Saturday, 3 October 2015
The Perversion of the Doctrine of Blessings in the Modern Church, by the Modern Church
The modern Church has a twisted idea about what is means to be blessed and what a blessing is. This is manifested in the works it does in seeking to help others, and the manner of spirit in which it seeks to do good works. It thinks that it is by doing works that makes it blessed, rather than being what Jesus told the Church to be, the salt and light of the Earth.
The modern Church has made this out to mean that Jesus was telling the Church to do certain works, rather than to be what it means to be blessed in the eyes of God. Such an unbiblical view of what blessings are has made the whole Church ignorant about what Jesus called the Church to be. This explains the manifestations of good works done in a hypocritical manner by the modern Church. It seeks to do good works for God, but out of one’s own human strength, doing such works in the way it sees fit, as opposed to as God sees fit.
It is all too easy to think that as long as one is doing good works for God, one is right with God. The question is not whether one is doing good works for God. Rather, it is whether one is doing good works for God according to His will. It is all too easy for one to do good works for God according to one’s will as one thinks it should be done. Doing good works for God and claiming to serve Him, in a manner of spirit that is self-serving is perverse. God is angry at who do good works for Him, but according to their own way. God being angry at Moses for striking the rock in the Wilderness, as opposed to speaking to it clearly demonstrates this:
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them (Number 20:7-12).
The outcome of doing a ‘good work’, that is, to obtain water for God’s people, the Israelites was achieved by doing so in a way that is not according to what God told Moses to do. Many in the modern Church would regard a work which achieves what is good according to human standards, such as Moses striking the rock, as good, because of the outcome of that work. They would praise such works and criticise works that are done to serve God, in a manner of spirit that opposes their carnal sensitivities which they have not yet suppressed. Such is a manifestation of respect for persons, that which is against God who is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11; Acts 10:34).
One example of such a manifestation is the praise that people in the modern Church have for those who preach the Gospel, according to “culturally sensitive” ways, pandering to the carnal sensitivities of a God-hating world. This is opposed to being Biblically sensitive, sensitive to how God wants preaching the Gospel to be done, and the manner of spirit in which He wants it to be done. No one can serve both the flesh and God. Yet, this is exactly what many in the modern Church are trying to do, thinking that serving the flesh can be done to serve God where done to achieve a ‘good work’. How deluded are many in the modern Church! How tragic!
Many in the modern Church, as such, think that is good works, followed by material provision from God that are blessings from God. Doing good works does not make one blessed, nor is it a blessing. Rather, blessings are not gained or earned by works. To think that one’s blessings are done through good works or actualised by good works is to treat God’s gift as though they can be earned and merited. This would be to think as Simon the Sorceror did when he believed that a price can be given to Salvation, the ultimate blessing:
And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity (Acts 8:18-23).
A blessing is a favour given from God which shows that one is at peace with God. It is to be distinguished from favour from God shown to people to draw them to Him, not because they are at peace with Him: Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance (Romans 2:4)?
To even think that one can give or do something in return for it by one’s works, which are all of the flesh, is to blaspheme God. It is in itself to claim that one must return to God the blessings His has given because one earned it in the first place. God is concerned with one being conformed to the person of Christ, not doing things for God. It is being conformed to the character of Christ that will reap God’s works being done through a person, not that person’s works on any account whatsoever. O, how often do we love to do works to claim that they are good, and our own!
Blessings received from God are spiritual, eternal and godly. They are not unspiritual, earthly, temporal and worldly. They are only given by God to those are at peace with Him, not given to draw people to repentance. Thus, the unsaved do not nor cannot receive God’s blessings. The Bible makes it clear that “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered” (Psalm 32:1; Romans 4:7). To have one’s iniquities forgiven and sins covered is a blessing because it gives one peace with God. Jesus said in Matthew 5:3-16:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Each of the Beatitudes lists a good fruit, followed by the reward. Each good fruit is a state of heart which pleases God. Each reward is a spiritual one, not an earthly one, such as receiving the Kingdom of God, or receiving God’s mercy. It must be noted that Jesus never said “blessed are those who are rich”, “blessed are those who have all their material basic needs met”, or even “blessed are those who God provides for”.
God’s provision for the saved is His kindness and grace. Blessings are rewards God gives to people which are stored up in Heaven for their humility, mourning over sin, meekness, mercy, purity in heart, peacemaking and persecution for righteousness’ sake. The blessings are stored up in Heaven, not stored up on earth. Whether the person’s material needs are given by God to him is not the issue here. The issue is that blessings are not earthly and given now in this life. Thus, the idea that God gives material blessings is a lie for blessings are not material, temporal and earthly.
Any professing Christian who says that “God has blessed me with a car” or “God has blessed me with a house” is a mammonised Christian who thinks in his heart that he is “entitled” to what God gives to him, or rather, allows him to have. Such Christians are those who one must be careful of, all the more because of their profession of faith in Christ.
The doctrine of blessings has been very subtly perverted in the modern Church. Equating God’s blessings to God’s provision for the righteous to do His will has lead to the deception that blessings from God are or can be temporal and earthly. This is an erroneous doctrine. Rather, blessings are rewards for true righteousness in the sight of God which can never be taken away by anything. They are eternal, heavenly and never rust. Absolutely none of the Beatitudes Jesus spoke of ever claims that a person is rewarded with that which is earthly and temporal.