And another TGIF day to you! If my calculations are correct, we
have passed the 1,000 mark in these Coffee Break articles during the past few
weeks -- and that spans a period which began in December of 2004 on a sporadic
basis. Beginning in January of 2005 and spanning several months, I actually
tried to publish these posts on a daily basis. That schedule caught up with me
and I had to back it off in stages.
Another Coffee Break currently reaches somewhere between 1 and 2
million readers on a weekly basis in more than 80 countries, and it is a
blessing to me that we are able to encourage many thousands of individuals who
are leaders in the body of Christ and engaged in active ministry around the
globe. Readers are being added every week to our subscriber database to the
point where Rich Hoffman, our webmaster, has had to increase his server
capacity. That said, in the transition from one server to another, some readers
have notified me that they are not receiving their Coffee Breaks like they used
to -- and if you are among that number, and just haven't said so, please let us
know so we can correct the situation.
Time to move on. Thus far in this series, we have dealt only
with the first dozen verses of Matthew 5 which are commonly referred to as
"the Beatitudes." Now we're going to make a significant shift as we
talk about an entirely different aspect of supernatural maturity -- that
maturity represented in the character, nature and makeup of the Lord Jesus
Christ. We’re going to shift gears going forward to describe
the character and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, and how His nature in us
influences the world around.
Matthew 5:13-16: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth
good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill
cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on
a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your
light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your
Father which is in heaven.
standard KJV translation isn’t bad, but let’s see what we can do with it by
retranslating and amplifying it.
"In the same way that salt personifies the need for
seasoning, restraint and protection from spoilage or rotting, and preparation
for soil to produce; in the same way that salt represents wisdom and grace in
one’s speech and behavior, you are that grace and wisdom, that seasoning and
protection for the world. You are that which restrains and holds back the
execution of my judgment upon a world corrupted, spoiling and decaying in sin.
If you lose the ability to season and influence the world around, you lose your
usefulness [to the Kingdom] and, like salt that has lost its ability to make
things palatable, and winds up being thrown out, you become worthless [to the
Kingdom] and cease to have (spiritual) value, requiring that you be cast
aside." (Matthew 5:13, RAC
Translation and Amplification)
"[When I said, “Light be,” that was the light that brought
this world into being. I AM that light.] (Because you are in me, and I AM in
you, you are — likewise — the light of this world. That is a light one cannot
"[As representatives of the New Jerusalem] you are like
that City which is elevated on a high hill or mountain and cannot be hidden
from view. (You have been made and destined to be visible to this world.)" (Matthew 5:14, RAC Translation & Amplification)
"No one lights a candle, and then hides it under some kind
of covering or utensil. Rather, they put the candle on some kind of lampstand or decorative piece in order to elevate it so as
to give light to the whole room.
"Let that light (My light) which is in you, therefore,
radiate brilliantly in front of all men and women so that the value of your
relationship with and in Me — manifested in the works, the signs and wonders —
is demonstrated. That, in turn, will cause Father in Heaven to receive glory
and honor and praise!"(Matthew 5:15-16, RAC Translation and Amplification)
That was a bit windy and long, but I’m sure you see it. Everything that Jesus
said and did was designed to bring Glory to Father. Everything that He said and
did was nothing more than a duplication of what He had heard and seen in and
have two metaphors here which essentially mirror each other in terms of our
character and essence, being in Christ. In order to better understand why Jesus
used these two metaphors, follow me back to the Law of Moses for a moment.
Leviticus 2:13, NASB: Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with
salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be
lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.
Numbers 18:19, NASB: All the offerings of the holy gifts, which
the sons of Israel offer to the LORD, I have given to you and your sons and
your daughters with you, as a perpetual allotment. It is an everlasting
covenant of salt before the LORD to you and your descendants with you.
importance of salt as a spiritual picture cannot be over-stated! If we are to
reflect the character and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, we MUST be that
essence which flavors and adds savor to the land around.
God commanded the priests and Levites to add salt to their sacrifices He was
making it abundantly clear that everything they offered to Him had to have His
earth had been corrupted by sin, along with everything in it. The plants, the
animals, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, the air we breathe — the environment
in its totality. Any offering that would come out of this environment had to be
seasoned with salt. We’ll come back to this picture as we get farther along in
this specific discussion.
refer to these pictures a metaphors because they represent influence on their
surroundings. Israel was a Covenanted people with God. Covenants were
created between parties for the express purpose of making them as ONE unified
the ancient pictures of farmers creating covenants with soldiers. Soldiers’
lives were spent in the defense and protection of their lands. Soldiers rarely
had time to care for their own lands, and had no time to spend tilling the
ground, sowing seed and harvesting grains, vegetables and fruits for their own
food and preservation.
on the other hand, were not skilled warriors and had little or no ability to
engage in the art of war or be concerned with the defense of their lands or
families. Covenants were often, therefore, created between farmers and
warriors. The farmers and the warriors became as One!
farmers covenanted with the warriors to become their source of food and
sustenance. The warriors covenanted with the farmers to provide their defense,
to ensure their safety, personally, as well as that of their families and their
crops. With this covenant, each functioned not only for themselves, but for
Covenant of Salt that God made with Israel was a covenant in which Israel
promised to serve God and be His representative in the earth. Israel became
God’s unique people — a people who would demonstrate to the rest of the world
just exactly what kind of life and what kind of provision God could and would
make with those who would enter into a covenant relationship with Him.
Covenant with Israel ensured that they would stand out in the earth above every
other people. They would have the Blessing that God promised in Deuteronomy 28.
Before we take a look at the very first part of God’s Covenant with Israel,
consider the truth upon which He based His choosing of Israel in the first
Deuteronomy 7:7-11: The
LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in
number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all
people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the
oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out
with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand
of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God,
the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy
with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to
destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth
him, he will repay him to his face.
Thou shalt therefore keep the
commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this
day, to do them.
wasn’t chosen because of their greatness, nor because of their numbers. They
were chosen because of the oath — the Covenant — that God made with Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob.
Isaac and Jacob exhibited a faith and total trust in the Lord during a time and
an era in which faith in God — YHWH — was absolutely non-existent. That faith
was manifested when Abraham pleaded and bargained with God to spare Sodom and
Gomorrah for the sake of not less than ten righteous people.
Isaac and Jacob WERE God’s salt in the land! They were the manifestation of His
presence. They salted the earth in a time and place where thousands of idols and
false gods permeated the nations and cultures, and where the practices we see
and abhor with ISIS were the norm as a part of those nations’ cultures. That
said, take a look at the benefits and blessings of Israel’s (and ours) Covenant
Deuteronomy 28:1-2: And it
shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently
unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all
his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God
will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee,
if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy
this point forward, we see a sequence of the blessings which came of the
Covenant. But look, now, at the consequences of walking away from the Covenant.
Consider this small part of those consequences:
Deuteronomy 28:15, 29: But it
shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy
God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee
this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
And thou shalt grope at noonday, as
the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt
be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.
if Israel failed to serve God, the judgment that came upon them and the bondage
they fell into would also show to the world what happens to folks who live
outside of a relationship with Him.
is a key phrase in verse 29, however, that needs to be paid attention to: “and no man shall save thee.”
it? “No man…!” What God is saying to Israel is that His Covenant with them
stands no matter what! No amount of human flesh or its endeavors will intervene
to save them from the bondage they are in, BUT, if they will turn back to Him,
He will save them and deliver them from the oppression of their enemies.
is a Covenant which stands the test of time! That is a Covenant which says to
the world, Israel has a Covenant relationship that ensures their deliverance
whenever they turn to Him, whenever they repent of their wayward ways, whenever
they once again acknowledge Him!
Folks, is the Covenant of Salt! It ensures that Israel would continually be a
representative of the nature and character of God, that they would perpetually
be a people in whom the presence of God will provide the savor and preservation
of those who are around them.
that brings us back to Jesus’ statement, “In the
same way that salt personifies the need for seasoning, protection from spoilage
or rotting, and preparation for soil to produce; in the same way that salt
represents wisdom and grace in one’s speech and behavior, you are that grace
and wisdom, that seasoning and protection for the world.”
WE are the new
Covenant of Salt in the earth! As representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, we
are in Him, and He is in us.
We, therefore, become
His presence in the earth.
We become His
presence in our communities, among our families, among our friends and business
We become His presence
in the business world.
We become His
presence in government.
and on it goes! By the same token, just as there were consequences for the
nation of Israel when it abandoned its covenant with the Lord, Jesus makes it
clear — without threatening us — that if we fail in our responsibility to be
His Salt — His life-changing Presence — that we can be cast aside.
a statement that needs clarification. This is not some threat that we lose out
on our eternal Salvation, but it DOES mean that we will miss our intended
destiny and the Plan of God in our lives. Everyone of us have a Plan laid out
before us by the Lord.
Spirit leads, He nudges us, He pricks us, He quickens us, but He does NOT force
us; and if we fail to follow His plan and design in such a way that God’s Glory
is seen in us, we can be passed over and our assignment given to someone who
will respond to His leading.
continue this discussion next week.
I remind those of you in need of ministry that our Healing
Prayer Call takes place on Mondays at 7:00 PM Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Once
again, the number to call for healing is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access
At the same time, in case you are missing out on real fellowship
in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship
gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific.
That conference number is (559) 726-1300, and the access code is 308640#. We
hope to make these gatherings available by Skype or Talk Fusion before long.
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