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Tithes and Offering

- How did our Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles follow the Law on Tithes and Offering?

- What happened when God opened the windows of heaven in the past?

- Related to robbing God of tithes, what will happen if God open the windows of heaven?

 

Sep 24, 1997

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Love Thy Enemies

Posted by: Administrator on February 21, 2000 4:34:38 AM (6365 Reads)

- How could our Lord's statement, "love your enemies," be reconciled with an Old Testament law, "eye for eye, tooth for tooth?"

- Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets."

- Who are our enemies?

 

 LOVE THY ENEMIES

 

Matthew 5:43 " Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."

 

 

Human interpretation

 

To follow human understanding of the verse, the enemies are the opponents in all facet of life. They may be the political or business enemies, enemies in the profession, in the office, factory, friends where friendship turned sour, relatives, and those in the home. Exercising patience without hurting them, but finding ways in order to establish rapport with them is "love." Feeling pity instead of hate, and not antagonizing but showing respect and tenderness is a form of "love." This can be considered morality of the highest order. No doubt, this will bear beneficial fruit to the physical life of an individual. This is how preachers give meaning and how the Natural Men perceive "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."

 

 

God and our Lord speaks in parables  

 

Since God is a Spirit, so are His words also "spirit" or expressed in parables (Ezekiel 20:49). Christ was prophesied to continue this unique language of God (Psalms 78:2). Truly so, this is what He did:

 

Mark 4:34 " But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples"

 

John 6:63 " It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit..."

 

This truth about God and our Lord's language has not passed away. He alone has the authority to explain His words, and He guides us with the following:

Isaiah 28:10 " For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:"
 

James 1:5-8 " If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

 

 

Did Jesus nullify the Law on revenge?

 

To follow man's understanding and interpretation, Jesus Christ must have contradicted Himself for how can He say:

 

Matthew 5:17 " Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

 

When it is written:

 

Leviticus 24:19 " And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; 20Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again."

 

And now our Lord is saying:

 

Matthew 5:43 " Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, "

 

This will prove that God and our Lord is speaking in parables, a strange language indeed. Not even Christ's apostles understood His sayings. He had to explain everything to them (Mark 4:34 ). To us today, God has to explain through His words.

 

 

Classification of enemies

 

From the word of God, we will find the different classification of enemies:

  1. Satan and his evil spirits
  2. Man as an enemy of God
  3. Man's spiritual enemies
  4. Man's own self as an enemy
  5. The hardly noticeable enemies

A. SATAN AND HIS EVIL SPIRITS

 

Since Lucifer turned himself into Satan because of pride, he and his bad angels have been God and man's enemies.

 

Revelation 12:9 "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

Ephesians 6:12 " For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but…against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness…. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"

 

Christ did not nullify the "law on hate and revenge." He came to fulfill the Law. We saw this in His life and how He taught His disciples to follow His example. This applies to Satan and his devils and those who will reject the gift of salvation, unwittingly, becoming God's enemies. The law on " eye for eye, tooth for tooth" will be executed in the end:

 

Revelation 19:20 " And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet…with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."

 

Revelation 20:15 "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

 

 

B. MAN AS GOD'S ENEMY

 

We are God's enemies for it is written, "light cannot mix with darkness," nor "goodness with evil." God represents light and goodness.

 

Romans 3:10 " …There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."

 

Isaiah 64:6 " But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…"

 

God demonstrated "loving the enemy" through Jesus Christ. Man is doomed as an enemy of God. However, with love, God made a plan to redeem those who would believe. God's gift to His enemies is eternal life with Him in His kingdom. This is God's plan of salvation, a great gesture of love.

  1. There is only one God and this is the Father (1 Corinthians 8:6a). God is a Spirit (John 4:24 ).
  2. Since no human being can show the Way, for no one is worthy in His sight (Romans 3:23 ), God manifested Himself in the flesh. This should not entertain any question nor need an argument for it is the truth:

1 Timothy 3:16 KJV " And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness : God was manifest in the flesh"

  1. There is only one Lord and this is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 8:6b).
  2. Thus our Lord said, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30 ).
  3. Jesus said, "I am the Way and the Truth" (John 14:6).
  4. For the Father, the only God, and Jesus, the only Lord (1 Corinthians 8:6), this truth is revealed: "The Lord our God is one Lord" (Deuteronomy 6:4, Mark 12:29 ). The TRUE Savior, the Father, is revealed in Isaiah 43:11 and Luke 1:46-47. This is JESUS of Nazareth that Peter recognized in Matthew 16:16-17 by divine revelation, and not with his flesh and blood.
  5. God's love for us, His enemies, is fulfilled by making several covenants in the Old Testament which, to sum up, is the testament of salvation.
  6. This testament can only be fulfilled by the death of the testator (Hebrew 9:16 ). The testator is the God recognized by Old Testament chosen people.
  7. This testament was fulfilled by the death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, proving what Jesus said, " I and my Father are one," and "The Lord our God is one Lord." Thus, the following truth:

Here, the Father is speaking:

 

Isaiah 52:6 KJV " Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I."

 

Here, the Son Jesus is speaking:

 

John 8:24 KJV " I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins"

 

God's revelation of His identity to His apostles:

 

1 John 3:16 " Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us…"

  1. God in the flesh, Emmanuel that means "God with us," in the person of Jesus Christ is truly a MAN. Jesus has all the characteristics of a man, even to the extent of saying, "only God is good." Jesus did this to be a perfect model showing the Way:

Luke 18:18 " And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God."

  1. Thus, Jesus the man prayed to (Matthew 26:39), and humbled Himself before (John 5:19 ) the Father, even calling the Father His God.

John 20:17 " Jesus saith unto her… I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."

 

God's plan of salvation is the greatest demonstration of love He could possibly express to His enemies. God's chosen and Christ's disciples were hungry, and He gave them food. They were thirsty and He gave them water to drink. They were slaves and He set them free. They were sick and He healed them. He raised them from the dead, literally seen in Lazarus, but spiritually true to all of them:

 

Proverbs 21:16 " The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead."

 

What more can be said of God's love for His enemies? In a way, this is what Jesus taught His disciples to see in "love thy enemies, as I have loved you."

 

 

C. MAN'S SPIRITUAL ENEMIES

 

God loves us who are His enemies. Jesus showed the example. In like manner therefore, we are enjoined to love our enemies. "Spiritual enemies" are those who have not yet found the Truth and therefore do not belong to the "household of God" (Ephesians 2:19 ). They may be personal friends or physical enemies.

 

In the Old Testament we saw how God fed His people with "Manna" in the wilderness, and gave them "water" from the Rock. Jesus Christ likewise fed thousands with "bread" and "fishes." The Natural Man (1 Corinthians 2:14 ) sees those things literally-physically. However, God gives spiritual meaning to His words. "Bread" refers to the word of God in the following:

 

Jeremiah 15:16 " Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts."

 

One reference to "water" is the Holy Spirit:

 

John 7:37 " …Jesus stood…saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"

 

"Fish" having blood fed to the multitudes, like water, symbolizes the Holy Spirit. With the shedding of blood of our Lord on the cross, the Holy Spirit is made available to those who believe. Spiritual Manna and water, bread and fish, bread and wine, now reveals the great message of our Lord in:

 

John 6:54 " Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."

 

All these, Manna and water, bread and fish, bread and wine, flesh and blood refer to the Word and the Spirit that make up the Truth in the word of God. Feeding an enemy with bread and water therefore, simply means giving the person the TRUTH. Thus,

 

Proverbs 25:21 " If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee."

 

Romans 12:20 " Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

 

"Heap coals of fire on the head" is like the descent and indwelling of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost:

 

Acts 2:1 " And when the day of Pentecost was fully come… 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost…"

 

People, whether personal friends or physical enemies, are spiritual enemies if they are still in spiritual darkness. Feeding them with the Truth is like the day at Pentecost when " fire" symbolizing the Holy Spirit descends and dwell upon them. We follow the Way shown by Jesus Christ which, again, is expressed in a parable:

 

Matthew 25:31 " When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 …and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

 

1. "Hungry" means hunger for the spiritual bread that is the Word of God.

 

Jeremiah 15:16 " Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts."

 

2. "Thirsty" means thirst for spiritual water that refers to the Holy Spirit.

 

John 7:37-39 " …Jesus stood…saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me…shall flow rivers of living water. 39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"

 

3. "Stranger" means not yet belonging to the "household of God".

 

Ephesians 2:19 " Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God. "

 

4. "Naked" means do not have the "garment of salvation" (Isaiah 61:10).

 

Isaiah 6:10 " I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness…"

 

5. "Sick" means spiritual disease of the soul.

 

Psalms 41:4 " I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee."

 

Psalms 13:2 " How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily…?"

 

6. "In prison" means shackled by falsehood and deception.

 

John 8:32 " And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

 

Who can give all these things to the "needy" but the person who has the TRUTH (Mark 12:30)?

 

Who can "love the fellowmen" without first having "loved God?" (Mark 12:31)

 

Who can "love God" without first having clearly recognized the "One Lord and one God?" (Mark 12:29)

 

"Loving an enemy" in the language of God is evangelism that our Lord told His disciples to do. The beneficiaries attain eternal life so that God will harvest souls of men. "Nation, world, and earth" all refer to the prospective chosen people of God (1 Peter 2:9, Jeremiah 22:29).

 

Mark 16:15 " And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

 

Matthew 28:19 (KJV) " Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"

 

"Loving an enemy" in the language of man, that is, showering a fellowman with material and emotional comfort, benefits him only in his lifetime. In the end, the cemetery is the ultimate beneficiary with all the dead men's corpses.

 

 

D. MAN' OWNSELF AS AN ENEMY

 

Who would think that man's greatest enemy is his own self? This is what is written about the "old soulish" (intellectual-emotional) nature of man.

 

Romans 7:16 " If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."

 

If we are our own enemy, the virtue of "loving the enemy" in this case is clearly demonstrated. Many people only think of the material, physical, and earthly things. To the few, the spiritual and the heavenly is foremost. Thus, spiritual salvation and eternal life must be one's objective and this is the ultimate of love for self -- a spiritual enemy.

 

 

Loving self, as an enemy, demonstrated

 

This is quite complicated. If God will not guide and help us understand, this will surely be "foolishness" as the Natural Man is sure to say. Our own self is our enemy. Love it by aspiring for eternal life. But in order to love it, we must "hate" it as our Lord told His disciples:

 

Luke 14:26 " If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."

 

This is God's way of "hating oneself" -- to be converted into a "little child."

 

Matthew 18:3 "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

Old Testament chosen people found this. To hate oneself is to renounce one's precious possession, which is man's rationality in spiritual matters:

 

 

SOLOMON

 

1 Kings 3:6 "And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great mercy… 7And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king…and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. "

 

Solomon "hated himself" by being converted into a "little child." This is simply recognizing his incompetence before God. He received this blessing:

 

1 Kings 3:12 " 1…I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. "

 

Worth noting is, if many people see the kingship of Solomon as political, God is speaking of the kingship of His chosen as spiritual (Revelation 1:6).

 

 

JEREMIAH

 

Jeremiah 1:6 "Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak."

 

Jeremiah "hated himself" by admitting his incapability before God. He was not a physical child when he said this. He received this blessing:

 

Jeremiah 1:7 "But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 9Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. 10See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant."

 

As in the case of Solomon, "kingdoms" do not refer to political nor "nations" to physical, but rather spiritual. Both "kings" and "nations" refer to the persons (Revelation 1:6, 1 Peter 2;9).

 

MOSES "hated himself", like Solomon and Jeremiah, by humbling himself before God.

 

Exodus 4:10 "And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue."

 

He received this blessing:

 

Exodus 4:11 "And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 12Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say."

 

God loves spiritual "little children" and never spiritual "adults." He therefore endows them with divine wisdom.

 

Isaiah 28:9 KJV "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts."

 

 

CHRIST'S DISCIPLES

 

The Disciples humbled themselves before the Lord, and this is the equivalent of "conversion into little children." Thus, He addressed them:

 

John 13:33 " Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek…"

 

As a result, the Disciples were given divine knowledge and wisdom that was denied from the people who did not manifest their love for themselves as spiritual enemy.

 

Matthew 11:25 "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. "

 

2 Timoth 3:15 "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

 

Let us repeat, our own self is our great enemy. To love it is to follow God's words. Look here if our Lord really is not speaking in parables.

 

Luke 14:26 " If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. "

 

To take this literally, it will contradict the commandment on "love." What more, this seems to be the reverse of "loving our enemies" one of which is our own self. With God's explanation, it means the same thing. Following are the "spiritual father, mother, wife, children, brethren, sisters and own life" which, according to God, refer to the SOUL or man's rationality:

 

Deuteronomy 13:6 "If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul …"

 

To hate "father, mother, wife, children, brethren, sisters and own life," therefore, is like being "converted into a little child" in the eyes of God. A person's great possession is SOULISHNESS or things commiserating to intellectualism and emotionalism. These are the "possessions" that our Lord told the Rich Young Ruler to "sell" so as to receive TRUTH in return, that he could follow Him. The "sale of these precious possession" will make one a "little child" before God.

 

Luke 18:18 "And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 23And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God ! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God . 26And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? 27And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God"

 

Literally, the young Ruler is rich in material possession. Spiritually, he is "soulishly rich" that is why he professed righteousness before our Lord with his obedience to the commandments. What he followed in the commandments are the "letters" that "killeth" for that is all that he understood being a Natural Man (1 Corinthians 2:14 ).

 

2 Corinthians 3:6 " Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament ; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

 

The Rich Young Ruler is no different from the Scribes and Pharisees who professed adherence to the "letter of the law." They were "rich in spirit." To take the word of our Lord literally about the impossibility of the rich going to the kingdom of God will contradict the truth. Abraham, Jacob, David , Solomon in the Old Testament were all materially rich. So were Joseph of Arimathea, Luke, a physician, Matthew, Levi , Zacchaeus, as tax collectors, in the New Testament. Indeed, our Lord is speaking in parables. The proceeds from the "sale" is TRUTH. This is what is to be given to the "poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3). The first step to eternal life is "conversion into a little child," for to the "babes" is given divine knowledge and wisdom:

 

Matthew 11:25 "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."

 

Look if the following is not expressed in parable. The Natural Man sees this literally. This applied to the apostles who themselves were babes in the eyes of our Lord.

 

Matthew 19:13 "Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. 14But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

 

What God wants is genuine spiritual trust of a "little child." Here is the test that will distinguish a spiritual "little child" from a spiritual "adult." Who can claim this kind of "trust" among the professing apostles and Christians today?

 

James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

 

Who would believe this?

 

1 John 2:27 " 7 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie…."

 

2 Timothy 3:15 " And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures…. "

 

Christ enjoined His disciples to follow His way.

 

John 13:5 " For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. "

 

We have seen how God hates Satan by taking revenge on him applying the law on, "tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye." Satan symbolizes darkness that represents falsehood and deceptions. Christ resolutely condemned this enemy. So are real Christians required to follow the Way and apply the "law on revenge."

 

Romans 16:20 " And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly…."

 

 

E. GOD AS AN "ENEMY"

 

Since God is perfect and man has still his sinful nature, the foregoing would have equipped a real Christian to realize that God is an "enemy." God is light and is perfect. Man is still imperfect. Jesus, as a man, showed the example when He said only God is perfect (Luke 18:18 -19).

 

Lamentation 2:5 " The Lord was as an enemy: he…"

 

Romans 3:10 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."

 

Romans 5:10 " For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."

 

"Love your enemy" will further give meaning to this instant case. As the chosen were once God's enemies but were loved by Him; so now, it is the chosen' turn to love God -- as an "enemy." Before, the chosen caused pain to God with their sins and transgressions. However, He still loved them. Now, it is God's turn to "cause pain to the chosen" with His sharp rebuke and chastening (Hebrew 12:5-7). He expects love in return. Examples:

 

1. Was not Peter deeply hurt when our Lord sharply rebuked him in the following?

 

Matthew 16:21 " … Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem , and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. "

 

But Peter's hurt feeling repaid it with love for our Lord. Jesus is the TRUTH. At that moment, Truth is still considered an "enemy" of Peter. Thus, God expects us to love the Truth.

 

2. Our Lord likewise rebuked James and John when they asked for something that is not for them. They accepted the rebuke and did not count it against our Lord. They loved our Lord. They loved the Truth.

 

Mark 10:35 " And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. 36And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? 37They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. 38But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask…"  

 

3. Peter again received a dressing down from our Lord. With all humility, he simply bowed his head in total submission.

 

Matthew 15:10 " And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: 11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man… 15Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. 16And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?"
 

4. The Christians of Galatia were rebuked for being tempted to revert back to the "letter" of the Law. They accepted the reproof and mended their ways.

Galatians 3:1 " O foolish Galatians , who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? . . . 3Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"  

 

Christ showed that man is never made perfect by following the "letter" of the Law, for it is written:

2 Corinthians 3:6 " Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."  

 

The Rich Young Ruler was not made perfect by following the Ten Commandments with his literal understanding and application; so were the Scribes and Pharisees who adhered to the "letter." It necessitated the fulfillment of God's testament with the shedding of blood of our Lord on the cross to give the inheritance (1 John 3:16 ). This is the Holy Spirit that would teach the believers the "spiritual truth" in the word of God (1 John 2:27 ). The Christians of Galatia gladly returned the rebuke with love for the Word of God.

 

(For details read: CLEANLINESS ON THE "OUTSIDE AND INSIDE" http://www.purechristianity.org/clean lin.htm .)

 

 

5. THE HARDLY NOTICEABLE ENEMIES

 

They were the Scribes and Pharisees who stood on the way of our Lord during His time. They were the ones who caused His crucifixion on the cross.

They were the enemies of Truth. No wonder, of all people, He called them, "serpents and generation of vipers".

 

Matthew 23:33 " Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"

 

The religious leaders prevented the people desiring to enter the kingdom of God , but because of spiritual blindness did not see this great deception.

 

Matthew 23:13 " But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. "

 

This can be related to the warning unnoticed by many people in our time. Is not righteousness in the eyes of the people the equivalent of MORALITY (cleanliness on the outside)?

 

2 Corinthians 11:14 " And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness…."

 

Watch for people preaching righteousness. Watch for people performing "miracles" in the name of JESUS CHRIST. Distinction should be made between miracles and wonders. Two super beings are performing supernatural acts: God and Satan. Their works should be clearly distinguished. (http://www.purechristianity.org/miracles.htm).

 

Why will our Lord tell these people performing miracles, "I never knew you?" If these people profess that "God is a mystery incapable of clear recognition," this is a sign that they "do not know God." God's chosen people, both in the Old and New Testament clearly recognize their God (Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrew 8:11 ). Recognition and identity is mutual between God and His chosen. For details read the article GOD OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT, ( http://www.purechristianity.org/godofthe.htm ).

 

Matthew 24:5 " For many shall come in my name…and shall deceive many. "

 

Matthew 24:24 " For there shall arise …false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. "

 

Matthew 7:22 "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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you…"

 

The religious leaders called "blind guides" by our Lord saw Mary Magdalene the adulteress and the tax collectors as the enemies of God for being sinners in their view. This truth has not passed away in our time. Religious leaders today see the murderers, the abortionists, kidnappers, terrorists, extortionists, and other people guilty of grievous crimes and vices as the enemies of God.

 

What is overlooked is there were more "bad people" and plebeians who came to the knowledge of truth and followed our Lord: Mary Magdalene the adulteress, Matthew, Levi, and Zacchaeus, the tax collectors, and the thief at the right hand of our Lord. Among the "good people," Saul of Tarsus a Pharisee, Nicodemus and the Scribe who asked our Lord about the "First of all the commandments" in Mark 12:28-29 were with the "bad ones" in the Upper Room at Pentecost who received the Holy Spirit.

 

"Heaven and earth will pass away but the words of God will never pass away." Today, we must see the different bible characters, only with different names and titles. Who are the "peddlers of truth" in our time purporting to show the way to eternal life? Why is there diverging "truths" being preached in different pulpits? Could there be different "ways" to eternal life?

 

Can people see the distinction between MORALITY and SPIRITUALITY? Our Lord saw MORALITY in the religious people. He preached SPIRITUALITY but could not be understood. He was hated and crucified on the cross. Jesus is the Truth. Today, religious people also hate the Truth if it does not conform to their beliefs. We have to follow the Way as we find our Lord sharply rebuking His enemies. Unknown to many people, this is His expression of love:

 

Proverbs 27:5 " Open rebuke is better than secret love."

 

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