by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
America’s Frontline Doctors stormed into Washington D.C. today to host their first annual White Coat Summit on Capitol Hill to combat the misinformation and propaganda on COVID being fed to the American people through the corporate media, while successful treatments against COVID are being censored by Big Tech.
They held a brief press conference first that was sparsely attended, and where impassioned doctors, all of whom deal directly with COVID patients, claimed that the American people were being deceived, and that “nobody needs to die” from COVID, because all them are successfully treating COVID patients with effective cures that are being censored for political reasons.
The purpose of this summit from their website:
“To choose one’s victims, to prepare one’s plan minutely, to slake an implacable vengeance, and then to go to bed… There is nothing sweeter in the world.”
Dennis Prager: The left hates the U.S. for its success and influence on the world
What are the two most hated countries in the world?
America and Israel.
Who hates both America and Israel?
The left (and Islamists).
And why is that? Why does the left (not liberals, the left) hate America and Israel?
In “Why the Jews; The Reason for Antisemitism,” a book I co-authored with Rabbi Joseph Telushkin in 1983 (the latest edition was published in 2016), we compared hatred of America with hatred of Jews.
This is what we wrote. It precisely explains what is happening in America today.
“Perhaps the best way to understand the admiration and resentment elicited by the quality of Jewish life is to compare the reactions of the world to America’s quality of life. No other country has so many people seeking to move there. At the same time, no country, with the exception of Israel, is the target of so many hateful and false attacks.
“The United States, because of its success and its ideals, challenges many people throughout the world. How did America, a nation composed largely of those rejected by other societies (‘The wretched refuse of your teeming shore’ declare the words at the base of the Statue of Liberty), become the most affluent, freest, most powerful, and most influential society in the world? Americans generally attribute this success to the values of America’s founding generations (such as individual liberty, religious tolerance, Judeo-Christian morality, and secular government), to a work ethic, and to the subsequent waves of immigrants who embraced these values. Enemies of America attribute it to the country’s natural resources, just as many people attribute Jewish success to their natural resource, alleged greater innate intelligence. Others claim that through capitalist exploitation, America cheated poorer countries, paralleling charges that Jewish success has been attained through economic ‘bloodsucking.’ Still others develop an imperialist version of America’s past and present, similar to the anti-Jewish charge of a world Jewish conspiracy.
“But the United States is hardly the only society with great natural resources, and it has been the least imperialistic of the world’s powers. America’s values, not unfair resource distribution or world exploitation, have made the United States better, just as Judaism and its values, not genetic advantage or economic conspiracies, account for the quality of life led by Jews. The two people’s quality of life has provoked similar reactions – many admire them, and many resent them.”
Just like the Jews, America is hated because it is successful. For over a century, it has been the most successful country in the world – in virtually every way. If having had slavery was a real issue in the left’s anti-Americanism, the left would hate the Arab world and Latin American countries such as Brazil more than it hates the United States. While The New York Times and other left-wing institutions are preoccupied with slavery in America, they ignore – out of ideological nonconcern or out of sheer ignorance – the vastly larger number of Africans enslaved by Muslim and South American nations.
Of the more than 12 million African slaves shipped to the Western Hemisphere, only about 3% – between 306,000 and 380,000 – were sent to the United States. The other 97% were sent to the Caribbean and Brazil. And the slaves in the U.S. South lived longer and made larger families than the slaves of Latin America. Yet, the U.S. is singled out for hatred. Why? Because the left doesn’t resent Brazil. Brazil is not an object of envy.
Likewise, there is no left-wing hatred of the Arab world, which enslaved far more blacks than the North and South Americas combined did. The internationally recognized expert on African history, Senegalese anthropologist Tidiane N’Diaye, wrote: “Most people still have the so-called Transatlantic (slave) trade by Europeans into the New World in mind. But in reality the Arab-Muslim slavery was much greater. … The Arab Muslims were the most murderous of all those involved in the slave trade.” Part of that murderous treatment of African slaves involved castrating the males so they could not reproduce. And the women and girls were traded as sex slaves.
Where is the leftist anger at the Arab and Muslim world? There is, of course, none. On the contrary, the left protects the Muslim and Arab world against moral criticism.
The left hates America for its success and influence on the world, just as anti-Semites hated Jews for their success and influence on the world.
The left doesn’t hate America because it is bad. It hates America because it is good. If the left hated evil, it would love America and hate its enemies.
The great Lou Dobbs has an interview with Lady Justice, Sidney Powell. My deepest respect and appreciation for both of these voices for truth as they discuss the latest developments in the Flynn case as contrast against the status of the FBI and DOJ.
The next few weeks are going to be critical. Everything within this interview is right now at the surface… there are multiple layers of information reaching a crossroad. WATCH:
…Information without action is antithetical to its purpose !
I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me.
In her book Glorious Intruder, Joni Eareckson Tada writes about Diane, who suffers from multiple sclerosis: “In her quiet sanctuary, Diane turns her head slightly on the pillow towards the cork board on the wall. Her eyes scan each thumb-tacked card and list. Each photo. Every torn piece of paper, carefully pinned in a row. The stillness is broken as Diane begins to murmur. She’s praying. Some would look at her, stiff and motionless, and shake their heads, ‘What a shame, her life has no meaning.’ But Diane is confident, convinced that her life is significant and that her labor of prayer counts.
“She moves mountains that block the paths of missionaries. She helps open the eyes of the spiritually blind in Southeast Asia. She pushes back the kingdom of darkness that blackens the alleys and streets of the gangs in East L.A. She aids homeless mothers, abused children, despondent teenagers, and dying, forgotten, old people in the nursing home down the street from where she lives.
“Diane is an intercessor! She’s on the front lines, advancing the Gospel of Christ, holding up week saints, inspiring doubting believers, and delighting her Lord and Savior.” Miracles happen when somebody “stands in the gap.” (Read Matthew 16:19, James 5:16, and Romans 1:9.)
Be encouraged today, child of God; your prayers will prevail, and God will come through on your behalf.
 Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 208). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.
An evil temporarily tolerated “only by necessity” sounds not all that different from the words “necessary evil.”
Today, have you been awakened by a keen sense of your own weakness? Do you find yourself greatly troubled by both the devilish world and your own sinful flesh? Have you hit a wall? Have you again placed your trust in idols, only to find yourself discouraged and even dismayed? Oh friends, do you find yourself like me?
Well my fellow strugglers, let’s go together to the scriptures and allow our troubled thoughts to be transformed by our Almighty God.
In Psalm 20, David leads us in prayer:
May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion! May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah
May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans! May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions! Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. O Lord, save the king! May he answer us when we call.
Friends, it is time to pray. It is time to take our cares to the Lord who promises to answer us in our day of trouble. He has never failed us before, and he’s not going to start today.
Let’s meditate first upon God’s name and characteristics. He is Yahweh — the God of Jacob. He is the Eternal Creator who sovereignly selects sinners, showers them with undeserved grace, makes fantastic promises, and always delivers. He is the Great I AM. He is the one who vanquished Pharaoh and Satan, and he is the one who protects you.
In the past, he has received our offerings and sacrifices. Because of our being united with Christ, they have been greatly enjoyed by him. And right now, he finds himself incredibly pleasured by our Spirit-inspired, Christ-perfected prayer. Do you see what he is doing? Right now, from his heavenly sanctuary and holy Zion, he is smiling. Right now, he is drawing near to us. Yes, right now, he is coming to help and support.
Therefore, whatever is on our hearts — ask away. God already knows our desires and plans. And quite often, in accordance with his wisdom and love, he grants us our passionate pleas. However, we can even rejoice when he does not come through with a “yes.” For when he says “wait” or “no,” it is always because our Father knows it is not wise, loving, and best to say “yes.” Therefore, with bold confidence and Son-like submission, we ask away. Tell him what we desire. He’s listening.
And now, it is time to worship — loudly! Regardless of our troubles, and regardless of our sins, he is the one who has already saved us from our wretched condition and future hell. He, who has been our greatest possible enemy, has made us his friend, child, and bride. Therefore, even in the midst of trial, it is time to sing and dance. It is time to kick it up a notch, shout, and raise our banners and flags. Yes, he is allowing us to suffer now, but he has saved us from suffering forever. And he, who saved his Anointed (Jesus Christ) from the cross and tomb, continues to save his anointed (you and me) from the devil, the devil’s world, and our devilish flesh. He does so from his holy heaven. He does so with the omniscient might of his right hand.
Therefore, though we find ourselves in our current day of trouble, we should find ourselves tremendously encouraged by meditating upon the Word (King Jesus) and his words. And we, who are currently repenting of placing our foolish confidence in our false idols, we are finding joy in our Groom. Yes, in the past we may have trusted in …
- Chariots and horses
- Family members and friends
- Leaders, politicians, parties, institutions, and systems
- Elders and churches
But no more — at least for right now. For the moment we are joyfully repenting and trusting in the name of the Lord our God. He is the one who never fails. He is the one who never collapses and falls. He is the one who causes us to rise and stand upright. He is the King, and he always answers when we call.
For some further encouragement, click on the link below and enjoy praying to your Father with musical assistance. I loved this version of “O Praise the Name.” It surprised me and encouraged my soul.
Leeman’s third objection is radically subjective. Maybe, Leeman says, COVID isn’t the right issue for civil disobedience after all. With the LGBTQ issues coming hard and fast, there will be plenty of chance for the church to disobey government mandates. That’s like saying that we should wait until the enemy has us completely surrounded before we fire a shot. By then it will be too late.
(Ed Dingess – Reformation Charlotte) Every article, podcast, sermon, and blog are written for a reason. The author is attempting to do something with that short moment in time that they have your attention. They are calling you to some sort of action even if that action is restricted to how you think….
Recently, John MacArthur announced that his church will return to traditional gatherings. The elders at GCC reached the decision that the short suspension of church attendance due to COVID-19 had run its course. Despite the state’s orders to remain closed, Grace will has decided to resume traditional worship services. The blog was an announcement and very likely an encouragement to others to do the same. Typically, Christians support one another during times like these. But not Mark Dever’s 9Marks. Despite all that John MacArthur has done over the years for the body of Christ, and despite the obvious hostility growing in our government toward Christianity, Dever unleashed his own bulldog to go after GCC and essentially, siding with a government that despises Christian values. Odd? Indeed!
CRN changed RA’s title: Mark Dever vs. John MacArthur: 9Marks Misses the Mark
•Grace Community Church is meeting in person. What changed?
•Is Todd talking out of both sides of his mouth?
•When do we defy the Government?
•Americans are not reading their Bibles
•Planned Parenthood drops Margaret Sanger’s name but not her legacy
MODERNA Works with NIH to develop a Covid 19 Vaccine in JANUARY???
“WHO” declared Covid19 a world pandemic in MARCH, 2020
Timeline of Coronavirus:
Brethren, this definitely does NOT pass the smell test. Gates issues the first installment of $10 million to Moderna in JANUARY for them to develop the mRNA (or Messenger RNA) Vaccine that will change the DNA in every cell of every person to whom this is administered. The entire project with Moderna will cost $100 million for the finished product.
It is so obvious to me and I’m sure to the readers that this whole series of events was staged. They counted on all of us to be clueless.
WELL, THEY’RE WRONG
Here is an article LOADED with misinformation and outright lies. I will gladly show the readers the “lies” and then support my view with facts – not made up facts as the Left does. I will show you facts which have been substantiated. Anything in Red is from me:
Fact-check: Does Anthony Fauci have millions invested in a coronavirus vaccine?
This piece was originally published on PolitiFact.com on April 15, 2020.The country’s top infectious disease expert is discouraging the use of a potential COVID-19 treatment because he could earn millions of dollars from a vaccine, at least, that’s according to a popular Facebook claim.
One post published by an anti-vaccine page on Sunday says Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “stands to lose 100 million dollars” on a coronavirus vaccine from Bill Gates because he invested in it.“If everyone can be healed with the Malaria drug and a Z pack, there will be no need for the vaccine if we could use drugs already on the market that helps heal 98 percent of the cornovirus (sic) patients,” reads the image. That’s exactly right. And Hydroxychlonoquine is dirt cheap. Big Pharma hates that!
“That’s why he’s been so hesitant to put his seal of approval on this form of treatment that has shown to drastically improve hundreds of people’s symptoms.”The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.
As a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, Fauci has tempered expectations for the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients. The drugs, which are used to treat conditions like malaria and lupus, have shown some promise in alleviating coronavirus symptoms, but the research is not conclusive. PolitiFact has seen a lot of misinformation about public officials’ financial interests in hydroxychloroquine. Fauci has become a popular target for coronavirus disinformation, so we wanted to check out this post, too.
The Facebook post draws a false connection between Gates’ philanthropy and Fauci’s public remarks about hydroxychloroquine. There is no evidence that Fauci is personally financially invested in a coronavirus vaccine, and scientists still don’t know if hydroxychloroquine is effective in treating COVID-19.
Gates Foundation supports coronavirus research The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is indirectly supporting the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases by funding a group that is helping the agency develop a potential coronavirus vaccine. But there is no evidence that Fauci himself stands to profit.
The Gates Foundation said in a Feb. 5 statement that it is investing up to $100 million for “the global response to the 2019 novel coronavirus.” That includes efforts aimed at improving detection and treatment of the virus in addition to vaccine development.“The foundation will commit up to $60 million to accelerate the discovery, development and testing of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for 2019-nCoV (the formal name for the coronavirus),” the statement reads. While the Gates Foundation has supported the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the past, the philanthropy told PolitiFact in an email that it does not provide funding to the agency now, even though the agency is currently developing a COVID-19 vaccine. LIE During his March 11 testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Fauci said it could take a year and a half to roll out a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine.
There are 70 vaccines in development, according to the World Health Organization — three of which are in clinical trials.The first trial began in mid-March LIE: The first trial was with Moderna in January.
The potential vaccine was developed by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases scientists in partnership with pharmaceutical company Moderna, Inc. A search of the Securities Exchange Commission’s database, which contains information on publicly traded companies, turned up no documents linking Fauci directly to Moderna. LIE
According to a statement from the National Institutes of Health, which houses the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, manufacturing for the potential vaccine was supported by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a foundation that funds vaccine research. The Gates Foundation said in its February release that it will allocate some of its research and development funding to the coalition.
So Gates’ money is indirectly going toward the development of a potential coronavirus vaccine created by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases scientists, but not to the agency itself. And there is no publicly available evidence that Fauci personally stands to profit from a vaccine. Hydroxychloroquine is not a proven treatment LIE. PLEASE SEE MY ARTICLE FROM TODAY:
The Facebook post claims that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine heal “98% of coronavirus patients” and have improved “hundreds of people’s symptoms.” There is no evidence to back that up.With more than 50 studies in the works, there is still much scientists don’t know about how hydroxychloroquine affects the coronavirus. But four studies — two from France and two from China — have come to conflicting conclusions.One study of 62 patients in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the pandemic, found that those who were issued hydroxychloroquine saw their body temperature and cough go down faster than the control group. But a separate group of doctors in Shanghai found that the drug had no discernible effect on a group of 30 patients over the course of a week. Two studies in France had similarly opposing conclusions. One hospital in Marseilles gave 80 COVID-19 patients a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, an antibiotic. After five days, 95% of the patients tested negative for the coronavirus. But a similar hospital study in Paris found no marked improvement in 10 patients.
The Gates/Fauci vaccine against covid-19 is no ordinary vaccine. It uses three needles, two of which are electrodes that will alter the DNA of every cell in the body.
Gates and Fauci have bypassed all required phase-one animal testing, normally a 10-year testing requirement, as well as human safety testing. This assault on our bodies will likely be issued as mandatory, since it is being developed under emergency powers. Trump’s attorney, Alan Dershowitz, has stated categorically that “you have no constitutional right to refuse a vaccine”.
Brethren, listen to this:
BREAKING: Faucis Niaid Could Make Millions Off Vaccine. <click here to listen
#OperationWarpSpeed, the race to make a #coronavirus vaccine, is well underway. Moderna’s vaccine candidate has been lauded by the media and NIAID Director Toni Fauci as a top pick. But breaking information reveals a potentially profitable relationship between Fauci and Moderna, and a conflict of interest that could make his scientists at NIAID hundreds of millions of dollars. source
Brethren, I am hoping that by now this picture is coming into clear focus for you. We definitely are being played.
All we can do is Pray to our Father for protection for us and our loved ones and friends. The hard part is being able to say NO NO NO to the Vaccine.
My husband and I have resolved to not allow that vaccine into our bodies. We may have to pay the ultimate price, but we’d rather be dead and with our Lord Jesus – than to allow this DNA altering vaccine to be given to us.
The state of California has been coming down hard on churches prohibiting all indoor worship services – including home Bible studies. Orders have also been given banning “singing” (or “chanting”) in church. More recently, the Governor ordered certain counties that had returned to worship services to again close down. One organization has filed for legal relief for a church they represent.
Mat Staver (Liberty Counsel) represents Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry against California’s Governor Gavin Newsom. Is this Governor treating the church like a puppet, while at the same time encouraging bands of protestors? How can you sanction protests, but close churches? Staver will tell us the story and the progression thus far. Another church impacted is Grace Community Church (John MacArthur, pastor). They have now defied the Governor’s order – releasing the statement, “Christ, not Caesar, Is Head of the Church.” Does Staver believe this move will encourage others to do the same?
CROSSTALK will visit much more, including recent supreme court opinions (from a very divided court) and gather Staver’s comments regarding them. Buckle your seatbelt! (please listen and share)
For more information:
Every month through fall, the government-funded COVID-19 Prevention Network will roll out a new study of a leading candidate — each one with 30,000 newly recruited volunteers.
Remember back in March and April, when everyone was wide awake and ready to not fall into the clutches of Bill Gates and Big Pharma? That seems like a quaint and distant memory now as tens of thousands of COVID vaccine volunteers are signing up to be injected with untested and unproven vaccines, rushed through with little if any oversight. Bill Gates couldn’t be happier. I wonder if these thousands of volunteers will also be signing up for the ID2020 Immunity Passport? Rhetorical question, please don’t bother actually trying to answer it.
“And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”Revelation 13:6,7 (KJB)
Well, there you have it, and as George Costanza on ’90’s sitcom Seinfeld famously remarked, “it didn’t take very long, either“. It all began on March 18th, with President Trump asking America for a ’15-day window’ of lockdown to ‘flatten the curve’. 4 months and 9 days later, here we are, with masses of people begging the government to inject them with poison so they can ‘do their part’ to help fight the ‘invisible enemy’ in the ‘invisible war’ of COVID-19. Amazing, isn’t it?
When George Costanza pretended to be an architect, it had amusing results with a funny ending. But Bill Gates pretending to be a doctor is neither amusing or funny, and it will not end well for all parties concerned.
Virus vaccine put to final test in thousands of volunteers
FROM THE AP: The world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccine study got underway Monday with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers helping to test shots created by the U.S. government — one of several candidates in the final stretch of the global vaccine race.
There’s still no guarantee that the experimental vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., will really protect.
The needed proof: Volunteers won’t know if they’re getting the real shot or a dummy version. After two doses, scientists will closely track which group experiences more infections as they go about their daily routines, especially in areas where the virus still is spreading unchecked.
“Unfortunately for the United States of America, we have plenty of infections right now” to get that answer, NIH’s Dr. Anthony Fauci recently told The Associated Press. Moderna said the vaccination was done in Savannah, Georgia, the first site to get underway among more than seven dozen trial sites scattered around the country.
In Binghamton, New York, nurse Melissa Harting said she volunteered as a way “to do my part to help out.”
“I’m excited,” Harting said before she received a study injection Monday morning. Especially with family members in front-line jobs that could expose them to the virus, “doing our part to eradicate it is very important to me.”
Several other vaccines made by China and by Britain’s Oxford University began smaller final-stage tests in Brazil and other hard-hit countries earlier this month.
But the U.S. requires its own tests of any vaccine that might be used in the country and has set a high bar: Every month through fall, the government-funded COVID-19 Prevention Network will roll out a new study of a leading candidate — each one with 30,000 newly recruited volunteers.
The massive studies aren’t just to test if the shots work — they’re needed to check each potential vaccine’s safety. And following the same study rules will let scientists eventually compare all the shots.
Next up in August, the final U.S. study of the Oxford shot begins, followed by plans to test a candidate from Johnson & Johnson in September and Novavax in October — if all goes according to schedule. Pfizer Inc. plans its own 30,000-person study this summer.
That’s a stunning number of people needed to roll up their sleeves for science. But in recent weeks, more than 150,000 Americans filled out an online registry signaling interest, said Dr. Larry Corey, a virologist with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute in Seattle, who helps oversee the study sites.
“These trials need to be multigenerational, they need to be multiethnic, they need to reflect the diversity of the United States population,” Corey told a vaccine meeting last week. He stressed that it’s especially important to ensure enough Black and Hispanic participants as those populations are hard-hit by COVID-19. READ MORE
Is Big Tech Planning A Massive Purge To Coincide With The COVID Vaccine Release?
As material from dystopian novels such as 1984 begin to become a reality, we are witnessing the accelerated roll-out of an agenda. Leading towards a predetermined future, which has already been decided for us.
Bill Gates’ Plan to Vaccinate the World
In January of 2010, Bill and Melinda Gates announced a $10 billion pledge to usher in a decade of vaccines. But far from an unalloyed good, the truth is that this attempt to reorient the global health economy was part of a much bigger agenda. An agenda that would ultimately lead to greater profits for big pharma companies, greater control for the Gates Foundation over the field of global health, and greater power for Bill Gates to shape the course of the future for billions of people around the planet.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:28 makes it absolutely clear that men and women stand equal in privilege and position before God. In God’s sight, there is no male and female; there are only those created in His image who are redeemed and placed into the body of Christ. In the church of Jesus Christ, we all submit to one another—bond or free, Jew or Gentile, male or female. That is the clear intention of God, for there is one Lord over all in the church to whom we submit.
But when it comes to the functioning and the operation of the Christian home, God has given guidelines so that the home will work according to order and according to His plan. He has said, “I’m going to give you the joy of personal relationships within the context of a loving environment called the home,” which He established in the Garden of Eden. And He said, “Here’s how I want this to work. I want the husband to be the lover and the learner and the leader, and I want the wife to be supportive and submissive in that relationship. When you do that, there will be blessing, joy, and honor, and it will be an exciting experience.”
 Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 218). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.
Happy Are the Holy
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (5:8)
Here is one of those passages of Scripture whose depths are immeasurable and whose breadth is impossible to encompass. This incredible statement of Jesus is among the greatest utterances in all of the Bible.
The subject of holiness, of purity of heart, can be traced from Genesis to Revelation. The theme is infinitely vast and touches on virtually every other biblical truth. It is impossible to exhaust its meaning or significance, and the discussion in this chapter is nothing more than introductory.
the historical context
As discussed in some detail in earlier chapters, when Jesus began His earthly ministry, Israel was in desperate condition—politically, economically, and spiritually. For hundreds of years, with only brief respites, she had been under the oppression of foreign conquerors. The country had limited freedom to develop its economy, and a large part of income and profit was paid to Rome in taxes. Those were problems that every person saw and felt.
The less obvious problem, however, was by far the worst. For longer than she had suffered political and economic oppression, Israel had suffered spiritual weakness and faithlessness. Yet that problem was not recognized by many Jews. Jewish leaders thought their religion was in fine shape, and believed the Messiah would soon solve the political and economic problems. But when He came, His only concern was for the spiritual problem, the problem of their hearts.
At the time of Christ the most influential religious force in Judaism was the Pharisees. They were the chief managers and promoters of the pervasive legalistic and ritualistic system that dominated Jewish society. Over the centuries various rabbis had interpreted and reinterpreted the Jewish Scriptures, especially the law, until those interpretations—known as the traditions of the elders—became more authoritative than Scripture itself. The essence of the traditions was a system of dos and don’ts that gradually expanded to cover almost every aspect of Jewish life.
To conscientious and honest Jews it had become obvious that total observance of all the religious requirements was impossible. Because they could not keep all of the law, they doubtlessly developed terrible feelings of guilt, frustration, and anxiety. Their religion was their life, but they could not fulfill everything their religion demanded. Consequently, some of the religious leaders devised the idea that, if a person could perfectly keep just a few of the laws, God would understand. When even that proved impossible, some narrowed the requirement to one law perfectly kept.
That idea may have been in the mind of the lawyer who tested Jesus with the question, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” (Matt. 22:36). Perhaps he wanted to see which of the many hundreds of laws Jesus believed was the single most important one to keep—the one that would satisfy God even if a person failed to keep the others.
This oppressive and confusing religious system probably contributed to the initial popularity of John the Baptist. He was radically different from the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and priests, and it was obvious that he did not bother to observe most of the religious traditions. He was a breath of fresh air in a stifling, never-ending system of demands and prohibitions. Perhaps in this prophet’s teaching they would find some relief. They did not want another rabbi with another law, but someone who could show them how to be forgiven for those laws they had already broken. They wanted to know the real way of salvation, the real way to please God, the true way of peace and relief from sin. They knew that the Scriptures taught of One who would come not simply to demand but to redeem, not to add to their burdens but to help carry them, not to increase their guilt but to remove it. No doubt it was such expectations as those that caused many people to think John the Baptist might be the Messiah.
The people knew from Ezekiel that someday God was going to come and sprinkle their souls with water, cleanse them from their sin, and replace their hearts of stone with hearts of flesh (Ezek. 36:25–26). They knew the testimony of David, who cried out, “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit!” (Ps. 32:1–2). They knew of those truths, and they longed to experience the reality of them.
Nicodemus was one such person. He was a Pharisee and “a ruler of the Jews,” that is, a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish high court. We are not told specifically what his intentions were in coming to Jesus, because his first words were not a question but a testimony. The fact that he came at night suggests he was ashamed of being seen with Jesus. But there is no reason to doubt the sincerity of his words, which showed unusual spiritual insight: “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2). Nicodemus knew that, whatever else Jesus might be, He was a teacher truly sent from God.
Though he does not state it, the question that was on his mind is implied both from his testimony and from Jesus’ reply. The Lord knew Nicodemus’s mind, and He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (v. 3). Nicodemus wanted to know how to please God, to be forgiven. “How can I be made righteous?” he wondered. “How can I be redeemed and become a child of God? How can I become part of God’s kingdom?” Had he not had a deep, compelling desire to know God’s will, he would not have risked coming to Jesus even at night. Nicodemus was honest enough to admit his sinfulness. He was a Pharisee, a teacher of the law, and a ruler in the Sanhedrin; but he knew in his heart that all of that did not make him right with God.
After Jesus had fed the great multitude near the Sea of Galilee, some of the people who had seen the miracle asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” (John 6:28). The same question troubled them that had troubled Nicodemus: “How can a person get right with God? What must we do to truly please Him?” Like Nicodemus, they had been through all the ceremonies and rituals. They had attended the feasts and offered the required sacrifices. They had tried to keep the law and the traditions. But they knew that something was missing—something crucial that they did not know of, much less had experienced.
Luke tells of another lawyer who asked Jesus, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25). He asked the question to test Jesus (v. 25a), and after Jesus gave an answer the man tried “to justify himself” (v. 29). But despite his insincerity, he had asked the right question, the question that was on the minds of many Jews who were sincere.
A rich ruler asked Jesus the same question: “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18). This man apparently asked sincerely, but he was unwilling to pay the cost. He wanted to keep the wealth of this life more than he wanted to gain the wealth of eternal life, and he went away “very sad” (v. 23). He knew he needed something more than outward obedience to the law, at which he had been diligent since childhood (v. 21). He knew that, with all his devotion and effort to please God, he had no assurance of possessing eternal life. He was seeking the kingdom, but he was not seeking it first (Matt. 6:33).
Others were asking, “What must I be to belong to the kingdom of God? What is the standard for eternal life?” All of those people, at various levels of understanding and sincerity, knew that they had not found what they sought. Many knew that they had not kept even a single law perfectly. If honest, they became more and more convinced that they could not keep even a single law perfectly, and that they were powerless to please God.
It was to answer that need that Jesus came to earth. It was to answer that need that He gave the Beatitudes. He shows simply and directly how sinful man can be made right with holy God.
the literary context
At first glance this beatitude seems out of place, inserted indiscriminately into an otherwise orderly development of truths. Because of its supreme importance, a more strategic place—either at the beginning as the foundation, or at the end as the culmination—might seem more appropriate.
But the sixth beatitude, like every part of God’s Word, is in the right place. It is part of the beautiful and marvelous sequence of truths that are here laid out according to the mind of God. It is the climax of the Beatitudes, the central truth to which the previous five lead and from which the following two flow.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (5:8)
The word blessed implies the condition of well-being that results from salvation, the status of one who has a right relation to God. Being accepted by Him is a matter of internal transformation.
Heart translates kardia, from which we get cardiac and similar terms. Throughout Scripture, as well as in many languages and cultures throughout the world, the heart is used metaphorically to represent the inner person, the seat of motives and attitudes, the center of personality. But in Scripture it represents much more than emotion, feelings. It also includes the thinking process and particularly the will. In Proverbs we are told, “As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7, KJV). Jesus asked a group of scribes, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?” (Matt. 9:4; cf. Mark 2:8; 7:21). The heart is the control center of mind and will as well as emotion.
In total contrast to the outward, superficial, and hypocritical religion of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus said that it is in the inner man, in the core of his very being, that God requires purity. That was not a new truth, but an old one long forgotten amidst ceremony and tradition. “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life,” the writer of Proverbs had counseled (Prov. 4:23). The problem that caused God to destroy the earth in the Flood was a heart problem. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).
David acknowledged before the Lord, “Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom”; and then he prayed “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51:6, 10). Asaph wrote, “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart!” (Ps. 73:1). Jeremiah declared, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds” (Jer. 17:9–10). Evil ways and deeds begin in the heart and mind, which are here used synonymously. Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man” (Matt. 15:19).
God has always been concerned above all else with the inside of man, with the condition of his heart. When the Lord called Saul to be Israel’s first king, “God changed his heart” (1 Sam. 10:9). Until then Saul had been handsome, athletic, and not much more. But the new king soon began to revert to his old heart patterns. He chose to disobey God and to trust in himself. Among other things, he presumed to take for himself the priestly role of offering sacrifice (13:9) and refused to destroy all of the Amalekites and their possessions as God had commanded (15:3–19). Consequently, the Lord took the kingdom from Saul and gave it to David (15:23, 28). Saul’s actions were wrong because his heart rebelled, and it is by our hearts that the Lord judges us (16:7). It was said of David’s leadership over Israel, “He shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands” (Ps. 78:72).
God took the kingdom from Saul because he refused to live by the new heart God had given him. He gave the kingdom to David because David was “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). David pleased God’s heart because God pleased David’s heart. “I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart,” he sang (Ps. 9:1). His deepest desire was, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer” (Ps. 19:14). He prayed, “Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart” (Ps. 26:2). When God told David, “Seek My face,” David’s heart replied, “Thy face, O Lord, I shall seek” (Ps. 27:8).
Once when David was fleeing from Saul he went to Gath, a Philistine city, for help. When he realized that his life was also in danger there, he “acted insanely in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard” (1 Sam. 21:13). Thinking him to be mad, the Philistines let him go, and he went to hide in the cave of Adullum. He came to his senses and realized how foolish and unfaithful he had been to trust the Philistines for help instead of the Lord. It was there that he wrote Psalm 57, in which he declared, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast” (v. 7). He rededicated his heart, his innermost being, single-mindedly to God. David often failed, but his heart was fixed on God. The evidence of his true-hearted commitment to God is found in all the first 175 verses of Psalm 119. The fact that his flesh sometimes overruled his heart is the final admission of verse 176: “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Thy servant.”
Pure translates katharos, a form of the word from which we get catharsis. The basic meaning is to make pure by cleansing from dirt, filth, and contamination. Catharsis is a term used in psychology and counseling for a cleansing of the mind or emotions. The Greek word is related to the Latin castus, from which we get chaste. The related word chasten refers to discipline given in order to cleanse from wrong behavior.
The Greek term was often used of metals that had been refined until all impurities were removed, leaving only the pure metal. In that sense, purity means unmixed, unalloyed, unadulterated. Applied to the heart, the idea is that of pure motive—of single-mindedness, undivided devotion, spiritual integrity, and true righteousness.
Double-mindedness has always been one of the great plagues of the church. We want to serve the Lord and follow the world at the same time. But that, says Jesus, is impossible. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other” (Matt. 6:24). James puts the same truth in another way: “Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). He then gives the solution to the problem: “Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (v. 8).
Christians have the right heart motive concerning God. Even though we often fail to be single-minded, it is our deep desire to be so. We confess with Paul, “For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.… I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good.… So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin” (Rom. 7:15, 21, 25). Paul’s deepest spiritual desires were pure, although the sin dwelling in his flesh sometimes overrode those desires.
Those who truly belong to God will be motivated to purity. Psalm 119 is the classic illustration of that longing, and Romans 7:15–25 is the Pauline counterpart. The deepest desire of the redeemed is for holiness, even when sin halts the fulfillment of that desire.
Purity of heart is more than sincerity. A motive can be sincere, yet lead to worthless and sinful things. The pagan priests who opposed Elijah demonstrated great sincerity when they lacerated their bodies in order to induce Baal to send fire down to consume their sacrifices (1 Kings 18:28). But their sincerity did not produce the desired results, and it did not enable them to see the wrongness of their paganism—because their sincere trust was in that very paganism. Sincere devotees walk on nails to prove their spiritual power. Others crawl on their knees for hundreds of yards, bleeding and grimacing in pain, to show their devotion to a saint or a shrine. Yet their sincere devotion is sincerely wrong and is completely worthless before God.
The scribes and Pharisees believed they could please God by such superficial practices as tithing “mint and dill and cummin”; but they “neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness” (Matt. 23:23). They were meticulously careful about what they did outwardly but paid no attention to what they were inwardly. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” Jesus told them, “For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also” (vv. 25–26).
Even genuinely good deeds that do not come from a genuinely good heart are of no spiritual value. Thomas Watson said, “Morality can drown a man as fast as vice,” and, “A vessel may sink with gold or with dung.” Though we may be extremely religious and constantly engaged in doing good things, we cannot please God unless our hearts are right with Him.
The ultimate standard for purity of heart is perfection of heart. In the same sermon in which He gave the Beatitudes Jesus said, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). One hundred percent purity is God’s standard for the heart.
Man’s tendency is to set the opposite standard. We are inclined to judge ourselves by the worst instead of the best. The Pharisee who prayed in the Temple, thanking God that he was not like other men, considered himself to be righteous simply because he was not a swindler, an adulterer, or a tax-gatherer (Luke 18:11). We are all tempted to feel better about ourselves when we see someone doing a terrible thing that we have never done. The “good” person looks down on the one who seems to be less good than himself, and that person looks down on those worse than he is. Carried to its extreme, that spiral of judgment would go down and down until it reached the most rotten person on earth—and that last person, the worst on earth, would be the standard by which the rest of the world judged itself!
God’s standard for men, however, is Himself. They cannot be fully pleasing to God until they are pure as He is pure, until they are holy as He is holy and perfect as He is perfect. Only those who are pure in heart may enter the kingdom. “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?” David asks, “and who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Ps. 24:3–4).
It is impurity of heart that separates man from God. “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear” (Isa. 59:1–2). And just as impurity of heart separates men from God, only purity of heart through Jesus Christ will reconcile men to God.
Basically there are but two kinds of religion—the religion of human achievement and the religion of divine accomplishment. There are many variations of the first kind, which includes every religion but biblical Christianity. Within the religions of human accomplishment are two basic approaches: head religion, which trusts in creeds and religious knowledge, and hand religion, which trusts in good deeds.
The only true religion, however, is heart religion, which is based on God’s implanted purity. By faith in what God has done through His Son, Jesus Christ, “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). When God imputes His righteousness to us He imputes His purity to us.
As we look at Scripture we discover six kinds of purity. One may be called primal purity, the kind that exists only in God. That purity is as essential to God as light is to the sun or wetness is to water.
Another form of purity is created purity, the purity that existed in God’s creation before it was corrupted by the Fall. God created the angels in purity and He created man in purity. Tragically, some of the angels and all of mankind fell from that purity.
A third kind of purity is positional purity, the purity we are given the moment we trust in Jesus Christ as Savior. When we trust in Him, God imputes to us Christ’s own purity, Christ’s own righteousness. “To the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5; cf. Gal. 2:16). From that day the Father sees us just as He sees the Son, perfectly righteous and without blemish (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 9:14).
Fourth, imputed purity is not just a statement without substance; with imputed purity God grants actual purity in the new nature of the believer (Rom. 6:4–5; 8:5–11; Col. 3:9–10; 2 Pet. 1:3). In other words, there is no justification without sanctification. Every believer is a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Paul affirms that when a believer sins, it is not caused by the pure new self, but by sin in the flesh (Rom. 7:17, 19–22, 25).
Fifth, there is practical purity. This, of course, is the hard part, the part that does require our supreme effort. Only God possesses or can possess primal purity. Only God can bestow created purity, ultimate purity, positional purity, and actual purity. But practical purity, though it too comes from God, demands our participation in a way that the other kinds of purity do not. That is why Paul implores, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1). It is why Peter pleads, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’ ” (1 Pet. 1:14–16).
We are not saved just for future heavenly purity but also for present earthly purity. At best it will be gold mixed with iron and clay, a white garment with some black threads. But God wants us now to be as pure as we can be. If purity does not characterize our living, we either do not belong to Christ, or we are disobedient to Him. We will have temptations, but God will always provide a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). We will fall into sin, but “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Finally, for believers there will also one day be ultimate purity, the perfected purity that God’s redeemed people will experience when they are glorified in His presence. All sins will be totally and permanently washed away, and “we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).
The Way to Holiness
Throughout the history of the church people have suggested various ways to achieve spiritual purity and holiness. Some have suggested monasticism, getting away from the normal cares and distractions of the world and devoting oneself entirely to meditation and prayer. Others claim that holiness is a second work of grace, by which God miraculously eradicates not only sins but the sin nature, allowing a sinless earthly life from that point onward. But neither Scripture nor experience supports either of those views. The problem of sin is not primarily the world around us but the worldliness within us, which we cannot escape by living in isolation from other people.
But God always provides for what He demands, and He has provided ways for us to live purely. First, we must realize that we are unable to live a single holy moment without the Lord’s guidance and power. “Who can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin’?” (Prov. 20:9), the obvious answer to which is “No one.” The Ethiopian cannot change his skin or the leopard its spots (Jer. 13:23). Cleansing begins with a recognition of weakness. Weakness then reaches out for the strength of God.
Second, we must stay in God’s Word. It is impossible to stay in God’s will apart from His Word. Jesus said, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:3).
Third, it is essential to be controlled by and walking in the will and way of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:16 says it clearly: “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
Fourth, we must pray. We cannot stay in God’s will or understand and obey His Word unless we stay near Him. “With all prayer and petition” we are to “pray at all times in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18; cf. Luke 18:1; 1 Thess. 5:17). With David we cry, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Ps. 51:10).
The Result of Holiness
The great blessing of those who are pure in heart is that they shall see God. The Greek is in the future indicative tense and the middle voice, and a more literal translation is, “They shall be continuously seeing God for themselves.” It is only they (the emphatic autos), the pure in heart, who shall see God. Intimate knowledge of and fellowship with God is reserved for the pure.
When our hearts are purified at salvation we begin to live in the presence of God. We begin to see and to comprehend Him with our new spiritual eyes. Like Moses, who saw God’s glory and asked to see more (Ex. 33:18), the one who is purified by Jesus Christ sees again and again the glory of God.
To see God was the greatest hope of Old Testament saints. Like Moses, David wanted to see more of God. “As the deer pants for the water brooks,” he said, “so my soul pants for Thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?” (Ps. 42:1). Job rejoiced when he was able to say, “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees Thee” (Job 42:5).
Purity of heart cleanses the eyes of the soul so that God becomes visible. One sign of an impure heart is ignorance, because sin obscures the truth (John 3:19–20). Evil and ignorance come in a package. Other signs of an impure heart are self-centeredness (Rev. 3:17), pleasure in sin (2 Tim. 3:4), unbelief (Heb. 3:12), and hatred of purity (Mic. 3:2). Those who belong to God exchange all of those things for integrity and purity.
F. F. Bullard wrote,
When I in righteousness at last
Thy glorious face shall see;
When all the weary night has passed,
And I awake with Thee,
To view the glories that abide,
Then and only then will I be satisfied.
(Cited in William Hendriksen, The Gospel of Matthew [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1973], p. 278)
8 Commentators are divided on “pure in heart.”
- Some take it to mean inner moral purity as opposed to merely external piety or ceremonial cleanness. This is an important theme in Matthew and elsewhere in the Scriptures (e.g., Dt 10:16; 30:6; 1 Sa 15:22; Pss 24:3–4 [to which there is direct allusion here]; 51:6, 10; Isa 1:10–17; Jer 4:4; 7:3–7; 9:25–26; Ro 2:9; 1 Ti 1:5; 2 Ti 2:22, cf. Mt 23:25–28).
- Others take it to mean single-mindedness, a heart “free from the tyranny of a divided self” (Tasker; cf. Bonnard). Several of the passages just cited focus on freedom from deceit (Pss 24:4; 51:4–17; cf. Ge 50:5–6; Pr 22:11). This interpretation also prepares the way for Matthew 6:22. The “pure in heart” are thus “the utterly sincere.”
The dichotomy between these two options is a false one; it is impossible to have one without the other. The one who is single-minded in commitment to the kingdom and its righteousness (6:33) will also be inwardly pure. Inward sham, deceit, and moral filth cannot coexist with sincere devotion to Christ. Either way, this beatitude excoriates hypocrisy (see comments at 6:1–18). The pure in heart will see God—now with the eyes of faith and finally in the dazzling brilliance of the beatific vision in whose light no deceit can exist (cf. Heb 12:14; 1 Jn 3:1–3; Rev 21:22–27).
8 Again the OT passage which this beatitude echoes fills out its meaning. Those who are qualified to “ascend the hill of the Lord” and “stand in his holy place” are characterized by “clean hands and a pure heart,” which is then defined in terms of truthfulness and of an active “seeking” for God (Ps 24:3–6). The meaning is thus not far from that of v. 6, with its emphasis on a longing to live the life God requires. In the context of first-century Judaism, with its strong emphasis on ritual “purity,” the phrase “pure in heart” might also be understood to imply a contrast with the meticulous preservation of outward purity which will be condemned in 23:25–28 as having missed the point of godliness; but no such connotation is likely in Psalm 24, on which this beatitude is based. The vision of God which is the goal of the pure in heart (Ps 24:6; cf. Pss 11:7; 17:15; 27:5; 42:2 for this aspiration), and which is here promised to them, is sometimes in the OT expressed in terms of an actual “seeing” (Exod 24:10; Isa 6:1) though these are clearly marked out as exceptional. More often it is the invisibility of God which is stressed (Exod 33:18–23) and this is strongly reinforced in the NT (John 1:18; 1 Tim 1:17; 6:16). There may be visionary experiences in this world which include a “seeing” of God, as for John on Patmos, but “seeing God’s face” is a privilege reserved for the new Jerusalem (Rev 22:4; cf. 1 Cor 13:12; 1 John 3:2). Meanwhile, it is the “angels” of God’s people, not those people themselves, who see his face in heaven (18:10; see further discussion there). Here on earth the people of God may find strength “as if seeing him who is invisible,” (Heb 11:27) but such “seeing” remains only a foretaste of the true vision of God in heaven.
The Bliss of the Clean Heart
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.’
Here is the beatitude which demands that all who read it should stop and think, and examine themselves.
The Greek word for pure is katharos, and it has a variety of usages, all of which have something to add to the meaning of this beatitude for the Christian life.
(1) Originally it simply meant clean, and could, for instance, be used of soiled clothes which have been washed clean.
(2) It is regularly used for corn which has been winnowed or sifted and cleansed of all chaff. In the same way, it is used of an army which has been purged of all discontented, cowardly, unwilling and inefficient soldiers, and which is a force composed solely of ﬁrst-class ﬁghting men.
(3) It very commonly appears in company with another Greek adjective—akēratos. Akēratos can be used of milk or wine which is unadulterated with water, or of metal which has in it no tinge of alloy.
So, the basic meaning of katharos is unmixed, unadulterated, unalloyed. That is why this beatitude is so demanding a beatitude. It could be translated:
Blessed are those whose motives are always entirely unmixed, for they shall see God.
It is very seldom indeed that we do even our ﬁnest actions from absolutely unmixed motives. If we give generously and liberally to some good cause, it may well be that there lingers in the depths of our hearts some contentment in basking in the sunshine of our own self-approval, some pleasure in the praise and thanks and credit which we will receive. If we do some ﬁne thing, which demands some sacriﬁce from us, it may well be that we are not altogether free from the feeling that others will see something heroic in us and that we may regard ourselves as martyrs. Even the most sincere preacher is not altogether free from the danger of self-satisfaction in having preached a good sermon. Was it not John Bunyan who was once told by someone that he had preached well that day, and who answered sadly: ‘The devil already told me that as I was coming down the pulpit steps’?
This beatitude demands from us the most exacting self-examination. Is our work done from motives of service or from motives of pay? Is our service given from selﬂess motives or from motives of self-display? Is the work we do in church done for Christ or for our own prestige? Is our church-going an attempt to meet God or a fulﬁlling of a habitual and conventional respectability? Are even our prayer and our Bible-reading engaged upon with the sincere desire to keep company with God or because it gives us a pleasant feeling of superiority to do these things? Is our religion a thing in which we are conscious of nothing so much as the need of God within our hearts, or a thing in which we have comfortable thoughts of our own piety? To examine one’s own motives is a daunting and a shaming thing, for there are few things in this world that even the best of us do with completely unmixed motives.
Jesus went on to say that only the pure in heart will see God. It is one of the simple facts of life that we see only what we are able to see; and that is true not only in the physical sense; it is also true in every other possible sense.
If we go out on a night of stars, our untrained eyes see only a host of pinpoints of light in the sky; we see what we are ﬁt to see. But in that same sky the astronomer will call the stars and the planets by their names, and will move among them as among friends; and from that same sky the navigator could ﬁnd the means to bring a ship across the trackless seas to the desired haven.
The ordinary person can walk along a country road and see by the hedgerows nothing but a tangle of weeds and wild ﬂowers and grasses. The trained botanist would see this and that, and call it by name and know its use, and might even see something of inﬁnite value and rarity through having eyes to see.
Put two people into a room ﬁlled with ancient pictures. A person with no knowledge and no skill could not tell an old master from a worthless daub, whereas a trained art critic might well discern a picture of immense value in a collection which someone else might dismiss as junk.
There are people with ﬁlthy minds who can see in any situation material for sniggering innuendo and a dirty joke. In every sphere of life, we see what we are able to see.
So, says Jesus, it is only the pure in heart who shall see God. It is a warning thing to remember that, as by God’s grace we keep our hearts clean, or as by human lust we soil them, we are either ﬁtting or unﬁtting ourselves some day to see God.
So, this sixth beatitude might read:
o the bliss of those whose motives are absolutely pure, for they will some day be able to see god!
Ver. 8.—The pure in heart. Our Lord naturally passes in thought from the sixth to the seventh commandment (cf. vers. 21, 27), finding the basis of his phraseology in Ps. 24:3, 4, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?… He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart (LXX ἀθῷος χερσὶν καὶ καθαρὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ)” (cf. also Ps. 72:1). Καθαρός (besides speaking of mere physical cleanness, ch. 27:59) specially refers to freedom from pollution, judged by God’s standard of what pollution is, whether it be a matter of ceremonial enactment (meats, Rom. 14:20; cf. Mark 7:19; cf. leprosy, 8:2, 3; 10:8, et al.) or of ethical relation (John 13:10, 11; 15:3); cf. Origen. ‘Hom. in Joh.,’ lxxiii. 2 (Meyer), “Every sin soils the soul (Πᾶσα ἁμαρτία ῥύπον ἑντίθησι τῇ, ψυχῇ)” (cf. also Bishop Westcott, ‘Hebrews,’ p. 346). In heart. The seat of the affections (ch. 6:21; 22:37) and the understanding (ch. 13:15), also the central spring of all human words and actions (ch. 15:19); cf. καθαρὰ καρδία (1 Tim. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:22), which implies something deeper than καθαρὰ συνείδησις (1 Tim. 3:9; 2 Tim. 1:3). Shall see God. Not in his courts (Ps. 24) on Mount Moriah, but above; and in one complete vision fully grasped (ὄψονται). The thought of present spiritual sight of God, though, perhaps, hardly to be excluded (contrast Weiss, ‘Matthäusev.’), is at least swallowed up in the thought of the full and final revelation. Those who are pure in heart, and care not for such sights as lead men into sin, are unconsciously preparing themselves for the great spiritual sight—the beatific vision (Rev. 22:4; cf. 1 John 3:2). In Heb. 12:14 holiness (ἁγιασμός) is an indispensable quality for such a vision of “the Lord.”
8. Happy are they who are of a pure heart. We might be apt to think, that what is here stated by Christ is in accordance with the judgment of all. Purity of heart is universally acknowledged to be the mother of all virtues. And yet there is hardly one person in a hundred, who does not put craftiness in the place of the greatest virtue. Hence those persons are commonly accounted happy, whose ingenuity is exercised in the successful practice of deceit, who gain dexterous advantages, by indirect means, over those with whom they have intercourse. Christ does not at all agree with carnal reason, when he pronounces those to be happy, who take no delight in cunning, but converse sincerely with men, and express nothing, by word or look, which they do not feel in their heart. Simple people are ridiculed for want of caution, and for not looking sharply enough to themselves. But Christ directs them to higher views, and bids them consider that, if they have not sagacity to deceive in this world, they will enjoy the sight of God in heaven.
8. Cf. Psalm 24:3–4. Pure in heart should not be restricted to moral, still less sexual, purity; it denotes one who loves God with all his heart (Deut. 6:5), with an undivided loyalty, and whose inward nature corresponds with his outward profession (cf. Isa. 29:13). ‘Such is the generation of those who seek him’ (Ps. 24:6), and they receive the promise that they shall see God. This can only fully be realized in heaven, when ‘we shall see him as he is’ (1 John 3:2); then ‘we shall be like him’, and the longings of v. 6 will be finally satisfied. But in a lesser sense the vision of God is already the experience of his true lovers on earth, who persevere in his service ‘as seeing him who is invisible’ (Heb. 11:27).
The pure in heart (8)
It is immediately obvious that the words ‘in heart’ indicate the kind of purity to which Jesus is alluding, as the words ‘in spirit’ indicated the kind of poverty he meant. The ‘poor in spirit’ are the spiritually poor as distinct from those whose poverty is only material. From whom, then, are ‘the pure in heart’ being distinguished?
The popular interpretation is to regard purity of heart as an expression for inward purity, for the quality of those who have been cleansed from moral—as opposed to ceremonial—defilement. And there is good biblical precedent for this, especially in the Psalms. It was recognized that no-one could ascend the Lord’s hill or stand in his holy place unless he had ‘clean hands and a pure heart’. So David, conscious that his Lord desired ‘truth in the inward being’, could pray, ‘Teach me wisdom in my secret heart,’ and, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God.’ Jesus took up this theme in his controversy with the Pharisees and complained about their obsession with external, ceremonial purity. ‘You Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness.’ They were ‘like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness’.3
Luther gave this distinction between inward and outward purity a characteristically earthy turn. For he contrasted purity of heart not only with ceremonial defilement, but also with actual physical dirt. ‘Christ … wants to have the heart pure, though outwardly the person may be a drudge in the kitchen, black, sooty, and grimy, doing all sorts of dirty work.’ Again, ‘Though a common labourer, a shoemaker or a blacksmith may be dirty and sooty or may smell because he is covered with dirt and pitch, … and though he stinks outwardly, inwardly he is pure incense before God’ because he ponders the word of God in his heart and obeys it.2
This emphasis on the inward and moral, whether contrasted with the outward and ceremonial or the outward and physical, is certainly consistent with the whole Sermon on the Mount which requires heart-righteousness rather than mere rule-righteousness. Nevertheless, in the context of the other beatitudes, ‘purity of heart’ seems to refer in some sense to our relationships. Professor Tasker defines the pure in heart as ‘the single-minded, who are free from the tyranny of a divided self’.3 In this case the pure heart is the single heart and prepares the way for the ‘single eye’ which Jesus mentions in the next chapter.
More precisely, the primary reference is to sincerity. Already in the verses of Psalm 24 quoted above, the person with ‘clean hands and a pure heart’ is one ‘who does not lift up his soul to what is false (sc. an idol), and does not swear deceitfully’ (4). That is, in his relations with both God and man he is free from falsehood. So the pure in heart are ‘the utterly sincere’ (jbp). Their whole life, public and private, is transparent before God and men. Their very heart—including their thoughts and motives—is pure, unmixed with anything devious, ulterior or base. Hypocrisy and deceit are abhorrent to them; they are without guile.
Yet how few of us live one life and live it in the open! We are tempted to wear a different mask and play a different role according to each occasion. This is not reality but play-acting, which is the essence of hypocrisy. Some people weave round themselves such a tissue of lies that they can no longer tell which part of them is real and which is make-believe. Alone among men Jesus Christ was absolutely pure in heart, being entirely guileless.
Only the pure in heart will see God, see him now with the eye of faith and see his glory in the hereafter, for only the utterly sincere can bear the dazzling vision in whose light the darkness of deceit must vanish and by whose fire all shams are burned up.
Ver. 8. The pure in heart.—
Purity of heart:—
- Purity of heart demands our attention. 1. It implies a change of heart. 2. It implies that the faculties of the soul are purified. 3. It implies the purity of the affections. 4. It implies the purity of the thoughts and desires. 5. It leads to purity of worship. 6. It leads to purity of life.
- The blessedness promised to the pure in heart. 1. What is denoted by seeing God. 2. This vision will constitute the blessedness of the pure in heart. (J. Jordan.)
The blessedness of the pure in heart:—
- Inquire into the meaning of purity of heart. 1. The words carry us into the inner regions of man’s being. At first sight they only suggest the absence of the impure. But there is no purity apart from the absolute authority of God in the affections. Man is not made by negatives.
- Purity of heart gives the vision of God. The phrase “see God” does not refer to any manifestation of His glory visible to the eye of sense. It is to the far deeper sight of the soul that Christ refers. Your best friend is not seen by the eye of the body; you see him spiritually, his qualities of mind and heart. 1. None but the pure in heart can see Him. It is useless to tell the selfish about the beauty of unselfishness; you might as well tell the blind about the glory of colour. 2. That to the pure in heart the full glory of the Divine nature reveals itself. God is light and love. These are seen by the pure soul.
III. The vision is its own exceeding blessedness. 1. It is blessed because to see God satisfies the longings of the heart. 2. Because it clothes life in glory. 3. Because it is the dawning of immortal hope. (E. L. Hull, B.A.)
- Let us try to ascertain what this purity is which is here so extolled. It was in Adam by nature—it is in us by grace, &c. In us it is as seed cast into the soil, &c. It is a living principle, ever powerful, ever resisted, yet never beaten, growing daily in aspirations and likeness, until it is made perfect by seeing Christ as He is, when we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. Constantly enjoined. Is true beauty. The qualification for heaven. The Holy Spirit its author. The heart its seat. Manifest in the outer life. Will ever be ready to disclose itself to God in prayer.
- Such persons are blessed. In having this characteristic. Evidence of being amongst the people of God. To them all things are pure. “Shall see God”—in life’s trials, life’s prosperity, providential dealings, in all creation, in the sacred page, in ordinances, and, above all, in glory—transforming, satisfying, joyful. “Create in me,” &c. (Dr. J. Cumming.) By the “heart” we are to understand the inward part of man, comprehending the mind and soul with all their faculties and affections, purposes and inclinations, the secret recesses into which mortal eye cannot penetrate. I. The foliage and branches are of the same kind with the stock that bears them. 1. Before we can bring forth good fruit we must be renovated. 2. There may be the semblance of purity in the life when there is no real principle of holiness in the heart. II. Purity is (1) the mind renewed, the (2) disordered spirit restored, and (3) conformed to the “image of God,” in righteousness and true holiness. III. From the definition of the principle there are three things which it includes. 1. Frank and genuine sincerity in opposition to dissimulation and deceit. 2. Spiritual worship in opposition to that which is formal. 3. A holy and heavenly mind, in opposition to one that is polluted and sensual. (J. E. Good.) I. A great privilege proposed by our Saviour to His followers. “They shall see God”—in this life and in heaven. II. The qualification required for this enjoyment—purity of heart. Nature and necessity of heart-purity. 1. Try your hopes of heaven by this rule. 2. Follow after purity—heart and life. (Henry Grove.) See here what is the beauty that sets off a soul in God’s eye: purity of heart. I. Thou who art never so beautiful, art but a spiritual leper, till thou art pure in heart. 1. Therein God sees His own picture drawn. 2. Holiness is a beam of God. II. Thou who art pure in heart hast the angel’s glory in thee, and the embroidery and workmanship of the Holy Ghost upon thee. III. The pure heart is God’s paradise, where He delights to walk; it is His lesser heaven. The dove delights in the purest air; the Holy Ghost, who descended in the likeness of a dove, delights in the purest soul. How may this raise the esteem of purity! This is a beauty that never fades! (Thomas Watson.) I. Purity of heart stands in direct opposition to that external affectation of purity which is the offspring of hypocrisy. 1. Actions are the outward symbols or expressions of virtue and vice, not virtue and vice themselves. 2. Actions when separated from their motives are indifferent, but it is the disposition of benevolence by which the mind is actuated in which the virtue lies. 3. Words, like actions, when separated from their motives, are indifferent; but it is the inward malignity of soul from which the words proceed, in which the vice consists. 4. The form of purity, like that of godliness without its power, is only a delusive counterfeit. 5. All external services and sacrifices are of no value without this internal purity. II. Purity implies the absence of moral grossness. Whatever is defiled is essentially repugnant to the spirit of purity. (1) By the law of nature clouds darken the face of the sky, fogs and vapours stagnate and corrupt the air. (2) By the law of conscience and religion, moral blots and corruptions stain the beauty of the soul, and cast a shade upon its brightness. III. Purity is an active and vigorous disposition, which incessantly prompts the soul in which it resides, to (1) admire what is amiable; (2) To approve what is excellent; (3) To relish what is delicate; (4) To pursue what is refined. Purity is the only way to blessedness—purity is blessedness itself. (David Lamont, D.D.)
The man of heart blessed.—So came these peaceful words of Jesus: Blessed, not the man of force, but the man of heart. (E. J. Haynes.) A pure heart uses God’s creatures without injury.—We stood, the day we left home to begin life for ourselves, amid all the “creatures” of God, as stands the druggist’s clerk on the first morning of his apprenticing, not knowing which is sweet, or sour, or would kill, or would make alive; aye, and with a perverted impulse for the wrong use of all. Behold that tree which nods at the church window. Sometimes there is too much moisture in the air; sometimes too much heat; poisons are at its root, its leaf, its stock. Yet so “pure” is the tree, so does it follow just God’s law, that it chooses and uses, not abuses, but fructifies by all. So amid all nature will be the really pure in heart; not that pure heart is all-wise, but it is so in harmony with God’s law, so far as it is instructed, that it uses all things according to the Creator’s intention. How? For beauty, purity, peace, and joy. (Ibid.) A pure heart is blessed in the feeling of security.—He says, “I am not conscious of any desire within which shall go half-way to meet the allurements of sin; no little rivulets of half-indulgence which have eaten the sand from under my walls.” Oh, how weak is guilt, how strong is purity! I have seen the hawk flap out of the top of tall hemlocks at my coming in the pasture. “Why, hawk, I’ll not shoot you; it is but a walking-stick I carry in my hand.” “Ah! yes, but I think it may have a ball in it.” And he sails high above the village steeple. “Nay, hawk,” says the steeple, “I’ll not hurt. I’m but the finger pointing to your Maker.” “Ah! but I think you are a trap.” He even parts company with the harmless sparrow, for the sparrow “may be a snare.” Not so the dove. It lives in the cornice of men’s dwellings, and nods good morning to the children in the chamber crib; it touches the foot of the housemaid as she shakes her cloth of crumbs; it rests up in the steeples of old churches, and the Sabbath bell, far from being a fright, is but the signal for the cooing chorus to begin. The man of pure heart is blessed with peaceful self-respect. He is not happy who cannot respect himself. And no man can respect himself who is living in more or less constant communion with bad thoughts and evil pictures of imaginatian. Suppose we grant that we are not altogether responsible for our thoughts, but, by the complications of daily life, before we know it we have planned a sin; or, by Satan’s foes beleaguered, we are thrust upon by pictures of iniquity. Still my proposition is true, that no such life could be a happy one. Could the master of a strong house be at peace, even if bolts and bars and granite strength kept all his foes at bay; if, ever and anon, the mob thrust the death’s head at his windows? Aye, more, could he respect himself if, now and then, as impure hearts do, he showed a face for parley, or cautiously, yet surely, invited one of the red-shirted horde within, to see how he looked near by? The sunflower might say of wasps, and hornets, and bees: “Why do they pester me, and so hang about?” and the wasps would reply: “You entertain us, sir; you have what we love.” And so the judge within man, true to his heaven-given instinct, makes reply to him pestered by bad thoughts: “There’s something, sir, about you that these buzzards love!” I saw by Lake Leman the old castle of Chillon. Up above, the royal, tapestry-hung apartments of the Duke of Savoy and his gay bride; down below, the dungeon where Bonnivard was chained; where creeping things crawl forth to ogle at the visitors, and instruments of torture are; and I wondered if never, in some scene of revelry above, the groans of martyrs rose to stir the arras on gorgeous walls. There are those we meet in social life, the rooms of whose souls which are open to friends are fair as a palace. But alas! who shall tell us of the secret kept unseen? Not so pure heart. I do not pretend to say that ever on this earth we are freed from all solicitations of evil; but there is many a soul so “blessed” that, when winged thoughts of sin come flying to the windows, God’s angel rises up, and draws the shutters to; when disturbing thoughts of hate, revenge, avarice, and pride draw near, God’s angel meets them at the outer gate, and bids them all begone. (Ibid.) Pure heart is “blest” in his relations with his fellow-man. Pure Heart is blest because he knows no envy of another’s success, jealousy at another’s praise. Dear, simple old heart. It never occurs to him that there is any less of summer’s sun for him because a million others bask in its beams. O King Great Heart! thyself no man’s enemy, thou thinkest no man thine, but dost beam upon the world like the October sunset upon the harvest fields. “He shall see God.” How? Thus. Mozart and his friend, the royal huntsman, went forth arm-in-arm to the fields. The wind came up heavily through the copse of trees. “Look!” says the hunter, “it will startle a hare!” “Listen!” says Mozart, “what a diapason from God’s great organ!” A lark rose on soaring wing, with its own sweet song. “Look!” says the gamester. “what a shot!” “Ah!” says Mozart, “what would I give could I catch that thrill!” There be dull souls who cannot see nor hear. Are they sick? “Oh! what misfortune!” Are they bereaved? “Some enemy hath done this!” Are they well and prosperous? “Good luck!” Not so Pure Heart. He can see God’s hand in every sorrow chastening for good; God’s face in every blessing; God’s smile in the morning light, the blossoming harvest, and the evening shade. His heart is attuned. (E. J. Haynes.)
Vision of God in heaven:—I. God is a pure Spirit, and invisible. It cannot be with our bodily eyes that we shall see Him. II. They shall see Him. This word expresses immediate intuition of what is plainly offered to view. Now we see through a glass, darkly. Wilt thou see God’s wisdom, power, love, holiness, glory? 1. This is an appropriating vision. 2. It is an assimilating vision. 3. It is a satisfying vision. III. How excellent the soul of man which is capable of such felicity! IV. If such be the nature of the future blessedness, then a change of heart is requisite to enable us to enjoy it. V. What gratitude do we owe to that God who has provided such a felicity for His children. VI. What a source of consolation under the afflictions of life. VII. This subject calls us to mourn for the folly of the children of men, who for toys barter away glory and immortality. (H. Kollock, D.D.)
They shall see God:—1. In the work of creation. 2. In the ordinances of the gospel. 3. In the dispensation of Providence. 4. In the day of judgment. 5. In heaven for ever. (J. C. Edwards, M.A.)
Purity an unmixed motive.—A thing is pure when there is nothing in it out of harmony with its nature. Water is pure, air is pure, when they contain only their constituent elements, and in the right proportion. Gold is pure when it has been separated by fire from all foreign matter. The diamond is pure, the crystal is pure, when there is nothing in them which hinders the refraction and reflection of light. It is thus with the heart, which is the emotional part of the soul. It is pure, when it loves only that which it ought to love. (The Abbé Bautain.)
Spiritual sight conditioned by purity:—1. It may be easily understood that impurity of heart hinders the soul from seeing God. Under the power of perverse affections the mind sees nothing aright—nothing in its just relations and proportions. Least of all can the mind thus blinded in its highest faculties see God aright; it gets no inspiring and attractive perception of His glory. As earthly vapours, condensed into clouds and darkening the world with storms, hide from the outward sense the beauty and glory of the visible heaven, so sensual passions, grovelling affections, and the dominion of sin in the soul, all the habits of an impure and unbelieving mind, intervene as with impenetrable clouds, to shut off from the view and reach of the spiritual faculties the grand realities of that upper sphere, where the eternal relations of duty are and where God is. 2. This is further illustrated by remembering distinctly that the normal or right state of the mind—the state in which its faculties and susceptibilities are properly adjusted in relation to each other and in relation to their objects—is just what our Saviour means by purity in heart. As the normal condition of the eye is not when the optic nerve is paralysed or otherwise diseased, nor when the surface is covered by a film, nor when inflammation or a mote under the eyelids makes the light painful, but only when all obstruction or disease is absent, so the normal condition of the mind, as made for the knowledge of things invisible and eternal, is not when its sensibilities are perverted by selfishness, not when sin reigns within, but only when the heart is pure. We may now inquire, What is the blessedness of thus seeing God? 1. To see God is to see the central light which reveals the order and beauty of the universe. The unity of all created things is found only in their relation to God’s power, to His love and wisdom, to His plan and government. 2. To see God is to see the fountain of all blessedness. Such intuition of God’s glory is identical with the peace of God that passeth all understanding. 3. Such an intuition of God as this promise assures to the pure in heart is that for which the soul was created. It is the soul’s chief end, and therefore it is the highest blessedness of which the soul is capable. (L. Bacon.)
8. Blessed the pure in heart, for they shall see God. It is often said that the pure in heart are the sincere and honest people, the men of integrity. A reference to Ps. 24:3, 4 would seem to confirm this:
Who shall ascend the hill of Jehovah?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart;
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
Purity in heart is also commended in Ps. 73:1. Similarly, in 1 Tim. 1:5 pure is a synonym for unfeigned. And see also 2 Tim. 2:22 and 1 Peter 1:22. All this could easily lead to the conclusion that the people who in the sixth beatitude are pronounced blessed are without any further qualification the sincere individuals, the men who think, speak, and act without hypocrisy.
Now there can be no doubt about the fact that sincerity, honesty, the condition of being without guile, is indeed the emphasis here. Over against all human duplicity, be it Pharisaic or otherwise, Jesus pronounces his blessing upon the persons whose outer manifestation is in harmony with their inner disposition.
Nevertheless, a study of the context in each of the aforegoing references makes clear that something must be added. Sincerity or integrity is not sufficient in and by itself. A man may be sincerely right but he may also be sincerely wrong. No doubt, the prophets of Baal were very sincere when from morning until noon they were leaping about the altar, cutting themselves with knives, and constantly crying out, “Hear us Baal” (1 Kings 18:26–28). But they were sincere in the wrong direction. So also, in a passage to which reference is often made in the explanation of the sixth beatitude (Gen. 20:6) Jehovah himself testifies that Abimelech, in the integrity of his heart, had taken Sarah away from Abraham. Nevertheless, the Lord did not approve what the king had done but threatened him with death unless he would restore Sarah to her rightful husband (verse 7). Similarly, the “pure in heart” of Ps. 73:1 are those who in all sincerity are guided by “God’s counsel” (verse 24). The faith unfeigned of 1 Tim. 1:5 adheres to “sound doctrine” (verse 10). And the people to whom Peter refers (1 Peter 1:22) are those who have purified their souls “in obedience to the truth.”
It is clear, therefore, that the blessing of the sixth beatitude is not pronounced without qualification upon all people who are sincere, but rather upon those who, in the worship of the true God in accordance with the truth revealed in his Word, strive without hypocrisy to please and glorify him. These, these alone, are “the pure in heart.” They worship God “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24) and love to dwell on and practice the virtues mentioned in 1 Cor. 13; Gal. 5:22, 23; Eph. 4:32; 5:1; Phil. 2:1–4; 4:8, 9; Col. 3:1–17; etc. Their heart, the very mainspring of dispositions as well as of feelings and thoughts (Matt. 15:19; 22:37; Eph. 1:18; 3:17; Phil 1:7; 1 Tim. 1:5), is in tune with the heart of God.
Hence, it is not really surprising to read that the pure in heart “shall see God,” and that this is the essence of their blessedness. The man whose delight is not truly in the things pertaining to God is unable to appreciate the love of God in Christ toward sinners. Resemblance is the indispensable prerequisite of personal fellowship and understanding. To know God one must be like him. Just as to the hunter devoid of musical knowledge and appreciation the voice of the wind roaring through the forest meant no more than that a hare might be startled from his hiding place and become an easy victim, while to his companion Mozart this same loud deep sound signified instead a majestic diapason from God’s great organ, so also to the impure, God remains unknown but to those who “imitate God as beloved children and walk in love” he reveals himself.
Now the beauty of this vision of God, this spiritual perception of and delight in his being and attributes, is that it is transforming (2 Cor. 3:18). Here on earth, however, it is still a “seeing in a mirror darkly,” but in heaven and in the renewed universe, in which the conditions of heaven will also be found on earth (Rev. 21:10), so that “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9), this beatific vision will amount to the sinless and uninterrupted fellowship of the souls of all the redeemed with God in Christ, a seeing “face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12).
When I in righteousness at last
Thy glorious face shall see,
When all the weary night is past
And I awake with thee,
To view the glories that abide,
Then, then shall I be satisfied.
(F. F. Bullard, based on Ps. 17:15)
Thus will be fulfilled the prayer of Jesus, “Father, I desire that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, in order that they may gaze on my glory which thou hast given me, for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the earth.”
 Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 1, p. 264). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
 Stott, J. R. W., & Stott, J. R. W. (1985). The message of the Sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7): Christian counter-culture (pp. 48–49). Leicester; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Wo is me, for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grape gleanings of the vintage; there is no cluster to eat; my soul desired the first ripe fruit. The good man is perished out of the earth, and there is none upright among men.—Micah 7:1, 2.
Is not this lamentation as suited to the present times, as when the prophet delivered it? Were the interests of Zion ever at a lower ebb than now? Did the waters of the sanctuary run less in a stream, in any period of the Church, than the present? Surely it is like the in-gathering of the fruits of the earth at this season of the year: the choicest are gone; the trees are unladen. It is only here and there, as “the shaking of an olive-tree; two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough.” (Isaiah 17:6.) The Lord hath been calling home his chosen; death hath been housing the servants of the Lord. And even those that remain, alas! are they not more like the gleanings than like the first ripe fruits? Who is there interested or Zion? Who layeth it to heart, that she languisheth in all her borders? My soul! can a throne of grace witness for thee, that many a petition thou art lodging there, that “the Lord would do good in his pleasure unto Zion?” Is it known to the great Searcher of hearts, that thou preferrest “her prosperity above thy chief joy?” Dost thou tell the King, that thou lovest him in loving his people; and, knowing the preciousness of thine own salvation, art thou seeking, by prayer and by every means in thy power, to form and promote the salvation of others? Oh, Lord! give me grace, “for Zion’s sake never to hold my peace, nor for Jerusalem’s sake to rest, till the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth!”
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.—Matthew 5:16.
WE see very few illuminated Christians. If every one of us was illuminated by the Spirit of God, how we could light up the churches! But to have a lantern without any light, would be a nuisance. Many Christians carry along lanterns and say, “I wouldn’t give up my religion for yours.” They talk about religion. The religion that has no fire is like painted fire. These are artificial Christians.
Do you belong to that class? You can tell. If you can’t, your friends can.
 Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 127). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.