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Standards II

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“Do not even pagans do that?” [Matthew 5.47] When Jesus asked this question, He asked it in the context of loving those who love you and greeting those who are only your brothers, as it was part of His teaching on the love of enemies.  Later, He again taught, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you?  Even ‘sinners’ do that.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you?  Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” [Luke 6.32-36]

So the standard of our actions, if we hope to be sons of our Father, must exceed that of pagans and sinners, and whatever they are doing, we are to do the opposite.  Now it is in doing the opposite to what the pagans are doing that we are being perfect and merciful as our Heavenly Father is perfect and merciful.  The love of enemies makes us one with the Father just as Jesus is one with the Father in perfection and fullness of mercy.  Perfection, which is vital if your plans, your will and your ideas are to manifest flawlessly and seamlessly as it were, without interruption and disruption… unstoppable, undelayable and undeterrable, just like the ministry of Jesus.

Have you not noticed that not even the disobedience of the disciples in going to Capernaum rather than Bethsaida interfered with His plan for crucifixion of Himself by the Jews and the Romans?  Nothing and no one hindered the flowing events of Jesus’ ministry to its purposed end, not even the lack of faith or the abundance of opposition.  Now, that is what perfection is all about, and the fullness of mercy of that ministry was that all who came were healed.

Now you can say correctly that this perfection flowed from Jesus into His ministry because He was sinless, He was God, and He was one with the Father.  All true, and you might say and think, “Because we are not sinless, we are not God and we are not one with the Father as Jesus is, so we cannot and should not expect to have this same perfection to flow in our ministry as to make it flow without disruption to its purposed end.”  That is also true, except God, who predestined us to be in Christ Jesus, in His wisdom has given us a source of perfection and fullness of mercy that does not require us to be sinless or gods, nor to have oneness with the Father to the standard of Jesus.  For He knows we cannot keep ourselves sinless, we are not gods and we are not one with Him as Jesus is one with Him, even if He has said so, without extra help.

And so through Jesus, He gave us the way to perfection and fullness of mercy and the supply to maintain us in the way.  This He has done through our enemies.  You see, Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in Heaven…” [Matthew 5.11-12] and again, “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in Heaven.” [Luke 6.22-23] And by loving those who insult, persecute and exclude you, and reject your name as evil, saying all kinds of evil against you, the greatest of that reward is guaranteed and it manifests as you manifest that love by blessing when cursed, praying when persecuted, and doing good when evil is done to you.  Now, that first part of that reward that is in Heaven rests in your Heavenly Father – His perfection and His mercifulness – and it can manifest immediately, for the word of the Lord says, “Be perfect…” [Matthew 5.48] and, “Be merciful…” [Luke 6.36] and not, “You will be…”

Jesus Himself was insulted by the people in Nazareth who rejected Him because He came from there.  His own mother and brothers said that He was out of His mind. [Mark 3.21] The Jews plotted to kill Him and the pharisees rejected Him for what He was saying and doing, calling Him a sinner, a blasphemer and one who drives out demons by Beelzebub.  Instead of allowing Himself to be loved by all, He permitted Himself to have many who insulted Him, persecuted Him, rejected Him and even kill and murder Him by their thoughts and words until they finally did it.  That is, He ensured He had a plentiful supply of enemies, and by loving them as He did – forgiving them and warning them about what awaits them by telling them the truth of what they are – He ensured that He was, by His practice and not just by His birthright, perfect and merciful as His Heavenly Father is perfect and merciful.

Now this is very important, for Jesus was already perfect and merciful as His Heavenly Father is by His birthright as the only begotten Son of God, but we are not.  However, because of His word, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing,” [John 14.12] He had to do likewise… so that we can also do likewise and have our own source of perfection and fullness of mercy despite our birthwrongs.

And in the days of distress that are coming and even now are upon us to ensure that we too would have a ministry that is seamless, uninterruptable, undistractable and unstoppable like His, despite our inadequacies, our weaknesses, our doubts and our tendencies to give up, He ensured that we would have a perfect supply of perfection and fullness of mercy.

Perfection so that whatever we do is perfect and therefore we would need the fullness of mercy, for those who have been given much and know much but do not do what they know are struck with many more blows.  He did this by His word when He said, “All men will hate you because of Me,” [Luke 21.17] not just some, not just many, but “All men…” giving us who have practised loving those who hate us an opportunity to now love the all of men who will hate us, thus giving us the all of perfection and the all of the fullness of mercy that are in the Heavenly Father.  A reliable, consistent source of perfection and fullness of mercy so that it is ensured what we do, like what He had to do, will succeed.  Such is the way of the Lord so that truly as He has said, “…neither are your ways My ways.” [Isaiah 55.8] So if you have practised and learnt to love your enemies and rejoice at the schemes of enemies, at the words of those who are your enemies who hate you now, then you are ready.  Ready for the days of distress that will begin when because of them all men will hate you, but you, in loving all who hate you, ensure for yourself the all sufficiency of an abundant, overflowing supply of perfection and fullness of mercy in your own life to accomplish all that God has purposed for you to do, just as Christ was able to do all that God had purposed for Him.

As such, learn to see… what pagans do, we do the opposite; what sinners do, we do the opposite; and in so doing, we have arrived at the required standard.  So when sinners and pagans ensure they have plenty of steadfast friends to bless and help them, we must first ensure we have a supply of steadfast enemies who will curse and insult us, threaten and persecute us, for then we have received our supply of perfection and fullness of mercy without which even full miraculous power and wealth greater than Solomon’s are useless.  For without perfection, whatever you plan to do or effect to do will break down and can be stopped.  Without fullness of mercy, whatever you fail to do for the Lord with what He has called you to do will result in a strict judgment upon you.

So then, elect, be wise and see just how greatly the Lord has and will bless you when He sends people who insult you, curse you and seek to harm you because of your witness for Him.  See from here on your enemies are the source of your perfection and mercy for they allow you to “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect,” [Matthew 5.48] and to “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” [Luke 6.36] So generous is the Lord, so all providing is God, that He has guaranteed by His word that “All men will hate you because of Me,” such that you will never ever run out of perfection and fullness of mercy in the days ahead as you practise His word and apply His power to what He has elected you for.  So that whether you do right or you do wrong, perfection and fullness of mercy are there to cover you as you strive to fulfil the scriptures so that He may return.  And you can look at all the men who hate you with eyes that see them as your most precious resource through which your supply of perfection and fullness of mercy is ensured.  So you must learn to nurture them, protect them and ensure that they continue to hate you all the more, at least until you no longer need their hatred because Jesus has arrived.

Then on that day, complete the love you have for them by presenting them to the Lord as the ones who have helped you and truly blessed you the most in your endeavours, requesting from the Lord that they be given a share of your reward.  Now since you should share your reward with those whom have blessed you, you should realise that you must ensure you have a great reward awaiting you in Heaven.  Yes, elect, complete the love, perfect your love of enemies, for perfect love drives out all fear, so that all your fear of enemies is also driven out by being willing to share your great reward in Heaven with them when you no longer need them to maintain your supply of perfection and fullness of mercy.  For it was a friend who betrayed Jesus – Judas Iscariot – but enemies who cried out for His blood that helped Jesus to be crucified to fulfil His Father’s will.

Amen.

Now to those who have, more shall be given until they have an abundance.  When we have an abundance of enemies, we have an abundance of perfection and fullness of mercy.  That is how one who has conformed no longer to the ways of the world but has renewed his mind should think.

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