THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL FLOURISH

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; 15 To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. Psalms 92:12-15 KJV

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree:
The Hebrew word “flourish” used here means: to bloom or blossom; to spread or grow; to fly (as extending the wings); to break forth; to break out; to spring up. Palm trees are known for their long life. To “flourish like a palm tree” means to stand tall and to live long. The AMP says that the righteous will be: long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful.

Palm trees have been important to humans throughout much of history. They are mentioned nearly 40 times in the Bible. Palm trees are among the best known and most widely cultivated plant families in the world. Palms can be found in every type of habitat, from rainforests to deserts – which means that they can grow almost anywhere. In barren soil palm trees are watered deep at the roots. They are not just functional in providing shade, but practically all the parts of the palm have a useful purpose. The fruit of the palm provided a great part of the diet of the East. Various palms also provide a great variety of usable materials – both in Bible days and now. The various parts of the palm tree produce highly nutritious foods, fruits, oils and syrups, waxes, dyes, medicines, varnish, raffia and palm woods. From the products of the palm tree, you can make furniture, baskets, doormats, brushes, mattresses, ropes, thatching and clothing. In many historical cultures, palms were symbols for victory, fertility, peace and plenty. Palms were laid before Jesus at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

The uncompromisingly righteous will be like a palm tree – long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful! They can grow, flourish and produce fruit anywhere in any conditions!

The righteous shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon:
The Hebrew word, “grow” means: to enlarge – especially upward; to grow; to grow up; to increase. The AMP says that the righteous: shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon – majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible! Cedar trees were very important in Bible days. They have strong, beautiful wood and they were used to build very important and stately buildings, such as temples and palaces. The words cedar, cedars or cedar wood are found nearly 80 times in the Bible.

Cedar trees are large, evergreen trees, which live a very long time and grow very tall. The cedars of Lebanon were particularly large and of the best quality. Cedar trees are common in forest areas that have a good deal of annual rainfall. Cedar trees can live a long time, because the moist habitat they enjoy is relatively free of fire. Their wood is also very resistant to disease. The wood of cedar trees has a very pleasant smell, which comes from natural oils in the wood that are toxic to insects and fungus. These oils do not develop in the younger cedar trees, which often leads to the rotting of their heartwood, resulting in mature trees that have hollow trunks. Cedar trees have been very important to humans for thousands of years. Their wood was used to build buildings, canoes and boats, and other useful items. Their bark was used to make blankets and coverings. Cedar wood is also an excellent source of fuel.

They usually grow to a height of 50 feet, but some grow 80 to 100 or 120 feet tall and can be 30-40 feet around the trunk, thus, they were solid, strong, and immovable. Some are supposed to be 1,000 years old! Cedars express the ideas of majesty, durability, incorruptibility, and stability. The older they get, the better they get!

The uncompromisingly righteous shall grow up like a cedar in Lebanon – majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible. Even though they may face challenges, they keep on going and keep on growing. They are honorable; they are incorruptible; they are solid, stable and immovable; they endure through the years and through the seasons of life; they have withstood the onslaught of sin, devils and demons; they have withstood sickness and disease; they only improve with age; they are clothed with strength and dignity; they will stand before kings; they will be held in honor. The righteous are upright, strong, and unmoved by the winds of circumstance. If you place your faith firmly in God, then you too can have and enjoy this strength and vitality and you will only get better with age!

They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing:
The Hebrew word for “bring forth fruit” means: to germinate; to cause to flourish; to bring forth fruit; to make cheerful; to increase. The word for “fat” means: fat; rich: fertile. The word translated “flourish” here, means: to be green; verdant; new; prosperous; flourishing.

The AMP says that the righteous are: growing in grace – they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall continue to be full of the sap of spiritual vitality and rich in the verdure of trust, love, and contentment. Psalms 1:3 says that the man who trusts in the Lord and delights in His word is, “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” So if you honor the Lord, you will not grow old and weak and sickly and lose your faculties, like the rest of the world. Instead, you can expect to grow stronger; to increase, not decrease; to continue to bring forth fruit; to be fertile and productive and prosperous; and full of joy.

We – the righteous – are living memorials to the goodness of God. Our blessed lives show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises and also show that He is our Rock, and that there is no unrighteousness in Him!

THE UNRIGHTEOUS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephesians 5:1-11 NKJV

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV

We – the believers – are to be imitators of our Father God. Jesus saved us from the world – from sin and from death. He justified us. We are not saved to continue in sin – we are saved FROM sin, to sin no more. Jesus Christ loved us and gave Himself for us – an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. We belong to Him and we owe it to Him and ourselves to follow Him and stay true to Him. Those who have clean hands and a pure heart will see God – they will know Him here on earth and go to heaven when they die – but those who are unrighteous and who practice the works of the flesh and the works of darkness will not see God. The unrighteous and the sinner – the children of disobedience – will NOT inherit the kingdom of God. We were once darkness, but now we are light in the Lord. Now we must walk as children of light and we must expose the works of darkness for what they are.

These classes of people will not inherit the Kingdom of God:

1. Whoremongers or Fornicators (the immoral)
Greek: pornois – Fornicator; whoremonger; male prostitutes; libertines – persons who are morally or sexually unrestrained

He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:7-8 NKJV

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Revelation 22:14-15 NKJV

2. Unclean persons
Greek: akathartos – homosexual; pervert; impure; foul; unclean; immoral; lewd; or demonic. This word is used 23 times of demon spirits and only twice in reference to people.

Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. Luke 4:33a NKJV

3. Effeminate (catamites)
Greek: ?malakos: of uncertain affinity; soft to the touch; effeminate; figuratively, a catamite. A catamite is a young man who submits his body to unnatural lewdness; a boy or youth who is in a sexual relationship with a man. “Soft to the touch” refers to men who have feminine traits to an inappropriate degree; lacking in manly strength or aggressiveness; especially marked with weakness, softness, and love of ease; excessively affected in his emotions.

4. Abusers of themselves with mankind
Greek: ?arsenokoites – sodomites; homosexuals; pederasts (lover of boys); lesbians; one guilty of unnatural offenses; sexual pervert

5. Adulterers (the unfaithful)
Greek: ?moichos – a (male) paramour; illicit lover; figuratively, apostate (a person who forsakes his religion or his cause)

6. Covetous men
Greek: pleonektes – holding or desiring more; eager for gain; avaricious, hence a defrauder.

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 NKJV

7. Thieves (robbers)
Greek: kleptes – a thief; a stealer (literally or figuratively).

8. Idolaters (false worshippers)
Greek: eidololatres – servant or worshipper (literally or figuratively) of an image or an idol.

9. Drunkards (drinkers of intoxicants)
Greek: methusos – a person who is habitually or frequently drunk.

10. Revilers (abusers of others)
Greek: loidoros – mischief; abusive, railer: reviler; verbally abusive; to assail with contemptuous or opprobrious (outrageously disgraceful or shameful) language; address or speak of abusively.

11. Extortioners (those who obtain by violence or threats)
Greek: harpax – rapacious; extortion: ravening.

12. Deceivers
Greek: apatao – to cheat; delude; deceive.

But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13 NKJV

For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. Titus 3:3 NKJV

13. Children (sons) of disobedience
Greek: apeitheia – disbelief; obstinate and rebellious; disobedience; unbelief.

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. Colossians 3:5-6 NKJV

The Door of the Sheep

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. John 10:1-6 NKJV

When Jesus spoke to the people and told them, “He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep,” He was referring to Himself. Jesus is the Shepherd of the sheep, who came through the door. He did not try to sneak in any other way, but He came in the honest, open, right and legal way.

The “door” of the sheepfold that He is speaking of here is natural birth. The Son of God came down from heaven and was born a man child; born of a virgin; and became one of us in order to save us. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:5, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

“Water” represents natural birth – specifically amniotic fluid – we are conceived, grow and develop in our mother’s womb for 9 months, then we are born into this world as we are pushed out of the womb and take our first breath. Every one of us is born into this earth through the process of natural birth – including Jesus. The difference between us and Jesus was that He didn’t have a natural father – He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and His Father is Almighty God.

In order to save us from our sins and be able to legally represent us in His death, burial and resurrection, God had to come down and actually become one of us. Jesus, the Son of God, was the Father’s legal representative – born to die – taking our sin and death and exchanging it for His eternal life! That is why there is salvation ONLY through Him! Anyone else, or any other gods, who claim to be the Way to Almighty God are only thieves, robbers and liars.

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:7-10 NKJV

Jesus came through the natural “door” of birth so that He could become the Door through which all men must go in order to be saved from sin and enter into eternal life. He didn’t come to “take” – He came to “give”! When you believe on Jesus, and receive Him as Lord and Savior, you walk through the Door – leaving sin and death behind you as you enter into a new life in Christ! Jesus said in John 3:13-15, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus is the ONLY Door to the Father, the only Doorway into heaven, eternal life, and the presence of the Father. The good news is that ANYONE who believes in Him is able to come through this door and experience God’s eternal life!

Arriving there, they gathered the church together and declared all that God had accomplished with them and how He had opened to the Gentiles a door of faith [in Jesus as the Messiah, through Whom we obtain salvation in the kingdom of God].
Acts 14:27 AMP

Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me. John 14:6 AMP

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36 NKJV

And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40 NKJV

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
John 20:30-31 NKJV

So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31 NKJV

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:9-13 NKJV

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. John 10:1-6 NKJV

When Jesus spoke to the people and told them, “He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep,” He was referring to Himself. Jesus is the Shepherd of the sheep, who came through the door. He did not try to sneak in any other way, but He came in the honest, open, right and legal way.

The “door” of the sheepfold that He is speaking of here is natural birth. The Son of God came down from heaven and was born a man child; born of a virgin; and became one of us in order to save us. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:5, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

“Water” represents natural birth – specifically amniotic fluid – we are conceived, grow and develop in our mother’s womb for 9 months, then we are born into this world as we are pushed out of the womb and take our first breath. Every one of us is born into this earth through the process of natural birth – including Jesus. The difference between us and Jesus was that He didn’t have a natural father – He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and His Father is Almighty God.

In order to save us from our sins and be able to legally represent us in His death, burial and resurrection, God had to come down and actually become one of us. Jesus, the Son of God, was the Father’s legal representative – born to die – taking our sin and death and exchanging it for His eternal life! That is why there is salvation ONLY through Him! Anyone else, or any other gods, who claim to be the Way to Almighty God are only thieves, robbers and liars.

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:7-10 NKJV

Jesus came through the natural “door” of birth so that He could become the Door through which all men must go in order to be saved from sin and enter into eternal life. He didn’t come to “take” – He came to “give”! When you believe on Jesus, and receive Him as Lord and Savior, you walk through the Door – leaving sin and death behind you as you enter into a new life in Christ! Jesus said in John 3:13-15, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus is the ONLY Door to the Father, the only Doorway into heaven, eternal life, and the presence of the Father. The good news is that ANYONE who believes in Him is able to come through this door and experience God’s eternal life!

Arriving there, they gathered the church together and declared all that God had accomplished with them and how He had opened to the Gentiles a door of faith [in Jesus as the Messiah, through Whom we obtain salvation in the kingdom of God]. Acts 14:27 AMP

Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me. John 14:6 AMP

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36 NKJV

And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40 NKJV

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:30-31 NKJV

So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31 NKJV

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:9-13 NKJV