If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, Part 2

What did Jesus mean when He commanded us to love one another? (Who is my Neighbor Part 2)

By John Foll, written between 9/15/2017 and 9/21/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll

Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.’” John 14:23 NASB.

If any man loves Me, he will keep my word.Is this really true? How can anyone doubt what Jesus said? But many today doubt whether they need to obey God, sometimes out of ignorance or because they were taught this way, not realizing that Jesus and His Father are one. John 10:30. Many don’t really understand everything He said, and have heard other parts of the New Testament taken out of context, or misinterpreted to say something different than what He taught. Therefore many are in fact doubting what Jesus said is true, whether they realize it or not! The truth of the matter is that if they don’t want to obey God, they cannot keep Jesus’ word either, because His word is really His Father’s word, as we learned in Part 1. Because only God is good (Luke 18:19), the only way they can be good is if they get the Holy Spirit. And since the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God (Acts 5:32), if they don’t want to obey God, they cannot have the Holy Spirit. This means that they cannot keep Jesus’ word either, because none of us are good, and the only way anyone can be good is if God helps them to be good through His Holy Spirit.

But in this article, Part 2, we want to break it down further for you, especially if you are still undecided by what it means to keep Jesus’ word and whether God’s commandments are Jesus’ commandments or not. One thing is true that you can’t deny, that if you want to be born from above and filled with the Holy Spirit, you must want to keep Jesus’ word. Because if you love Him you will keep His word, and He and His Father will come to you and make their abode in you. This is how you become born again!

Jesus’ Commandments versus God’s Commandments:

Some say that Jesus’s new commandment that we love one another (John 13:34), and His other commandments to His disciples are different than what God commanded His people to do in the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20. And that we don’t need to keep the 10 Commandments any more (also known as God’s commandments), just Jesus’ commandments. But it is not possible to keep Jesus’ commandments without keeping God’s commandments, and if you keep God’s commandments, you are keeping Jesus’ commandments as well, because they are all about love! Those who break God’s 10 Commandments, and don’t confess these sins and repent of them do not love Jesus, and are not keeping His word.

No one who sins, knows God.No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.” 1 John 3:6 NASB. No one who abides in Jesus sins. How do we know this? See the previous verse 5: “And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.” 1 John 3:5 NASB. The “He” here is clearly Jesus, because He appeared on this earth and died on the cross to take away our sin. And in “Him” there is no sin, because He was the spotless Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. John 1:29. And John declared that He came in order to take away sins. Therefore no one who abides in Jesus sins. Think on that, meditate on it, believe it. It is a most beautiful promise when you see it and believe it! Tarry with Jesus awhile and He will help you to live a righteous life, because no one who abides in Him sins. Better yet, why not abide with Him the rest of your life? What do you have to lose? He will help you to be a better, kinder and gentler person!

But what is sin? What does John say?Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4 KJV. So let’s feed this back into 1 John 3:6 to get a clearer meaning of it: “No one who abides in Jesus breaks the Law of God; no one who breaks the Law of God has seen Jesus or knows Him.” This is serious folks! We believe that this text is talking about habitual sin here, not just momentary sins or mistakes. But momentary sins can turn into repetitive sins, if the soul does not turn to God for help. Those who’s custom or practice is sin, do not really know Jesus or His loving Father!

But what is the transgression of the Law? It is being unloving, unkind, disrespectful, hurtful, and selfish towards God or others. Because Love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10. So let’s restate 1 John 3:6 yet again, to feed in this meaning into it too:No one who abides in Jesus says or does hurtful things against others, or thinks bad thoughts about them; no one who says or does hurtful things against others, or thinks bad thoughts about them has either seen Jesus or knows Him.Again folks, this is serious! Think about what this text is really saying. “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.” 1 John 3:4-5 NASB. This tells us that those who practice sin are breaking God’s Law; breaking God’s law is the definition of sin. This also tells us that Jesus came in order to take away sin. So those who love God will want Jesus to take away their sins, i.e. to forgive them and help them to stop “practicing” lawlessness and breaking God’s Law.

Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:7-10 NASB. Jesus appeared so that He could destroy the works of the devil. He wants to take away your sins from the books of heaven when you ask for forgiveness from God, and from your life, so that you can be pure.

Still think that you don’t’ need to keep God’s Commandments, and that you only need to keep Jesus’ Commandments? Read what John has to say here: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.” 1 John 5:2 KJV. Now in the pure context of this verse it is quite clearly talking about God’s commandments, not Jesus’ commandments! This is also important, because John is reiterating in slightly different words, Jesus’ command to love one another here when he said, ‘By this we know that we love the children of God.’ This is clearly the same thing as Jesus’ command to love one another, i.e. to love our Christian brethren. This statement by John makes a strong tie between Jesus’ new commandment to love one another, and keeping God’s commandments: it shows us that they are the same thing, just two different ways of looking at it. Because this is how you know that you love one another, when you keep God’s commandments: especially those in Exodus 20. All of Jesus’ disciples, including His modern day ones, will love one another and keep Jesus’ words. John makes it so clear, that if you read both of his books of John and 1st John and reason through it carefully with much prayer, that you need not miss it.

Again why is 1 John 5:2 talking about God’s commandments? Because we already saw in Part 1 of this article that Jesus’ commandments are actually God’s commandments, because God gave His Son Jesus a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. John 12:49. If anyone doubts what we are saying here, this is the testimony Jesus gave through His servant John and in other places. We also saw in Part 1 of this article that Jesus kept all of His Father’s commandments. If Jesus kept all of His Father’s commandments and loved Him, shouldn’t you too?

How do you know that John was Jesus’ servant, and wrote His words for you to read? Read what he wrote at the beginning of 1 John: “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life — and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us — what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.” 1 John 1:1-4 NASB. The King James has this last part as ‘And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:4 KJV. Why did John write the books of John, 1st John and our passage of 1 John 5:2? So that your joy would be made complete or full, just as he stated. John’s fellowship was with the Father and with Jesus His Son. If your fellowship is with Jesus, then you will receive and believe John’s testimony here in our passage of 1 John 5:2, and everything else John wrote as well.

But how do you really know that this verse in 1 John 5:2 is talking about keeping God’s Commandments? Easy! Just read the verse before it: “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.” 1 John 5:1 NASB.  Who begat Jesus? Who was Jesus the Son of? God. John 3:16. Then who is ‘God’ in 1 John 5:2? The Father. If you love God, you also will love His Son Jesus, because He proceeded from Him! If you love Jesus, then you will love His Father also. If you love to obey Jesus, you will also love to obey His Father. If you love Jesus you will keep His word. If you love Jesus you will also keep His Father’s word.

Do you love God? Do you love Jesus His Son? Then keep God’s commandments, which are Jesus’ word. Still doubt that Jesus was sent from God or that His words were from God, the Father?Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word.” John 8:42-43 KJV.

So if God is your Father, you will love Jesus His Son, because He proceeded from Him. If you do not hear or believe our words or reasoning here, it is because you do not hear Jesus’ word.

Jesus’ Commandments are the Father’s Commandments:

Notice the similarity of these two messages from John. Notice that both are talking about love:

1) “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” 1 John 4:20 NASB.

2) “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:” 1 John 2:4-5 NASB.

Therefore to hate your brother is the same thing as breaking God’s commandments. From this it is clear that ‘to love’ means ‘to keep God’s commandments.’ That is why we say that keeping God’s 10 commandments are about love, for Love is the fulfillment of the Law. Romans 13:10. You cannot separate love from the 10 commandments, or the 10 commandments from love. The 10 Commandments are the summary of the way God wants us to treat Him and others. They are general and easy to understand. But their principles cover every aspect of life and help us to know how to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. You cannot keep the 10 commandments unless you have love for God and man. And you can’t keep the 10 Commandments or love unless you know God. It’s that simple.

How do we know if we have the love of God and have His love perfected in us? By keeping His commandments. This is how we know if we really know Him, or if we are just ‘blowing smoke’, saying that we are a Christian and know Him. If we really know Him, it will not be a big struggle or a burden to treat others with kindness, love and respect, and to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and all our mind and all our soul. It will only be natural. “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the worldour faith.” 1 John 5:1-4 NASB. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8 KJV. Whoever keeps God’s word and the 10 Commandments, the love of God has truly been perfected in them, for no one can really keep God’s word in their own strength and power.

The 10 Commandments are Jesus’ Commandments:

Jesus declared, “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.” Matthew 5:17-19 KJV. Some people try to say that since Jesus fulfilled the law, we don’t have to. Even though Jesus definitely kept His Father’s law perfectly on our behalf, this idea that since He did it for us that we don’t need to keep it, still goes against what Jesus said, when He said He didn’t come to destroy it but to fulfill it. So if Jesus’ death on the cross means we don’t need to keep the 10 Commandments, then Jesus’ would be destroying the law. But Jesus did not contradict Himself. In Exodus 19 God promised blessings if His people would obey His voice and then He spoke the 10 Commandments to them in Exodus 20. So if Jesus did not come to destroy the Law, how is it that His death on the cross makes it so we no longer need to keep the Law? If that were really true, then Jesus would be destroying the Law, or making it of ‘none effect’ if we didn’t have to keep it from then on. But what does Jesus say? ‘I am not come to destroy’ [the Law]. And why did Jesus say: ‘Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?’ Matthew 15:3 KJV. He spoke this to the scribes and Pharisees of His day, but we believe that if He were walking on the earth again in our day, He would say the same thing to those who hold any tradition or teaching that causes people to transgress the laws of God. And those who teach that God’s 10 Commandments do not need to be kept any more are definitely teaching others to ‘transgress the law of God’, which is the same thing that Jesus reprimanded the scribes and Pharisees for doing. If it was wrong for the scribes and Pharisees to do, it is wrong for anyone in our day to do it as well.

The plain meaning of the word ‘fulfill’ is to replenish or make it full. Or to make it happen. Jesus’ death on the cross and the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit provides the way for us to be forgiven, and to be cleansed from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1:9, so that we can love Him and our neighbor as ourselves.

Notice that Jesus declared that until heaven and earth have passed away, not even one jot or tittle, [not even the smallest of portion of the law], shall pass away. We know that some say that He fulfilled the law for us, so we don’t need to keep it, but Jesus, as if in anticipation of this, informs us quite clearly that unless Heaven and Earth pass away, not even the smallest portion of the commandments will be done away with. Are heaven and earth still here? Yes. Then not even the smallest portion of the 10 Commandments have been done away with. Some may say, ‘we are saved by grace’, meaning that we don’t have to keep God’s Law. [They imply it, but some even say that we can’t, and shouldn’t. Some even go as far as implying that it is a sin to keep God’s Law. Imagine that?] But this is clearly refuted by what Jesus declared above. Jesus also declared that all who shall break even ‘the least’ or smallest of the commandments [of the 10], shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. We believe that this is a curse. We don’t think that it is a good thing to be called ‘least in the kingdom of heaven’ by God. Why? Because Jesus contrasts this with His next statement: whoever shall do these commandments and teach them to others shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. We believe that it is clear that this is a blessing! Therefore the contrast of this blessing of being called great in the kingdom of Heaven is the curse of being called least in the kingdom of Heaven, because a curse is the opposite of a blessing. We want this blessing of being called great in the kingdom of Heaven, because this is what pleases God and we want to please Him. If anyone believes they don’t have to keep God’s law, they should keep it quiet! If they tell anybody else this lie, they will come under God’s displeasure! Of course if they break His law and don’t confess it, they will also come under His displeasure too.

David affirms this same truth that Jesus declared, that there is a great reward for those who keep God’s law:The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11 KJV.

Dear reader, do you want to be converted so that you can be saved? Do you want to be warned so that you are not lost? Do you want the promised great reward? Then ask God to help you keep His law of love, the 10 Commandments and read and meditate on them. For when you study them out and meditate on them, you will be warned, and converted, if you humble yourself before God, and allow His love to fully penetrate your heart! Moreover by the 10 commandments are God’s servants warned, and in keeping them is great reward! And as Jesus said, in teaching others to keep them there is great reward! Dear reader do you want to be Jesus and His Father’s servant? Then keep their commandments of love to you, it’s that simple. The power to keep God’s word is in His commands. Those who have faith in God will understand this. Do you want the promised great reward? Then teach others to love and obey God too, it’s that simple. Yes, God’s 10 Commandment Law is perfect, and will last forever, since Heaven and Earth are still here, and Heaven will last forever.

Therefore it is clear that the 10 Commandments are also Jesus’ Commandments, not just God’s Commandments, since Jesus did not come to destroy the Law.

Still don’t believe that ‘the law’ that Jesus didn’t come to destroy is the 10 Commandments? Then proceed to our next section where we will go into this, to help you see that this passage in Mathew 5:17-19 is indeed referring to the 10 Commandments.

What is the difference between the 10 Commandments and Jesus’ command to love one another or to love your neighbor as yourself?

Without going into all of the details here, we want to show you what it means by illustrating it. For additional evidence beyond what we are going to say here, please read our many other articles regarding this, (especially ‘Who is my Neighbor Part 1’ and 2 https://whiteraimentevangelism.org/BlogLove/?p=15 and
https://whiteraimentevangelism.org/BlogLove/?p=14) or our book, ‘God’s Law of Love’. You owe it to yourself to have a full understanding of this subject, because there are many who misunderstand it and hold errors regarding it.

Is there a difference between the 10 Commandments and the command to Love our Neighbor as ourself and to love God with all our heart, mind and soul? No. We will show you why.

Jesus made it clear in Matthew 22:37-40, in answer to the lawyer’s question in verse 36, that ‘on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ Notice He referred to them as the two commandments, the ‘first and great commandment’ and “the second’ [great commandment]. Paul comes to our aid here to help us understand that these two great commandments that Jesus’ spoke of are the same thing as the 10 Commandments, when he said that ‘love is the fulfillment of the Law’ and mentions some of the 10 commandments in Romans 13:8-10. Here Paul says, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:8-10 NASB. Notice that Paul mentions 4 of the 10 commandments of Exodus 20:1-17. And he quite clearly links it to the 2nd great commandment that Jesus talked about in Matthew 22:37-40. Thus in this passage, Paul clearly bridges the gap between what it means to love your neighbor as yourself (one of the two great commandments) and the 10 Commandments since he mentions several of them.

The 10 Commandments are a summary of God’s law of love, which was the point that Jesus was making here in Matthew 22:37-40. Though the 10 Commandments do not mention in detail every possible sin or wrong in every possible way, they summarize them. And Jesus summarized the 10 Commandments into 2 great commandments. But everything that is wrong that can be thought, said, or done is contained in at least one of the 10 Commandments, and many times more than one of them. If someone says anything hurtful against someone else, neglects to do good when it is needed, hurts themselves or others, they are breaking God’s Law of Love the 10 Commandments. Some people who think they are keeping God’s commandments, say bad or hurtful things or have bad thoughts, etc., and think that their ‘mere’ outward observance of the 10 Commandments is accepted by God, but it is not. Rest assured that no one who is unkind, unmerciful, unloving, or even neglectful of others or their needs, who are selfish are keeping the 10 Commandments, regardless of their claims. No way. Because love is the fulfillment of the Law. Romans 13:10.

Those who do not love God above anyone else (including themselves) and everything else in this world are breaking the first commandment as found in Exodus 20:3 and Matthew 22:36-38. Did you catch that? It is not enough to keep God’s Laws out of a sense of duty, but they must be kept because you love Him. This is the first commandment, which is also the most broken commandment because all other commandments in the Bible, not just the other 10 Commandments, are contained in it. And those who do not love their neighbor as themselves or say or do hurtful things to them, or neglect them are breaking at least one of the other 6 commandments of the 10, and possibly others too. The first four commandments deal with loving God more than anyone and anything, and the last 6 commandments deal with how to love your neighbor as yourself. If someone just tries to keep God’s commandments out of a sense of duty, they are not really keeping them completely, if at all. The only way you can keep His commandments is if you love Him, and if you love Him you will not lie, cheat or steal, or kill, etc.

The only way you can keep His commandments is if you ‘know’ God. 1 John 2:4. And if you know God, you will love Him supremely and love your neighbor as yourself. This is the proof that you know Him, because ‘God is love.’ 1 John 4:8. And those who know Him, He abides in them and they in Him, and He fills them with His precious Holy Spirit! Amen.

No Tears in Heaven:

There will be no tears in Heaven, sorrow, pain, or death. Revelation 21:4. Or anything that hurts in God’s Holy Mountain. Isaiah 11:9. Those who continue hurting God or others and don’t want His help to be better, will not be admitted into Heaven. This is because Heaven is all about love, joy, and happiness. But God will give a blessing to those who want to obey His law of Love. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14 KJV. And in the NASB it says: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14 NASB. All those who hang on to sin and do not let Jesus wash their robes from sin, will not be in Heaven and would not be happy there, because they did not want all the love, joy and peace that God wanted to give them. God wants all of His people to learn to love Him and others on this earth; to learn how to submit to Him and receive the Holy Spirit, so that He can help them to be good, and fit them for Heaven. We repeat, Heaven is all about love. The purpose of this life is to learn how to love. This is what prepares one for Heaven. Those who don’t want to love the Lord their God with all their heart and all their mind and all their soul will not be happy in Heaven, and will not be admitted there. Because there will be none to hurt in all of God’s Holy Mountain.

God is love, 1 John 4:8, and will not allow the wicked into Heaven. Now we have all been wicked at least one point in our life, but God has provided the way for us to be there, by forgiving our sins when we confess them, and by helping us to overcome if we accept His help. God, who is rich in mercy and abundant in love, provided for our salvation by giving His Son to die on the cross for our sins, if we confess them (1 John 1:9), and by providing the Holy Spirit, if we want to obey Him. Acts 5:32. This fits us for Heaven. This is the gospel message, the good news. Dear reader, won’t you come and go with me to that bright and fair land in Heaven, where there will be no more hurt, suffering, sin, pain or death? Won’t you ask God to make you fit for Heaven? This is the Gospel! Amen.

Conclusion:

If you want to keep Jesus’ word and be filled with the Holy Spirit, you must want to keep all the words He spoke, and keep all of His words that were spoken by His servants. Since His words come from God, you will also want to keep all of God’s words too, which include all of His servants in all ages.

Why are we making such a big deal out of Jesus commandments being God’s commandments and keeping God’s commandments? So that you will not be fooled and can become born again. Because the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God or to those who want to obey Him. These are those who keep Jesus’ word, which is the same word that His Father gave to Him as a ‘commandment’ of what to say and what to speak. We are making a big deal out of this, because this is the only path of peace, love and joy! If you love God and obey Him (by His power) you will never regret it, we promise you!

If you love Jesus, keep His word, which is to keep His Father’s commandments, including the Law of Love, the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20. If you love Jesus, the Father will love you, and you will be filled with the Holy Spirit! Amen! This will help you to love your neighbor as yourself, and to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul! And your life will be sweet with the dew of Heaven, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit and delight in loving and serving God.

May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

#Love #Jesus #Keep #Word #Obey #God #Holy #Spirit #Commandment #Born #Again #Joy #Abide #Sin #Hate #Brother #Destroy #Law #Fulfill #Saved

By John Foll, written between 02/05/2018 to 02/11/2018, and finished on 03/3/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll

This article is an answer to a question posed by one of the readers of our White Raiment Evangelism Blogs and some of our books:

What did Jesus mean when he said that we were to love one another?

If you have not read our previous article, “Who is My Neighbor? Part 1”, we recommend that you read it, because we don’t want to cover all of it again here, but to find the answer to this second question, and put it all together for you. https://whiteraimentevangelism.org/BlogLove/?p=15

“Jesus said, ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.’” John 13:34-35 KJV.

Let’s explore what this means.

In Part 1 of this article, we discovered that whoever needs our help, who we have the ability of helping is our neighbor. We also learned that we have an obligation and responsibility to do what we can for others, whoever and whenever we can help. We are held accountable to God not only for the wrong things that we have thought, said or done in this life, but also for the neglect of others. Everyone in this world could literally be our neighbor, if we would think outside of the box and ask God for more ways to help them, not just the ones we have come in contact with in this life. God doesn’t compel anyone, but if His love is not in your heart you won’t see the need or have the ability of helping others. And those who have done nothing to help others, will eventually be shut out of the Kingdom of Heaven if they haven’t repented, and will be cast into the fire prepared for the devil and his angels. This is what Jesus said, this is not our words. And those who have been helping others, even if they did not know they were doing it for Jesus, were doing it unto Him. And Jesus will invite them to go with Him to Heaven, with its everlasting love and endless delight, because what they did to help others, was done unto Him, as if He was the one they did it to. They may not even have known that they were doing it unto Him, because it was in their heart to do it, and they didn’t give it a second thought, but they were! Jesus takes all wrong acts of unkindness and neglect done to others as if they were done to Him personally, and all acts of kindness and love done to others, as if they were done to Him personally.

The question what did Christ mean when He said that we were to love one another, does it mean that we are to love only the brethren of our Church? Or does it mean something more? Does it mean the same thing as God’s commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves? We shall see.

As you can see the answer to this question and its sub-questions are more complex.

Whatever conclusion we come up with cannot contradict what we have already learned from our previous article, Part 1, where we learned that our neighbor is not just someone who is of our faith, or even of our same Christian denomination, because Jesus proved this idea to be wrong, as we conclude from the answer to His question given by the “doctor of the law,” the Jewish lawyer: The one who showed mercy toward him." Luke 10:36. “The one who showed mercy toward him” was a foreigner, a Samaritan, and thus not of the same faith as the Jews, who were much despised by them! From this we conclude that if we are to obey Jesus and His Father, we must love those outside of our faith, including those who are not even Christian. Because of what we know about Jesus and His Father, we conclude therefore that our neighbor is the whole world, whether they are Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Pagan, or even an Atheist! Is anyone left out from this list? No, all are our neighbor. Our neighbor is whoever we have the ability of helping that needs our help, without reference to race, religion, creed, etc. because God is no respecter of persons. “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, ‘Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.’” Acts 10:34-35 KJV.

There is evidence in the scriptures that there should be a special place in our heart for the brethren. Do a search for the word ‘brethren’ in a computer Bible or on an Internet Bible site and see what it comes up with, if you want to know more of this. They are too numerous to mention here. But here are a few references for you to check out if you wish: Greet the brethren: Romans 16:3, 5-6, 8, 11; 1 Corinthians 16:19-21; 2 Corinthians 13:12-13; Philippians 4:21-22; Collisions 4:14, 15, 18; 1 Timothy 5:26; 2 Timothy 3:17; 4:19-21; Philemon 1:23; Hebrews 13:24; James 1:1; 1 Peter 5:15; 2 John 1:13; 3 John 1:14. There is a work for us to do within the church, for the widows, the orphans, etc. 1 Timothy 5:3-20. James 1:27. We are not to take believers to a court of law before unbelievers, because it brings dishonor to God. 1 Corinthians 6:1-6.

To begin our discovery of what the answer to this question is, let us start here:

The apostle John declares that We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” 1 John 3:14-18 NASB.

Again John says, “We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” 1 John 4:19-21 NASB.

So another question that can be asked is: Who is my brother? Is it someone from your faith or Christian denomination? Or is it someone who is a Christian? This seems to be indicated, but we believe it also has a deeper meaning, and includes all who might become a Christian at a later date, whether they are now or not. In the end your brother can be the same thing as your neighbor. Since we don’t know who will accept God’s invitation to be saved or not, we need to treat everyone as if they would eventually be saved. This is impossible to do without God’s help, so we must pray for His help to do it.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:7-11 NASB.

Who are we to love? According to John, ‘the one who does not love does not know God.’ So we had better get to know God, so that we can love others. Even though the first part of this text is saying that we should love ‘one another’, verse 8 doesn’t seem to limit it to just ‘one another’ or just ‘the brethren.’ I.e. our love should not be limited just to those who go to our Church denomination. There is no doubt that we are to love the brethren of our Church, which is probably John’s main point. But what about all those who are not currently a part of God’s Church? If they can be brought into the fold of the true Shepherd and give themselves to God, they would become our brethren too, would they not? So is John really excluding all non-Church members here or all non-Christians, or those who are not members of your Church denomination here? We think not. John clearly states here that the one who does not love does not know God. And God does not love just those who are believers in Jesus, but the whole world, and desires all to accept His offer of eternal life – He is not willing that any should perish! 2 Peter 3:9. See also John 3:16-17.

We need to know the answer to this question, whether we should limit our love just to the brethren in our Church, or should our love be more than this? Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35 KJV. The answer to this question is VERY important, because Jesus stated that this would be how people would know if we are His disciple or not! Those who don’t’ ‘love one another’ are not His disciple! We want to make sure that we are on the right side of this, because we want to be Jesus’ disciple.

Jesus clears up the answer to our question here with this statement:
But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:27-36 NASB.  See also Matthew 5:43-48.

We see from what Jesus’ said above, that those who we love should not be just those who love us back, or treat us kindly and fairly. Since we should be able to expect those who are Christian to treat us with kindness and love, based on Jesus’ command to love one another, His statement here in Luke 6 seems to indicate that if we love others who don’t love us, like He asked us to do, that this also includes non-Christians and people who are not of our faith. Did you catch that? Jesus statement here in Luke 6 seems to indicate that we should love those who are not even a Christian yet, or not of our faith.

From Jesus’ command that we are to ‘love our enemies’, we conclude that there must be a larger group of people than those who are of our Christian denomination, or even of those who are Christian, that we are to love. Because a Christian’s enemies can most certainly come from those whose beliefs are hostile against Christianity, which includes a large group of people in this world. So clearly the non-Christian is included in who we are supposed to love, by Jesus’ statement above.

So when Jesus said that we were to love one another, does this not also mean that we are to love those who are not a Christian or of our particular faith yet? Yes, we think this is clear.

Jesus’ statement above in Luke 6:32 also tells us that we are to love those who persecute us, and to be meek and humble with those who would make demands of us. And we are to do good to those who need our help, especially to those who can’t pay us back or help us back. Jesus also stated that persecution could come out of your own household or your Church when He said, “They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.” John 16:2 NASB. This indicates that persecution can arise out of your own faith! What could be clearer than this? Jesus further declared: “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Luke 12:51-53 NASB. What is Jesus talking about here? Not everyone loves Him and His Father supremely, some become embittered against the truth when their sins and defects are made plain, and will not bear patiently when someone, even in their own family, takes their stand for Jesus and wants to love and obey Him all the way, it makes them look bad! So this is the cause of some of the persecution that can happen. Who were the people that Jesus was talking to in John 16:2 above? They were all Jews. The first Christians were all Jews, but they learned new truths that were not accepted by all Jews, so this produced persecution. Probably the majority of the Jews didn’t accept Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, because He pointed out their sins. And the first Jewish Christians were forced out of meeting with the other Jews in the synagogues at one point. Jewish Christians were literally cast out of their Synagogues!

But something similar to this also happened to true Christians during the Middle Ages, during the great persecution that occurred there, where they were persecuted for believing the truth, which went against what the established Church was teaching. And unfortunately this also happened here in the United States, before we were a nation from some Christian denominations towards others who didn’t believe exactly as they did, and it has happened after we were a nation too. We don’t want to go there in this article, but you probably get our point now, don’t you? The fact that someone is a member of your Christian denomination doesn’t mean that they love you, and will not try to persecute you if you stand up for your beliefs that God is teaching you, it may come to a point where they will cast you out of their ‘synagogues’ too. And we can most certainly be persecuted by those who are not Christian at all, who are antagonistic against Christianity, because they know not the love of Jesus and His Father for the human race. Yes, there is a cross that we all must bear if we wish to be Jesus’ disciple. But this is not the main point of our article. But Jesus said that we are to love one another, that we were to also love those who persecute us, who are trying to make our life miserable. We are to love even those who are trying to steal our sweet Christian peace, love and joy and our Crown of life that Jesus and His Father want to give us. Those who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ will war against Him. 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10.

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:12-19 KJV.

In Matthew 5 Jesus says that ‘if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?’ Matthew 5:47 NASB. Jesus makes it clear here that we are to love not just our brethren or the Christians who believe as we do, but He also enjoins us to love non-Christians as well.

Jesus gives the reason we are to love our enemies and pray for them: ‘so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:45 NASB. Jesus makes it clear that God sends the rain and blessings on both the righteous and the wicked, and that we are to be like our Heavenly Father and love everyone, not just those who love us back, but even love those who persecute us. If we want to be sons of our Heavenly Father in Heaven, we must love others like He does. And not just love the ‘brothers’ of our own denominational faith and not just those who are Christians. Because Jesus said that we are to love our enemies, His command to love one another also means that we are to love those who are not even Christian yet. We need to let God’s sweet Spirit fill our heart with His love and not be partial to any, but do our best to help others, sharing His love with them whether they can help us back or repay us or not. Because God is kind to the unkind, unloving and undeserving, so should we.

We are not suggesting here that we can walk together with unbelievers in sweet accord, or to those who don’t believe exactly like we do, but that we are to still love everyone. The prophet Amos declared: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3 KJV. The apostle Paul says, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 KJV.

Is there anyone that we should not love? No. We are to love those who love us of course, but we are also to love those who don’t love us, if we would be Jesus’ disciple. But there is a special love we should have for the brethren who believe like we do, all those who love Jesus like we do, who have the same kind of faith as ours. Peter makes this clear when he writes:Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” 2 Peter 1:1-4 NASB. Here Peter says that he is greeting all who have the same kind of faith as he had. What was that same kind of faith that Peter had? He declares that it is the faith in the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. And Peter blesses those who have the same kind of faith as he had with this special blessing: ‘grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord’. Dear reader, we hope that you have the same kind of faith that Peter had, in the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is mighty to save, and His Father more so. For no one is able to snatch you out of His or His Father’s hands!

Jesus declared: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.” John 10:27-29 NASB.

Do you believe this dear reader? Do you love Jesus and believe that no one can snatch you out of His hand, or out of His Father’s hand who is greater than He? It’s true! Just believe it! You are the only one who can take yourself out of God’s hand. If you believe that God can save you, and that no one can snatch you out of His hand, then you have the same kind of faith as Peter had! It’s a simple as that!

So yes, there is a special greeting that we can give only to those who have the same kind of faith that Peter and the apostles had. We can only share this kind of comradery with those who are of a like mind, who in a like manner love Jesus as we do.

But unfortunately not all of ‘the brethren’, who call themselves ‘Christian’, have the same kind of faith that Peter and the other Apostles of the New Testament had. This is, to use a cliché, a crying shame, literally! All who name themselves Christians should have the same kind of faith that Peter and the Apostles had! It is not God’s fault that they have this lack! He is not to be charged with this. It is their own fault for not taking advantage of the many precious promises that God has given us for a new life with Him. Or this could be due to ignorance or to false teachers and false professors of the Christian faith. Or this could be due to those who are well meaning, but are teaching a faulty or incomplete understanding of the truth, failing to explain the truth of God’s many precious promises that we may become partakers of His divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4.

There is a great lack of faith and unbelief in the promises of God, manifested today by many Christians, with the lack of the true knowledge of how to be saved, or of their great need to be born again (John 3:3, 5), or else there would be more born again Christians, and this world would be a better place. Yes we know that there are many who claim to be born again, and some of whom have stickers on their cars or signs outside of their houses or businesses saying, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ But if we go by the Bible standard of being born again, that we love one another and love our neighbor as ourselves, that we should have the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and in many other texts in the New Testament, their life comes up short of the mark. But the final chapter in their life hasn’t been written yet, and God will make the decision whether they merit His grace or not, or whether they are weighed in the balances and found wanting. Daniel 5:27.

Many Christians do not believe the plain reading of the Bible, where Jesus states that we are to love God with all of our heart, mind and soul, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, which He infers is the same thing as the Law or the 10 Commandments, and is the main teaching of the Law and the Prophets, which is a term that refers literally to the whole Old Testament, and by extension to all of the New Testament as well. They think that His Law of Love or the Old Testament are done away with, superseded by the Gospel of Grace or the New Covenant, not realizing that Jesus’ command to love one another, and to love God are one and the same as the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20 of the Old Testament, and that God has always been about Grace and Love, even in the Old Testament! But Jesus breathed new life into these commands, and showed us more fully what they mean, and gives us the power through the Holy Spirit to keep them, if we are born again. John 3:3 5. Consider well Jesus’ statement here in regard to this: “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:40 KJV. This is in reference to the command of God to love Him with all of our heart, mind and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This proves to everyone who believes in Jesus, that the commandment to love our God with all our heart, and all our mind and all our soul, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, is the whole purpose and reason for the Old Testament, and even the whole New Testament as well! We don’t want to go into the proofs here regarding all of these assertions that we are making here – we have already covered them in other articles and in several of our books. We cite this here as an aid to the understanding of the question: ‘Who is my neighbor?’ and what Jesus meant when He said that we are ‘to love one another.’ It is not the hearers, but the doers of the Law of Love who will be right in God’s sight. Romans 2:13. But all those who love God will be wanting to keep His divine injunction and ask Him for the help to do it.

From all of this we conclude that not all who name themselves Christians have the same kind of faith as ours, or the same kind of faith that Peter and the Apostles had, i.e. the same kind of faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and His Father, and of their ability of making us righteous too. So when Jesus says that we are to love one another, this would have to be a broader scope than our own Christian denomination or faith, because more than likely not all of those of your Christian denomination, if you are a Christian, have the same kind of faith that Peter had, or believe the plain reading of the Bible or believe the plain words and commands of Jesus. Sad but true. We are saved as individuals, not as a group of people. Church membership is not a membership into the club of the saved. We are not saying here that we shouldn’t have brotherly love towards those who are of our same Christian denomination, who may not have the same kind of faith that Peter and the other Apostles had, because we are to ‘love one another’ as Jesus loved us. But the fact is that all don’t have the same kind of faith that Peter and the other Apostles had. So we cannot have the same comradery with those who don’t believe as we do. Draw your own conclusions. It takes more than a mere profession of faith to have the same kind of faith that Peter and the other Apostles had.

Conclusion of What did Jesus mean when He commanded us to love one another?

We conclude therefore, that even though there is a special comradery among those who have the same kind of faith that we have, Jesus’ command to love one another goes way beyond the membership of our particular Church faith, and even beyond to all people who are Christian. It should also include those who could be our brothers or sisters, but are not yet; we should do all that we can to help them love Jesus too. We also conclude that Jesus’ command to love one another, is the same thing as or similar to God’s command that we love our neighbor as ourselves. And to reiterate what we discovered in our previous lesson, part 1, our neighbor is whoever needs our help, and is literally anyone in the world that we have the power and the ability of helping. Those who go into the kingdom of Heaven with Jesus at His second coming, are those who have loved their neighbor as themselves, clothed the naked, fed the hungry, visited those who were sick and in prison and shared the gospel of Jesus and His Father’s love with them.

Dear reader, we hope that you can see the necessity of loving your neighbor as yourself, and loving one another, including those who are not of your faith yet, or not even Christian yet. This is what Jesus wants you to do. If you want to be pleasing in His site, ask Him how you can best serve Him and help others. Pray for a fitness to serve Him with a pure, new heart, filled with love for Him and others, the ones whom Christ died for. Don’t hold yourself back from this precious joy of showing others His love or helping them in their needs. You will never regret it, we promise you! If you will allow God to help you to help others in their needs, be it physical or spiritual needs, then you will be greatly blessed. Then your life will be a pleasing aroma to God. God wants His children to reproduce His character of love. This is part of the reward of Heaven, it is love, pure and simple. If you have been given love, you cannot help but want to share it with others, or your springs of joy will dry up. Everyone who names the name of Christ should be happy they have been loved and forgiven by God - this should produce in them the strongest inducement for them to want to serve Him. Freely you have received from Him, freely give from your storehouse of resources, time and means to help others, for your God whom you love.

May the grace of God be with you, dear reader, as you ask for help from God to love your neighbor as yourself, and for His help to ‘love one another’ as Jesus loved you. Amen.

#Love #One #Another #Who #Neighbor #Needs #Help #Brother #Church #Denomination #Christian #non #Enemy #Hate #Persecution #New #Life #Grace #Faith #Peter