Friday, 29 October 2021

I Have Called You Friends

 Scripture: John 15 v 15 - 19: "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17  These things I command you, that ye love one another.
18  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."

Jesus calls those who have a real relationship with Him, His friends.  In the Old Testament, Abraham was known as God's friend.  He obeyed God by leaving Ur and going into Canaan which was the Promised Land that was for Israel.  In the New Testament, the disciples Peter, James and John were His closest companions.

God loves Israel, the world hates her.  She is accused of building settlements on Palestinian land.  The land God gave to Israel, which they gave to the Palestinians, who then declared war on them and questioned their right to exist!  The Palestinians lost this land in the Six Day War but still want it back!  And the world agrees.  God does not agree.

The chosen people are Israel, and born again Christians.  We are chosen out of the world of Gentiles.  Not all Israelites are of Israel!  
Romans 9 v 6 - 8: "Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
7  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed."

God and Jesus know who their real friends are.  Not all Christians walk in obedience and love towards Him.  Matthew 7 v 21 - 23: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

We can do all the things the Bible says are God's works like prophesying, miracles and deliverance, but if we have no love we are an empty vessels.  God is love and if we walk in His love we esteem every other person higher than ourselves.  We cannot feign it.  God's very nature is humility and when that nature is in us, we will be humble, kind and loving.

Being a friend of Almighty God opens spiritual treasures and hearing deep truths and wonderful secrets.  Abraham was able to plead with God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if even ten righteous people remained in there.  Sadly, not even ten were found.  However, God listens when His friends ask for mercy on behalf of others.

'In that day' says Jesus, meaning the Day of Judgment, if He says 'I never knew you' then all hope is gone.  There are no more chances.  He only knows those that are His sheep, that hear His voice and obey His commands. 
1 Peter 4 v 17 - 18: "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

Of all things God wants us to be His friends.  He wants us saved and secure with Him for all eternity.  He has done everything He can plus much more to ensure our salvation but false prophets in the church, false teachings and false experiences are drawing multitudes after them.  Sin is a no-no word.  

Everything is permissible, the true prophetic voices are drowned out by a signal to the musicians, and all warnings go unheeded or unheard.  I have been in meetings where the pastor has his workers placed strategically to 'contain' those who would bring a message in tongues or prophesy.  I knew one of those workers well and he told me that the pastor instructed them to stop all such messages because they were short of time.  Over the years I have seen this particular ministry fail and bring in false teachings to energize the congregation.  Their candle has been removed!

Revelation 2 v 4 - 5: "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."

Those who put a stumbling block in the path of vulnerable, innocent people will answer to God and their unrighteous deeds will be shown to all, but it will be too late by then.  God gave us free will and a Bible full of truth.  Check out whether you are on the right path.  If my words in this and every other blog I have written, all 1760 of them, make you shudder and afraid then you may have been deceived by a false teacher or prophet.  It is up to you to get it right.

If my words bring joy, trust, acceptance and truth then you know that Jesus is in them and you can safely believe everything and know it is no deception.  
Matthew 7 v 15 - 18: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."

If you know that you are eating good fruit from a good tree, Jesus says it cannot bring forth evil fruit.  Likewise if you are being fed by false teachers or false prophets they cannot give you any good fruit.  Unfortunately, there are many such wolves in the church today, and people like to be flattered and assured that they won't be judged for sinful behaviour.   You need to know Jesus and obey the whole Bible to be His friend and spend eternity with Him.

He died the most cruel and agonising death to be your friend.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, Your friendship and the friendship of Jesus are the most rewarding relationships we can ever have.  It is a treasure for eternity.  It brings such joy and love that other true friends abound significantly.  May we listen to Your wisdom and be released from worldly friends that bring us down to their sinful standards, and rather stand for what is true and right.  In Jesus' name. Amen.