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Thursday, December 20, 2012
Kay Frances Graves
God is Love
He that loveth not
knoweth not God;
for God is love.
-1 John 4:8
The Bible, the Holy Word of God, tells us that "God is love."
Look around; see what the Most High God has created for us to enjoy simply because He loves us. Observe how mothers mirror the love of God through their inherent desire to comfort and care for the children they bring into this world.
Study the animal kingdom. Watch the way animals instinctively nurture their young and protect them.
Then take note of how the devil has been hard at work corrupting mankind from the beginning, transforming compassionate love and care into hate.
Sometimes bad things do happen to good people and God does not always respond as we would like Him to. So there are those who sit in judgment of God and try to somehow blame Him when evil exposes itself. They believe that He should personally control all of the hateful actions of evil people.
If we are thinking along these lines could it be that we expect God to produce Heaven on Earth right now, instead of letting our Creator carry out His plan, in His time, to ultimately establish a kingdom that is void of evil, yet blessed with freedom?
It is not God's desire to force people to do what is right. He does not want robots to inhabit His Kingdom. He wants His Kingdom to freely function according to the laws of love. Some important things must first happen before this is possible.
Nevertheless, there are those who refuse to wait for God's plan to unfold and have given up on God and given up on love as well. They have decided to just worship any god they believe will provide them with some sort of benefit.
It is power they really want--the power and freedom to follow the god of their choice or usurp the position of Almighty God to become their own god--one they believe will have the power to create ultimate riches, physical gratification, and/or a place in some sort of paradise.
Or they believe that we are all just animals and that when you are dead, you are dead. . .and that is all there is to it, so better take whatever you can get out of life right now.
Nevertheless the Word of God tells us that those who seek any idol or any type of "godhood" are really traveling the broad road that leads to self-destruction and regardless of the number of "good works" they may perform, they will ultimately spend eternity in Hell, because they have rejected the one true God and the only real plan of salvation that exists, which does not depend on anything we do, but on what Jesus Christ has already done for us and our response to that.
While some don't care if anyone gets hurt, or even if they have to commit suicide to get the eternal benefits they are after, others may be seeking the preeminent position of "god," believing that it is their duty to redefine love so everyone can find peace and prosperity. One way or another they are determined to make it happen, whether "for the ultimate good of mankind" or to take over the world in the name of their god--even if it means killing people to do it.
The Bible tells us that an attempt at worldly control happened before and it will happen again. How can anyone foolishly think that God is going to let it happen now, if He did not let it happen then?
While an attempt to enslave the entire world may cause chaos and a great upheaval, the Most High, Loving God, Himself, promises that ultimate worldwide control will never happen. Love will always prevail and ultimately overcome evil, because "God is love" and Jesus Christ holds the keys to life and death and hell (Revelation 1:18). Furthermore, Jesus Christ is coming back to destroy those who have rejected the love of God and responded to His love with hate and murder.
The Love Lie
How is it possible that anyone can believe that the end justifies the means and that murder in the name of any god is really a good thing or that something good can come from something that is motivated by hate?
While some deny their God-given need for genuine love, there are others that proclaim that love can exist in our heart without having a personal relationship with the One True God.
While varying amounts of inherent natural affection are evident throughout the world and commonly misinterpreted as love, it is impossible for the unique, genuine love of God that is without compromise, to exist without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit because:
(9) The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked:
who can know it?
(10) I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins,
even to give every man according to his ways,
and according to the fruit of his doings.
Since the One True God is the only source of real love, the enemy must create a counterfeit love, one which will be powerful enough to make people forget the real God and what genuine love actually is.
And [Jesus] said, Verily I say unto you,
Except ye be converted, and become as little children,
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
When we discover the simple difference between genuine love and false love, we will be freed from the devil's deceptive spell, shocked into the real world, and will for the first time, be able to see things as they really are instead of how we have been told they are. We will become as little children who have not yet been influenced by the high sounding philosophical lies of the world and the devil.
Since the Garden of Eden, the devil has been twisting God's Words and trying to rewrite His definition of love. He knows that when mankind understands the true definition of love, he will be able to see who God really is and will value His preeminence, making it impossible to accept satan, himself, or anyone else as his god.
Even though the evil one dwells in the spiritual dimension and "offers" some amazing benefits (i.e. power, earthly prosperity, and ecstatic experiences) the truth is, the devil has nothing of any real eternal value to actually give to anyone. Because of this, his main mode of operation has always revolved around manipulating our mental and fleshly weaknesses found in the physical dimension of life.
Before Jesus came to show us what genuine love looks like, it was almost impossible for anyone to understand the real benefits and dangers of the spiritual realm.
Therefore, before Jesus could reveal His mission, He had to help His followers understand the difference between the physical dimension and the spiritual dimension. Read the Gospel of John again and take note of how many times Jesus uses physical illustrations to teach spiritual lessons that reveal the existence of a spiritual dimension and the preeminent importance of eternal spiritual life over physical life.
(More details regarding this can be found at my blog: TheSimpleGospelOfJohn.blogspot.com and other free blog books and articles found at NurturingLife.blogspot.com .)
While we are supposed to value and nurture our physical life, the foundational truth Jesus had to first establish was that our eternal life (not our physical life) must be our priority, because this physical world is not all there is.
We are going to live forever--somewhere else.
Therefore the purpose of Jesus' mission was to provide what was required to help us make the right choice regarding our final destination. He did this because God Himself is pure, holy, genuine love and it is this supernatural love that motivated Him to send His only Son to be the propitiation for our sins and the sins of anyone who would acknowledge and personally receive Him as the only One worthy to be universally preeminent in their life.
Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.
The greatest evidence of genuine love--God's love--was revealed when Jesus Christ sacrificed His life so that we could have eternal life.
Giving one's life can be defined as 1) literal death, or 2) it can be a matter of denying self in order to provide what someone else needs, as God specifically leads according to the priorities of His Word.
God's genuine love compelled Him to willingly take full responsibility for the eternal lives of others, sacrificing His own physical life in order to provide what is good, perfect, and eternally best for them according to the Word of God.
He was the only one qualified to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins, because He had no sin.
This makes Yeshua, Jesus Christ, our loving hero and our exalted champion over sin, hate, and all that is evil. He is the One who has come to be our Messiah and save us from ourselves and all of the devil's wicked schemes designed to destroy us. He is the One who has demonstrated how love nurtures life and thereby conquers hate, death, and hell.
However, to fully appreciate what Christ has done for us, it is just as important to understand the wiles of the devil and his clever substitute for love.
While the devil has been twisting God's Words and trying to rewrite His definition of love since the Garden of Eden, using the physical realm to draw us into his spiritual net, he has also left a clear trail of physical evidence that exposes his wicked scheme.
If we care enough about our eternal life to spend the time it takes to review the historical evidence, we can clearly see the devil's wicked plan. Since the devil likes to boast about what he has done as well as what he intends to do and enjoys building physical monuments to these actions and intentions, we can easily find the same mode of operation being played and replayed throughout history. The Word of God also clearly identifies where the devil's inroads will be found:
(15) Love not the world,
neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world,
the love of the Father is not in him.
(16) For all that is in the world,
the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life,
is not of the Father, but is of the world.
(17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:
but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
-1 John 2:15-17
In James, Chapter 4 and many other places in the Scriptures we are warned again that the entire world is at war with God.
In 1 John 2 above, God did not bring up the topic of lust to put us into a pit of self-loathing guilt designed to keep us perpetually looking within for hidden sins or to occupy us with something to wallow in, while every bit of spiritual confidence toward God is being drained out of us, but to help us overcome through His forgiveness and to rise up by the power of His Holy Spirit that resides in His unfailing Word, so that we might possess the ability to identify our real enemies, come into fellowship with God and have what it takes to spiritually "occupy," through the power of genuine love, until He returns (Luke 19:12-14).
I get it. We are not to minimize sin. We are all sinners. Sin is not okay and we are greatly hindered by sin. But there is more to the mission of Jesus Christ than realizing we are sinners, which is only the first step. Jesus died to make us whole. His intention was to remove our initial burden of sin by washing us with His blood and continuing to wash us by the "water of the Word" (Ephesians 5:26) so that we might be empowered to accomplish the specific assignments He intends to give each one of us.
Too many perceived personal conversions begin and end with an "all about ME and Jesus" focus, so they never get to see the bigger picture. False professors are somehow unable to understand that when we declare Jesus as Lord that means that He and His Word are going to be preeminent in our life.
Salvation is not about us, our own personal plan for prosperity, and what good works we are doing for Jesus, it is about Jesus Christ and getting in harmony with Him and His Word so we know what He is doing in the entire world and what specific part we are to play in that plan.
In the above passage found in 1 John, God exposes the physical enemy that is committed to destroying genuine love. God's Word describes this enemy as: 1) "the love of the world," 2) "the love of things that are in the world," 3) "the lust of the flesh," 4) "the lust of the eyes," and finally 5) "the pride of life."
Because these sins are antonyms of the genuine love of the Father (v.15 & 16), they expose the opposite/contrary nature and purpose of the devil. If the defining nature of God is found in love, then the defining nature of the devil has to exist in lust.
So let us consider the lust vs. love theory for a moment as it applies to the Antichrist that is coming soon.
In order to accurately examine the differences between genuine love and lust, it will be helpful to review what we know about the Antichrist as well. The identifying characteristics of the Antichrist will first be found in his name, just as names have always revealed character throughout the Word of God.
So is the name, "Antichrist," correctly synonymous with the word, "lust?"
"Antichrist" from Strong's definition in the Greek, #G473, defines "Anti" as:
1) over against
2) opposite to
3) instead of, in place of
The Word of God tells us that many "antichrists" have already come. Many antichrists have been 1) "against" Christ, but this last Antichrist is going to be a little different.
Also today many Christians believe that the Antichrist that is coming is going to usurp the position of Christ and thus qualify himself as being 3) "instead of" Christ--or "in the place of" Christ and it has been historically proven to be true that there have always been those in the world who have desired to possess the title and sit in the seat of "god" on Earth. So, either of these definitions could fit.
Lust can be against Christ and His command to be holy. Also lust can easily take the place of Christ in a person's life, when that person is lusting after the position of "god" on Earth.
However, if we are speaking of Christ and God in the context of His being "love," it becomes obvious (and more fitting) when we remember that "lust" today often calls itself "love" and tries to pass itself off as love. Therefore, "lust" would uniquely qualify Antichrist as 2) the "opposite of" love and therefore the opposite of God.
Can we find a second witness to this fact? Is there any physical evidence that connects the workings of the devil with anything else that can be seen today or in history that symbolizes lust as the opposite of or a perversion of love? Here the Word of God gives another valuable clue:
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ also loved the church,
and gave himself for it;
Why is the family being redefined today? Why has the loving top down responsibility in the church and home been gradually transformed into a hierarchical bottom up focus through the false doctrine of "blind faith submission" to human authorities (just because authorities happen to have somehow found their way, or infiltrated, to the top of the hierarchical chain of command)?
Does this remind you of the struggle that took place in some churches over obedience to authorities just before WW2? This transformation also comes with a subtle attack against godly women, demanding that they be silently obedient (among other things that have been taken out of the context of the Word of God by the enemies of Christ who completely ignore the fact that this "silent women command" was specifically written to an out of control rebellious church in Corinth).
Throughout the Word of God, we are given a very different picture of authority. We are instructed to obey God rather than man, whenever any authority commands something that is against the Word of God.
As the enemy intended, in response to the feminist movement, many churches have now gone to the other extreme by turning godly submission into ungodly control, destroying God's delicate system of checks and balances in the home and church by silencing women and demoting them from their God-given position as loving "joint heirs" in Christ, which when understood correctly, does not really conflict with man's leadership in the home or in the church at all.
Man's authority does not depend on where he happens to reside in a hierarchical structure, but on how much responsibility he has been given by God and is willingly taking with an attitude of love and a desire to serve those God has entrusted to his care. (The same applies to those who hold positions in government and other places of authority.)
Jesus confirmed this when He told us "And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:" (Matthew 20:27)
Authority means "responsibility"--not "control"--unless, of course, the man is not really a part of God's family, but actually a part of satan's structure and as a slave of satan, will be carrying out the devil's orders. In this case, the Bible tells us that we are to resist evil and obey God.
In the above verse from Ephesians 5, God gives us a perfect picture of genuine love. It is the love Christ had for His Church when He laid down His life for it. In the Word of God, this type of love is being compared to the type of love husbands are supposed to have for their wives.
However, this top down type of love in many churches has now been turned upside down and is morphing into a lust for power through an obsessive overemphasis regarding submission, in an attempt to validate ungodly power by applying pressure through fear and guilt on those who are really just looking for someone to love them and lead them.
So what is really happening in churches today?
Before churches can be taken captive by the spirit of Antichrist, the God-given voice and freedom of women must be destroyed in order to create common ground with the enemies of Christ and welcome in the new law of the land, which has been carefully crafted for the purpose of destroying all of the checks and balances (and we might add, "warmth, Godly love, and natural affection") that the weaker sex is created to provide.
By enslaving women under ungodly male domination and lust-driven control, the new man designed by Antichrist will/and already does refuse to "regard the desire of women," which is to be loved the way Christ loves the Church (Daniel 11:37). Instead, he will only be interested in selfishly taking what he wants from the relationship when he wants it. For the followers of Antichrist, genuine love ceases to exist on Earth or even in their fabricated version of heaven.
If marriage qualifies as a picture of genuine love that gives up its own life and desires; what would the opposite of that look like? . . .Lust?
Genuine love cares more about the other person than it cares for its own needs. On the other hand, lust (i.e. false love) sees people as objects to be used to fulfill its own desires, instead of people to be loved and cared for and often demands this perceived power by its physical position in some type of man-made chain of command.
Of course, love is a two-way street in marriage. However, if the husband is called to lead, then he is the one God is going to hold ultimately responsible to initiate genuine love in the marriage.
If the couple is unequally yoked and the wife is a Christian, then she is the only one who has access to genuine love and therefore the responsibility to initiate and demonstrate the genuine love that has been given to her by God in hope that her husband will see the love of God through her and be drawn to Christ also. However, this does not negate his responsibility. He is expected to take his responsibility to love his wife by submitting to Christ and receiving the power to do so.
There isn't any provision in God's Word for a wife to suffer "martyrdom by marriage" as so many religious "authorities" are teaching today when they teach blind submission. If a spouse refuses to comply with the laws of God, the person is free to get a "writ of divorcement" and leave the marriage. There is a provision for divorce in the Word of God, even though this is not God's first choice. In any case, it is God's intention that a believer must be in a position to freely worship and obey God as God has specified in His Holy Word, the Bible. An unbelieving spouse is not allowed to interfere with that.
Here are some of the characteristics of genuine love:
truthful - joyful - kind - warm-hearted - serving - empathetic - respectful toward others - caring for the welfare of others - giving - helping - encouraging - nurturing life - building - committed to and focused on the will of God - clean - pure - good - committed to doing what is right - giving freedom to others - grateful - spiritually beautiful
Here are some of the characteristics of false love/lust:
deceptive - hate-filled - angry - cold-hearted - lying - lewd - pornographic - hating others - abusive - vulgar - unclean - perverted - sociopathic - psychopathic - self-centered - destroying - murdering - focused on selfish "feelings" - willing to injure or kill others for profit (directly or indirectly) - gaudy - prideful - enslaving - controlling - obsessed with having authority over others - loves/lusts after riches and things of the world - motivated by money and lust for power
Words of warning, lest we be deceived:
"Unconditional love" is not the same as "unconditional tolerance of evil." Genuine love does not tolerate evil.
The true characteristics of those around us may be carefully hidden and not readily visible. Jesus warned us about wolves in sheep's' clothing and the deceptive wiles of the devil. The Word tells us: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
Who is a "false prophet?" A false prophet is anyone who assumes a position of authority over others and tries to teach them how to live in a way that is contrary to what God has prescribed in His Word.
Testing the Spirit and Characteristics of Antichrist
The Word of God tells us that the Antichrist will have all of the opposing characteristics of genuine love, which we are told, in Daniel 11, will hinder his relationship and respect for women. Therefore, he will carry out his opposition to Christ through blood-thirsty conquests, rejecting the blood of Christ as payment for eternal life and substituting it with the blood of those he wages war against, considering that to be the only works required to enter his counterfeit heaven--which the Most High God really calls "hell."
May we dare suggest that this hatred for women will be such a significant characteristic of Antichrist's nature that those who follow him will turn the picture of Christ and His Church upside down in their marriages?
Perhaps, they will be known for controlling, beating, and/or verbally abusing their wives and children, instead of endeavoring to harmonize with the godly, loving desires of their wives--and perhaps even denying physical expressions of love to their wives, while in their hearts they are adulterously "saving themselves" for other women that have become a figment of the wicked (even sometimes religious) imaginations of their hearts. Sounds a lot like a description of pornography, doesn't it?
Could this be the route the Antichrist is taking, inviting men into the "good old boys club" to destroy the picture and function of Christ and His Church, bringing lukewarm professors under the control of the Antichrist, destroying the foundation of love which supports and sustains the Church, the family, and the country as it removes the Most High God who IS LOVE?
Could this be the mode of operation the devil is using to remold society by replacing the genuine loving eternal care demonstrated in the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a different foundation based on physical feelings and self-centered urges? If not, then why has the topic of "feelings" become so important over the past few years, while at the same time bullying has increased?
Is it because when "feelings" are elevated, hate and anger are also elevated--because hate and anger also qualify as feelings? Everyone has feelings and hateful, angry feelings are all about "ME, MINE, and WHAT I WANT.
Isn't this lust?
However, when the love of God is manifested in a person's life, it brings forth a different type of feeling which generates care and concern for others. So when we have the love of God, we are going to try not to hurt others in any way, so "feelings" are not going to even become an issue.
It is only when "feelings" are taken out of the context of God's genuine love that everyone suddenly becomes overly concerned about their feelings and demands "the right" to express their feelings--whatever those feelings may be. Because of this, "freedom" has also been redefined to mean "the right to reject the laws of genuine love and do whatever we want in order to gratify self."
The antichrist system devised by the devil, has been busy building a worldly empire with lies and deception ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Its nature is expressing itself even now in murder, control, slavery, and worldwide human trafficking. The spirit of Antichrist has always worked to destroy anyone who represents genuine love or follows the Most High God, who is love. Throughout history its symbols have represented murder, sexual lust, and hatred for God (i.e. phallic, witch-craft, occult, satanism, idolatry, etc.)
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." (Revelation 20:4).
How the Antichrist Seduces the World with False Love/Lust
The devil would not be very subtle, if he showed us his extreme murderous nature in the beginning when he really, at the initial stage, just wants to gain our good favor and trust. With his forked tongue and slick lies he plays the part of "the humble non-threatening moderate," being careful not to reveal his true intentions as long as he does not yet possess the power and "authority" to enslave.
This is why the true agenda of the Antichrist system will remain hidden until sufficient power is given to it. However, through the power of self-serving lust, much ground has already been taken in America.
The issue of "feelings" has lost its balance and has successfully been elevated above truth, causing ignorant Americans to willingly tolerate anything, while they fearfully tremble at the thought of failing to be politically correct.
Once humans become myopically obsessed with their own feelings, they have started down the broad path to eternal destruction and it doesn't take long to graduate from obsession with feelings to addiction to lust, since lust is the evolved, matured version of selfish feelings.
Feelings that are "all about ME" ultimately lead to "whatever I desire at any cost." Worldlings do not realize that at the end of the road awaits physical, real-time slavery and death, when even the basic requirements needed to sustain life will be denied.
Also over the course of time, many professing Christians have willingly departed from the truth of the Word of God to pursue ecstatic feelings and supernatural experiences. When self-centeredness evolves, it morphs into lust and when lust matures it destroys empathy and natural affection, producing what the world calls, a "sociopath" or "psychopath"--someone who is unable to empathize, have any normal feelings, or normal desire to care about others. This is how the devil builds liars and murderers. It takes one to build one.
Why are lasciviousness, pornography, adultery, and murder on the rise in the world? This is the devil's agenda. He has been diligently engaged in engineering his army of psychopathic servants and will continue to do so until they become sufficiently void of human compassion, empathy, and concern for the welfare of others.
Currently citizens are not aware that they are gradually being enslaved through their lustful, ungodly appetites--they think that they are just partying and having a good time. But one day they will find themselves in literal chains burning in the literal fires of hell, while the devil enjoys eternally tormenting them with their lewd biographies, bragging forever about how stupid they were and how he cleverly snagged them in his net of deception and pulled them into the pit of hell, first by their warm fuzzy "feelings," tolerance of evil, and then by their overwhelming obsessive compulsive self-centered lust for hate, physical gratification, and the things of this world.
The devil will sing a similar song in the ears of the false professors found in lukewarm churches, reminding them of their religious fantasies that created a false sense of eternal security as they tried to work their way to Heaven carrying meals in oven proof dishes to those who could not make it to their religious indoctrination centers, instead of searching the Word of God and lovingly protecting and caring for the needs of their own families as He intended to specifically lead them according to His Word.
In the end, the cries of their own neglected children and elderly parents will ring throughout eternity in their ears along with those they betrayed because of their fear and cold-hearted lack of natural affection.
History will be repeated. It happened before and it will happen again. When God's definition of love is reinterpreted until it becomes lust and the preeminence of Christ and His Word are disregarded, the opposite of love will emerge and come into power. His name is "Lust." His name is Antichrist. Through deception, murder, and death, the satanic system he represents is building a world void of genuine love, and creating hell on Earth.
"And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth." (Revelation 6:8).
"For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:35-36).
Pray now, while there is still time. Be sure that you have repented of your sin and the idolatry of trying to be your own god; that you have put your trust in Jesus Christ as the preeminent Son of God, that you have received the gift of eternal life, and are dedicated to daily washing by the water of the Word and are sharing Christ's warning to turn from going your own way and receive His sacrifice for your sin.
Because the One True God is love and love is the opposite of lust and hate, Jesus Christ is the only One who can provide the power to overcome evil, in all of its forms, through our dedication to the truth of God's Word and His genuine love.
Share this message wherever you go. We have been given the command to spiritually occupy until He comes. . .and he is coming very soon.
(36) Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
(37) Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,
(38) This is the first and great commandment.
(39) And the second is like unto it,
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
(40) On these two commandments
hang all the law and the prophets.
"If ye love me, keep my commandments."