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Not as Cain

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Loyal
Monday, February 27, 2017, 11:18 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Seek the Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 John 3:11-24 (NASB).

Everyone who Hates (vv. 11-17)

For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.

Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. 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?

Evil opposes righteousness, thus, those who are of the evil one will hate and resent those who are of the Righteous One, Jesus Christ. When someone is doing what he knows is wrong, he is not generally comfortable being around those who do what is right. So, he may try to bring the righteous person down with him, or else he may surround himself with others of like mind who will commiserate with him in his sin of hate. He may even lie about the righteous person so that others will hate that individual, too.

That is how they treated Jesus Christ, and that is how they will treat us, too, if we give our lives over to Christ to follow him in his ways, and in his truth. Yet, who was it that treated Jesus with such disdain? It was the religious leaders within the temple of God who hated him, resented him, and who were jealous of him, too, and so wanted him dead. It was the hypocritical religious who performed for an audience, who appeared righteous on the outside, but inside were full of wickedness, who were Jesus’ greatest opponents. Jesus told his brothers, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil” (Jn. 7:7). “The world,” in this case, most especially included the religious leaders in God’s temple.

So, being religious, particularly outwardly to impress others, is not the pathway to God or to heaven. Also, praying a prayer after someone else, or merely acknowledging that Jesus died to take our punishment for us, so that we could be free from condemnation, so that we could have the hope of eternal life with God, is also not what guarantees us eternal life with God.

If we truly believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, and we have, thus, been transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, in new birth unto a living hope, we now have God living within us. And, if God is in us, his love is in us, and it should be lived out through us. We should love because God loved us, and because his love abides within us. Yet, if we persist in hating others, as Cain hated and killed his brother, how can God’s love be within us? It can’t! In fact, this teaches us that if we actively and presently hate others, we are the same as a murderer, and that no murderer has eternal life with God. If we do not love, not only are we acting contrary to God and his Word, but we still remain in death without the hope of heaven when we die. God is love. Satan is hate. We who believe in Jesus should love.

So, how do we love others? Jesus set the right example for us. He laid his life down for us so that we could be free from sin, and so we could walk in his righteousness. He gave his life up for us, in other words, to meet within us a legitimate need, i.e. the need of salvation from sin. He did this by giving up his own reputation, being willing to have others think badly and wrongly of him, and even to falsely accuse him and put him to death. And, this is how we need to love, too. We need to be willing to be hated, rejected, falsely accused, gossiped about, slandered, mocked, etc. in order to show the love of Jesus to people. We need to do what is right, even if everyone else is doing what is wrong, and even if we are hated for it in return.

Love in Truth (vv. 18-24)

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

Words are cheap, or they can be if they are not backed up with action. For instance, if a person tells his or her spouse, “I love you,” and then continually commits adultery against the spouse (including viewing pornography), then the words are just words, for there is not action behind them to show them to be genuine. In fact, the action being shown speaks the exact opposite of love, and thus the words “I love you” can actually be an offense to the one receiving them, like a slap in the face.

God feels that way when we merely verbalize that we love him, i.e. when his praise is on our lips but our hearts are far from him, which is evidenced by our actions and by our inactions. He doesn’t want to just hear us TELL him that we love him, but he wants us to SHOW that we love him by obeying his (Christ’s) instructions (Christ’s commandments). And, he commands that we love one another with his love, and that we not practice hate.

If we keep (obey) Christ’s commandments as a matter of lifestyle, walking (conducting our lives) according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, we remain in Christ and he in us. He commands us that we believe in him, not as a one-time spiritual experience, but continually. And, this belief is God-given, thus it is of the Spirit, and not generated out of our human flesh. The way in which God gives us faith is that he persuades (convinces) us of his will for our lives. Persuaded of God, thus, to live for God according to his will and purpose for our lives, we turn from sin, and we turn to follow our Lord in obedience – all in the power and working of God’s Spirit within us, as we cooperate fully with that work and yield our lives over to God.

If we keep Christ’s commandments, in the power and strength of God’s Spirit now living within us, and we do what pleases him, we have confidence before God, and we receive whatever we ask of him. Now, this is because, if we are truly living this way, we are not going to ask God for what will displease him, or for what will be contrary to his will. We will be in tune with the Spirit, walking in obedience to the Word, and we will want what God wants, and we won’t crave after the sinful desires of our flesh. And, this is God’s goal for us, that we live holy lives pleasing to him, for that is why he saved us, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He called us to be holy, so we should be holy in all that we do. And, we should love and not walk in hate, because God is love, and in him is no darkness at all.

Seek the Lord / An Original Work / July 20, 2012

Based off Isaiah 55

“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.

“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”

 
Unworthy Servant
Staff Member
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, and if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake: ) but ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh.

For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:14-29
 
Moderator
Staff Member
I share this because Brother Bear your reference to Hebrews 12 had me find the below commentary (6 minutes) by Dr. J. Vernon McGee. The moving part is at the end in which he tells a story of a man on his deathbed. Surely, this story in truth can easily be one to rest at the feet of many a professing believer. Many would do well to listen and understand before it is too late.

Hebrews 12:25-29

With the Love of Christ Jesus I share this.
YBIC and Servant
Nick
<><
 
Unworthy Servant
Staff Member
Thank you Brother.
This song came to mind as I was listening to it.
(Please excuse the picture! Song by the Singing Hemphills)


Bless you and thank you again ....><>
 
Loyal
I share this because Brother Bear your reference to Hebrews 12 had me find the below commentary (6 minutes) by Dr. J. Vernon McGee. The moving part is at the end in which he tells a story of a man on his deathbed. Surely, this story in truth can easily be one to rest at the feet of many a professing believer. Many would do well to listen and understand before it is too late.

Hebrews 12:25-29

With the Love of Christ Jesus I share this.
YBIC and Servant
Nick
<><
Amen! Wow! Dr. McGee presented that so well. So many people take God's grace for granted and do not walk in the fear of the Lord, for they think God does everything and that nothing is required of them at all. But, they misunderstand God-given faith, and they misunderstand why Jesus died, because they have so many preachers who are telling people what they WANT to hear rather than what they NEED to hear.

I have pretty much come to the conclusion that the only hope for our world and even for the complacent church is that we have this shaking of things not eternal so that what cannot be shaken (what is eternal) may remain. Sometimes I think that if we just had a blackout, i.e. if all electrical power was gone, and we could no longer watch TV (I have not had a TV since 2008), get on the internet, etc. that people would turn their hearts to God and that blinded eyes would be opened. But, right now God is using the internet to spread the gospel throughout the world, and he is very patient, not willing that any should perish, and that all should come to repentance, so he has delayed the shaking.

Although I certainly enjoy the amenities of this world, i.e. electricity, heat, a comfortable sofa to sit on, etc. and I don't look forward to greater suffering, I think if we all had less of this world, that, perhaps, we would long for more of God.
 
Loyal
this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain
Despite the teachings of many churches today, obedience is required for salvation. Even under the new covenant.

John 3:36; He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Obedience is required. The wrath of God falls on the disobedient.

Acts 5:29; But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
Acts 5:30; The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.
Acts 5:31; He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Acts 5:32; And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

The Holy Spirit is given to those who obey Him. I think if we assume can be dosobedient and still have the Holy Spirit, we are assuming something that isn't in the Bible.

Even faith itself requires a certain obedience.

Rom 1:4; who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
Rom 1:5; through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake,

Saying you believe something is one thing, being willing to act on it is another.

Rom 2:5; But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
Rom 2:6; who will render to each person according to his deeds:
Rom 2:7; to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
Rom 2:8; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
Rom 2:9; There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
Rom 2:10; but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Rom 2:11; For there is no partiality with God.

Those who are "stubborn" (Paul's word, not mine) and have unrepentant hearts are
storing up the wrath of God for themselves. God will render to each person
according to thei deeds. Not what they say they believe, but what they do.

Those who do not "obey the truth" (verse 8) will suffer. It doesn't matter if they
are a Jew, or if they are a Gentile, they get judged equally. There is no partiality
with God.

Rom 2:12; For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
Rom 2:13; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.
Rom 2:14; For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
Rom 2:15; in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,

This is a very interesting passage. "all who have sinned without the Law"...

We don't have to be under the law to sin, we can sin without the law.

.."will perish without the Law".... will PERISH, we still will die even if we
say we don't know the law. It doesn't say "will LIVE without the law".

It is not hearers who are just,.. it is doers. Those who are obedient.

Gentiles can try to use the excuse.. we aren't under the law. We were never given
the law. It doesn't matter. Gentiles "do instinctively the things of the Law"

even though they don't have the law (weren't given the law) they have a law unto themselves. They show the work of the law written on their hearts.

Even people who have never read the Bible, or never heard the 10 commandments
know what is right and what is wrong. Even people who never heard the law
have a conscience that accuses them of doing wrong or right.

Rom 6:12; Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
Rom 6:13; and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Rom 6:14; For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

We are under grace.. (if sin isn't mastering us)

Rom 6:15; What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
Rom 6:16; Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
Rom 6:17; But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,

A slave doesn't always want to do what their master tells them to do.
Often slaves were beaten and whipped because of disobedience. God doesn't
really want to do this. He will punish us if necessary, but He wants us
to become "obedient from the heart" (verse 17) to the things we were taught.

We can do things for someone because "we have to", or we can do things for someone
because we love them. Jesus says if you love Me, keep my commandments.

2 Thess 1:7; and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,
2 Thess 1:8; dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
2 Thess 1:9; These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

Not knowing God is not a reprieve, it is not an excuse. God will deal out retribution
to those who do not know God... but also to those "who do not obey the gospel".
Both groups of people will pay the penalty of everlasting destruction.

If Jesus says he doesn't know you... it's the same results as being disobedient.

Heb 5:8; Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
Heb 5:9; And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

He is the source of salvation - to those who obey Him.
To those who know Him.

1 Jn 2:3; By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
1 Jn 2:4; 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;

Do you know Jesus? Does He know you? Or do you simply say you believe in Him?

Matt 25:10; And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.
Matt 25:11; Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’
Matt 25:12; But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’

I do not know you. -- Even though they thought they knew Him.

Matt 7:21; “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
Matt 7:23; And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

I never knew you... you who practice lawlessness, those who practice disobedience.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
@B-A-C
Just a note on your use of the following:

(Quote) I do not know you. -- Even though they thought they knew Him.

Matt 7:21; “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
Matt 7:23; And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

I never knew you... you who practice lawlessness, those who practice disobedience.(End Quote)

Too often (me too) have used Matthew 7:23 incorrectly and viewed it as being meant to include those who were believers instead of those who believed they were but were not. Keep in mind that the Lord is using the word "never". Which to me is not speaking of one that was saved at anytime. Otherwise, it would have been phrased differently. Something like the words "no longer" might have been used. If done this way, it could then be viewed as being for those who were believers.

Just for accuracy sake, and not meant to dispute what you are saying in total context of your post brother.

Always with Love dear brother.
YBIC
Nick
<><
 
Loyal
Too often (me too) have used Matthew 7:23 incorrectly and viewed it as being meant to include those who were believers instead of those who believed they were but were not. Keep in mind that the Lord is using the word "never". Which to me is not speaking of one that was saved at anytime. Otherwise, it would have been phrased differently. Something like the words "no longer" might have been used. If done this way, it could then be viewed as being for those who were believers.
You are correct. I agree. That comment was really directed at the Matt 25 passage, rather than the Matt 7 passage.
But I didn't make that clear.
 
Loyal
1 Jn 2:3; By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
1 Jn 2:4; 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;
Both uses of the word "keep" here are present tense. The second time the word is used it is actually "keeping." That gives more of the thought of a continual practice. John, in the book of 1 John, speaks much on the subject of continual sin and the practice of sinning, that it is the continuing in and the practicing of sin that constitutes us truly not knowing God and not being in fellowship with him.

This is not saying we must keep the law perfectly, though. The reason Jesus died for our sins is that we could not keep the law perfectly, so the law could never save us. We will still sin sometimes, most probably (See: 1 Jn. 2:1-2), yet if we are in Christ, through faith in him, we are covered by the blood of Christ. We can come to Christ with full assurance that our sins are forgiven. If we confess our sins, he is faith and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

So, yes, obedience is required, but sinless perfection is not. Yet, if we walk in darkness, and if we walk according to the flesh, and if we continue in sin, and if we make a practice of sinning, hating, etc., and we don't keep his commandments at all, then he says we don't know him.

Just saying this in addition to what you said because I think this can be a subject that is confusing if not understood correctly. Yet, although this is not saying we have to obey with sinless perfection, but it is speaking of the practice of obedience or disobedience, not one of us should ever use this as a cop-out for doing what we know is wrong. We should never say "I'm not perfect," and then excuse away willful sin on account of that, though some people do. Yet, God does require regular and consistent (the practice of) obedience, and he is against the practice of disobedience.
 

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