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“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and in Your Name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evil doers.’ ”[1]

The obvious mistake made by this group of ‘Christians’ is that they never came to know Him, for Jesus said to them, “I never knew you.” As I have said before, you cannot love someone you do not know. However, these ‘Lordy, Lord’ group did know something about Jesus. They knew that His Name drives out demons and in His Name they can perform miracles and even prophesy. So, the truth is they did know something about Jesus and as such, Jesus also knew them. He knew what they had done in His Name, yet He could still say, “I never knew you.”

The real problem was not that they did not know anything of Jesus or enough of Jesus, but rather, they did not use what they knew of Jesus for its appointed purpose, which is to love, to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, might and mind; to love their neighbour as they loved themselves, to love their enemies and to love one another as Jesus loved them.

The purpose of coming to know another person, the high purpose, is that you may love them without idolising them. That is God’s desired manifestation of love, which is why He seeks worshippers who would worship Him in spirit and in truth. All forms of love engender a form of worship, and as such God wants those who love Him to love Him in spirit and in truth without idolatry, in plain honesty. The problem with the ‘Lordy Lord Christians’ of Matthew 7:22 is that they may have done these great things for the Lord, but they did not come to love what they had learned of the Lord through their ability to prophesy, to drive out demons and do miracles in His Name. They did not come to love His Name. They used His Name, but they did not come to love it.

They may not have been given deep and personal revelations, they may not have been caught up to the third Heavens, they may not have had many sins forgiven of, nor had seven demons driven out of them like Magdalene, but they could at least have loved what they knew. They could at least have said, “Lord, Lord, we love Your Name, for by it we have prophesied, we have driven out demons and done miracles.”

The Father gave His Son because “He so loved the world…”[2] The Son and all that belongs to Him, His Name, His Person, His Life and His future was given out of love, so it is only right and fair that He should get love back, which in its highest experience is worship in spirit and in truth. An acknowledgement of His ownership with love is worship in spirit and in truth.[3]

Thus, whereas, ‘proof of life’ is the ability to display the life of Christ, not in just eating, drinking and talking, or joy, peace and righteousness in the Holy Spirit, but also in power. Power to prophesy in such a way that signs accompany you even as you prophesy like the two witnesses of Revelation 11, power to drive out demons and power to do miracles, all of which are part of ‘proof of life’. ‘Proof of life’ is merely the first step to the validation of the ministry that you are not a liar or a murderer, for as I have said, if ‘proof of life’ does not lead to freedom, you are still a murderer. Likewise, ‘proof of life’ that gives only freedom without love, then you are still only going to be rejected as a family member. It would be like a wife who ransoms a husband only to divorce him after he is set free and comes home. Freedom, without love, can still lead to estrangement. Likewise, those of Matthew 7:22 offered ‘proof of life’, for they had used Jesus’ Name and in His Name had been able to drive out demons and do miracles, but they lacked the ‘proof of love’.

Does Jesus seek ‘proof of love’ from His disciples? Of course He does. Why do you think He asked Peter twice, “Simon, son of John, do you truly love (agape) Me..?”[4] And when Peter twice only offered phileo love, Jesus changed the question and asked a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (phileo) Me?”[5], in order that Peter’s offer of phileo love was accepted. Peter did not up the offer from phileo to agape, but Jesus lowered the expectation from agape to phileo. God has been doing that to us and for us again and again as we refuse to step up what we have to offer, and so He lowers His expectations. Surely that is not the right thing to do to the Lord.

Perhaps Peter did not dare offer ‘agape’ love to Jesus by John 21:15 because he had failed to lay down his life as he promised but had denied Jesus three times, so he gave an honest answer from his perspective. We do not know for it is not written. Neither is it written that Peter repented to Jesus. But it is written that he wept bitterly and that Jesus appeared to him, but his repentance is not written of, yet we do know that he did not move his offer of love from phileo to agape that morning on the beach. A lifetime later, Peter did offer up his life sacrificially for Jesus when he was crucified upside down outside Rome. I wonder if the Basilica is over the site of Peter’s martyrdom. Oh you who build tombs for the prophets that were slain.

What is the ‘proof of love’ that Jesus demands? It is this: “Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me.”[6] Many have the Name of Jesus and even the faith of Jesus, notice, the faith of Jesus, but do not have His commands.

It is no wonder that when Jesus warned the disciples of the end of the age, the first thing He said was: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My Name claiming, ‘I am the Christ’, and will deceive many.”[7] To put it mildly, many will come claiming they are Christians and will deceive many. For the Name of Jesus alone is sufficient to cause demons to flee and miracles to happen. Indeed, the Name of the Lord is so powerful that “anyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”[8] So powerful is the Name of Jesus to save that even the Father has promised through the prophet Zephaniah, “Therefore wait for Me,” declares the LORD, “for the day I will stand up to testify, I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out My wrath on them—all My fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of My jealous anger. Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the Name of the Lord and serve Him shoulder to shoulder.”[9]

Thus, because of the power of the Name of Jesus, many can come with ‘proof of life’ as deceivers still, but ultimately, they are only deceiving themselves for the Gospel saves those who hear it and believe it, not those who preach it for they have already received their reward, unless the preachers themselves heard it and repented also.

The Name of Jesus has given validity in the 21st Century to the largest religion in the world, even though the church that uses His Name is a shadow of what it was and should have been. Even Peter the apostle acknowledged the power of the Name of Jesus, used by someone who by his own testimony had only phileo love to offer Jesus, for he said, By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ Name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.[10]

The faith that comes through Jesus is the gift of faith that comes through the gift of the Holy Spirit. It should not surprise you or alarm you at all that there are those who use the Name of Jesus and His gifts to advance their own cause, even to deceive many, for in any household there are those who use the benefits of the household for their own advancement and security and few are they who sacrifice themselves for the advancement of the household. I am not above this sin of using His Name and faith to advance myself at the expense of the household. That is why ‘proof of life’, which is the power of life is only half the picture. The other half of the picture is ‘proof of love’, which is the love of Life.

Peter quoted Psalm 34:12-13 in his letter, where it is written: Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Good advice, but not the best, for Jesus said, “Whoever has My commands and obeys them, loves (agapes) Me.” The best advice is that he who loves life loves the Lord, and shows that love by holding onto His commands and obeys them. His commands, not James’, not Peter’s, not Paul’s, not Moses’… His, the commands of Jesus, which when it comes to love are: “Love your enemies,”[11] and “Love one another as I have loved you.”[12]

When you look at the historical record of those who went in the Name of Jesus saying He is the Christ, and plundered pagan nations for their gold and land and then sent their own nations to war against others who also proclaimed the Name of Jesus, where is the evidence that they held to the commands of Jesus? But then, you will find by and large, these men who went in the Name of the Lord rarely ever listened to Jesus. The Name of Jesus was merely an excuse they hid behind to satisfy their lusts.

The ‘proof of love’ begins with having the commands of Jesus. This can only come if you have listened to Him and then put them into action as one practises to obey them. Understand this, a person who abstains from food sacrificed to idols in the Name of Jesus has neither His commands and therefore nor has obeyed them. A person who eats all food without questioning their spiritual cleanness because of the Name of Jesus they profess, has held to the command and obeyed it and has begun to show ‘proof of love’. So, never let acts of piety and righteousness that are paraded in public deceive you any longer. In fact, anyone who has the commands of Jesus and practises them is rarely ever deceived by public displays of piety and righteousness, for they know the Lord commanded them to be done in secret.

Therefore, whatever we do in public is never for our benefit, but for the benefit of those who are listening and watching. If then, your purpose is to display your good works before men for their benefit, how are you deceiving them? Deception of itself is selfish and benefits only the deceiver, not the audience. But, when that which you do and say benefits solely your audience, then you have become a light of the world for no light shines for its own benefit, but for those who are in the darkness. When you can preach, prophesy, drive out demons and do miracles in public for the benefit of your audience only, that is, both human and Spirit, then you have learned to shine like Jesus. For that which Jesus did in public benefited the audience, including His Father who is unseen.

Whereas, that which you do in secret, your prayers, your fasting, and your acts of righteousness can benefit you, for the Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you, and likewise your repentance in secret. Those who are well practised in secret repentance have no problems making known their weaknesses and short comings to their audience, for they have little or no self-righteousness to protect. Those who are well practised in secret sin are also well practised in public piety with rules upon rules that are designed to announce their self-imposed piety. That is why Jesus had no problems being a friend of sinners and allowed a woman of dubious reputation to anoint Him publicly, whilst Simon the Leper knew the woman’s reputation secretly and avoided her publicly.

Thus, the ‘proof of love’ is not what you can do in the Name of Jesus, but what you love of what you know of Jesus. Be it a lot or a little, the question is, “Do you truly love Me?” If you know nothing of Jesus except His Name, do you love His Name? If you know nothing of Jesus except the stories told at Christmas and Easter, do you love those stories about Him? Indeed, those who love the little they have from God are infinitely far better off than those who have plundered the treasures of God for their own gratification without any love for God. Just ask the Devil.

So what is expected of you and me as ‘proof of love’ as the elect? Beyond having His commands and obeying them, the question you must answer is: Do you love His life? Not do you love life as life, but LIFE, in the context of Jesus Christ who is the Life and the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of Life and the Father who has Life in Himself. Do you love the Life of God, the Life of Jesus and the Life of the Holy Spirit, to live it Their way so that you can truly share it and protect it… to protect, to promote and to love Their way of Life? Life that has no death, no sin, no evil, and no darkness… a life that gives rather than takes… a life that seeks to forgive rather than condemns… a life that seeks other’s good before their own… a life that seeks ways to perfect perfection out of love for each other…

A love of Life that is so strong that it seeks to do the impossible, like the kidnap victim who, once he is set free, works to not only prevent future kidnaps, but seeks to help the kidnappers reform and change. For that is the quality of the love that God has poured out through His Son Jesus, that not only did Jesus pay the ransom for redeeming creation, but through Jesus through the ransom, creation itself would be set free, and those who held it to ransom through sin, would repent and join in as those who would give freedom to the rest of creation that is still held captive by sin.

Peter wrote in his letter: The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.[13] And out of those who repent, He is desiring for sons who would join in with Jesus to set all of creation free from its bondage to decay.

So, the ‘proof of love’ that is required, begins with having His commands and obeying them, but obeying them because of your love for Him, for His Person, His Name, His Life, His future, and His Spirit… a love that seeks to bless Him first… a love that seeks to satisfy Him first and to fulfil Him first… a love that gives the greatest commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind,” [14] a resurrection. That’s right, a resurrection, for Jesus has fulfilled the Law and the Prophets for us so that we do not have to fulfil them but only to abide in Him who fulfilled them.

Now, a resurrection is not a restoration. No, there is no restoration for us who are cut off from God according to the Law because we have obeyed Jesus and have by faith in Him and His words drunk blood. However, there is a resurrection, a resurrection for the Law of God given through Moses so that it will never perish again, and even when Heaven and Earth disappear it will remain, for it now abides in the Resurrection.

The final ‘proof of love’ that you and I can offer is to resurrect the greatest command fulfilled by Jesus, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind,” not as a command from God, but by making it your commandment to yourself. That you command yourself to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, strength and mind because you want to and not because you have to. Jesus fulfilled that command not because He had to, but because He wanted to. And when you resurrect the first and greatest command as a command you give yourself to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind” and put it into practice by holding onto the teachings of Jesus and practise them as the ‘proof of love’, then the love of life will begin to flow out of your heart.

When that begins, you are ready to take the command of Jesus, “Love one another as I have loved you” to a height where there is no air to breathe and enter Heaven on Earth.

If you hear today the Holy Spirit asking you, “Do you truly love Me?” what is your answer? May the Spirit of Life give you the power of His love to answer in spirit and in truth and bring you to the height of heights where it may be said of you, “They loved Me without reason,” and thus cancelling out the law of men: “’They hated Me without reason.’”[15] Amen.


 

[1] Matthew 7:22

[2] John 3:16

[3] John 4:24

[4] John 21:15,16

[5] John 21:17

[6] John 14;21

[7] Matthew 24:4-5; Mark 13:5-6

[8] Acts 2:21 [Joel 2:32]

[9] Zephaniah 3:8-9

[10] Acts 3:16

[11] Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27,35

[12] John 15:12

[13] 2 Peter 3:9

[14] Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27 [Deuteronomy 6:5]

[15] John 15:25 [Psalms 35:19; 69:4]

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