanish in the fact of righteousness.
When a creature is just what he is meant to be, what only he is fit to
be; when, therefore, he is truly himself, he never thinks what he is.
He is that thing; why think
about it? It is no longer outside
of him that he should contemplate it or desire it.”
That is what it means to be “filled with righteousness.”
Filled goes beyond hungering and thirsting.
How blessed is the one who is
All through His ministry, Jesus emphasized the great value of eternal
things, in contrast to the material or visible things.
The “blessed” one must be just as hungry for righteousness as he
would be for food if he had had none for days or weeks. All men can understand this, for all of us have at one time
or another had this experience in the physical body. Jesus insists that blessing is never attached to mere
hungering and thirsting after natural
things. Those who seek wealth
and prosperity in this world’s goods, those who say the “King’s kids”
should have the finest homes, the fastest cars, the best jobs, the most
expensive clothes, and the largest bank accounts know nothing of the blessing of
the Kingdom of God. “Seek ye
first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be
added unto you” (Mat. 7:33). That
is the law of the Kingdom. The
hunger for, and the thought of seeking after, must be for the Kingdom of God and
His righteousness. Then all these
necessary natural things will be added. They
are not the blessing — they
are the added.
Yet multitudes of Christians today are seeking
the added and calling it the blessing.
They are wrong. God does not bless
you with houses and lands and earthly things.
Those are not blessings of the Kingdom!
They are mere things that are added
after you have received the blessing of the Kingdom. God’s counsel to all those who imagine that God is blessing
them with temporal, corruptible things is: “Blessed be the God and Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed
us with all spiritual blessings
in heavenly places in Christ:
according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the
world...having predestinated us unto the placement
as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His
will” (Eph. 1:3-5). Now that,
my friend, IS BLESSING!
To hunger to add something more to our stature, some finer clothing to
our wardrobe, or a swimming pool to our place of dwelling promises no
satisfaction or blessing. Even
those who seek after signs are hungering after externals
and not after the Kingdom of God. In
the whole Constitution of the Kingdom Jesus never once says, “Blessed are they
that do hunger and thirst after signs and wonders and miracles, for they shall
be called the sons of God who shall inherit the earth.”
Hungering to behold signs in the sun, in the moon, in the hand, in the
forehead, in healings, miracles, and wonders, or anywhere else, is not hungering
for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
There is no promise that those who seek after signs will be satisfied or
blessed. If we are hungering and
thirsting after signs, we become just a part of an adulterous, unbelieving
generation that demands a sign. No
sign shall be given to it.
The deepest meaning of righteousness is obedience to the will of God.
Jesus said, “My meat (the thing I hunger after, that sustains me) is to do the will
of Him that sent me.” That is
true righteousness. It was
demonstrated in the life of the firstborn Son of God.
The basic principle of His life was phrased by the Psalmist, “Lo, I
come to do Thy will O God.” He
did not come to save lost souls primarily.
He did not come primarily to heal sick bodies.
He did not come primarily to perform miracles, to feed the multitudes, to
still the raging sea, or to produce tax-money from the mouth of a fish.
His sole mission on earth was to fulfill the will of the Father.
J. PRESTON EBY
If you would like to receive these studies write to:
J. Preston Eby
P.O. Box 371240
El Paso TX 79937-1240
All writings are distributed on a free-will basis.
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