Matthew 6:33 - :
Matthew 6:33 King James Version (KJV)
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
I thought i would share with you a view of it that you probably have not been taught.
Typically, this verse is used by lost people, religious people, carnal ministers, and barely saved Legalists to try to teach works in place of Salvation.
Let me paraphrase the verse as would a carnal Christian. : "if you live a righteous enough life, and seek God first always, then God will give you more blessings". or " If you work hard enough for God, and put away all your sin, and live holy as you should, then God will not only accept you, but He will bless you as well, abundantly, and let you be a part of His Kingdom".
Have you ever heard this verse preached in this fashion, or in this regard, or similar.?
Ok, well, if so, you were taught wrong, and so, lets give you the verse's meaning so that it will actually seem very simple to understand. See, Saint, the way revelation of the Word works, is that God gives you Light so that a verse makes the most perfect sense, in simplicity, as it should. Both Jesus and Paul were not teaching verbal Calculus.....ok? They were teaching the doctrianal BASICS, in simplicity........So, suddenly, when God's Light comes in....a verse that seems/seemed obtuse, or difficult to penetrate, suddenly seems clear as a bell, and simplified.
That is the word being revealed to your inner man.
So, what is the key to this, to getting the Light, .....? How do you do it, so that verses "pop": and light up, and become easy to SEE ?
Well, very simple. You have to understand Grace. You have to be utterly theologically grounded in Grace .. (Hebrews 13:9) And once you do have the true revelation of Grace, and are grounded.... then most verses in the NT, will become amazingly clear. The best translator of the NT, is The Holy Spirit and GRACE.
So, lets read this verse, thru the revelation of Grace, and you, i hope will SEE it in a way that it makes sense, clearly, in a way that it perhaps didnt before.
Let me take the verse in parts...
1. "seek first the kingdom of God". And what is this all about? Well, think of the verse as directed towards a person who is seeking God, and is not yet saved, and wants to be...
God is saying..."seek my Kingdom".......by faith.
2. "and His Righteousness"........ so once again, this is an admonition to SEEK after God and His Righteousness...
How do you find God? You SEEK. You KNOCK. You BELIEVE the Gospel..
3. """and"", here this word is used like this. 1+1 EQUALS something..... Like this. let me paraphrase....."if you seek My kingdom and My righteousness (not yours) but MINE.....by Faith, then i will SAVE YOU, and you will become born again, and then ..........here is the 1+1 EQUALS.........."I God will ADD these , both of them, to you, as yours". = I will save you. You will become born again, and this blood atonement creates you to be now a part of the Kingdom of God and you will receive my RIGHTEOUSNESS.
This verse is an admonition to believers and an offer to unbelievers..........very unique... God is explaining what to SEEK, and by Seeking He will GIVE THEM.... 1. Righteousness 2. Kingdom of God.........to the SEEKER. by Faith..... if the seeker is Lost.
So, now look at the verse..... this way......... "If by faith, you will seek ME and MY Righteousness, and my Kingdom (same thing), i will give them both to you, .. i will make them a part of you, and you a part of them"...(both of them will be ADDED to You)..
And someone says....."ok, but why did you only direct this verse's POV at, towards, an unsaved person"?
Well, its because if you are born again, you are already God's righteousness and you are already "translated from Darkness to Light", = and are already a part of the Kingdom of God. IN other words, you already have it, both God's righteousness, and God's Kingdom of Light, (Kingdom of God) and that is why you , the born again, are referred to as "Children of the LIGHT"....
But the unbeliever, does not have the righteousness of God, nor are the yet a part of the Kingdom of God, BUT, if they will SEEK, (By Faith) Yeshua, and believe, then God will add to them, the offer He is offering in the verse.
Before reading, just know that is a long text, and may seem like something ridiculous and not needing to bother with to most of y'all, but this means a lot to me, and I keep hoping to find answers, but can't find any, so that's why I'm here...
Hey, Everyone! I am fairly new to this Forum and excited to be a part of it! I was born into the faith, and have been a Christian my entire life (I'm 17 years old, lol). It wasn't until around I was about 12 or 13, though, that I began to become more interested in Christianity and the Bible, and at the age of 15, I discovered Apologetics, which helped me retain my faith that I was struggling with at the time. Thanks to that, I now have learned much more about Christianity than I ever thought I would, and I am so happy to know that Christ is Lord and that I am a Follower of Him!
So y'all are probably wondering "what does any of this have to do with Tupac Shakur, as named in the title?" Well, that's where the questions come in.
For any who don't know, Tupac Amaru Shakur (1971-1996) was a rapper who went by the stage names MC New York, 2Pac, and Makaveli. He was born in New York, and then moved to Maryland where he attended the Baltimore Academy of Arts (I believe that's what it is called), but then moved to California at the age of 17, where he was introduced to the drug and ghetto culture, where dealing, gang violence, sex, and robberies were frequent and even promoted. He was brought up as a thug, due to this, and incorporated this message in many of his songs.
Unlike many rappers today though, when Tupac rapped about drugs and crime, he didn't do it in an attempt to glorify them, he did it to show the consequences of dabbling with them and tried to show those that didn't live that lifestyle, what it's like to live it. Tupac even made songs that, to me, were very powerful. His songs such as: Changes, Dear Mama, Brenda's Got A Baby, Until the End of Time, etc. are enough to make one tear up (I did with Brenda's Got A Baby). Me, being born into the ghetto and being raised in a household of domestic violence, I began to feel extremely attached to his music and his message. I began to binge several of his interviews, videos, albums, films, etc. It got to the point to where he felt like a friend of mine, or even, family.
Then, I saw an interview where he was asked his religious views, and this is where it gets downhill. His songs and poems show that he was an extremely strong believer in God, but when he is asked about what he follows, he responds, stating that he believes that if you are good in your heart and do good things, then you are closer to God. But if you're evil in your heart and do bad things, then you're closer to the Devil. But he then went on to say that the Bible, he believes, was made by a person who wanted to find a way to control people. He says that the Bible says that certain people (prophets, patriarchs, etc) are good because they suffered a lot. He then went on to say that he got shot 5 times, and that he was 'crucified' by the media, and he 'walked through with the thorns on', and he told the thief (probably someone in the jail he was in) that 'this ain't supposed to happen, I'll come back for you.' Then he clarified by saying that he ain't saying he's Jesus, but that people go through that type of 'stuff' everyday. He then went on to attack a lot of what he sees as selfishness by megachurches and gigantic cathedrals who won't help homeless people who need God (although I don't have an issue with that point). During this interview, he was quick to make sure that he wasn't trying to disrespect anyone's beliefs, and that these things he's saying are simply his opinions only.
This broke my heart. I thought Tupac, someone who I see as an inspiration, was a full on believer! I began to overspeculate, and came to several conclusions, one of which was that Tupac wasn't being entirely truthful in the interview, as he does have different tones with different interviewers, and that he truly did believe in the Bible, but then I felt like I was lying to myself. There several factors that contribute to my continued belief that Tupac was a Christian. Such as:
- He had a giant tattoo of a cross on his back
- He had a tattoo of a cross, along with Jesus' face, with the words "Only God Can Judge Me" on his arm
- His most frequently worn necklace was a necklace of a cross
- He was extremely close to his mother, who was a very devout Christian, who even claimed that the group she was in (Black Panther Party) failed because they didn't involve God
- In many of his songs, he implements Christian tones: "Hail Mary", "Only God Can Judge Me", "Black Jesuz", "Ghetto Gospel", "I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto"
- Many of his lyrics point to a Christian belief:
"Father please forgive me for my life of sin, my hard stare seems to scare my sister's kids.." (Until the End of Time)
"Get on yo knees to pray, Oh Lord, Help me change my ways, and show a lil mercy on judgment day, it ain't me I was raised this way.." (Hell 4 a Hustla)
"Is there a ghetto in heaven or do I go to hell?" (Gotta Survive)
"Picture a world where black babies can survive past five, but we must keep hope, quotin the reverend from the pulpit.." (Everything You Own)
"Question for the Lord, why don't He like me, please guard my soul" (High Speed)
"Just another lost soul stuck callin Jehovah.. Father how the hell did I survive these five shots?" (All Out)
"and I wonder if the Lord ever heard of me.." (Po N*gga Blues)
"and I pray to black Jesus to please take the rest of me.." (As The World Turns)
"Before I go to sleep I pray and thank the Lord for another fruitful day.." (F*ckin with the Wrong N*gga)
"Dear God I been feeling like I'm close to Jesus.." (Catchin Feelings)
"And God said He should send His one begotten son
to lead the wild into the ways of the man
Follow me; eat my flesh, flesh and my flesh" & "Catch me father please, cause I'm fallin," (Hail Mary)
"Cry later but for now let's enjoy the laughter
God bless the dead" (God Bless the Dead)
"Dear Lord..How can I survive? Got me askin white Jesus
will a brotha live or die, cause the Lord can't see us
in the deep dark clouds of the projects, ain't no sunshine
No sunny days and we only play sometimes" (Still I Rise)
"Keep yo' head up and try to keep the faith
And pray for better days" (Better Dayz)
"Searchin for Black Jesus
It's hard, it's hard
We need help out here
So we searchins for Black Jesus
It's like a Saint, that we pray to in the ghetto, to get us through" (Black Jesuz)
"Who do you believe in?
I put my faith in God
Blessed and still breathing
And even though it's hard
That's who I believe in
Before I'm leaving
I'm asking the grieving
Who do you believe in?" (Who Do You Believe In)
These things often comfort me. In regards to Christianity, the closest he ever came to "insulting" it, is saying that the Bible wasn't "written by God". He harshly criticized pastors, priests, and especially televangelists, but he never once, not once, ever spoke bad about Jesus Christ. And even though he didn't hold the Bible in the same regard as we do here, he never insulted any prophet or person in the Bible that is shown as good.
What's strange though, is that, in an interview after this, Tupac, while acting in a movie called "Gang Related", states that his faith is in "Black Jesus" and that he has "been gifted by God, by Black Jesus". Here, Tupac refers to Jesus as God, (the reason he uses the term "Black Jesus", is because he wants to make it clear that he doesn't have the same thought pattern as WASP Christians) (also, note that this interview isn't part of the movie, lol).
In an interview with MTV (I believe this was his last interview before he was eventually shot and killed), he compares Judas' Betrayal to his competition in the music industry. I don't remember what he said exactly, but it's easy to find online, and it's very short.
After he was shot, he didn't die on the spot, but instead, fell into a coma and was rushed to the hospital, where he was alive for about 3-6 days until he eventually died from his wounds. During this time, he was visited by his mother, Afeni Shakur, and his aunt, Gloria Cox, both of whom were devout Christians, and they had with them, in Tupac's hospital room, an Evangelist, who was Tupac's aunt Gloria's cousin, who visited Tupac all the time and prayed over him, and also put oil over him and put a healing cloth on him, while he was still shot up and unconscious, but still alive. He eventually passed away, with the last ones seeing him pass on, being his mother and aunt.
Now some of y'all may have a question of your own when reading this: "Why do you care so much?". Well, because I feel extremely close to Tupac, and he touched on so many things that meant a lot to me, and what he said are things that I very much relate to. He feels kind of like a best friend, or even a brother sometimes. I don't let this cloud my judgement, though, as there are aspects of him that I don't agree with. I don't want to follow the life he lived, and I believe that Biggie handled their feud in a much more mature manner and tried to calm people on both sides down, whereas Tupac, due to growing up in the ghetto and already being shot 5 times, became extremely paranoid and reacted somewhat militantly (though, only verbally, not physically). But as Tupac said, he didn't want to be seen as a role model, but instead, show the world what he alone was like.
With all this being said, there are some questions I have regarding this.
1) Tupac promoted songs and messages of righteousness, with some gangsta-type themes, only so he could connect and reach out to the people who lived in ghetto hood areas. First and foremost, 2Pac believed in helping the poor, and fought for those who couldn't, but often times his anger did get the best of him, and he would act out on it, but then regret it later on. ~ Does this make him more of a no good thug rather than someone who can be seen as good?
2) Despite him not believing the divine context of the Bible (at least not at the time of the interview), do you think he could still be considered a Christian? He held a very strong and firm belief in God, and believed in the teachings of Christ as well. His Gang Related interview shows him calling Black Jesus, God. Maybe he could've been what is called an "Agnostic Christian"? What is the minimum requirement to being called a "Christian"?
3) Would you say that Tupac made it into Heaven? Or that it seems like He could've? He did exactly what Jesus taught people to do in His Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, but he didn't seem to believe in Biblical authority, but he did refer to Jesus as God. This means he took Him as his "Lord", but I'm not sure if he then also took him as his "Savior". His body art and songs seem to show a promotion of Christian belief, though. I remember reading about King Solomon who was once righteous in the Eyes of God, but then turned to idolatry and had several women as his wives and concubines. I don't think Solomon would've landed in Hell though, so I don't think that what Tupac did, would've landed him in Hell (but I'm not the one to make that judgement).
Sorry for seeming somewhat dramatic, and over thinking the faith and actions of one man, but the reason I do this, is because I love Tupac and I genuinely care about his condition and his faith. If there's anyone here, especially a fan of 2Pac who may also know about his life, who can give an answer, then as Tupac said in Dear Mama, "you are appreciated". I kindly ask for as many answers that can be received as possible. Thank you, and God Bless!
By Jonathan BeWell
The secular world keeps yelling, “Don’t judge me.” Well, I maintain that we must discern with the Holy Spirit and warn people of their fate in hell if they do not repent. Christ did.
30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Matthew 5:30 King James Version (KJV)
39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
John 9:39-41 (KJV)
When Jesus returns, I believe he will execute righteous anger on the world.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 24:48-51 (KJV)
Christ comes for more reasons than to love and save. Believe, repent and reap good consequences in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour of the world.
Sometimes a believer finds that they are not happy/content/satisfied within their heart.
This didnt happen to them overnight, but rather it happened over time, gradually.
One day they realized that they have not felt peace, or contentment, or hope,.......... in a while.
So what happened. >>>> ???
Well, often its a very simple situation. Common..... And this is...... that you are a person of real faith, who really committed to Jesus at one point. You were all in. totally offered, totally submitted, devoted, sold out.
And when you were this, when you were that person, this is the REAL YOU, this is your NEW IDENTITY "In Christ".. = you came to live within a born again place in God, a shelter and foundation in Christ, that removed you pretty much from the world. This is your "spiritual first love", and that is how it feels when you are in that place of submission and heart willingness.
There was that time when all that mattered was Jesus. He was not just a name to you, or a distant figure on a cross, but He had become your wholeness, your inner completeness, your joy.
But now, you dont find this to be who you are, anymore. You feel so different. So, its time that you go back to who you really are, who you are remade to be, by the Father thru Christ.
So, simply, the problem is....once you have tasted the heavenly gift, the goodness of God, (born again) and have known this complete inner sense of wellness & of wholeness ......then if you slip away from this spiritual position, you will eventually really miss it.
Understand....that once you are no longer living and walking in the light, then you are living in the dark, and when you are there you won't realize what has happened to you, until you DO realize it.
See, spiritual darkness is a veil over your mind, and because it veils gradually, you really don't notice it as you enter into more and more of the dark.
And when you are truly back in the dark, you start trying to fill your "Jesus void" with stuff...with activities, with TV, with everything that the eye can find to want to do. And when your inner diet becomes completely again all that the world has to offer you, you will eventually, if you are a true child of God, find yourself feeling empty, lifeless, unhappy..... Joyless. As all these feelings are the fruit of the inner man, when the inner man is feeding on the diet the dark world offers.
Saint, the world offers you 3 feelings. Fleshy carnal fleeting happiness. A complete lack of satisfaction. And absolutely no contentment. Do you feel any of this, or all of this?
Jesus is the opposite of all those, and what He imparts into you, is not only the remedy for those negative feelings, but a God created Joy and Wholeness and Wellness in your inner being that the world does not understand and can never provide.
WE the born again are referred to as a "peculiar people", (in some NT versions) and that is how the world SEES us, because we do not live for the world, yet, we live in it. So, to the unbeliever, this is odd, this is not "normal" regarding their POV.
So, if you are connecting with what im saying right now, then that is what has happened or is happening to you, IF....... you are the one who is hearing me right now.
So, Saint..... to remedy this situation, to DEPART from this dark place that you are become inside yourself, you have to realize that you are not who you are in there....... and that is why you can't find the peace you want in your heart for a while now.
The real peace you want is found and is kept when you are back to who you are, back to the place of endless wholeness and joy. Back to the loving arms and tender care of Jesus. Back to "first love". And you cannot ever again be satisfied or content with anything less. And when you try, you will always feel empty, and you will always feel wrong.
Jesus is the Light, and He leaves it on for you all the time. Its where you belong now and forever.
"having a form of godliness"
So. what is this? What is this AS compared to being saved - born again?
Its very simple....
a "form of godliness" is religion. All Religion. All Religion is a "form" of Godliness that isn't actually true Godliness. And what is the difference between Religion and Christianity? Well, Religion is man's self effort to touch God or become God. Whereas Christianity is God coming to Man, as a divine Man, to take man back home. Religion is man's self righteous effort to get in touch with God, and Christianity is God on a Cross touching humanity with the Blood of Jesus, the Righteousness of God, and the Love of God..
Its, "self righteousness", which is Religion. Look at that phrase..."self righteousness"......"self".."right'.......trying to make "self" "right" with God.......by SELF. (Legalism) By works, by lifestyle, by commandment keeping, and worrying about keeping the law to TRY to make "self" = "righteous".
See it? All Religion is an effort to ither become Divine, or to join Divinity, by SELF RIGHTEOUS EFFORT... = trying to make "self" "right"......= Self-Righteousness. = Religion.
And THAT.......all that is Religion, and it is what 2nd Timothy is defining as "a FORM of Godliness", that "denies the Power of God".
So, what is the Power of God that imparts Godliness? It IS the only and sole means and method that causes you to become born again. This is being SAVED.... This is...God giving you HIS very Righteousness, which is the defining idea you are to comprehend so that you perfectly understand WHAT the Power of God is, exactly and in Truth.
The power of God, is the ability of God to recreate you as a "new creation" "in Christ". So, this, once applied to you, is not a "form of Godliness", ... Its not self righteous effort .....Its not Religion, and its not something that you can do for yourself. Its something that God did for you on a Cross and then offers this Power, this Redemption, this BLOOD ATONEMENT, as a "free Gift", and when you by Faith trust in Christ, God then delivers the literal Power of God thru Christ that recreates you as born again and a "new Creation in Christ".
"A form of Godliness" is Religion..... is Legalism....is trusting in SELF, instead of trusting totally in CHRIST to save you and keep you saved.
Listen....if you are not trusting in Christ Alone to keep you saved, then you are not really trusting in Christ. Thats a fact.
Real Godliness is Redemption. Real Godliness is God making you righteous and keeping you righteous, = through the Blood of Jesus.
"A form of Godliness" is a person trying to be good enough, live holy enough, or reach high enough by self righteousness, as THEIR RELIGIOUS EFFORT to become one with God, and in doing this they are "denying the real power of God" which is......The Cross and God as Christ on it as total eternal Redemption offered as a free GIFT...= "the GIFT of Righteousness". . = (Grace).