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Meek Shall Inherit the Earth Mat. 5:5
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“Meek Shall Inherit the Earth” Mat. 5:5

 

What does the above really mean?  What are the kingdom implications of these “beattitudes” of Christ?

Since several religious organizations teach that after the return of Christ, they and they alone will inherit the earth, it becomes a matter which needs closer investigation.  Who will inherit what? 

 

Question 1.  The word “earth” is from the Greek word “ge” which can be translated either “earth or  “land.”  What “land” or “earth” is this talking about?

Answer:  In this context and accounting for the other promises made by Christ regarding what we call the “beattitudes,” the promises are meant to be universal, the whole land, the heavenly country, the new earth.

 

Question 2.  Is this inheritance future, if so does it indicate a time of fulfillment?

Answer:  The word “shall” here only indicates that it was still future at the time Jesus spoke it.  It does not mean that it is still future to us, especially if the Kingdom has already arrived.  This “earth” that believers would inherit is associated directly with the Kingdom.  And there are at least three references in Matthew to the near approach of the Kingdom (Mat. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7).  If it hasn’t come yet, then it really wasn’t “at hand” when Jesus said it was.  Verses 17-20 make reference to the Kingdom a couple more times, with nearness time indicators.  Whatever the inheritance is, it was something associated with the Kingdom, and was near at hand.  So, it is right to assume it has been fulfilled by now.

 

Question 3.  How does an inheritance work, is it like a will, or covenant?

Answer:  In the first place Matt. 5:5 is a promise of an inheritance, and there are two kinds of these promises one which is not legal or binding it is a fake.  The other promise of inheritance is legal and binding.  It is a written document, made by someone like Christ, whose credibility is inexpugnable.  Therefore, we shall find in these paragraphs that the promise Christ made was a part of the New Covenant and of the scheme of redemption.

 

Question 4.  We asked if this promise made by Christ [Matt. 5:5] was future, and the answer was that it was still future on the day Christ said it.  So now we must ask what stood in the way of this statement being reality on the same day that the promise was made?

Answer:  2 Pet. 2:4 tells us what stood in the way.

1. Angels which rebelled against God were cast out of Heaven into Hell which exists in the center of the earth, or the Lake of fire.  Again Jude 6 describes the rebellion.

2. Satan was their leader, their master.  He was given dominion over death and Hades.  Death was spiritual and Satan had the power to hold the departed spirit from the presence of God, until such time that God paid the price for the redemption of the righteous souls, Heb. 2:14. Another thing which stood in the way of Matt. 5:5, not becoming reality before the death of Christ was that the life blood of Christ through the scheme of redemption was to buy back from Satan the righteous souls being held in Hades.  Luke 16:19ff gives details of this and a description of the souls being held there both good and bad.

3. Christ upon making this promise was well aware of this being a part of God’s scheme of redemption, and could foretell the nature of the event, but could not reveal the time.

 

Question 5.  From these answers it would appear that Satan had a great deal of power over the earth and its inhabitants, is this true?

Answer:  From bits and pieces in the incidents of the Old Testament and clear statements in New Testament we can arrive at the power Satan had on earth.  First in Genesis chapter 3 we find the serpent ready to accomplish his influence on Adam and Eve.  This event caused Adam and Eve to fall from the grace of God, thus they sinned; they rebelled against God; they died a spiritual death.  Satan was given the power to hold departed Spirits in Hades from that time until Christ paid the price for the release of the righteous.  Jude 6, and 2 Pet. 2:4, gives us some insight into what took place in Heaven before the creation of Adam and Eve.

 

A. Eph. 2:1,2. says Satan was the Prince of the air.

B. John 12:31. “Now  judgment is upon this world:  now the ruler of this world shall be cast out.”  If there was no other passage this alone would show Satan as the administrator of earth.

C. John 16:11. “Now concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been cast out.”  Both passages show Satan as the ruler of earth, the administrator of the Kingdoms of earth.

D. Matt. 4:1-10, notice verse 8 and 9 Satan showed Jesus all the Kingdoms of earth, and offered them to Jesus if he would fall down and worship Satan.  This shows the sovereignty which Satan possessed, even from Adam and Eve.

 

Question 6.  This causes me to wonder!  Does Satan still have this power and sovereignty over the earth and the people of the earth today?

Answer:  1 John 3 gives one answer, notice.  “The one who practices sin is of the Devil; for the Devil has sinned from the beginning.  [Gen.  ch. 1]  The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the Devil.”  Now there are things here we need to notice carefully.

A. The one who practices sin is of the Devil, that is he who does evil serves the principles of Satan .  Though Satan be cast off the earth into his kingdom in the Lake of Fire, like Christ he has his angels here which practice evil influence, therefore, later when we see Satan without power and having been cast off the earth, this did not destroy the ability of a person to do evil.  A person can still chooose to do wrong.

B. When Jesus appeared to destroy the works of Satan, we must take into account the fact that “works” is plural which in turn meant all the works, power, and sovereignty of Satan.  Heb. 2:14,15, “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He [Christ] himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He [Christ] might render powerless him [Satan] who had the power of death that is the Devil.”

1. This clearly tells us who is being destroyed.

2. It shows that Satan had power over spiritual death which meant that righteous spirits were separated from the presence of God and were held in Hades until the price was paid for their release.

3. Verse 15 clearly points out that after their release they were delivered to the Father. Luke 16:19ff describes this place of Hades and the righteous and unrighteous spirits.

4. Rom. 16:20, “And the God of Heaven shall soon crush Satan under your feet.”

5. Daniel chapter 7 offers a great deal of evidence regarding those things which would take place during the reign of the 4th beast [King] and especially during the time of the 11th horn [Vespasian] who reigned from 69 AD till 79 AD.  Dan. 7:15-28 is very important.  Verses 15-25 describe events occurring during the period of Vespasian.  Now look at verse 26 it begins with the word “but.”  “But” is a conjunction, when used it introduces a new thought separate from the preceding.  And so here in verse 26 we began a new subject by the use of the word “but.”

6. “But the court will sit for judgment and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.” Dan. 7:27.  “Then” introduces action after the destruction.  “Then the sovereignty and dominion and the greatness of all the Kingdoms under the whole Heaven will be given to the people of the Saints of the Highest One:  His Kingdom will be an everlasting Kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.

7. Now  perhaps Matt. 5:5 can better be understood. The Saints could not inherit the earth so long as Satan had sovereignty and was ruler of the earth.  John 16:11 Jesus paid the price, judged Satan, cast him into the Lake of Fire to be tormented forever.

 

Question 7.  Revelation says Satan was loosed for a 1000 years.  How can this be reconciled with what you said?

Answer:  Notice in Rev. 20:1-3 that an angel came down from Heaven, and with a great chain, bound Satan.  This chain was not made of metal, rather by the power of Christ’s death.  “And cast him into the abyss and sealed him up so that he could not deceive the nations any longer.”  A second reason for him being bound at this time was because of the judgment being made by the Apostles in Rev. 20:4.  Jesus had promised the 12 that they would judge Israel.  Mt. 19:28, Lk. 22:30.

 

Now notice Rev. 20:7.  After the 1000 years, Satan is released.

 

1. Satan was bound at the death of Christ.

2. After the death of the 12 Apostles they judged Israel.

3. After this judgment was over which based on early Church History as well as Bible events would have been late 66 A D or very early in 67 A D.

4. Satan is released to deceive the nations and bring them to war against Israel.  Deut. 28:49ff.

5. The warriors attacked the beloved city.  [Jerusalem]

6.  This war began Feb. 10, 67 AD and ended Sep. 10, 70 AD.  “Time, times and a half time.  [3 1/2 years] Rev. 11:2,3. 1260 days.

7. Rev. 20:10 and the Devil having finished the work he was released to accomplish was thrown  into the Lake of Fire forever and ever.  Rev 21:6 “It is done.”  This means that all things are fulfilled and accomplished, that Jesus is the new administrator of earth, that He inherited it, and that we Christians are joint heirs with him.  Gal. 4:1-7, Rom. 8:17.

8. It becomes so simple now as to what Jesus really was teaching in Matt. 5:5.

 

Observations:

1. There could never be a resurrection until Satan was destroyed.

2. We could not be heirs of Christ.

3. Our departed Spirit would remain in Hades.

4. We could not have the confidence in self and our God.

5. From the preceding evidence I observe that Jesus Christ instituted His own church, over which the gates of Hades could not prevail.  Mt. 16:18. Acts 20:28 says Christ purchased the church with His own blood, the church is His property.  Rom. 16:16.

6. I further observe that Christ gave a stern warning against mankind on earth instituting religious bodies, and forbade them to give names which did not come from Heaven itself.  Matt 5:5, The promise was made to the obedient who wore His name.


 

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© Copyright 2015 by Jessie Mills. All Rights Reserved by the author, Jessie E. Mills, Jr. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior express written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or other publications. Such quotations must be used with proper reference to their context and give appropriate credit to their authorship.