Kenneth Copeland - The Commandment To Love
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— Praise God, everybody. Hasn't this been exciting? All last week, never compromised the Word of God, and never quit. And then you begin to realize that the power of God is in his love, that everything revolves around his love because he is love. He has faith, but he is love. And the gospel of God's love is his good news. But it's important to realize that the Apostle John was the one that did not compromise where Jesus was concerned. He stayed with him. He was right there by his side. All the way through the trial of Jesus, he was right there the whole time. He walked right next to him all the time. Now, he's the one that spoke of himself in his gospel as the one whom Jesus loved.
— And laid all over him all the time.
— He was always laying on him.
— Yeah. He was just right there and it was always Peter, James and John. Peter, James and John. Now James was John's brother. And they were the three that Jesus would pull out of the 12. And they were with him all the time. They were with him at the mountain of transfiguration, they were there. And they were right there all the time. That speaks well for Mr. Zebedee, because they were his sons. But they were also called the Sons of Thunder. So they weren't always just so lovely, doesn't sound like to me when they were fishermen. And these guys were tough, they're just tough guys. Anyway, and John, the man of love was the one of his disciples they could not kill. The rest of them were martyred in one way or another. But he walked in love, he preached love, and I'm convinced that the Apostle Paul must have studied him, because there's so much of what he taught based on exactly the same thing. And so anyway, they tried to kill him, in one of Rome's most gruesome executions. Well, particularly, if they're trying to make a statement and they did with Christians every way they could for a long time. Is well, to just hook somebody with a grappling hook and dump them in a boiling pot of oil, body, you just pull out a skeleton. They did that with him and it didn't touch him. Now, this is the Hebrew children in the New Testament. Now, last week we studied the Hebrew children in the burning fiery furnace. This is a boiling vat of oil. So they got rid of him to get him out. And they exiled him to a place that was just... Well, it was what it was. They just put somebody in exile. And he wrote the book of revelation, and he was the one that lived an old age. And he was the one I remember that Jesus hanging on the cross, because of John's trustworthiness, he was the one that... I mean, Peter fell away, he was the one that stayed and he was there. He was the one hanging on the cross. He said, "Mother, behold, your son, son, beholds, your mother. That's huge. That's huge. And he took care of Jesus' mother, Mary, took care of her. And they wound up in Ephesus, where Timothy was pastor and the Apostle Paul had to write to Timothy, let nobody despise your youth. Well, here's this very young man, pastoring the Apostle John, and the mother of Jesus. Now that would be quite a challenge. And I remember the first sermon that I preached in front of Oral Roberts. And I remember the first one I preached in front of Kenneth Hagin. And it was at Sheridan Assembly and it was a very large church. And back in those days, for Pentecostal church to be that big was unusual. If they had the choir all full, well, it'd exceed a thousand people. And I went early that night and I touched all of the seats and I preached that night and it was a very anointed night and the anointing kind of settled in my legs. And so I went out to the car, someone helped me in the car and I sat down. And I was very aware that Kenneth E. Hagin was there and everything I preached, I learned from him. Sounded like I was just repeating him. Well, I didn't... to preach. And I sat down in the car and he said, you okay? And I looked over there and it was Brother Hagin. He took me to the car. Father, we thank You for the love of God, that's been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit of God. And we thank You and praise You today that the love of God is everything. The love of the living God...
— Thank You Jesus.
— ...for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. Amen. So that whoever believes on him should not perish but have everlasting life. Thank You for it, Father, in Jesus' name. Let's open our Bibles once again today to John, the 13th chapter. This is in that very fateful night. It's in the middle of the night and it's better that you don't look at scenes and so forth about how and predict it as people sitting up at a table. If there was any table at all, it was very low, mostly people sitting, with people sitting on the floor. And you see, John, he had to be right there at the right of Jesus, because he's just laying on his bosom. He just lying there. And the most important words in history was spoken that night, in that covenant meal. And there were things that happened that astounded these men. They're all Orthodox Jews. They'd gone through this meal many times before. And the way that Messiah's cup was always upside down, he picked that cup up. Now, okay. But the most important thing he said, verse 31, "Therefore, when he was going," he's talking about Judas going out of the room. "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify himself and shall straightway glorify him. Little children yet a little while I'm with you, you shall seek me. And as I said, under the Jews where I go, you cannot come. So now I," so, and that's so big, and when I take communion, I take communion a lot. And I just take communion, I just get a... And now I say unto you. Boy, get the impact of that. This whole night has been strange. He stripped down and washed their feet. That was strange. And because this was a monumental thing back in those days. Because you wore sandals. You walk around in old, dirty streets and stuff. You remember, and Jesus said to one man, I came in here and you did not wash my feet, but she has washed my feet with her tears and dried my feet with her hair. This was just huge. He washed their feet and Peter said, no, you're not going to do that. So you get the impact. And you remember what Jesus said to him, "But now I say unto you, a new commandment I give unto you". Don't you know they were all ears. "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another". By this, say that... shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. Now, Christian people, whoever you are and wherever you are, that's a commandment. That is not a strong suggestion. That's just as much a commandment as the 10. The 10 is wrapped up in that. Jesus said so, the Apostle Paul said so. It's all wrapped up and you love your neighbor as yourself because love does no ill will to his neighbor. And we know that we pass from death under life because we love the brethren. Love is everything. Amen. And I always turn to Gloria. My life was really in a mess before I met her. Spiritually, it was really in a mess. And I absolutely just fell in love with her the first day I met her and couldn't think about anyone else. And then as you've heard me tell the story that on our first date, I asked her to marry me. She said, okay and just went in the house.
— I thought, what have I done? I hardly know this man. And the next thought was, oh, well, I'll get out of it later. Now, how long has it been?
— 60 years.
— Well, not quite. This is January, February, March and the 13th day of April be 60 years glory to God.
— I don't want out.
— No, I don't want either. But it was her unconditional love that really... Just, she loved me and it just, I don't know. It just drew me so close so close, so close... And I had experienced her love, and that night, in the first week of November of 1962, and she had accepted the Lord in October, but she hadn't said anything to me about it. And I had a new job. We had a new apartment and I came in that night. I'd flown him, a man at the Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company by the name of Weir, I had have flown him to Shreveport back and I just came back that night. Came in there and changed my clothes and went into the kitchen. She was at the stove. And the room fell up with a glory of God, the love of God. And I just stopped. I had one shoe on, I took my suit off and I just dropped that other shoe and I shut my eyes and I heard these words. "Kenneth, if you don't get right with me, you're headed to a devil's hell son". I said, "I know it. I know it, but what do I do now"? I heard my Sunday school teacher's voice, Mrs. Taggart. So Mrs. Taggart actually won me to the Lord, years after she was already in heaven. She was old then, she was a widow woman. She wore all black and a little black straw hat all the time, little artificial flowers on it. And just cute little woman. And she loved her boys in Sunday school. And so on the Southern Baptist Sunday school, they ran it just like school, that's one reason we didn't like it much. And we got up so far and they had to promote you and you get another teacher. So all of us boys said, you promote Ms. Taggart and we just quit. So Ms. Taggart just promoted with us there. And this is about the third year. I heard her voice, "Boys you have to ask Jesus to come into your heart". And I thought, that's old lady, Taggart, and I did it. And it worked. It worked. And it was her love for me that made it so easy for me. And I called her over. And then... around about it, and that's when I found out she'd accepted the Lord two weeks before and hadn't said anything to me about it. Anyway.
— I didn't want you to treat me like old lady Taggart.
— No, never, never, never, never, never. And so the commandment of love and it's unconditional love. God loves you, all your being, all your life.
— Praise God.
— And even if you turn him down, he loves you. Even if you wind up never accepting him as Lord, he loves you all the time, and did his best to get you. And I look back on it and I mean, he was chasing me like a hound chasing a rabbit. He bumping me into front of people and everything else, and I had a praying mother. Then I found out later what mother did. She rolled her care over on the Lord, not because of 1 Peter 5. She just threw her Bible down on the kitchen table and said, that's it. I'm not praying for him any longer. And she looked up and said, if he goes to hell, it's your fault.
— I would say she was exasperated.
— Gloria got saved two weeks after that, I got saved two weeks after her.
— Thank You, Jesus.
— This is important cast the whole of your care over on Jesus, whatever it is because the scripture says in 1 Peter 5, for he cares for you affectionately.
— Thank You, Lord.
— Worry is a sin, quit it. Stop it. It's fear-based. Anyway, this is love-based. So now, this commandment of love then has affected the rest of the new covenant, because that's where it's based. It's love-based instead of law-based. This has become the law of the church, that we love our neighbor as ourselves. And then now we can go to two different places. First of all, let's go to Galatians chapter five. And we will read. Now it says now, the works of the flesh are manifest in the 19th verse, "are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, or strife, emulations, or jealousy, wrath, strife, seditious, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like, of the which I tell you before, as I told you, in times past, they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God, but the fruit of the Spirit". Now, remember now in the Greek text, have you ever seen the Greek language written? That Greek alphabet doesn't have any capital letters in it? It has no punctuation marks like we have in English. Of course they have their type of punctuation marks and so forth, but they don't look anything like this. So the translators tried to determine if it's your spirit, it's a small S, if it's a Holy Spirit, it's capital S. And in this case, notice this, but the fruit of the Spirit and the S is capitalized, but I'll show you something about that is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance against such. There is no law. They, which are Christ have crucified the flesh with its affection. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Now, the fruit of the born again spirit, of course it is of the Holy Spirit. But this is the fruit of your born again spirit. So it's not completely immaterial whether it's capitalized or not, but we need to learn and understand that these fruits are in our spirit right now. The moment you got born again, this became part of your born again spirit. You're a new creature in Christ Jesus, and this is in your heart.
— A good thing, I think to think about the furthest spirit is they're there and it's up to us to yield to them.
— Like goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness.
— And put them into operation on purpose.
— Yeah, because we know they're in there.
— I want to read these from the Amplified. Now, the big thing here is, notice this, against such, there is no law. Why? These are love-produced. Against these, there is no law. There is no law that supersedes this. They're of God and they're in us. And look at this. What is it? What's the first one?
— Love. Well, of course it is.
— Joy, peace.
— That's the law of the church. Of course it is. Then the next one is joy. You could read it like this. The fruit of the Spirit is God, and because it's God, you have his joy and his peace and his long suffering. Now listen to this from the Classic Amplified. And I learned this from Gloria because he uses the Amplified a lot. I've only got 30 seconds to put this up. The fruit of the Holy Spirit, the work which is his presence within accomplishes is love, joy or gladness, peace, patience, an even temper, forbearance, kindness, goodness, benevolence, faithfulness. We talked about faithfulness last week. David's faithfulness, gentleness, meekness, humility, self-control, self-restraint. Continuance against such, there is no law that can bring a charge.
— Praise God.
— Glory be to God forever more.
— The fruit of the Spirit is first love.
— And we're out of time. Oh, come on, Jeremy.