Pinecrest Bible Training Center

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.

Beginning in 2008 the vision and bible school that God so graciously gave Wade Taylor beginning in 1968 came to an abrupt end, falling into the ground and dying.-

We now wait for God to raise up and bring forth His seed of promise in another, that the vision fail not.

Fall 1990

Blessed is the Man Who Walks in the Spirit
Dr Douglas Haas DO
Student at Pinecrest

The Beatitudes: ten short verses preserved for us by the anointed pen of a publican who not only heard these words, but witnessed their fulfillment in the life of his Master.

The King is now set and about to open His mouth, to teach us concerning His Kingdom, saying:
"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."

To a baffled Nicodemus Jesus once said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God," and again, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God" John 3:3,5. Jesus is King of a different kind of Kingdom; one that is entered only through a birthing in the Spirit. Its rules and manifestations are quite unlike those of a natural kingdom.

It is a Kingdom where the end does not justify the means, but the means are ever so important. In this Kingdom, attitudes and motives are made manifest as we come to the light, reflecting whether our deeds are wrought in God, or not(John 3:21). It is a Kingdom where grace has set us free, but love constrains us. It is a realm not revealed by flesh and blood, but by the Father which is in Heaven (Matt. 16:17). Finally, it is a Kingdom not natural; but SPIRITUAL.

"Now concerning spirituals, brethren, I would not have you ignorant" I Cor12:1. Yet show I unto you a "more excellent way" transcribes the Apostle Paul, setting forth the necessity for "spirituals" to be rightly motivated.

Our Lord is a revealing God, who desires to show His people how to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the desires of the flesh. He longs to teach us the etiquette of His Kingdom. He hungers to show us this "more excellent way" of charity. Is not our Heavenly Father continuously revealing The Kingdom of God; Life in the Spirit; and the Calvary spirit of love; in an intricate interlocking weave throughout the Scriptures?

There can be found in the beatitudes such a networking of truth, as set forth in the Galatians 5 listing of the fruits of the Spirit, and in Paul's 1stCorinthian 13 inventory on love. It is a three-fold cord not easily broken, a firm foundation of our faith. This is what it means to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit" begins the King, striking a shattering blow at the world's idea of being self-sufficient. The Greek word used for poor is "ptochos." It is one of two words for "poor" in the Greek language. While the other word, "penes" is used to describe one who has few possessions, and has to work hard for a living, the word "ptoches" describes the man who has absolutely nothing at all. It has connections with the root word "ptossein," which means to crouch or cower. It describes a poverty, which has been beaten to its knees. To be "poor in spirit" is to become like Jesus, who "made himself of no reputation" Phil 2:7. For, "though he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor (ptoches), that ye through His poverty might be rich" II Cor 8:9.

Paul recognizes this very attitude of heart as the fruit of "gentleness." Here one is made mild, amiable, and kind, as the Holy Spirit operates in his life. Not an arrogant show of strength, but a gentle humility, taking the lower seat, so that another may benefit. In this poverty is compassion; in this crouching of self, is the lifting up of others; in this "kenosis" (self-emptying) is love.

"Charity is ... kind," writes Paul in I Corinthians 13. President Bush called for a "gentler, kinder, nation" as he accepted his nomination as a Presidential Candidate. Many years before, the Supreme Potentate, Jesus, called for such a kingdom as well. Motivated by His love, may this mind be in us, which was also in Him, being "kind and compassionate to one another" Eph 4:32 NIV. "As poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things" II Cor6:10. The reward is the very Kingdom of God itself!

The second blessing is bestowed upon those who mourn. What a strange idea to our natural minds; blessing in mourning. Nonetheless, this is a different kind of Kingdom. Jesus' words are "Blessed are they that mourn." He did not identify, at this point, why this mourning takes place. This infers more than just a blessing for anyone who mourns, for whatever reason. Else this would have to include those in the Book of Revelation who mourn for fallen Babylon.

The object of this mourning can be identified in a passage where Jesus uses the same word again. In Matthew 9:15, the disciples of John the Baptist asked Jesus about fasting. He answered, "Can the children of the bride chamber mourn, as long as the Bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast." This mourning is related to the separation of God and man. This can be better understood when we look at the reward given to those who mourn, namely, "They shall be comforted." The Greek word "parakaleo" is translated "comforted." It is derived from the noun "paraklesis" meaning "a calling to one's side." Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the Comforter, or "parakletos" and further identifies Him as another of the same kind as He. The reward for those who "mourn" to be with Christ once again, is that they will be called, one day, to his very literal side and forever be with Him.

The connection of mourning to the fruit of long suffering (Gal 5) and to the statement "Charity suffereth long" (1 Cor 13) can be seen. Walking in the Spirit necessarily involves patience, forbearance, and endurance; producing the fruit of long suffering. Love also is seen as an enduring, patient, forbearing quality of the Spirit. Christ loves us and longs to gather us to his side, as a mother hen gathering her brood, or a Father running to meet his prodigal son. So also, a mourning for, and a patient enduring for that time of total edemption becomes a comfort to us as we walk in His spiritual Kingdom.

Meekness is the next attribute that is blessed by the Lord in the Beatitudes. Contrary to our common idea of meekness, it is a "temper of spirit" in which we accept his dealings with us as good, without disputing or resisting. It is closely linked with the word (tapeinophrosune) "humility." Described negatively, meekness is the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest. In I Corinthians 13:4, we are told "Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up." This relates to the attitude of meekness. To vaunt oneself is to be a braggart or boastful. To be puffed up is to be proud, vain, or arrogant; having an inflated opinion of oneself. These things will never be our motives as we walk in the spirit.

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled" Matt 5:6. This hungering and thirsting is not just for a part of righteousness that may temporarily satisfy, but rather for the whole of righteousness. In this way, righteousness extends beyond mere words or actionst o the very heart's attitudes and motives. It means whatever is right or just in itself, or conforms to the revealed will of God. One who hungers for this righteousness obviously has joy in that which conforms to the revealed will of God. Love "rejoices not at unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth," where truth subjectively means sincerity and integrity of character. The fruit of "goodness" is the fruit of the spirit fitting this description of a life morally honorable, pleasing to God, and therefore beneficial.

"Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy" Matt 5:7. As Jesus most likely spoke in the Aramaic tongue, the word used for "mercy" was most apt to be "chesedh." This Hebrew word does not mean simply to feel sorry for someone who was in trouble, but implies an identification with the person: being able to get inside his skin, see through his eyes, feel the things that he feels. This comes with a deliberate identification with the other person. Is this not what Jesus did? Is not His mercy bestowed on us from the vantage point of total deliberate identification with our predicaments? And to this same kind of mercy are the hearers of the Beatitudes called. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, "Charity ... thinketh no evil." Motivated by love, we will never calculatingly keep score of things done wrong towards us, but will continuously and lovingly show mercy. If we are identified with another, we will not seek to harm that one, but rather to have mercy on them. Love, which seeks the welfare of all, and works no ill to anyone, is the corresponding fruit of the spirit.

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God" Matt 5:8. The Greek word "katharos" is translated pure in this verse. This word originally meant "clean" and referred to clean, as opposed to dirty, objects. It has also been used of corn that has been winnowed free of all chaff or of any army purged from all discontented soldiers. Finally, when used with the adjective "akeratos" it speaks of wine free from mixture or metal with no tinge of alloy. So then, the meaning takes on the idea of totally unadulterated, unmixed, and unalloyed. It could be said, then, that one who is pure in heart, is one who has unmixed motives doing all things out of love for God.

Mixed with selfish ambition, our heart's desires will blind us from ever seeing God. But having "self" controlled by the very Spirit by which we walk, will yield a pure and unmixed heart, through which God Himself will be viewed. (Charity) "Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own" I Cor 13:5. The NIV rendering is (Love) "Is not rude, is not self-seeking." If the alloy of "self" is mixed in our heart, it cannot be pure; but if our response to God's claims is one of total surrender, then our motives and attitudes will be totally pure.

"Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God." Peace to the Hebrew mind meant not only the absence of trouble, but the presence of all that is good. The blessing is to the man who not only desires peace, but who also makes peace. The connotation is that peace is bestowed to others, by the God-like work of the child of God. Paul tells us that love "is not easily provoked." There is a blessing bestowed to the one who is not provoked at all by others, whose peace is undaunted, who buffers the caustic personalities that are around him, and bridges the gulf between contention and contentment.

Matthew 5:10-11 provides a picture of the one who endures persecution for the sake of Jesus' name and righteousness. There is something in suffering for Christ that is very valuable. At no other time is Christ nearer, than when we face reproach for our loyalty to Him. Jesus calls this walking in adversity a blessing, the reward of which is the Kingdom of Heaven. There is an aspect of the Kingdom in which we are not necessarily protected from opposition, which is expected in a natural kingdom, but rather this persecution is a manifestation of the Kingdom. Jesus showed us the way: a way of mockings, scourgings, false accusations, and eventually death. Jesus said, "The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you" John15:20.

The fruit of faith is a necessary ingredient to endure persecution. When a man faces resistance and even death for his convictions, we know that his faith is on a firm foundation. The Greek word "pistis" can be translated faith, but also "firm persuasion." It implies an absolute trust in Christ that manifests itself in a total surrender to Him. Hebrews 11 deals much with faith. Four moving verses of the chapter (vv 35-38) considers faith the essential component that allowed our forefathers to endure much persecution and hardship. It was by faith that Moses chose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. Forsaking earthly treasures, his was a spiritual reward.

Joy is the overflowing expression of the one who walks in the Spirit, who has entered the Kingdom of God, and who has been totally motivated by love, both or God and for one another. This joy is inwrought and serene, and unable to be touched by the circumstances of life. It is this joy which accompanies us when we become poor in spirit, suffer persecution, show mercy to a neighbor, or deny the cravings of self. Unlike the joy of the world, which can vanish as quickly as the things in which we find our earthly bliss, this joy will remain as steadfast as the one who bestows it upon us.

Jesus is the King of a different kind of Kingdom. Before his Ascension on the Mount of Olives, his disciples asked, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Acts 1:6. He said it was not for them to know the time for this, but there was something for them. "But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you," Acts 1:8.

The Greek word for power is "dunamis" and can be translated as ability, or the power that makes us able. What about this Kingdom, Lord? How do we enter into it? His answer includes, and is available to us. "You will receive this ability after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you."

We can be constrained by His love, walk in the Spirit and enter into His very different Kingdom, even the Spiritual Kingdom of God.