A New Look at the Sermon on the Mount
by Col. Gordon "Jack" Mohr
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:44)
The Sermon on the Mount, which is surely the greatest sermon in scriptures, has nevertheless been a stumbling block to many who go by the name of Christian. While a close look at this marvelous sermon will show you that it is a message for the Kingdom Age, many in trying to apply it to this present World Age, have missed its meaning.
In an attempt to clear up some of the misunderstanding that exists about this message, I have put together a translation, in modern English, using as a basis, 26 different translations of the Bible. This is not an attempt to change the original meaning in any way, simply to help clarify it. I pray that God will use it for that purpose, as this work has been prayerfully done.
Matthew 5:1, 2- On seeing the great crowds of people who had gathered to hear Him, Jesus went up into the mountains with His disciples, where He began to instruct them, saying:
3 - Blessed, happy, to be envied and spiritually prosperous, with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor, regardless of their outward physical condition, are the humble. (Those who look on themselves as being insignificant). For the Kingdom of Heaven will be theirs.
4 - Happy are those who know what sorrow means; for they shall be given courage and comfort.
5 - Blessed and spiritual prosperous are the mild, patient, and long-suffering, for they shall eventually inherit the earth.
6 - Blessed and spiritually prosperous are those who hunger and thirst for a right standing with God. For these shall be filled.
7 - Blessed, happy and to envied, are those who are merciful; for God will show them mercy.
8 - Happy are those who are sincere and pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 - Blessed and happy are those who make peace, for God shall call them His sons;
10 - Blessed are those who endure persecutions for their uprightness, for to them belongs the Kingdom of God.
11 - Blessed are you when men shall denounce you, and persecute you, and say all manner of slanderous things against you on my account;
12 - Be very glad, yes be tremendously happy, for you will be richly rewarded in heaven; for they (Israelites) persecuted the prophets before your time in the same manner.
13 - It is you (Christians) who are the salt of the earth, but if you become insipid and lose your strength; what is there left to give taste to it? It is good for nothing anymore, but to be thrown away, and stamped underfoot.
14 - It is you (Christians) who are supposed to be the light of the world, a city built on a hill that cannot be hid.
15 - Men do not light a lamp to hide it under a bucket. They put it on a lamp stand where it gives light to all which are in the house.
16 - Therefore, let your light (the testimony of your life) shine like that lamp in the sight of all men, that they may see the beauty in your life, and praise your Father which is in heaven. ("Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me. All his wonderful goodness and purity. Oh, thou Spirit Divine, all my nature refine, until the beauty of Jesus be seen in me." This should be our prayer.)
17 - Do not for a moment suppose that I (Jesus the Christ) have come to do away with the law, or the prophets. I have not come to do away with them, but to enforce them and bring them to completeness.
18 - For in solemn truth, I say unto you, indeed I assure you, that as long as heaven and earth endure, not one dotting of an "i", or crossing of a "t" shall be dropped from the Law, until all that must happen, has happened.
19 - Because of this, whoever attempts to weaken one of the smallest of my commandments, and shall teach men so, he will be regarded as small and will have the lowest part in my kingdom. But those who keep my Law and teach others to do so, will be acknowledged before me, and will be great in the sight of God.
20 - For I assure you, that unless your goodness and uprightness is far superior to that of the scribes and Pharisees (religious leaders); you will most certainly not find entrance into the Kingdom.
21 - You have heard it said by our ancestors: "Thou shalt not commit murder, and whosoever commits murder shall be liable so that it will be impossible for him to escape the punishment imposed by the court;"
22 - But I will go further and say to you: "That whosoever is angry with, and shows malice towards his brother, without a just cause; shall be liable to stand trial before the Judge. And whosoever shall call his brother a fool, or worthless one, and who pours contempt on his brother shall answer to the courts. But if you look down on your brother and curse him, you will find yourself heading straight towards the fire of destruction."
23 - Because of this, when you are in the act of presenting your gift and tithe to God, and you suddenly remember that your brother has a grievance against you;
24 - Leave your gift or tithe at the altar and go and come to an understanding with your brother. Then, when you have done this, come back and offer your gift, and God will receive it.
25 - If any man has a legal claim against you try and come to terms with him then and there; even as you meet with him. This will prevent your adversary from going to court against you.
26- Believe me, you will not escape a just claim, until you have paid the last fraction of what you owe.
27 - You have heard how it used to be said: "You may not have sexual relations with another man's wife:"
28 - However, I say to you, that if you look at a woman, and cherish lustful thoughts towards her; you have already broken your marriage vow and committed adultery with her in your heart.
29 - If your right eye causes you to sin; it would be better to tear it away; for it would be better for one member of your body to suffer, than for the whole body to be thrown on God's rubbish heap.
30 - And, if your right hand entices you to sin, cut it off and fling it away, rather than to have your entire body end in ruin.
(Notice: Christ is not advocating "self-mutilation" for any reasons, but is using this as an example of how we should allow no part of our body to cause us to sin.)
31 - It has also been said: "If any many wants to divorce his wife, he shall give her a written notice of divorcement.'' (This was the Mosaic Law.)
32 - HOWEVER, I say unto you: "That if you divorce your wife, for any reason other than that she has been unfaithful to you, you lead her to commit adultery. For any man who marries a wife, so divorced, he will be living in adultery."
33 - Once again, it has been said by our ancestors: "Thou shalt not perjure yourself, but shall fulfill all the promises that you have sworn to in the sight of God."
34 - But I say to you: "Do not bind yourself by any oath of any kind; neither by the heaven's for they are God's throne;
35 - Nor by the earth, which is His footstool."
36 - Do not make an oath on your head, for you cannot make a single hair turn black or white.
37 - But let your words be simply "yes", or "no", for what goes beyond this, has a taint of evil.
38 - You have heard of the principle: "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."
39 - But I tell you that you are not to resist an injury, but if someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to him the other also;
40 - And if any may wants to go to law with you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat also.
41 - And if someone forces you to carry a burden for one mile, go two miles with him of your own accord."
(Does this mean that Christians are not to resist evil, as some claim? Absolutely not! Today, we are living in the Age, where Jesus told His disciples: "If you don't have a sword for protection, and don't have money, sell your coat and buy one," [Luke 22:36]. Christians must resist evil, with the weapons which are given to us in Ephesians chapter 6).
42 - Give to the man that asks of you, and don't turn your back on him.
43 - You have heard how it used to be said "Thou shalt love thy friend and hate him who is against you."
44 - But I tell you this: "Love your personal enemies (not God's, see 2 Chron. 19:2) and pray for them that persecute you.
45 - So that you may show yourselves to be true sons of your Father which is in heaven. For He causes His sun to shine upon sinners as well as saints, and send His rain on the honest and dishonest men alike.
46 - For if you only love them that love you in return, what reward can you expect? Even those most hated of men, the tax-collectors, do the same.
47 - And if you are only polite to your friends, and only exchange greetings with your own crowd, have you done anything remarkable? Even the people in the world order do that.
48 - You should strive to become spiritually mature; even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 6 -
1 - Be careful that you do not make a show of your religion before men, to attract their attention. If you do, your Father which is in heaven will have no reward for you.
2 - Therefore when you do an act of charity, never blow your horn in public to attract attention. This the hypocrites love to do, so that men will admire them. Believe me, that is all the reward they are going to get.
3 - But whenever you as my followers, do an act of charity, you should not as much as let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
(Be careful not to be TOO LITERAL on this one. Look closely for the King's real meaning.)
4 - Give your charity in secret, and your Father who sees in secret, will give it back to you in public. (In other words, seek the praise of God, rather than men.)
5 - When you pray, you are not to behave as the hypocrites do, for they take pleasure in standing up to pray in church, and on the street corners, where men can see their piety. They already have their reward.
6 - But when you pray, go into a room by yourself, and fasten the door, and there pray to your Father when you are alone. And your Father who sees in secret, will repay you openly.
(This sort of refutes those who love to stand up in church and pray lengthy prayers. Jesus says they do this to be seen and admired by men.)
7 - When you pray, don't repeat the same words over and over again, as is done by the heathen. They think they will be heard by the length of their prayers, and by their eloquence.
(I wonder if this wouldn't apply also to the Roman Catholic practice of saying the rosary, where certain phrases such as repeating the Apostle's Creed over and over again, is part of their ritual.)
8 - Don't copy this practice. After all, God your Father knows all your needs, even before you ask Him.
9 - This then is how I desire you to pray. (We call this the model prayer, or the Lord's Prayer): "Our Father who is in heaven, may your name be honored.
10 - May your reign begin and your will be accomplished on earth, as it is in heaven.
11 - Take care of our needs by giving us our daily bread;
12 - Forgive us for the wrong we have done, as we forgive those who have wronged us.
13 - And do not subject us to temptation, but rescue us from evil and error. (Here the Doxology - "For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen," is not found in the original manuscripts, but was evidently added later.)
14 - For if you forgive those which have wronged you, your Father which is in heaven will forgive you.
15 - But, if you refuse to forgive those who have offended you. Not even your Father will forgive your offenses.
(REMEMBER THIS, when you pray!)
16 - When you fast, don't put on gloomy looks. For that is what the hypocrites (play-actors) do. They neglect their personal appearance, trying to make a show of their fasting. Believe me, they have received their reward in full.
17 - But when you fast, brush your hair;
18 - That it may not appear to men as though you fast, but unto your Father which is in heaven alone, and your Father who knows what you do in secret, will reward you openly.
(It is for this reason, that I am somewhat skeptical about the individual who tells me about the long fast they have just completed. It's none of my business, and should be strictly between them and God.)
19 - Stop storing riches on earth, for here moth, wear and tear will destroy them, and thieves will come by force to take them away from you.
20 - But rather, store your treasure in heavenly places, where there is neither moth, rust, or thieves.
21 - For wherever your treasure is, there you can be certain will be your heart.
22 - The light of the body comes from the eye. If therefore your eye is not clouded, your whole body will have light.
23 - But if your eye becomes diseased, so that you cannot see well, then your entire body will be in darkness. If then, the very source or light in your body is darkness, that darkness will be doubly dark.
24 - No man (or woman) can serve two masters. For either he will be loyal to one, and hate the other, or he will love the one and despise the other. You cannot both love God and money. You cannot serve them both.
25 - That is the reason I tell you not to be so anxious about your life, what you can get to eat, or what you can wear. Surely your life should mean more to you than just food, and your body more than the clothes you put on.
26 - Observe intently the birds which fly in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet the Father feeds them. Are you not of much greater value in His sight then they?
27 - Which of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? And can you by worrying make yourself an inch taller? Of course not!
28 - Then why are you so anxious about the clothes you wear and the food you eat. See how the wild flowers grow. They neither work, nor weave.
29 - Yet King Solomon in all his glory, didn't dress as beautifully as these.
30 - But if your God, who so beautifully dresses the wild flowers and grass, which is green today, and is dry and burned up tomorrow. Is He not more likely to clothe and feed you, even though you are slow to trust Him?
(Again, a word of caution. This certainly does not mean that God will feed and clothe us if we do not work for it. A close examination will show that this is an example of having the proper priorities and putting "first things first.")
31 - So don't worry so much and keep saying: "What shall we eat, and what shall we wear.
32 - For these are the things which are sought after by the World Order. Surely, your Heavenly Father knows what you need.
(Here is the answer) -
33 - But seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God, and the righteousness He requires, then all these things will be given to you in addition.
34 - Therefore don't be troubled about tomorrow. For tomorrow will bring it's own problems. Every day has enough troubles of its own.
Matthew Chapter 7 -
1 - Pass no judgments on others, so that you will not be judged yourself.
2 - For you will be judged by the same standard you use on others and the measures you give, will be the measure you get.
3 - Why do you search for a tiny speck of dust in your brother's eye, while you pay no attention to the splinter which is in your own?
4 - How can you say to your brother: "Let me take the speck out of your eye; when there is a splinter in your own?"
5 - You are a fraud! First take the speck of dust out of your own eye, so that you can see clearly enough to remove the splinter from your brother's eye.
6 - You must never give sacred things to dogs, or cast your jewels before pigs, for they will trample them in the mud and turn on you and tear you apart.
7 - Ask and the gift will be yours, keep on knocking and the door will be opened.
8 - For it is the one who asks God, who receives, and the one who searches, is the one who finds, and the one who is persistent in knocking, is the one who has the door opened to him.
9 - Do you know of any human father, who if his son were to ask him for food, would give him a stone?
10 - Or if he were to ask for a fish, would he offer his son a snake?
11 - If you being imperfect know enough to give good things to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give you good things.
12 - Whatever you would have men do to you, so do to them: this is the meaning of both the Law and the prophets.
13 - Enter the kingdom through the narrow gate. For wide and easy is the gate which leads to destruction, and many enter it.
14 - Because small is the gate, and narrow the road, which leads to eternal life, and only a few will find it.
15 - Be watchful of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep, but beneath that disguise they are really greedy wolves.
16 - You will recognize these wolves by the fruit of their lives. Men do not gather grapes from thorns, nor of figs from thistles.
17 - In the same way, a sound tree will produce good fruit, while a worthless tree will produce withered fruit.
18 - It is impossible for a healthy tree to produce bad fruit, just as it is impossible for a diseased tree to bear anything but rotten fruit.
19 - When you have a tree that produces rotten fruit, you cut it down and throw its wood into the fire.
20 - It is by the fruit of their lives that you will recognize such men.
21 - Remember, that not everyone that says to me: ''Master! Master! will enter into the kingdom of heaven. But only those who are obedient to my Father which is in heaven."
22 - When that Day comes, many will say to me: "Didn't we teach and preach in your name? Didn't we cast out devils, using your name? Didn't we perform miracles in your name?''
23 - And I will tell them to their face."You were never friends of mind, get out of my sight. You practiced lawlessness." (Did not obey my Law. You have sinned and must pay the price just as the Law of Harvest says you shall. Gal. 6:9)
24 - Whoever listens to my teachings and acts accordingly, I will liken to a wise man who had the sense to build his house on a rock foundation.
25 - When the rain poured down, the storm came, and the winds howled, it did not collapse, since it was built upon the rock.
26 - But those who listen to me, and do not act accordingly, are like the fool who builds his house on sand.
27 - When the rain pours down, the winds howl, and the hurricane comes, and batters that house, it will collapse, and great will be its fall.
28 - By the time Jesus had finished speaking, the crowd which had gathered to hear Him were astonished at His doctrines, for His words had the ring of authority, and were not like those of their Bible scholars.
I encourage each reader to re-read this "paraphrased" selection of scripture, we call the SERMON ON THE MOUNT. Note it's application to today, and its peculiar application to the Kingdom Period, when it will be the Law of the Land.
Don't try and read anything into this sermon which is not there; neither add anything for the purpose of bolstering your own peculiar viewpoint. Let the Holy Spirit guide you into an understanding of this marvelous scripture, which comes to us directly from the lips of the King Himself.
Then remember, if the scripture is preached in all it's fullness. ALL OF IT, not just certain sections, like those who brag, "we are New Testament Christians. "(You can't be a New Testament Christian, without understanding and obeying the Old Testament, which was written for our edification and education.)
Possibly one of the reasons we are in as much trouble as we are in America, is because the majority of our pastors are not preaching the WHOLE COUNSEL of God's Word. Listen to these words from Jeremiah 23:22 - "But if they (the pastors) had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil ways, and from the evil of their doing." This indicates to me, that somewhere along the line, the Christian pastors of America have fallen down on the task God gave them to perform.
May God give us the wisdom to understand and follow ALL His Word!
The End of This Study
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