Growing in Faith & Love,  Salvation


 The theme of this year’s Feast of Tabernacles at Eaton Rapids is found in Matthew 6. Starting with verse 31 we read: “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first His kingdom and righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Life at a very basic level hinges on food, shelter and clothing. Here Yahshua is telling us that seeking His kingdom should be a higher priority than these most basic of necessities. He is in essence saying that our life depends on our pursuit of the Kingdom, that in seeking His kingdom we will actually find life!

In order to really understand what He means by “seeking His kingdom” we must look more closely at the context of this statement. Going back several chapters in Matthew we find that from the very beginning of His ministry Yahshua was preaching and teaching the kingdom message. In Matt. 4:17 we have “From that time Yahshua began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” again in verse 23: “And Yahshua went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the glad tidings of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” In a quick review of all four of the evangels it is easy to see that Yahshua’s message while here on earth was predominantly about the Kingdom; what it is, who is going to be there and when it will be consummated. In Luke 4:43 we read “And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of Elohim… for therefore am I sent…” Returning to the book of Matthew we have seen that Yahshua is traveling around the area of Galilee preaching and teaching the Kingdom. Picking the text up again in 5:1 we have “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying… “Now, I personally have never been to Israel but I know from my studies and conversations with people familiar with the country that it is not particularly flat, especially in the area of Galilee. So when it says that “he went up into a mountain” I read that He went for a good hike! The people that would be blessed by this message (the Sermon on the Mount) had to earn it with a little bit of effort and sweat. I’m sorry, brethren, but good (life changing) teaching will not come to us as we are sitting on our couch with a bag of potato chips watching the TV. We must seek it, we must follow it wherever it goes, even up a mountain! Yahshua begins His teaching with the well-known passage of the beatitudes. How radical is this teaching brethren! It flies in the face of worldly wisdom and understanding: “Blessed are the poor in spirit… Blessed are they that mourn… Blessed are the meek…” The world says that the rich and powerful are blessed, the famous and boastful are blessed, etc… Yahshua with this teaching begins to lay out a totally different way of looking at the world around us, at the law, at our relationship with Almighty Yahweh and our fellow man.

Moving on down the passage we come to a few verses all of us probably know by heart (5:17-20): “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” All

of us in the faith understand that Yahshua came to fulfill the law in the sense that He kept it perfectly while walking on this earth and lived up to all of its prophecies concerning the Messiah and His work. We also see Yahshua as the greatest teacher of the law to ever live among men. In accordance with Isaiah 42:21 He did indeed magnify the law and make it honorable by putting it in its proper context (the heart).

Moving on in our text, the passages that follow should be truly humbling to anyone that is honest with themselves and open to correction. Yahshua makes it clear that it’s not just the outward action that counts but the thought and intent of the heart from which all actions eventually flow. So, anyone who is angry with his brother without a cause or who looketh on a woman to lust after her has already sinned in his heart even though no action may have been taken. This is a high calling brethren! My father used to tell me that “you can’t always help what you think but you can help what you say” and this has been good advice which I have had to fall back on many a time. But brethren, Yahshua is telling us that it DOES matter what we think. In fact, what’s in our heart matters the most and it is this that we should concentrate on. That is the intent of verse 48: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” When seeking to apply the law to our lives we should always concentrate on the intent and look for the underlying spiritual application of the law to our lives. Yes, every jot and every tittle must be obeyed but if we are walking in love and listening for the guidance of the Holy Spirit the letter of the law will never be a problem for us.

Matthew 6:19-21 says: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Brethren, many people in this world around us (especially in America) are enjoying their kingdoms now. They have the 3000 sq. ft. house, they have two SUVs in the driveway, and they have a big screen TV in every room. What more could they want? They have made their choice. It is obvious where their heart lies by the abundance of their possessions. Yahshua makes it clear in v24: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve Yahweh and mammon.”

Brethren, let us not deceive ourselves by thinking that we can have it both ways. Let us cast off this world and its pleasures and seek His kingdom. As I have tried to explain in the above discourse we must seek His kingdom in a spiritual manner. As Paul says in Romans 7/8, the law is spiritual. Indeed, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of Yahweh (1 Cor. 15:50). The Apostle Paul is probably second to Yahshua in his understanding and ability to teach the law and its underlying principles. We would all do well to study his writings and learn to apply the very fundamentals of the law to our hearts and minds as he instructs us to do.

So when is the kingdom coming then? Yahshua was asked this question in Luke 17:20, 21: “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of Elohim should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of Elohim cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for behold, the kingdom of Elohim is within you.” I have to admit, brethren, I didn’t understand this passage for a long time. But then at some point I finally realized that, you know what? THE KINGDOM IS HERE NOW! Yes, it’s true His kingdom is coming in

its full power and glory at Yahshua’s soon return. But it is also true that His kingdom has always been here on this earth growing little by little down through the ages as spiritual people have forsaken the rule of this world and clung to Almighty Yahweh as their own personal Father and accepted Yahshua His son as their own personal saviour and righteous king. Yahshua tells us this very thing in Matt. 13:31-32: “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” Reading on in v33: “Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” Brethren, it is obvious to me that Yahweh’s kingdom is on the move! It is growing in these last days as it never has before and it will soon consume this entire earth at the appearance of Yahshua our Messiah. Yahweh says in Isaiah 56 that His house shall be called an house of prayer for all people and we know that many shall come from the east and west to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven (Matt… 8:11). No man / organization / self-proclaimed prophet can claim ownership of Yahweh’s kingdom. It is not a Catholic kingdom, it is not a Mormon kingdom, it is not a Seventh Day Adventist kingdom, etc… Those of us who are striving to live spiritual lives and look to Yahshua as our perfect example are all fellow citizens in the kingdom as it exists today and in the future. Psalm 22:27-28 says: “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto Yahweh: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is Yahweh’s: and he is the governor among the nations.”

Brethren, let us not sit around waiting for the kingdom to come, rather let us set about building the kingdom that is here now! We must work the works of Him that has sent us while it is still day: the night cometh, when no man can work (John 9:4). Let us follow in Yahshua’s footsteps by proclaiming the good news of the kingdom to those around us. This world is dying and the people living in it need the hope our message brings.

Finally, I leave you with the words of David, a fellow citizen of Yahweh’s kingdom, “All thy works shall praise thee, O Yahweh; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the honour of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the honour of the majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.” (Psalm 145:10-13)

Mark Biggs