The Truth

Who is My Neighbor? Part 1

The Holy Spirit is given to all who obey God.

By John Foll, written between 2/23/2019 and 2/27/2019
© Copyright 2019 John Foll

Do you know the truth? Many people think or say that they know the truth, but do they really? We want to get to the bottom of this. What is the truth? And how do you know if you have found it? It’s important to know if you know the truth or not.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’” John 14:6 NASB.

If someone doesn’t know Jesus, really know Him, then they really don't know ‘the Truth.’ Someone may think that they know ‘all truth,’ but not know ‘the Truth.’ Knowing right from wrong is a good place to start, but in order to do what is right you need a power beyond yourself. Many make the mistake of thinking that a mere knowledge of the truth and the belief in it is enough, but it is not unless they know Jesus, because He is the only way and the truth and the life. Without the power to be good, knowing the truth is not enough. If you don't know Jesus, you will not have that new life that He wants to give you, or have life more abundantly. John 10:10; 1 John 5:12. You need to know Jesus in order to be born again. Jesus declared that only those who are born again will be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven. John 3:3, 5. If you have the Son you have the life, if you do not have the Son you do not have the life! 1 John 5:12 NASB. If you want to know 'the truth,' you must get to know Jesus, because He is ‘the Truth.’ Otherwise you do not have it. This life from Him that He longs to give you is a vibrant relationship with Him, where He opens to you the way of the truth and gives you the power to do it! Do not be deceived, without knowing Him you cannot do or keep the truth and will stumble on the way.

What did Jesus mean when He said that ‘no one comes through the Father but through Me?’ Those who think that they are going to be saved because of their knowledge of the scriptures, or because of their knowledge of the truth as given by other inspired Christian authors, or because of their own good works, without having to go through Jesus to be saved will be in for a rude awakening at the second resurrection.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power ***” Revelation 20:6 KJV. But what is the second death? And why is it that we don’t want to be resurrected at the second resurrection? Because Jesus said, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28-29 KJV. The two resurrections Jesus describes here are: 1) the resurrection of life, and 2) the resurrection of damnation. This is why Revelation 20:6 declares that ‘blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection,’ because the second death is the resurrection of damnation! The second death does not sound good, does it? We don’t want any part of that!

Many people think that a knowledge of the truth or their belief in it will save them, but it will not, unless they get salvation from Jesus. No one can be saved, except those who come through Jesus to get to the Father. Only Jesus’ blood forgives their sins and makes them acceptable to God.

There may be some people who are saved, who didn’t know Jesus or the basics of Christianity. God can choose to forgive them based on the blood of Jesus,’ this is His prerogative, since He is a God of love and justice and fairness. But doesn’t this contradict what we just stated? No. God doesn’t hold someone accountable for what they didn’t know and couldn’t learn in their lifetime. This is important to understand. People who don’t know about Jesus can still be saved by Jesus, not by anything that they have done or not done. We are all saved by the merits of Jesus’ blood alone. Are we saying that you don’t have to be a Christian at all to be saved? Not exactly. In the times of ignorance God winked, but He is now commanding men and women everywhere to repent and believe in Jesus. The apostle Paul declared: “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Acts 17:29-31 KJV. Jesus loves poor sinners who don’t know Him, and will plead His blood for them if they were honest and doing the best that they could with what they knew. But no one can be saved without Jesus’ blood. No! It is impossible! That is what Jesus meant. But as Paul plainly indicated, even though that in the times of ignorance God winked, there will come a day when people who don’t know Jesus will be held accountable for their ignorance (including those who believe that they are Christians but don’t really know Him), if they fail to avail themselves of the opportunity of learning about Him, and they resist the Holy Spirit. So once they learn about Jesus, they need to come to Him for forgiveness and life, and not try to be saved in any other way, or through their own merit or goodness. It must be remembered, that the unpardonable sin for a sinner is resisting the Holy Spirit or failing to obey His pleading in their heart. John 16:8-11; Acts 7:51; Mark 3:22-30. The unpardonable sin is the one sin that will keep someone out of Heaven - which is resisting the Holy Spirit.

It is possible to study the truth of the Bible your entire life and not know the most essential truth of them all - Jesus. This is the one thing you cannot do without! How does this happen? It is done by doing your own thing, or by rendering less than a full consecration to God, and resisting the pleas of the Holy Spirit. If you cooperate with God and listen to the Holy Spirit, He will testify to you of Jesus, so that you can know Him. John 15:26. It’s your choice what you will do and whether you will have the new life that Jesus is offering you or not. Someone who “knows” the truth, who doesn’t know Jesus and has not devoted themselves to Him cannot help but have deep spiritual problems. When someone tries to keep the truth without knowing Him, they will either sink into a legalistic quagmire, or into a careless state that some folks have who think they can do what they like, since they are ‘saved.’ (This is the way they have been taught by the lukewarm professors of ‘the truth’, where ‘the truth’ is picked out and made to contradict other portions of the Bible and against itself.) A lot of God’s people seem to fall in either one of these categories. Neither of these groups know Jesus, because He plainly declared that if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 NASB. Jesus stated this in response to what took place here: “Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham's offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You shall become free?'” Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.’” John 8:31-35 NASB. Jesus’ response indicated that they needed to be made free. They believed that they were OK since they were descended from Abraham. But Jesus told them that since they had committed sin that they were slaves of sin, needing to be made free. Thus they were not really free like they thought they were. They were in as much need of being free as we are in our day! No human being is not in need of being made free; we all need this freedom which only Jesus can give. Those who have addictions to sin that they can't break out of are definitely not free indeed. Clearly these do not know Jesus yet, because He came to free the captives (Isaiah 61:1-8; Luke 4:18) and make them free indeed.

Therefore if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed! Just believe it. He cannot lie! If He has made you free, you will be free indeed! Has he made you free dear reader? This is the real gospel that Jesus and the disciples preached. Freedom! This freedom can be yours too if you greatly desire it! Jesus has promised this to you if you are tired of being a slave to sin! Why not claim this promise for yourself and finally be free? You owe it to yourself to do this! This is the best thing that will ever happen to you and will help you on your way to Heaven!

Those who do not know Jesus cannot be free indeed. Those who do not know Jesus cannot obey Him. Those who do not know Jesus cannot possibly please Him, regardless of how many Bible texts they try to stack up to indicate that there is no need to. They try to drown out God's requirements in the Bible that declare that the wages of sin is death [Romans 6:23] and that we need to live holy lives for Him [1 Peter 1:15-16], confessing our sins to Him. 1 John 1:9. And unfortunately many today also teach that confession of sin to God is not needed for someone who gets 'saved,' because they say 'it was finished' at the cross or some other mumbo-jumbo nonsense. But someone who knows Jesus will want to please Him! It is automatic. They won’t be doing it to save themselves, but because they love Him, and because He gives them the power to obey. Those who don’t love Him, don’t please Him and don’t obey Him. Maybe this is the problem.

The Bible should never be read or studied in such a way as to make it contradict itself; we should seek out the closest harmony in it, because God is a God of order.For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV. And: “Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV. Yes you are saved by grace alone, not by your works. But this does not negate the rest of the Bible. Yes God offers forgiveness for your sins and mistakes when you confess them, but He wants you to live a holy life, and He has provided a way for you to do so, if you will become a partaker of the divine nature through Jesus.For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” 2 Peter 1:4 NASB.

Jesus declared: “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 NASB. Many people live, teach and act as if Jesus didn't mean what He said, and said what He meant here! They seem to think that it is impossible for them to live a good life this side of Heaven. But what did Jesus say? He said be ye perfect therefore as your heavenly father is perfect. This is a command, not something you can do if you want to. If what Jesus said was not true, this would make Him a liar! God forbid! Now who is the liar? The liar is the one who says we don’t need to concern ourselves with what Jesus said here; they use other scriptures to try to negate it. The liar is the one who says that Jesus didn’t come in the flesh (living as we do, tried and tempted as we are in all points, yet without sin [Hebrews 4:15] – thus showing us how to live). John writes: “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” 2 John 1:7 KJV. And: “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:22-23 NASB. Anyone who teaches that we don’t need to obey all of what Jesus taught, or that we can be saved by any other way than through Jesus is the liar. (Including that they can be saved merely through their knowledge and belief in ‘the truth.’) How can anyone be right, regardless of their quotes or reasoning if they contradict Jesus? Who does John say this is? The antichrist! There, I have done it! I have invoked the title of the arch evil one for that lie, for he is the father of lies! The liar is the one who contradicts Jesus. The liar is the one who says that we do not need to crucify the flesh with its sinful passions and desires. Paul declares, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:24 NASB. The liar is the one who teaches others to not believe Jesus or teaches unbelief. There can be no misunderstanding of what Jesus stated here in Matthew 5:48 with someone whose mind is open to ‘the way, the truth and the life’ - Jesus. You don't have to have a doctor's degree in theology to figure out what He meant. He said be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect, and that is what He meant.

Jesus also stated that those who love Him keep His word, and that those who don't love Him do not hear Him or keep His word.Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; …’” John 14:23 NASB. And: “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.” John 14:24 NASB. And: “Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. *** If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.’” John 8:42-47 NASB.

The problem here is that unbelief blocks the plain words of Jesus, making them seem obscure or something that is unimportant or something that cannot be right, without considering the ramifications of this view. Of course many people don't view this as making Jesus a liar, but it's true. Either what Jesus said is true or what they believe is true that contradicts Jesus. But they cannot both be right. Those who truly believe in righteousness by faith, learn true faith. When they learn that God is to be fully trusted, they start to take the word of God as it reads, and stop quibbling over what it says and simply believe it. All would do well to get to this point in their spiritual life, where they simply believe the word of God without any doubt. (Take the Bible as it reads, unless you are reading a passage which is clearly symbolic and needs interpreting, but then study other portions of the Bible to learn what it means. The Bible will explain itself if you let it and want to know ‘the Truth.’) But this language that Jesus used is so unmistakable, so unavoidable - a child should be able to understand it. So why is it that many adults cannot understand what He said? It is because of unbelief! People schooled in years of unbelief, stuck in addictions or trying to be good by themselves are those who come up with humanistic theories that contradict the plain word of God, such as the error that we do not need to be perfect or cannot be perfect. Jesus would not have commanded His followers to be perfect if it were not possible through His help to do so.

If you wish to be saved and please God, you must believe what is written in the Bible, because it is the word of God. You must believe in the promises of God to free you from sin and save you, otherwise you have no hope of being saved. John 3:16-17. Why waste your time with a religion that doesn't offer you hope? This is not the gospel of the Bible at all, but another gospel. 2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-26. This is not the gospel that Jesus, Paul, David or John or the many cloud of witnesses in the Bible preached. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV. But the devil's sophistry blinds people to the clear truth. If you want to be undeceived by his lies and deceptions, pray to God to be merciful to you a sinner and He will help you! Luke 18:13. This is something He will be happy to do! We promise you! And He will open your mind to ‘the Truth.’ Is that what you want? But what truth is that? That you would know the one and true God and Jesus His Son, who made the sacrifice for your sins, that you might be forgiven and be made free indeed! Jesus prayed to His Father for all of His disciples (which can be you too if you want to be His disciple): “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 NASB. This is the true gospel! Everything outside of this is another gospel and not the truth. Stop wasting your time on spiritual rubbish or half-truths that are of no value (Isaiah 55:1-3), and learn where real life comes from, and where the real power comes from – Jesus. There is no other name than Jesus, given among men, whereby you must be saved. Acts 4:12. If you just get to know Jesus, your life will be changed forever, as long as you abide in Him. John 15:4-6, 9-10. God guarantees it!

All your righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6 KJV. But this does not mean that God cannot provide you a robe that is pure and spotless! Oh no, this is not true! For this is the promise of the Gospel! The gospel is useless if it cannot make you a better, kinder and gentler person. The gospel is more than forgiveness, it takes away your shame and gives you hope - that you don't have to be or continue to be a miserable failure! The way many preach ‘the gospel’ today is no gospel at all. The real gospel doesn't give you a pass on your sins, or just heap upon you legal requirements that you can never meet. The real gospel forgives your sins when you confess them. The real gospel helps you to keep God’s requirements and makes you happy! The real gospel provides a way to lift you up out of the mud and set you on high, in Heavenly places! If the Son has made you free, you shall be free indeed! When will people start to believe what Jesus said, that if He has ‘made you free, you will be free indeed?’ Why is it that so many people don't see their need of being free, or how or why Jesus will do this? Why can't people believe the word of God as it is written? Why is it that they can't see that Jesus wants to make them free? Have they not heard that He loves them? Have they not heard that He died on the cross for their sins? Have they not heard that He promised to give them freedom and change them and save them? Do they not love Him? Do they not desire these wonderful gifts for themselves? Or do they think that these are beyond the ability of Jesus to give? Or do they think that they can do this on their own without Him? - as many believe, because pride doesn’t have to take the back seat when the person does it themselves, instead of humbling themselves before God. But pride comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18), and no one can be saved without humbling themselves before God and getting His forgiveness and help to live a good life for Him.

To summarize this lesson:

Jesus said, that He ‘is the way, the truth, and the life.’ Do you believe now? No one can enter into Heaven or get out of this world of sin, but through the blood He shed on the cross for their sins. No one can come to the Father except through Jesus. There is nothing you can do that will give you an entrance into Heaven, except through the atoning blood of Jesus for your sins. There is no way for you to know ‘the truth,’ unless you know Jesus. No one can know ‘the truth,’ if they first do not know Him, really know Him, and have given themselves to Him. No one can know ‘the way,’ unless they know Him. There is no universal salvation that everyone gets. There is no salvation that anyone gets without knowing ‘the Truth’ - Jesus. And no one can have ‘the life,’ if they do not know Him: It comes through Him alone. Salvation is given only to those who know the way, the truth and the life. Regardless of how many ‘truths’ someone learns from the Bible or by any other inspired writer, unless they know Jesus and are born again (John 3:3, 5) they will in no wise enter the kingdom of Heaven, regardless of which Bible texts they quote to show they can be saved in another way. The Bible doesn’t contradict itself, and nothing that contradicts Jesus is correct. Any interpretation of any Bible text which contradicts the plain words of Jesus cannot be the truth and is a lie, for He is ‘the Truth.’ Those who think that because they know and believe all of the truth in the Bible, who think that this makes them good and will save them, who haven’t been changed by Jesus and softened by His love and made into kinder gentler people filled with His Spirit, have deceived themselves. Jesus is coming back to save those whom He knows. Jesus declared, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day [the judgement], Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23 KJV. In the day of the judgment, those who do not know Jesus - will have to depart from Him, and will be cast out into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Dear reader, if you have found that you have relied on your own knowledge of the truth to save you, and did not really know Jesus, there is still time to repent and get to know Him. Dear reader, if you didn’t know that you needed to obey Jesus’ commands, you can now seek for God’s help today. This will bring you much joy and power! None of your Bible knowledge or anything else, no matter how correct it is, will save you unless you know Jesus and are born again. Unless you love Him and His Father, and have allowed Them to fill you with the precious Holy Spirit, you cannot know the way, the truth and the life, regardless of how much you have studied the Bible or what any minister has told you. God loves you and wants to save you. Do not resist Him! Put your full trust in Him, and in the merits of Jesus’ blood to atone for your sins, and allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin, fill you, and help you to live a righteous life for God. Let Jesus make you free indeed, breaking your slavery to sin and bad habits that are destroying you or hurting others. This is our prayer for you. Amen.

May the grace of God be with you, as you get to know ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ - Jesus! Amen.

#Essential #Truth #Know #Knowledge #Way #Life #Jesus #Father #Perfect #Abundant #Believe #Belief #Save #Legalism #Son #Made #Free #Gospel #Liar #Antichrist

By John Foll, written between 02/05/2018 to 02/11/2018
© Copyright 2018 John Foll

A reader of our White Raiment Evangelism Blogs and some of our books has posed two extremely important questions to us. 1) Who is my neighbor, and 2) What did Jesus mean when He told us to love one another? (Not his exact wording.) Implied in question 2 is: Who is the ‘one another’ from Jesus’ command to ‘love one another’? Is it the same thing as ‘who is my neighbor?’ or does it mean something else? We will deal with this one in another blog article as God permits, because it requires more study to nail it down thoroughly, and we don’t want to make this article you are reading now too long or too complex. We are withholding this person’s name to respect their privacy, but we want to personally thank them for posing this question! Thanks!

Why are we writing up these questions and answers in our blog? Because we believe these questions and their answers are vitally important to everyone’s soul! The answers to these questions would greatly bless those who read it, if they would accept it, maybe even saving them, not just blessing the person who posed these questions! There may be someone out there who just doesn’t get it yet. And we want everyone to get it. We believe that many people out there don’t know the importance of the answer to this question, ‘who is my neighbor?’, and how it’s answer should guide their life; to know what to do about it, or is it just a theory to them? We hope and pray that this article will help everyone who reads it to know and understand the answer to this question. We hope and pray that you, dear reader, will understand what the Bible is teaching you here, and that you will accept it, so that you can receive the blessings of God, for now and for all eternity. Amen. Let it be so!

The answer to this question is so important, we feel compelled out of love for our readers to tell them, so we must write this article! This question is SO fundamental to Christianity, but many people just don’t get it, or they don’t fully understand who their neighbor is, or what their responsibilities for their neighbor are, according to the Bible. Some of you may have an idea where we are going with this, but we want to lay it out in some detail here, so that everyone can understand.

This is such an important topic! The answer to this question separates the wheat from the chaff; it separates the wheat from the tares. It separates those who love God from those who love Him not, or but little. Prayerfully, carefully consider all the words in this article. You may have to get down on your knees often in prayer over this, that you may be where God wants you to be on this.

For many of the texts regarding the wheat and the tares and the chaff, read: Matthew 13:24-30; 3:11-12. Luke 3:16-17; Psalms 1:1-4; 83:13-18; Isaiah 5:1-30; 41:10:-20; Jeremiah 23:28-29; Zephaniah 2:1-3; Malachi 4:1-3. 

This question, ‘Who is my neighbor?’ is one of the most important and fundamental questions in Christianity that you can ask! We can’t really think of a more important question than this except the questions: ‘How do we love our neighbor as ourselves?’, and ‘How do we love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind and soul?’ (But we will not deal with this later question here, only ‘Who is My Neighbor?’ And we think, as you go through this article with its texts from the Bible that we will show you, that you will also understand the answer to the question, ‘How do we love our neighbor as ourselves?’)

How do we know why this question, ‘Who is my neighbor?’ is so important? Because God has revealed it in His word. We don’t want anyone to be ignorant of the answer to this question! We didn’t used to know this like we know it now, but the importance of this has been greatly impressed on us. We don’t wish to be labeled by God, as one Christian writer wrote it that we greatly admire, as a ‘cumberer of the ground’. We don’t want Jesus to say about us, ‘Cut it down! Why does it even take up the ground?’ “He [Jesus] spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” Luke 13:6-9 KJV. Jesus also said, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 7:19 NASB. What are the fruits that Jesus is expecting from His vineyard or His people? Hint: 1 John 4:7-8.

Apparently the Jews of Jesus day were discussing the answer to this question too, because one of them posed it to Jesus. We think that they already knew the answer, but didn’t like it, and were seeking for a way out, that they might evade the condemnation of God. Isn’t that at the heart of every false religion – seeking for a way out other than the one God has stated? They were under a heavy load of guilt, because the Spirit of God had revealed to them that they were transgressors of His Law of Love, in the answer to this question. But Jesus didn’t make it any easier on them. They probably thought that they had entrapped Jesus, in making Him say that one of the 10 commandments were more important than the others. Or who their neighbor was. If the legalist could figure out the answer to this question, they reasoned, they might have peace after all. But Jesus’ answer revealed to them that no one who is obeying God can ignore the needs of their neighbor!Jesus even tells them who their neighbor is! But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. We will get to this question by the Jews and Jesus’ answer to them shortly.

* Note the lesson to be learned from all of this is when God reveals something to you in His Holy Bible or through the Holy Spirit whispering to your heart, don’t ask what your family thinks about it, don’t ask what your co-workers think about it, and don’t ask what your pastor thinks about it. The only thing that matters to you in the end is what God thinks about it. Get your witness from God, not from men. Don’t be like those who were trying to argue with themselves and possibly with Jesus of who their neighbor was, or who they should help. In your heart you probably know who your neighbor is already, and whatever else God is telling you from His Holy Bible. Please don’t question it! Just ask God for help to do it and do it.

Now back to our article.

At the heart of this question is whether we really need to keep all of God’s commandments or not. A lawyer asked Jesus this question:

“But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:34-40 KJV.

The lawyer was asking Jesus what is the great commandment of the Law? Jesus answers His question with two commandments instead of one. Without going into detail here or trying to prove it, the first commandment of loving God supremely is number one in importance, but it leads to the second one, which is to love your neighbor as yourself. You can’t do one without doing the other, they are integrally tied together! And these are both a summary of the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20. If you keep both of these two great commandments you are keeping all of the 10 commandments! See Romans 13:9 for more on this. That is why John said that one who doesn’t love His brother does not know God; (or love God either, which John implies). “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.” 1 John 3:14 NASB. “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” 1 John 3:18 NASB. John also declared: “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:8 NASB. What does this have to do with the text in Matthew 22? It has everything to do with it! Jesus summarized the 10 Commandments into two great commandments: 1) To love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your mind and all your soul, and 2) To love your neighbor as yourself. If you don’t love God supremely or your neighbor as yourself, you are not keeping the 10 Commandments, regardless of your belief or your profession. Jesus was quoting from Deuteronomy 11:13, 22; 13:3 and Leviticus 19:3 here, thus showing His respect for the Law, and Moses’ writings. This Jewish lawyer could have nothing to say against Jesus, for if he did, he would have been going against the law he professed to believe in! It’s always best and safest to stick with the word of God, and not state human opinion on any matters regarding eternal life! You can never go wrong if you do this. This is what Jesus always did: ‘Thus saith the Lord’ or ‘It is written,’ even though He didn’t always prefix what He said with these two expressions. His entire teaching was rooted and grounded firmly in what God had already revealed in the Old Testament, but He breathed new life into what people thought it meant, and He explained the will of God more clearly then what had been revealed before, so that no one could fail in understanding. That is why He is called ‘the Word of God’ ‘made flesh.’ John 1:-5, 10-14. And ‘God with us.’ Matthew 1:23. It is important for you to understand here that the words that Jesus spoke here, were not His own but Him who sent Him, the Father. Jesus said, “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment [the Father’s commandment] is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me." John 12:49-50 NASB. Therefore there is no difference between God’s commandments (in the Old Testament) and Jesus’ commandments (in the New Testament of the Bible), they are the same, because Jesus and His Father are one! John 10:30.

But wait a minute! There is another version of these two great commandments recorded by Dr. Luke that reads like this:

“And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" And he answered, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE." But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied and said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.' Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?" And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."” Luke 10:25-37 NASB.

Who does Jesus say was the neighbor here? Was it the priest? No. Was it the Levite? No. It was the unclean foreigner, a Samaritan, a sinner who helped the fallen man left for dead by the robbers! Notice that the Jewish Lawyer didn’t even say the race of the one who helped the wounded man, ‘a Samaritan!’ It has been said that there was much religious bigotry between these two races, and it was likely we think, that the wounded man was a Jew, because Jesus’ said, ‘a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho.’ Why did the Priest and the Levite pass the wounded man by? Because it would have been greatly inconvenient for them! In the law of Moses, if one came in contact with the dead or the unclean in any way or any uncleanness, especially for a Priest or a Levite, they became ritually impure and could not take part in their religious obligations, until their uncleanness period had passed and they washed themselves (probably in most cases). They may have felt embarrassed if this were to happen, so they sought to avoid becoming ritually impure, rather than having compassion on the man left for dead by the robbers. And in some cases, it required a purification ritual to cleanse them! See Leviticus 5:2-3 and other places in the law of Moses. So it was a lot of trouble, and greatly inconvenient to them to help their own countryman. Sound familiar? How many times have we driven by someone who had a car that was stopped along the road that we might have helped? We could have at least asked them if they needed help, but because we were in a hurry going to work, to church or somewhere else important, we didn’t take the time to help them. The wounded man may have appeared to be dead or almost dead, Jesus didn’t say for sure on this. These men probably thought that their jobs were too important for them to stoop and help one of their own countrymen, and become ritually impure! Or they were just in a hurry? … Or maybe they were afraid the robbers were still around? Who knows? But they refused to help and sought to evade their responsibility to help, in what in all probability, was one of their own countryman. But notice the lawyer’s response to Jesus before Jesus gave him the story of the good Samaritan: “But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus: ‘And who is my neighbor?’” This was something this lawyer probably greatly wanted to know. Perhaps he did not have peace on this subject himself. It seems like his conscience was bothering him about it. He was probably hoping that Jesus would clear things up, so he would not end up being a transgressor of God’s Law, like his conscience may have been telling him he was.

We could stop right here with this text and the analysis above, for nothing else really needs to be said after this. What is there to say after Jesus gave the answer to this question? There is really nothing else that needs to be said. But we will still explore this further so that everyone reading this blog can understand it better, and hopefully fully get what Jesus was saying. We want to pair this up with other Bible passages to flesh it out, give it life, and break it down, so that all may understand this teaching fully.

Your neighbor is whoever needs your help!

The answer to that question, which the lawyer asked Jesus, ‘Who is my neighbor?” is - your neighbor is whoever needs your help, that you have the opportunity, the ability and the resources to help. It also includes all you don’t even know yet, that you haven’t even met! Paul said, “I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.” Romans 1:14-15 KJV. Who was Paul’s neighbor here? Paul states it: the Greeks, the Barbarians and the Romans! I.e. Paul’s neighbor was the world – all the people he could preach God’s love too! There was a cost to Paul to love his neighbor as himself, but he didn’t mind we think, because of his great love for God. He was raised up by God as a messenger of His love to the Gentiles! You and I probably have much to thank God for in sending Paul, his trainees and other workers to the Gentiles. I know that I do! Acts 13:44-48; Galatians 2:-2, 7-10. What would have happened to us if Paul hadn’t loved his neighbor as himself, people he hadn’t even met, among the Gentiles (that’s us)? Think about that.

We all have been given talents, skills and gifts and a way of some kind that we can provide a livelihood for ourselves. Matthew 25:14-30. But we need to think not only of ourselves and our family, but we must also think of those in need, who are not as fortunate as ourselves. To some who have knowledge of the truth and the way of Salvation, they owe others who do not know how to be saved or know how to have a better life with God, or how they might make their peace with Him. Romans 1:14-15. To others who have much means, they can use this to help the poor or to help finance God’s work of saving souls, or something…. Those who have strong backs and a willing heart can use their strength to help people in need. But everyone can do something, if they would! There are many things to do for the Master! There is no shortage of things to do! In fact, there are not nearly enough people to do the work that needs to be done! (Unless God vastly strengthens them, because the Lord can save by few or many. 1 Samuel 14:6.) “Seeing the people, He [Jesus] felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest." Matthew 9:36-38 NASB. If you feel this way then yes, pray to the Father and ask Him to send out laborers into the harvest, ask Him to send you! But only say this sweet thing to God if you mean it! Deuteronomy 23:21-23. We promise you, that if your heart is right before God when you pray this to Him, that you will be blessed beyond measure!

Jesus promised: “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measurepressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:38 NASB. It has been said by some that people used to try to make it look like the cup that they were giving was fuller with the coins in it than what it actually had. But Jesus said that it will be pressed down, shaken together and running over. In other words you will be getting a cup that is fuller than normal, more than you deserve with the blessings of God. You can’t out give God! What God will give in return for what you give is not a stingy blessing, but more than you actually deserve! I.e. running over! Is that what you want? To be blessed beyond measure? Then give, and it will be given to you, like Jesus said above. What blessings do you want from God? If you want to be blessed by God, give to others to help them - for God’s cause, because what you measure out, will be measured out to you again. If you measure out bad deeds, criticism and terrible things, or say terrible things about others behind their back, it will be measured back to you again. But if you give out blessings to others, then blessings will be given back to you. Some of these blessings or curses will not take place in this life for you, but at the judgement for the curses, or in Heaven for the blessings. If you live your life just for yourself or just for your family, then you may find the blessings of God stingy for yourself. What you measure out will be measured out to you in return.

Solomon declares: “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” Proverbs 3:27 KJV. Let’s read this also from the New American Standard Bible: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” Proverbs 3:27 NASB. God doesn’t ask any more than this! Jesus said, “For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.” Matthew 26:11 KJV. You cannot help everybody in the world - there are far too many people in this world who need far too many things! The poor will always be there, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t help them. But do what you can do that is within your power (and in your heart) to do, if your heart has received of the richness of God. You cannot do any more than that. You cannot give what you haven’t received. If it is not in your heart to help others, you haven’t yet received the richness of God, or you haven’t acknowledged it yet, which is worse. All should have something that they can give or share with others who are in need, or else they have nothing themselves.

Whatever God has given you the ability or the resources to do which is good, do it with all your might: Solomon councils us: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 NASB. What is Sheol? It is a Hebrew word for the grave. Whatever God has put in your heart that you have the ability of doing, do it with all your might while you still can – before it’s too late. When you die, there is no further good you can do. If you feel that you need more help from God to help others or do more for Him, then by all means come to Him in prayer, in the quietness of your own room, away from the cares of this world, and make your petition known to Him, of your desire to help Him or to help someone for Him, or to ask Him for the gifts and resources to do it. – Or to make you more willing. We promise you that if your heart is clean before God through confession to Him, and if you are listening to the Holy Spirit and wanting to obey Him, that God will richly bless you more than you can imagine! -- If you are wanting to be Jesus’ disciple and to use the gifts that God gives you to bless others. Paul tells us that we can become a partaker with them [the Jews] ‘of the rich root of the olive tree, * * * remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.’ Romans 11:17-18 NASB. This richness is provided by God, through His Son Jesus Christ, to all who would want it.

Jesus’ sought out the lost, He didn’t wait for the lost to seek Him out first. Matthew 18:11-14. To Jesus and His Father this whole world was their neighbor! We are God’s neighbor because we need His help! Those who love God will want to do their best, and will ask Him for His will regarding how they can serve Him best: how they can help their neighbors and love them as themselves; they will not seek to excuse themselves from doing what He wants them to do. Those who don’t care, do not know God, and He doesn’t know them either.

We have personally witnessed people who were careless of the divine injunction concerning this. We believe that way too many in the Christian world are breaking this divine injunction. There is way too much selfishness in this world! We used to have a real problem with this too, and would still have it but for the grace of God, and He is still working on us; we still feel we are not doing enough! Only God can change the heart! If you watch or read the news you can see that this world is in very serious trouble: if you look at all the crime, wars, strife, and selfishness, while some in the world just need something to eat or drink, and have to go to bed hungry! And many are dying every day, when many are well clothed and well fed. And of these many people who are starving to death or dying from other things, how many of them know about God’s love for them, or how they might be saved and have a conscience free from guilt? How many of them gave their heart to the Lord? Do you see the problem?

Those who don’t love their neighbor as themselves – don’t know God or Jesus His Son. This is very serious! Please don’t write this off, dear reader. Those who hurt in any way, injure with their words or actions, any person on this earth will have to answer to God for it. But we are also held accountable for neglect! Matthew 18:6-7, 10; Psalms 145:19; Exodus 22:21-23; Job 34:28. If anyone has neglected to help someone on this earth, which was within their power to do, God will hold them accountable for it. We are all the property of God, our creator, and He loves us all so very much! The world and all it contains belongs to Him. Psalms 50:7, 10-12; 1 John 4:8; John 3:16. It is because of His great love for us, that He bears with us when we are unkind to others, to ourselves or to Him. 2 Peter 3:9. God has made provision for our sins, with forgiveness and the ability to change to love our neighbor as ourselves. He alone can bring about this change!

In the Judgement Day, it will not be well with those who have broken God’s divine injunction to love their neighbor as themselves, unless they have confessed these sins and repented of them! Being born a sinner is no excuse! God has provided a way that everyone can become more like Him and be a partaker of His Divine Nature.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 1:4 NASB. At the end of everyone’s life, of those who haven’t loved their neighbor as themselves, they will come up weighed in the balances and found wanting. “TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” Daniel 5:27 KJV. Right now there is still mercy, thankfully, to all who want it. But wait not until your life is over or nearly over to make amends. Ask God to help you to love your neighbor as yourself, then you will be able to reap the rewards that Jesus promised to all who would give their best for Him, to help others know God and be as happy as you are!

Jesus said, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23 KJV.

But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'

Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Matthew 25:31-46 NASB.  

How can we face Jesus in the Judgement Day, if we knew that it was in our power to help those in need and did not do it? We will be speechless on that day, unless we make a full repentance now. Jesus will really hold all accountable who do not love their neighbor as themselves, even if they think they are keeping all of God’s commandments! All who do not love their neighbor as themselves, who claim to be a Christian and know God are liars, and the truth is not in them, unless they have confessed this sin and repented of it with God’s help. At the judgement day, all the blessings of God that He wanted to give to those who are lost, of the wonderful joy of serving Him and helping others, they might have had, but they stubbornly refused to listen to the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit. Now they must go into the fire prepared for the devil and his angels, like Jesus said above! But thankfully, there is still hope and the judgement day hasn’t happened yet! There is still hope for you, dear reader, if you find that you are not where God wants you to be on this issue, or you don’t have a clean record on this. If you are still alive you can make amends and ask God to help you to love your neighbor as yourself, that you enter not into the judgement as a goat, on Jesus’ left, and go not into the flames prepared for the devil and his angels. There is no reason for this to happen to anyone! God has made provision for all who want it! Just humble your heart before God today, accept His help, and let Him help and bless you! You will be so thankful that you did! Amen. Let it be so!

If someone needs your help, do not refuse them if you have the ability of helping them. Matthew 5:39-48. But you should pray about it too. Work while it is day, before the night cometh and no man can work. John 9:4. Do what you can to relieve the suffering of those in need while you still can, whether it be food, clothing, spiritual food or spiritual water to satisfy their hunger and thirst, or to help someone do something that they need help with. How can you turn your back on someone whom Jesus died for and loves, if it is within your power and means to be able to help them? You cannot, if you have tasted of the goodness of God and the good things to come. Hebrews 6:4-8. This is the reason why so many do not help others like they should, or they may feel guilt for not doing more (if they haven’t gone too far) - because they haven’t tasted of the good things of God or haven’t drank deeply enough from this cup. But all who are thirsty will drink from it. But there is no reason for this lack of doing more for God or others or for this guilt, when all who name the name of Christ on their lips, who make the profession that they know Him, who are not doing enough could have the richness of God in their life! It’s because they haven’t yet tasted or fully tasted of the goodness of God, so they do not see the need or they are unable to do so or do not want to do so. So sad for them. We are sad that they are ignorant of the richness and blessings of God! We are so sad, because they are missing out on the best, most joyous experience that anyone could ever have! The selfish heart can never know real peace or the true joy of loving God and serving Him and helping others, unless there is a complete change made in them. Only God can provide this experience that brings the joy of serving Him to the soul who loves Him or is learning to love Him!

It is humanly impossible for you to make this change in yourself.Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jeremiah 13:23 KJV. If you are accustomed to doing evil, even though your heart may be the blackest of the black, and stained with much sin, there is still hope for you, if you would receive God into your heart and want to confess your sins to Him, change, and want to obey Him.

Let selfishness be banished from the hearts of all of God’s people! Oh that all would crave the richness of what God longs so much to give them! Just to be in God’s lovely presence, so Holy, pure, kind and true, is an experience that outweighs all of the treasure in this world! And out of this experience, the soul becomes born from above:Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7 NASB.

When you become born of God, you will not find it hard to help the needy, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, or to help those who are starving spiritually, for it will be your greatest and sweetest desire! You will not ask who your neighbor is, or try to excuse yourself. If you see someone in need, and you have the power or the means to help them, you won’t give it as second thought and just do it. You can’t hold someone back from helping others who has tasted of the good things of God! No you just can’t do it! No can do! There is a sweetness in their life, a song in their steps that spills over into their daily life – they just can’t help it, any more than a flower can help being a flower. They don’t make excuses, they pitch in and do what they can, whenever there is a need or something that needs to be done that is within their power to do! And they are not quick to complain when things aren’t to their liking. That joy that God brings makes life’s burdens and travails seem light and easy or easier to bear. Don’t let that crushing weight of guilt and doubt and selfishness weigh you down and take you down to the pit! God longs to free you from this that you might experience the true joy of giving!

Let selfishness be banished from the hearts of God’s people! Amen. Let them know the joy of knowing the Lord and putting their trust in Him, then their salvation will spring forth as the dew of the morning!

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.” Isaiah 45:8 KJV. 

May the grace of God be with you as you decide if you want to love your neighbor as yourself. We hope and pray that you will not withhold from yourself this wonderful blessing that will keep on giving to you, from now until eternity! If you do this, you will know that Jesus and His Father will be happy with you, and their love will sustain you, because you will be developing a character like Them, who love you so much!

“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.

Devotional Song: There’s a new song in my heart:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwfkEgbf2So

#Neighbor #Love #Another #Wheat #Tares #Chaff #Fruit #Fire #Needs #Help #Poor #Needy #Good #Samaritan #Talents #Harvest #Laborers #Few #Know #God

By John Foll, 11/12/2016.
Peter said, “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32 NASB.

So obedience to God is the condition for receiving the Holy Spirit! There is a true Holy Spirit, and there is a counterfeit. How do you know which Holy Spirit is the real Holy Spirit? If you are obeying God in what He has revealed in the Bible, or if you want to obey Him, He will give you the help you need and the continued desire to obey Him in everything He has said. If there is any resistance to what God has said, you can be sure that this soul does not have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Acts 7:51-53. If someone is disobeying any of God’s commandments willingly from the Bible, you can be sure that they don’t have the Holy Spirit. The fake outpouring of the Holy Spirit is ‘another Gospel’ (2 Corinthians 11:4), and can never satisfy the soul’s longing for peace, love and purity that God placed inside of everyone. God never compels any, but only those who want to love Him, and want to serve Him and obey Him, will be given the Holy Spirit in full. Sometimes the soul doesn’t want all of this when it first starts out, but just wants to be clean and pure before God, but the heart will be given the desire to love Him, and serve and obey Him, once the soul starts to cooperate with Him, and decides that they love Him more and more! This is the sign that the Holy Spirit is taking up residence in full in their heart! There is no compulsion, but there is a very sweet, strong desire to serve and obey God once you get the Holy Spirit in full! There is a sweet joy in communion with God that none but those who have experienced it can ever know or understand. This helps the heart to submit and completely surrender to God. Then what joy and love and peace will flood their soul! Then no trouble or perplexity will ever be able to dim their love for God!
Peter was brought back to the Council and the high priest at Jerusalem by the captain of the guard in Acts 5:26-28, after God had delivered him and the Apostles miraculously from prison (Acts 5:18). “When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man's [Jesus’] blood upon us.’” Acts 5:27-28 NASB.  But Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost when he told them: “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” Acts 5:29 NASB and “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32 NASB.
What was Peter referring to when he said that the Holy Spirit is given to all that obey Him?Obeying God in every way. In this instance Peter was referring to the command by Jesus to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Acts 1:4-5, 8-9), but more specifically in this circumstance it was: “But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.’” Acts 5:19-20 NASB. Now ‘the angel of the Lord’ can refer to God or Jesus Himself (one example of many is Genesis 22:15), but it can also refer to an angel, but the command by the angel of the Lord for Peter to preach to the people in the temple the words of life was a command from God none the less. The rulers and high priest of Israel didn’t want the Apostles to preach the news of Jesus dying on the cross, because it put them in the spotlight as murdering Jesus, the Prince of Life! Obeying God is not just the command to preach the Gospel to the whole world of God’s love, but is also for every word contained in the Bible, for all of it is love for the human race, because God is love, and all of His words are love! 1 John 4:8. Jesus Himself said, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4, which was a quote from one of the books of Moses (i.e. the Law), Deuteronomy 8:3. Thus to obey Jesus or God, means to obey every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God in the Bible. But this is the Law of love, as Jesus stated in Matthew 22:36-40! Jesus came not to do away with the Law, which is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul and to love your neighbor as yourself, but to fulfill it. He came to provide a way for us to keep the Law! “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17 NASB. And in Acts 1:4-5, 8-9, Jesus tells His disciples to wait in Jerusalem, until they receive the promise of the Father for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! Once they received this power from God, the Holy Spirit, they then had the power from God not only to preach the gospel of Jesus and His Father’s love for the world and salvation (words of life, Acts 5:20), but to live a holy life for God and to keep His law. This ability to keep God’s Law of love was prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34, where God promised to write His Law of love in the hearts of His people, so that all of them from the least to the greatest of them would all know Him; and He would forgive their iniquity, and He would remember their sin no more! Thus we see that obedience to God and the desire to obey Him in everything He has commanded, is the requirement for the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit!
The idea that we can have the Holy Spirit, but not obey God in all that He has commanded in the Bible is another gospel than what Jesus, Peter, John and Paul preached, and another spirit! This another gospel is a lie from the spirit of the Father of lies, not the right spirit! The right Spirit brings obedience and peace, but the wrong spirit tries to get you to disobey God and bring you no peace.
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 KJV.
Those that love God will not get deceived by ‘another gospel’ from ‘another spirit’, and will want the real outpouring of the Holy Spirit, not the counterfeit.
In the same way as the Apostles were to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father for the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so we too in our day are to wait before the Lord for this full refreshing of the Holy Spirit, by making our heart right with God and with others by confession of all sin. Yes God has promised the Holy Spirit to all Christians who would repent and receive Him! Acts 2:38-39. Then we will receive this wonderful power too, and we will have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit to help us keep His Law, and to proclaim His love to the world! Pray for it, seek for it, yield your heart to God for it, and you will be richly blessed with peace, love and joy, and the desire and the power to obey Him!

Amen!

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