I would like to start this by asking a question:
"What are the absolute basics God requires of each person?"
In the briefest of surveys of three different, unconnected Christians, I got two "didn't knows" and one "obey God" for an answer.
From observing different churches, what would you conclude their answers would be?
To be off on this, is to create a state of chaos. We're talking foundations here. If we're wrong on this, we will have a "world view" of life that is based on a twisted "Christian" world perspective. I've noticed those who have deviated here have no common place for communication. You can talk with this person, who is careful in the upbringing of their children, yet they are somehow "spaced out" in a state disconnected from reality. You find no common ground upon which to reason with them. The issue might be some off-the-wall subject, but the inability to reasonably talk lies in the different foundation.
What I found the scriptures to itemize, most "Christians" today not only are ignorant of, but they couldn't accept if they were directly shown. No wonder the church is in such a messed up condition!
I would like to look at what the scriptures itemize. I will mostly use passages in the New Testament, but there are a few I want to look over from the Old Testament first:
The Light of Deuteronomy
•12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? Deuteronomy 10:12-13
Let's start our scriptural list from here:
1. Fear God!
2. Walk in God's ways.
3. Love God. (Many would list this as the first or only thing. We see it is placed in third, not because it is of less importance, but we cannot claim to love God if the first two aren't in place.)
4. Serve the true God with all that is in us.
5. Keep God's commands and statutes.
Unfortunately, many dismiss this passage by saying it is part of Old Testament legalism. This has been done to the peril of the church and its apostasy to this day.
In being faithful to God's Word, I must point out all this passage says. The word "require" is strong! If I pull out just the points I would like to itemize but fail to list all, I will certainly be found guilty before God. He would essentially say, "Didn't I say ‘require', yet you didn't think it necessary to tell them I required it. I hold you accountable for their failure, since you held back this word." Talk about the fear of the Lord!
We have a lot more to cover so we must keep moving, though we could spend a whole day on this passage alone!
The Light of Job
•7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Job 1:7-9
This is a very important passage. Of all the things that God could have challenged Satan with, He chose the list of characteristics He itemized here. Itemizing them we have:
1. Perfect and upright. (Upright, telling us what kind of perfection.)
2. Fears God.
3. Hates evil.
What is also of note is the particular characteristic Satan honed in on - Job's fear of God! That was the foundation that kept the other characteristics in their proper place. The first characteristic listed in the Deuteronomy passage.
I have heard "fundamental" preachers criticize the teaching that we should fear God. Oh how far we have strayed!
The Light of Genesis
•I want to take a quick look at Abraham. We know Abraham is the father of our faith. The New Testament points out how he was justified by faith, not works. The hub of the life of Abraham seems to climax with a particular incident. This incident is very significant. It is the sacrifice of his son Isaac:
11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Genesis 22:11,12
Notice what the angel of the LORD said. He didn't say this test proved Abraham's love for God, neither did he say it proved his faith (for which we keenly remember Abraham). He said it specifically showed his fear of God. When you think about it, Abraham was called to do a very difficult thing in regards to natural love. That love of his son would fight the act of obedience in this instance. Love alone would not carry Abraham through. God knew where true dedication and strength had to lay in Abraham, hence we find the angel's response.
The Light of Micah
•One last passage we shall look at in the Old Testament is:
8 He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Many will be familiar with this verse because of a song.
This verse itemizes:
1. Do justly.
2. Love mercy.
3. Walk humbly with God.
For those who would use this verse to write off the "fear God" aspect, since God didn't mention it here, would also have to write off "love God" since that also isn't mentioned. We know that is ridiculous. This verse, with a more limited scope than the passage in Deuteronomy, doesn't change what was said there. What we see here is that the above three items are simply those that cannot be accomplished unless the aspects of loving God and fearing Him are justly in place.
Let's move to the New Testament to fill out this search.
Holy Spirit Preaching
•7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
We hear a lot on "the Holy Spirit" being marketed today. Of all that, it is rare to find teaching discussing the points He finds to be a priority. This should concern and warn us to not just believe every spirit but to "try" the spirits (1 John 4:1). This is shown by Christ to be at the heart of New Testament ministry. Look at what the Holy Spirit would do after He had come:
1. Reprove of sin. (This addresses a negative right off the bat. It is called ‘condemnation'.)
2. Call of righteousness. (Deals with holy living and God's provision through Christ.)
3. Warn of judgment. (Another big DON'T in most churches.)
This is a hard passage to understand, but the following passage helps make it clear. In the following passage, notice Paul didn't swerve to something akin to, "God really wants to help you be a true success in your life Felix. You just don't understand His good desires for you. Someone has got your thinking twisted with ‘God in the sky with thunderbolts' dementia!" Undoubtedly, some would say Paul didn't go to the right evangelistic training conferences, so we must excuse his ignorance. On the other hand, I say Paul knew something we have forgotten:
24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. Acts 24:24-25
Look at these foundational basics Paul talked about with Felix. They are defined as the issues of "the faith in Christ". As he was expounding that faith, the core was even more itemized as follows:
1. Righteousness. (Dealing with issues of sin and uncleanness.)
2. Temperance. (Dealing with issues of self-control and avoiding excessive indulgences.)
3. Judgment to come. (Dealing with the rather unpleasant reality of the Lake of Fire.)
All these issues bring up the living reality of "fear of God", which the Old Testament showed as the first priority. Notice Felix's response of "trembled". Paul didn't give comforting words apart from the result of repenting and turning to the Lord. This turning also meant a change of life which would have resulted in "temperance". I know of a Bible college that teaches a person isn't saved if he believes he has to repent to be saved. (They have to ignore passages like Matthew 21:32 "repented not that ye might believe".)
•The following verse lays the same foundation. Not only is it carried on in the New Testament. It is also specifically to "the Gentiles":
20 But showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. Acts 26:20
Let's start by itemizing the core of what the Gospel message was shown to be from this verse:
1. Repent. (Addressing our view of our conduct.)
2. Turn to God. (Addressing faith in Christ. Also an indication of where the repentance would properly be directed.)
3. Do works meet for repentance. (Addresses the keeping of God's demands upon us. Under the New Testament dispensation, statutes changed, such as circumcision was no longer required. Source for obeying God had also changed, such being the Holy Spirit living through us to fulfil God's demands.)
These basics are forgotten by most of what calls itself the church today. They say turning to God is "being converted to believe in Christ" which the definition of "believe" is watered to little more than intellectual assent. The "repent" part is actually derided by that Bible College I mentioned. The popular modern church teaches to love everybody and don't judge or be intolerant, instead of the negative sounding (and altogether different) "works meet for repentance".
With different foundations, no wonder we can't effectively reason with followers of these new pseudo-Christian religions.
•Love is a part of God's basic requirements and the pseudo-Christians generally seem to teach this requirement to the exclusion of all else. The following passage is a well known portion:
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Paul is addressing the ministries in the Church in chapter 13. It is a chapter sandwiched in a lesson on the ministries in the church, namely chapter 12 and chapter 14. It expounds on the fact that love is indispensable. Anything done without love is worthless. It must be at the core. It helps to guarantee that we do not go off doing everything else right while simply deceiving ourselves. However, since we have so many new definitions of how love acts, we are in the great danger of thinking we are fulfilling God's basic requirements by showing loving "tolerance" of all, when we are truly violating true love. Consider this passage to shed light here:
17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:17,18
This finished with a virtual signature from God Himself, "I am the LORD." He didn't want anyone to twist this, saying it was Moses' interpretation or something to meet a compromise due to hardness of heart. God wanted it to be clear that LOVE, which He commanded, meant dealing with sin. It did not mean keeping silence and "tolerating" ungodliness. To keep silence on issues of ungodliness is an act of hatred, according to this passage.
The next shows this as well:
34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. 1 Corinthians 15:34
Separating from sin and walking in righteousness are equated with knowledge of God. These are part of the basics and are intimately connected.
Note this passage addresses the ignorance of others that should not have existed. That ignorance was accounted a shame to the Corinthians. If they had been walking in the fear of the Lord and truly loved their brethren, there would have been preaching calling for righteous living and account of brethren who walked in ungodliness. This would have been seen by the society they lived in, and those people would not have been in the ignorance Paul was speaking of.
The Light of Galatians
•5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Galatians 5:5-6
This verse explains 1 Corinthians 13:13. We see the faith, hope and love. Look at these verses carefully. Faith and hope look directly at righteousness. You could say they sandwiched the righteousness. Verse 6 brings in the love. The faith that works to sandwich in the righteousness is upheld by love. You could diagram this verse with an upside down triangle. Love at the bottom with two support columns going up and out to the other two corners of hope and faith. In the center of this framed triangle is righteousness.
In the messed up condition of the church, they would have most believe the hope is for some beautiful paradise where there is no more suffering and death. A place of plenty with joy. These qualities are true, but they are not the focus of Spirit led hope. That hope looks forward to the day when all iniquity will be dealt with. Righteousness will be an all encompassing reality.
The closer we look, the clearer it is that the original verses we looked at have never changed. The only thing that has changed is the means by which it is to be fulfilled.
This passage tells us legalism doesn't hold the answer to fulfil God's demands. Let us move on a few verses for more light:
13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Galatians 5:13,22-24
The call of liberty is the declaration of freedom from law, but not freedom from obedience to God. To walk in liberty means to walk by the Spirit. Doing this will result in fulfillment of God's requirements. The lusts and affections of the flesh are overcome due to our abiding in Christ.
The Light of Ephesians
In Ephesians we find several passages laying the basics:
•4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Ephesians 1:4
This verse shows God's design since before the "Old Testament" even existed. The reference of "in him" refers to our being in Christ. Being in Christ we shall accomplish God's requirement for holiness and be free of guilt. We will walk in the power of love, guiding and directing our behavior.
•The next passage lists basics which are the core that our Christian experience rests in. It is one thing to say we should walk in the fear of God, another to say who God is. One thing to say we should walk in the Spirit, then find who that empowering Spirit is supposed to be. This passage makes it clear there is an absolute in these things:
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephesians 4:4-6
•The final Ephesian passage brings us to the basics the Holy Spirit will pursue in believers. Like we saw from Jesus, of what the Holy Spirit would do, we see discussed His manifestation in believers:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Ephesians 5:9-11
The fruit of walking in liberty will focus on goodness, righteousness and truth. It does not focus on prosperity, self-esteem, power and success. With truth, being one of the three, we see He isn't into tolerance of every wind of doctrine. Sincerity alone doesn't cut it with the Holy Spirit. His truth will focus on fulfilling righteousness and goodness.
Verse 10 focuses on testing, and trying to see if everything is passable to God's approval. It shows the guarding state. A servant of God has to make sure things pass God's approval. This is a manifestation of the fear of God in the lives of His children.
Verse 11 repeats the aspects of Leviticus' definition on love. From this we can see that we are still not to suffer sin upon our brother in silence. We are still not to have fellowship with that wickedness and we are to speak out in reproof of it.
We saw, in Ephesians 1:4, the walking in love with this detail enhanced with this later verse. Love doesn't keep silence or truth to itself. These requirements of God have not passed out of the New Testament. They are definitely a part of the path God calls us to walk in.
The Light of Philippians
The next epistle expounds on how love and righteousness intertwine:
•9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11
The power of this passage! Look at that - love is to abound in knowledge and ALL judgment. Love examines (to see something is walking in God's ways). Love judges. Verse 10 expounds on that judging. It finds the good and places its seal of approval upon it. To what purpose? So that we can walk with a pure motive (sincere) that will have nothing to be condemned by God.
Verse 11 pours the abundance of that love in being filled with "fruits of righteousness". This is done through Jesus Christ living through us, via the Holy Spirit, unto the full glory and praise of God. This is powerful! This is victorious! This comes through the "walk humbly with thy God" of Micah.
The Light of Thessalonians
Let's move on to Thessalonians:
•1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7
Verses 1 and 2 tell us what Paul is about to cover, and has already covered are basics God requires. With that introduction, Paul flowed right into godly living. Righteousness! Not only that, the first items he addressed were those relating to sexual conduct and how those lusts of the flesh are to be controlled in every expression. Immodesty in dress or conduct would flow out in this issue. It even goes so far as to tell us not to conduct ourselves like society who are unbelievers. Culture is no argument for the defense of immodest conduct and fellowships.
This passage covers two areas, but these are major areas in all our lives. The other he covered, verse 6, was no cheating or stealing in any way. He used the word "defraud". Notice what he ties in to his "defraud". It is significant. Here we see a very definite reference to walking in the fear of the Lord to New Testament believers. Not only mentioned, it is mentioned as the motive for not being careless.
Paul summarizes this with God's call upon New Testament believers. A primary call to holy living.
•The following passage deals with the last days. The point it focuses on is revealing in discussion of basics:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
The Antichrist is enumerated in verse 9. Notice the direction of verse 10. The lies of the Antichrist, and those who follow him, focus on "unrighteousness". Why? Because they did not love truth. It concludes with not believing the truth is to have pleasure in unrighteousness. They did not believe the truth because they hated righteousness. It twines together.
You will never win an argument based upon logical reasoning of righteousness with someone who loves unrighteousness. Like those who stoned Stephen in the book of Acts. They covered their ears and rushed to murder him, bringing false charges.
Truth and righteousness lay at the foundation. Our acceptance or rejection of truth and righteousness finds its footing in the state of our heart.
The Light of Timothy
•In Timothy we find a section on a woman's calling. The final verse lays a quick summary. It shows what's to be a woman's foundation:
15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. 1 Timothy 2:15
The woman who will attain to God's purposes will have four qualities:
1. Continue in faith.
2. Continue in charity.
3. Continue in holiness.
4. Walk soberly.
I will mention the last first. It is a watchdog. The "sobriety" is a state of careful watchfulness. Such a woman is not without a discerning spirit. She will examine all to see it meets the first three. She watches to see her involvements and responsibilities follow the walk of faith she committed to. She watches to maintain a life of love, not sliding into selfishness. She watches to see she walks in holiness. Rejecting and putting away all unrighteousness.
These words cannot be listened to and one not see the character described. Such a woman is a God-fearing, lover of God and His commands.
•Next we find:
7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 1 Timothy 4:7
This verse addresses opposites. Something to guard against. "Refuse" is a strong term. Don't keep quiet while the spreader of such carries on. Put up your hand of refusal. Change the conversation to that which pertains to true godliness. Such is the material the basics rest embedded in.
•A little further in Timothy we find a pertinent outline:
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 1 Timothy 6:11
The first two: "righteousness" and "godliness" describe the prime characteristic of the target to set before us. The goal to keep in view. The next being "faith" is the way to travel after the goal. The final three, "love, patience, meekness" covers the traits that should mark our journey after the goal.
•Making a journey to Second Timothy we find:
15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
2 Timothy 2:15-16,19
This looks like the earlier verse that dealt with "profane and old wives' fables". We see active opposition and the danger such causes us, and others. We risk missing the goal by increased ungodliness.
A couple verses later (v.19) we see the seal of God's people and of all the things it could say, their responsibility of what?
It could say:
"let every one that nameth the name of Christ...
...be sincere in their faith?
...trust God to deal with ungodliness in His time?
But it doesn't. The call of the verse as the basic of being one of God's people is:
...depart from iniquity.
This basic has been missed by this present generation, of those calling themselves "Christians", because they have abandoned the habit of reading and rereading the Bible from cover to cover. Some would still miss the point due to agenda, but many would see clearly what God's call is upon His people.
•About a chapter later we find this itemization:
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
The good works it calls men of God to perform revolve on the issues of righteousness. This means reproving and correcting as necessary. Things which are considered as archaic ways of old-time preachers who don't know any better. According to Paul though, these are at the foundation of our calling. By following the inspired scripture, we will be staying on this "old-fashioned" course early evangelicals well knew.
The Light of Titus
•11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. Titus 2:11-15
The power of these words! These tie the Old and New Testament together. The Gospel of Grace teaches us the very words spoken in Deuteronomy 10:
1. Denying ungodliness. (That means a shunning of evil behavior.)
2. Denying worldly lusts. (That means living temperately in behavior and dress and refusing lustful living.)
3. Living soberly. (That means a life of appropriate seriousness and temperance. Carefully guarding for godliness in all conversation and behavior.)
4. Living righteously. (This is keeping His commands and statutes.)
5. Live godly. (This is serving God. Showing His character in our lives.)
6. Looking for His return. (This shows the heart that loves God and His ways. A yearning and desire while hating the wickedness of this world.)
We find the purpose of grace itemized in verse 14. Grace being the means of gaining to Himself the kind of people He called for in Deuteronomy 10.
Verse 15 clearly shouts this message is to be proclaimed without watering down. To be spoken with such power as Jesus' clearing the temple.
The Light of Hebrews
•Quickly recall the question of this message: "What are the absolute basics God requires of each person?" Notice what this passage, from Hebrews, says about the Son:
8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Out of all the aspects of Jesus Christ, loving righteousness and hating iniquity lie at the core of God's setting Him as the anointed one. These characteristics only exist being sandwiched by loving God and fearing Him.
For those who would dismiss the statement that Jesus walked in the "fear of the Lord", take careful note of this prophecy of the Messiah found in Isaiah:
1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. Isaiah 11:1-5
We find our perfect example of walking in the "fear of the Lord" in Christ Jesus.
•The following passage shines a great light on the mixture of the Old and New Testament. Notice the use of grace:
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29
Jesus made his debut preaching the kingdom:
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, . . . Matthew 4:23a
In Hebrews we see we are receiving the kingdom. In this state, we are to have grace, by which we will fulfil God's calling upon us, walking in the fear of the Lord. Verse 29 gives a little reminder of why there should be this fear - judgment! In line with this we have the following:
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 2 Peter 3:10-11
This knowledge of coming judgment should cause us to consider how we are conducting ourselves - "Seeing then . . . what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness". Considering the end, we should examine ourselves to see how we measure up to the question: "What are the absolute basics God will require of me?"
The Light of the Epistles of John
•In the First Epistle of John we see verses point out the prime aspects of righteousness and love. They both must be kept in perspective, you cannot have one alone:
29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. 1 John 2:29
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 1 John 3:10
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 4:21-5:5
In the last passage, we have loving God, loving our brothers, obeying God in the power by which He has enabled us and faith in Jesus.
Jesus is so intergally a part of the fulfillment of the calling of Deuteronomy 10:12,13 that we find the following:
8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 2 John 8-11
It is only by Jesus, the true Jesus of the Gospels, (not another Jesus, such as is found in Mormonism that has Jesus as a created being who is the blood brother of Lucifer) that we can fulfil the requirement of obeying God and being righteous.
The Light of Revelation & Beyond . . .
I would like to end this with the words of Jesus at the end of Scripture. Notice how, even at the end, obedience is still listed.
Maranatha! . . . .
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. Revelation 22:12-16
Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible