|Matthew 6 |
1 "Take heed that you do not give to the poor in the presence of men, to be seen by them; otherwise you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2 Therefore when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may have admiration from men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward.
3 But when you give, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 That your giving may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret, will himself reward you. [Your giving will always be private, not public. But, when you have been delivered (freed) from the sins and evil in your heart, God's light will shine forth in your heart, to guide your thoughts, words, and works, so that the world may see many of your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.]
5 And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward.
6 But when you pray, enter into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
7 Pray, but do not babble repetitiously as the heathen do, thinking that by their many words they will be heard.[Do not be rash with your mouth, and do not let your heart be hasty to utter anything before God. For God is in heaven, and you are upon the earth; therefore let your words be few. Ecc 5:2]
8 Do not be like them for your Father knows the things you need, even before you ask him.
9 [The Lord's Prayer has been repeated many, many times. But the real meaning has been hidden from most over the centuries. For that reason, a short explanation is added for each verse. Bracketed text is commentary or clarification.]
Therefore pray after this manner: Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed is your name. [Holy is your name. Let us not speak God's name(s) in a profane expression; that is a filthy habit. Taking God's name in vain is to speak about God or Christ before your heart has been cleansed from it being defiled; as all unregenerated men's hearts are defiled before they are purified. As George Fox wrote: "such as talk of Christ, and do not walk in him; such as profess him, and do not possess him; .. such as profess Christ the way, and walk not in the way, the truth, and the life; all such talkers, and not walkers, are dishonorers of God, and cause his holy name to be blasphemed among those who make no profession." From the Word of the Lord within my heart: "Jesus is a mighty name to be declared in all the worlds to come. Guard and protect his name."]
10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. [The kingdom comes to those who seek the Kingdom as their first priority in life, which kingdom is within and around us and does not come with visible or outward signs. When translated into the Kingdom while still on earth, Your will may be done by us, (with Your thoughts, words, and deeds prompted by You to us), on the earth, just as Your will is done by those in heaven. For when we are in Your kingdom while we still walk on the earth, we hear You tell us what to say, judge as You tell us to judge, and do what You show us to do — as Jesus did when He was on earth. With God ordering and controlling our thoughts, words, and deeds, everything we do and say is pure, virtuous, and perfect; then we are righteous, having been restored to the spiritual image of God: Christ. Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but [only] he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Mat 7:21. To enter heaven, we must "walk in the same was as He walked," 1 John 2:6, and become "as He is, so are we in this present world." 1 John 4:17.]
11 Give us this day our daily bread. [Jesus said: "Do not labor for food that perishes, but for the food that endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you. I am the bread of life, the bread from heaven. For it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life-giving. John 6:63." Your daily bread is to quietly listen and hear the Lord speak words to you with encouragement, teachings, convictions, and commands. Blessed are those who hear the word of God [within your heart] and keep [practice, obey] it. Luke 11:28. You must listen — hear, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21. All your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words. Deu 33:3]
12 And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.1 [Unless you give up anger, hate, and resentment, you will not be forgiven. If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. George Fox wrote: "Forgiveness is more than with the mouth." From the Word of the Lord within: "Forgive and forget."]
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.2 For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. [Temptation: God will never allow a temptation to come on us that is greater than we are capable of withstanding; but he definitely allows temptations to come our way so that we either grow stronger in resisting them, or in falling to them suffer the pain of sin, which then motivates our improvement. Evil: The evil this prayer references is the evil in every man's heart, his own: selfishness, pride, covetousness, profane thoughts and words, lusts, sexual immorality, anger, greed, lying, cheating, drunkenness, stealing, etc. Jesus is the savior, the deliverer, the redeemer — who destroys the sin and evil in your heart, which has defiled you. Jesus, with your persistence to the end, will deliver you from the power of darkness and will translate you into his kingdom while you are still on earth, Col 1:13, John 14:3,17:24 Eph 2:5-6. Whatever man can do is because he was created with specific abilities; all glory is God's, the creator. It is impossible for a created being to claim glory. Any glory of a created being is only imagined and claimed as a lie. All glory belongs to God, who created all.]
14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. [Forgiveness is more than with the mouth.]
16 Moreover when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance; for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear to men to be fasting. Truly I say to you that they have their reward.
17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face;
18 So that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but only to your Father who is in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you openly.
19 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break in and steal;
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupts, and where thieves do not break in or steal. [This is done by giving to the poor; not tithing, not giving to a sect — but by liberally giving to the poor. ]
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
22 The light of the body is the eye [spiritual eye, the eye of the heart]. If therefore your eye is single [clear without specs], your whole body will be full of light. [Jesus said he came to make blind those who said they could see (who thought they understood righteousness) and to make the blind (those who knew they were not righteous) to see.]
23 But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! [The Jews had great knowledge of the scriptures, but were spiritually blind because they had no light; they had not been listening to the Word of the Lord in their heart, and so they thought Jesus was evil. Their spiritual ears were stopped and their spiritual eyes were closed; they had not been taught and changed by the Spirit of God and so had no light to see by. Until taught by the Holy Spirit, like all men, the Jews were in darkness. No amount of scripture study can produce light to dispel darkness.]
24 No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate one, and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
25 Therefore I say to you, take no thought for your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Behold the fowls of the air. They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one moment to his life?
28 And why do you think about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don't toil, neither do they spin.
29 And yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Therefore, if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or, 'What shall we drink?' or, 'With what shall we be clothed?'
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need these.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things will be added to you.3 [Notice! To pursue the righteousness of God and His Kingdom is supposed to be the highest priority of your life — more than your efforts to provide food and clothing. Seek first the kingdom, which is peace, righteousness, and joy in the Spirit. Rom 14:17. To do so, in many scriptures, he told us, "Come to me;" come — not to sect services that claim He is in their building, not to prayer meetings, not to altar calls, not to read the Bible; Jesus even said that studying the scriptures is not coming to Him. John 5:39-40. We must go directly to Him; he told us us how to seek Him, the one thing that is needed: to sit at His feet and listen to His words that he speaks to us, Luke 10:39-42. We sit by waiting in humble silence, listening, and watching while thinking of the name of Jesus; when we hear Him speak to us and then obey, we are following Jesus. From the Word of the Lord within: "You can live in heaven and still walk the earth. Seek first the kingdom, and all else will be provided — provided you stay on course. He told us it was not enough to seek God, we must seek with all our heart and soul. Come to me, and I will guide the meek and lowly. God is not found going to services or reading about him. There is only one thing needful. Hear me, my children. Come to me, and I will speak to your souls. O seek the Lord you mighty, while you still have strength."]
34 Therefore do not take thought and worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will have its own concerns. Every day has enough trouble of its own."
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1 The false prophet ministers say, "See, even Jesus' disciples sinned, so no man can be perfect." But this was before the disciples received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in power at Pentecost, the baptism that burns up the chaff with unquenchable fire, the baptism of death to the selfish, Satanic, spirit in man. Of course, no disciple is perfect and sinless immediately. The Lord teaches us, commands us, and changes us, one step at a time. This prayer is for those being discipled. But when the disciple is perfect, he is like the Master. Luke 6:40. There is no sin in Him. Whoever abides in Him does not sin;.. whoever is born of God does not commit sin. 1 John 3:5-10
Any minister who denies perfection is only trying to preserve his job because if he admitted the scriptures that show perfection was necessary and possible, then he would be under pressure to resign as a blind guide. They want to preserve their income; they want to preserve the status of their position. And yet the Bible they claim to believe, shows the single purpose of the ministry is to perfect the saints into the fullness and stature of Christ — to present every man perfect in Christ. Eph 4:11-13, Col 1:28
2 Deliver us from evil. The evil this prayer references is the evil in a man's heart: his selfishness, pride, covetousness, profane thoughts and words, lusts, sexual immorality, anger, greed, lying, cheating, drunkenness, stealing, etc. Mark 7:21-23, Mat 15:18-19. Every man is addicted to something in this world: clothes, sex, music, sports, cars, drugs, alcohol, preaching, taste sensations, movies, gossip, social causes, political causes, collecting things, etc. Jesus is the savior, the deliverer, the redeemer — who delivers us from sin and evil in our hearts, that has defiled us. He leads us onto the inward cross of self-denial to crucify our lusts and affections, and then removes them to replace them with his Spirit. God, who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Col 1:13
Jesus said, .. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lack of restraint, an evil eye [envy], blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile a man. Mark 7:21-23. Notice, until your heart has been cleansed, you are defiled — a ravenous beast that serves yourself, rather than others.
Jesus is eager to destroy sin and the works of evil in us — if we go to him. For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works [sin] of the devil. 1 John 3:8
3 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things will be added to you. This is the commanded first priority of life, to seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness. Therefore take no thought, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or, 'What shall we drink?' or, 'With what shall we be clothed?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need these. Further Jesus said: Do not labor for food that perishes, but for the food that endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you; for God the Father has authorized and certified him with his seal... It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing... Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes [depends on, trusts, obeys] on me has everlasting life. I am that bread of life...The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life-giving. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, Mat 4:4. From the Word of the Lord within: "Seek first the kingdom, and all else will be provided — provided you stay on course." If you don't make seeking the kingdom your life's highest priority, you will never see salvation in your life on earth.
In his sermon early Quaker Stephen Crisp, who dwelled in the kingdom, testified that in one day under the government of Christ, (in the kingdom), one has more joy, pleasure, and delight than a thousand days outside it.
Jesus tells us how: it is not by reading the Bible, it is not by going to a building and listening to someone talk, it is not by asking God for what you want. You must persistently and patiently go to him by sitting in humble silence, thinking on the name of Jesus, and then waiting on Him. You must wait on him as you listen silently, with the humility of a sinner in need of his changing power — grace. Wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. You must listen, hear, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21. You must endure to the end, when Christ brings salvation. Seek the LORD your God, and you will find him, if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deut 4:29
There is only one thing needed, and Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:39-42. To hear Him speak to us, we must sit in humble silence and wait — as we listen to hear and then obey; when we obey Him, we are following Jesus.
From the Word of the Lord within:
seek first the kingdom of God
Where is this Kingdom you are commanded to seek? Now when he was questioned by the Pharisees, as to when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with outward signs to be observed. Nor will they say, 'Look here!' or, 'Look over there!' For behold, the kingdom of God is within you and around you." Luke 17:20-21. And God is in you too: One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Eph 4:6. God .. is not far from every one of us, for in him we live and move and have our being, (Acts 17:27-28) - but we are not aware of his presence until we seek and find him, because we are in a lower physical dimension. And Christ is in you too: Christ in you, the hope of Glory. Col 1:27...Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you— unless you are reprobates [tested, rejected]? 2 Cor 13:5.
From his Journal the following is George Fox's wonderfully inspiring, unparalleled Christian testimony of being translated into paradise and then the Kingdom:
"I saw also the mountains burning up, and the rubbish, and the rough, and crooked ways and places made smooth and plain,* that the Lord might come into his tabernacle. These things are to be found in man's heart; but to speak of these things being within, seemed strange to the rough, crooked, and mountainous ones. Yet the Lord said, ‘0h earth, hear the word of the Lord!'"
*Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth. Luke 3:5
"Now I came up in spirit, through the flaming sword,* into the paradise of God. All things were new, and all the creation gave another smell unto me than before, beyond what words can utter. I knew nothing but pureness, innocence, and righteousness, being renewed up into the image of God by Christ Jesus; so that I came up to the state of Adam, which he was in before he fell. The creation was open to me; and it was showed me how all things had their names given them, according to their nature and virtue. I was at a stand in my mind, whether I should practice medicine for the good of mankind, seeing the nature and virtues of the creatures were so opened to me by the Lord. But I was immediately taken up in spirit, to see into another or more steadfast state than Adam's in innocence, even into a state in Christ Jesus, that should never fall.** And the Lord showed me, that such as were faithful to him, in the power and light of Christ, should come up into that state in which Adam was before he fell; in which the admirable works of the creation, and the virtues of that may be known, through the openings of that divine word of wisdom and power by which they were made. Great things did the Lord lead me into, and wonderful depths were opened unto me, beyond what can by words be declared; but as people come into subjection to the spirit of God, and grow up in the image and power of the Almighty, they may receive the word of wisdom that opens all things, and come to know the hidden unity in the Eternal Being."
*So [God] drove out the man [Adam and Eve out of paradise, the Garden of Eden]; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden the cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep and guard the way to the tree of life. Gen 3:24
**There are two steps in perfection through the grace of Christ: 1st) to be raised up to the perfection of Adam and Eve in paradise, but still capable of falling to temptation, and 2nd) to be raised up to union with Christ Jesus, an everlasting perfection, which is incapable of falling to sin or temptation. Stephen Crisp, another eminent early Quaker, writes further of this two-step perfection:
For you know while the vessel is filled with wrath, envy, or with unrighteousness of any kind, such are not yet fit for the glory of God to shine forth in. When that is removed out by judgment; and Zion is set free from oppression, then the creature returns to God a pure vessel in the righteousness that was before the fall. So a man or woman may come to Adam's state that he was in before he fell, which was without sin. Against such the judgment of God does not go forth, but they have peace with God, and fellowship in what is pure, before sin and transgression were. Those who come to this state, may be entangled again; as was Eve, and if they do not watch, they may be entangled again; but if such are faithful to the power that redeemed them from the sin, and in the power resist the temptation, then such receive the seal of eternal life in Christ Jesus, who never fell, though he was tempted, and so come to an establishment in Him who never changes.
"Moreover, the Lord God let me see, when I was brought up into his image in righteousness and holiness, and into the state of the paradise of God how Adam was made a living soul; and also to the stature of Christ, the mystery that had been hid from ages and generations: which things are hard to be uttered, and cannot be borne by many. For of all the sects in Christendom (so called) that I discussed with, I found none that could bear to be told that anyone could spiritually grow to Adam's perfection, (that is into that image of God, and righteousness and holiness that Adam was in before he fell), to be clean, pure, and without sin as he was. Therefore, how would they be able to bear being told that any should spiritually grow up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; when it threatens them to hear that any shall come, while upon earth, into the same power and spirit that the prophets and apostles were in? Though it is an absolute truth, that none can understand the Apostle’s writings correctly without the same spirit by which they were written.
The Lord God opened to me by his invisible power, how that ‘every man was enlightened by the divine light of Christ.’ I saw it shine through all, and that they that believed in it came out of condemnation to the light of life, and became the children of it; but they that hated it and did not believe in it, were condemned by it, though they made a profession of Christ. This I saw in the pure openings of the light without the help of any man; neither did I then know where to find it in the scriptures; though afterwards, searching the scriptures, I found it. For I saw in that light and spirit which was before the scriptures were given forth, and which led the holy men of God to give them forth, that all must come to that spirit, if they would know God or Christ, or the scriptures correctly, which they that gave them forth were led and taught by."
seek first His [God's] righteousness
What righteousness are you commanded to seek? His righteousness! See the definition of righteousness in Footnote 3 of 1 John 3:7. This is not strange because: we must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect, Mat 5:48; we must be merciful as He is merciful, Luke 6:36; we must become pure as He is pure, 1 John 3:2-3; as he who has called you is holy, so you be holy in all manner of conduct because it is written, 'be holy for I am holy.' 1 Pet 1:15-16; so that we walk as he walked, 1 John 2:6, and as he is, so are we in this present world. 1 John 4:17. There is no flexibility and no equivocation in any of these stated requirements. Jesus would not tell us that our first priority in life is to seek His righteousness if it were not possible; nor would he tell us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect and merciful as He is merciful, nor to be holy, unless it were possible.
Today's so-called Christians think they are righteous because they "believe in Jesus" or have been water baptized; in so doing, Christianity has made a mockery of the Lord's highest priority command in the New Testament. When contemplating those who think they have the righteousness of Christ because they believe that Jesus is the son of God, the Word of the Lord within said: "They throw the word 'righteousness' around without any understanding of what it means. They are filthy dreamers." All are filthy because their hearts are defiled with all manner of sins they still commit with disregard to the Lord's many warnings and requirements, and they are dreaming that they are righteous. There is an imputed righteousness that comes with the measure of faith received with the fruit of the Spirit, which is rewarded to those who have crucified their selfish, evil spirit on the inward cross of self-denial, but not before. Believing in Jesus is not the faith that imputes righteousness; see Footnote 2 of Romans 3 for the detail of imputed righteousness.
John warns us: Little children, let no man deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. 1 John 3:7. Jesus only spoke, judged, and did as He was prompted and ordered by God; to practice righteousness we also must be able to only speak what we hear Him order us to say and only do what we are ordered to do by God. This ability only comes after we have crucified our selfish spirit and sin has been destroyed by the Spirit through bearing the inward cross of self-denial; then we are walking the same way He walked and in the world as He was with perfection, purity, and holiness. So we must become righteous, like God is righteous. And Paul warns us: Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves as slaves to obey, you are the slaves of whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness? Rom 6:16. Man doesn't even know what righteousness is, until he is shown by God what sin and righteousness are: The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, Rom 1:17; faith, revelation, more faith, revelation, more faith...etc. No man knows the Son but the Father, neither does any man know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal him. Mat 11:27. Because what may be known of God is revealed in them. Rom 1:19. Learning about God is not reading about God, not hearing someone talk about God, for God is known by revelation in your heart, where you hear him and see him teach you about sin, righteousness, and himself. See Footnote 3 to 1 John 3:7 for the definition of righteousness.
Righteousness cannot be obtained until the Lord has cleansed your defiled heart of all lusts and anger: Flee youthful lusts; but aim at and pursue righteousness, 2 Tim 2:22; for the anger of man does not lead to the righteousness of God. James 1:20.
William Penn addressed the righteousness that we must obtain:
Christ clothes them with his righteousness, who receive his grace in their hearts, and deny themselves, and take up their cross daily, and follow him. Christ's righteousness makes men inwardly holy, of holy minds, wills, and practices. Although we have righteousness, it is Christ's; for it is ours, not by nature, but by faith and adoption. It is the gift of God. But still, it is not ours as from ourselves, for it is Christ's, being of and from him. Yet it is ours, and must be ours in possession, power, and enjoyment, to do us any good; or Christ's righteousness will profit us nothing. In this way was he made righteousness, sanctification, justification, and redemption to the primitive Christians; and if ever you will have the comfort, kernel, and marrow of the Christian religion, in like manner you must come to learn and obtain it.
"The Father is in you all, Christ is in you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is in you; there, in your hearts, is where you will find them all. Know him there searching your hearts, and find him there trying your minds and hearts; incline your ears, and give ear to him there, who will render to everyone of you according to your words and works whether they are good or evil," (by George Fox). BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD. Psalm 46:10
In Luke, Jesus stresses hearing and obeying: Whoever comes to me, and listens to my words and does [practices, obeys] them, I will show you whom he is like.
He is like a man who built a house, and dug deep and laid the foundation securely built on a rock;
and when the flood arose, the torrent beat violently upon that house, but could not shake it because it was founded upon a rock.
But the person who hears and does not put my words into practice is like a man who built a house upon the earth without a foundation;
against which the torrent struck violently, and immediately it collapsed; and the ruin of that house was great. Luke 6:46-49.
From the Word of the Lord within: "We go to him, and he rains help on us; well does this exercise of God purify those who do. Come to me with the hope of speaking and acting righteously."
As you walk in paradise, you must be watchful against temptation until you advance the next stage: being born again and protected from ever sinning again as you sit down in Christ at rest in the heavens; then you possess the substance, Christ, with His righteousness, which is the end of imputation and end of belief.
As you wait and listen to the Lord, you obey what he commands you to do; thus, from the word of the Lord within: "little by little the will of God is progressed." You keep obeying his commands until he finally frees your from all sin, and then you are righteous; your obedience has then led you to become righteous by his grace.
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