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Focusing  on  the  Image:   The  Beatitudes

It is claimed that God is love.  Stepping more carefully through the eight beatitudes teaches how to grow and become like His Image of love.  What is that Image of love and how does it act?  In practicality, we should not only be able to act in the image of God, but also see God work apart from human power, too.  We can find if God really works, or is only a fanciful idea about love.  Through the interconnected step-wise beatitudes which build one upon the other, we can become the best of all experiments for testing to see if God really works.  The beatitudes are the ‘gospel in a nutshell’.


Contents:

 How  is  the  Image  of  God  seen  in  the  Beatitudes?

- The  first  and  last  Beatitudes:   bring  relationship  with  the  Image,  for  hope  and  love
- How  do  the  Beatitudes  Work  Together?


 The  first  half  of  the  eight  Beatitudes  - -  Images  Form  a  Story  of  Growth  -  -  

- The  first  beatitude:    really  knowing  yourself
- The  second beatitude:    faith
- The  third  beatitude:    teach-ability
- The  fourth  beatitude:    growing  toward  true  and  just  justice


 How  the  Beatitudes  Support  Memory  and  Maintain  Actions

- The  Beatitudes  are  an  integrated  story  line,  for  remembering  and  doing  the  Image
- Three  Steps:    In  -  Become  -  Out
- B4 - The  transition  From  The  First  Four  B’s,  to  The  Repeating  Parallel  Last  Four  B’s
- Stop  awhile  to  view  vast  stars  in  the  big  night  sky,  prior  to  the  last  four  beatitudes.


 The  second  half  of  the  Beatitudes:   relations  among  peoples  -  beginning  with  B5

- The  fifth beatitude:  Mercy  given,  mercy  received.   Mercy  me,  please. 
- The  sixth  beatitude,  Forgive  and  Forget:    How  to  do  it  -  the  parallel  second  step -  - 
- The  seventh  beatitude:   finishing  the  training  for  good  relations  with  neighbors  -

- The  eighth  beatitude:  having  done  all  to  stand  -  You  will  stand


The  Image  empowers  our  wheels  of  action,  to  meet  our  roads  of  life

- If  frustrated  about  life,  then  step  backward.    The  first  beatitude  is  essential  for  all.
- Foolish  strength  and  wise  weakness
- Where  not  to  live  or  travel:    autocratic  lands

- Bad  consequences  from  the  Source:    The  eight  Woes



A  Source  of  the  New  Testament  Beatitudes  is  the  Old  Testament  Ten  Commandments.


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See the ‘Ten Commandments’ at the site navigation.
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  How  is  the  Image  of  God  seen  in  the  Beatitudes?

 - The  first  and  last  Beatitudes:   bring  relationship  with  the  Image,  for  hope  and  love

 It is claimed that God is love.  What is that Image of love?  Stepping more carefully through the eight beatitudes teaches us how to grow and become like His Image of love.  In practicality, this means that we should be able to see God work apart from human power, too, not equating human power to God. 

 We can find if God really works, or is only a fanciful idea about love.  It is the best of all experiments.

  It is good to look at the end of the beatitudes story, first.  It gives the ultimate light for our hope.   The eighth beatitude states, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”.  But, no one desires persecution.  Yet, people or nations who strive for a more just world will be persecuted.  The beatitudes mature so that we remain standing, when persecuted.  The eighth beatitude promises “… for theirs is the kingdom of God”.  People or a nation of peoples will not get knocked down by tough situations.  These people bless, and know what to do.  These steps are dynamic practical truths that mature people to become like the Image, and to survive and flourish. 

 When there is a conflict at home or at work, then we can remember to be like the Image.  The first beatitude states “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”.   But, before looking more at how this type of poverty blesses, it will be helpful to understand how these literary stair steps work together in the whole.  They are written in a format for memory, meant for daily use. 

 - How  do  the  Beatitudes  Work  Together?

 The first and last beatitudes are similar.  Only the first and last beatitudes have the statement, “… for theirs is the kingdom of God”.  They act like bookends that frame a training course for life, found within the other six beatitudes, between.  They are very important to help us to begin and end well. 

 Sections of the book of Matthew relate to specific beatitudes, to give further examples and stories that connect us toward the likeness found in each beatitude.  The beatitudes set eight steps as a key to help people remember steps of change, and thereby relate stories of change to their daily life experiences.
 

All eight beatitudes have a first and second part, like a stair riser and runner that forms a step.  For example, “Blessed are those who are poor in spirit ….”, and second“… for theirs is the kingdom of God”.  The first part of each beatitude is for us to do, and the second part is what God promises to do to form an Image in relationship with humankind.  The second parts of the six core beatitudes all have phrases in the future tense, “… for they shall be (__________)”, as a promise from God.  These steps interconnect to form a staircase of training.  Each “shall be” promise leads to the next beatitude.  The second half of the promise is developed as we train in the first half of the following beatitude.  By following successive instructions, the promises become reality.  This is how we are guided to become like the Image, for our being “blessed”.  Each step affects our lifestyle in particular ways, and gives growth that becomes the basis for subsequent steps.  The first beatitude introduces beatitude two.


The  first  half  of  the  eight  Beatitudes  - -  Images  Form  a  Story  of  Growth  -  -

- The  first  beatitude:    really  knowing  yourself
- The  second beatitude:    faith
- The  third  beatitude:    teach-ability
- The  fourth  beatitude:    growing  toward  true  and  just  justice
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 - The  first  beatitude:    really  knowing  yourself

 The first beatitude begins, “Blessed are those who are poor in spirit ….”,  People who are poor in spirit are not unrealistically “proud in spirit”.  Some Bible translations use “humble” in place of “poor in spirit”.  The word humble means to be abased somewhat like lowly earthy “humus”, which word shares the same etymological root as the word “humility”.  Being humble and real about weaknesses abases people.  It is the requirement for basic change.  Truth for us about the “… kingdom of heaven” needs a solid foundation upon which to build.  Unless we see light at the end of the tunnel, we will tend to not face weaknesses, but cover them up.  The hope is in the second part of the first beatitude:  “… for theirs is the kingdom of God”.   We need to let the Image shine.  Humility opens the gate so that we should enter training course for growth in the beatitudes.  We must be real about weaknesses. 

 - The  second beatitude:    faith

 The second beatitude is both amazing and daunting.  Its action happens as a result of dong the first beatitude, being humble and real about weaknesses, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  When we are real about things, then there will be pain and mourning.  Being real about weak things takes us back to areas that hurt.  It is here that the Image promises “comfort”.  We are able to access weaknesses for growth when there is strong caring help.  The meaning of the word “comfort” is powerful:  “with-strength” [ con- = with / -fort = forte =  strength ].  It is the strength of God promised for our weaknesses.  He is the Source and Image of true strength for weaknesses.  It is here that we begin to see the Image and the story of the beatitudes affecting change.  The question might be asked, “Why should I access weakness and pain when things seem manageable and okay?”.

 The answer is that if weaknesses and hurts are not covered over, but given support and answers, then life becomes more solid and will survive times when we are challenged to remain standing.  But if weakness and hurt are avoided because we do not have good answers for handling them, then they tend to disallow full growth in life.  And buried weaknesses usually find amazing ways to leak out of their coffins, yet alive to affect us.  Things that trip us up on the road of life usually have a basis here.

 We build upon what has happened in life.  If we are to enjoy full life and stand when the stress of life comes, then we need answers of comfort and under-standing.  This second beatitude connects us to the Source of the Image for comfort.  The promise for comfort is given by our doing the first half of the following third beatitude.  It will be our responsible part for growing to become like the Image. 

 A note about hope:  When life might be so overpowering that we are not able to cope with it in our own strength, then it can be covered with “despair”.  The Latin “desperare” means "stop hoping" [ “spes” = hope ].  Hope begins at the point that we allow the strong Image to shine on our weaknesses.

 - The  third  beatitude:    teach-ability

 The third beatitude directs us how to become strong like the Image. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”.  The word “meek” means trainable and able to be disciplined.  An excellent example of meekness is Moses, the great leader in the Old Testament times.  He was given the title, “… Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” in the book of Numbers 12:3 [ simple:  numbers 1, 2, 3 ].  This accolade was more than a cup with writing on it.  In Egypt, Moses killed an Egyptian to try to bring justice through his own means.  The result was that he fled society, to travel to the sparse back side of desert as a fugitive from the law.  He spent 40 years in training and earning this title.  He became like the Image, usable to guide an enslaved Jewish nation out from Egypt.  He abased himself to reality and weakness, to grow and find stability and usefulness. 

 Rather than the word “meek”, some Bible translations use the word “gentle”.  In English history, a “gentleman” was one who broke and trained  horses, to make them gentle.  A horse’s raw power was turned to purposeful and useable means.  The word was eventually applied to men who had become disciplined, gentlemen.  Like a horse, meek and gentle people remain with their same strength, but are focused and no longer wild, unfocused, and unusable.  They become like the Image so that they enter into the purpose of God on earth.  Things change.  When we are real about life, we submit to training. 

 The second part of the third Beatitude promises a meek person “ … shall inherit the earth”.  This is what people try unsuccessfully do in prior weaknesses and poor power to change!  It is similar to what Moses had initially failed to do in in Egypt though his proud self-sufficiency, but what he did as a result of his training, and another step.  The promise from the Image in third beatitude becomes true as people apply training in the fourth beatitude.  That is the promise and vision.  This is not “self-actualization” alone, but the self becoming like the Image.  It comes by the power of God, not by ourselves alone.  For a nation of peoples, it means a place on earth to exist and thrive; not destroyed.

 - The  fourth  beatitude:    growing  toward  true  and  just  justice

 The first half of the fourth beatitude accomplishes inheritance of the earth promised in the third beatitude through application of previous training, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled”.  In beatitude three, people who became like the Image acted like the Image.  They have come to know how to give righteousness, and they hunger and thirst to do it.  In the New Testament Greek, words translated “righteousness” and “justice” are the same original word.  The variety in translation is done so that reading does not become mechanical and stale.  How does inheritance come?  People who go out in the purpose of the Image to do the righteousness of the Image will inherit as they go.  It is easy to perceive change at this point in the “poor in spirit” person.

  

How  the  Beatitudes  Support  Memory  and  Maintain  Actions

- The  Beatitudes  are  an  integrated  story  line,  for  remembering  and  doing  the  Image
- Three  Steps:    In  -  Become  -  Out
- B4 - The  transition  From  The  First  Four  B’s,  to  The  Repeating  Parallel  Last  Four  B’s
- Stop  awhile  to  view  vast  stars  in  the  big  night  sky,  prior  to  the  last  four  beatitudes.
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 - The  Beatitudes  are  an  integrated  story  line,  for  remembering  and  doing  the  Image

 The sand images are a storyline made from history, song lyrics, and music.  The eight beatitudes are a storyline made from a literary device called parallelism that connects its parts for memory and action.

 Like most people a few minutes after a particularly difficult conversation, you might have wondered  about how you could have simply remembered to have better handled the situation.  The Beatitudes are an interconnected list of how to handle life and mature while doing it.  The eight beatitudes split into two halves after its fourth.  Both halves tell a similar story in parallel, for memory association.

 This is a common ancient associative method of learning.  Most people in ancient times were illiterate and learned audibly.  Both oral and written communications were often formed in parallel stories to associate ideas.  People expected the pattern.  Similar story structures exist today, but we might not fully realize their design for drawing us into the story and aiding our memory.  They are simple and powerful.  This type of parallelism first progresses in three steps, and then is given a second time in a slightly different way, parallel in three steps.  What are the steps, and why are there eight beatitudes?

 The opening beatitude and the closing eighth are not part of the three steps, though they are similar to each other with the common phrase “… for theirs is the kingdom of God.”.  They act like bookends to the central six beatitudes.  These six are given in a three step manner, twice.  Beatitudes [ B’s ] 2, 3, 4 relate in three progressive steps, and B’s 5, 6, 7 similarly relate in three progressive steps.  And since both triads are progressive and similar, the first step, B2, in the first triad will have a common idea with the first step in the parallel triad, B5.  The second step, B3,  in the first triad will have a common idea with the second step in the parallel triad, B6.  Similarly, B4 and B7.  Thus, two parallel stories are made for association in memory.  Best of all, the three-step progression is natural to how we live.

 - Three  Steps:    In  -  Become  -  Out

 First, we take IN the comfort { com - fort = with - strength } of God, as the source of growth for addressing our mourning; second, we BECOME like what we take in, through training [ meekness ]; third, we give OUT what we have become in order to complete our growth, and His will.  IN, BECOME, OUT.  B1 is the basis for all beatitudes:  to be real: poor in spirit about weaknesses, not proud in spirit about falsity.  B2 provides strength for our needs.  The Image of comfort is the source, IN.  B3 helps us BECOME like the Image taken in, inheriting life.  B4 leads the person to go OUT, to act with purpose and passion like the Image in our challenges of life.  We become like the Image.

 In the Bible book of Matthew, the beatitudes are included in sayings of Jesus called the Sermon on the Mount.  The Beatitudes are the organizing pattern to the book of Matthew, its Sermon on the Mount, and other parts.  Step by step, Matthew tells how the God desires that we act in his Image.

 - B4 - The  Transition  From  The  First  Four  B’s,  to  The  Repeating  Parallel  Last  Four  B’s

 The promise not yet addressed in beatitude four is “… for they shall be filled”.  It rests on the first phrase of “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness sake …”.  Doing the first part of B4 allows the promise of B4 to be fulfilled in our doing first part of the following fifth Beatitude, “Blessed are the merciful: ….”  People are filled as they give mercy, similar to love.  People who hunger and thirst for right find themselves in situations where mercy allows them to respond well to people’s weaknesses and needs.  Those people are filled because people respond to their mercy, confirming that they have given things of value.  They have something and are people of value!

 Mercy is a topic that will be looked at in more depth later.  Helpful mercy toward people not only completes the first half of the training program found in the beatitudes one through four, but it also begins the second portion of B5 - B8.  The eight beatitudes split in parallel halves between the fourth and fifth beatitudes, to continue training in a parallel association with slightly different application.

 There is a characteristic change between the first four beatitudes and the next four.  B1 - B5 develop partnerships between God, the Image, and people.  It brings the truth of the Image to us.  It becomes the training foundation for the second four beatitudes which focus on relationships between people and other people.  it is practical for home, neighbors, and nations.  The first portion of the beatitudes might be called a vertical relationship between God and people, from the Source.  The second portion is a horizontal relationship between people, patterned on the Image.  The relationship between the two parallel triads will reinforce how to act, change, and grow:  source IN; BECOME like; OUT like. 

 That the three progressive steps of a triad developed in literature seems natural due to it being seen naturally in all things.  For example within nature, plants take IN light, carbon dioxide, water, and minerals; then BECOME a plant by use of its source materials; then give OUT their modified source materials as oxygen and water vapor.  IN, BECOME, OUT.  In terms of a computer:  source INput  by software, data entry, etc. causes the processor to BECOME the source input; then develop OUTput to the monitor, printer, mill lathe, etc. with proper effect.  All change happens in this three step way.  We get, grow, and give.  The Source In, to Become like the source, to go Out as the source:  the Image.  It is true that only in modern times do we understand the processes of the above examples, but people have always understood that what goes into a person forms them and will be the identity given out.

 - Stop  awhile  to  view  vast  stars  in  the  big  night  sky,  prior  to  the  last  four  beatitudes.

 The bigger picture gives a view about the purpose of the Image for society.  The Image does not tear down some people in order to build-up itself or other people.  The good Image lifts everyone who reflects upon it.  It does not need to subjugate and walk over some people, to draw blood, or give unfair advantage to other people.  People who look to the Image for added guidance and strength become disciplined, with a right sort of justice; and with true independence that exhibits dependence upon added strength from God.  They build and give like God.  But, weak self-imaged people cause conflicts among neighboring nations and tear down people.  They destroy in the name of false images. 

 It is a mistake to think the Image is inconsequential, then become self-sufficient; as self-gods.  People inflict misery and pain on other people in order to cover their own self-weaknesses.  Mourn  about it.

 People and nations that realistically mourn about self-weaknesses will have hope and be blessed with a maturity and strength that understands how to build up other peoples and bring lasting solutions.

 A person might wonder why this Image can be claimed as the Source of goodness, truth, and love.  A way to prove truth is to act out the beatitudes.  Acts” make “facts”, for or against!  These two words have the same linguistic root:  Latin “facere”, “to do” or “to make”.  This is also the scientific method for testing truth.  The first sentence of this paragraph is a hypothesis claim, with substantive material for testing.  It is the beatitudes and material mentioned later.  The words of God are the substantive source materials for testing.  Be sure to follow the instructions.  If you test something not claimed by God as true, then do not expect true results.  Acting on the beatitudes and its related materials will produce facts that either support or deny hypothecated claims about the Image, God:  true or false; to accept or reject.  Each person becomes the testing medium!  Test results should show the Image of God to us.  Importantly, testing allows us to understand God well enough so that we can identify His actions in the world around us.  Then, by rational faith, we join the active God who works.  We must not invent good works and wrongfully call it “God”!  The next beatitude continues the Image process.  


  The  second  half  of  the  Beatitudes:   relations  among  peoples  -  beginning  with  B5

- The  fifth beatitude:  Mercy  given,  mercy  received.   Mercy  me,  please. 
- The  sixth  beatitude,  Forgive  and  Forget:    How  to  do  it  -  the  parallel  second  step -  - 
- The  seventh  beatitude:   finishing  the  training  for  good  relations  with  neighbors  -
- The  eighth  beatitude:  having  done  all  to  stand  -  You  will  stand
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 - The  fifth beatitude:  Mercy  given,  mercy  received.   Mercy  me,  please. 

 The fifth beatitude presents a personal challenge about our being merciful and it ends with the same mercy, Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”   The first part of B5 answers the promise in B4, “… for they shall be filled.”   We are filled with the practice of mercy.  But it is not easily done and will challenge us to the core.  We are “filled” when loving people in hard situations.  Perhaps they are mourning about their own weaknesses and past pain; themselves beginning in the second beatitude.  Through our responsibility to do the first half of B5, we become a channel of strength for people; to give to people who enter the training.  And, various personal situations in life drive us back to the beginning, too, to develop maturity in a new area.  We will need the mercy of God in practicing our endeavors.  It is found in the promise from the Source in second half of B5.  Like B2, it brings strength from the Source, necessary for B6 - B8.

 The transition from B4 to B5 is also a change of focus found in the first four beatitudes and the last four beatitudes.  The first half develops the Image of God in us.  The last half guides in developing relationships among people.  Both halves are parallel.  B5 directs us to be merciful with people who have personal weaknesses and needs for growth.  Thereby, it parallels B2 of the first triad about the comfort of God for our mourning about weaknesses.  In both, God is the Source.  As we give mercy in B5, we are giving truth to need, not rejection or excusing.  That is what love does.

 Often, a person who is very mature in various areas of life is also very stunted in other areas of life.  Perhaps this disparity happens from hurts, or from things previously avoided, or even from simple lack of experience.  The practice of mercy and the second half of four beatitudes will challenge our remaining weak areas.  As B5 - B7 progresses for developing relationship among people, we will often return to B2 through B4 for developing the Image of God in us. 

 The first beatitude remains the essential foundation for all the beatitudes.  If a person would cease from humility-realness, then none of the beatitudes would work.  Since B5 is the first step of the second triad , it similar to B2, the first step of its prior triad.  Their common characteristic is strength from the Source, either comfort or mercy.  The promise in B5 “… for they shall obtain mercy.” is sourced IN from God, as is the B2 promise of comfort.  If people would fail in foundational humility, then they would be not feel the need to dependently source either promise.  Both triads would fail.

 People often love well because they have been real and identified weaknesses needing help from the Image which are similar to the needs of the person requiring mercy.  Having been humble, they have found solutions to their problems.  They know what works.  But, people who do not remain humble toward God will tend to act unwisely, weakly, and without requisite love.  They have not trained to become mature like the Image.  They are prideful and often miserably subjugate other people.  It is typical of tyrants in human history.  And it is typical of people who join with them, to empower them.

 The B5 promise, “… for they shall obtain mercy”, is realized through the sixth beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”.  As a person both gives mercy to people and recycles through B2 to B4 for their own weaknesses, they BECOME more like the Image; pure in their actions and pure before their neighbors.  B6 parallels B3.  We BECEOME more like God.  Purity will help people wisely make good moral decisions that affects economy and lifestyles.  B6 is not only the second step in the second parallel triad, but also the fifth step of the combined triads [ B1 is a foundational opening and not part of the parallel triads. ].  As will be seen later in parallelism from other parts of the Bible, the fifth core step often relates stories about forgiveness.  As parallelism has opening and closing, then this is the sixth step. 

 The act of forgiveness is one of the most maturing concepts to be learned in life, and of which parents can teach children to “become” mature in order to promote lifelong success.  We must understand how forgiveness helps society to “become” mature among its neighbors and nations.  It will also help elucidate the promise of B6 and the following step B7.  After its consideration, we will finish the B’s.

 - The  sixth  beatitude,  Forgive  and  Forget:    How  to  do  it  -  the  parallel  second  step -  - 

 The word for-give is hyphenated here to highlight its root ‘give’.  “For-get” and forgive have a like prefix, “for-” meaning “not” in Latin.  What are we to “not” -  “give and get“?!  Attitudes of “give and take” help make successful relationships.  For receiving B5 acts of mercy, we must B6 purify our attitudes for becoming like the essence of what God does for us.  First, “not-give” what? - hate and rejection, irritation and bitterness, etc.  Second, love gives goodness.  And love gives goodness so that all people affected by the situation receive the greatest amount of goodness possible.  Forgiveness requires thought, problem solving, and planning.  Forgiveness allows an about-face toward give-ness.

 By being alive, we are always giving something:  either good or bad, acceptance and help, or hate and rejection; yes or no.  As a person enters a room full of people, their presence and attitude gives a message that is understood.  What to we give?  For example, when there is a problem at home or at work, what is for-given, so that truth can be given?  Here is a Biblical image: “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”, Lamentations 3:22.  And, Lamentations 3:23, “They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” God forgives what we deserve, so that we can be offered what is needed: truth for life.  How much forgiveness is right?

 In the “give and get” of relationship, what are we to for-get; that is to “not-get”?  Forgetting is often thought of as ‘not remembering’.  True, but its meaning is more profound.  We are to “not-get” again the wrong that had been done us!  Forgiveness does not require people to become door mats; to be walked over again.  In order to set a standard, someone must begin it.  People are to “not get” hate and rejection, irritation and bitterness, etc.  This means the other party for-gives, too, so that more badness is not-given and we do not-get the badness!  The beatitudes are about change.  Often, people do not know what goodness looks like until they are shown examples.  And we might not know what goodness looks like unless someone shows us, too!  Be patient, but behavior is to eventually change.

 How can we know if we have truly forgiven?  If we in our own power cannot handle problems and bury them with a covering of false pride, and then wishfully think that they will “never again” affect us, then we have not forgiven.  We know that we have for-given well if we can give goodness to the same or similar problem situations.  Avoid or give.  Perhaps a person or nation who needs forgiveness and your giving of goodness is not realistic nor humble to accept it.  Offering goodness does not mean that it will be accepted.  Perhaps a person has died and cannot receive goodness.  Forgiveness is primarily about not giving hate and wrong, but giving what is needed and right.  It is primarily about the giver.  It secondarily affects receivers.  It wants justice, for ALL.  And as we give, we are matured.

 Forgiveness allows give-ness:  God does not destroy us, but gives truth for life.  People who are real about self-image, and who desire to become like the strong Image, obtain mercy from God.  These people BECOME the “pure in heart” in B6; not hateful in heart.  God continues to give until our sand in the time glass is gone.  At death, forgiveness is no longer available.  Opportunity for humility about falsity and weakness will have passed.  We can actively become part of the story and its purpose, now.

 How do we love?  Beatitude six is step-two of the second triad, for “becoming / training”.  It reaches to the depths of our “Be Attitudes” [ a sound-alike phrase, but without etymology ].  We BECOME more like the Image, to act out as the Image.  ‘Pure-in-attitude’ people are able to “see - understand” the promise of the sixth beatitude.  It will be fulfilled though their doing the first part of the seventh.

 - The  seventh  beatitude:   finishing  the  training  for  good  relations  with  neighbors  -

 The seventh beatitude teaches us how to go “OUT”, to practice who we have become, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”  The promise of the sixth beatitude, “…  for they shall see God.”, is answered as we “see = understand” the purpose of the Image for us:  to be peacemakers.  This is the third step of the second triad, parallel to the third step of the first triad:  hungering and thirsting for righteousness.  But, it is more.  It is also about bringing people to relationship with the Image:  making peace with God.  People need to come in, to become, to go out.

 The first half of the beatitudes develop relationships between us and the Image.  The second half applies that growth to help form relationships between people.  Here, developed skills received from the Image should attract people to desire peace with God.  Neighborly peace first gains experience to understand what makes peace with the Father.  Then making peace involves our understanding how God desires us to inculcate a harmony of common values.  This seventh step is the culmination of much past training and growth.  People need opportunity to go to the Source for growth and maturity. 

 The  eighth  beatitude:  having  done  all  to  stand  -  You  will  stand

 The promise of the seventh beatitude, “… for they shall be called the children of God.”, is realized in the eighth beatitude:  “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  People might think, “Why would I want to be persecuted!”  If you are doing something right for people, community, or society, someone will likely become upset; especially a non-humble individual who cannot stomach the first beatitude.  If you are persecuted for doing well, it probably means that someone else is not doing well.  They feel uncomfortable.  But, if you are not doing anything, the scenery might be peaceful for awhile.  But unrestrained evil often expands to not only visit your home, but to it take over.  Here, you are promised that yours is the kingdom of heaven.

 The children of God do not get knocked over and stepped on by life.  They have been through the training course and know how to remain standing, with God.  Their skills allow the Source of truth to accomplish goodness far beyond their own abilities.  Children hear and do the will of the father, and they experience the Father working.  When people walked in the front door of the first beatitude, theirs was “the kingdom of heaven”.   Now people are strong and mature because they remained in it.

 People who identify with God help other people to do the same.  The word “identity” is helpful.  Its root, “idem”, means the “same”.  Identical twins are the same.  We identify with someone because of the “same” values or characteristics.  We identify objects by their similarities or differences.  And, we identify with the Image because we have become children of the Father, doing the same work as He.

 Both people and nations can have peace and enjoyment.  They can be persecuted and remain standing because they can gain an internal moral gyroscope from the Image that points them toward Him and gives them balance.  They can give help instead of hatred.  They under-stand what stands-under truth; a foundation of reality strengthened by the Image.  They know the difference between good and evil.

 Evil is like noxious weeds growing among a field of good wheat.  Evil is not easily separated.  If the weed is pulled, then the good plant is damaged.  Evil mixes with goodness, to “fuse” with personal and institutional roots, and cause “con-fusion”.  Separation of good and evil is not done by yanking terribly hard at evil, but by producing good wheat heads which eventually can be separated from the weed seed.  What we produce depends on our Image.  Our Image guides our acts to make facts, which can eventually be harvested and separated.  Societal institutions confused with evil need to produce new futures with peacemaking acts.  Do justice.  When a crop of goodness grows among weeds, then there is good substance to work with, while rejecting the rest.  Goodness brings a harvest to separate! 

 The  Image  helps  empower  our  wheels  of  action,  to  meet  our  roads  of  life  -  -

 - If  frustrated  about  life,  then  step  backward.    The  first  beatitude  is  essential  for  all.
- Foolish  strength  and  wise  weakness
- Where  not  to  live  or  travel:    autocratic  lands
- Bad  consequences  from  the  Source:    The  eight  Woes
----------

 - If  frustrated  about  life,  then  step  backward.    The  first  beatitude  is  essential  for  all.

 Are you bearing tasty fruit?  If you might be sour, then focus on the beatitude that fits your situation, then step back one beatitude to consider its supporting role.  For example, if you get knocked down by life and feel B8 weak knees, then go to B7 to ask if you know how to help people make peace with the Image.  If you can correct it, good.  But if confusion remains, then go back another step to check the B6 purity your intent.  If not, do you source the B5 mercy of God, or are you “still”:  not moving?

 If you B5 acts of mercy toward people do not B4 fill you: satisfying your hungers, then do you often cycle from B4 to B2, for comfort?  If so, are you B4 hungry and thirsty for righteousness, or is there no passion to inherit the earth?  If not, are you B3 trainable, to gain strength?  If not, do you mourn in the reality of your weaknesses, to depend upon the strength of God to affect you?  If not, step back to B1 humility about the spirit.  Question if you operate in the kingdom of heaven.  We must enter the door as “poor in spirit” at the first beatitude and never leave it.  This is the residency of the kingdom.

 - Foolish  strength  and  wise  weakness

 We all will be fooled sometime.  We can choose wrong turns.  But it is a big tragedy when a person continually fools them self!  Fools fool themselves by not facing facts!  Facts about weakness are painful, because we realize our lack of ability to change.  We must admit dependent need for strength from the Image.  If a person sees weakness, and asks God to become the image of strength, then that allows them to test a claim for truth about life, and centrally:  with a testable hope based upon facts. 

 National memories cause concern for how to “never again” be stepped on, stabbed, and reduced to people’s false images.  National choices have historically been for people to either dwell and dote on national abused histories and weaknesses, or to grow into the ability of the image of God.  Both Hitler and Stalin acted on weak self-sufficient images, with many supporting followers, but done to preserve themselves, alone.  If we would follow leaders who call evil as right and weaknesses as strength, then our image remains stunted and immature; guiding ourselves, alone.  They step up, over people, rather than lifting people.  Where is the true Image?  There is maturing strength and uplift through following the Image!  It guides us to passionately desire justice and making peace.  Its steps are a real process.

 When there is pain, individual people or nations of peoples, can create fanciful false images.  Such images lack humility, then subjugates its neighbors.  Hubris avoids weakness, to grow a bigger head rather than a strong body of character.  It is based in anger, but more foundationally, anything without uplift comes from a false image.  Using an example, Eurasia is a land of historic crossroads bringing bloodshed, with a history of being invaded and invading.  People have suffered horrific campaigns of bloodshed, stepping on neighbors internally and nations externally, created by self-insufficient weak over-inflated big-head images which grind upon needs of healing pain in Europe and Asia.  Perhaps pain manifests as controlling a boarder nation, to develop a self-protective buffer from hurt, rather than face hurt with strength from the Image.  We must gain the greater power of the caring Image.

 There is one inalienable human right that supports all other rights:  to be lifted:  loved.  The Image never put some people down in order to lift itself up or other people up!  If we look to the Image, we will B3 meekly learn and shall inherit the earth, as we B4 hunger and thirst for righteousness-justice. 

 The Image lifted all people who would allow it.  All people have the right to love, to be lifted so that the most amount of goodness can be accomplished, considering all people who are affected by our actions.  The invalid image must put some people down, and invalidate them rather than lift them; to blame them rather than face facts; to cause pain rather than feel unbearable personal pain in their own weak strength.  Where is hope in darkness?  Consider the bright Image than shines within a universe of hope.  If we see the Light and our darkness, and mourn about it, then we will receive strength, be taught, inherit, and hunger and thirst for right, to be filled full with mercy beyond ourselves.  We will forgive and give, because we will have become peacemakers like the Image; people not tempted to walk in ways that depresses humanity’s hope, or lift self.  Ours will be “… the kingdom of heaven.”

 - Where  not  to  live  or  travel:    autocratic  lands

 Land is essential to life.  Raw solid earth gives a home on which to raise families and work.  The Fatherland, including people who exercised poor weakened images to foment the Great Patriotic War, can produce lasting goodness.  People of a Motherland who became bloodied by following leaders, can give uplift and give families hope for their futures.  Become like the good Image:  Be B1 humble about B2 weaknesses; to B3 learn truth; to B4 promulgate truth, and then be B5 merciful with truth, to purely B6 forgive and then give.  Then we will B7 make peace.  We will not be led into temptation, to make mayhem.  We must become earthy, humble as soil humus, before we will accept guidance.

 Humility and wisdom can buffer people from evil more than can land!  It offers peace and security.

 Love skills are from the God of love.  He is right about goodness.  His goodness lifts us to Rights.

 Europe, Asia, Africa, Americas, Southern Seas, and peoples around the world develop images amid hard challenges.  Give goodness.  Matured people of the Image have learned how to stand tough though persecution, and how to “not-give” hate.  They survive evil whippings of history, and most importantly, they do not whip history!  Definition:  Love … gives … the most amount of goodness … by considering ALL people and things affected by its giving actions.  God came to the Earth as Jesus, to love:  forgive, and give His sacrifice, so the total available goodness will lift up all humble people.

 What is goodness?  What is right and wrong?  Sin is doing wrong; a wrongdoing that results from acting independently, apart from the Image.  What is evil?  That which leads to curses, with Woes.

  - Bad  consequences  from  the  Source:    The  eight  Woes

 The eight maturing beatitudes steps are located in the Bible book of Matthew, chapter 5 is not a unique list in Matthew.  There is another version of these eight steps, called the “Woes” at Matthew 23:13 - 30, five chapters from the end of the same book.  The Woes are eight steps that end in destruction.  They parallel each step of the beatitudes in an opposite way.  They are anti-beatitudes.

 Jesus pronounced Woes upon corrupt leaders of His day, and people who rejected the Image and beatitudes.  The Woes give a stark comparison for how evil persons and their societies develop.  Reading the Woes is somewhat like reading newspaper articles about evil in modernity.  The Woes show actions and characteristics of people who live from their own self-independent images, and thereby hurt people and society. 

 The word “beatitude” means “blessed” and the word “woe” means “cursed”.  Both words have the same divine force of authority in their opposite meanings.  Each beatitude begins with “Blessed are ….”.  Each woe begins with “Woe unto you …”.  The Woes compare their progression to the beatitudes, step by step.  It happens, naturally.  Below, I greatly paraphrase them.

 Woes  to  evil  people:
- -  the full passage is in the Bible - - compare with corresponding beatitudes. 

1 - Matthew 23:13, they never humble themselves to reality and their weaknesses, and are never freed from gnawing pain and hurt.  They never find the humble entry door to the kingdom of the Image.
2 - Matthew 23:14, they devour the needy; [ note:  some Bibles, such as the NIV translation, do not include this verse because of considerations about what are considered reliable “majority” ancient manuscripts.  Some Bibles include it.  The verse also exists in parallel synoptic books, at Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47.  A false void here is more about whether judging ancient “majority” manuscripts as the most reliable, is itself reliable.  Some deficient manuscripts parented many children copies.  The parallel structure of orality and its offspring writings are highly structured, especially as in Matthew. ]
3 - Matthew 23:15,  with self-righteous passion, they guide followers to become more evil than they.
4 - Matthew 23:16 - 22,  they create alluring societal images that are vacant of any meaning and help;

 --------- 5, 6, 7 are parallel to 2, 3, 4

 5 - Matthew 23:23 - they form unmerciful laws, obsess on light matters, and omit weightier matters of justice.  Their light matters are self-focused aggrandizement, leaving Image-focused goodness blind.
6 - Matthew 23:25 - they polish their personal cups holding extortion and excesses; drawing people into them.  When they should have become forgiving and giving, they became duplicitous hypocrites.
7 - Matthew 23:27 - they claim to seek and create beauty, but are children acting out stench and death.
8 - Matthew 23:29 - they give great honor to past social reformers who died for a cause, but then claim themselves righteous when killing people who speak for truth:  “If we had lived in the days of past honored social reformers, we would have defended them!”  They remain in their own self-image.

 Full life, or its emptiness, results from choosing to walk toward the Light of the Image, or not.  If Light allows us to gain hope for a blessed reality and future, then stand for what is right in the Light.


A  Source  of  the  New  Testament  Beatitudes  is
 

           
the  Old  Testament  Ten  Commandments.
 

         -   The  ‘Ten  Commandments’  are  at  the  site  navigation.

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