Tag Archive: love


Salt

Sometimes we get discouraged and think we cannot be effective for God, because we cannot do great things. But lets look at salt. Jesus compared us to salt. If you salt your food and then look at it with a magnifying glass, here is what you will see: tiny little crystals of salt SPRINKLED over the whole meal. We do not place a salt block on our plate. Nor do we salt our food with large chunks. Instead, we randomly strew the tiniest little particles of salt over the whole meal, and the effect is delicious.

You may never be called to do anything ‘big’ for God. But do you know that every kind word you do (or do not) speak, every truth you do (or do not) share, every smile or hug you do (or do not) bestow on another, every time you do (or do not) share with someone in need, every loving thing you do (or do not) do, is like a single crystal of salt.

When your life is said and done, will the result of your influence be delicious, or tasteless and unsatisfying, to the one who judges all?

We probably all KNOW this, when we stop and think about it, but it bears saying: love is not just a FEELING, love is the sum of your ACTIONS towards another person.

One of the ways Satan attempts to fight God’s truth (which is readily available to all of us, through our Bible) is to change or distort the meaning of words. Anyone who has grown up in America has been strongly influenced by Hollywood’s portrayal of love as a strong feeling of desire that leads us to blow all caution to the wind and jump into bed with the other person. This is not LOVE, this is reckless, self-centered, lust-driven passion!

On a conscious, rational level we know this. None of us interprets Jesus’ command to ‘love one another’ as instruction to indulge in a group orgy with other Christians. Yet we are not always rational, and most people DO uncritically hold to the idea that love is a FEELING.

Passion is a feeling. Lust is a feeling. Physical attraction is a feeling. Feelings are highly overrated. God did not intend us to live in perpetual bliss in this life. If He did, He would not have created chemicals that come along and bind up the serotonin (pleasure chemical) that our brain creates. Emotions are MEANT to be fleeting.

LOVE is a QUALITY, more like truthfulness, honesty, or loyalty. It is a way of behaving towards others, that considers what is best for them–even, potentially, to our own detriment. When we INVEST ourself in this pattern of loving behavior towards another person, over a period of time, a deep fondness grows. But even this, we must not confuse for love. Love is not a feeling. Love is a pattern of behavior.

Do we ‘love’ one another? Time will tell. Our behavior, over time, will show forth a pattern of concern and commitment to the well being of one another . . . or else it will show that we were quick to flatter and say kind things, but ultimately looked out for ourselves first. Let us LOVE one another, one word, one deed, at a time.

What Must We Do To Be Saved?

‘As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall PREPARE THY WAY BEFORE THEE. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’  (Mark 1:2-3)

Did you ever wonder why God sent John the Baptist before Jesus?  Here is my belief:  it was a pattern to be understood and continued.

How did John the Baptist prepare the way before Jesus?  What did John preach and do?

John did baptize in the wilderness, and PREACH THE BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE for the REMISSION OF SINS. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, CONFESSING THEIR SINS.’  (Mark 1:4-5)

According to Mark 1:4, the remission of sins came after repentance, confession, and baptism by faith in the Messiah.

John prepared the hearts of the people for Jesus’ ministry.  What was John’s ministry?  To call the people to repent, confess their sins, and be baptized for the remission of sins, through faith in the coming Messiah.  John’s ministry was to bring the people to salvation.  Jesus’ primary ministry was to turn these converts into disciples.

Those who were baptized BEFORE Jesus’ death did not receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come.  Thus, FOR THOSE WHO WERE SAVED BEFORE JESUS’ DEATH, a separate impartation of the Holy Spirit was necessary.

‘And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, JOHN VERILY BAPTIZED WITH THE BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE, SAYING UNTO THE PEOPLE, THAT THEY SHOULD BELIEVE ON HIM WHICH SHOULD COME AFTER HIM, that is, on Christ Jesus.

When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them*, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.’  (Acts 19:3-6)

(*I do not believe this refers to the popular practice of ‘laying on of hands’, it simply means that when Paul laid his hands upon them TO BAPTIZE THEM in Jesus’ name, they received the Holy Spirit.)

Acts 2:37-39 confirms this salvation pattern has not changed.  But now we are baptized in JESUS’ NAME (because now we know who our Messiah is) and now we receive the Holy Spirit:

‘Now when they heard [this], they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men [and] brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, REPENT, and be BAPTIZED every one of you in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

FOR THE PROMISE IS UNTO YOU, AND TO YOUR CHILDREN, AND TO ALL THAT ARE AFAR OFF, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call.’  (Acts 2:37-39)

Today, ALL who follow the salvation model outlined here, DO receive the Holy Spirit (not necessarily evidenced by speaking in tongues.)

‘Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts’  (2 Cor. 1:22)

The remission of sins came after repentance, confession, and baptism in Jesus’ name.  It did not come by professing BELIEF in Jesus Christ, saying a ‘Sinners’ Prayer’, and asking Him to come into one’s heart and be their personal savior.  Today’s gospel is NOT the same.  Do you see the difference?

repentance + confession + baptism in Jesus’ name
vs.
confession of belief + ‘Sinners’ Prayer’ + invite Jesus into one’s heart

After John came Jesus.  What was Jesus’ ministry?  Jesus built on, and surpassed, John’s ministry.  He called sinners to repentance, healed the sick, confirmed The Covenant, and paid the price for the sins of mankind, triumphing over Satan.  He also began by preaching repentance, but the bulk of His ministry was spent showing people how to properly follow God’s Commandments, out of a heart of love.

‘Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.  And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’  (Jesus, Matthew 22:36-40)

 

‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’  (John 13:34)

 

‘If ye love me, keep my commandments.’  (John 14:15)

 

‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.’  (John 15:10)

(Loving God doesn’t mean we will AUTOMATICALLY keep His Commandments.  But if we love God we will CHOOSE to keep His Commandments.)

I believe this sets the pattern for the true gospel:

Repentance, confession, and baptism in Jesus’ name.  Then continuing obedience, out of a heart of love.

(The reason people today aren’t receiving the Holy Spirit when they ‘get saved’ is because they are no longer following the Biblical model of repentance, confession, and baptism in Jesus’ name.  Not having the Holy Spirit is why they are not having victory over sin or understanding the Bible.)

We all need to be very careful that we are preaching the true, Biblical gospel.

‘But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.’ (Gal. 1:8-9)

Many preTrib Rapture teachers have TERRIFIED Christians with horrible descriptions of what they believe things will be like during the Tribulation. They paint a picture of a desolate, hopeless existence where God has withdrawn His Spirit from the Earth and any who come to Him are pretty much left to fend for themselves.

Nothing could be further from the truth! God is a loving Father and He will not abandon us in our hour of greatest need.

‘ . . . lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.’ (Jesus, Matt. 28:20)

‘The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.’ (Psalms 34:22)

‘But the salvation of the righteous [is] of the LORD: [he is] their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.’ (Psalms 37:39-40)

‘And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the PEOPLE THAT DO KNOW THEIR GOD shall be strong, and do [exploits].’ (Daniel 11:32)

‘The LORD [is] good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.’ (Nahum 1:7)

Most of those that preach a (false) preTrib Rapture do not understand the wickedness they do. Not only do they create false hope in an escape from tribulation, which is contrary to God’s will . . .

‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world YE SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (Jesus, John 16:33)

‘I pray NOT THAT THOU SHOULDEST TAKE THEM OUT OF THE WORLD, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.’ (Jesus, John 17:15)

. . . but these false teachers create terror and a certainty of being abandoned by God, for those who find themselves still here during the Tribulation. Because of their false teachings, MANY will despair and fall away from the faith.

Please understand their teachings are false, and take heart:

‘ . . . and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Proverbs 18:24)

‘ . . . for he hath said, I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE.’ (Hebrews 13:15)

Saved by Faith, or by Works?

‘Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, STRIVE to enter in at the strait gate: for MANY, I say unto you, WILL SEEK to enter in, and shall not be able.’  (Luke 13:23-24)

Notice Jesus doesn’t just say ‘many won’t enter in’.  Instead, He says ‘many will SEEK to enter in but won’t be able’.  These are not just worldly, indifferent people–they are people who WANT to enter into Heaven.  What is the difference between those who seek to enter in but can’t, and those who strive to enter in and are able?

‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY*.’  (Matthew 7:21-23)

According to Strong’s, those who ‘work iniquity’ are those who do ‘anomia’

iniquity = anomia (G458)

1) the condition of without law

..a) because ignorant of it

..b) because of violating it

2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness

 

This passage separates between those who DO the will of the Father, and those who don’t–and further clarifies it as those who live by His law vs. those who don’t.

Now, we know that as Christians we are not bound to the Mosaic Law.  But we ARE expected to follow the Ten Commandments (and the four restrictions in Acts 15:20).

‘ . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’  (Jesus, Matt. 19:17)

According to Matt. 7:21-23, the difference between eternal life and damnation is whether or not you follow God’s Commandments.  NO, we do not OBTAIN salvation by following the Commandments, or any other thing that we might do.  There is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.  But when we become Christians we enter into a blood covenant with God, and our part is to do His will.  If we aren’t doing His Will, then we aren’t ‘abiding’ in Him.  If we aren’t doing His will, then we are walking in the flesh.  Christianity today is misrepresented as a free bus ticket: we say a ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ and then get a free ride.  But that’s never what God intended.  His will is to have

‘ . . .  a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:’  (1 Peter 2:9)

When God made the first covenant (the ‘Old’ covenant) with the people of Israel, Moses gave the people The Law

‘And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.’  (Exodus 24:3)

Then a blood sacrifice was made, to seal the covenant.

We are heirs to a better covenant.

‘But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.’  (Jer. 31:33)

Not only does He write His law in our hearts, He gives us His Holy Spirit, to will and to perform it.  This covenant was sealed by the blood of Jesus.

In return for being redeemed from the bondage of sin and judgment, we are to yield ourselves as living sacrifices to Him.

‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’  (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.’  (Romans 12:1)

To simplify it,

‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’  (Matt. 22:37-40)

And how do we find the love to fulfill these two commandments?  We walk in the Spirit, and not in the flesh. The Holy Spirit is the love of God, living in us, and flowing through us. The Holy Spirit will work in our heart to desire to do, and to perform the will of God.  The Holy Spirit will not lead us into sin.  The Holy Spirit will keep us on the path.

‘Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;’  (Titus 2:12)

The Holy Spirit works in conjunction with the Word of God, to change us from the inside out.

‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’  (Romans 12:2)

‘ . . . Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.’  (Ephesians 5:26-27)

How do we walk in the Spirit? We say ‘no’ to worldly lusts and ungodly temptations, thereby ‘crucifying the flesh’–because if we are walking in the flesh, we are not walking in the Spirit.  And we pray and read the Word of God . . . and then we live what we learn.

‘For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.’  (Matt. 11:30)

His yoke is easy, and His burden is light–but we must CHOOSE to walk on the narrow path.  We must STRIVE to enter in.  That striving is not a ‘work’ . . . it is our flesh and our will we strive with.  But if we say no to the flesh and yield ourselves to Him, His Spirit will lead us into all righteousness.

‘Teach me to do thy will; for thou [art] my God: thy spirit [is] good; lead me into the land of uprightness.’  (Psalm 143:10)

There is much confusion about ‘works’, but  here’s what the Bible says, in a nutshell:

‘For BY GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.’  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

‘Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.’  (Galatians 2:16)

But

‘What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? . . . faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone . . . I will shew thee my faith by my works.’  (James 2:14, 17, 18)

‘But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.‘  (James 2:20-24)

Saving faith produces ‘works’ in keeping with that faith–and that is God’s will for us.

‘Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’  (Titus 2:14)

‘And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works’  (Hebrews 10:24)

‘That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.’  (2 Timothy 3:17)

‘[This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.’  (Titus 3:8)

‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’  (Ephesians 2:10)

Who are the ‘saints’?

‘ . . . they that keep the commandments of God, AND the faith of Jesus.’  (Rev. 14:12)

There really is no contradiction at all, except in the minds of those who don’t consider the full counsel of the Word of God.

Guidelines for the Family of God

As Christians, we are a family. We all have room for improvement in how we treat others.  God has not designed a dysfunctional family. He desires that His family have healthy, loving interactions. To that end, His Word gives us some concrete guidelines:

LOVE:

‘And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.’ (1 Peter 4:8)

MEEKNESS:

‘[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.’ (Philippians 2:3-4)

TEAM SPIRIT:

‘ . . . be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind.’ (Philippians 2:2)

FORGIVENESS:

‘Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.’ (Matthew 18:21-22)

DISCRETION:

‘Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.’ (Matthew 18:15-17)

GRACE:

‘Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.’ (Galatians 6:1-2)

COMPASSION

‘Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.’ (James 5:19-20)

RESPECT:

‘Rebuke not an elder, but intreat [him] as a father; [and] the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.’ (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

PATIENCE:

‘ . . . walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ (Ephesians 4:1-3)

HUMILITY:

‘Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.’  (1 Peter 5:5)

‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant . . . ‘ (Philippians 2:5-7)

The Real Jesus

Jesus is God in flesh.  He is the living Word of God:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’  (John 1:1)

Jesus was never an angel, cherubim, or other heavenly, created being.  Jesus was not a good man who came and kept all of God’s laws.  Jesus is not simply one manifestation of a ‘christ consciousness’.

Jesus is the only BEGOTTEN son of God.

‘And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’  (Luke 1:30-35)

‘And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’  (John 1:14)

‘In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.’  (1 John 4:9)

When people, for any reason, try to persuade us that the gospel of John should not be in the Bible–understand, it is because the gospel of John repeatedly testifies that Jesus is the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON of God, and they reject this truth.

‘Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.’

(1 John 4:2-3)

Salvation is only found in Jesus.  He is the only one who was able to pay the price for our sins.

‘And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed [it], and brake [it], and gave [it] to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave [it] to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’  (Jesus, Matthew 26:26-28)

And His gospel is this:

‘From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, REPENT: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  (Jesus, Matthew 4:17)

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever SHALL DO and TEACH [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.’

(Jesus, Matthew 5:17-20)

‘And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS.’  (Jesus, Matthew 19:17)

‘Then one of them, [which was] a lawyer, asked [him a question], tempting him, and saying, Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE THE LORD THY GOD with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE THEY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’  (Jesus, Matthew 22:35-40)

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE ONE ANOTHER; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’  (Jesus, John 13:34)

‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, BAPTIZING them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost*: Teaching them to OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.’  (Matthew 28:19-20) (* Yes, Jesus taught the Trinity.)

To recap–Jesus gospel is:

  • Repent
  • Be baptized
  • Keep the Commandments
  • Love one another
  • Share this gospel with everyone

Any other gospel is ‘another gospel’!  Any other Jesus is ‘another Jesus’!

‘I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach ANY OTHER GOSPEL unto you than that which we have preached unto you, LET HIM BE ACCUSED. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED.’  (Galatians 1:6-9)

If your church is preaching any other gospel than the gospel that Jesus preached, or any other Jesus than the Jesus described above: GET OUT, lest you be a partaker of their sins and suffer their judgment!

Last night, I was praying and pondering these verses:

‘Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’  (Matthew 7:22-23)

And I wondered . . . how can we be sure He knows us?  Perhaps this is one of those times that God inspired the question.  Ordinarily I would have just though: If we’ve repented, trusted Jesus for salvation, and are living in obedience to Him . . . walking with Him, surely He knows us.  But that was not the answer that God impressed upon me.  Instead, this was:

‘He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.’  (1John 4:8)

And more Scriptures followed:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.’  (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

‘If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.’  (1 John 4:20-21)

‘My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.’  (1 John 3:18)

‘If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?’  (James 2:15-16)

‘And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.  And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’  (1 John 3:22-24)

The Bible tells us that in the latter days there will be a great falling away.  It also talks about deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons in the end times.  But here is how Jesus described that falling away:

‘And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.’  (Matthew 24:12)

How does iniquity (‘lawlessness’; ‘contempt and violation of law’) cause our love to wax cold?  I’m still waiting for revelation on that.  Could this be part of it though?  One of the reasons for the law, is that we would not trespass against one another.  When people don’t follow the law, they DO trespass against one another, and wound one another.  A lawless society is a ‘me first’ society.  When people are ‘looking out for number one’ they don’t seem to realize, or care, how much they hurt others.

When we are hurt, it can be hard to forgive.  When we are repeatedly ‘trespassed against’, we can get to the place where we HATE people in general, not necessarily even any particular person.  Technically, we may believe we aren’t being unforgiving, or aren’t hating, because we have no particular target in mind.  But when we get to the point where we hate people, our heart is hardened.  Could this be what Jesus was talking about?  Is there any of us who can’t identify with feeling this way?

How do we guard against this?  How do we watch the wretched things people do to one another, and not grow to hate humanity?  This is something that all of us who are living now are going to have to seek God about.  Certainly we must forgive others, AS GOD FORGIVES US (in the midst of our unworthiness), understanding that the debt we owed Him was FAR greater than the debt anyone owes us.  We can also remember Jesus’ words: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’.  And we can keep in mind that the whole world lies in darkness and

‘ . . . we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].’  (Ephesians 6:12)

We must guard our heart with all diligence, because if we don’t have love it doesn’t matter WHAT we do, in the end it will profit us nothing.

‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.’  (Proverbs 4:23)