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“A new command I give you:  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” [John 13.34] New because it was not given to Him by the Father for the twelve, but for the eleven, for the Father was the One who gave Him the other ‘new’ command – “Love your enemies…” [Matthew 5.44; Luke 6.27, 35] For as the apostle recognised and wrote for us, love is that Christ died for us while we were yet God’s enemies.

So then, elect, before you receive the second key, here is one final point of the ‘love of enemies’ that you should know:  The third turn, the third part, of the first command… not only should we love our enemies, and not only should we love our enemies as we love ourselves, but the love of enemies as displayed by God is the love not only of those who are and have become our enemies, but rather, it is also the love of enemies who are yet to come.  For Christ died – was sacrificed – before the creation of the world, before Adam sinned, before we who were made in His image became His enemies.  As such, not only are we to love our enemies as we love ourselves, but as God loves His enemies, and that is, before the enemies are, they have already been forgiven.

The forgiveness of our sins against God is not an afterthought, it is a forethought.  As such, our love of enemies should not be an afterthought but be a forethought, not a reaction but an action that prepares for what is to come, and not a defence against what is coming nor a recovery from what has come.

For Jesus has already warned you, elect, “All men will hate you because of Me.  But not a hair of your head will perish.  By standing firm you will gain life.” [Luke 21.17-19] As such, as things get closer to the arrival of the Lord, do not expect the people to love you and accept you for what you are doing – fulfilling scriptures so Jesus can return.  No… they will hate you because the prince of this world does not want Jesus back and also because of the sequence of events and its devastating distress that will come as the scriptures find their fulfilment through your faith.

Consider this:  It is written of Noah that “By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” [Hebrews 11.7] How many of Noah’s contemporaries loved him in the moments that were left to them as the waters of the flood swept them away into oblivion as they watched the works of their hands and their plans for their future dissolve as it were before their very eyes?  As such, if you cannot handle the few enemies that you have now, if you cannot begin to practise the love of the few, yes, few enemies you have now… how will you stand when all men hate you because of Jesus?

The need to be loved and accepted by our fellowmen is the greatest thorn that even choked the greatest of apostles and hinders our fruitfulness, for even Paul succumbed to the persuasion of the elders who said, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law,” [Acts 21.20] and we know what happened to Paul’s ministry after that.

Know for certain then, accept as inevitable this prophecy of Jesus:  “All men will hate you because of Me,” and begin to practise loving your enemies before they are yet formed as God sacrificed Jesus as the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.  So the three parts of the first key are love your enemies, love your enemies as you love yourself, and love your enemies that are yet to come.  So like the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world, let your blessings, let your prayers, and let your good works be prepared for all men before they manifest and become your enemies.  Bless them before they curse you… for they will.  Pray for them before they persecute you… for they will.  Do good to them before they seek to harm you… for they will.

And let no one call you ‘brother’ unless you truly share the same Father.  For what did Paul have in common with those who were zealous for the Law when he, Paul, had become a blood drinker and eater of forbidden meat by his faith?  Nothing, for those who were truly zealous for the Law should have stoned Paul to death there and then instead of having him pay for their ‘purification rites’.  How laughable is that – those who were zealous for the Law allowed someone who was condemned under the Law to pay for their purification rites!

So to finally define the command “love your enemies…” it is not enough to know who were, who are and even who will be your enemies, but rather, who is your true brother (besides Jesus, of course).  And to know that, you only need to listen to Jesus’ definition of His brother, sister and mother.  And here is a simple clue:  Anyone who is zealous for the Law, who delights in the partial practice of the Law and teaches likewise, is not a brother… for he has trodden the blood of Jesus underfoot and has sought to maintain his righteousness with something that Jesus had already fulfilled and replaced with His own covenant. [Matthew 26.28] Herein lays the test of your holiness, your true separation unto God:  Are you living as one completely cut off from God according to the Law and as such, one who has no need of justification by any practice of the Law but is totally dependent only on the word given by Jesus… or are you one who uses the Name of Jesus to declare your faith but lives by the Law to define your life?  You see, elect, those elders of Acts 21 were not brothers of Paul even though they called him ‘brother’.  They may be servants of God, even friends of God… but brothers?  No, for a servant or a friend does not necessarily come from the same Father even though blessed are those who share the same Father, who are friends and fellow servants of their Father.

When you see clearly the nature and the structure of this first key of the Kingdom of God – “Love your enemies…” – then you will be able to see the second key for what it is… this new command: “Love one another.  As I have loved you…” For John wrote:  Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love. [John 13.1] As such, to fulfil this command, to practise this command – “Love one another” – begins with first knowing, seeing the full extent of His love for disciples who have become servants first, for the first thing He did to begin to show the full extent of His love was to wash their feet and dry them so that not only would they be clean, but so that they may have a part with Him, for He said, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.” [John 13.8]

So then the first step to the love of each other is to prepare for the other to have a part with you… that is, to share that which you are given or commanded to do, as to participate in your present, your future and even in your eternity.  This begins with the simplicity of giving freely that which has been given to you to a sufficiency, if not totality, so that the other may have a part with you.

Jesus gave this to the disciples – a part with Him.  He conferred to them a kingdom so that they may sit at His table in the feast… for only a king may sit with the King and a lord with the Lord as equals at the table.  He gave us participation in all His activities, all His works, when He said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing,” [John 14.12] and when He said after the resurrection, “Peace be with you!  As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you,” [John 20.21] as just a few examples of all that He had given to us to have a part with Him, to have participation with Him in His life, His possessions, His work, His future and even His bride, New Jerusalem, for we will live in New Jerusalem as He lives in New Jerusalem.

As such, the first step, the first definition of practice of “love one another…” is the preparation of one another to have a part with you in the life, the work, the possessions and the future that Christ has given you and that which you may have laboured hard day and night to achieve, acquire and receive, so likewise you freely share with those who are also the disciples, who are servants of Christ.

For you see, the servant who earned ten minas was not being selfish or overtly ambitious, but rather, he was the one who had truly committed himself to ensuring that the other nine servants would have a part with him in continuing to serve their master.  For have you ever considered this:  For without that servant, not one of them would have been able to remain that man’s servant if they all lost his money?  You see, their livelihood as servants of the wealthy man depended on the master remaining wealthy enough to employ all of them.  As such, the servant who earned ten minas was the one who served the other nine, for he ensured that the master would have enough wealth to keep them all in his employment… for after all he employed them when he had ten minas to give them to invest, then how much more he is able to employ them now that he has twenty minas?

The servant who buried his mina was not only lazy and wicked for the way he did not work and thought ill of his master, but rather, he was also selfish, for by his laziness he put in jeopardy the livelihood of the other nine so that he did nothing to ensure the others would have a part with him in the continuing employment of the master.

So then those who hoard their gifting, their knowledge, their ‘anointing’, and sell only enough to enrich themselves further, have not even begun to practise this command.  Do not be deceived by them no matter how persuasive they are or righteous, holy and anointed they appear to be.  For those who truly want to let you have a part with them will share with you the secret of their ministry, the secret of their ‘success’ as it were, and share freely.

They are far above even the wise virgins of the Kingdom of Heaven who brought spare oil for themselves but told the others to get more for themselves.  No, they are generous as the Lord is generous and more than that… like the Lord, they are prepared to make themselves one with the other even if it is to become sin so that the other may be the righteousness of God.

If the Kingdom of God were to be described as a parable of ten virgins like the Kingdom of Heaven is, then, elect… “At that time the Kingdom of God is like ten virgins… five took spare oil and five did not.  For the five who did not had faith that the bridegroom would not be late, and the five who did had the wisdom to have the abundance even if they too had faith in the bridegroom.  But the bridegroom was late despite the faith of the five.  So the five who had more than enough shared their oil with the other five so that when the bridegroom came, he had ten virgins greet him.  A full compliment regardless of whether their lamps were all still burning or whether all ten were out.  For after all, what is more important – the lamps or the virgins at the feast inside the palace?”

So then receive the second key of the Kingdom of God and it will receive you if you, like the Lord, have made preparation for the others to have part with you in all that the Lord has for you and in all that you have wished and desired for yourself.  And this is just for your fellow servants.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are
taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®,
NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved


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