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Seed Must Die to Bear More Fruits

- 1st - In the beginning it is the Spiritual Christ. Who is he?

- 2nd - The "word" of God

- 3rd - The "chosen" of God

 

Jun 28, 2003

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Camel Thru Eye of Needle

Posted by: Administrator on January 17, 2013 2:40:59 PM (5180 Reads)

- How hard is salvation!

- Who will be saved?

- How?

 

CAMEL THRU EYE OF NEEDLE
(Impossibility of entering the kingdom of God)

 

Introduction

 

While hundreds of million if not billion claim salvation, yet Jesus Christ admonished His listeners:

 

Mat 22:14   For many are called, but few are chosen.

 

Mat 18:3   … Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

A physical and visualized demonstration:


Mar 10:13   And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14   But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 16   And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

 

A popular belief is that “little children before the age of reason” are automatically saved and become little angels. However, Jesus Christ only emphasized the innocence of “little children” as basis for endowment of “divine knowledge and wisdom.” This is true ever since:

 

Isa 28:9   Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

 

Luk 10:21   In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

 

2 Tim 3:15   And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

 

This is what Jesus Christ is pointing out:

 

Mar 10:15   Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

 

Nicodemus a man of the Pharisees and a ruler of the Jews, like a little child, came to Jesus privately:

 

Joh 3:2   The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5   Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

 

To prove that Nicodemus was “born again,” he became a disciple of Jesus. Warning regarding the word!

 

2 Cor 3:6   Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

 

2 Cor 4:18   While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

 

Human perception

 

For those who cannot see or perceive Jesus Christ is not the “Father in the flesh,” how could He ever deny He is good?

 

Mat 19:16   And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17   And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

 

Clearly, in this instance Jesus must be in His secondary role of Son of God as model to the chosen in humility. Continuing His conversation with the rich young man:

 

Mat 19:18   He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19   Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

 

The rich young man confident, claimed:

 

Mat 19:20   The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

 

Jesus challenged him:

 

Matthew 19:21   Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22   But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. 23   Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

The Disciples disillusioned on hearing this:

 

Mat 19:25   When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

 

Jesus emphasized:

 

Mat 19:24   And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

 

In an emphatic manner, our Lord confirmed the difficulty of salvation contrary to the general belief.

 

Is there contradiction and ambiguity?

 

Several Bible characters that were rich, and very rich, were saved!

  1. Abraham with his possession of many cattle, sheep, and camels
  2. King David
  3. Joseph the rich man from Arimathaea who, together with Nicodemus brought down the body of Jesus from the cross (Mat 27:57-60, Joh 19:39)
  4. Luke, a physician presumed to be rich
  5. Plus, many others

 

Parable, parable, parables!

 

Why can’t many people accept the word of God in the Holy Bible is expressed in parable?

 

Psa 78:2   I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

 

Eze 20:49   Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?

 

Mar 4:34   But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

 

Some examples:

  1. How could Abel possibly enter the eternal kingdom of God (Heb 10:4) by simply offering a “lamb” (Gen 4:4)?
  1. How Abraham could, by simply leaving his place and relatives and going to an unknown place won the confidence of God (Gen 12:1-4). And to him God revealed His testament of salvation (Gen 17:7) where God could be clearly identified (Heb 9:16-17 and 1 Tim 3:16)?
  1. How could Jeremiah claiming being a child, and yet God insisted on making him His mouthpiece? (Jer 1:6-9)
  1. How can the red sea be a symbol for the Israelites set free from physical slavery (Exo 14 and 15)?  By humbling oneself, Jesus Christ took this event for anybody delivered from spiritual slavery (Joh 8:32).
  1. What made the Jews taking the statement of Jesus, “destroy this temple and in three days building it,” separated them (Joh 2:19-20, Mat 27:39-40) from the Disciples who waited for Him reveal the real message and made them believe the Scriptures (Joh 2:21-22)?
  1. How can Jesus expound the significance of His miracles by “opening the eyes of a man born blind” with His sharp rebuke to the Pharisees that to our Lord were the ones actually “blind that their sins remaineth” (Joh 9:36-41)?
  1. How can Paul declare “he was crucified with Christ” when long before did Jesus die on the cross (Gal 2:20)?
  1. How can Jesus after His resurrection tell Mary Magdalene “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father… and your Father; and to my God, and your God” when actually it was Christ in His primary role as the Father who died on the cross fulfilling His testament of salvation?
  1. Plus many more examples demonstrating what are written are not yet the “intended message” of God to His chosen.

 

“Poor in spirit”

 

Here is a typical example demonstrating that indeed the “letter” or the literal meaning of the word, in the eyes of God, exactly is the opposite of human perception.

 

Luk 16:19   There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

 

Who would not think that this story is actually a “parable” with great spiritual significance? Let us be reminded of the chosen that were materially rich, such as: Abraham, King David, and Joseph the rich man from Arimathaea, were all blessed to enter the kingdom of God. These, therefore, must be “poor in spirit.”

 

Mat 5:3   Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

The “rich young man who had great possessionsmay be compared to this rich man with Lazarus the beggar.So, what does “rich in spirit” and “poor in spirit” mean?

 

Little by little our Lord is leading us to His “intended message” apart from the “letter” or literally meaning of His word. A person “rich in spirit” may not necessarily be materially rich with gold, silver, and earthly possession, but may be destitute materially. Spiritual wealth or treasure is revealed by our Lord in:

 

Mat 6:21   For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

Therefore, “rich in spirit” actually is spiritual pride as described in the following for the rich man in the story:

“clothed in purple and fine linen”

 

During the time of Christ, the religious leaders the priests, Scribes and Pharisees clearly point to this description with their “broad phylacteries, and enlarge borders of their garments” (Mat 23:4-8).

 

“fared or fed sumptuously every day”

 

Since our Lord is now revealing His “intended message,” this does refer to sumptuous dinner or food but with the “letter” of the word that they feed themselves with. With this, they appeared righteous in the eyes of men; but our Lord called them hypocrites. No doubt in the eyes of our Lord the religious leaders were “rich in spirit.”

 

Mat 23:25   Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter…26  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

 

Conversely, Lazarus the beggar may in fact be a rich man materially like Joseph of Arimathaea.

 

“full of sores”

 

Sores are painful wounds that need to be healed. These may well refer to Lazarus’ suffering and misery inflicted by the enemy. God is just waiting to heal or give comfort for being “poor in spirit.”

 

“fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table”

 

If the religious leaders, the priests, Scribes and Pharisees were full and replete with the “letter” of the word, for Lazarus the beggar it is enough and already satisfied with the “little spiritual revelations” of God from His words. 

 

“laid at his gate”

 

Lazarus is already at the gate:

 

Psa 118:20   This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter. 19   Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:

 

 

Facing the challenge

 

The rich young man claimed having followed the laws. However, was he aware of this condition?

 

Jam 2:10   For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

 

And so Jesus Christ counseled him:

 

Mat 19:21   Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

 

Taking the “letter” of the word, Abraham, King David, and Joseph of Arimathaea, they should not have been saved. Clearly therefore, “riches” do not refer to material wealth or possessions, but what is the “heart.”

 

Mat 6:21   For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

Hence, to our Lord this “rich young man” is doomed because of spiritual pride! That is why, the warning:

 

Jer 17:9   The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

 

Therefore, Abraham, King David, and Joseph of Arimathaea while rich or wealthy materially, were actually “poor in spirit.”

 

 

Spiritual emancipation

 

Who can liberate the heart from spiritual pride? Man who is endowed with “free will” should exercise it for his own good.

 

Mat 19:22   But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

 

The “great possessions” of the rich young man does not mean material wealth. It is the pride in his heart! “Sell all” or get rid of this “riches in spirit” in order follow Jesus. It is only then to deserve being “on the right hand” of the King:

 

Mat 25:34   Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36   Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? (Read Mat 25:32-46)

 

 

The disciples’ amazement

After the rich young man turned his back for he could not sell his great possessions:

 

Mat 19:23   Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

For emphasis:

 

Mat 19:24   And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

 

Clean animals:

 

Lev 11:3   Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat (Example: sheep, goat, cattle, carabao).

 

Unclean animals:

 

Lev 11:4   Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

 

 

What is a camel?

 

Literally a camel is a humped, long-necked ruminant mammal of the genus Camelus, domesticated in Old World desert regions as a beast of burden and as a source of wool, milk, and meat. A camel is ruminant meaning a cud-chewing hoofed animal. “Cud-chewing” such as sheep and cattle after gobbling up the grass, as they rest again chew what they have swallowed unlike horses that do not chew the cud. Therefore, a camel is unclean while it chews the cud but “divideth not the hoof.”

 

Why did our Lord say “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needlethan for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God? In the revelation of God for “clean and unclean animals” these are not literal animals but people!

 

By demonstration:

 

Simon Peter although he already recognized Jesus Christ, still he did not receive God’s revelation regarding clean and unclean animals:

 

Acts 10:9   On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10   And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11   And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12   Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

 

And so, when God told Peter to eat what to him are unclean, he refused:

 

Acts 10:13   And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 14   But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 16   This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

 

The revelation of God regarding “clean and unclean food” was by demonstration, for at this time the men sent by Cornelius stood at the gate of Simon Peter. Cornelius is an Italian centurion, of course not a Jew, but “A devout man, and one that feared God” (Acts 10:2). To the Jews, Italians and other non-Jews are considered “unclean” that they do not talk to them.

 

Acts 10:17   Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,

 

The messengers were for them to fetch Simon Peter to the house of Cornelius so he could talk on the truth about Jesus Christ (Acts 10:5).

 

Acts 10:19   While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. 20   Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

 

It was at this point that Peter realized that “clean and unclean animals” are people!

 

Acts 10:28   And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

 

Peter, further conceiving that God is looking at the humility of a person regardless nationality:

 

Acts 10:34   Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

 

 

Spiritual camel

 

A camel is unclean because, while it “cheweth the cud” it is “not cloven-footed.” Cornelius by assimilating, pondering deeply, and wanting “to eat the real message” is to God “chewing the cud.” However, Cornelius being an Italian or other nationality is “unclean” to the Jews. How clearly is the revelation of God to Simon Peter in going to Cornelius and sharing the truth about Jesus Christ.

 

Therefore, Cornelius is a “spiritual camel chewing the cud” but not “cloven-footed.” “Cloven-footed” refers to the chosen that have two kinds of life:

  1. Physical life – consists of the “body made up of the senses” and the “soul whose attributes are the “intellect and feeling.” This is God-given characteristic to all men that distinguished them from animals. However with this status of men, God cannot relate without His Spirit in them. It is in this state that God calls man, a “beast.”

Ecc 3:18   I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

 

1 Cor 2:14   But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

 

It is by spiritual HUMILITY that they can regain the Spirit of God.

  1. Spiritual life – is composed of the “Spirit of God” and so with the “soul for the intellect and feeling.” It is here that our Lord admonished His listeners to be “converted like little children.”

Mat 18:3   And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

Luk 10:21   In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

 

1 Cor 2:15   But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16   For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

 

 

Impossibility for a “rich man”

 

After the rich young man bragged about having followed all the commandments, saying:

 

Mat 19:20   The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

Jesus told him:

 

Mat 19:21   Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

 

The Natural Man having in mind the material possession of the rich young man, indeed, this is impossible for anybody to do. But for the Disciples, typified by a Spiritual Man, it is the “richness of the heart” or SPIRITUAL PRIDE that makes it impossible for any person to be perfect and saved!

 

However, Jesus Christ assured them:

 

Mat 19:25   When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26   But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

 

 

Cornelius is a spiritual camel!

 

In the eyes of men Cornelius can never embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ. A non-Jew and an Italian centurion at that, how could he become a disciple of Christ? He may be very rich materially, and more especially spiritually. But our Lord demonstrated, though he is a spiritual camel, he was able to pass through the eye of a needle.”

 

 

 

END

Some clean and unclean food:

 

Lev 11:3   Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.

 

Lev 11:4   Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 7  And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. 26  The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean.

 

Deu 14:6   And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat. 7  Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you. 8  And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.