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LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

Posted by Job on March 1, 2007

Luke 23:33,34 – And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

One of the most powerful and incredible events depicted in the Bible was not some great miracle. It was not some awesome moment in God’s creation. It was not some tremendous manifestation of God’s power. It was not some terrible outpouring of God’s wrath. Instead, perhaps the greatest – and most misunderstood and overlooked – display of God’s power was that of God’s LOVE. We talk about God’s power, we forget that God’s POWER is in is LOVE for GOD IS LOVE. When God chastens Believers, it is because He wants us to obey Him and put our trust in Him so that we can avoid evil tidings and receive good things, both in this life and the next. When God arises and scatters His enemies, it is out of love for goodness, peace, and order which can only come through those who submit unto His Will. It is because of God’s LOVE that all wickedness will be destroyed and only goodness will remain. And it is because of LOVE that God in the form of Jesus Christ was willing to humble Himself, submit to the Father, and come to earth in the form of a common man so that He could save us from our common – ness; from the sin and death introduced into us by the fall of Adam. It is because of LOVE that Christ was willing to endure all that pain, rejection, humiliation, and torment, and it is because of that LOVE that Christ endured those things to the very end. Even as He died on the cross, Christ showed love to the very people that caused Him pain, humiliated Him, rejected Him, and tormented Him even unto death. The people who conspired against Him, smote Him, lied on Him, delivered Him to the Romans, as well as His sadistic demon –filled Roman torturers and murderers, Christ prayed for them all because He LOVED them.

And because of His Love, because of His Godly love, Christ overcame. Good overcame evil. And I am not just talking about Christ being raised from the dead, I mean that many of the very people who so mistreated Him were saved by His prayers! Jesus Christ looked not at the temporary; the people destroying His temporary body. Jesus Christ looked at the eternal. He saw the likelihood of their souls being forever tormented and destroyed in the lake of fire. As bad is it got for Christ on the cross – and yes it was very bad and took quite awhile, a fact which movies on Christ’s crucifixion do not do justice – Christ knew that it would come to an end, and His fate would be timeless glory with His Father in a place devoid of pain, torment, humiliation, hatred, and injustice. He knew that while He was suffering evil on earth, He would receive good things in eternity. He, despite all appearances, was fine! So, instead of thinking about Himself, He rose above His temporary condition and thought of those who were not fine. Those who were receiving evil on earth only to receive far worse evil in eternity! So Christ did what anyone with the love of God in them would have done: He prayed that the lost would be found. And thanks to His prayers, His intercession, His love, and the love of God and the workings of the Holy Spirit, many of the very people who did Him and His followers such evil were saved.

The best part about this episode is how Jesus Christ was “The Man.” He didn’t back down. He didn’t go with the flow. He didn’t claim one revelation and then switch over to a new doctrine when He faced opposition. When the going got tough, Christ got going, and when the going got tough, Christ got rough! He didn’t change. Christ didn’t go hypocrite; He didn’t say “Do as I say but not as I do. I am the Son of God, I am above you, so I can do what I want, but no, you, you have to do right, and if you don’t do what I thought myself too good to do, you will be destroyed in the lake of fire. I know that is tough, but you just have to accept it because I am God and you are not. Just live with it, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, and take personal responsibility for your own actions.” No, my Lord and Savior did not do that! He could have, but He didn’t! Christ did not do what so many Believers, including some of our foremost preachers, teachers, and theologians have done. Christ preached loving your enemies and forgiving those who have done wrong to you, and He went out and lived it.

Christ got straight into Satan’s grille and won. One man, one earthly man with our same bodies, pains, temptations, and limitations took on Babylon and defeated it. How did Christ do it? With love! Satan and his evil workers can abide many things, but love is what they cannot stand. Submission is what they cannot stand humility is what they cannot stand. Mercy is what they cannot stand. They cannot stand against those things because they rejected those things. Followers of Christ, believers in Christ, can stand against and overcome Satan and all his Babylon through spiritual weapons and warfare by showing love, peace, submission, humility, service, and mercy and not seeking your own satisfaction and glory. Christ could have sought His own satisfaction and glory on the cross. After all, He was already there. He had done the will of His Father. He was on the cross, He was going to die there, and He was going to rise again. Christ could have said, “OK, I have done my part. I have submitted to the Will of the Father. Adam’s debt is paid, and people will be able to receive salvation through Me. And in three days God will raise me from the dead. So, I am going to get back at all these wicked people who have done Me wrong; who have done wrong the Son of God, and have fire come down from Heaven and consume them all. I am going to burn them all, the wicked with the good, and let God sort them out. It will even fulfill the parable that I told my disciples, about how the master of the vineyard will destroy those who rejected and killed his son.” But no! Jesus Christ did not do it! He showed mercy to the end. Praying for His enemies was one of the very last things that He did.

You might say that Christ exacting vengeance would have been unjustified; wrong. UNTRUE! Christ had every reason, every right to pour out His Wrath, God’s wrath, on those who rejected God so much that they murdered His Son. Christ had every reason and right to give those who committed blasphemy. Yes, the ironic thing is that those who murdered Christ under the charge of blasphemy were blasphemers themselves. They blasphemed the Father and the Son when they rejected Him and lied on Him, and the Romans blasphemed the Father and the Son when they mocked and smote Him. So yes, Christ would have been justified for calling fire down from Heaven and killing them all! So why did not He do it, since He would have been justified, and since He would have still died on the cross for our sins and risen again for our salvation, our victory? Because Christ did not seek His own justification! In this very occurrence, Christ showed that we are not to seek to justify ourselves. We are not to seek to validate ourselves. We are not to seek to prove ourselves. No! Recall Elihu in the matter of Job 32. If you recall, Elihu got angry. It was not the wrath of man which works not the will of God, but the righteous wrath that comes from having the love of God and the spirit of God in you, which the Holy Spirit stirs up within you and causes you to become an extremist for God’s Will (James 19-20). And because Elihu got angry, his words paved the way for God to move. After Elihu got angry and righteously rebuked Job with the truth and not with the unwise counsel of Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, God moved and told Job to humble himself and repent.

And not only did Job have to repent, but he had to pray for God to forgive his friends for mistreating him! Jesus Christ was following the example of God’s instructions to Job; to pray for those who mistreat you. And Christ executed the words motivated by the wrath of Elihu that came in the Holy Spirit. What caused Elihu’s wrath? THAT JOB JUSTIFIED HIMSELF RATHER THAN GOD! We are NOT supposed to justify others, we are supposed to justify God, and after we justify God, God comes and justifies us! And when Elihu justified God, God justified HIM by not sending the illness upon Elihu that He sent upon Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. Jesus Christ fulfilled the words of Elihu in Job, the oldest book of the Bible, and a book that is seldom mentioned in any respects concerning Jesus Christ. Yet in Job we see mercy, forgiveness, and love; the power of loving those and praying for those who mistreat you. For Job’s breakthrough did not come until he showed love unto those who mistreated him; those who saw Job’s misfortune and did wrong unto Job and not right! Job would have been justified for asking God to curse them, but God wanted Job to justify God so that God could justify him and raise him up! So despite the words – and actions – of Christ fulfilling what was given to us in Job, the Bible’s oldest book about a person who was not even a Hebrew but lived long before the law or God’s covenant with Abraham, people still have the nerve to claim that there is some inconsistency between the old covenant and the new covenant; that the new covenant invalidates or supersedes the old. It is not God or His covenants or His words that are inconsistent; it is you who are inconsistent! You are inconsistent because you want to do one thing and then switch to another when the doing gets hard. When the money stops coming in, when your health fails you, when your family abandons you, when your friends walk away, when the temptations of the flesh starts to burn you, and when you do not see a way out, you want to change. You want to claim that you have heard something special from God that no one else has heard; you want to claim that you have gained some insight in the Bible that no one else has had, you want to claim that you have gotten some new revelation that no one else has gotten and only applies to you because you are special. It is not about you, it is about God, and when you start trying to justify yourself, you start down the road to destruction!You do not see the consistency in the Old and New Testament, you do not see that the old covenant and the new covenant because you do not have the love of God in you. Because you do not have the love of God in you, you do not have faith in God. Because you do not have love of God, you do not have knowledge of things that are Godly, like His Word, His Law, and His Covenant. How can you have faith in what you do not love? How can you love what you do not know? You are of the world, you love the world, you have faith in the world, so you put your trust in things that are worldly. You put your faith and trust in religion. Your religion tells you that the old covenant and the new covenant are different, and that is what you believe, because you have never sought God for yourself. If you have not truly accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, then I pray that you do. If you have but are still in your worldly religious exercises, I have faith in God’s Word and the Holy Spirit that He is going to get you out of it one day. Like Jesus Christ on the cross, you are fine. But like Jesus Christ on the cross, you are going to have to go through. I just pray that while you go through as Christ did and after you over overcome as Christ did, you will help someone else.

When it happens for you, don’t just keep it to yourself. Stand up! Take a stand for your God against the people doing Satan’s work trying to hold the people of God captive; trying to funnel and bottle up the power, the love, and grace. Stand against these people who reject the old covenant, the new covenant, or both of them because they do not want to do what either says. They reject the old covenant because it is a bunch of rules that restrict them from what they want to do, which is sin. They reject the new covenant because of the same. They don’t want to show love and mercy to their enemies. They want to hate blacks, whites, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, communists, capitalists, sinners, Believers, rich, or poor. It really doesn’t matter so long as they have someone to hate and not show God’s love to. They do not want to show God’s love because they do not have it to show because they have rejected God’s Word. When you reject God’s Word, any of it, including the parts that offend you, the parts that are hard for you, the parts that you do not understand, than you reject God and you reject His love. And that is why you cannot love your enemy. That is why you are a selfish hypocrite: you demand that God love you despite your doing Him wrong when you will not do the same for your brother! But it is not over for you. You can change. You can change in no small part because Jesus Christ prayed for you on the cross. You can change because true Believers are praying for you right now though you do them wrong. You can change because God’s Love will always defeat Satan’s hate. All you have to do is let that triumph happen in your heart. You have free will, so choose God’s love and life today! Say the Salvation Prayer with me today, and this time mean it! Do it for no reason other than this: until you truly accept God’s Word in your heart, you are an enemy of God. But God loves you and does God unto anyway! Do not you want to do the same and be the same to those who hurt you?

Prayer:
Lord in the name of Jesus Christ help me to love my enemies as Christ commanded me to and as Christ did Himself. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Deliverance:The demons that operate in this area are religion, lack of love, rejection, and bitterness. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

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