There is a story so big that few can see it; this story is so magnificent that it blinds the many. The story is ancient, yet more current than the news of today. The story is urgent, yet few people care. It is the story of the two great forces of God’s leadership mirrored in the story of His people and in Biblical imagery. This story explains the purpose for the creation of mankind and their role in God’s eternal kingdom.
On earth, this story began with Adam and Eve who in their beginning walked with God in His garden of delights. Mankind was made in God’s image; they are part of His royal family—His garden of delights. They had open fellowship with God. They trusted Him until they sinned, then they knew they made a mistake and they feared God; they felt guilt and immediately they went into hiding. The fall of man captured and submerged the part of the soul of man that deals with matters of the heart, inspirations, feelings of love, joy and peace and dragged it into a gloomy abyss.
Sin prevented mankind from finding their way back to God. Darkness crept over them and they turned against God. Their heart became hardened as they listened to the dark menacing spirits set on the destruction of mankind. God cast them out of His righteous family—the Garden of Eden, until His redemptive plan was accomplished. “After he [God] drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24). Adam and Eve attempted to justify their bad behaviour with coverings of fig tree leaves, but God showed them that the only covering for sin will require the blood of a perfect sacrifice. So, God made garments of skin and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). He then, prevented mankind from accessing the tree of life—the Savior, the Word of God, until his sacrifice was accepted.
From that moment, God put into action His plan of redemption, restoration, and unity.
SIN BEGAN IN HEAVEN
Sin began on earth with Adam and Eve, but its earliest origins began in heaven. Creation in heaven was the first of two creations.
They were created perfect and with spiritual knowledge. The countless beings in heaven enjoyed happiness and peace until iniquity was found. Lucifer who became Satan is the source of sin, he was a murderer from the beginning—a destroyer of spiritual life and a liar—the truth is simply not in him. He lied to Adam and Eve and brought the division from God that occurred among the rogue rulers, powers and authorities in heaven onto earth.
Satan spread his theology far and wide. Earth became a centre for sin. Before the flood, evil became so entrenched that man’s soul became diseased and finally necrotic. “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts and his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So, the LORD said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth… But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:5-8).
The two parts of man’s soul are his thoughts in his head and his emotions of the heart.
THE NATIONS DIVIDED AND GIVEN HEAVENLY RULERS
At the time of Babel after the flood, mankind began to wander again away from God. So, He decided to divide the nations, give them different languages, territories as well as heavenly rulers to guide them into righteousness. At this time, He decided to participate in this rulership and He chose a people not yet born—Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob.
“When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance [their inheritance was heavenly rulers over them], when He divided the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God [these sons of God were members of His heavenly court and highly respected, Ezekiel 31]. But the LORD’s portion is His people, Jacob His allotted inheritance” (Deuteronomy 32:8-9 Berean Study Bible).
Unfortunately, these heavenly rulers turned against God. Knowingly, they chose to rebel when they became proud and arrogant. They taught the nations to worship them instead of the Almighty God, the source of all life. The nations followed their heavenly rulers into rebelling against the Most High God.
This rebellion left God the Father and His Son to work with just one man, Abraham, to accomplish their goal. He was found by God “in a desert land [a place void of God’s truth], in a barren, howling wilderness [a place raging with wickedness from the leadership of rogue heavenly sons of God]; He surrounded him, He instructed him, He guarded him as the apple of His eye” (Deuteronomy 32:10). God found a man who would listen to Him.
Abraham became a friend of God and proved to be the faithful earthly father for God’s redemption plan. He demonstrated unconditional trust in God, undoubting faith in God’s promises and ever-ready obedience. The first mention of a promise for Abraham was in Genesis 12:1-3, “Leave your country [that place of wickedness], your people and father’s household [unconverted and a spiritually lost people] and go to the land [a new place—a holy place] that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So, Abraham left.
The promise comprised of a land, his descendants becoming a great nation, and blessings.
Abraham is key to understanding God’s leadership, His redemptive plan, restoration and finally, the complete unification of everything that was fractured as a result of sin, which began in heaven and flowed out to cover and disease the earth.
THREE EVENTS POINT TO UNDERSTANDING GOD’S LEADERSHIP.
His righteousness is a unified body. His leadership is a marriage of His laws with mercy and grace. The story of Abraham and God’s use of imagery tell a story painted with beautiful and delicate details revealing a multiple dimensional picture built on many layers.
THE FIRST EVENT
God protected Abraham from the raging lies of the rogue sons of God ruling over the nations. He taught him His ways, His laws, and the embedded meanings in His Holy Days. Abraham was not surprised when Melchizedek arrived after Abraham rescued his nephew Lot from the war of the nine kings. Lot was living in Sodom and both Sodom and Gomorrah were seized by the opposing four kings.
Melchizedek, king of Salem brought bread and wine. “He was priest of God Most High” (Genesis 14:18) and Abram gave him a tenth of everything (:20).
Melchizedek holds TWO roles: kingship and priesthood. He identifies the two anointings that form the leadership of God.
THE SECOND EVENT
In Abraham’s seed God promised a Messiah who would qualify and pay the penalty for the sins of mankind. He came as the suffering servant, which is the example for the priesthood to be the servant of all, to be living sacrifices and he will return as King of kings and Lord of lords. “God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn’t say “to his children,” as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says “to his child”—and that, of course, means Christ” (Galatians 3:16).
Jesus Christ’s rulership is DUAL: king and priest, national and religious leadership.
THE THIRD EVENT
God Almighty confirmed with Abraham His promises and sealed an unconditional covenant after Abraham demonstrated his unbreakable loyalty, trust and faith in God with his willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac though God, himself provided the sacrifice. “I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers… No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:1, 5-8).
The everlasting covenant is the receiving of land and a city on a hill—kingship and people who God later revealed are a congregation worshiping a God—the Most high God. “‘You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites” (Exodus 19:6) and this was confirmed in the New Testament by the Apostle Peter, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (I Peter 2:9).
God’s righteous leadership is manifest in His description of His people:
This righteous leadership falls into TWO roles—two anointings:
God’s people that He claimed as His inheritance at the time of the division of people on earth into different languages and territories were to preach, rule, and live God’s righteous ways. Later, when God’s people rebelled, they followed the ways of the nations who were taught by their rogue heavenly rulers to prioritize national rulership over religious priesthood, resulting in oppression and cruelty due to the neglect of mercy and grace, which they did not teach. Their religious practices were perverse and detestable.
God confirmed this everlasting covenant with Abraham’s son, Isaac and again reconfirmed it with Jacob, not his twin brother, Esau who was born first.
The wrestling for this firstborn birthright began in the mother’s womb. This story images the grasping of God’s promises mirrored in ancient Israel and latter-day Israel. God told Rebekah that the birthright blessing will go to Jacob, born second. It will be the latter-day descendants of Abraham who would receive the birthright blessings of: kingship, the scepter and priesthood with the abundant blessings not ancient Israel—Esau, the firstborn of the covenant family for they became rebels.
THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL
Jacob’s life after he fled Canaan from his brother, Esau, was no ordinary sequence of events. Every event in this chapter of his life, mirrors God’s relationship with both the nation and church of ancient Israel. Jacob fell in love with a beautiful shepherdess, desiring to marry her but, he was tricked into marrying her sister, Leah, first. God wanted to marry a loving church—a shepherdess, but ancient Israel behaved like Leah; her poor eye-sight kept her floundering and staggering falling off the straight and narrow repeatedly.
Rachel was a shepherdess, the woman Jacob loved. God uses imagery to reveal His deep mysteries. A woman is always imaged as a church. Rachel images the faithful church—a religious body of people who throughout time followed Christ, their Shepherd.
She was tormented for many years because she was unable to conceive, until God performed a miracle and opened her womb. God made possible her conception and she became pregnant with Joseph. She died after giving birth to her second son, Benjamin. It was like this faithful church of few died before the fruits of their labor became known, like the prophets of old of which, Christ was the last.
TWELVE SONS BECOME TWELVE TRIBES
Before Jacob died, he blessed his sons. It became very clear at this time that the birthright blessing implemented by God would again be broken. Jacob did not give the firstborn the birthright. Instead, it was divided and given to TWO sons: one—the fourth born of Leah and the other—the firstborn of Rachel. The mirroring in this story is rich as God tells the story of ancient Israel through Reuben who lost the firstborn birthright because of his adultery, so too, ancient Israel lost the firstborn birthright through their flirting and intimacy with the rogue gods ruling over the nations.
Jacob passed over Levi and Simeon because their massacre of the people at Shechem after the rape of Dinah, their sister. Jacob gave the kingship scepter to Judah. He proved his nobility and humility when he pledged his life to protect Benjamin on the journey from Jacob’s care to Joseph’s rule and vowed to serve Joseph as his slave to keep his pledge to his father to ensure Benjamin’s safety. This mirrors a future event, lying on our near horizon where the Jews will again pledge their lives on a national level to protect a people during their journey from the safety of God’s hands into the rulership of Christ; the transition will require protection.
In addition, King David proved his leadership as king. He never forgot the throne upon which he sat and in turn, God promised the King would come from his family line. Jesus Christ was born, son of David. The house of Judah would hold the royal kingship forever.
Joseph proved to be a great man. While imprisoned, he learned to trust in his God. Joseph ran from adultery; his relationship with God Almighty was never marred with treason; he could never be tempted just like Jesus Christ. Jacob loved Joseph from the beginning, the son born of the woman he loved. Such imagery mirrors God’s love for His own Son. The firstborn birthright blessing was given to Joseph by Jacob whose role is not yet realized. His descendants took the gospel to the world and on the near horizon, he will again feed the world God’s truth—His word during a time of great distress and darkness.
A TIMELINE REVEALED
God slipped a timeline in among the twelve sons of Jacob. Originally, God intended that ancient Israel be that model holy kingdom of royal priests and receive the firstborn birthright, but they rebelled. God changed tradition and gave the kingship and sceptre to the 4th son of Leah and priesthood blessings to the first son of Rachel. The two different mothers also indicate the two different churches these leaders come out of. One tends to remain wayward until Christ’s return and the other follows Christ wherever he goes. The birth of Judah, the 4th son of Leah along the timeline reveals when the ruler who will be King arrives on the world scene—4/12ths from the beginning. The birth of Joseph, the firstborn son of Rachel reveals when the birthright blessings would become visible on the world scene. It would be 11/12ths from the beginning and Christ returns at the end of 12/12ths.
THE STORY THAT MIRRORS LAW AND GRACE
The story of these twelve sons becoming twelve tribes is filled with drama, joy and pain, happiness and anger, kindness and cruelty, law but no grace. They enter the Promised land under Joshua, a warrior of God and Israel. Judges are given and they enjoy many moments of peace and prosperity, but they can’t keep themselves from watching the nations. Eventually, they reject God as their King and demand an earthly king from their people. God accepts the choice of Saul, a Benjaminite from a tribe with resilience and a reputation of being strong fighters who is also head and shoulders above everyone else. They value self-reliance over trust in God. Saul and his family line are later disqualified by God for his disobedience and God has David from the tribe of Judah anointed king.
King David, a shepherd was a nurturing king applying both God’s grace and law. God promises his family line an eternal throne. King Solomon rules after the death of his father and asks God for wisdom. God is moved with delight and gives him earthly wisdom and riches. His kingdom prospers until he marries women from other nations and the worship of these strange gods and their detestable practices leads King Solomon away from God. He vows to take the kingdom from King Solomon and leave him with only rulership over Judah and Benjamin, two tribes. This fracture does not take place, until King Solomon’s son begins his reign and the first decision this king needs to make results in the division of the kingdom that remains to this day.
THE BREACH OF JEROBOAM
The fracture of the kingdom of Israel began during the second year of the reign of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. The Israelites were heavily burdened by the king. Forced labour projects involved every tribe and the Israelites begged for relief, “but Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, ‘What message do you advise that we send back to these people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?” Rehoboam followed the advice of his friends and responded to the Israelites’ plea, “Whereas my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. Whereas my father scourged you with whips, I will scourge you with scorpions” (I Kings 12:8-9, 11).
Outraged, “when all Israel [led by Jeroboam] saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king: "What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse's son? To your tents, Israel! Look after your own house, David!" So, the Israelites went home” (I Kings 12:16).
It was God’s doing that the kingdom of Israel be divided because Solomon had married many foreign women and began bringing into Israel the treasonous worship of the gods from the different lands. In addition, King Rehoboam refused to give the Israelites relief from Solomon’s heavy taxes and forced labor. Grace was not an option in the eyes of King Rehoboam.
The fracture of the kingdom of Israel took place around 930 B.C.. Their hostility towards each other lasted for hundreds of years, until the Jews forgot they had brothers and the Christians forgot their Hebrew roots. The powers of Darkness may delight in this division in God’s inheritance, but God’s plan cannot be thwarted. God is strategically working through His grand plan for both His people and all of mankind to establish His purpose and accomplish His good pleasure.
GOD’S PURPOSE AND HIS GOOD PLEASURE
“Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My PURPOSE will be established, and I will accomplish ALL My good PLEASURE’” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
God’s purpose and good pleasure involves two creations, one in heaven and one on earth. While the rogue heavenly rulers, powers and authorities of Ephesians 6:12 believe that they are in-charge and have thwarted God’s plan, they deceive themselves. God said to the heavenly ruler over Assyria who thought he was so powerful, as his earthly kings stomped and beat down other misguided nations on earth, “Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone. Their people, drained of power, are dismayed and put to shame. They are like plants in the field, like tender green shoots, like grass sprouting on the housetops, scorched before it grows up” (Isaiah 37:27).
God uses the wicked to punish the wicked. While the heavenly king of Assyria was glorifying in his triumphs, God assured him, “But I know where you stay and when you come and go and how you range against me. Because you rage against me and because your insolence has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you came” (Isaiah 37:28-29). While the commander on earth did return home without attacking Jerusalem, the heavenly ruler was assured that he would be taken captive by God himself.
God foreknew the fall in heaven and on earth before the creation. The separating of mercy and grace from national laws and ordinances was a direct result of choices made by rogue heavenly rulers, powers and authorities and deceived mankind on earth.
Mankind on earth has a Savior who paid the price for sin. Mercy and grace have been extended to mankind, now God has moved onto the next step in His plan—to reunite, to make ONE all of the TWOs that came about when iniquity was found in heaven and sin sold to mankind on earth.
THE NUMBER TWO
Bullinger provides a comprehensive analysis on Biblical numbers. He stated that number, “Two affirms that there is a difference—there is another; while One affirms that there is not another!” He added as an example, “When the earth lay in the chaos which had overwhelmed it (Gen 1:2), its condition was universal ruin and darkness. The second thing recorded in connection with the Creation was the introduction of a second thing—Light; and immediately there was difference and division, for God DIVIDED the light from the darkness.”
In summary, the number TWO is a stamp of DIFFERENCE.
The number two in the Bible is a teaching mechanism about difference where one is not superior to the other and both are a fitting companion for each other.
Law and Grace are different like the two houses of Israel—one upholds the law and the other embraces grace, like national and religious leadership—one focuses on the rules and regulations, while other focuses on the how to keep the rules and regulations, how to turn away wrath, how to appropriately cover a multitude of sins, how to remain calm and open to reason when emotions are raging, how to recognize the wrong way from the right way, and how to resolve issues peacefully. The nations of the world and God’s people who craved the ways of the nations, chose law and national leadership over grace and religious leadership. This choice has led to abuse and corruption within the justice system and oppression and hardship for the people. They do not have leaders who are nurturing shepherds. God foresaw their choices long ago. In imagery, He demonstrates his foreknowledge.
GOD’S IMAGERY OF TWOs
Over the Ark of the Covenant, God has placed two angels who witness that the law is applied exactly as God intends it and grace is given accordingly. The two angels also image the two witnesses during the Great Tribulation who preach the LAW of God and His GRACE.
TWO WAVE LOAVES OF BREAD
Upon celebrating the Day of Pentecost prior to 32 A.D., the Israelites were told, “You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:17). These two loaves image the sin-filled two houses of Israel from ancient times all the way into the present. God foreknew that sin would remain present throughout this evil age.
On the momentous Day of Pentecost in 32 A.D., the Apostle Peter addressed ALL of the people of Israel by declaring, “For the promise is to you and to your children [the Jews], and to all who are afar off [the ten tribes], as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39).
While only Jews were present when the New Testament church began, this New Testament church was not limited to one house or even two, but opened its doors to everyone from all nations. Peter was sent to Cornelius, a Gentile. “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him’” (Acts 10:34-35). Peter continued to explain the message of salvation to those assembled, and “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word” (Acts 10:44).
TWO OLIVE TREES, TWO WITNESS, TWO CANDLESTICKS
The two olive trees are the two anointings of king and high priest revealed to Zechariah 4:14, “These are the two anointed ones who stand before the God of the whole earth.”
God is not hiding his plan through His imagery. Quite the contrary, He said, “Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come…” (Zechariah 3:8).
Zerubbabel, the king is symbolic of one of the olive trees and Joshua, the high priest is symbolic of the other. Joshua was given new garments showing God’s grace and desire to use him and they symbolize things to come—Jesus Christ as King and High Priest, Melchizedek. The flow of oil from each tree demonstrates the two different leaders generating an oil [righteous leadership] that collects into a golden bowl and flows down into seven candlesticks, which ignite the oil into shining bright lights symbolizing the seven churches of a holy kingdom of royal priests preaching and living the pure way of God. Their righteousness is the light from the candlesticks showing the nations the way to happiness and joy living in love and peace.
The two witnesses of Revelation are two olive trees and the two candlesticks that stand before the God of the earth. The reference to the angels standing before God points to the leadership of God Almighty, which is both King and High Priest. His leadership role is DUAL both equally important and valid.
TWO CANDLESTICKS, TWO CANDLESTICKS, TWO CANDLESTICKS, TWO CANDLESTICKS, TWO CANDLESTICKS
The candlesticks symbolize King and Priest, Law and Grace, House of Judah and House of Israel, Synagogues and Churches, Jews and Christians. Today, these remain separated, but the time is coming when all five become one.
THE TWO STICKS
The two sticks image the two houses of Israel divided over 3,000 years ago. One stick is in the hand of the house of Judah and the other stick is in the hand of Joseph. When Christ returns, he will take both sticks into his hand and forge them back into ONE kingdom to be reunited forever.
The story is recorded in Ezekiel 37:15-22. “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim's hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah's stick. I will make them into a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand. They will be ONE nation; they will have ONE king over them all “and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.”
For hundreds of years, the two houses fought against each continuing into the 21st century through antisemitism bias and prejudices and Christian persecution. God’s people have a painful history. The Jews worked against Jesus in bringing their brothers, the lost sheep of Israel back into the covenant family and rejected him as the Messiah. The baton was passed to the Gentiles to take the gospel to the world. Then on 32 A.D. the New Testament church on Pentecost began with a congregation of Jews, but by 325 A.D. at the Council of Nicea no Jewish representation was allowed. The Crusades were the efforts of the ten tribes of Israel who still remembered their Hebrew roots fighting using national power to protect their ancient homeland. Into the 21st century, the Jews have forgotten their brothers and their brothers have forgotten their Hebrew roots. Synagogues remain separate from Christian churches both worshiping in the God of Israel, but keeping their distance from each. There remains a dark and evil effort to destroy the royal line of David and the Evangelical New Testament teachings of Christ in you.
God cannot be overthrown. His purpose and pleasure will be accomplished. This barrier that separates the two houses of Israel into the 21st century will be shattered during Jacob’s time of trouble. Both houses will be humbled and both will call out to God at the same time with their arms locked beseeching their God for forgiveness and rescue.
“In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave to your fathers as an inheritance” (Jeremiah 3:18).
They will come weeping back to God, together at the same time. “In those days and at that time, declares the LORD, the children of Israel and the children of Judah will come together, weeping as they come, and will seek the LORD their God. They will ask the way of Zion and turn their faces toward it. They will come and bind themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten” (Jeremiah 50:4-5).
God will hear and in His great power and might He will give them a double blessing. He will RESCUE them and give them VICTORY.
God will not forget His covenant with Abraham. “As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. Return to your fortress [victory is on its way], O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore TWICE as much to you. I will bend Judah as I bend my bow and fill it with Ephraim. I will rouse your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword, Then the LORD will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign LORD will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south, and the LORD Almighty will shield them. They will destroy and overcome with slingstones… The LORD their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown” (Zechariah 9:11-16).
Then finally, “The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim” (Isaiah 11:13).
King David will be king over them; they will have ONE shepherd. The law-abiding house of Judah will be rebound with the grace embracing house of Israel.
And finally, they will be unified in everything with Christ as their King of kings and Lord of lords. The world will be watching; they will witness a transformation to behold. And “at that time Jerusalem will be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations will be gathered in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD.They will no longer follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts” (Jeremiah 3:18).
THE MARRYING OF THE TWOs INTO ONE
Christ is working to restore things to how they were before iniquity was found. The great war in heaven led by Satan and his coalition brought division, disunity, confusion and destruction. Set on destruction, crafty Satan lured mankind into his dark world. But, despite the destruction, God’s purpose and good pleasure will be accomplished. Righteousness will prevail, reunification and restoration are on the near horizon and peace will rise up to reign forever.
Out of a time of great distress, Christ will bring God’s people together as a kingdom of one. They will be unified to apply law and grace perfectly, unified in love for one another, unified loving God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength, unified in serving and loving their Savior and following him wherever he goes. Then, he will lead them home, back to the Promised Land to resettle and rebuild and become God’s good pleasure—a holy kingdom of royal priests witnessing to the nations, teaching them God’s loving ways and sharing God’s blessings.
All this is made possible by Jesus Christ: his sacrifice, his love, his loyalty to his Father, his love for righteousness and his great love for all of mankind on earth.
Christ has been anointed King of kings and Lord of lords and he has extended his hand to the saints, his bride, to partner with him in ruling as King and Queen over two different realms: heaven and earth brought together as one under one monarchy. Together, they will marry God’s law with His grace into order and happiness. Together, they will reign as one forever.
LESSONS FOR 21ST CENTURY JEWS AND CHRISTIANS
Sin brought suffering and creation on earth have all felt the pain in varying degrees. However, God does have a purpose in allowing sin and suffering. God is testing, refining and perfecting.
Through suffering, we are also made perfect, like Christ before us who was made perfect. The Apostle Paul said, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Hebrews 2:9).
Through Christ’s perfect sacrifice, all of mankind have been bought by Christ through his blood and have been given the great honor of serving God as priests—a people perfected through suffering, compassionate, patient, kind and loving righteousness—experts in God’s way of love.
Righteous creation in heaven rejoice in the future of mankind serving God as priests of righteousness. “And they sang a new song: ‘Worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals, because You were slain, and by Your blood You purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign upon the earth’” (Revelation 5:9-10).
God uses stories and imagery to teach in vivid detail the steps of His plan for mankind. He is a transparent God not wanting to keep His creation in the dark. This study shines light on what the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 3:8, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus.”
And finally, all this will be made possible through Jesus Christ, all of the TWOs will be married into ONE.
It is ever so simple and many God-believing people profess to love God, yet few people do. God tells us how to love Him.
“If you love me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS” (John 14:1) and “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and HIS COMMANDMENTS ARE NOT GRIEVOUS” (I John 5:3).
Exodus 20: The Ten Commandments:
The Ten Commandments are an overview of God’s law, but some churches teach that the law was nailed to the cross, that it was part of the Old Covenant that was replaced by the New Covenant and that things have changed. And yet, Jesus said, “Therefore, anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever PRACTICES and TEACHES THESE COMMANDS will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19).
Possibly most people don’t think about how God deals with offences in heaven. They may not know that God has a grand court, He has laws, He executes judgments and sentences. God gave ancient Israel His law to follow; it mirrors the legal processes and methods in heaven. It is important to understand God’s law and what has happened to man on earth.
119 Ministries.com provides a most comprehensive study on God’s Law. They are rich in the understanding of God’s commandments. They direct us to the writings of Apostle Paul who was then and today the great teacher on the LAW. He identifies the different series of laws that were activated when mankind sinned and the different series of laws that came our way when Christ paid the penalty for our sins.
THE LAW of Sin
The story of law goes back to Adam and Eve where they broke the Law of God and fell under the Law of Sin, which in turn led to the sentencing of their death under the Law of Sin and Death. “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Romans 5:12). Adam and Eve knew the Law of God, but they chose to sin, which spread to all of mankind, bringing us all under a different law—the Law of Sin.
THE LAW of Sin and Death
The consequence of our sins is death. Under the Law of Sin and Death, the unrepentant will die a second death. Since God made us flesh and blood, all will die a natural FIRST death. However, now that ALL have sinned, those who do NOT repent and accept the sacrifice of Christ will die a SECOND death, which occurs after judgment and sentencing in the Royal Court of the Almighty God—our Creator.
THE LAW of the Spirit of Life
Christians understand that Christ paid the penalty for their sins and they are grateful for his most generous sacrifice. “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). Accepting the sacrifice of Christ, will set you back onto the path of life, free from death.
Most Christians do not argue the point that Christ died for our sins. Paul wrote in Colossians 2:13-15 that the Law of Sin and Death was nailed to the cross because God accepted Christ’s sacrifice as payment for our sins. That means that we are no longer under the LAW OF SIN AND DEATH.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:1-2).
Christ made it possible for us to return to the Law of God, which is spiritual and good. “So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin” (Romans 7:14).
Now, after repentance, God gives us His Holy Spirit, which gives us the desire to follow the Law of God willingly—from the heart. When we keep His law, He knows that we love Him. “If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15).
“No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God's Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people” (Romans 2:29).
THE LAW of Faith
Paul’s task was to reteach the Jews and the Gentiles about the Law of God, which is spiritual because it requires God’s Holy Spirit in order to understand and keep it as God intended. Now, Paul adds another element to returning to God’s Law—the element of faith.
“Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law” (Romans 3:27-28).
“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him MUST BELIEVE THAT GOD EXISTS and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Through God’s goodness, He has granted us grace. How difficult is it to understand that God’s grace is a gift that cannot be earned—for ALL have sinned. There is no room for boasting of any kind.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Now, the Believer through God’s Holy Spirit receives truth and conforms to the Word of God, hence a new man begins to form. From the core outward, the Believer values the peace and happiness from keeping the Law of God and develops an intimate relationship with the Creator, desiring to please Him and become at one with Him, leading to keeping the Law of Righteousness.
THE LAW of Righteousness
Here, in keeping the the Law of Righteousness, tangible behavior is visible. Paul struck down the wicked ways and urged the Ephesians to do so too. “So, I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do… They are darkened… because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts… put off the old self… put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness… speak truthfully, work doing something useful, build up others, do not grieve the Holy Spirit… get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. BE IMITATORS OF GOD” (Ephesians 4:17-5:1).
James supported Paul’s teachings, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:14-16).
“So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God” (I John 3:10).
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. AGAINST
SUCH THINGS THERE IS NO LAW” (Galatians 5:22-23).
THE LAW of Christ
“When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ” (I Corinthians 9:21)
The Jewish people have many laws that they added. Some included: the washing of hands ceremonially before eating, whether grain can be plucked and eaten on the Sabbath and how much, whether people can be healed on the Sabbath, and sitting with the Gentiles, which was forbidden. When Paul was with the Gentiles, he did not keep the Jewish law that forbade Jews from sitting with the Gentiles. He did not participate in the added Jewish laws that may offend the Gentiles because he wanted to win them over. Paul obeyed the Law of Christ who lived then and today perfectly under the Law of God. His perfect sacrifice was accepted by God. Christ’s way is God’s Way. If pork was served, Paul would not eat it, rather he would quietly fill his plate with other foods doing as Christ would, without condemnation. He would not judge the Gentiles for their lawlessness as his Jewish brothers would, for his intent was to bring them back into the fold and reteach them the Law of God.
Christ did not come to do away with the law or do away with some of the law. "Don't ever think that I came to set aside Moses' Teachings or the Prophets. I didn't come to set them aside but to make them come true” (Matthew 5:17).
Christ came to amplify the law. To merely refrain from adultery is obedience to the “letter of the Law,” but to obey both in spirit and the letter, self-control must be exercised where even lusting becomes a violation of the spirit in keeping the Law of God.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
THE LAW of God
By the Law of God, sin is defined. “What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet’” (Romans 7:7).
The Law of God is the opposite of the Law of Sin. God gave His law to Adam and Eve, but they chose the Law of Sin, which led to death. Fortunately, Christ’s perfect sacrifice was accepted by God and now, we are no longer under the Law of Sin and Death.
The choice is yours. If you repent, get baptised and receive the Holy Spirit, then “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law [the Law of Sin and Death]” (Galatians 5:18).
Jeremiah urged, "This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls’” (Jeremiah 6:16).
The Law of God is perfect and good. Paul delighted in God’s Law. “For in my inner being I delight in God's Law” (Romans 7:22).
It is ever so simple! The Old Covenant did not include the payment of our sins only the awareness of sin and the need for payment; nor did it give us God’s Holy Spirit, so that we can have the desire to obey God’s Law as He intended.
The lesson in history is that we cannot earn salvation by works; our righteousness is not life producing. Our sole task on earth is to come to know the Almighty God, accept His generous gift of grace and love Him. The New Covenant makes it possible for us to return to the Law of God because we are no longer under the Law of Sin and Death. The payment has been accepted; the Holy Spirit is now available. Through faith, we believe and desire God, transforming ourselves into the ‘new man’ by living righteously as Christ did under the Law of God.
“In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” (Hebrews 8:13).
Absolutely, the Old Covenant is ready to vanish away because the payment of our sins was accepted by God; we can have God’s Holy Spirit. Those who repent are no longer under the Law of Sin and Death. The Old Covenant hasn’t vanished completely yet, because so many people have not yet accepted Christ’s sacrifice and repented. The Old Covenant remains in force because there remains unrepentant people who continue to sin. When all of mankind, even the resurrected people from ancient times repent and receive God’s Holy Spirit and move out of the Old Covenant by obeying God’s Law willingly, then the Old Covenant will become obsolete.
“God made you alive with Christ [no longer subject to the second death but through Christ resurrection to eternal life]. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations [the penalty from the Law of Sin has been cancelled, as long as we repent and accept Christ as our Savior, and receive God’s Holy Spirit, so that we desire to live under the Law of God], that was against us that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross [the Law of Sin and Death was nailed to the cross]” (Colossians 2:13-14).
The Apostle Paul re-taught the Jews and the Gentiles the way back to God by identifying the series of laws that bring us back to the Law of God. Rejoice that our Creator provided a plan of salvation for—He loves us! He gave His only Son—His only Heir, so that whoever believes in him shall not die but have eternal life (John 3:16). Christ is not God’s only son. He has many in heaven; Christ is God’s only heir—he only will inherit the kingdom along with the saints.
THE LAW of the Sabbath: rest and keep it holy
“Then God blessed THE SEVENTH DAY and SANCTIFIED IT, because in it HE RESTED FROM ALL HIS WORK which He had created and made” (Genesis 2:3).
Keeping the Sabbath holy has a direct correlation to refraining from sin. "How blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who takes hold of it; Who keeps from profaning the Sabbath, and KEEPS HIS HAND FROM DOING ANY EVIL" (Isaiah 56:2).
God has sentenced death for those who do not keep the Sabbath. "For six days, work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a Sabbath of complete rest to the LORD; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death” (Exodus 35:2).
Resting on the Sabbath is the act of pledging your allegiance to the Almighty God and committing to the Law of God. For 6,000 years, God gave man rulership and He has been battling against his sinful creation the whole time, but He insists, come the seventh day—the final 1,000 years of creation He will rest on the seventh day. The disobedient will be put to death and the battling will end.
It is a sign. "It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed" (Exodus 31:17).
Keeping the Sabbath is the weekly badge worn that reaffirms your allegiance to the Almighty God to purge out rebellion and work to usher in righteousness.
Everyone under your care should keep the Sabbath. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. ‘Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you’” (Exodus 20:8-11).
Eternal life is not limited to a gender, a class of people or one kingdom of people. All of mankind is offered salvation through the sacrifice of Christ.
God’s house is a house of prayer for ALL nations. “And FOREIGNERS who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, and love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, and all who KEEP THE SABBATH WITHOUT DESECRATING ITand who hold fast to my covenant—THESE I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS” (Isaiah 56:6-7).
Any person from any nation who binds himself to God and keeps His Sabbath holy, will be accepted by God.
Those who joyfully keep the Sabbath with reverence to the Eternal God will be blessed generously by God.
“If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure and speaking your own word, then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to FEAST ON THE INHERITANCE OF YOUR FATHER JACOB." The mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 58:13-14).
Remaining in ignorance has a heavy penalty. “So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called THE LEAST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. But anyone who obeys God's laws and teaches them will be called GREAT IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN” (Matthew 5:19).
GOD’S COMMAND to keep His Sabbaths
God implemented multiple Sabbaths. He has the weekly Sabbath as well as annual Sabbaths. 'You shall keep My Sabbathsand reverence My sanctuary; I am the LORD” (Leviticus 26:2).
God is sharing His grand plan with His people. He implemented holy days for them to keep that would step their way to salvation. “Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). Leviticus 23 details each of God’s holy days.
GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION IS REVEALED THROUGH GOD’S HOLY DAYS.
The Passover and Unleavened Bread
The Passover begins at sunset on the 14th day of the first month. On the 15th day of that month the Lord’s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the first day and seventh day hold a sacred assembly and no regular work (Leviticus 23:7).
REMEMBER the exodus when the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob performed wonders and miracles to release His people from slavery. REMEMBER the night their first-born children were passed over by the death angel because they put blood on their door posts. Israel’s God saved His first-born children, but the first-born children of Egypt ruled by the god of Re were killed and the nation suffered heavy losses when the army of Pharaoh drowned in the Red Sea.
STEP 1: THE SAVIOR
Christ is our Passover lamb. His blood saved us from the second death.
REMEMBER the following night. The night of haste. There was no time to allow the bread to rise; no yeast was added. In the dark of night, the Israelites left taking with them those Egyptians who too, worshipped the God of Israel along with all of their possessions and animals. While the Egyptians slept, the Israelites marched out, a nation of over 2,000,000 people simply walked out.
STEP 2: REMOVAL OF SIN
The Days of Unleavened Bread picture repentant mankind removing sin [symbolic of yeast that puffs up] out of their lives.
STEP 3: CHRIST IS RESURRECTED—THE FIRST OF THE FIRST-FRUITS
Feast of First-fruits
REMEMBER… Out of Egypt, the Israelites celebrated this day when they arrived in the Promised Land. It was celebrated on the Sunday after Passover. This was the first harvest celebration of the year, a harvest of the first-fruits. Christ died on the Passover before sunset around 3 p.m. (Wednesday, Nisan 14) and rose from the dead likely soon after Sabbath sunset, three days and three nights later—very early into Sunday morning, on the Day of First-fruits. Christ was the first to rise from the dead—the first of the first-fruit harvest.
Click here for more information on only one sign was giventhat Jesus is the Messiah and that he would be 3 days and 3 nights exactly in the grave. Do the math. There isn't 3 days and nights between Good Friday and resurrection Sunday.
This is a great celebration for all of us who long for our spiritual resurrection to be with Him.
The feast of First-fruits pictures the FIRST and BETTER RESURRECTION. Christ is the FIRST to be resurrected of the First-fruits. The first-fruits will be resurrection at the return of Christ.
STEP 4: THE CHURCH WITH GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT BEGAN.
Feast of Weeks/Pentecost
REMEMBER to count 50 days, exactly 50 days—that is seven full weeks from the Feast of First-fruits and on the following day, celebrate the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost. That special day in history was the day that Moses brought down the stone tablets of the Law of God. On that day, the nation of Israel entered into a covenant with their God of Israel at Mt. Sinai.
But, they struggled throughout their history to remain loyal to their God. They could not even keep peace among themselves. They fought bitterly until their kingdom split into two: the house of Judah and the house of Israel.
Pentecost is the celebratory day of the receiving of the Holy Spirit. The church of people filled with God’s Holy Spirit began on the Day of Pentecost. This group of people began with 3,000 Jews and has grown into a countless number of Judo-Christians who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
STEP 5: TRUMPETS WILL BE SOUNDED AT THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST.
Rosh Hashanah/ Feast of Trumpets
“On the first day of the seventh month is a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work” (Leviticus 23:23-24).
The first of the remaining three UNFULFILLED feasts of the Lord. The trumpet blasts will announce the return of our King and Lord, but not before the world falls into deep and dark trouble.
STEP 6: ATONEMENT FOR THE SINS OF ALL OF MANKIND WILL BE ACKNOWLEDGED.
Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur
It is a day that is considered to be the holiest of all days. It pictures the day when God will acknowledge the atonement of the sins of mankind. It will be the day when all of mankind on earth can come close to Him. It takes place on the 10th day of the seventh month. It is a celebration usually in September or October—ten days after the Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah.
STEP 7: THE MILLENNIUM WILL BEGIN AND LAST 1,000 YEARS.
Feast of Tabernacles/Feast of Sukkot
This period of seven days is a time of GREAT rejoicing on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. It is a celebration that takes place five days after the Day of Atonement. The first day is a holy convocation where there is no work. It is a time celebrating the Millennial period of peace and abundance and a time of spiritual learning and growing.
It is a time when Satan is bound.
“Then I [the apostle John] saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while” (Revelation 20:1-3).
It is a time when the Saints rule with Christ.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them [the saints of God]. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).
STEP 8—FINAL STEP: JUDGMENT DAY.
The Last Great Day
On the eighth day after the seven days of tabernacles is the Last Great Day which is the final harvest and second resurrection. It is a holy day where no work is done. It brings closure to God’s plan for mankind before the new heavens and earth are created.
All, both good and bad will stand as the books are opened. “I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated. … The court was seated, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:9-10).
“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds” (Revelation 20:12-13).
IN SUMMARY—8 SIMPLE STEPS:
Passover: Christ fulfilled the Passover.
Unleavened Bread: We live to remove sin out of our lives by accepting Christ’s sacrifice and receiving His Holy Spirit.
Feast of First-fruits: Christ was first to rise from the dead. This resurrection gives us hope that we too will be resurrected at his return.
Pentecost/Feast of Weeks: The Holy Spirit was first received to a whole group of people on Pentecost. The church began. We now all have access to the Holy Spirit allowing us to have Christ live in us and become one with Him.
APPOINTED DAYS NOT YET FULFILLED:
Rosh Hashanah/Feast of Trumpets: Christ’s return and the first, better resurrection.
Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement: Mankind’s atonement is acknowledged.
Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles: Millennial 1,000 years of Christ and the Saint’s rule.
Last Great Day: Final Great White Throne Judgment of mankind throughout all of time.
Click here for more information on God's Holy Days, the Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and sevendays (The Feast of Tabernacles) plus one (The Last Great Day) and Pentecost.
WALK WITH GOD.
Ultimately, grow to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and walk humbly with Him. Don’t allow menacing, ignorant people distract you from the great calling given to you.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).
REMEMBER, God’s love for us goes beyond human limits into a world of endless compassion rich in forgiveness. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:10).
WHAT CAN WE DO? “Find out what pleases the LORD” (Ephesians 5:9).
FOLLOW CHRIST’S EXAMPLE. “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our abode with him’” (John 14:23).
“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keep covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
BE IMITATORS OF GOD. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God” (Ephesians 4:31 and 5:1).
BE PREPARED TO LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE FOR YOUR BRETHREN. “Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).
WE KNOW GOD WHEN WE DEMONSTRATE LOVE FOR OUR FELLOW MAN. “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (I John 4:16).
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (I John 4:7).
“Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits” (1 Corinthians 13:7).
“All those gifts will come to an end—even the gift of prophecy, the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages, and the gift of knowledge, but LOVE WILL NEVER END” (1 Corinthians 13:8).
THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER:
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
“Find out what pleases the LORD” (Ephesians 5:9). Know Him, serve Him, love Him.