10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Deceivers and liars always have a way of twisting words. Adolf Hitler rose to power using the technique of the “big lie” combined with “repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it”. However, it couldn’t be just any lie. Hitler did not rise to power expressing a belief in Big Foot. He gave a lie based upon something the Germans wanted to hear, to elevate them from their state of affairs and to fit a particular ideology.
The weird part of it all is how we seem to have two ways of talking: church talk and everyday normal speech. It is as though some people want to read the Bible differently than how they read a detective story. Both have clues all over, but if you misread and twist the sentences, then you’ll never solve the mystery.
What other book do people take every “is” statement as though it were a definition? We say, “He is cool,” but not only do we not mean that that person is made entirely of cool, but even the expression itself cannot be taken to literally mean that he is below normal temperature. Figures of speech abound. Hyperbole is part of any language. We need to turn on our brains and think about what we are reading!
“God Is Love”
The Bible often deals in hyperbole and figures of speech. In fact, the culture of the Hebrews in the OT and the Jews in the NT had expressions as colorful as we have in English. In fact, I think the similarities given the time and distance are quite amazing.
For example, any rational person with common sense knows that “God is love” is a comforting saying. It is a biblical saying. However, common sense also dictates that it is hyperbole.
Logically, God cannot “be” love. It is His predominant characteristic. It is what dominates His nature. However, love is not a being. Love is not sentient. Saying “God is love” is quite a different thing than saying “Love is God”.
However, how many in all practicality, particularly those of Pentecostal persuasion, speak and behave as though those statements are equivalent? I tell you this is a false equivalence. Rather than worship the God of the Bible, they have made cheap grace extended through a faulty view of love their god. No rule, just love. No accountability, just love.
Can you really love someone if you never do what they want you to do? How about you? Would you love someone who never treated you the way that you asked? Would you love someone who never showed you one ounce of respect? No, of course not! So, how can you love God and not take into consideration how He wants to be treated?
“The Love of God Is Keeping His Commandments”
An actual quote by a deceiver, BTW. There is only one problem. That exact phrase is not found in the Bible, at least not in the ever so extolled KJV. There are verses that come very close, but that exact phrase is not in the KJV!
The closest is in 1Jn 5:3. Notice, however, how it reads in a different translation:
5 Everyone who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah has God as his father, and everyone who loves a father loves his offspring too. 2 Here is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God, we also do what he commands. 3 For loving God means obeying his commands. Moreover, his commands are not burdensome,
The language is not so poetic or picturesque, but it is more accurate. It shows the false equivalence made by some. To exactly equate love and keeping the commandments is not just erroneous but illogical.
If love truly is equivalent to keeping someone’s commandments, then that means following the dictates of a dictator shows love. Acquiescing to an abusive alcoholic parent is love. An obedient slave that has been beaten into submission is showing love.
Think about that, and let it sink in.
If they are equivalent in people’s minds, then it explains a lot of the abuse that goes on and which people allow. Is it any wonder, then, that the most abusive of the so-called Churches of God (which are in name only) organizations beat their chest and say they are “Philadelphian”, beat their fellowservants and say keeping the commandments is “love”? Of course, keeping the commandments somehow also imply obeying them, it turns out.
The truth hurts.
Look at it logically, though. It makes no sense. How does God show love to the world? Does He keep the world’s commandments? How does a husband show love for his wife? Does he keep her commandments? What of him fulfilling his role as leader, then?
I’m not talking about voluntary submission here. I’m talking about “keeping the commandments”. If that is love, then to allow someone to show love, they must come up with a list of commandments for others to follow. How long do you think that would work?
Absurd? Yes, but that is the logical conclusion of the insane rantings that some spit out as “truth”!
But, wait, I’m not done being absurd yet!
A computer does exactly what it is told. Without random interference, it can do neither any more nor less. It is programmed a certain way, and that is what it will follow. In fact, short of power outages or spilling coffee on the keyboard, the most random thing about computers are the human beings typing stuff into them. 🙂
Does my computer love me? After all, it follows its own set of commandments (that it didn’t come up with) to the letter.
I quoted Josh McDowell before in “Love Is …“. He has stated more than once, “Rules without relationship leads to rebellion.” However, he also once pointed out that love without rules also leads to rebellion. Judge the fruit then! Neither is godly!
“If You Love Me, Keep My Commandments”
What to make of this then? Well, as they say, “It ain’t rocket science!” Jesus said it plainly when He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15). Notice the “if” in that verse. It should be quite clear that love comes first!
Think back on the much twisted passage of 1 John 3:5, and note how little attention is paid to the last part of that section, “Moreover, his commands are not burdensome“. Why are they not burdensome? Because they are kept from out of love!
Can you do the right thing for the wrong reason? If you answer, “No,” then I suggest you go back and read the “Love Chapter“, as it is often called. If that passage does not make it clear that our efforts are in vain unless they are done out of love, then there’s no hope for you!
I suggest reading Life Hope & Truth‘s article “‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’“, where they point out John 14:15:
In successful marriages, men and women learn there are acceptable and unacceptable behaviors in marital relationships.
Over the centuries people have tried almost everything to express their love for God. They have carved images, bloodied their own bodies in self-flagellation, sent armies to distant lands to slaughter unbelievers, plus myriads of other things.
Just as there are unacceptable and acceptable ways to express our love in marriage, so there are unacceptable and acceptable ways to show our love for God. He made it very simple. Jesus Christ said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
It’s as uncomplicated as that—obedience to God’s laws….
Yes, it really is uncomplicated, but people keep wanting to make it more complicated for some reason. We “express … love for God” by obeying Him. If all He needed was obedience, He could create more angels! Even robots can obey! However, obedience from love takes someone created in His image.
Is it any wonder that putting the cart before the horse does not work? Is it any wonder that getting it backwards is the tactic of the cowardly control freaks who berate others into submission? Is it any wonder that putting obedience before love is the modus operandi of the synagogue of Satan?
This is a level of discernment that is sorely lacking it would appear.