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Father…?

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“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3.16] When Jesus said this to Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council, He introduced to Nicodemus a fact, a truth, that Nicodemus as a Jew had never known about God who rescued His nation out of the slavery of Egypt almost 1,500 years ago – that God who is One is a Father, for to have a son means that you are a father.

One can only wonder at John the Baptist’s thoughts as he heard the voice from Heaven say, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3.17] John may have known that he was a prophet of God and had been sent to prepare the way for the Messiah, but did he know and could he accept in his Jewishness that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Moses, who sent him, is a Father and that the Messiah, the Christ, is His Son?  As Jesus came out of the waters, what was going through John’s mind as he stared at this Man in front of him, for a voice from Heaven had just told him, “This is My Son…” A revelation that for John was too radical to accept, for when He next saw Jesus, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” [John 1.29] and the next day when he again saw Jesus, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” [John 1.36] to his disciples.  It was not until later at Aenon that John testified, “The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands.  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” [John 3.35-36]

This revelation that God is a Father who has a Son whom He sent to save the world is a major stumbling block for many, many religious people who are God-believing and God-fearing.  And it was also a major stumbling block for the Jews… for even when Jesus was doing signs and wonders, which no one had done before, including a crippled healed in Jerusalem, for neither Moses, Elijah nor Elisha healed the sick in Israel, the Jews still persecuted Him for healing the sick on a Sabbath and then wanted to kill Him because He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. [John 5.18]

So understand this, elect, as the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Sonship, gives you more and more power and ability to do miracles that break laws, and as your relationship with God grows in depth not as a servant, but as a child to the Father, in truth, people will see you making yourself equal with God.  Jesus was not persecuted for preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God… rather, He was persecuted for revealing that God is His Father.  Now this will, likewise, undoubtedly happen to you who hold to the teachings of Jesus, and when it does, remember you are fulfilling what Jesus said:  “All men will hate you because of Me.” [Luke 21.17] They will hate you because Jesus said so… simple as that.  So do not expect that in the days to come as the signs, wonders and miracles multiply, and the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the lepers are cleansed and the dead are raised once more, and the good news of the Kingdom of God is preached to the poor, for Jesus has said, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God,” [Luke 6.20] that you will be loved… for it is not about you being loved by people, but it is about you loving others because God has loved you.

For the commands of Jesus to you, His disciples, are not, “Love the Lord your God…” [Matthew 22.37; Mark 12.30] or “Love your neighbour…” [Matthew 5.43; 19.19; 22.39; Mark 12.31] No, for they are but the greatest commandments amongst all those given to people who are to believe God.  But for you who have been drawn to Jesus by God so that Jesus may reveal the Father to you, the commands are, “Love your enemies… [Matthew 5.44; Luke 6.27, 35] that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven,” [Matthew 5.45] so that you may “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect,” [Matthew 5.48] and may “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” [Luke 6.36] It is the love of enemies that reveals you are sons of God… not the love of friends.  And the other command is this:  “Love each other as I have loved you.” [John 15.12]

As such, whereas the overcoming of “…the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, riches and pleasures, and the desires for other things…” [Matthew 13.22, Mark 4.19 and Luke 8.14 merged] is what allows you to mature to become fruitful… it is the ability to love and to remain in love for your enemies and for one another that provides the witness that you are sons of God… but not only sons of God, but sons who are friends of the Son, the only Begotten.  For when Jesus gave the eleven the new command, He said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” [John 15.13] He made it clear that the upholding of this command made you His friends. [John 15.14] There are brothers who will betray brothers, especially in the end times… so being a son of God is incomplete.  It is when you are a son who is a friend to the other Son that you have fulfilled the commands.

So the command that follows the warning and the promise of invincibility, “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] is not about standing firm in God’s love for you, for the firmness of God’s love for you is already established and can never be changed.  He has already given His Son for you so that you might have the right to be His child… and if you are reading or hearing this, you are already that child.  No, rather, the command to stand firm is not about standing firm in your faith… for when all men hate you because of Jesus, they are not hating you for what you believe, but rather, for what you know.  Neither does the command to stand firm mean that you are to stand firm in God’s love for you, rather you are to stand firm in your love not for God, for you are not a Jew that you should obey that, merely uphold that.  As it is, as a child of God, it is never God you should keep loving, but your Father.  As such, it is to stand firm in your love for your enemies and for one another, which will manifest the invincibility in you so that “…not a hair of your head will perish.” So the temptation that will be levelled to you, elect, through an unprecedented degree of hatred against you because of Jesus, is to tempt you to break unity and faith not with God, but with each other.

So those who remain immature – worrying about the things that would choke them, and devoting their time and effort to please those who would call Jesus a liar and to be loved by men – will not be able to stand… and this promise of invincibility will not be gained in their lives.  For what did Jesus mean when He said to His disciples who through their faith already had eternal life and would not perish, “By standing firm you will gain life”?  Surely it was not longevity, but rather, the richness of experience and knowledge… more knowledge of God and Jesus whom He sent.

Few men have ever experienced a life where “…not a hair of your head will perish.” Indeed, history shows us many are they who have perished… some by preaching the gospel and holding onto their testimony, others have perished the way all men perished – by the sword, by famine and by disease.  But to live and not die, and not only not die but so that “…not a hair of your head will perish,” very few, if any have experienced.

For these words of Jesus are about the time of the end, which is now.  Now is the time for you to prepare yourselves to be hated by all men because of Jesus, because that which you are doing is bringing an end to the world of men and establishing the Kingdom of God on Earth where the nations will be ruled with an iron sceptre.  Now is the time to know what to stand firm upon… beyond faith, beyond the love of God for you… but to stand firm in your love of your enemies and for one another, even laying down your life for one another and for your enemies.

And so the word of the Lord will be fulfilled in you… like Him, you will experience a period of popularity, and like Him, all men will hate you.  But for you is the privilege not of crucifixion if you would stand firm, but of invincibility, for this is His word:   “But not a hair of your head will perish.” However, an invincibility that we will not experience if we fail to stand firm in our love for our enemies and for one another.

For what did the Father give up when He gave His Son, His only begotten Son, to save us and sent Him into the world?  Whenever you see a father put his baby son on his lap and smile, that is what the Father gave up.  Whenever you see a father hold the hands of his little boy walking to school, that is what the Father gave up.  Whenever you see a father play in the park with His children, that is what the Father gave up for you.  For Jesus was sent into this world and did not return to the Father until He was a Man.

That is why, elect, by standing firm you will gain life… a life that is measured not by longevity nor by fame, wealth, riches or experience, but by what you know of God who is your Father and His Son whom He sent.  So love one another.  Even if you are enemies to each other, the command is unchanged – “Love each other as I have loved you.” For we too were once enemies of God, and it was while we were yet His enemies that God’s love was poured out upon us through Christ.

“See, I have told you before it happens that you may know… when the time comes you know upon what you are to stand firm in.”

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