Blessed Are The Poor in Spirit – But Who Are They? pt.1/8

“And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven”.  But who are the poor in spirit? It they who have recognized their state of being miserable, wretched, poor, blind, and naked!![1] Not physical poverty but spiritual poverty. Those who recognize their sin, that they have missed the mark or standard set by God and are perishing and know they need a Saviour.  Yeshua says they are indeed blessed.  It is akin to knowing if you are sick and need a doctor, dentist, or you are in trouble and know you need a lawyer to help navigate a case.

This is usually the state that we find ourselves before we surrender and Saved by YESHUA in the first instance.  And that is where yours truly personally found himself some five years ago when I lost everything, lost my job, lost my relationships, broken-hearted, lost my finances and hit rock bottom.  Then I realized that I needed a saviour in my life.  At that point, I picked up my bible and started reading and searching the scriptures.  I wanted to understand my predicament and it was there[2] that I found Yeshua and got baptized for the first time.

That is the state where the children of Israel reached and cried out to God to be rescued from physical bondage in Egypt, and God sent them a deliverer Moses who led them out of bondage through the death of the first born of Egypt and through the red sea.  So, in the same manner when the one who is poor in Spirit cries out to God to be rescued out of the world of sin (spiritual Egypt, that is),[3] God sends his Son Yeshua to die for us[4] so that if we believe in Him then we should not perish. And by believing in him is believing that we should be born again by Water and the Spirit (John 3:5).  The Water is the washing and cleansing aspect of repentance and the Spirit is the confessing with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord (Matt 16:17), which is revealed unto us only by the Spirit of God (There are many that do not confess or accept the fact today, so it is a privilege for us to be able to confess that).

So that is the first step, in the process; first acknowledgement of sin and confession, genuine repentance and water baptism, that is what will make God’s spirit come to us.  We must come to Christ by His terms and not according to our terms.  When we follow His terms, we acknowledge that He is our Savior.  When we go to a Doctor or a Lawyer, we do not suggest to them how our case should be handled because that is an insult to their professions as Doctors or Lawyers.  And we go them when all our attempts at solving our problems fail.  It the same as Yeshua His profession is SAVIOUR, He is the only one qualified in this world to perform that task, there is none other. 

In Isaiah 57:15 it states, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabited 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.” InPsalm 34:18 it states, “The LORD is near to the broken-hearted; He saves the contrite in spirit.” In Psalm 51:17 it states “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.[5] So, these scriptures show us that God dwells in only two places, in heaven above, and in the heart of anyone that is contrite.  Without repentance and confession Yeshua will be very far away from us.  Psalm 138:6 states, Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respects unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

However, when we come to Christ in the first we are unable to stay faithful till the end but fall into sin, rebellion and apostasy as observed throughout scripture the children of God falling into one sin then to another.

Sin, Rebellion and Apostasy by the People of God

Computer generated 3D illustration with a Golden Calf

It will be great if after salvation and redemption we can stay faithful to Yeshua and remain committed to our first love until the end, but usually that is not the case.  Sin is always crouching at the door, and we usually fall back into sin, rebellion and commit apostasy.

We learn from Ephesians 6:12 that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Right from the beginning in Genesis, Adam and Eve fall into temptation and sin, through the wiles and deception of the arch enemy Satan.  And when we sin, we fall back again to our old state separated from God.  Roman 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  There are countless stories in the bible which shows time and time again that the children of God have the inclination to fall into sin and rebel after they are saved and redeemed by God.  This trend continues till today, at the end of the age.  We are going to look at a few examples so we can learn from how God is able to save his children through it all.

  1. In the story of Adam and Eve, we see how the children of God clothed in His robe of righteousness are deceived by the ancient serpent Satan, to disobey God’s commandment and thereby lose their robe of righteousness and become naked in the garden and fearful for the first time.  Here, the enemy by deception enters the garden of the Lord purposely to deceive them into sin. Adam and Eve fall into sin because they doubted the express commandment of God’s word.  But we see that Adam and Eve repent and God re-clothes them in the skin of a slain lamb.[6]
  2. In the story of the flood the whole world falls into sin and becomes wicked and evil, apostatize and rebel from the commandments of God.  However, Noah and his household find grace in the eyes of the Lord, and the Lord saves them through Water.  Noah did not follow the crowd but listened to the instructions of God and remained Holy in wicked world.  Yeshua tells us in Luke 17:26-27, that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man. They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given into marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark.  These people kept doing what they did every day (business as usual) and did not see the change in the times (building of Noah’s ark and preaching) to repent and be saved and perished in the flood.
  3. Also, in Lot’s story in Sodom and Gomorrah, Yeshua was looking for only 10 believers in the City of Sodom who were faithful to God’s commands and doing right in the sight of God, but he found only ONE person in the whole of the land that was faithful.  All the rest were living in sin, rebellion, and apostasy to the commands of God.  Had Yeshua found 10 believers who were faithful he would have spared the city from the fire.  So, in this story we see that Yeshua’ s attention is on the actions and lives of the believers who claim faith in YHVH more than the lives the many who do not have faith in him.  And Yeshua says in Luke 17:28-30 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.’ The people in Sodom did not recognize the change in the times when the Angels visited Sodom.  However, Lot did realize the times and was sitting outside the gates of the city (separated himself from the rest) until the Angels came to visit and gave them hospitality in his home. He did not mix with the others of the city who did not recognize the time.  The enemy is plotting to keep us busy from understanding the signs of the times so we can repent, and if we are not in tune and in the Spirit, we will not see its time and the grace of God is about to be withdrawn from men.
  4. In the story of the Golden Calf, we realize that just after Israel were saved and redeemed by God from Egypt and Pharaoh, they quickly fell into idolatry and rebellion and apostasy because they thought Moses had kept too long on the Mountain and lost faith. In Galatians 5:22, the fruit of the spirit is patience or forbearance, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. However these people were not in the spirit of God but they were in the flesh[7] and scripture tells us in Galatians 5:18 that, the works of the flesh are; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”.  The lesson here is that if we think the return of Yeshua is taking too long and we do not focus on things of the spirit we will be tempted to into works of the flesh and fall into judgement as these people did and perished.  Yeshua told his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, keep watch and pray lest thou fallest into temptation.
  5. In the rebellion at the borders of the promised land in Kadesh Barnea, recorded in the book of Numbers 13&14, the children of Israel became unfaithful, disobedient and rebelled against God after He gave the command to go and possess the promise land.   The 12 spies had brought their report from surveying the promised land. Due to this rebellion, out a generation of 600,000 men (not counting women) who came out of Egypt aged between 20yrs and 60yrs who saw the glory of God in Egypt, Red Sea etc. and all the miracles, only two men Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh of the tribe of Judah were found faithful and survived the wrath of God. God swore in His wrath that that they would not enter his rest.  They hardened their hearts and did not believe in God.  This important story is repeated in Psalm 95:7-11 and by Paul in Hebrews chapter 3 & 4 as a reminder to Christians today not to harden their hearts to the Commandment of God to enter into His rest today.  Due to this rebellion the children of Israel faced the wrath of God and had to wander in the wilderness in circles for 40yrs (instead of 11 days to the promised land) until all that generation had died off. The new generation who was to enter the promised land therefore had to be baptized in the Jordan and re-hear the Law of Moses afresh (Deuteronomy, the 2nd reading of the Law or “Debarim”) to re-covenant with Yahweh before they were assured of victory in the battles that waited for them in Jericho etc. It was after they crossed the Jordan that Yeshua (Captain of the Host of the Lord) appeared to them on the plains of Jericho to usher them to victory. This story is very important for the generation today about to enter into the promised land (heaven).
  6. In Ezekiel 8, scripture lists all the abominations the people of God were committing in Jerusalem before the Babylonian captivity especially idolatry and occult worship practices by the leadership and elders of the temple and the Princes of city of Jerusalem.  These occult practices are mentioned as the last abomination that the Lord said was the last straw that broke the camel’s back i.e., the Worship of the Sun in the East. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 6:15 15 “What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” In Ezekiel chapter 11, God states that it was the elders of the temple and the Princes of the city of Jerusalem who were involved in the occult worship that devised mischief and give wicked counsel in the city of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 11:2).  It was this very reason God brought Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon to raze the city of Jerusalem to the ground in Ezekiel 9 and send the children of Judah into captivity. But those who did not get involved and sighed and wept because of these sins were spared.
  7. It was the same lack of faith, unbelief and disobedience which led the leaders in Jerusalem to crucify Yeshua at His first advent. Their failure to understand the prophecies or Isaiah, Daniel etc. led them to reject the forerunner John the Baptist who was prophesied to announce or herald the coming of Yeshua.  These leaders failed to repent and be baptized by John or Jesus Christ in order to receive the truth and be saved.  (Matthew 21:25).  Those who believed John the Baptist’s message and were baptized had the Grace to know the Messiah and be His disciples, a story we know too well.
  8. Today, Yeshua tells the church in the book of Revelation 3:14-22, the church of Laodicea (LAODICEA is a Greek word derived from two words LAOS, which means people, assembly or church and DICE, judgement, justice) which means the people or church of the Judgement.  Yeshua states that the present church is wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Here, Yeshua uses words he used to describe backslidden, apostatized Israel in all the previous examples. As an example, Adam and Eve were naked, due to the deception of the enemy in the garden of the Lord, the children of Israel were called naked when they fell into apostasy, etc. etc.  So, we can see from the above that we, the church of today have lost our glory, the righteousness of God.  Many people have left the church and say they no longer believe in God and have become atheists.  The church is in decline everywhere you look, and the statistics show it.  We do not have a victorious church as the apostolic church of the first second centuries AD, we rather have a retreating church and a defeated church.  So, the church today, is in the same position as the children of Israel were prior to entering the PROMISE LAND!! We are at the borders of Kadesh; the borders of the promise land and we are in Rebellion.   That is why the Sermon on the Mount is good news because Yeshua says he knows our state and blessed is the one who recognized his or her state of poverty and repents, because it is that church which will inherit the kingdom of God.  He says “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” In Rev 3:19-20.  Jesus here identifies himself to be standing outside the door of the church of Laodicea, He is not in the church.  It is through the repentance of the church turning back that will let Yeshua inside the church to take control and lead us to victory as he led the apostolic church to victory.

So YESHUA is watching what believers today will do just as in Sodom and Gomorrah, He is watching whether He will find believers who are willing to obey his commandments and be faithful to him.  “When I return will I find faith in the earth?” Luke 18:8.

He is telling us exactly what He told the children of Israel, we have to come back to him in perfect repentance; come and confess so HE will lead us to victory.  We need to re-covenant with Yeshua, and “Passover” the river Jordan, i.e., be baptized again! Before we are ensured victory, because the fight is the lords the battle is the lords’ we need to be clothed in Yeshua.  Galatians 3:27 states that anyone who is Baptized into Yeshua has been clothed with Yeshua’ s Righteousness.  We must be clothed in his righteousness, the full armor of God, because we are currently naked.

“If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves, pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways!! Then will I hear from heaven.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) Yeshua will only act in our favor after we have decided to turn back to him in full repentance.  If today you hear his voice do not harden your heart. (Hebrews 3:15)

If today we can acknowledge our sins, repent and be baptized and cloth ourselves in Yeshua the church will have victory.

It is only those who realized they are poor who are blessed.  Like the apostles, Peter, James John, Paul…and the 120 believers who were in the upper room…who received the former rain on Shavuot because they had cleansed and washed themselves.  Had believed in the message, been baptized by John the Baptist, believed, and followed Yeshua’s instruction!!

But the Pharisees were they blessed? NO because they said that they were not poor, they were not wretched, they were not blind, or they were not naked. So, they did not receive the former rain and did not inherit the kingdom of God.  Most of them perished in the siege in Jerusalem but only those who believed escaped.

That is why the key to the Sermon on the Mount is, BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD, it unlocks all the other blessings.  Because then the Ruach HaKodesh is released to finish the work in us. 

It is only after the Ruach haKodesh has come into our lives and directing our lives that we can take the next step in the Sermon of the Mount and mourn….…….

[1] Revelation 3:14-22

[2] I found my salvation in the book of Job, because I realized if a blameless man like Job can hit rock bottom due to no fault of his, then I a serial sinner and prodigal son could not complain at all or blame anybody else but to repent and seek the mercy and grace of God and forgiveness of sins and to know God understand how God He operates.

[3] (Gal 4:3) Paul describes our lives before Yeshua, that we are in bondage to the elements of this world.

[4] The death of Yeshua is equivalent to the death of the first-born son in Egypt and the blood on the Lintel (Pesach)

[5] In the hold testament we offered bulls and rams but in the new testament we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice daily unto God, morning, and evening.

[6] Genesis 3

[7] Exodus 32:6 “and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”

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