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Never ever forget that no matter what the situation or circumstance you find yourself in, whether it be prosperity or disaster, darkness or light, life or death, everything that was, is and is to come by the will and word of God is all about love.  It is because God is Love.  It is because God so loved the world.  It is because Jesus loves the Father, and because the Holy Spirit loves the Father and the Son.  That is why the four commandments that unite the two covenants, the old and the new, are centred on love.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength.  Love your neighbour as yourself.”[1]  These two Jesus said are the greatest commandments of the law.  Then He gave us:  “Love your enemies,”[2] and the ‘new’ one:  “Love one another.  As I have love you, so you must love one another.”[3]

By and large, most “Christians” or most disciples are used to circumstances where persecution, certain failure and difficulties are facing them, that they are reminded that God loves them, and that it is all for the love of God that they are suffering from what they are suffering, even beheadment for the sake of Him and His word.  That is the more common experience of most Christians.  And holding on to the faith and fighting the good fight in the face of overwhelming circumstances without a shred of evidence that God is really there except for the faith they have in their hearts is the common experience —holding on by the love of God through the love of God for the love of God through darkness, disaster and death.  It is also a common experience that light, prosperity and life can cause the love of many to grow cold.  An experience so common that as far back as Deuteronomy 8:18, Moses warned the Israelites, “But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth (and the power to get and make wealth…[4])”[5] 

History tells us every time things went well for Israel, they forsook God.  Then after a time of disasters, darkness and death, they turned back to God.  Now Jesus has warned us clearly:  “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.”[6]  Now, see and hear that the Lord said it is the love that grows cold, not the faith that grows weak.  In fact, the paradox is this:  As the love grows cold, the faith will be growing stronger amongst the wicked.  How can I say this?  What proof have I of this?  The proof is before our very eyes, or will be, because the condemned one, the false prophet, will come from our ranks.  His love of God will be dead, but his faith will be so strong that he will join in with the beast to fight against Jesus.  His faith will be so strong that he can use it to demonstrate the power he has with signs and wonders. 

Remember, the law of faith in Mark 11:22-24 requires no love, just no doubt for what you say to happen. Jesus told us, “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.”[7]  It is:  “Anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing.”[8]  And, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.  If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”[9]

To lose your love for God, much less your faith, when all is lost is understandable.  In such darkness and faced with death, even our Lord cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”  So that from those periods, He remains our great High Priest making intercession for us, so that we may continue to receive mercy and find grace in our time of need.[10]  The growing cold of love and the loss of faith during darkness, death and disaster are no worry to anyone, for Jesus went through the disaster of the cross in darkness to face death for us, so that having been tempted with the worst of disaster, darkness and death, He is able to help us before God.

However, where Jesus is not available to help us, and be warned, not available to help us —is when we are at the maximum of light, prosperity and life, because of the manifestation of the power of God in our lives, which is getting and making wealth for us, boosting our abilities to superhuman and supernatural levels.  It is when you are able to do everything that Jesus is doing and even the greater things, but yet your love grows cold.  That is where the danger lies for anyone who is in the Kingdom of God.

You know now that wickedness is the forsaking of God.[11]  So, when Jesus said, “Because of the increase of wickedness,” He is not speaking of atheists increasing their efforts to prove that God does not exist.  He is not speaking of evil men and women increasing their fornication with Satan and his demons as they partake of his murderous lies.  He is not speaking of the increase of sin in the world and the increasing boldness and blatant display of sin in the world.  He is not even speaking of the increase of sinners.  No, indeed, the increase of sinners only increases the very need for Jesus and the justification and vindication of God sending Jesus, as Jesus said, “I have come for the sinners.”  The increase of sin gives all the more reason for Jesus to come again.  It is the increase of righteousness, especially self-righteousness, that would keep Jesus away because the full line is, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” [12] 

We are not promoting sin.  There is no need, sin in man promotes itself.  But it is essential that you remember; sin is not wickedness as we understand it —the forsaking of God is wickedness.  Thus, you can be righteous and not sinning, but yet are wicked because you have forsaken God, because the love of God is not in you.  You can have faith, but not love.  You see, of all the things that Paul said love is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, he never said, “Love always believes,” nor did he ever say, “Love is faith…”  What he did say is that the only thing that counts is faith working by love. 

So when Jesus said, “But he who stands firm to the end will be saved,”[13] He was not speaking about standing firm in your faith to the end.  Jesus was speaking about standing firm in your love to the end, despite the increasing of wickedness amongst the people of the kingdom.

God did not grieve over the wickedness of the nations of Canaan, for they were not His chosen nation.  But He was grieved over the Israelites’ wickedness in Ezekiel 6:9.[14]  God is grieved when that which belongs to Him forsakes Him, not when what does not belong to Him forsakes Him.  God was grieved that He had made man on the Earth, and His heart was filled with pain.  The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the Earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.[15]  And God destroyed them by the flood.  He grieved because man was made in His Image.  Israel grieved God because Israel was His nation.  The Canaanites were not His nation, they belonged to the demons that raised them, and that is why when God erased them from Canaan you do not detect grief in God’s persona when He commanded Israel to wipe them out.

Now, if man grieved God with his wickedness in Noah’s time, if Israel grieved God with their wickedness in Ezekiel’s time, then how much more God is grieved now if anyone who comes to the manifestation of the Kingdom of God within them forsakes Him at this level.  Whether the church has grieved the Lord; that is not for us to judge.  Whether those who are seeking to leave this Earth to enter Heaven grieve God; that is not for us to judge.  But remember and consider this if you have eyes to see and ears to hear… every single person who dies is still a triumph for Satan, for death came through the sin of Adam when Satan deceived Eve.  Regardless of whether that person goes to Heaven or Hell is irrelevant, but the fact that a man dies is a reminder that it is Satan’s handiwork.  So, do you really think that it seems good for God that men die to go to Heaven?

Remember these wistful words of God:  “It may seem marvellous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvellous to Me?”[16]  It is an echo of the Lord’s words of Luke 18:8, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the Earth?”  It is only when one or some of us live and never die because we believe in Jesus that Satan’s handiwork and alliance with death is destroyed forever.  It is when there is once more man, male and female, on Earth who cannot die, do not die, that truly the work of Satan is annulled forever.  So be mature and circumspect in your outlook from now on —and understand why we have to live John 11:26, and if not us, raise up a future generation who will fulfil these words of the Lord for the Lord.  A Christian entering Heaven to be welcomed by Jesus still brings a smile to Satan, for death is the wages of the sin he incited Adam into.  It is time to wipe away his smile forever!

So then, go now the extra mile, go beyond guarding and watching your doctrine and standing firm in your faith.  All of those who gave us this advice died and are in Heaven; some waiting to return.  Rather, listen to Jesus and consider carefully what He said:  “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”[17]

It is for the love of God that we will stand firm to the end, not because of our faith in God, but for our love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The only thing that can keep you safe from the corrupting temptation that is power is love, love of God, neighbour, enemy and one another.  No one in the history of the church has ever been entrusted with full power.  Of those who were entrusted with any form of power in the Old Testament, only Moses did not use it to destroy the innocent.  Elijah destroyed one hundred of the soldiers sent to fetch him,[18] and Elisha cursed the boys who teased him.[19]

The history of the church after the miraculous power was removed is that generation after generation of those who were in power abused that power to slaughter all who opposed them.  If the warring popes and those who fought the one hundred year wars wreaked such havoc and cruelty with worldly power, no wonder God removed His miraculous power from the church.  But now, the Kingdom of God is here, the Kingdom of Power, the power of the Holy Spirit, not only to heal the sick and cause the blind to see, but it is also power to blind those who can see and end lives.  Some of us will be entrusted with this.  What will save us from the worst temptation of all?  Is it the power to be a god?

LOVE That is why it is the greatest.  Love in all its wonderful facets of patience, kindness, gentleness, through to perseverance.  Love for God, love of God, love for neighbour, love of neighbour, love of enemy, love for enemy, love of one another and love for one another.

What Jesus revealed for us is that the fullness of the power of God in a man does not have to corrupt him and cannot corrupt him if he above all else loves the Lord, his God, with all his heart, all his soul, all his might and all his mind, and love his neighbour as he loves himself.  These two, the greatest of all the commandments upon which lay the Law and the Prophets were fulfilled by Jesus for us, and fulfilled to show us that a man can be trusted with the power to be as God, if he loves.  Jesus said, “But the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what My Father has commanded Me.”[20]  For those who succumb to forsaking God because of the temptation and trials of darkness, disaster and death, Jesus is the great High Priest making intercession for them.

For those who will be given the opportunity to have the fullness of the power of God, and so be god as it were, Jesus is the Overcomer who shows them, shows us, that if the love of and for God be in you to its fullness, then the power to be a god, the power to be as God, will not lead you into wickedness.  Jesus has done it, and those who have faith in Him will do it also if they have above all else love, agape love that stands firm to the end, for “he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”  Amen.

Those who stand firm in their love to the end will be saved indeed, for they will rise after the dead in Christ are raised to be with Him forever in the clouds.  Remember, what counts is love, for it is the greatest.  Stand firm then on the Rock of Ages, the rock that God is Love.

[1] Mark 12:30-31

[2] Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27

[3] John 13:34; 15:12

[4] KJV – NASB

[5] Deuteronomy 8:18

[6] Matthew 24:12

[7] Mark 11:23

[8] John 14:12

[9] Matthew 21:21-22

[10] Hebrews 4:16

[11] Jeremiah 1:16

[12] Matthew 9:13; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32

[13] Matthew 24:13

[14] “I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from Me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols. They will loathes themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices.”

[15] Genesis 6:6,5

[16] Zechariah 8:6

[17] Mathew 24:12-13

[18] 2 Kings 1:10,12

[19] 2 Kings 2:23-24

[20] John 14:31


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