Thursday, May 26, 2011

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Treat Your Enemies Well

I am sure you have heard the expression “keep you friends close and your enemies closer”. This is somewhat close to what Jesus said about loving your enemies and treating them well. Although, in human thought we can see that we would be deceiving our enemies by keeping them closer. In the teaching of Jesus, we are actually to bring them closer in order to guide them into the kingdom of God.

In reality, it is harder to do evil to someone who is treating you with respect and helping you with your needs than someone who is fighting you at every turn. We are to pray for our enemies, treat them fairly, feed them when they are hungry, bind up their wounds and care for them when they are in need. You can’t demonstrate the love of God if you are in conflict with someone.

When the Bible tells us to pray for our enemies and those who despitefully use us, it doesn’t say Jihad. The concept of Jihad is no where in the teachings of Jesus. We are not in any way taught to hurt anyone; but to pray them into the kingdom. The way of the world is to harm or kill our enemies. The way of the Bible is to love our enemies into submission, even in war. The answer is prayer. In essence, corporal punishment is up to the Lord. We are, however, allowed to protect ourselves. At one point the disciples were instructed, by Jesus, to take swords with them. Protecting ourselves and our loved ones, by what ever means the situation requires, is acceptable. War is a good example of this.

Respect for the law is biblical; however, if the law of man is in conflict with the law of God, the law of God supersedes the law of man. It is the same way in our country; the Constitution supersedes all state laws. A state law is secondary to a federal law or guarantee, and the federal laws are secondary to the Constitution. The Bible is the basis of the Constitution.

We are told not to judge others. We are also told not to ignore bad behavior and evil. The difference between the two is that we are not to judge other people, but we are to judge and expose bad behavior and evil. In preparation for these judgments, we are to first inspect ourselves and our motives. Holier than thou is not an attitude we should have. We are to test the spirits, to make sure we are hearing from God and not the deceiver or our own impressions. In my traveling salesman days, I would get a chilled, eerie feeling whenever I was traveling near New Bern, North Carolina. I didn’t understand these feelings until I found out that New Bern was a concentrated center for witchcraft. There was a clash of spirits.

The Bible warns us often about false teachings and false prophets. Discerning of spirits is a gift of God, but make sure it is that gift you are using and not your opinion that is guiding you. We are to be sure we are in the will of God before taking action. Collective salvation, universalism, and anything else that goes against biblical teaching are to be shunned and exposed.

Remember the old Jewish statement – “An all loving and all powerful God will do whatever and all loving and all powerful God wants to do”. This all loving and all powerful God provided His all loving and all powerful Son to pay the price for our shortcomings. The only thing an all loving and all powerful God can not do is to go against him self. What He has said and done is absolute. He is the same as He always has been and always will be. To Moses, He describes Himself as “I am that I am”. When He swore, He swore by Himself because there was nothing higher that He could swear by. Jesus is the way He provided for us to come to Him. All we have to do is accept the all loving and all powerful gift. You don’t have to take my word for it. Search the scriptures; it’s all covered there, straight from the horse’s mouth so to say. Otherwise you are destined to represent the other end of the horse.

Rick Rahn


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