The Pure in Heart Shall See God

Matthew 5:8  The Pure in Heart Shall See God

Psalm 24:3b-4a  Who is about to stand in the holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.

If you want to be in God’s presence, if you want to see Him, if you want to stand before Him, there is a requirement. Only the pure in heart shall see God.

What is a pure heart? What makes something pure? It’s unmixed. Pure olive oil is only olive oil. Pure water is supposed to only be water. Pure fruit juice has only the fruit in it. It’s not mixed. A pure heart is only made up of one thing. What’s that?

The only ones with a pure heart are those who have received God’s gift of His perfect, pure love poured into their hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).

If our hearts are full of the love of God, then our hearts are pure. They become impure when we mix something else in there and love something else. If we do that, we’re disobeying the greatest commandment, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength. Then, we no longer have a pure heart. Then we are in trouble.

We can’t fellowship with someone if we can’t be with them. If we have no fellowship with God and can’t be in His presence, then we are in danger.

When the Lord shows you that you are loving something other than Him, fall on your face before Him and ask for mercy. Ask for forgiveness and ask Him to cleanse you from the sin. Hate whatever it is because you were having an affair. You were loving something other than your one true love. Ask Him to free you from it. He can and will. Jesus died to free us from sin, not just to forgive us our sins. Our salvation lies in our pure hearts. With man, it is impossible to have a pure heart, but with God, all things are possible.

Jude 1:24   [Jesus] is able to keep you from stumbling and [able] to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.

He is able to do the blameless part. You do your part and just choose to love Him!

Prepare the Way of the Lord

Prepare The Way of the Lord

Malachi chapter three starts with a promise that God will send His messenger to prepare the way before Him. We know the messenger as John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus by teaching people repentance. However, this chapter and what follows doesn’t seem to be about Christ’s first coming — not that God can’t fulfill the same Scripture in more than one way. This chapter is about the end. The following chapter, chapter four, speaks of the end judgment, the fearful great day of the Lord. That chapter ends with a promise that God will send His messenger beforehand, saying He will send Elijah to prepare the way so that God won’t utterly destroy them.

That’s the state Israel is in, in danger of utter destruction. And remember, you are Israel. There is a nation Israel, but we are of the people Israel, God’s chosen children. You are grafted in when adopted into God’s family.

Back to chapter three, though. Verse five says, “Then I will draw near to you for judgment.” THEN. What comes first? Verse three: He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. (Malachi 3:3 ESV)

Before judgment, God will refine and purify His children so that their offerings will be righteous. And once our offerings are pleasing to Him, then He will come for judgment. He will prepare the way. He will prepare His people for His coming, for His judgment, by refining us. That’s what trials and troubles are for, what Tribulation is for, to prepare the way of the Lord, to bring down the mountains, lift up the valleys, make straight the crooked paths, and smooth out the rough parts.

It won’t be easy, though. Verse two: But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. (Malachi 3:2 ESV)

Yet, we must endure. It is he who endures to the end that will be saved. But since He is doing the work of preparing us for His determined purposes, we can trust Him to sustain us through and only refine us as we need refining. God does not afflict willingly (Lamentations 3:33). He doesn’t want to harm anyone.  But because He loves us, He will give us what we need.

When God judges the earth, He will give people what they deserve. We want to be safely at His side at that point. We don’t want to get what we deserve. His mercy and grace says that by the blood of Jesus we don’t have to get what we deserve, hell, but we can live in His glorious presence forever. However, that glorious presence is HOLY and we must be holy and set apart to Him to dwell in His presence. That’s where the refiner’s fire comes in. We submit ourselves to God’s altar of Holy Fire to consecrate us, burn away the dross, what’s not of Him, until our hearts are pure before Him. It’s the pure in heart that shall see God.

But there’s another good promise apart from just surviving judgment and the great day of the Lord. When the way is prepared, the Lord whom we seek “will suddenly come to His temple.” It comes with the additional reassurance, “Behold, He is coming.”

We are God’s temple. I pray that He will come in His temple, His people, before He comes for them. We need the fullness of His life and all His promises being fulfilled in us to stand through the tribulation, to go through as overcomers, for our lives to be the righteous pleasing offerings that He desires.

Baptized with Fire or Fueling the Flames

But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess its inheritance. The house of Jacob will be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame; the house of Esau will be stubble, and they will set it on fire and consume it. There will be no survivors from the house of Esau.” The LORD has spoken. (Obadiah 1:17-18)

I’ve thought for a while that maybe there are three baptisms the believer is to go through. I’m thinking of John the Baptist saying, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Luke 3:16)

Water, Spirit, Fire

I know people say the Spirit and the fire are one and the same. But consider how the Scriptures speak of fire. Fire destroys and fire refines.

Everyone and everything must go through the fire. 2 Peter says the earth is being reserved for fire. It’s all going up in flames someday. Ouch. But like the house of Jacob, some are delivered from the fire and come out holy.

It’s very similar to another thing John said. “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2)

The good and the bad both get cut. Again, ouch. The one is tossed into the fire. The other produces even more abundant fruit–and I just wrote about this, the fruit of righteousness, or Christ-likeness. Or we could say like those who came out of the fire, they come out holy.

How will you stand in the test of fire?

Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire…? (Habbakuk 2:13)

His work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. (1 Corinthians 3:13)


Set Apart

“Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Revelation 7:3

Who is protected? Who is sealed and set apart?

Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him. Psalm 4:3

“Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” From  Ezekiel 9:4

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Who are God’s people? Who are the ones God has set apart? Marked? Sealed? You could say those with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1 says we are marked with the seal of the Spirit. And what’s the mark of the Holy Spirit in someone’s life? Holiness.

Those belonging to God are godly, holy. They prove their holiness in word and deed, like those groaning over the sin of their city.

Does sin make you groan? Or is it something you gossip and laugh about? If you don’t hate sin, you need to consider that there is a lack of the Holy Spirit’s work in your life. God hates sin, and if His life is present in you, you will hate sin too.

Are you holy and set apart or are you in danger?