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Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love, does not know God because God is Love.[1] John’s Gospel, God is Love, is probably the greatest of all the Gospels that Jesus gave to His apostles.

For Peter received the Gospel, “You are the Christ, the Son of God;”[2] Paul received his, by grace you have been saved through faith… it is the gift of God;[3] and Magdalene’s, “I have seen the Lord,”[4] yet these do not reveal the fullness of the character of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When John wrote and said, “God is love,” it means that the Father is Love, the Son is Love and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Love. It means that all that Paul wrote to us about what love is, God is.[5] It means that God is patient, God is kind, He does not envy nor boast and neither is He proud. He is not rude, nor self-seeking, neither is He easily angered and He keeps no records of wrongs. He does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. God (Love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

Peter wrote: Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.[6] Indeed, God has covered over a multitude of sins by the perfect sacrifice of His One and Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Love never fails,[7] which means God never fails.

Paul also wrote to encourage us: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.[8] Paul did not include in his letter to the Corinthians that even if we have power to do signs, wonders and miracles yet have not love, we have nothing, but then the Corinthians were not ready for the mature, but were still in need of coaching for the immature. For you and I, remember this before it happens, without love nothing you and I do or say or think counts, for God is Love and He made us in His Image, which means, you and I are the image of Love: Love, as defined by Jesus’ life and sacrifice and resurrection from the dead; Love as defined by the Father’s patience and sacrifice of His Son; Love as defined by the Holy Spirit whose gentleness and kindness, humility and patience, causes Him to remain where He is ignored, misrepresented and misquoted. Love as God is and not as you feel, is what you must distinguish within yourself now. For you, it is not enough just to have love, be in love and know what love is, you must also observe the character of your love, for love is the character of God revealed.

As with all things God, there are counterfeits. There is a love that is a counterfeit; it is a love that is not patient, nor kind, and it is envious, boastful and proud. It is rude and easily angered, keeping records of wrongs and delights in evil. It never protects, never trusts, never hopes and never perseveres. It is fear disguising itself as love and that is something that we practise all the time in our relationships and yet call it love. Love that is fearful is like light that is darkness. Many times you and I will say, “God, I love You;” but I say to you if you are patient with God, kind to God, always protecting God’s reputation and trusting God, hoping for the best for God and not from God, and never giving up on God’s ways, it will have shown much more than a thousand, “I love you”s to God from your lips.

The weapons of divine power that you have received, which are your thoughts, words and deeds, draw their power from love and manifest their greatest power when your thoughts, words and deeds are captivated, motivated and dedicated by your love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

For those who have not received the Law of God through Moses, nor received the sacrifice of love through Jesus, God will judge only according to that which is in their hearts. Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.[9] What defends them is the love they have in their heart for those they know. All men are made in God’s Image, male and female, and all men have love. If you cannot love who and what you know, you cannot love who you do not know. Since there is no male or female who is born without parents, the love of your parents and your children is that minimum basis that God judges, taking into account the situations and circumstances given to you.

For those who have received the Law of Moses and who know according to that Law that they are to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul and might, and to love their neighbour as they love themselves, they will be judged on those laws. Israel was decimated because they did not love God nor did they love their neighbours, their fellow Israelites. To this day, those who have heard Moses preached and are circumcised in the flesh are judged according to the love they have for God and for their neighbour. Theirs is the command to honour with love.

Those who received the ‘sacrifice of Love’, Jesus Christ, are given the commands to sacrifice for Love. To His disciples, Jesus Christ gave two commands: “Love your enemies,”[10] and “Love each other as I have loved you;”[11] commands that demand a sacrifice just like Jesus. For Christ died for us whilst we were the enemies of God and as such, you and I, fellow disciples, are former enemies of God for whom Jesus sacrificed His life.

Thus, the Gentile pagan who has neither heard of Moses nor of Jesus, yet lays down his life for his family and friends, has done for more for love than those who are under the Law of Moses yet will not obey it and those who are under the sacrifice of Jesus and will not share it. You see, Israel was never told to share the Law she received but to uphold it. Indeed, her mission was not to preach to the nations around her, but to decimate them and wipe them out on the Father’s orders as Moses said, “You must destroy all the peoples the Lord your God gives over to you.”[12] There was no salvation from Israel but destruction. She destroyed those she left behind, the Egyptians, and she was to destroy all she was sent to. Israel was to prove her love of God in obeying God, but was God unjust in sending her against pagan and idol worshippers to destroy them, young and old, male and female, even the children? Not at all, for those nations that humbled themselves to save their loved ones were spared; the Gibeonites and those who marched out in battle to defend their loved ones will have proved that the Law of Love was already written on their hearts. They may have worshipped idols and sacrificed to idols, but they showed they still had love, love for those they knew when the day of destruction came and fathers and sons took up arms to fight to defend their wives, daughters, sisters and children. That display of love for family covered over their many sins. That is why, as you read through the words of the Lord through the prophets, the Lord has promised He will restore them all, even Moab and the Ammonites,[13] these two nations that He wiped out because they were born from the incestuous union of Lot and his two daughters.[14]

Israel was judged on her failure to fulfil her mission to destroy all she encountered and to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul and might, and their neighbour, their fellow Jews, as they loved themselves. They were permitted to enslave the nations, but not each other. They were permitted to plunder the nations, but not each other. However, by the time of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, that’s all they did to each other. If there is any lesson the church can learn from Israel, it is the lesson of the consequence of failing to obey God’s commands of love, for God is Love.

The disciples, the ‘church’ if you like, were commanded to “Go preach the good news”[15] and to “make disciples of all nations”[16] with the specific command to “Love your enemies” and “Love each other as I have loved you.” It was never commanded to go and decimate the pagans and steal the pagan’s gold to decorate its altars, nor were we to put each other to death just because we did not agree with each other’s doctrines. Jesus never commanded us to torture witches, warlocks or people of other faiths to force them to recant, but to “love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you,[17] do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you.”[18] When we were to go and preach, we were to heal the sick, not kill them with the common cold, smallpox, measles and syphilis that were carried on the bodies of those who went. Praise God for His mercy, who permitted so many who were genuinely dedicated to the mission to be martyred so that those who are from the church who caused them to be martyred by issuing them with useless words and doctrines would bear the shame, and those who had the honour of martyring them might share the glory.

Jesus said of the Gentiles who crucified Him, and even the Israelites, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”[19] How can you blame those who are defending their land and families from foreigners who are bringing with them guns that kill and sicknesses, as they stay to possess their land? How can you blame them for defending what food they had when those who claimed to be Christians were eating their food instead of multiplying it, making them sick instead of healing them and killing them instead of raising their dead? The pagans did not know what they were doing, except they were defending that which they loved, their families and their land. God is Love and their judgement from God will be according to the love they displayed to what they knew.

Had we listened to Jesus like the Father commanded, we would have known and should have known that disciples of Christ need to love their enemies and each other as Christ loved us. So, we must repent; repent for not listening to God who is Love. It is as if the church took over from the work of Israel and went out to decimate the nations and each other. How would you expect God to judge the church then?

The power to love is the power to judge as God judges, because God is Love. Jesus said, “Judge not, lest you be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”[20] Yet Paul wrote to the Corinthians: Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? …Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life![21] As such, though we do not judge, we will judge once our obedience is complete and what is that obedience and completion? John wrote: No one has ever seen God: but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.[22] The completion of that obedience must be our earnest practise of the commands of love from Jesus until we have succeeded in loving one another as He loved us. Then we can uphold the Law though we are no longer under it. Indeed, we are out of it because we have drunk the blood and eaten the flesh of Jesus. But we can uphold the Law to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, might and mind and our neighbour as ourselves[23] so as to judge those who delight in partial observance of the Law.

To be able to know and understand that God is Love will define the parameter and jurisdiction by which we operate in the power of God. Thus, those who do what they do out of agape love, without ever having heard of Moses or Jesus, will find far more mercy than those who are given the Law of Moses or claim the sacrifice of Jesus yet know nothing about love. God is Love, and He placed in His image love. When Jesus looks at any who call Him, ‘Lord, Lord,’ He looks for the love they should have, especially if they claim to have prophesied and driven out demons in His Name and to have done miracles in His Name. Did they do it out of love for His enemies or one another, or was it out of selfish self-seeking ambition? When they sat and listened and ate with Him, did they do that out of love for Him and for those they had charge over so that they could better feed them? You can have power, all the power of the Heavens and the Earth, even the power to call down fire from the Heavens, but if you have not love, you have nothing.

Miraculous power can control financial, political, intellectual and military (physical) powers, but unless the motive to have and use such powers is love, love of God and neighbours, love of enemies and each other, and love of family, then it is only sorcery, witchcraft and divination.

Balaam had no love for Balak nor love for Israel for he knew neither. Nor did he have love for God, for he wanted to make God do what God did not want to do, but he had only the love of gold and greed. So great was his love for gold, he would kill for it using God.

The power we have to do what Jesus has been doing and to do even the greater things,[24] is given to us to be witnesses that God is Love, and that behind everything that God has ever done and will do, His motivation is love and all who have love have retained a measure of God’s Image, which can be salvaged. Only the cowardly, the unbelieving and the vile have no love, for it takes courage to love, it takes faith to love and love is good and noble, not vile. Even murderers, idolaters, the sexually immoral, practitioners of magic arts and liars are able to love and have had some love in them. That is why these five are given a final reprieve from the Lake of Burning Sulphur to becoming dogs outside of New Jerusalem.[25]

The deposit of God’s power in each of you will continue to grow as you increase your knowledge, not only of God, but of each other and of your enemies, be they human or spirits, and to your fellow disciples and to your enemies, you are able to practise patience and perseverance and all that is in-between the patience and perseverance.

Be patient with each other. Be patient with your enemies. Let them live long enough to attack you. Be kind to each other. Be kind to your enemies, giving them time to repent. Do not envy each other, but rejoice for each other. Do not envy your enemies; they have a worse job than you. Do not boast to each other, but about each other. Do not boast to your enemies but speak the truth to them about them. Do not be rude to each other. Do not be rude to your enemies, do not slander them. Do not say, “Satan is attacking me.” You are not important enough for his personal attention. Keep no records of wrongs, forgive each other; forgive your enemies. Rejoice with the truth about each other. As much as you would always protect, hope, trust and persevere with each other, likewise, learn to protect your enemies. Do not let them harm themselves by provoking them to attack you needlessly. You are greater than they are, and anyone who harms you only brings harm on themselves. Protect them from themselves, for they know not what they are doing. Hope the best for them, for if they succeed in killing you, ensure that they martyr you that they may share in the ministry like Saul of Tarsus who became heir to Stephen’s ministry because Saul stood there giving approval as Stephen was stoned. Always trust your enemy to mean you harm and to lie to you and never give up on them. Persevere with them until they surrender to Jesus. Even when they have ended up in Hell, do not give up on them, but prepare them through your preaching the words of God’s prophecy of Zephaniah 3:8-9.

Being educated in the power of God is to be educated in His love, it is to know how wide, how high and how deep Their love is that surpasses all knowledge.

The church is to be the witness of God’s sacrifice of Love—Jesus Christ, His only Son, with power to confirm the truth of that sacrifice. As the workshop of the Holy Spirit, we can repair the damage done out of ignorance, as long as we can remember that God has given us all power to love as He loves. Then truly are we born again—born again in the Spirit of Love. Then you will see that power without love is counterfeit power and has no place in God.

When you have love for each other, you will forgive each other’s sins as He forgave ours. When you have love for your enemies, you will change water to good wine and multiply their food to feed them and give them some gladness. When you love your enemies, you will heal their sick and raise their dead. And when you love your enemies, you will open their eyes to see, their ears to hear and give them legs to run to Jesus. You will above all else give them time to repent as God gave you time to repent. Against such love, there is no judgement, for that is why Jesus came preaching the good news, healing the sick, raising the dead, driving out demons, multiplying the food and cleaning the waters, amongst the enemies of God.

AMEN


 

[1] 1 John 4:8

[2] Matthew 16:16; Mark 8:29

[3] Ephesians 2:8; Galatians 1:11-15

[4] John 20:18

[5] 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

[6] 1 Peter 4:8

[7] 1 Corinthians 13:8

[8] 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

[9] Romans 2:14-15

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

[11] John 15:12

[12] Deuteronomy 7:16

[13] Jeremiah 48:47; 49:6

[14] Genesis 19:36-38

[15] Mark 16:15

[16] Matthew 28:19

[17] Matthew 5:44

[18] Mark 6:27-28

[19] Luke 23:34

[20] Matthew 7:1-2

[21] 1 Corinthians 6:2-3

[22] 1 John 4:12

[23] Matthew 22:37-39; Mark 12:30-31; Luke 10:27 (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18)

[24] John 14:12

[25] Revelation 21:8; 22:15

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