Loving One Another
(From a radio broadcast of Bro. Julius Adewumi)
There has been prophecy, which stipulates that the Lord will continue to delay his coming until divine love is developed in the body of Christ. The Lord Jesus prayed (in Jn.17) that we may be one even as the Son is one with the Father.
This divine love should begin from individual household in the body of Christ: love between husband and wife, there should not be cases of divorce among believers; love between children and parents; love between brethren and brethren in unity within the church; love between believers of different races, and different denominations; and finally love between the body of Christ and the Lord Jesus Christ. There must be unity in the church and the Lord will keep waiting to receive this, and he may have to pour forth his anointing, and he may force it by allowing persecution.
What the Lord Jesus Christ commanded is divine love, and to be as perfect as our Father in heaven, we have to love our enemy. May the Lord bless this word into your hearts and melt all the hatred and wrath, and whatever is contrary to love in the heart of you readers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Love your enemy (Part 2)
We discussed examples of those in the bible, which had their enemy at their finger-tips, but they showed love. King David was one example when he spared King Saulís life twice.
The Lord Jesus gave us a perfect example, while he was being nailed to the cross. He said "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." This has been the Christian principle: Love. This is the kingdom of love that God has brought on earth. He himself demonstrated it for us. Jesus said in Mat.5:43 "even as your father causes his sun to rise on the good and on the evil, and causeth his rain to fall on the just, and on the unjust." For us to be like our Father, we must love our enemies. The Lord Jesus rounded up the sermon on the mount by saying, "whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, that builded his house upon the rock." For the wind will blow, the storm will beat on the house, but it will stand because it is founded upon the rock. But if you donít do them, like this statement wherein he said "love your enemies", if you are not doing them, he said "I will liken him unto a foolish man, which builded his house upon the sand." That is, you claim to be a Christian, and you say you love the Lord but you just will not obey the scriptures, even such scriptures which came out of the mouth of Jesus himself.
We see the same scriptures in the book of Romans, where it is said, "if your enemy hunger feed him, if he thirst, give him water to drink", and that you are actually pouring coals of fire upon his head. But the Lord has not said we should do this out of an evil heart, but out of a Christian heart when he said "love your enemy". That is, Let God do the battle for you. Stop avenging yourself. Let God avenge you. "Vengeance is mine and I will avenge, saith the Lord". The best we can do in loving our enemies is to let God do the battling for us, and we take ourselves out of the way, by obeying the scriptures. Pray for the enemy as the word of God said.
King David for example refused to kill king Saul, in fearing God, fearing the anointing of God which was originally put on Saul, respecting the anointing of God that was put upon Saul. You too can respect the life God breath into this fellow that keeps him or her alive. You can take the position of respecting the life, which God created. You can say, even though this fellow declared to be my enemy, I will still love this fellow in obedience to the word of God, for God created him or her, and Christ died for him or her also. Then, you will be a wise person.
When we talk of loving the enemy, donít look too far away for the enemy that is outside. Think of your spouse with whom you have conflict. Even though he or she is not your enemy, but because of the present situation with your spouse, confrontation or quarrel, or because of the grievances, you are almost cursing, and hating him or her. Why donít you remember this scripture and say to yourself, even if this fellow has suddenly become my enemy, I am still going to love him or her in obedience to the bible. And therefore love this your spouse or love this your ex-friend, and love this your neighbor. "Love your enemy" is what the Lord commanded. Therefore you must bring it closer to home, and love the next-door neighbor, who recently because of some mix-feeling is treating you badly. Or your family member who is not really your enemy, but a sudden quarrel is between the two of you, remember the word of God that says "love even your enemy", how much more the family member! If you will apply this bible verse to that home, you and your spouse should never go to the divorce court. You may say "I canít live with this fellow!" Have you shown love? The scripture even said, "You have not resisted unto blood striving against sin!" Do you realize that? That is, you have not resisted the devil, you have not yet resisted temptation even unto blood, in striving against sin. Why then do you find it difficult to show love to your spouse, to whom yesterday you said "I love you" and are merely in a quarrel today? How much more when the Lord commanded us to love even the enemy that wanted to kill us. Remember the word of God. Remember the commandment of God and do them, and you shall be blessed.
As the Lord Jesus Christ said, "whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man that builded his house on the rock." Because these quarrels will always come, conflicts will come, persecutions will come; these are the storms of life.
The storm will come and the wind will blow, but those who remember the word of the Lord that says Ďlove your enemyí, and are founded on the word, will stand. Because they extend the word of the Lord to that neighbor, and to that family member and that spouse, so that they extend their patience, and their longsuffering. You will be building your house upon the rock.
Here is the example of David sparing the life of King Saul his enemy: (1Sam. 26:9-11) "And David said to Abishai, destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lordís anointed and be guiltless? David said furthermore, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him, or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish."
Every word of the Lord is important. The sayings listed in the sermon on the mount (Mat 5 Ė 7) should be taken seriously. For the storm will come to beat on the house. What is storm? It is the confrontation, the quarrels, and the persecutions. Remember when the storm came against the apostles in the first church, and they were being arrested and killed by the Roman empire. If they had not built their faith on the rock, if they had not built their Christian life on this foundation that during the time they were being killed they were expected to pray for their enemies, then they wouldnít be like Christ. To be like Christ we must show the same principle. Stephen in the acts of the apostles gave the same recorded example. When he was being stoned he said, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge". The first church demonstrated the same Christian principle, praying for the enemy, and that is the stage where the church at this end time ought to be if we are expecting the Lord to come in our generation. The saints, the Christians at this end time has got to come to that level. We know right now that if there is persecution, only maybe 10% or less of the born-again believers will be praying for the enemy. Most of them will curse and call fire down upon the persecutors. We should begin to ask ourselves "am I being like Christ at all?"
Am I gentle like Christ? Am I obeying these scriptures like the Lord expected me to obey? We have to pray for the body of Christ, because these written scripture seems hard for the flesh. But prayer will break down the flesh, and let the spirit take charge. If the Spirit of Christ is in us, he will take hold of our emotions in the time of need. Itís the emotion that overrides the spirit when in anger we tend to rage. When the Spirit overrides the emotions then we will be able to pray for those who despitefully use us, that is, those who do not treat us right. Rather than trying to fight for our rights. This precept works when you remember the command of the Lord and do them. It works, whether to the enemy, or whether to a friend who suddenly is in a quarrel with you, show love, because the Lord commanded it. Whether to the neighbor who has suddenly turn his wrath against me, I am going to show love. Whether to the family member who suddenly is misbehaving, and I can tell that something has come upon this fellow to be behaving like this, I should let love rule. If love rules, it will quench whatever has come against the family.
It reminded me of a testimony I read in Branhamís literature, and he said he came home one evening and his two kids were yelling at each other over toys, and his wife was also frustrated with the lack of privacy in their home. Branham came in and the wife expressed her frustration with tears perhaps. The woman felt as if she has lost control of the house. He said , he just remembered "love", and spoke kindly to his wife and excused her to take a rest while he took over the kitchen work. The woman calmed down and before long, the kids who were screaming at each other stopped screaming and settled their problems themselves because he showed love right there in the kitchen. The demons, which were trying to cause rowdiness in the house, fled. That is what love will do. Love is powerful. The word "I love you" is very powerful.
I have experienced the power of the word "I love you" one time when I was witnessing to a lady.
I have invited this lady to church and she came once. I went by her apartment to share more word of God with her, and I met her smoking cigarette. I tried to start the discussion in a friendly way pointing out that "donít you hear that smoking is bad for you?" She blew up, and screamed at me loud: "donít come here telling me what to do, my mother cannot even tell me what to do!" While she was still fuming and raging, the word dropped from my mouth by the Holy Ghost, because I donít usually speak like that, and I said "even with all that, I still love you". When she heard this, she melted! The fuming and raging disappeared, and she replied, "I Ďll try" meaning she will try to stop. By that experience, I witnessed the power of love when it comes from the Spirit.
That is the power of the word "love", how much more showing it. How much more with a gentle answer. This is what the Lord is teaching us. It goes from the enemy to the friend. Love has turned enemies to friends many times. And God is love. The whole body of Christ need some measure of it. Letís read the chapter of love written by apostle John (1Jn.4).
(1Jn 4:16.) "We have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love. He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him."
When the Lord said, be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect, he commanded us to start by loving even the enemy. It actually means love all people, because you can categorize people as close friends and family members, at one end, or enemies at the other extreme, and the rest in between. But Christ commanded us to love even the enemies. I donít know how many enemies you may have at the other extreme, we are actually commanded to love all those in-between.
There must be a burning fire of love in heart which the Holy Ghost must ignite in us so that we can love people and want to see them saved; whether they are persecuting and killing us, the fiery burning love in our heart for them will make us cry to God that "Father forgive them for they know not what they do!" This is the divine love the Lord is waiting for in his church.
Only God can kindle it. He has commanded it, and when people are yearning, praying and practicing some of it, the Lord will kindle it.
(1Jn 2:9) "He that saith he is in the light and hated his brother is in darkness even until now.
He that loveth his brother abideth in the light and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hated his brother is in darkness and walketh in darkness and knoweth not whither he goeth for the darkness has blinded his eyes."
(1Jn 4:7 ) "Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God , and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God towards us, for God sent his only begotten son into the world that we might live through him. For this is love. Not that we love God, but that he loved us and gave his son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
This is the revival of love that the Lord has commanded for the end time. The Lord says start from loving your enemies. If we can have our hearts touched so that we can love the enemy, it will be easier to love our spouses, and our family members and those in the church.
"Herein is love. Not that we loved God but that he loved us, and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins."
Jesus Christ layed down his life for you and me, even for that wicked person that has not turned yet, Christ died and shed his blood for him. Think about that! Even the enemy that has sworn against you to kill you: Remember Jesus Christ shed his blood for that enemy. He has not realized it now, and he may never realize it for ever. That may be the reason why he will go to hell, but be not one of them to send him to hell. Why? Because Jesus Christ paid a precious price for him. He may refuse to accept it, however it is not for you to send him on his way to hell. So think about that!
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."
As I said, concerning that enemy who has sworn against you, if you are going to obey the word of God, if you are going to surrender to Jesus, you are to surrender to the word of God and love him or her. The Lord Jesus said, "whosoever heareth this sayings of mine and doeth them I will liken him to a wise man which builded his house upon the rock." Therefore it is mandatory for you and for me to obey the word and show love.
Remember the example of Stephen in the acts of the apostles. (Acts. 7). Stephen was persecuted by the Jewish council and stoned for his confession of Christ. The ring leader of those that stoned Stephen was a man by the name of Saul of Tarsus. Saul of Tarsus was the ringleader of them who stoned Stephen, being mad against these Christians called the Nazarenes Ė those people who are following Jesus of Nazareth. Just think about that. Maybe a year or two later, this same Saul of Tarsus was converted when the Lord Jesus knocked him down on the road to Damascus and turned him into apostle Paul. Stephen could have been cursing and calling fire down upon those who were stoning him, and he would have been cursing a future apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He was not an apostle on that day when he was stoning Stephen, but who knows what he would be in the days ahead. That is why it is mandatory for you and for me to obey the scriptures.
Love your enemies, as Christ said. Pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be as your Father which is in heaven.
v.20, "If a man says I love God and hated his brother, he is liar. For he that loveth
not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also."
I pray that this fire of Love be kindle in the heart of every believer in Christ in the name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry