“LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF!” - “BUT… I MUST CRUCIFY MYSELF, NOT ‘LOVE’ MYSELF!”
The root of the problem: heaven converted to earth
Here are only a few of the facts; you be the judge whether they are telling you the truth according to the context of the New Testament. A generation ago, preacher Jim Reeves sang according to Jesus' Gospel and Biblical discipleship in Christ, “I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold; I’d rather be His, than have riches untold. I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land; yes, I’d rather be led by His nail-pieced hand, than to be the king of a vast domain; and be held in sin’s dread sway… I’d rather have Jesus than worldly applause; I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause. I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame; yes, I’d rather be true to His Holy Name!" And: “This world is not my home; I’m just a-passing through. My treasures are lined up, somewhere beyond the blue… and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore! Oh Lord, You know, I have no friend like You. If heaven’s not my home, then Lord, what will I do…”
Old Slim Whitman sang, “Come home, come home, it’s Supper Time! We’re going home at last…” Then, he rejoiced, “Just a few more weary days and then, I’ll fly away… To my home on God’s celestial shore, I’ll fly away! I’ll fly away to glory, I’ll fly away…” He also confessed, “…I’m satisfied with… a little silver and a little gold… I’ve got a mansion, just over the hilltop, in that bright land, where we’ll never grow old. And someday yonder, we’ll never more wonder, and walk on streets that’s as pure as gold!”
Today, the Kingdom-Now theology, the prosperity dogma, and pure satanic humanism have combined forces to turn these Bible-truths upside down. Instead of ‘flying away to glory,’ Charismatic teachers ‘bring the glory DOWN from outside the born again, spiritual temple of the Holy Spirit.’ Instead of longing for the crystal river in heaven, their unbiblical ‘river of anointing’ is enchanting the whole world to turn souls to their false teachings. Instead of preaching eternal life on the streets of gold in heaven, Benny Hinn shouts aggressively, “I want my gold now! If I hear one more time how it will be and how it was in heaven, I’m gonna kick somebody… God never blesses the sheep before the shepherd, the shepherd gets it first. If shepherds follow sheep we’re gonna have poo on our shoes… [Don’t ever criticize me!] Just give me a Holy Ghost machine gun and I’ll blow your head off!” Morris Cerullo prophesies, “Would you surrender your pocketbooks unto Me, saith God, and let me be the Lord of your pocketbooks....Yea, so be thou obedient unto my voice!” Joyce Meyer teaches, “Jesus paid on the cross and in hell… [WHAT INCREDIBLE LIE!] Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus... He was resurrected from the dead the first born-again man… [LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE! Read how Jesus had atoned completely for all sin when He cried with His dying breath, “It is finished!”] Meyer continues, “ Go to the phone and give $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 and $1,000,000… God has a miracle waiting on your response… I just love to talk about your money. Let me be very clear. I want your money. I deserve it. This church deserves it, [An Empire Of Souls, Page 35.] Rodney H. Brown actually declares, “Revival is not a work of God. Revival can be planned… scheduled. These are the days of the glory of God… People can be saved WITHOUT the preaching of the Gospel! You can’t put God in a box. Not everything God does is in the Bible!” Paul Crouch screeches, “God is rising up a prophetic generation; we’re gonna kick some butt in the midst of this mess… We’re God, yes, I Am a little God!” John Avanzini lies, “Your word is not heard if you’re not rich!” And Rhema and her companions bellow, "Arise! Claim South Africa… Claim the world! We’ll drag heaven to earth by our authority! The river of anointing is here; every kingdom on earth and every person on earth are coming to Christ right now! We need seed-faith! Test and prove God, and He’ll make you rich!”
However, Jesus Himself said that this world is destined for the fire after He had taken His true, believing body to heaven; and His Kingdom is NOT from here; it has no such origin or source, (2 Pt. 3:10-14; Jn. 18:36.)
Robert Schuler’s ‘high esteem’
Instead of teaching Jesus’ humbling commandment to ‘love our neighbors as we love ourselves,’ and to ‘be pilgrims in search of a heavenly city,’ Christian witches of both genders focus on ‘wealth, health, happiness, and prosperity here on earth!’ Sinful self-promotion and a ‘high’ self-esteem, which promise popularity and financial success, make bestsellers of Christian books.
These humanist male and female witches even teach their followers to deify themselves, instead of deifying God. And so, televangelist mason Robert Schuler preached, “One is in hell when he has lost his self-esteem… Jesus knew His worth, His success fed His self-esteem… He suffered the cross to sanctify His self-esteem. And He bore the cross to sanctify your self-esteem… Nothing has been… more counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude… unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition!”
Instead of doing so much harm to the body of Christ, this masonic preacher should simply have read the New Testament and in fact, the whole Bible!
Ascetics, “Christians must be nobodies!”
While humanist teachings focus on promoting the sinful ‘self,’ some denominations such as Roman Catholicism tend to forget that Jesus did indeed command us to love our neighbors as ourselves (and not ‘more than ourselves’) – though, of course, not in sinful selfishness. Self-mutilating cults believe that sin is seated in the physical body, and therefore the body itself is evil. (The Bible teaches that together, the bodies of Scripturally born again believers is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Thus, our bodies can never be evil!) As a result, they ‘punish’ their bodies by flogging themselves as ‘penance’ to pay for sin, and so on. The Bible does not refer to the human body as evil or sinful. When Scripture speaks of the ‘sinful flesh,’ it refers to the sinful soul, mind, or thought-patterns of man, which has to be crucified and dead to sin and transformed by the truth of Scripture, so that we may “know [and do] the perfect will of God,” (Rom. 12:1-2.)
While the Roman Catholic papacy is living in utmost wealth and luxury, they taught the lower ranking priesthoods that Jesus commanded asceticism, [or self-denial as religious discipline, which adds to their ‘salvation and holiness.’] Thus, Christian ascetics like ‘mother’ Theresa, as religious observance, lived with minimal material comforts. This teaching polluted many traditional denominations with the thought that Jesus commanded His disciples to view themselves as ‘nobodies.’ These followers of Christianized pagan witchcraft subtly teach their followers to ‘hate’ themselves, as well as their lives here on earth. They draw on verses like, “He who loves his life will lose it… he who hates his life will keep it… I have been crucified to the world… I no longer live… We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren…”
In the context of Scriptural Truth, however, it is not we ourselves, (our physical bodies,) nor the world itself, nor our lives on earth, which we must hate. We must hate our sinful ways without Christ, and our selfish lusts for the sinful pleasures of the world. Therefore, we must be spiritually and emotionally “crucified” to our own sin and to the sinful enticements of the world! And yes, we have to lay down our lives for our ‘neighbors,’ or actually, be humbly submitted to God in everything Scriptural and Godly. We must place the best (and not sinful) interest of others above our own in all that will glorify God and promote His true Kingdom, as Biblical love for God must always be our highest priority. But we must shun idolatry and witchcraft against God, as well as the witches of both genders who pull our souls away from God to enslave us to the religious rule of Satan, (Rom. 6:6; 1 Pt. 2:19-22.)
Jesus forbade us to accommodate our neighbor’s sin
Jesus did not say we must lay down our lives for our unrepentant neighbors and suffer under their sin, as only Jesus is the Savior of sinners. If our neighbors continually reject the Perfect Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus in their place, surely, all our tainted, human sacrifices will be worthless and can never contribute to the salvation and redemption of any soul. None of us are christs. We can never save anyone’s soul. We are not the Holy Spirit. We never convince anyone of sin, salvation, and God’s eternal judgment. We can warn and teach and pray, but if an unrepentant sinner decides to reject the conviction of the Holy Spirit, (as not even God violates our free will and nullifies our personal choices,) none of our tears, pleas and sacrifices will convince that person. God changes us by convincing us that we must submit to Him completely. Then, we must willing work with Him in obedience to His true Word in the leading of the Holy Spirit. Without doing our part, God will not do His part.
Therefore, Jesus’ commandment to love our neighbors does not suggest that God protects and promotes our neighbor by excluding us, or by ignoring our personal needs. Jesus never suggested that His disciples must love their neighbors ‘more’ than themselves in the sense that our neighbors are everything and we are nothing but their servants and slaves, whom they can use and abuse as they please.
Jesus forbade us to accommodate our neighbors’ idolatry and witchcraft, consisting of disobedience to the True Word of God, (Lev. 19:17-18.) Jesus also forbade us to believe that we must suffer so that they can flourish in laziness, love of ease, and disrespect of God and our personhood, (1 Cor. 7:23.) That is not ‘laying down our lives for our brothers!’ Those who selfishly block and hinder our emotional and physical well-being are in fact endangering our eternal lives. For example, Jesus commanded us to give freely for the extension of His true Kingdom and to help where we can glorify God, but Paul expressly declared in 2 Ths. 3:1-15, “We command you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you withdraw from everyone who lives disorderly and not according to the [Word…] We command you this: If anyone will not work [because he is a lazy sponger and exploiter,] neither shall he eat!”
So, if we are feeding, serving, harboring and waiting upon lazy, love of ease spongers and abusers of God, His people, and His Word, we are helping them to commit idolatry and witchcraft, and we are thereby committing witchcraft as well! The M.H. Commentary comments, “Christ is to be served and obeyed without limitation or reserve. The servant of Christ should be at the absolute command of no other master besides himself, should serve no man any further than is consistent with their duty to him. No man can serve two masters. You have been bought with a price (the blood of Jesus) out of slavery. Do not again become enslaved, (Rom. 6:16-23!)”
“WHY COMPLAIN - SIMPLY FORGIVE AND FORGET!”
This reeks of legalism!
It is a fact that we must forgive those who sin against us, but in the case of serious abuse, God has given us clear Scriptural steps to follow before we reach this final point of resolve. Is it therefore Scriptural to advise those who have suffered abuse to “simply forgive and forget” – and then also to add, “You must not even think about what others have done to you ever again; for if you do, God will not forgive your sin and you will lose your own salvation?”
Why, this reeks of loveless legalism and selfish disinterest!
How can any seriously wounded mortal ever attain such a high religious, and in fact, unscriptural standard? Without fostering self-pity and self-destructive self-absorption, one may ask, “What happened to the other statutes that pertain to the Law of Love, such as, ‘Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ?’ ‘Weep with those who weep… Abhor what is evil…’”
After all, how do meager humans, whom God had created with emotions, memory, thoughts, reason, and a sense of self-preservation, NOT mourn, weep, and cry out for help and deliverance from their constant oppressors? How do they ‘simply forgive and forget’ all inhumane abuse, when it escalates from weeks into months – years; and even continues for a whole lifetime? These questions, left unanswered, (and we are going to find the answers,) would confuse and discourage even the most sincere disciples of Christ, and cause them to doubt the saving, healing love of God.
If we were able to ‘earn’ our unmerited salvation through our supposed ability to simply forgive and forget even the worst abuse against us without ever thinking about it again, our salvation wouldn’t be free at all, would it?
The danger of ‘foolish faith’
Some passive victims of abuse believe they have to do nothing at all to escape their abusers and to call them to account for their crimes against humanity. They think once they have petitioned God to deal with their abusers, they may ignore the abuse because they ‘will trust God’ to save their abusers’ souls and stop the abuse supernaturally. Of course God can do all this, but He has given us brains to assess our situations, and then, as far as humanly possible, to understand, obey, and follow His Scriptural directives to resolution!
God gives His Holy Spirit to those who OBEY Him [and DO HIS will,] (Acts 5:32.)
To make up our own ‘solutions of faith’ is idolatry and witchcraft, (read 1 Sam. 15:22-23!) Our disobedience in following His ‘Staff’ and ‘Rod,’ (the leading of His Spirit and the commandments of His Word,) may result in prolonged and unresolved issues in our lives. God will always be the God of miracles. However, to expect Him to do His part in dealing with abuse supernaturally, while we refuse to do our part and follow His commandments on a physical level, is foolish faith, (James 2:19-20.)
Jesus Himself commanded in Mt. 10:23, “When they persecute [endanger, harm or abuse] you in this city, [house, family, fellowship… use your brains and] FLEE to another…” If Jesus’ commandments are not functional, He would not have given them. So, while believing and trusting in God’s guidance and wisdom, let us be practical. Yes, we will have to suffer for the truth of God’s Word, and we will be oppressed for His sake. However, Jesus did not command us to endure unrelenting abuse and forgive our abusers ‘unconditionally,’ while they continue their unrepentant destruction on our souls, bodies, and lives. Our lives and souls are precious to Jesus and to us. While we have to focus on eternal life in heaven and live our lives to glorify God, we also have to remember that we will never have another life on this side of the grave.
If you are not suffering to glorify God and to further the truth of His Word, then flee! Jesus commanded in Mt. 10:14; 23-26, “Whoever will not receive you nor hear [My] words, when you depart from that house, [family, church] or city, shake off the dust from your feet [as a testimony that they will have no excuse on Judgment Day...] When they persecute you in this city, [family or church,] flee to another…”
Always remember that our submission to unrepentant abusers and their sinful tactics can never be God’s directive. We must never willingly become the slaves of men, as true believers are the blood-bought saints of Christ! (Rom. 6:16-23.)
Here is what Melinda Fish wrote in ‘Restoring the Wounded Woman,’ “Jesus laid down His life at Calvary; no man took it from Him. [But when the Pharisees tried to stone Him beforehand,] He ‘hid Himself’ and ‘eluded their grasp,’ (Jn. 8:59; 10:39.) Jesus would not allow Himself to be needlessly abused… [When in untimely persecution,] do what Jesus did: Hide yourself. Elude your abuser’s grasp...”
Fight back; say “NO!”
Why is it so hard to say “no” when people use, abuse, openly manipulate, mistreat and defraud us? Psychologists reckon it’s because ‘no’ is the first word we hear from our parents, and we ‘process that negativity’ by never using it in our vocabulary. [What garbage!] I believe we were indoctrinated by abusing parents, teachers, and clergy not to ‘hurt’ anyone’s feelings by saying “no” to maltreatment, misuse, enticement, and unreasonable demands. Our inability to say ‘no’ to abuse centers on an inflated ego, (image is everything: no one should think ‘bad’ of us,) and our inherent desire for human acceptance — even at any price. All forms of manipulation, peer pressure, and sale tactics exploit our ‘inability’ to say “no!” Thus, abusers of all kinds do not take ‘no’ for an answer. Among these are drug addicts, beggars, conmen, manipulative spouses, lazy and sponging relatives and neighbors, spoilt children, manipulative parents, fake friends, false clergymen, and other dangerous perverts.
They know that the well-mannered public does not want to ‘offend’ anyone.
However, to submit to harassment and other ungodly demands goes beyond reason and morality. Why would anyone remain polite and submissive to, say, a beggar who refuses a job but harasses you, underestimates your intelligence, disrespects your personal space, and tries to con you out of your hard-earned money? After all, God sternly commanded, “If anyone will not work [because of laziness and love of ease,] then neither shall he eat!”
People, who say “no” to misuse, molestation and other forms of abuse are often labeled as ‘stingy’ or ‘nasty.’ Yet, even children at an accountable age can and do say “no!” and flee from abuse if circumstance permits! The reason why most people allow harassment and exploitation, is because they do not want others to think ‘less’ of them, and so, they find it extremely embarrassing to say “NO.” Many fear conflict and rejection to the point where they would submit to almost anything. (I.e.: We wouldn’t have had friends at kindergarten if we didn’t allow them to break our crayons, would we?)
We must know that God requires of us to say “no!” to evil.
Jesus commanded, “Take heed, [watch out,] that NO MAN deceives you!” (1 Cor. 15:33; Mt. 24:4; Rom. 6:6-23.)
Do not believe, follow, obey, fear, or pity immoral family, friends, and other abusers, (Read Isa. 8:12-20.)
Believe and obey Jesus. Say “NO!” to false doctrine, lies, false spiritual authority, and manipulation. Say “NO!”’ to misuse, humiliation, hurt, slander, violence, and verbal abuse. Say “NO!”’ to those who defraud you of your money and human dignity. Say “NO!” to those who make you their servant while they never move a finger to help anyone else. And above all, say “NO!” to those who ensnare you in sin and draw you away from the Lord!
“FORGIVE [THAT ABUSER] FROM THE HEART!” - “WOW, THAT SOUNDS REALLY HARD!”
The meaning of this commandment
Jesus commanded us to turn the other cheek when someone merely insults or offends us in a trivial way. Such offenses, we should simply forgive and forget. However, Jesus did not command us to “simply forgive and forget” serious trespasses without first trying to resolve them God’s Way. Jesus’ explained His commandment in Mt. 18:21-35 to “forgive from the heart,” by focusing on the moral principle of “giving and receiving,” which guides all civilization. This is a humble willingness; a personal choice to completely ‘let go’ of the idolatrous sin of revenge, or unforgiveness. Godly interaction with other people centers on the ‘heart change,’ which all should experience through a personal relationship with Him.
Jesus demonstrated this by telling us of an unforgiving man, who wants everything from God and other people but refuses to give an inch. He expected (and freely received) God’s forgiveness, but hardened his heart against his ‘fellow servant,’ who owed him little in comparison. He did not have any compassion on this remorseful debtor; and would not grant him the mercy of forgiveness, even when the man “fell down at his feet and begged him for his release.”
Such merciless abusers often have the audacity to declare that they are “children of God,” and they are very sensitive to sin against them. Yet, they never acknowledge any of their sins - never mind beg their victims’ forgiveness; making blasphemous statements like, “God forgives, I don’t!”
Once offended, such abusers will not so much as listen to those who try to reconcile with them; yet, they never consider the possibility of relinquishing their onslaughts on their victims either. As a result, God will withdraw His forgiveness from such self-justified people, and “deliver them to the tortures until they paid all that was due,” (Mt. 18:34.) The Spirit Filled Bible comments, ‘This is not legalism, or a scare tactic. Rather, it states the seriousness of responsible forgiving and demonstrates how [the choice of] unforgiveness clogs the channel of communication and sanctification between God and His people. [Biblical sanctification means, living in a holy position as a saved, redeemed, blessed, Scripturally born again child of Christ.]
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN: “FORGIVE US AS WE FORGIVE OTHERS?”
In Mt. 6:12, Jesus taught us to pray, “Father, forgive us our sin AS we forgive those who sin against us.” This might sound as if Jesus commanded us to forgive even the worst sins against us instantly and unconditionally or lose our salvation. However, in the contextual truth of His Word, this interpretation is a common, but extremely dangerous deception. To clarify this commandment to forgive “like” God does, we may ask, “Exactly how does God forgive us?”
How does God forgive us?
It will help us to understand God’s commandments, which relate to forgiveness, if we first understand the process of God’s forgiveness for us.
Firstly, it is clear that complete forgiveness is only to be found in and through Jesus Christ, (Eph. 1:7.)
Secondly, although He made complete atonement for everyone on earth, only those who personally “believe,” and choose to accept and follow Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, can be forgiven and cleansed from sin, (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5.)
Thirdly, forgiveness is only to be found when we willingly and ‘from the heart,’ confess our sins by name, sincerely ask God’s forgiveness, repent from our sin, and do restitution as far as possible for serious harm we have done to others, (1 Jn. 1:8-9; Prov. 28:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Lev. 6:2-5.)
Fourthly, we will only remain in His forgiveness if we demonstrate the same type of forgiveness (or mercy) towards those who sin against us, thus living in obedience to His Moral Law of Love, in this case, the ‘second’ highest Law, “Love your neighbor AS yourself,” (Mt. 18:27-34; 25:31-45.)
This is the process of God’s forgiveness; there exists no other.