Kingdom Truth - What is the Kingdom of Heaven in the Bible?
Chapter 8, Part 6
Blessed are he Pure in Heart
To understand the meaning of "pure at heart", we must first understand what heart refers to. The word heart in the Scriptures has a variety of meanings. Sometimes, it means "thoughts", "emotion", "will", "conscience or "psychological function". So to understand the meaning of the word "heart" in the Scriptures, we have to pay special attention and must look at the context in detail. Sometimes, we even have to check both testaments to have a clear understanding. In this case, we need to find other verses to help out. John tells us, "In whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God." (1 John 3:20-21) So who dares to see God? It is one whose conscience does not condemn. God is gracious but when one's conscience condemns, he is afraid of God and cannot see Him. When a child does something wrong, his heart is distressed, he is afraid to see his father's face. In the same manner, if we have faults and our conscience condemns us, we cannot and dare not face God. So the word "heart" here refers to the conscience. If a person's conscience is troubled, his prayers will be hindered and he will lose interest in the sermons, hate the pastor and avoid the brothers and sisters in the Lord. So, would he dare face God? No wonder church leaders must have a "clear conscience" (1 Tim. 3:9)!
"Pure at heart" refers to a clear conscience. If our conscience is unclean, we are unable to have confidence before God. Thank God, when we are saved, our conscience is cleansed by the blood of the Lord Jesus (Heb. 9:14). If we confess our sins, our conscience will no longer condemn us (Heb. 10:2). From that moment on, the function of the conscience is restored. The moment there is unrighteousness, the conscience will condemn us. Are there readers whose conscience is right now condemning you? Is it telling you that you should not do this or that? If so, you should not "conceal your transgressions". The Scriptures say: "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper; but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion." (Prov. 28:13) As long as you are willing to go to the Lord and confess you sins, no matter what kind or magnitude this sin is, it will be forgiven. So never conceal your own sins or ignore them! There are only two ways to deal with sin: one is to confess and hand it over to the Lord. The other is to suppress it into the "subconscious" and in layman terminology to "forget it". All suppressed sins will submerge in your subconscious. Since you suppress it, it cannot rise up. But its bubbles will rise up at various occasions. It will even spill out "refuse and mud" so that your heart will be like a “tossing sea" (Isa. 57:20). It takes a lot of energy to suppress the conscience and that leaves little productive energy. It can even make people sick! Pray that when we discover our sins, we immediately go to the Lord and hand them over. He will remove our sins and make our hearts constantly clean and our desires constantly pure. We can become people who are "pure at heart"! That is why Paul can say, "I have fought the good fight" because "he lived his life through a perfectly good conscience" (Act 23:1).
...for They shall see God
When we "were under the evil one", the god of this world had blinded our minds in order that the glorious light of the gospel of Christ could not shine towards us. So, when we look at the almighty power and divine nature of God which is obvious, we cannot see. The Son of God coming to this earth is like the morning sun shining high above us. It causes us to leave the darkness and enter into the light and to know the one true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent and this is eternal life. We often think that this is equivalent to seeing God. Some commentators would even say, "If we are holy, we shall see God". Such interpretations have departed from the Scriptures. The Scriptures state clearly: "No man has seen God at any time" and "nor seen His form" (John 1:18, 5:17). The reason is that He dwells in unapproachable light (1 Tim. 6:16). No man can see God and live (Exo. 33:20). In Hebrews 12:14, the phrase "will see the Lord" is in the future. Therefore, He wants His only begotten Son to be His glorious light and to reveal Himself to us (John 1:18, Heb. 1:3). This does not mean that we will never see God. The gracious Lord has taught us that if we train ourselves to have a pure heart, when He appears, we shall (in the future) see God -- see Him just as He is (1 John 3:2). At that time, we shall serve Him and "also see His face" (Rev. 22:3, 4). May the Lord give us grace so that we have the character of Kingdom personnel, to behave, live, work and serve with a pure heart. And at His appearing, we shall see His face. What a glorious day it shall be!