Deuteronomy 5:29, 33, “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.”
Babylon does not obey God’s commandments (Word, truth)! She is very religious in form and outward appearance and claims to represent God – she is hypocritical! She acknowledges God’s Word, but does not follow God’s Word. Babylon trusts in traditions and the teachings of men. She seeks that which is fleshly (lusts and desires, man’s ways). Babylon has found comfort and security in the kingdoms of this world. She demands alliegance and submission to her doctrines and authority.
The true church does obey the Lord’s commandments! The true church walks in faith as lead of the Spirit. The true church trusts in God’s Word as taught of the Holy Ghost (unfolding of truth, meaning and application). The true church is a part of the kingdom of God and only sojourns on this earth – they are pilgrims. The true church seeks to live at peace with all men, but is ultimately devoted solely to Jesus Christ (Rm 12:18, Heb 12:14). The true church surrenders entirely to Jesus Christ.
To say that killing and violence are justified under any situation or circumstance (i.e. self defense) is a confusion of the truth and a lie. You cannot walk in love, yet make place for hatred. To walk in love is to extinguish (quench, snuff out) hate. To walk in hate is to extinguish love. The two are mutually exclusive of each other. Those who follow Jesus are “born again” into the kingdom of heaven. Historically, countless individuals who have “professed” Christ have fought and killed (in war or defense of doctrine/institutions) others who also professed Christ. Is the Lord’s kingdom thus divided? Jesus stated that a divided kingdom/house cannot stand (remain) and is brought to desolation, yet emphasized that His kingdom would be eternal and without end – a kingdom that cannot be moved (Mt 12:25-26, Mk 3:24-25, Lk 1:33, 11:17, 1 Cor 15:24, Heb 12:28, 2 Pt 1:11, Rev 1:6, 11:15, 22:5).
All of this hatred, violence and killing has been done in God’s name, yet is a direct violation of the King’s commands that His citizens love one another. Are we to say that there is no order or manifestation of the Lord’s will in the kingdom of God? Those who have done such things are a great mystery. They have been intoxicated by Babylon the great, the mother of all harlots. They are totally confused and do not understand the Lord’s will. They are walking by the precepts of the flesh. James 3:16, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” The hatred and strife has blinded their eyes and manifested as fruits of the flesh. Either God’s Word has been made void or much of what claims to be of the Lord is not. God did not welcome rebellious Lucifer and neither will God welcome rebellious man. It all comes down to obedience to the Lord’s Word and Babylon does not obey. The fruit clearly reveals this fact.
Whether good or bad, just or evil: every tree is known by his own fruit (Lk 6:44). This is why God always says that we will be judged by our works/deeds/fruit – every man’s work will be revealed according to his ways (Job 34:11, Eccl 3:17, 11:9, 12:14, 1 Kings 8:39, Ps 62:12, Prov 24:12, 29, Is 59:18, Jer 17:10, 25:14, 32:19, Ez 7:3-4, 8-9, 27, Obad 1:15, Zech 1:6, Mt 12:36-37, 16:27, Jn 5:29, Rm 2:6, 16, 14:12, 1 Cor 3:13, 4:5, 2 Cor 5:10, Col 3:24-25, 2 Tim 4:1, 1 Pt 1:17, 4:5, Jude 1:15, Rev 2:23, 20:12-13, 22:12). John 5:28-29, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” You must strongly consider if you walk in hatred (sacrifice others for your benefit) and strife; or if you walk in the Lord’s love (directed first/foremost to God and then your neighbor). Hatred and love are opposites just as Satan’s nature (the lie) is opposite of God’s nature. Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
It is hard to believe – really quite unfathomable, but most of the major wars in the world (and countless conflicts) these past two thousand years have been fought (and endorsed) with the participation of those who profess to follow Jesus. Often, those who profess Christ killed their brethren who also professed Christ (and this continues even today). Professed Christians made peace with and came to accept war and violence. They came to a position of hating their neighbors as well as their enemies – an opposition to Christ! This position cannot be arrived at through Christ’s Words. This position cannot be arrived at through Jesus’ example (the way He walked). Whatever justifications have been dredged up and put forth from the Old Testament were made null and void by Christ’s very Words. You cannot love your neighbor and yet make place to kill your neighbor. Jesus told the parable of the “Good Samaritan (Lk 10:30-37)” to reveal that your neighbors also include those whom you despise (Jews looked down upon Samaritans). Christ could not have made it more clear: Matthew 5:43-44, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” You love those who love you (Mt 5:46) and you love those who hate you (Mt 5:44). In other words, you must love everyone. What if Jesus had hated his enemies? – then all of man would be hopelessly lost. What if Christ had defended His innocence and not gone to the cross? – then there would be no path back to God. For all of those who desire to justify returning evil for evil, Jesus had a message just for you: Luke 6:46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Colossians 3:25, “But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
The truth is that Jesus suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God (1 Pt 3:18) – not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 Jn 2:1). We must respond in love to the unjust as did our Lord. We must follow the example. 1 Peter 3:13, “And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?” We must not fear man; the worst he can do is kill the body and after that there is no more that he can do (Lk 12:4). Be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts (1 Pt 3:14-15). Luke 12:5, “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” Every authority and power is subject unto Christ (1 Pt 3:22). If the Lord would have us lay down our lives, then we must do so – God’s purposes are eternal (1 Pt 5:10-11). 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 4:1-2, “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” If man treats us unjustly – so be it; we appeal to God and then rest assured that justice and judgment will prevail. Woe to the unjust and persecutors.
The concept of a “just war” is very problematic because it nullifies Christ’s commandment that His disciples love one another. John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” This tradition/doctrine of man transgresses the commandment of Christ, making it of none effect (Mt 15:3-6). Babylon the great whore does not “obey” God’s commandments!!! The concept of a just war supposes that it is acceptable for a Christian to fight and kill to protect his nation/country/kingdom. This places the “demands of” or “loyalties to” the kingdoms of this world in higher regard than the kingdom of God. We must strongly consider just whose kingdom we are citizens. The power of darkness (lusts of the worldly kingdoms) places one who professes to follow Christ in battle (war) against another who professes to follow Christ. The one is expected to overcome the other for the benefit of the worldly kingdom. However: God delivers a sincere believer from the power of darkness, and translates him into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13). In Christ’s kingdom, His disciples love one another. One does not rise against another. Whose kingdom to obey? The answer is: the one that you love with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. The one whom you embrace. The one you are willing to die for. Patriots die for their worldly king in the kingdoms of man. Martyrs die for their heavenly King and the kingdom of God.
The devil is the prince of this world (Jn 12:31, 14:30, 16:11). Those who walk according to the course of this world (in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath) are led by the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience (Eph 2:2-3). All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of Babylon’s fornication and were deceived by her (Rev 18:3, 23). The devil is a murderer, deceiver and a liar and so are those who are led of him (Jn 8:44). The great dragon, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, deceiveth the whole world (Rev 12:9). Having said that, we must understand that prior to any war the people are first conditioned with propaganda (the party line) – lies and deceit. All wars are fought with what is presumed to be noble intent. Most believe that God is on their side. A righteous cause is always established and proclaimed. The reality is that wars are fought due to the lusts and desires of the flesh. Are God’s people to be caught up in the affairs of this corrupt and evil world? 1 John 5:19, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” Given the corrupt nature of the worldly kingdoms, are God’s people just to blindly follow worldly kings into a presumed “just war?” Are we to judge whether a war is just or not? – we will not even know the true facts. Lies, murder and deceit are what war is all about. The devil leads to war!!!
Christians are called to a different kind of war. 2 Corinthians 10:3, “For though we walk in the flesh (a physical body), we do not war after the flesh.” Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” There are two aspects to this war. The first is to overcome the world and all its lusts and desires and the second is to be a witness (a vessel for God’s use) for winning the souls of men.. 1 Peter 2:11-12, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation (lifestyle) honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation (also Js 4:1-2).” We must walk in the nature of our Lord: Romans 12:21, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” 1 John 5:4, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
Through the exercise of our faith, we rise above the evil of this fallen world and take on the nature of Christ. The world wants to conform us to it’s image, but we must be conformed to the image of Christ. This is a daily battle. Our warfare is not for temporal carnal things, but for eternal things. Our concern must be to point (direct) a lost and dying world to the hope found in Christ Jesus. We must be a light and an example. We sacrifice self for the benefit and help to others. Our hope must be to point Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox and whoever to Jesus Christ – to His light of truth – to His magnificence.
Followers of Christ will be tried, tested and persecuted in their walk of faith (1 Pt 1:7). Even so, Jesus led the way and is our hope: John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (also 1 Jn 4:4).” Jesus is the example that we follow to overcome the world. We must carefully consider how Christ walked and then take up our crosses and follow along. There are great things in store for those who overcome (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26, 3:5, 12, 21). Revelation 21:7, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” This is a complete restoration. Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren, the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18). Brethren resemble one another, so: Romans 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
We must put aside these notions of a fractured body of Christ (Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Protestantism, and countless divisions, etc.). The true body of Christ takes up their cross (dying to self) and follows Him (Mt 6:24, 10:38, Mk 8:34, 10:21, Lk 9:23, 14:27, 18:22). The true body of Christ is known by walking in love. The true body of Christ will be known by the fruit of the Spirit. To “follow” Christ is to walk as He walked and in His nature (Col 2:6, 1 Jn 2:6). Therefore, we must be humble, forgiving, merciful, patient, loving (even our enemies), forbearing of the injuries of others (meek), longsuffering, giving, and always ready to help others who seek to know the truth (Col 3:12-17). This means that we must love and pray for those who persecute us (religious man or heathen), even if they are leading us to our martyrdom (Lk 20:16-17, 23:33-34). Theology (religious studies and suppositions) tends toward division and strife (1 Cor 1:10, 3:3). The Holy Spirit leads in truth, holiness and righteousness – to unity. Hatred is manifested when self is exalted. Love is manifested when self is humbled. It is only when one dies to self that Christ’s love can truly be realized. The sincere struggle to achieve this is where the Spirit is leading. This love must be duplicated in every individual that forms Christ’s body known as the church (ekklesia – called out ones). Babylon and her harlots can only produce hatred and strife. Those who do Jesus’ will (i.e. walk in love) shall be His eternal family. Come out! Come out! Babylon is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird (Rev 18:2).
Jesus calls us to repentance and counsels us to overcome – to be faithful unto death (Rev 2:5, 8, 10-11, 16-17, 21, 26, 3:3, 5, 12, 18-19, 21)! Psalms 56:11, “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.” Revelation 2:26, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” Revelation 21:7, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” We must overcome the darkness (things of the world, lusts and desires of the flesh, self exaltation which is pride, disregard of God’s commandments).
Lastly: Christ has commanded His followers to walk in love. However, God is sovereign and is a God of judgment (Jer 9:24). The Lord alone is Creator and righteous. God has every right to judge, enact vengeance and punish evil – at His discretion (Deut 32:35, 41, 43, Ps 94:1, 149:7, Is 13:11, 26:21, 34:8, 35:4, Rm 12:19, 2 Thess 1:8, Heb 10:30). One day the Lord will set all things right and the wicked will receive of the fruits of their own doings (Pv 1:31, Jer 21:14). Christ will use His people in this judgment and vengeance to the extent that He so desires. Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” The Lord God will not be limited, boxed in, controlled, judged or understood by corrupt man.
Jesus will return and take great vengeance on the wicked. Joel 1:15, “Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.” All kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him (Rev 7:1). The time of recovering the lost will have come to an end. This will be a time of great judgment – woe to the prideful and wicked. Those who are Christ’s will “follow” Him in executing such judgment. Zephaniah 1:15-18, “That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land (also Joel 2:2, Amos 5:18-20, Ob 1:15).” Joel 3:14, “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” FINAL WARNING: Zephaniah 2:3, “Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.” Zechariah 14:9, “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” Oh to be found in Christ!!!
Summary of some Important Truths from this Study
- Those who are Christ’s have been delivered from the power of darkness having crucified the flesh (died to) with the affections and lusts (Col 1:13, Gal 5:24-25, Eph 2:2-6, 4:22-23).
- Those who are Christ’s dwell in love (1 Jn 4:16)!
- He who keepeth Christ’s commandments dwells in Christ (1 Jn 3:24). We know Him, if we keep his commandments (1 Jn 2:3).
- Therefore from 2 and 3: For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments (1 Jn 5:3, 2 Jn 1:6).
- Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected (1 Jn 2:5).
- Those that are Christ’s have His Holy Spirit in order to dwell in love (Rm 5:5).
- God can only be pleased by faith and faith works by “love” (Heb 11:6, Gal 5:6).
- He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (1 Jn 4:8).
- Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God (1 Jn 4:7). God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him (1 Jn 4:16).
- That the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (Jn 17:26).
- He that loveth God loves his brother also (1 Jn 4:21).
- Love is not in so many words, but in deed and truth (1 Jn 3:18).
- Those that are Christ’s have been “born again” into His kingdom (Gal 6:15, Jn 3:3, 5, 7)
- We receive the promise of the Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ and this is the power that worketh in us (Gal 3:14, Eph 1:13-14, 3:16, 20).
- We are kept by the power of God (the Holy Ghost) through faith (love, surrender, obedience, trust) unto salvation (1 Pt 1:5) – at the end of our faith (1 Pt 1:9).
- Those that are Christ’s have been commanded to love one another (Jn 15:17).
- Those that are Christ’s are washed, sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit of God (1 Cor 6:11, 1 Pt 1:2).
- You purify your soul in obeying the truth through the Spirit which results in unfeigned (sincere) love of the brethren (1 Pt 1:22).
- Justification is by faith in Jesus Christ whereby God seals us and gives the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts – for by faith ye stand (Gal 3:24, 2 Cor 1:21-22, 24).
- Those that are Christ’s have access through Him by one Spirit unto the Father (Eph 2:18).
- Christ dwells in our hearts by faith, being rooted and grounded in love, that we may know the love of Christ and the fullness of God (Eph 3:17, 19).
- Those who follow Christ walk in lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love (Eph 4:1-2).
- He who hates his brother is in darkness, walks in darkness and is blind (1 Jn 2:9, 11).
- He who walks in darkness has no fellowship with Jesus (1 Jn 1:6). Walking in darkness is following the lusts and desire of the flesh (2 Pt 1:4, Eph 2:3, 4:22, 1 Jn 2:16-17). Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16).
- He that hates his brother is a murderer and does not have eternal life abiding in him – he abides in death (1 Jn 3:14-15).
- The devil was a murderer from the beginning (Jn 8:44).
- He that hates his brother does not love God, irregardless of his profession (1 Jn 4:20).
- Those that come to Christ, hear Christ, and do what Christ says (His commandments) have their foundation on an immovable rock (Lk 6:47-48).
- They that are led of the Spirit overcometh all things and they are the sons of God (Rm 8:14, Rev 21:7).
- Only those led of the Spirit will “know” the truth (Jn 14:26, 16:13, 1 Jn 2:27).
- Salvation is through sanctification of the Spirit (being set apart) and belief (unto obedience, 1 Pt 1:2) of the truth(2 Thess 2:13) – God is worshipped in Spirit and truth (Jn 4:23-24).
Luke 11:35, “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.” Ephesians 5:17, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” We must come to Christ, hear Christ and do Christ’s commandments. Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Jesus (Mt 11:6). He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Mt 11:15). Jesus says: “learn of Me (take note of My example), I am meek and lowly of heart (never violent or self exalting). John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” I go before them and they follow Me (Jn 10:3). In conclusion, Jesus said: Revelation 22:12, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
Ephesians 6:24, “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.”
The author has had many past discussion with Protestants on this subject of walking in Christ’s love. The Lord’s commandments are clear and undeniable. The author is always told by them: “yes, but…” What follows the “but” is always a stream of human opinion and reasoning which nullifies Jesus’ very Words (it’s the way of the flesh). These do not hear the Lord’s truth (Jn 18:37)! Why can’t we just accept and take to heart the Lord’s commandments? The reason is because it requires great sacrifice of “self.” Men have sought self over the Lord’s commandments since the garden of Eden. Only those who die to self shall be the Lord’s true sheep. These are the one’s who hear Christ’s voice and thus walk in His truth – at the expense of self rather than the disregard of God’s Word (Jn 18:37).
Jesus had been fasting for forty days and forty nights in the wilderness (Mt 4:2). The Lord was hungry and His physical body needed nourishment (Lk 4:2). Matthew 4:3, “And when the tempter (the devil) came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” We are talking about the need for self-preservation. Matthew 4:4, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” We will either live by the dictates of the flesh or by every Word of God. The flesh always justifies it’s need. A true and sincere believer will live by the phrase: “thy will be done.”
David D. Neal