10/12/2013 Sabbath Meeting Transcript

"The Mark of a True Disciple"

EliYah's message:

We are ready to begin our study portion of the broadcast. I was very blessed to enjoy the Feast of Tabernacles with so many folks this year. We had brothers from all over join us, and we were very blessed to meet so many of you and fellowship.

One of the best things about the festival is seeing the body of Messiah come together and function and operate and the people making connections with each other, connections with people that they did not know before. It is just really awesome to behold that very thing.

You know, as we were singing around the campfires and having our meetings and doing our activities together and all the good things that I saw, the thought just came to me over and over again about this particular topic we are going to share today.

I have a question for everybody and my question is: What would be the defining evidence that we are definitely students of Messiah? In other words, from a worldly perspective, from the world's perspective in their viewpoint, what would be the defining evidence that we are Yahushua's students?

Now there are many ways you might choose to define that. Maybe somebody would say, "Well, Torah followers is evidence. That's proof that you are following the line of Messiah. Sabbath keeping. That is the sign between Yahweh and His people."

Others might say, "Well, we are supposed to be a people called by His name, so we would be calling upon the name of Yahweh." Another person might say, "Well, if we gave to the poor." Or some might say, "If you belong to this denomination over here or this sect."

But what would Yahushua say if one were to ask Him? How would others know that we are taught by Him? In other words: What is the true mark of a disciple?

It is written in the book of John, chapter 13. Yahushua said:

 John 13:34 - "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

35 - "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

And this is an interesting comment because it is not by how smart you are or how well versed you are in Scripture or what exact understanding of Torah you have. It is the love for one another that Yahushua said would define us as being His disciples.

That love for one another should be a light and a witness to all the world that we are like our Teacher, Yahushua. That is the evidence. That is the proof.

For instance, we know Yahushua loved us. There is no question He loved us. He loved us to the death. He served His Father through His love for us.

And so, this is an element of our faith-- dying for another person. It is an element of our faith that most of the world is gong to regard as being praiseworthy.

I mean, they may not understand our festivals or the strings hanging off our shirts or the Hebrew names we use or the reasons why we sing our praises to Yahweh, but there is one thing they can look at and say, "You know what? That is awesome!" And that is our love for one another.

The brotherhood, the sisterhood, the comradery, the care and concern for one another's lives-- those things they can behold and look at, and say, "That is praiseworthy!" That is something almost anyone would want to be a part of. That is the draw.

Think of this: You know, the world has their clubs, their associations, their ways of creating a sense of belonging. They understand the innate need in their hearts to connect with others in a deeper and broader way. And so, when they behold and look at the deeper connection that we have to each other, it is something they can relate to.

And in our faith, I would say it goes to a deeper level than what you see out there in the world. I mean, I know of people who have picked up their lives, quit their jobs, moved across country, just so they could live near brothers and sisters of like mind and have that fellowship with others that we also greatly need.

It actually seems to be quite common. I hear that all the time. We long to receive that strength that comes through the fellowship, to be connected to the body of the Messiah. And that is one of the blessings of the festivals.

We do come together. We do get that connection with each other. We do get that comradery, that love, that joy in our relationships. And the reality is, everything that our Father is about is about relationships and love. He is love. That is what He is. Elohim is love.

Imagine how connected Israel must have been in ancient times when they attended these festivals three times a year. The friendships would be built and rekindled as they sought each other out at the Feasts. The family togetherness that each of us felt at the Feast this year-- imagine a whole nation of people who were that way.

That is Yahweh's vision. It was and it is Yahweh's vision for us as His people.

It is at these kinds of events that... what are they called in Scripture? Love feasts. Aren't they? It is at these festivals that our love for one another can take on shoe leather and become a reality and can become action.

Now imagine the sense of brotherhood that Yahushua established in His disciples-- the twelve men and the women who also were there with Him, ministering to them of their substance-- that when they were doing things together for three years, ministering, serving day in and day out, Yahushua taught them what true love is.

And He said this to them often. He would say:

 John 15:17 - "These things I command you, that you love one another.

Now this is the second most important commandment in all of Scripture. As most of us know, the greatest commandment is that we would love Yahweh with all of our heart, soul and strength. But this is the second most important command-- that we would love our neighbor as ourselves.

And so, I think it is certainly worthy of our attention. And I think the importance of that love for one another has gotten our attention at the Feast this year as I really felt that the love that we had for each other was just overflowing. The sense of brotherhood and sisterhood that was there was overwhelming.

And I heard these reports at other festivals, also, that Yahweh had just poured out His Spirit at the festivals this year. It is awesome. And this is what we are going to need. We are going to need this as our foundation that we would build upon. This is the strength that we can build upon to show the world that we are Yahushua's disciples.

Our connection with one another is not a once-a-week or once-a-year event, that we would stay in contact with each other throughout the year, that our care and concern for each other is deeper than that which we see in the world and even in the normal churches with often very plastic smiles and shallow relationships.

We need that deeper relationship, and it is a relationship that is based on not just love, but Messiah's love. He says this is a new commandment.

 John 13:34 - "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Now that is a tall order. And that is a new commandment. Yahushua loved us and His works demonstrated that. It wasn't Him just saying, "Oh, I love you guys." That wasn't what demonstrated and showed His love. It wasn't just these words coming out of His mouth. He said:

 John 15:13 - "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

Laying down our lives. So, it is not just words.

 1John 3:18 - My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

19 - And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

That is how we know that we are of the truth. That is how the world knows we are His disciples.

And so, what kind of deeds would show forth the kind of love spoken of here in the Scriptures?

In Romans chapter 12, verse 10, it says:

 Romans 12:10 - [Be] kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;

11 - not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving YAHWEH;

12 - rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

 Romans 12:13 - distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

14 - Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

 Romans 12:15 - Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

16 - Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

17 - Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.

Beautiful examples here.

 Romans 12:18 - If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

19 - Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but [rather] give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance [is] Mine, I will repay," says YAHWEH.

20 - Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."

 Romans 12:21 - Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

These are actions by which we demonstrate love.

Yahushua gave the parable in Matthew 25, where He said:

 Matthew 25:37 - "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, `Master, when did we see You hungry and feed [You], or thirsty and give [You] drink?

38 - `When did we see You a stranger and take [You] in, or naked and clothe [You]?

39 - `Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'

 Matthew 25:40 - "And the King will answer and say to them, `Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did [it] to one of the least of these My brethren, you did [it] to Me.'

Action. It is not just a bunch of people coming together and expressing, "Well, I love my brothers." It is when we see someone have need, something happens out of that. Remember, Yahushua said who the greatest one would be.

I want to bring this up first:

 1John 3:17 - But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of Elohim abide in him?

Apparently, it doesn't.

 1John 3:18 - My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

So, that is the context.

Yahushua said in Matthew chapter 5, verse 44:

 Matthew 5:44 - "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

45 - "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

At the Feast this year there were many who took on the task of serving others. Some took on the role of heading a particular activity or being a part of what made the activity work well, the volunteers, and that is an example of the love that Messiah is looking for. It is not an empty word. It is an active service.

And so, if that is an expression of love during the festival times, and it is, what about during non-Feast times? What kind of acts of service are we doing at other times of the year? Are we mainly focused on serving ourselves or are we actively doing something frequently that would serve and edify the body of the Messiah?

Do we see a brother who is in need and not ask to help? Do we pray for each other daily? Are we taking notice of the needs around us? That would be a more accurate expression of love-- not just during times when we are in the same place, but at all times, we still care about those that we have come into contact with.

We still are focused on serving them and blessing them. Not just during festival activities and not just when we are there with them, but at other times, in other contexts. That is when love becomes more of a reality.

Serving and loving go hand in hand. They are together in their purpose. They are one and the same. You cannot claim to love unless you also serve. Think about this: As we serve Yahweh, have you ever stopped to consider how Yahweh is serving us? He is serving us every day. Every minute of every day.

He served us when He created all things. He served us when He created a beautiful world for us to dwell in. When we pray to Him, are we not asking Him to serve us in varying capacities? We are. We are saying, "Will You do this for me? Will You forgive me of this? Will You help me in this situation?"

And didn't Yahweh offer the ultimate sacrifice and service to us by having His beloved Son die for us? And some look at our lives, and say, "Why do you concern yourself with following commandments?" as if that was a burden in some way.

But when we open up our eyes and we realize just how much our Father in heaven is serving us every minute of every day, the obvious question ought to be: "How can I not serve Him?"

Look at all He does for us even when we haven't loved Him. He still cares about us. And that is what I am trying to bring out here.

If we desire to be His children, we will manifest love even when someone is acting as our enemy. That is how our Father is. And so, if we are supposed to love our enemy, how much more should we love our brother?

If Yahweh's love is truly in us, we will love all-- enemy, brother, friend, everyone. Even those who are unbelievers.

Yahushua loves our brother. Yahushua gave His life for our brother. He gave His life also for the unbeliever. Do we love as He loved? That is part of our calling.

And some may say, "Well, you know, I don't like what that person over there believes. I think that what they believe is wrong."

And because of that, or because of some offense that is taken, there is a desire to separate ourselves, and say, "Well, I just cannot agree with that, so I am going to not meet with that person. I am not going to stay in contact with that person."

But what I see here in the book of Ephesians... Paul is writing, and he says:

 Ephesians 4:1 - I, therefore, the prisoner of Yahweh, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

2 - with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,

3 - endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

If we want His Spirit to manifest unity in our lives, we are going to need verse two-- lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering, bearing with one another in love. That is how we endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit.

That is how we walk worthy of the calling with which we were called (verse one)-- being lowly, being gentle, being longsuffering, bearing with one another-- because we want to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Now if we were all already perfected, we wouldn't need to be longsuffering. But we have to be longsuffering because none of us are perfected yet. And so, we can still have the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace in spite of the fact that we might not have unity in our understandings.

You see, our fathers have inherited lies, and we are sitting here in this generation trying to sort it all out. We don't have this prophet to come along and go, "All right, guys, this is what is going on here," do we? "Thus saith Yahweh." Do we find him? I have not found one, yet. If you know of one, I am open minded.

So what we are doing is pouring over the words, the prophets of old, through the Scriptures. We are analyzing Hebrew meanings, Greek meanings. We are trying to understand the will of our Father in heaven.

And as we are trying to sort through and come through our understandings versus what is actually being taught in the Scriptures, it is inevitable that we will come to different conclusions at times if for no other reason than simply we have different backgrounds, different lenses through which we might see the Scriptures.

And so, we can be longsuffering with each other. We can be merciful toward one another and still maintain unity of the Spirit, in spite of different understandings, because there is one thing that ought to tie us together, and that is a true and genuine love for the Father and love for one another.

And when we manifest that unity, as I saw at the Feast of Tabernacles this year in abundance, it is a beautiful thing.

David, here, writes:

 Psalms 133:1 - <> Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] For brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is good. It is pleasant.

 Psalms 133:2 - [It is] like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments.

3 - [It is] like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there YAHWEH commanded the blessing -- Life forevermore.

It's a beautiful thing. And even the world will recognize it. That is beautiful. I can see that in your love for each other. That is beautiful. Who would not want to be loved that way?

You see, when we come across as "we are up higher," "we are greater than thou" and "we are it" in a prideful manner, those who might want to enter in and become a part of our fellowship will look at us, and say, "You know, I might want to join those people, but I don't think I will ever be good enough.

"I don't think I will ever attain the level in which they are saying we ought to walk."

Another thing that happens is when one of us does not walk in the manner in which we are actually supposed to walk according to the Scripture, they will look at us, and say, "Those people say it, but they don't do it."

But when we all come together, and say, "He is different than me. He is not walking in the same way exactly in every way that I am, and yet, I love Him anyway." When someone is not acting correctly, and yet, longsuffering is extended-- accountability, but patience and mercy and kindness and forgiveness.

When those things are being extended in spite of a person's weaknesses and difficulties and challenges, then the world is going to look at us, and say, "You know, they are not a bunch of hypocrites. They have a high standard that they are all trying to attain to.

"They do not claim to have already arrived or already attained, but they are reaching out toward this goal, this high calling of love that is written in the Scriptures." And they are not going to look at us and say we are a bunch of hypocrites because we are not claiming to be perfect people.

And they are going to feel comfortable joining a brotherhood of men and women who extend mercy when somebody fails.

Do we see how the danger of pride and arrogance and peering down our nose at others, and all those things, actually hinders the work of Messiah on the earth?

Both through the unbelievers looking at hypocrisy and being turned off by it and those who may not see hypocrisy, but see a lack of mercy, and say, "I will never make it. I could never be in that brotherhood. They would never accept me." Do we see the danger?

When Yahushua taught us, He said, "As I have loved you, love one another." What He is saying is, "As part of My love, I have mercy." Mercy is a part of love. Mercy is an expression of love. And we see this in that verse (Ephesians 4:2)-- lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering.

All those things are an expression of love, and if we are missing mercy in our expressions of love, we are missing an important element of love that Yahushua wants to communicate.

And He is a merciful Shepherd. He is a longsuffering Shepherd. He is a patient Shepherd. And so, we ought to express the same to one another and do things that would stir up love.

Does that mean that we all need to just sit around and be some happy little family that never points out wrong in each other or some family that just tolerates all kinds of sin in the camp and does not say or do anything about it? No, that is not what I am suggesting.

I am not suggesting an amicable spirit that says, "Well, just all believe in Jesus and everybody will be happy." No, I am not suggesting that.

What I am suggesting is that we would be accountable and that we would have a high standard for each other while at the same time extending abundant mercy even as we have all received it. That is how Messiah's love is.

He had a high standard. He says, "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. Love even the enemies." That is the high standard.

And yet, toward one who is seeking to do it and is on the pathway of righteousness and maybe hasn't arrived, yet, but is on that path, and is pursuing the Father's will and is hungering and searching for righteousness-- all kinds of mercy is available.

So we do not have to lower the standard by which we are called to live in order to have mercy on one another. We can still have the high standard, and yet, also, extend abundant mercy. We can still have the high standard even as we are longsuffering.

And so, the mistake comes when we say, "No, I am not going to extend mercy. Instead I am going to get angry. I am going to get upset over what another person is doing and seek to strive with them and fight with them and argue with them." That is where the mistake comes in, when we, by our own flesh, try to take control over another person.

Now what the enemy would have us do is have everybody mad at each other and get us all on an island, everyone being offended at each other, and get us all on an island so that we would not come together in love, that we would be a scattered bunch because we do not like each other, let alone love each other.

But what Yahweh would have us do at this time, in this moment of history, what He would have us do is that as we fear Him, we would speak to one another. Malachi 3:16 says:

 Malachi 3:16 - Then those who feared YAHWEH spoke to one another, And YAHWEH listened and heard [them]; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear YAHWEH And who meditate on His name.

17 - "They shall be Mine," says YAHWEH of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him."

I am not a prophecy expert, but I believe this appears to be speaking of the time just prior to the Messiah's return.

And when I look at this, I say: Why does Yahweh have to spare us? Because He knows that we are not perfect in our understandings, yet, but that we do fear Him, that we do think and call upon His name, Yahweh, and that we do speak to one another in love.

We are speaking, perhaps, at a distance, but we are staying in communication with one another. We are still able to speak to one another, and Yahweh is listening and a book of remembrance is written. Whether we are in a home fellowship group, on the telephone or on the Internet, Yahweh is listening in.

And wherever two or there are gathered, He is listening in.

It says:

 Malachi 3:18 - Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves Elohim And one who does not serve Him.

Those who fear Him, those who value fellowship, those who meditate on His name-- He will make us His jewels. We might have to go through fire, we might have to go through pressure (it takes a lot of pressure to make a diamond, doesn't it?), but He is making a jewel out of us. And He will spare us because He values our relationship with Him.

 Matthew 18:20 - "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."

Just need two or three. Wherever two or three are gathered, He is there in our midst listening to the conversations.

And I feel at the Feasts this year, it was such a blessing-- the conversations, the fellowship, the care and concern, the serving and all these things-- Yahweh was there with us. Yahushua was in our midst. And He was pouring out His Spirit upon us. And it was a beautiful picture.

You see, They are very interested in being a part of our fellowship. I hope we know that. I hope we consider that.

 1John 1:1 - That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life --

2 - the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us --

3 - that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father and with His Son Yahushua Messiah.

So Yahweh was in our fellowship. Messiah was in our fellowship. HalleluYah! That is what made it beautiful. He was there. And so, when we have that fellowship, we need to guard it.

We need to guard that fellowship because the enemy is going about like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour, trying to get us to be offended and hurt and angry and upset over whatever he can either drum up in our minds or imaginations or through things that believers are actually guilty of.

Realize that when we choose to take offense and be upset and engage in strife, or whatever, that we are not guarding that beautiful fellowship that we desire. We have to be longsuffering and compassionate.

Even in the first century, they had that issue.

 1Peter 3:8 - Finally, all [of you be] of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, [be] tenderhearted, [be] courteous;

9 - not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

And so, if someone is not treating you properly, what is the answer back? Not evil for evil, but blessing in return, knowing that you may inherit this blessing from Yahweh. That is our calling-- compassion. That is our calling.

Over and over again, we see this written in the Scriptures.

 1John 3:23 - And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Yahushua Messiah and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

 1John 4:7 - Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of Elohim; and everyone who loves is born of Elohim and knows Elohim.

8 - He who does not love does not know Elohim, for Elohim is love.

If we choose not to express mercy, we are choosing not to express love, and we are choosing to act in such a way that we are not even known of Him or know Him. That is what He is all about.

 1John 4:11 - Beloved, if Elohim so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

12 - No one has seen Elohim at any time. If we love one another, Elohim abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

We might not have seen Elohim with our eyes, but we can perceive Him in love for each other. We can perceive Him.

 2John 1:5 - And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.

Over and over again.

 1Peter 2:17 - Honor all [people]. Love the brotherhood. Fear Elohim. Honor the king.

 1Peter 4:8 - And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins."

9 - [Be] hospitable to one another without grumbling.

10 - As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of Elohim.

That is action: hospitality, ministry, fervent love.

You know, many people have a problem finding fellowship because they do not meet people who live up to their standards. And so, they are like, "Well, I can't be around that person, you know." They talk too much or they do this wrong or that wrong, and they find someone else to fellowship with.

And then they are like, "Well, they have this over here." And so, love is not expressed. Love does not take on action. Instead judgment. Instead, "Well, they are this way."

Imagine if Yahweh withdrew from you because you were not yet quite up to par. How is the love of Elohim in us when we withdraw, and say, "No, I want no part of that. No, I am not going to be around that person. No, because they have this imperfection or that imperfection"?

People who look for that perfect assembly, that perfect congregation, find themselves on a spiritual island because no one is good enough for them. We cannot live our lives like that. I mean, if you ever found a perfect congregation, you would not be allowed to attend there because you are not perfect, either.

And so, we have to realize, yes, we love righteousness. Yes, we want righteousness. Yes, we have that high standard for each other. We need to keep that standard for each other. And that is awesome. We need that.

But it is the enemy that has that divisive spirit. It says, "No, I will not extend mercy. No, I will not extend longsuffering. No, I want no part of them." We have to be on guard against that.

When someone says, "Well, if they are really our brother... "

 Matthew 12:50 - "For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother."

"Yahushua taught that."

 Luke 8:21 - But He answered and said to them, "My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of Elohim and do it."

"And so, I look at what they are doing, and they are not doing what they are supposed to be doing. They are not doing the will of our Father in heaven, and so, how can they be my brother? A true brother would never do ____ (fill in the blank). And so, because he is not doing the will of my Father in heaven, therefore he must not be a real brother."

Wow! That's all. I mean, that is the mentality I have heard so much over the years. Even among us, I have heard these things. I didn't hear it at all this year at the Feast of Tabernacles. But you know... a little bit... I guess there was some of that, now that I think about it.

But if we have this mentality, we will never find someone who is perfectly doing the will of our Father in heaven. We will just never find him. There is no perfect person on the earth.

Maybe they can appear perfect, but, you see, even to the extent that they understand, perhaps they are walking as exact as they can, exact as they know how. Maybe they are being perfectly obedient.

Sometimes I ask Yahweh to forgive me of my sins, but I can't think of any. That doesn't mean that I am perfect. There may be areas that He is trying to show me that I am not perfected in, that, nonetheless, I am not seeing, and therefore, I am not doing the will of my Father in heaven.

And someone else might look at me, and say, "You are not doing the will of your Father in heaven, and so, you are not a brother and you cannot be a believer," even though, to the best of my understanding, I am walking out what I think is correct.

So, where do we go with this, because you will never find one who is absolutely perfect? I am not perfect. Where do we go with this? Where do we draw a line? Where do you draw a line for yourself? That is an important question because:

 Matthew 7:2 - "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

That is a very strong statement.

If you were to judge another person because of their lack of obedience in one area or another and you said they cannot be a brother because they are not being obedient to this scripture over here, then for the rest of your life your own righteousness would have to exceed the righteousness of that person you are judging, right?

That means that you are now responsible because of your judgment of another person. You are now responsible for being obedient to all Scripture. And if you fail in one point, with what judgment you have judged another, you will be judged, according to this word here. With the measure that you have used, it will be measured back to you.

And so, if you judge another person out of the Kingdom because they are not a brother, because they are not being obedient to the Word over here, what about your own disobedience over there? Do you see what I am getting at?

If I am to judge you and say you are not a brother because you are not keeping this scripture in Exodus "whatever," and yet, I am disobeying Exodus "whatever" somewhere else in another chapter and another verse, then with what judgment I have judged you are not worthy of the Kingdom, it says right here, I will be judged.

So what do we do? How do we know whether that person really is a brother or that person is not a brother? Sometimes we are not going to know. We are just not. Yahweh will know.

 2Timothy 2:19 - Nevertheless the solid foundation of Elohim stands, having this seal: "YAHWEH knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Messiah depart from iniquity."

He knows who are His.

So many are quick to say, "Well, that person is not a brother because they don't do this or they don't do that," but then they are disobeying other commands. Do they consider that Yahweh is the one who really knows who are His and everything will come out in the wash?

Maybe somebody else is blind to one thing or another, but then we are blind to something else. Maybe somebody else is blind to the fact that we need to observe the Sabbath, and yet, we judge them out of the Kingdom because they are not keeping the Sabbath. And yet, we are blind to something else.

Why is their sin worse than mine? Why is their blindness worse than my blindness? It may be significant blindness. If you want to know whether they are a brother or not, where do you draw the line?

Where do you say, "Are they really His or not? Do I need to love them if they are not really a brother? Do I have to still care about them and extend mercy and compassion and all those things? Do I still have to love them and be around them even though they are not doing this, that, the other correctly?"

Well, what did Messiah say, even if they were you enemy? Pray for them. Bless them. Love them.

 Matthew 5:44 - "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

45 - "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

No way around it. You have to love your brother. You have to love your neighbor. You have to love your enemy. There is no way around it. You have to love everybody. You cannot get around that. And so, part of love is compassion. Part of love is mercy. Part of love is: "I want to care about them anyway." That is all part of love.

And if our brother sins against us, Yahushua says rebuke him. And if he repents, forgive him. He says:

 Luke 17:3 - "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

4 - "And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, `I repent,' you shall forgive him."

Now, look. He says, "Take heed to yourselves." What is it about ourself that we are taking heed here? It is about somebody else, isn't it? He is saying, "Take heed to yourselves." It is for your own benefit that you rebuke and that you forgive.

Now you might wonder, "Well, wow, he sinned against me seven times in that day, and seven times said, 'I repent.' You have to question whether his repentance was real." But what did Yahushua say? Forgive him. You might even sin against Yahweh more than seven times in a day. See what I am getting at?

Do you see what I am getting at? With what measure we use, it will be measured back to us.

And so, I am saying these things not just in the context of brotherhood worldwide. I am saying these things in the context of brotherhood and sisterhood in our own families-- husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters within the family-- because these are the areas where they are tested probably the most.

If we have a family member, maybe even a parent or a sibling or a spouse, or whatever, they are more likely being the one sinning against us seven times.

We have to extend forgiveness and we have to extend mercy because it is in these human relationships in the family context that love for the brotherhood or love for the sisters, and all these things, are going to be tested the most.

Now notice that it says here that when your brother sins against you, you are to rebuke him. And so, we are called to forgiveness, but we are also called to reproof.

We went over last Sabbath, the study on overcoming anger and putting off anger, how David took rebuke. He said:

 Psalms 141:5 - Let the righteous strike me; [It shall be] a kindness. And let him rebuke me; [It shall be] as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer [is] against the deeds of the wicked.

He was willing to take it-- "Go ahead. Slap me upside the brain. I don't care. Hey, I need the correction. I need it. HalleluYah!"

Then there are other people you try to reprove and they scorn at your reproof.

 Proverbs 9:8 - Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise [man], and he will love you.

9 - Give [instruction] to a wise [man], and he will be still wiser; Teach a just [man], and he will increase in learning.

So rebuke is something we should not look at as a bad thing. The world looks at rebuke as a bad thing. They do not want to be rebuked or reproved or corrected. And so, when you try to correct them, they think that you hate them. That is not biblical.

 Proverbs 15:32 - He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.

 Proverbs 17:10 - Rebuke is more effective for a wise [man] Than a hundred blows on a fool.

 Proverbs 19:25 - Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, [and] he will discern knowledge.

 Proverbs 27:5 - Open rebuke [is] better Than love carefully concealed.

6 - Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful.

I mean, look at all these scriptures about the importance of receiving reproof. Now sometimes correction is simply just not correct.

Jeremiah 15:15-- Jeremiah is crying out, saying:

 Jeremiah 15:15 - O YAHWEH, You know; Remember me and visit me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In Your enduring patience, do not take me away. Know that for Your sake I have suffered rebuke.

Jeremiah was rebuked, and correction was given him that was not correct. But we have to discern whether the correction that we are receiving really is correct.

 Revelation 3:19 - "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

So what if Yahweh is trying to use this person to rebuke us and they may not be doing it in a correct manner? Maybe they are doing it in a prideful way or an arrogant way or a high-minded way, and just because they are doing it in an improper way, we reject the reproof. That is not going to help us.

And so, even if it is not done properly and biblically, it is still a good idea to consider it in case they may be correct. And it is hard. It is hard to humble ourselves in front of someone who is exalting themselves over us. We feel this high. But the best thing to do is to consider it.

It won't hurt us to consider it. It won't damage us to consider it. It can only help us, right? So, we have to be careful.

Now if we keep hearing this rebuke over and over again and it is correct, and yet, we do not want to receive it, we place ourselves in danger because Yahweh is trying to get reproof to us into our hearts and we just will not listen.

In the Proverbs, it also says (in 29, verse 1):

 Proverbs 29:1 - He who is often rebuked, [and] hardens [his] neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

Wow! So we need to have our ears attentive to correct correction and not interpret that as necessarily being born out of a hateful heart even though it may be. Maybe somebody would be correcting us out of hate. But if it is correct, does it really matter?

Now, more often than not, if they are doing it out of hatred, it is not from Yahweh, but Yahweh can still use it. If it is out of bitterness, if it is out of finger pointing and anger, it is less likely to be from Yahweh. But nevertheless, we should consider it ("let the righteous smite me") even if it was done in a wrong way.

So let's suppose that we were the one offering the correction and they were ones who were not receiving it. Then what do we do? Well, ask yourself this: How many times has Yahweh tried to correct you and you did not yet get it, you did not yet see it? What did He do at that point?

Did He cut you off? Did He end the relationship? Did He send you away? No, He did not. He would try to reach you another way because that is a loving relationship.

And so, if we are offering correction to a brother or to a sister and they are not seeing it and they are not receiving it, how ought we to treat them? Answer your own question. How does Yahweh treat you?

Yes, there have been times where I have looked at a brother and thought, "I just can't see how they could possibly be a brother and act this way." There have been times where I have looked at a brother and I have thought, "Why can't you see this? It is so obvious. It is right here in the Scriptures, and yet, you are not receiving it."

In my mind, I am thinking he is just being obstinate, but I can't read his heart.

Should we still extend forgiveness even if the sin is against us? In Matthew 18, verse 21, Peter came to Him (that is Messiah), and said:

 Matthew 18:21 - Then Peter came to Him and said, "Master, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"

22 - Yahushua said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

23 - "Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

 Matthew 18:24 - "And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.

Ten thousand talents! Think about that.

 Matthew 18:25 - "But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.

26 - "The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, `Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'

 Matthew 18:27 - "Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.

28 - "But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took [him] by the throat, saying, `Pay me what you owe!'

29 - "So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'

 Matthew 18:30 - "And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.

31 - "So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.

32 - "Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.

 Matthew 18:33 - `Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?'

34 - "And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

35 - "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."

This is a serious matter. "From his heart." We have to forgive from our hearts unless we want to go in the torment.

And so, next time you have difficulty forgiving someone for some sin done against you, it all of a sudden will become easier to forgive that person when you realize the mercy that you are going to need from Yahweh.

It suddenly becomes a simple task when we realize, "Wow, I can't do 'pay me what you owe' while I am recipient of forgiveness for ten thousand talents worth of sin compared to the hundred denarii worth of sin this man owes me. How can I not forgive them? How could I not extend mercy and compassion?"

The truth is, you are probably sinning against Yahweh-- things that you do not even know about, you do not even realize. And yet, you are expecting mercy from Yahweh even though you have not yet confessed it, even though you have not yet seen it and realized it. And so, what kind of mercy should you extend? Answer your own question.

In Mark 11:25, it says:

 Mark 11:25 - "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

26 - "But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses."

And so, part of our daily prayers include these words:

 Matthew 6:9 - "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

10 - Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as [it is] in heaven.

11 - Give us this day our daily bread.

 Matthew 6:12 - And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.

Forgive us the ten thousand talents, as we forgive those who owe us a few hundred denarii. What kind of mercy do we want? This is a daily prayer: "Give us this day our daily bread." This is a daily prayer, seeking forgiveness and offering forgiveness.

 Matthew 6:13 - And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

14 - "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

How is that for a guarantee? If you want forgiveness, offer that forgiveness.

 Matthew 6:15 - "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

We cannot let the bitter root bear fruit.

 Hebrews 12:12 - Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,

13 - and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

14 - Pursue peace with all [people], and holiness, without which no one will see YAHWEH:

 Hebrews 12:15 - looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of Elohim; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

We will fall short of the grace of Elohim if we allow a root of bitterness to spring up and cause trouble. And many will become defiled by that. This is serious business.

And so, next time we might feel compelled to grumble about another person, remember the door. Remember the door.

 James 5:9 - Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!

Even if you grumble about another person, lest you be condemned. Wow! Because the Judge is standing at the door. Just as Messiah forgives you, you must forgive.

Yahushua takes the beatings and spittings and mockings of things from the enemy and the disciples forsook Him and fled, and He is saying, "Father, forgive them." And yet, we receive a little bit of disrespect from someone else, we receive a little failure of love from another person, and yet, lash out like we have been slain?

It should never be that way. Fear Elohim. Fear His judgment. It is not worth it to hold onto it.

It is not worth it to grumble. It is not worth it to hold sin against a person or to hold it over their heads. It is not worth it.

Look, we are all in a battle together against the enemy. We all have the same enemy. You know what? Every time we choose to transgress His Word, we are choosing the wrong kingdom ourselves. We are joining forces with the enemy on his side, in terms of our actions, even if it is not in our hearts.

What we need to do is cease from sin, but realize the gravity of it. And we need to realize we are in this battle against him. If he allows us to do things to cause harm to our side, it is not right, but realize, your brother has the same problem. Sometimes he chooses the wrong side.

Sometimes he does things that hurts himself and everybody else. He is just like you.

Yes, we need to be soldiers in Yahweh's army, choosing righteousness, choosing love, but the one thing that is an absolute, devastating thing to an army is that they break ranks and they scatter. Once an army breaks rank and scatters, they are defeated. That is considered to be a legitimate defeat.

Well, that is what the enemy is trying to do to you and me. He wants to take the love that we have established with our brothers and sisters around the world and cause us to be cut off from each other so we will break ranks and we will be scattered.

And then when he gets you on an island somewhere, you don't have the support network of believers to be there for you to support you. And because of your own judgment, you will be judged.

It is Yahweh who would throw His enemies into confusion in various wars. They would come at Him one way and they would be fleeing seven different ways. We cannot let the enemy do that to us. And so, we need to be sensitive and guard the unity that we have.

In Galatians 5:14, it says:

 Galatians 5:14 - For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

If we are Torah keepers, love ought to be so abundant, so evident, so obvious.

 Galatians 5:15 - But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

We are destroying each other.

 Galatians 5:16 - I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

We have to beware.

 Proverbs 6:16 - These six [things] YAHWEH hates, Yes, seven [are] an abomination to Him:

17 - A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,

18 - A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,

 Proverbs 6:19 - A false witness [who] speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

It is an abomination.

 Proverbs 10:12 - Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.

See, mercy is an expression of love.

 Leviticus 19:17 - `You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.

See, the Torah is all about the heart, too.

 Leviticus 19:18 - `You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I [am] YAHWEH.

Yahweh knew the importance of establishing loving relationships, yet in that loving relationship, accountability.

You see how He says, "You shall not hate your brother in your heart (verse 17); you shall surely rebuke your neighbor"? Yahweh sees a failure to rebuke our neighbor as an act of hatred in our hearts.

Why does He see it that way? Because if we truly love our brother, we will want to see our brother walk in uprightness and holiness and righteousness so that they will enter into life, so that they will not hurt other people, so that they will not transgress against Yahweh.

And if we love them, we will correct them. If we hate them, then we will just let them go on about their business and walk in the way of destruction and walk in the way of hatred because we do not care about them. We do not care about their soul. And so, we do not correct them. We say nothing.

And so, Yahweh views it very different than what the world sees it as. He sees it as love to rebuke.

Now it is possible, and quite often happens, that one will be rebuked, but not in a loving way and not in a spiritual way.

 Galatians 6:1 - Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who [are] spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

If we come to them with a spirit of harshness or a spirit of anger or a prideful spirit, rather than a humble, gentle spirit, we can face judgment on ourselves. See, with what judgment we judge, we are constantly judged over and over again.

"Why, I could never be tempted to do that." Wait a minute! Not so fast. Yahweh will find out how well you do in that circumstance.

And it says, "You who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness." If you cannot do it in a spiritual manner, then you have your own issues you have to deal with on that. We must do it in a spiritual manner (the ones who are spiritual) because what often happens is anger rises up, as we shared last week.

And Yahushua said:

 Matthew 5:22 - "But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, `Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, `You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire.

So, never should we rebuke out of hatred or wild, false accusations. Hatred toward a brother is very dangerous. Hatred toward a brother is what caused the first murder ever committed. And you cannot love Yahweh at the same time you are hating your brother.

 1John 3:10 - In this the children of Elohim and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of Elohim, nor [is] he who does not love his brother.

Whose children are we trying to be? Children of our Father in heaven who sends rain on the just and the unjust or children of the devil who are not willing to extend love even though they are not being loved?

You see, the one thing that ought to be very different about disciples of Yahushua, the ones who are taught by Messiah, is our love for one another. What that means is, we love those who do not love us.

I mean, the heathen, they love those who love them. That is not hard to do. But loving those who do not love you, that is Messiah. That is our Father's love. That is being His children. That is where we are different.

When our spouse is not loving us the way we ought to be loved, we choose to love anyway. We choose to love anyway. And that is our Father's love. That is the difference that we have between us and those who are not of us-- that we choose to love even though we are not being loved. That is the difference. That is Messiah's love.

So when someone is mistreating us, whether it is a spouse or a child or a parent, and they are not loving us in their actions and attitudes, our choice is not to make two wrongs, because two wrongs do not make it right. Our choice is to love them anyway.

And then we are children of our Father in heaven. Then we are not like the world, who only love those who love them.

Instead of returning reviling for reviling, we return blessing. We return compassion. That is what we are called to. And with that judgment, we will be able to inherit a blessing from Yahweh even though we have failed to love Him.

See, there is good judgment and there is bad judgment. There is righteous judgment and there is unrighteous judgment.

And if with the judgment we use, we say, "I extend mercy," with the judgment we use, we say, "I extend blessing," with the judgment we use, we say, "I extend compassion," with the judgment we use, we say, "I will be tenderhearted; I will be courteous," then that is what we will receive from Yahweh.

And how does Yahweh forgive?

 Psalms 103:11 - For as the heavens are high above the earth, [So] great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;

12 - As far as the east is from the west, [So] far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13 - As a father pities [his] children, [So] YAHWEH pities those who fear Him.

 Psalms 103:14 - For He knows our frame; He remembers that we [are] dust.

Guess what? Your brother is dust, too. Your spouse is dust, too. Your children are dust.

So, what do you do when your brother sins against you? You forgive them as far as the east is from the west. If you keep repeating it over and over again, you are not covering the transgression. You are repeating it over and over.

 Proverbs 17:9 - He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.

So, if you are not covering a transgression, instead you are repeating a matter, then you are separating. You are creating division. You are not seeking love. You are not walking in love.

What do we do with sin in the assembly? What do we do with it? Yahushua taught us the way to go about it in a loving way.

 Matthew 18:15 - "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.

No slander. No whispering. No telling the whole world. You tell him his fault between you and him alone. That keeps talebearing out of the assembly. That keeps slander out of the assembly because you are telling him his fault between you and him alone.

When someone comes to me about somebody else's fault, what do I say? I say, "Have you told him about it? You are really not supposed to come to me, yet. You are supposed to go to them first." Well, if he has already gone to him, okay.

 Matthew 18:16 - "But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that `by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'

That is what Yahushua taught us. That is how we handle sin when a brother sins against us. That is how we handle it. By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. So if a brother will not hear us, we have taken one or two more.

And those one or two more that we have brought are obviously going to have to be in agreement with us about whatever sin was committed. And He says here:

 Matthew 18:17 - "And if he refuses to hear them, tell [it] to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

Who is "them"? That is the one or two witnesses along with the one who has had the wrong done to him. So they are bringing the one or two more. There are two or three witnesses telling him he needs to repent.

And if he has not repented, it says, "If he refuses to hear them, tell it to the assembly." If he refuses to hear the congregation or the assembly (it says 'church' here), then let him be to you like a heathen or a tax collector. Then division, but not until that third step is taken.

So what I see here is that the congregation makes a decision that one is not to be associated with the body of Messiah. It is not a decision that any one person makes on their own. It is a group decision.

If this right here were followed, we would be a far more accurate representation of what love truly is. We would be a far more accurate representation of Yahushua on the earth.

But what if he does hear us? What if he does repent? What if he does say, "Boy, I am very sorry I did this. I repent of this," whatever it might be? James 5:19 says:

 James 5:19 - Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,

20 - let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

HalleluYah! That is our goal.

So we can lay down our pride. We must lay down our pride. Tell our brother his sin in gentleness, remembering letting nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit.

That is love.

It is too easy to get prideful. It is too easy to get arrogant in our correction. We must walk in love. We must walk in humility. We must have sincere love for the other person.

 1John 3:14 - We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love [his] brother abides in death.

Listen to the confidence they have just because they love the brethren.

 1John 3:15 - Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16 - By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.

Such strong words. Yahushua laid down His life for us and for your brother. Can we do that? Will we do that?

 1John 2:9 - He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.

10 - He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

Wait a minute. Did you catch that? "And there is no cause for stumbling in him."

How many are stumbling right now because of a lack of love for the brethren? How many have gone off into some strange doctrine because they themselves have been judgmental of others who do not agree with them?

I have noticed this in the body of Messiah.

It is those who are most judgmental and arrogant and harsh toward those who are in Christianity, in the mainstream churches, that are most susceptible to going into some strange doctrine or even going to the extent of denying the faith altogether because with what judgment they have judged, they will be tested. We have to be careful.

We have to be careful. No cause for stumbling, though, if we choose love. So we should even be willing to lay down our very lives, give up our lives.

You know, all the little acts of denying self are expressions of death, of saying, "I am sacrificing myself for the good of another person." When they mistreat us and we bear it patiently, the little acts of service that we do, the denying of self, choosing to love in response to mistreatment, is an act of laying down our lives for our brother.

That is what Yahushua is calling us to.

So we say that we are keepers of Torah. We ought to be the most loving people on the planet. We ought to be the most Messiah-like people on the planet. We ought to be the most self-sacrificing, self-denying people on the planet because Yahushua was the perfect Torah keeper and that is how He loved.

Sometimes, brothers, I am sorry, I don't see that. Sometimes I don't. And sometimes I fail in that myself.

But that is where we need to get conviction on this. That is where we need to look at these words here about love for the brothers, not just in times of peace, not just in times of getting together for joyous occasions like the Feast of Tabernacles, but during the more difficult times in our relationships.

If we say we walk in the light, let's walk in the light and serve each other with truth, with joy, without grumbling, without complaining. I mean, Yahweh doesn't complain about how He serves us every day.

If we have Yahweh's Spirit, then we will have the fruits, not just toward the world, not just toward our brothers and sisters, but toward our family members. It is a fact that we will be tested there the most.

So, let's be sure that we are looking at all these scriptures with the family members in mind because home is the real testing ground where we become a hypocrite or where we become a light to all nations.

And so, in everything, let's walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Let's walk in the light, the pure, Torah light of Yahweh, not in darkness where grudges and bitterness and ugliness toward each other dwell.

If we are Torah observant, don't take vengeance, don't bear a grudge. Choose to love.

 Leviticus 19:18 - `You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I [am] YAHWEH.

You know, He is actually teaching us, right here in this verse, to love those who do not love you, because He is saying, "Don't take vengeance." For what? For some wrong that has been done to you.

What else? "Don't bear a grudge." For what? For some wrong that has been done to you. Otherwise, you wouldn't have anything to bear a grudge or take vengeance about.

He is saying, "Love those who do not love you," in this verse 18, right here. That is what He is doing.

The most important commandment in the entire Bible is to love Yahweh with all of our heart, soul and strength. And right here is number two. This verse eighteen is number two. We ought to study that.

See, if no one has ever done you wrong, yeah, you can love them, but what He is saying here is, "Love the ones instead of taking vengeance, instead of bearing a grudge. Love them anyway." That is a Torah principal. In fact, it is the second greatest principal in the entire Torah.

Yahushua is coming for a pure Bride, my brothers and sisters. Let us not risk our spiritual lives by failing to heed these precepts. Let's put away the flesh. Let's put away anger. Let's put away grudges. Let's put away vengeance. Let's put on Yahushua the Messiah.

Let's purify ourselves by ceasing from these judgments and be ready for Yahushua's coming and be that Bride without spot and without blemish.

As we speak often to one another, enjoy the fellowship, enjoy the comradery, but be on guard because the enemy wants to destroy it. He hates it.

He doesn't like the cohesiveness. He doesn't like the unity. He doesn't like the love that we have. Be on guard.

Speak often to one another. Serve one another. Consider one another better than yourself. Be courteous. Be tenderhearted. Outdo each other in love, in peace, in joyful willingness, in longsuffering, in patience, in self-control, and in love for one another. Blessed are those who are so doing when our Master comes.

May Yahweh bless you, and may Yahweh have mercy on us all.

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