Reading 2 – Sabbath, December 2, 2006

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5.
By Tzvetan Petkov, U.S.A.

Meekness is an important part of the divine character and will be part of the character of all who inherit the new earth and the heavenly kingdom. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:29. “The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.” Psalm 22:26.

To understand true meekness and its importance, we want to see what “meek” really means. The Greek word translated “meek” in Matthew 5:5 comes from the root word praeis, meaning “mild,” “gentle,” and “soft.” A meek person is gentle, tenderhearted, patient, and submissive. Synonyms for “meekness” are “mildness” and “gentleness.” In general, the term “meekness” describes people who submit their own wills to the judgment of the Lord and are ready to accept everything, good or bad, as the will of the Lord.

Do not resist evil

“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matthew 5:39.
One of the most important aspects of meekness is the willingness to submit to the will of God and to be part of His army on this earth. The Lord fights and overcomes evil through the influence of goodness and love. To be sons and daughters of our Father in heaven, we need to pray for our enemies and not hate them.
“If any man will sue thee at the law,” the Lord stated in the Sermon on the Mount, “and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:40–45.

In the time of the apostolic church, Christians did not oppose Roman persecution with violence. They were tortured and killed before the eyes of the multitude, but the very example of meekness and love converted unbelieving spectators. Every drop of Christian blood became gospel seed – and produced fruit.

The history of God’s church is written with the blood of its martyrs. In all ages, God has His faithful children. The faithful remnant of the church of God, during the world wars, preferred perishing as martyrs to compromising with sin. Even now, their examples of meekness and sacrifice have the power to attract earnest believers. In our modern time, in Rwanda, Burundi, and other war-torn areas, for example, faithful members of God’s church have died as martyrs.

The righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ enables His followers to obtain His character, including meekness, which becomes visible in times of trial. Christ Our Righteousness is not a theory, nor a clever theological definition, but power from heaven revealed in action. Revelation 12:11 mentions some of the important attributes of those who will be saved. “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

Faithful followers of Christ do not fear death because they have the love of God in their hearts. Nothing can take from them the faith and the wonderful hope of eternal life kept before their eyes. Like Abraham, they long for the heavenly home. With the apostle Paul, they can say: “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:39. The Holy Spirit and the holy angels comfort the followers of Christ. Do you want to be one of them?

Recognize the true enemy

“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.” 1 Corinthians 9:26.
To understand and exem-plify meekness, we need to have always before our eyes the true enemy of our souls. The apostle Paul stated in the verse above that he did not want to waste energy in his spiritual fight. He constantly kept in mind who the enemy is. (Are you and I aware of who our enemy is?) He is identified in Ephesians 6:11, 12. “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

The true enemy is not our brother or sister, not our neighbor, not even the unbeliever who mocks our faith. Millions of ignorant people of different denominations blindly follow their faith and conviction without knowing the present truth. The second and third angels’ messages declare that Babylon is fallen. All members of the apostatized churches are in terrible danger. They need to be warned and enlightened. The false prophet of Revelation 16:13 and the unclean spirits encircle the world to deceive its inhabitants. Fallen angels make every possible effort to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect. Spiritualism is at work, miracles are performed. Even fire will fall from heaven to deceive poor, ignorant people and prepare them for destruction and eternal death.

Now, as never before, the people of God need to wake up and demonstrate with heavenly power the character of Christ. The true enemy needs to be clearly distinguished. Jesus Christ, dying on the cross, remembered and prayed for His persecutors: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. This magnificent example, the center of our belief, has attracted humanity over the centuries.

An example of goodness and love has strong influence. When king Saul persecuted David, he did not respond with evil for evil. Although the Lord gave the life of Saul into the hands of David several times, he did not take revenge but set an example of goodness and love. The hardened heart of Saul was broken, and he confessed his sins publicly: “Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.” 1 Samuel 24:17. David was tested hard and tempted by his friends, who advised him to kill Saul. David did not want to follow the desire of the flesh but, guided by the Holy Spirit, he left judgment in the hands of the Lord. Do you want to overcome evil? Follow the example of Christ. Meekness is the strongest weapon with which to destroy the bondage of Satan and deliver many precious souls. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” Isaiah 61:1.

Resist the devil

Let us not misunderstand meekness. This quality is not fearful, undecided passivity. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. The daily Christian life is one of hard battles, requiring quick and correct decisions. The war against the enemy of our souls is one of the most severe ever fought. Every single moment we need a clear mind and a spiritual connection with the Holy Spirit.

A believer was asked by his fellow students why he did not use alcohol. The believer answered with a question: “Would you use alcohol if you were driving your car at 200 km/h

[160 mph]?” His friend answered in astonishment: “Of course not!” Then the believer said: “Do you think that it is easier to drive through the streets of life than to drive your car on the highway?”

Alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and other harmful substances affect our minds and the ability to make right decisions. The complete truth of health reform has been revealed to us to keep our bodies and minds in the best condition in order to maintain an uninterrupted connection with our Lord. A wrong combination of foods produces alcohol and often, in very decisive moments, can cloud the mind and stir up our passions. One wrong step in our behavior or words may cause severe consequences for this life and for eternity. Daily Bible study, hours of prayer, and the exercise of obedience to the will of God are the only solution for us sinful men and women.

The Lord Jesus Christ “cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Matthew 21:12, 13. Meekness conflicts with unrighteousness and sin. Christ was meek with sinners while fighting the false teachings and hypocrisy of the Pharisees. True believers need to stand up like a wall against false teachings and the apostasy in the church. We are to be “the pillar of the truth,” “the temple of the Holy Spirit,” “the salt of the earth,” “the light of the world.” We need, as never before, to give the right sound to the trumpet, to preach the present truth without fear and intimidation. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” Psalm 1:1.

The world needs to see the holy character of Christ revealed in His followers. The life of Enoch shone like a burning light before the eyes of his neighbors; he was taken alive to heaven. Moses, well-known for his meekness, led the people of God through the wilderness to the Promised Land and was privileged to speak with God face to face. Solomon humbly submitted himself to the will of God and was rewarded with wisdom greater than anybody else in this earth. John the Baptist left his career as a priest to become an example of faithfulness that reaches to our days.

Do you want to shine like Enoch, Moses, Solomon, and John the Baptist did? Then follow Christ, and pray for His meekness. The meek shall inherit the earth–not this sinful and corrupted world, but the perfect new earth, where all “shall be … righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” Isaiah 60:21.