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Love One Another

“These things I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:17 

Saints, in the age of grace, we are the Church of the Open Door. This holds astonishing and joyful implications for us, and I pray this study of Scripture is a blessing to you!

“Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.” Acts 14:27 

“He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.” What a breathtaking statement! It is even more extraordinary when we see where it is confirmed:

“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” Rev. 3:8-11 

What are these works? What does this mean for us? Before I unpack the jewels here, let’s learn something about this crown. Paul writes to Timothy in language that holds an uncanny resemblance to the last days:

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight [have a little strength], I have finished the race [have kept His word], I have kept the faith [have not denied His name]. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world…” 2 Tim. 4:6-10 

Paul writes: 

1. The time of my departure is at hand
2. I have kept the faith
3. There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness...not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing
4. Come to me quickly; Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world (see also 1 Tim. 4:1)

Jesus said:

1. I will keep you from the hour of trial
2. Because you have {kept the faith: you have a little strength, have kept my word, have not denied my name} kept my command to persevere (more on this in a moment!)
3. Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown
4. Behold, I am coming quickly!

While Scripture is clear that we, in this age, cannot lose our salvation, we CAN lose our rewards. Notice that our beautiful Savior tells us exactly what we must do so we do not lose the rewards He has lovingly prepared for us. He tells us, “Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” In other words, don’t forsake what you have! Don’t let go of what you have! Don’t lose what you have! Don't lose heart, for in due time you shall reap!

What do we have? He tells us that we:

1. have a little strength,
2. have kept My word,
3. have not denied My name,
4. have kept My command to persevere

Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.

The word of the patient endurance of Me

In this study I want to look closer at the keeping of His word and perseverance. I believe that keeping Jesus’ command to persevere in this context includes everything He listed: having a little strength, keeping His word, and not denying His name.  The word “persevere” in Greek is hypomonฤ“s and if we look at this passage translated directly, it says, “Because you have kept the word of the patient endurance of Me...”

Patient endurance. It's a theme throughout Scripture, but I find a striking connection to the Lord’s loving instruction to the faithful church of Revelation in the parable of the sower. He says,

“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.” Luke 8:11-15 

From this passage alone, we can see what patient endurance is NOT. Those who have not patiently endured experience the following:

1. the devil takes the word out of their hearts
2. they have no root & believe for awhile, but do not remain—in time of temptation they fall away
3. they become choked with the cares, riches & pleasures of this life, bringing no fruit to maturity

Bringing fruit to maturity, through all of the trials and temptations in life, is a powerful illustration of patient endurance. For this, we will be rewarded and blessed. Later in Luke, Jesus offers another connection to our future eternal blessing when a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the woman that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” He answered her:

But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:27-28 

So we see from both His earthly ministry and His post-resurrection revelation that hearing and keeping His word, and bearing fruit with patience, holds a blessing for us. We cannot fully comprehend now, but if the Creator of All says it is good, how glorious it must be! So how do we the body partake of the blessing He has prepared for us?

It is by keeping His word. Notice this is not about salvation; the church is already saved—not by works of righteousness which we have done, but by His mercy He saved us (Titus 3:5, also Eph. 2:8-10). Instead, this is about love. This is about how the body of Christ lives out, or works out, our response to His grace and sacrifice. “I know your works,” He says. I believe that His message to the faithful church of Philadelphia is further clarified when we read His previous admonition to the church at Ephesus:

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 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.” (Rev. 2:4-5)

First love, first works

The remedy—do the first works—is directly linked to the sin—you have left your first love. This is paramount to the Lord, who goes into detail with the scribes who came to test Him:

“Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31

The church of Ephesus, who had left their first love, were promised that if they overcame...

“I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Rev. 2:7b 

Notice two of the final closing verses of the entire Bible:

“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Rev. 22:7

“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” Rev. 22:14

This draws a complete portrait for us of what it means to keep the words of Jesus, to do His commandments—and it is all pointing to LOVE. And so when we consider Jesus' message to the faithful church, where He tells us He knows our works, that we have a little strength, have kept His word, and have not denied His name, we can see that each of these are born from love. They are the fruit, the outworking, of love. These things are only possible when we abide in Him, for without Him we can do nothing. Without Him, we cannot endure. Without Him we cannot love. Without Him, we cannot walk in the Spirit. His message is simple and life-giving. 

Love Me. Love one another. Keep My word. Persevere. Bear fruit with patience.

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” John 14:23-24 

“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:3-4 5 

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:5-12 

“These things I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:17 

The seed and the soil

The parable of the sower tells us that the seed is the Word of God. Our hearts are the ground. Through this parable, and through Jesus' words to His disciples, we can discern that our fruit comes from the implanted word as a result of our abiding in Him. We abide in Him when we walk in the Spirit. We keep the word and “bear fruit with patience.” 

It is interesting that the Greek word for abiding, meno, means to stay, remain, wait for, await, to endure. This patient endurance is our persevering—not to be saved, for we are already saved, but in order to receive the crown which Paul says is given to all who have loved the Lord's appearing. 

Abide in Me. Remain in Me. Wait for Me. Love Me. Love one another.

His commandments are not burdensome, unlike the commands of men who the apostles said “went out from us” and “troubled you with words, unsettling your souls.” Notice exactly what they say to the troubled ones:

“...The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”—to whom we gave no such commandment—it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.” 

The apostles, elders and brethren are writing to correct and comfort the Gentile believers. Just as Jesus and John also offered comfort....

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30

“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” 1 John 5:2-5

Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin [does not commit lawlessness]. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 1 John 2:4-6 

Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. 1 John 3:24

Even today there are those among us who offer a call to return to the law. Brothers and sisters, beware of this and be strong in the faith! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown! The only law that we are biblically called to fulfill is the law of love. Anything more is a falling away—a falling from grace. 

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.

And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Gal. 5:1-18 

Through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matt. 5:18 Notice that the law is fulfilled in “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The Greek word for fulfill means complete. Jesus showed us exactly how to fulfill the law by first loving us, and then He commanded us to love others the same way. 

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35 (See also John 15:9, 12)

“If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” 1 John 3:20-21

The church of Philadelphia: the church of the open door

While not a biblical point, is it not interesting that the city of Philadelphia in the United States is known as “the city of brotherly love?” What a divine secret message for us! It is to the church by this name that Jesus, in Rev. 3:7-13, offers the most breathtaking promises:

“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ Rev. 3:12-13

I don't even have words to express how much I long for the blessing of this. This is the reward promised to those who have kept His command to persevere. Who have a little strength, who have kept His word, and have not denied His name. Brothers & sisters in the faith, we know it's not about salvation. We who have put our trust in Jesus' death, burial & resurrection (1 Cor. 15:3-4) have been saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:12-14). This is about how we live now that we are saved, and what eternal life will be like for us. What our heavenly existence will be like. How we live our lives as believers on earth, in these mortal bodies, determines (at least to some extent) how we live our lives in the presence of God, with new and incorruptible bodies. I desperately long to be a vessel for honor, with work that lasts through the fire! It's not a question about losing salvation, or being denied entrance to heaven, but about how we will be blessed to serve the Lord in our eternal home.

Notice how Paul explains it to the Corinthians:

“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1 Cor. 3:9-15)

And he gives virtually the same message to Timothy:

“Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.” 2 Tim. 2:14-20

The Door

Note the beautiful references to a house, a building, a foundation. Jesus is the foundation, and He is also the Door. We are longing for His appearing, that glorious Day when He comes to receive us to Himself and take us to the dwelling He has prepared for us (John 14:1-3). In keeping with this theme, I'd like to conclude with a few more Scriptures about the open door. They might not all directly apply to us in the age of grace, but they do invite us to a full and luminous picture of our tender Shepherd. 

“But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:2-9

And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has [NOTE THIS!!] risen up [!!] and shut the door [to shut the door, it was previously open], and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.” Luke 13:22-30

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Matt. 25:10-11

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Rev. 4:1 

Final love note

Beloved of the Most High, in these last days the message I am hearing most in my heart from the Holy Spirit is “Abide in Me. Love Me. Love one another.” 

I have struggled a bit knowing how to occupy until He comes, but it has been made clear in the last few months. I believe this simple and gracious message that He has given me through the Holy Spirit and His word is the answer for this time. Abide in me. Love Me. Love one another. All the law is fulfilled in this. He has given us everything, and it is with joy and love that I offer to Him myself as a living sacrifice, which is my reasonable service. I implore you to be of this mind. He has promised such astounding blessings to us! I used to think that doing in order to receive a reward meant that my heart was in the wrong place, until He gently showed me that this is about His faithfulness. He wants us to know Him, and to know that He is faithful and keeps His word. He has established a pattern of “if-then” that, while different for us now under grace, is still revealed in the rewards He promises to those who overcome.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Gal. 6:7-9 

Obey, receive blessing. Disobey, receive cursing. (For more, see Deut. 28)

He has promised all of these good things to us who keep His word, but even if there were no additional blessings or rewards, His love and sacrifice and imputed righteousness are more than enough! His goodness and abundant life keep me in tears of gratitude and thanksgiving and joy every day. Because of His work that He has done in me, I want to live for Him and walk in the Spirit. This is my reasonable service. Please be encouraged to do the same! The fruit comes when we abide in Him. It is an honor to do so. It is an honor to serve the Messiah in death (Rom. 6:3,11) and in life. 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Rom. 12:1-2

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Gal. 5:22-25

And so, beloved, hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” Rev. 22:12

Post A Comment


  1. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

    "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

  2. Hillary, thank you for so adroitly leading us back to the Heart of the matter. Maranatha!

    1. All praise be to our God & Father & Lord Jesus! God bless you, Jimboni!

  3. Hillary....The love part so touched my heart. Loving to just love by itself, not loving to seek special rewards in heaven, but loving and in so doing, the rewards will be given to those that love with all their hearts.

    Your pointing out Revelation 21:7 &14 are the blessing cherries on our cake if we keep the love commandment.

    Hillary, your writing has been beautifully enlightened of late. God bless.

    1. Thank you so much, Stan. I am in a wordy season at the moment, lol. (It tends to come and go.) He is coming quickly, and I'm glad that this article ministered to your spirit as we wait, abide, and occupy.

  4. Seeing a new post is like a present and the excitement like a little child waiting to open and examine it.. That’s how I feel every time I check to see if anything new has been posted. Hillary, thank you for this beautifully wrapped gift. ❤️ I feel so loved and I have so much love to give and to GOD be all the glory! Thank you sister!

    1. Andrea, I'm humbled to share something that has caused you to feel this way! That is a gift right back to me! May the Lord bless you! Yes...to GOD be all the glory!

  5. Hillary, fantastic article. Hard hitting, foundational truth. It is so hard to love those of the world. It's easy to love brothers and sisters in Christ. As we all look for Christ to come get us, we need to love and encourage one another to run the race with endurance. Christ is our foundation and that's what binds me to you. Dealing with my flesh is a minute by minute struggle, but when focused on Christ endurance comes. The love of Christ is a power that covers all who seek. Thanks Hillary for guiding our focus back to the foundation. Which is the most important thing, Christ Jesus.

    1. Thank you for your generous words, Brent. And yes, it can be so very hard to love those of the world, who are not walking in the Spirit! I try to remember that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood."

      I love your reminder here: "Dealing with my flesh is a minute by minute struggle, but when focused on Christ endurance comes." This is so good, and I needed to read it! Whether we struggle with our flesh, or with needs or distresses or any other thing....we can endure because of Him who endured the cross. What an amazing Savior we have!

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    1. I'm so touched to read your response, and humbled that these words met you this way! What an honor that we were born for such a time as this! I have chills on me now just thinking of it! Everyday I am floored that God would choose to bring me to the earth in this last time. He could have created us at any point in history. This humbles me beyond words. And oh, I pray to fulfill His purpose, plan and will for me! Lots of love in Christ, sister!

  7. Hillary, as I read your words I couldn’t help but imagine what it will be like to share the Kingdom of Heaven with others who have patiently endured while walking in His love. What glory and joys unspeakable await us all!! Thank you for reminding us of the single greatest act we can do while we wait for our King to come get us...to love each other. Love you dear sister!

    1. Oh, Keith! It is going to be so amazing! I feel like I am already bursting out of myself in joy and anticipation! Lots of love in return, dear brother!

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  9. Hillary – My spirit rejoices to see that you wrote on the beautiful topic of love. Thank you for doing so. For God is love (1 John 4:8), and like you mentioned, the law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)

    It is so very important to love God and others, not just for rewards, but because if we truly love Jesus we follow his commands. John 14:15 says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:21, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” Again, he says in John 14:23, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

    When we are saved by grace through faith, our faith becomes complete through this work of love. James 2:22, “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.”

    I would also like to bring up (in love) one thing you mentioned for your consideration. You indicated how we will be rewarded “on that day” as stated in 2 Timothy 4:8. Luke 14:12-14 also states that we will be rewarded at the rapture/resurrection of the righteous. Therefore, “that day” is the day of rapture/resurrection. While I absolutely agree we will be rewarded at the rapture/resurrection and that Jesus brings his reward with him when he comes (Revelation 22:12)…from what I understand, most pretrib believers think this reward comes 7 years before the Lord’s 2nd coming since the rapture and resurrection are believed to be separate from his 2nd coming. But, notice that 1 Corinthians 4:5 also says, “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. HE WILL BRING LIGHT WHAT IS HIDDEN IN DARKNESS AND WILL EXPOSE THE MOTIVES OF MEN’S HEARTS. AT THAT TIME each will receive his praise from God.” What Jesus is doing at this time of rewarding (bringing to light what is hidden in darkness and exposing men’s motives) seems more in line with what he will be doing at the 2nd coming and not just solely at the rapture/resurrection event.

    Please also carefully note this very time specific biblical verse about when the rewarding happens: AFTER THE 7TH TRUMPET is blown, Revelation 11:18 says, “The TIME HAS COME for judging the dead, and for REWARDING your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great – and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

    Therefore, the timing of rewards comes at the rapture/resurrection which also has to happen after the 7th trumpet is blown and at a time when Jesus comes. As you know, I believe the rapture/resurrection happen at the 2nd coming, and part of my belief for this is due to this timing of rewards.

    Again, thank you for bringing forth a wonderful topic of love which is much needed in these end times.

    1. Thank you for offering your words so kindly, Tracy. While we may have some different views on the timing of things, I rejoice that it's not a salvation issue and that I have such a wonderful, kind, and loving sister (?) to spend eternity with.

      I fully agree, and hope it came across clearly in the article, that we love Him because He first loved us, and our love is a response to all His goodness...not just to get rewards. I know I talked about rewards, and also the pattern of faithfulness He established ("if / then") because it too is part of Scripture, and shared what He showed me when I wondered if my heart was in the right place. But if I at any point gave precedence to rewards as the motivation rather than allowing the fruit of love to blossom forth in response to His love for us and our abiding in Him, then I did not communicate my point clearly enough. If this is the case, I am desperately sorry! And I pray that others will be moved by the Holy Spirit to understand the truth here.

    2. Hi Hillary - thank you for your response. I hope your ? mark wasn't to whether or not you are questioning if I will be spending eternity with you but to whether or not I am a sister. Lol :) Yes I am a female; a wife of an amazing husband and a mother of 3 wonderful children, all believers in Christ. Thanks be to God!

      Your message of love was clearly and beautifully stated. I was just trying to highlight the importance of loving Jesus and following his commands. It's a beautiful blessing he gives to us when we do :)

    3. Hi Tracy! Indeed, the ? was simply not sure if you were a brother or sister. Thank you for the clarification! :) Many blessings to you.

  10. Tracy....You always bring up sound doctrine backing your views, and you do it with the love of Christ. The timing of the rewards so fits with how you present it. I would suggest everyone to really read what Tracy just posted here.

  11. So blessed to be able to read these commentaries and teachings that you produce at Unsealed.org I really appreciate them and appreciate that you delve into the meat of the Word; how blessed I am to be able to be encouraged, taught, and motivated by your works and by the work of the Holy Spirit.

    Thank you brethren in Yeshua, Maranatha.

  12. Beautifully encouraging article. As I was driving home from work last night, at a stoplight near my home, the vehicle in front of me had a license plate that said "Elohim1". Wow. I knew something special was going to happen that day. I half wanted to follow the car !

    1. I think I would have gotten tears in my eyes to see that. How beautiful! Thank you for sharing and for your kind words.

  13. Hillary, beautifully and graciously written as always. Two things really stood out amongst all the lovely flowers in this garden. First is the absolute clarity of the dichotomy Paul points out to Peter in the Acts 15 Passage. We are given the privilege to see how difficult it was even for the disciples to grasp the point (faith vs works). Paul reasoned with the leadership & made them see the mystery given to him - Christ in US the hope of glory. We cannot love without Christ IN US. We cannot be pleasing, no matter how much we try, within Christ in US. It is the indwelling Christ which produces the love which enables the fulfilling of the commandments. Even today, we have those who, like the Jews of Paul's day, seek to bind us with the law of works. Yet, this passage clearly speaks to that issue and how we become pleasing - the love of Christ WITHIN US which we allow to flow outward to fulfill the perfect law of love & liberty simultaneously. It is a cart before the horse example - Jesus is the only one who has ever fulfilled the law & thus we must allow Him to aid us to fulfill the Law of Love, which will fulfill all the law and the commandments. It won't be done perfectly because we are still in these flesh suits & that is where he rub comes in.

    The 2nd Point which I saw most clearly today was the Parable of the Ten Virgins & the Door. This parable makes it clear there is the initial opening of the door (for the church to take the Gospel to the Nations), then there is a subsequent command to the Saved to Come UP through the Door (thus moving to another location physically) and finally the pounding on the door of the Head Knowledge people who are not allowed entrance. They are left in the original location (not moved physically). What this parable shows is this cannot all occur at the end or the final stage of His Second Coming for, at that time, we will all be in one location. The Parable simply doesn't work if you assume the Come Up Hither Group and Jesus are in the same place as those who are seeking to "Enter In" to where they have gone.

    As always, beautifully done and thought provoking to find those nuggets of assurance! Blessings - Sherry

    1. Dear Sherry...likewise, your insights always add such depth and life! I love how you put this: "We are given the privilege to see how difficult it was even for the disciples to grasp the point (faith vs works). Paul reasoned with the leadership & made them see the mystery given to him - Christ in US the hope of glory." This is tender and powerful. I know for me at least, despite how honest the apostles were of their flaws and failings, it's hard not to look at them a little larger than life and forget that they too wrestled with theology and fighting false doctrines and explaining things to people. Like an artist, you have put skin on them and I really appreciate your observations.

      I'm glad the Door analogies / passages resonate with you! I've read for years how Jesus is the Door but there is something about putting it all together that really makes it so clear to me. I'm excited that you see it too! You are a blessing, friend! God bless you.

  14. Thank you, Hillary! Great study and beautifully crafted.

    "So we see from both His earthly ministry and His post-resurrection revelation that hearing and keeping His word, and bearing fruit with patience, holds a blessing for us. We cannot fully comprehend now, but if the Creator of All says it is good, how glorious it must be!"

    Yes, I agree, it will be glorious. I also liked how you boiled it all down to "Abide in Me. Love Me. Love one another."

    Patiently enduring over here!



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