Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Word of God P39 (05-05-21)
In this world it seems things are constantly changing, and almost instantaneously. We have election fraud, a so-called C pandemic, an earthquake here and there, a tornado, or some other disaster, and a war about to break out in a moment’s notice. And we have a push for all people to just get along, regardless of whatever you believe, for that is just your opinion, as people would say. It is also so easy to get your mind, as an American, to spend all your energy and time to restore America. And to do that, people can forget their purpose as an ambassador for Christ, to represent God in a foreign land, to proclaim the gospel without compromise.
Now, if we study our bible, Jesus tells us ahead of time what we can expect, and to not be alarmed, or afraid, when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, for the end is not right away. So, it is so easy for us to lose sight of what God has commanded us to do, to love one another even as He loved us. That is how the world will know we are His disciples, when we love one another. As we are told in scripture, the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Yet, prominent evangelists, who once were solid on proclaiming truth, are now compromising everything they know for the sake of unity. People think unity can be created without truth. So people are compromising the truth in order to get us all together. People deceive themselves by saying, “I have my truth and you have yours”, as if both beliefs can coexist together, when two contradictory statements cannot both be true, and truth is what sets people free. The reason for that is a desire to get us all together, for your goal has now become to clean up America, to bring peace to the far East, and in order to do that, you have to bring everybody together, to do something, to enact laws, to do this and do that. They have reverted back to leaning on their own understanding, as if Jesus has no practical bearing to life on this planet.
Christians have forgotten their purpose, their commission by God, their function as an ambassador. They have forgotten where their true citizenship is, in heaven, and not of this world. We live in this world but we are not of this world. In fact Jesus said, if they hated me they will hate you also. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. He also said He did not come to bring peace but a sword, not a physical sword, but the word of God, living and active in changing the hearts and attitudes of men. He is the living word, truth that men need to know in order to live in the new life He has given. Until hearts change, men will not change and until men change, the world will not change. The most practical message the world needs to hear is Jesus, alive living in you.
Man is dead and in need of life. When men are dead, they act according to the flesh. You can change laws, enforce laws, but the law only stirs up sin, and is no permanent change. Law is there for the unrighteous, and is needed until such a time faith is revealed to them. The law was added to lead people to Christ, just as a mirror is there to point out where the dirt on your face is. But you do not seek the mirror, but the only holder of the mirror, who alone made the mirror, who alone can remove the dirt of sin and give you life.
Now Christians, so accustomed to the ways of the world, until their mind is renewed, can act according to the flesh, and can appear no different than the world. That should not remain that way when proper spiritual growth occurs. But truth is needed to be heard. A believer needs to be a student of the word, allowing the Holy Spirit to renew His mind. The world will tell you that the gospel is to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. A popular video put out by Pope Francis proclaims this message. But that is not the gospel. Love is a fruit of the Spirit, only produced by the Spirit of God, alive living in you, when you are born again. The true gospel is believed by faith alone in what Jesus alone accomplished for you by His death, burial and resurrection, and upon receiving Him by faith at a certain moment in your history, you were born again, having the Holy Spirit placed in you so you can discern the things of God.
So a Christian is believing error when he thinks he can pull this love off. So he strives to love God by doing this or not doing that, and he tries to love his neighbor, but he does this as if obeying a law. He thinks to be loving, you have to witness. So he thinks he can be loving when he witnesses. And so too with church-going, thinking that a loving Christian goes to church.
But if a person is intellectually honest with himself, he falls flat on his face, falling short. And James tells us that if you, who rely on your obedience to the law to be right with God, then if you stumble at just one point in obeying the law, then you have broken all of it. So the issue is, when you are lost, you are dead to God, not able to fulfill the requirements of the law. Jesus fulfilled the just requirements of the law, for it was impossible for us to do so.
Jesus did so, not by obeying letters written on stone, but by who He is, love. God is love, and love does its neighbor no wrong, so love is the fulfillment of the law. Therefore, He fulfilled the law by love. Only God can pull that off. We are weak in our natural selves and the law deceives us. As Paul said, “Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the law came, I died to the law. For the law said, do not covet, but I found myself, when trying not to covet, I coveted all the more. I do not understand myself. But praise be to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.”
So how do we obey the new command to love one another even as Jesus loved you. When you became born again, His lovingkindness led you to repentance, and you responded to that love. In response to what He alone has done for you, by way of His death, burial and resurrection, you became a new creation in Christ Jesus. His love begins to overflow through you to others. You learn to abide in Christ, who loves you unconditionally and perfectly accepts you. He calls you His friend. With that newfound freedom, out from under the law that can only condemn you, and under a new law of liberty in Christ Jesus, under a new covenant of grace, you are free to serve in the new way of the Spirit.
Jesus likened this new way of living as a vine and a branch. A branch cannot produce fruit. It can only bear fruit. So too with a born again person. He trusts Christ to produce the fruit of the Spirit, as we read in Galatians 5:22-23, where love is a characteristic of fruit and all the rest naturally flow from love, and those nutrients move to the branch, and into the lives of others. You are connected to the vine by the Holy Spirit, alive living in you. You have access to everything that is Christ, having the mind of Christ in you, a dynamic communication with the living God, who teaches you and guides you into all truth. You can discern the things of God.
Among every cult in the world, one of the attacks from any cult is an attack on the deity of Christ. Anyone who denies Christ’ deity is cultic. The Jehovah Witnesses certainly deny the deity of Christ. It is cultic. You would take your Mormon religion that has Jesus, not as God, but as some kind of a glorified man. That is cultic. I realize there can be some nice people, what we consider nice people involved in that. I am not talking about that. The doctrine is totally cultic. It is absolutely contrary to the teaching of the word of God.
In all of your Eastern religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, or the other isms, it is always an attack on the deity of Christ. Christ is not recognized as who He is. Recognized as a prophet, yes, along with Mohammad and all the rest. Recognized as God? Absolutely not among the cults. Recognized as the only way, the only truth, the only life, the only way to the Father? Absolutely not among the cults.
We are living, quite frankly, and I see it accentuated, and this is always a surprise to me, but I believe that we have seen some physical evidence of what we are going to see in the religious realm in the very near future. The Berlin wall, who would have thought it would be taken down? We saw that Berlin wall up, strong as can be, and then in one day it was down. The whole area of Communism, that is again, seemingly being challenged in the streets of Moscow. But all of a sudden gone, taken over. Who would have thought it in a million years.
(Yet not everything is as it seems. Jesus warned us to not let any man deceive you. Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend is recorded as sharing that the fall of Communism in Russia was a deliberate scheme to trick the United States into thinking Communism fell in Russia. Search for “Former KGB Agent Admits Fake Collapse of Communism in the West” by Jeffrey R. Nyquist. Check out also Raised Behind the Berlin Wall Under Communism and Understanding the Socialist Worldview by Mark Koscak)
Overnight though we heard President Reagan say on June 12, 1987, “Take down that wall.“ to the then Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev in a divided Germany. You can see that in so many areas, rapid changes are taking place. Peace treaties everywhere. (You see Israel becoming a nation on May 14, 1948. In recent history, you see peace treaties with Israel, under President Trump’s leadership, you see a second peace treaty with Arab nations in 20 days in 2020.) It almost sounds familiar does it not?
It is interesting that the huge earthquake that took place in India, the day before they were celebrating the day of good luck. (I am not sure which earthquake Bob George was referring to, because on Wikipedia you see a listing of so many of them: Earthquakes in India). So, we have to realize that in this world in which we live, things can happen just like that, overnight, like the clock of a finger. I am seeing the beginning stages taking place, or rather the time nearing the end as recorded in the scriptures.
In the Christian realm, ecumenism is clouded under Christian unity. People I have known have been extremely evangelical and are now compromising everything they know for the sake of unity. People think unity can be created without truth. So people are compromising the truth in order to get us all together. The reason for that is a desire to get us all together. But Jesus said He came to bring a sword.
49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Jesus is saying, “My truth is going to divide. You cannot get error and truth together any more than you can be unequally yoked together.” When scripture tells us that on the basis of two people in marriage, then what are we thinking about when thinking about entire groups of people, who are in total contrast to what the word of God is all about.
2 Corinthians 6:14
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
For the sake of unity, of taking over the world, of dominion theology, people are going to dominate the world. So the goal becomes, instead of evangelization of the world, instead of coming to abide in Christ, so He can work in and through us, our goal becomes to clean up America, to bring peace to the far East, to bring everybody together. If that is your goal, then I need people.
You do not have to be smart to realize there are a lot of people out there who do not want to accomplish anything. That appears good. The only things, as a natural man, and unfortunately also as a spiritual man living according to the flesh, are saying is, “I want to do my thing. I want my flesh to be gratified, and I do not care whose expense it is, I want my flesh to be gratified. It makes no difference if I am testing positive and have Aids, I got the right to go out and not tell anybody about it, and to have intercourse with anyone I want to, even though it is like shooting them with a gun.” It is a deadly disease, and yet there are no rules and regulations to prohibit anyone from doing that in the element of human rights, and that unfortunately was brought in by Jimmy Carter, a so-called born again Christian. Where God says we do not have any rights, yet he says all of us have rights. That started the propensities of all those things. It was started back then and perpetuated ever since. It is accentuated in unbelievable extremes where everyone has rights except the majority. So we are living in a day and age where I see we are going to see a huge flip and the ones who are going to be the enemies are going to be the ones who are going to stick to the statement of Jesus.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
This national organization held a meeting not too long ago. Evangelicals went to it. One of the criteria for being there and being a member of that was that you cannot say that what you believe is the only way to God. You cannot say Jesus is the only way to God. You can say, “I believe Jesus is the only way to God, but you believe, Muslim, that your way is the way to God, and after all we have a right to our own opinion.” and “So let us get together in unity.” So if your goal is to take over America, you need people, and so you compromise truth to get people out to try to get politics changed, instead of going out trying to get people’s hearts changed. We are living in one of the most dangerous stages that this country has ever been in and Christianity as a whole has ever been in. I am not fearful of that type of thing. I believe it is prophetic. I believe we are watching prophecy fulfilled before our eyes right now.
7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”
8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”
I say this because of understanding that every bit of this is based on Jesus Christ and His deity. So it is important to know why you believe Jesus is or is not God. You need to come to make a decision that you know He is God or He isn’t. But you cannot any longer stand on the fence post. Let us resume on our study on the word of God.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
We have taken verses like that, and the book of James especially, has been misinterpreted in so many areas, particularly that faith is by works. That is not what this is saying at all. It is saying to not just be a listener. You deceive yourselves if you listen but pay no attention to what it says. Why am I not going to do what something says? I have not paid any attention to it. I have not let reasoning behind it invade my own soul and spirit.
Doing what it says should be a by-product of knowing what it says, which has to be revealed by the Spirit of God. Without the Spirit of God, you do not know what it means. Why should I act on something if I do not know what it means, the why’s and the wherefore’s of it? God does not want us walking around in blind faith. There is a reason behind all things that Jesus has told us.
When we are talking about this doing what it says, it is not going out and gutting it out for God. God says, “Go do it.” So you go do it, and then you think something will happen to you. Something will happen to you. You will become a legalistic Christian and a terrific hypocrite. If that is your philosophy, then anything short of that will be pretty hard on you. You cannot do it all. It is like obedience to the law.
10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
Any time that is what you are telling everybody, the first time you blow it, as far as everybody else is concerned, watching you blow it, then you have just blown it and are a big hypocrite, so you spend the rest of your life as a hypocrite hoping nobody tells anybody when you do blow it. It is not just listening to the word, but to know what it says. Understand what it says. Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you what it says so you will not be deceived. Then acting on it becomes a natural outflow of that.
When it comes to the word of God, James also tells us this.
23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do.
The perfect law that gives freedom is the law of love. It is not the law of the ten commandments. It is not the law of dietary and custom laws. It is the law of love.
2 Corinthians 3:6
6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
So we are not talking about that law. You are talking about a new law that was given to us by Christ Jesus. That is the perfect law that gives freedom.
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
That perfect law that gives freedom is the law of love that frees you to serve. Continue to do this it says.
25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do.
Let us take a look for a moment at John 13.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
1 John 4:10-11 (NASB)
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
There is no way for me to love God by being the initiator. I am the responder. Until I realize God’s love for me I have no ability to love Him nor do I have anything that can pass on to someone else. Jesus, in essence, said, “As I have loved you, you will love me back, and a result of that is to love one another.”
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
It did not say that all men will know you love one another, or know you are His disciples, by your bumper stickers, your church attendance, your tithing records, or your cross necklace or whatever else it might. The world will know you are My disciples by your love for one another. Otherwise, they will not know you are a disciple of Christ at all.
Because we cannot pull that one off, we have given up on that. So what we have done is to say that a loving Christian would witness. Therefore, I will go witness. Therefore, I will be loving. Is that true? I know people who have witnessed who are mean as a hornet. So that is obviously not true. Loving people will pray. So I will pray, and therefore I will be loving. Is that true? No. That is not true. Loving people will go to church three times on Sunday, or whatever it might be. So, I will go to church so therefore I will be loving. Is that true? No, that is not true.
People have substituted every one of those activities for love because I realize I cannot pull this off. But I want the world to know that certainly we are His disciples but I cannot pull it off by loving one another. So I will pull it off by building big institutions, churches with stained glass windows, or get on television, and then the world will know that I am His disciple. No. They still will not know. The only way that the Lord is ever going to know that there is reality called a living Christ, alive living in you, is when you love one another. Apart from that it is not going to be there.
Once again, as we said earlier, I cannot love one another so let us get unified. Let us see if we can unify with one another, then the world will know. How can the world not know if we are disciples of Christ, if we can get all the Catholics, Muslims, Baptists, and whatever else together, meeting in one place and singing some music, not mentioning Jesus, but at least it is a religious song. News media will record that. Then everyone will know we are a follower of Christ? No, they will not. People are too smart for that. They see you at home and at work. Quite frankly, people are not impressed how you act in a gathering anyway. But people substitute, saying that if we unify, the world will know we are disciples of Christ. The word did not say that. The world will know you are My disciples when you love one another.
Incidentally, you cannot do that. We will learn that shortly. In chapter 14, it says this.
14 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
So how in the world am I going to pull this love off? There is a way of doing that, and that is to trust in Me. One time the Jews asked Jesus, “What is the work of ministry, or the work that God requires?”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
Do you want to know what your work is, Christian? To trust the Lord, to abide in the only one who can produce what He said is the only way that the world will know that you are my disciples, and that is love. Jesus identified Himself as the only source of that.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Here is how this is going to take place.
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—
There again, it is not the Spirit of unity. It is the Spirit of truth. Unity comes by unifying around what is true. He will be with you forever. So He talks now about the Holy Spirit coming to live in you. He lives with you, that was Jesus, and will be in you, that is the Holy Spirit, and will never leave you as orphans.
17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day [day of Pentecost] you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
The issue is, if I am not obeying His commands, it is because I do not love Him. What commands did He leave us with? He left us with a command to love one another. He continues explaining this in the parable of the vine and the branch in John 15.
4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
He is the vine and we are the branch. The only way we can bear fruit is to abide in Him. A branch cannot produce fruit. It can only bear fruit.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
So He says to remain in Him, and My words in you, and ask what you wish and it will be given for you. If I am remaining in Him and He is remaining in me, what do I wish? To do what He just got through saying, to love one another. I desire that, to love God and to love one another. That is bearing fruit.
8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
What did He just get through saying so the world will know you are My disciples? By loving one another. What is the fruit of the Spirit? Love. And all the rest flows from love.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
So this is God’s glory. This is the Father’s glory that you and I are bearing fruit of love to the world around us, showing ourselves to be His disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Then He gives us His command, to love one another as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
As we pick up again in John 15, I want to establish this foundation.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
It is interesting that Jesus calls you and me friends. That is probably one of the most comforting things I can think of, to be able to not just sing a song, ’What a friend we have in Jesus”, but to realize that is true and not only is He our friend, but I can be His friend as well.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
There again, when it is talking about the bearing of fruit, that is a result of abiding in Christ. That is an attitude of “not my will, but yours be done.” When the Father, in that attitude, the Father gives you whatever you ask in my name, when you are abiding in the will of God, what will you be asking? The will of the Father. People confuse that, that all I have to do is come up with some fleshly desire and ask God and God will give it to me. That is not the context here. If you are abiding, God’s desires will become your desires. When God’s desires become your desires, what you will be asking Him for is your desires that have been placed there by God. It is a very interesting thing how that works. This is my command, He says, to love one another.
Turn again to John 17. You will see once again, as we talked about earlier, that in Jesus’ prayer, the true Lord’s prayer to the Father. It was not the apostle’s prayer that He gave to them prior to the cross, but His prayer also prior to the cross for His disciples after the cross.
23 I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
What is this unity we are all after? It is to be brought to the complete unity for the purpose of letting the world know that Jesus came from the Father, and has loved man even as the Father has loved Jesus. There is the unity. It is a unity of purpose to come into this world, not as a citizen, but as an ambassador, to let a lost world know that Jesus came from God. He is not a Mohammad. He is not a Buddha. He is not a glorified man. He is not just some kind of a godly prophet. He is God Himself in the flesh, who came to this world and became a sacrifice for mankind so that we would have an abiding relationship with Him. He in us. I in Him. We in the Father. That is the unity and the only unity that God is talking about.
12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so must you do also. 14 In addition to all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ, to which you were indeed called in one body, rule in your hearts; and be thankful.
Therefore, with that in mind, that our command from God is to love one another, and also there is no way to pull that off apart from abiding in the one who is love any more than you can command a branch to love the world, or to command the branch to produce love. You cannot do that. I know I am supposed to but I cannot do it. How can I pull that off? By abiding in Him who is life, and He will produce it if you abide in Him.
Let us turn to Matthew 28:19-20, that has been called the Great Commission. When I first heard that terminology, coming out of a business background, I thought it was fifty percent on top of retail. I found out that is not true. People put names on things. Man calls it that. God did not call it that. People try to put names on things, trying to get it to say something it does not say.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Now, He is talking to His disciples, the apostles. His command to go and make disciples and the command is not going. The command is making disciples. The literal Greek is rendered, “As you are going, make disciples.” It is not “Go”. We have put the imperative on “Go” instead of the imperative on “make disciples.”