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“Who’s Allelon?” — 52 Comments

  1. Thank you for your stern words. You have spoken nothing but the truth. It devastates me when I see this unloveliness in myself. It often starts with me making snap judgements of others, turning my nose up and walk away with little love in my heart for my brother or sister human.
    Please don't get me wrong. I have a passion for the people I serve, but too often I find myself not loving someone who has offended me or isn't on the same road I am.
    Regretfully at these times I am so involved in my unloving thoughts that I turn a deaf ear to my Father's gentle voice reminding me of how much he loves me inspite of my failings and faults.
    It takes effort to love. This too is part of the lesson we learn as we grow closer and closer and more and more like Christ.

    • Janet, thank you sincerely for sharing your personal confession. I think you knelt down before our Heavenly Father for all seekers of the Divine Spirit, Who IS LOVE.

      May I offer a second voice to Robert's quoting Yahweh: I AM has "7000 in Israel who have not bowed the knee to Baal". We all have to surrender the Baal of Self worship. Of ourselves we cannot come to God (not without the Holy Spirit), nor surrender (not without the Holy Spirit), and therefore cannot love (not without the Holy Spirit). But when we fully surrender, completely deny self, "present your bodies (of pride and selfishness) a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God", the Holy Spirit does the work of transformation and renewal in us (Romans 12:1, 2).

      Jennifer and you, in watchman's call and in personal confession, are calling us into full surrender to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. I join you both in confession, repentance, requesting the Father to "create in me a clean heart, Oh Yahweh, and renew a right spirit within me. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation...then can I teach transgressors your way, and sinners will be converted..." (Ps 51).

      I believe this is the "serious work" that EGW envisioned - that we commit our wills to the routine of Joel 2 and Acts 1. If we do not listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, we will not hear the call. And when our Father "begins a good work in us", and we run into situations, if we do not listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit", we "deaden the conscience".

      Thanks Jennifer and Janet for being transparent, and crying out, for we need a real work among us "churched", to complete God's work among those of this flock who also must come, that there be one flock and one Shepherd.

  2. Take courage Jennifer. I have witnessed agape allelon, and while it will be rare when Jesus comes, it will exist, just as the 7000 in Elijah's day.

    However, the only place we should be looking for it is in our own thoughts, words and actions at all times, in all places, with all people. This will not be seen as flattering compliments, or praising of humans, but it will be seen as true compassion and even at times in rebuke when nothing else is given serious heed. (2 Tim 4:2, Titus 1:13, Revelation 3:19) Too often error goes without appeal or correction because being "friends" seems more important than warning the erring soul of their real eternal danger. We live in perilous times.

    In this life agape allelon will not always be valentines day, but it will always be giving without thought of return, like the Samaritan stopping to help an "enemy", giving freely all the time, assistance and means necessary to restore the wounded and dying soul that others had passed by, leaving him to die alone.

    As you say, allelon is Jesus, who will say: "what you did to them, you did to me."

  3. Jennifer, you make a bold assertion that the churched and unchurched a like are not living up to the standard to love one another. However, you do not say what has led you to this conclusion. What would you expect to see if, say, the church was living up to it? I say this because love is often used as an argument against church standards or discipline. For example, it is fast becoming the "if any other thing doesn't stick" this should be the reason to allow [issue redacted].

    • What could we expect to see if the church was living up to "agape allelon"?
      Less love of the world.
      More members active in personal outreach.
      More support for missions/evangelism.
      Less debt in our local churches/schools.
      Greater separation from the world in our churches/schools.

      The "love" that would lower the standards God has set up is false sentimentalism. We only need to live "by every word" to avoid this trap.

      • Robert, any chance "love less of the world" is not a saving "standard"? Did Jesus mean what He said: "Love not the world, nor the things in the world; if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him"? I wonder if Jennifer is alluding to a "love less of the world" "churched", which, according to Jesus Christ, intrinsically does not have the "love of the Father". Jennifer restrained from citing causative factors for not loving well, as well as avoided life changing factors needed for loving well.

        Both you and Lenny seem to take a shot at one or the other. You offered a reasonable sounding percentile reduction of loving the world; but also offered experienced love outcomes, as for example blessing the lives of others in sharing. Lenny agreed with Jennifer in the need for love, but seemed concerned that neglecting standards retard the ability to love.

        According to Scriptures, an unconverted trio of Peter, James and John envisioned heavenly military action instantly destroying "unchurched" rejecters of Jesus (Samaria), or "churched" leadership (Peter's sword) military action against opposing armed church leadership who cherish a different/opposing earthly conception of Jesus Christ. Didn't Jesus say to both: "Wait for the the Holy Spirit", for when He comes He will convict the world (unchurched and churched enthusiasts) of sin..... and remind the churched of what Jesus Christ actually lived and taught, and thereby bring transformation of heart?

        Love cannot happen in the churched without the Holy Spirit transforming hearts. So then, might the standard bearing churched, as well as the other unchurched churched actually require heart transformation before love, and its outcomes, actually will occur? Love is the totality of the standard ("on these hang all the law and the prophets"). Love is the totality of the requirement for outcomes (living the life and ministry of Jesus). Love is a Divine identity/trait. Humans receive that identity and trait when the Divine lives inside of the churched (or unchurched?), who first must totally die to the world, crucified with Christ, to receive the "love of the Father". Someone in effect said: I'd rather see a walking sermon of love, rather than hear a sermon that is all talk and no walk. This seems to be requiring the "as I have loved you" kind of love that is intrinsic to Holy Spirit transformed disciples, that Jennifer envisions and cries out for.
        Thank you Jennifer.
        Now would you sound the cry for a studying and praying church, confessing and repenting............

        Additionally, I think Jesus said something like:

        • Hurford, "for God so loved the world" must tell us there is something worth loving in this world. Less love of the world means to know what is not loved by God and what is. Really not much here to be questioning if God's word is our guide and if we "comprehended with all saints" the full measure of God's love.

          How does this love happen? The very first action is to realize our need, then responding in faith to the Remedy. Study the Beatitudes to see the path of Christian advancement, and also Peter's "ladder" in 2 Peter 1:5-7, noting that Agape is the highest rung on this ladder of sanctification, which first begins with Faith. We each have a measure of faith, which means that God has given enough evidence for us to exercise faith. The alternative is unbelief. In either case, faith or unbelief is OUR response to what GOD has given to us as evidence.

          Love is a fruit of the Spirit, so we need the Spirit, which can only possess us if we are empty of self. (no percent in empty) This brings us back to what we love that is of the world, but not of God doesn't it? Is seems that first and foremost is a knowledge of God, whom we then follow as His Word (both the Written and The Life given to be our Example) guides us by His grace. Only total surrender will allow any of this to take place, and it must take place daily.

          Example: you graft a branch to a living tree, but only leave the graft connected 1 day each week. What will eventually take place? What about being connected only 2 days? 5? 6? Unless it is connected firmly 7 days a week, nothing will happen. No fruit.

    • Lenny, I would expect to see the utmost respect for each other, if we practiced brotherly love. It's also applying the principle of treating others as we would wish to be treated. And that's what I sometimes see lacking in online conversations on controversial topics.

      You seem to have a strong opinion on a subject and don't like to see "love" being mixed into the discussion. So I would like to pose a question for you: Biblically speaking, what is more important - being right or being loving?

      Will there be any people saved who did not teach "correct" doctrines?

      Will there be any people saved who were not loving?

      When Jesus prayed to the Father (John 17), did He say that others would know that we are His disciples because of our "right" teachings?

      In the history of the world, blood has flowed freely because some felt duty-bound by their understanding of God's truth to forbear to love their neighbors. In fact, they thought they were doing God a favor by torturing their neighbors. Is it possible that some of the same spirit has crept into our church - that some of us feel so sure of our "rightness" that it is okay to say that those who disagree with us are rebelling against God?

      • So I would like to pose a question for you: Biblically speaking, what is more important - being right or being loving?

        My answer is: neither.

        I believe that Jesus wants us to be both at the same time.
        My mission is summarized in 1 Peter 3:15

        If we don't understand the character of God fully we can be deceived like Lucifer deceived a third of the angels.

        But if we don't share the truth in love it won't help anyone because it won't impact on their heart.

        The other point that Peter makes in this text is "anyone who asks you". To me this means it doesn't help attacking someone with a "truth" it means a friendly discussion with someone who is seeking an answer.

        Problems arise when it is a case of trying to prove that I am right, it should be working together to fully understand the character of God. I must admit though that it is difficult when after much discussion two people are each still fully convinced that their opposing views are correct. What would you do then?

        1Pe 3:15 but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason of the hope in you, with meekness and fear;

        • Shirley, while, ideally, we subscribe to correct doctrines, I don't believe that's half as important as having the spirit of Christ, which is the spirit of self-sacrificing love.

          Do you believe there will be people saved who do not have all their doctrines correct? What about the Reformers who only recovered part of the pure gospel? Will they be damned because they were not "right"?

          Do you believe there will be people saved who do not have the spirit of love in their hearts?

          I believe that none will be saved without having the spirit of Christ, which is the spirit of self-renouncing love, in their hearts. They may not be perfectly like Christ, but as long as they are moving towards Him and learning to be more like Him, they will be saved.

          I also suspect that many will be lost even when they have a correct understanding of doctrine - that is, they'll be lost when they are "right."

          It seems highly unlikely that anyone will have the "being right" and the "being loving" exactly in balance. So if there is one more important than the other, knowing which is more important becomes a salvation matter. I believe we need to pay attention to those things which will affect our salvation and the salvation of those around us.

          How do you see it?

        • Shirley, being truly "right" will be loving. We can only be "right" if we "understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God". (Prov 2:5) The true knowledge of God is: God is love. Those who rightly "fear the Lord, [will] depart from evil". (Prov 3:7) This seems to be what you are saying if I understand you correctly.

          If doctrine becomes only something to argue and debate over, then we are not "right", but "hold the truth in unrighteousness". (Rom 1:18)

          Inge, you wrote: "It is highly unlikely that anyone will have the "being right" and the "being loving" exactly in balance.", yet the Bible tells us there will be 144,000 that will. They will sing the song of Moses...and the Lamb. This is being in balance with the law and gospel. With true doctrine and self-sacrificing love. Charity(Agape) is the pinnacle of sanctification according to Peter (1 Pe 1:5-7) and we are sanctified by the truth of God's word (law/doctrine; John 17:17) through the power of the Holy Spirit. Isn't this the purpose of scripture? (2 Tim 3:16,17) How can we love if we are not sanctified by the truth?

          For the remnant of God, only this perfect balance will bring the full reflection of Jesus in the life. No other generation will sing this song. (Rev 14:3) This is how I have come to see it.

        • Inge and Robert both make great points. Jesus calls us to worship in Spirit and truth. It does seem that Adventists, because of all the biblical light we have, and therefore the potential for hoarding that light in a self-righteous way, have a great danger of "holding the truth in unrighteousness." This statement comes to mind: "In all human experience a theoretical knowledge of the truth has been proved to be insufficient for the saving of the soul. It does not bring forth the fruits of righteousness. A jealous regard for what is termed theological truth often accompanies a hatred of genuine truth as made manifest in life." DOA 309

        • Jennifer, you bring up a point that I have recently come to see with a new meaning. This comes from John 4, where Jesus tells the woman "God is a spirit". Or this is how it is translated in the KJV. I felt compelled to better understand this phrase as never before and came to learn it literally says: "Spirit the God,..."[pneuma o theos].

          God is alive, breathing, an entity like us, not some lifeless theory that does not affect ones way of living. So many were worshiping an idea, not a living, breathing Being who is also our Creator and worthy of our emulation, and to worship Him correctly, our worship must also be living, breathing (as we are learning so beautifully from James) in practical ways that will benefit others.(Ps 29:2)

          Classic example: The Good Samaritan story. Everyone knows it so no need to elaborate on what speaks so eloquently for itself as Jesus told it. In Spirit and Truth, or could we say "in both love and doctrine"? That often elusive balance that must exist if our worship/witness will be the real deal; effective in winning lost souls to Jesus as with the woman at the well and all those she ran to bring to see Jesus as she exercised true "spirited" faith herself.

          I don't know if all this is relevant to this discussion, but it seems to be in some way. Isn't James encouraging something greater than a lifeless theory through a living, breathing experience?

          The quote from DA is so rich.

      • Inge,

        I agree with you. I was not against discussing the need for love both in and out of the church. But, like everything Satan has hijacked the term. So, it is necessary from time to time to define what we mean by love.

    • Jennifer I guess the comments and questions that I have are related to your article. I admit I am not a holder of a number of educational degrees so maybe am illiterate in comparison. The words agape and allelon are not in the English Bible, which must be an oversight in light of their importance. Jesus was named in Matt 1:21 for a very good reason. He is responsible for saving sinners. Not in their sins, but from them. All of the adjectives that have been used to describe our weaknesses are accurate and in need of change. Do we have the power to make those changes? Not according to many of the Gospel writers. Does that mean that we have no part? Not at all, but our part in becoming more righteous results in a righteousness that is equal to a pile of dirty rags and only His robe of righteousness makes us acceptable to the father. Yes brotherly love is not popular in our society today, in case you haven't noticed. Yet we are commanded to express that relationship with others. Only with a power from above is this possible in my humble opinion.

      • Paul, I checked "like" because I want to strongly affirm your point that the change in us is of God, but we also have our part to play in fully surrendering our will to Him for transformation and empowerment.

        The following is not intended to correct you, as it is to affirm what Jennifer committed to in this article, removing any doubt about her source. I wish to refer to two significant experiences with Jesus Christ, immediately prior to His crucifixion as our Savior:
        Last instructions began with His passionate desire for love to be the uppermost principle among all His followers; so let us learn together from Jesus' use of language, recorded in Greek by the Apostle John : ἐντολὴν (A commandment [law]) kainēn/καινὴν (new) didōmi/δίδωμι (I give) hymin/ὑμῖν (to you) hina/ἵνα (that) agapate/ἀγαπᾶτε (you should love) allēlous/ἀλλήλους (one another) kathōs/καθὼς (as) ēgapēsa/ἠγάπησα (I have loved) hymas/ὑμᾶς (you).

        As you can see, the Greek language in which most of the New Testament was written, offers a much stronger imperative to love like Jesus Christ: "A new commandment/law" (regulation of Heaven), which has to be written on your heart (the only way), "I give you that you should love (standard expectation) one another as I have loved (precedent and perfect) you".
        ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους is especially strong: "you should love one another".

        Jesus Christ confirms His commandment in His passionate prayer to the His Father (John 17:11): "Pater/Πάτερ (Father) hagie/ἅγιε (Holy) tērēson/τήρησον (keep) autous/αὐτοὺς (them) en/ἐν (in) tō/τῷ (the) onomati/ὀνόματί (name) sou/σου (of you) hō/ᾧ (which) dedōkas/δέδωκάς (you have given) moi/μοι (me) hina/ἵνα (that) ōsin/ὦσιν (they might be) hen/ἓν (one) kathōs/καθὼς (as) hēmeisἡμεῖς (we [are])".

        The KJV renders this: "Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are". Notice from the Greek that the passage can just as well, or even more convincingly, be translated: "Holy Father, keep through your name which you have given me, that they may be one, as we are". The King James (and several other translations) offers the firm assurance that our Father gave the disciples to Jesus Christ, long before His death on Calvary. The second option offers another assertion of the special calling of Jesus Christ, in His Divinity and Humanity (the burden of Apostle John) to be Redeemer of those who come unto Him. It emphasizes the profound meaning given in Scripture to the name of God, and the fact that we have been adopted into being identified by His forever saving name when we surrender our hearts to Jesus Christ. We are called by His name.

        If we take that latter option as translation of John 17:11, "agapate allelous" actually means that we should love one another as children of God, called by His name, which was uniquely given to Jesus Christ, Son and Savior. It highlights that Peter, who initially was asked by Jesus Christ: "Peter, do you love (agape) me"? when the third time was asked by Jesus Christ, "Peter, do you love (phileo) me", was especially grieved, being asked: "Peter, are you part of my family"?

        I suggest to obtain an "Interlinear Bible", which gives the Greek (or Hebrew) with the English translation, better than I illustrated above, and you will remove some of the concern about degrees, being a student taught in the School of God.

        God bless all.

        • Hurford, I think you said what is important to our salvation in the first three sentences. The first sentence is the key. If the change that you refer to is made through, or by means of, God. Then our part is not a special effort, but the result of the change God made in us. The point is we just can't let God do it by Himself. He isn't capable because it isn't the formula that we embrace. Yes there are many who do not want to change and God allows that. We can use all kinds of references to solidify our determined opinions, but I think God wants to save as many as are willing and avoids making it complicated for even the most unlearned. I see no redeeming value in using language that is different from what we understand and is used in the English translated Bible, when discussing Biblical topics. I use 7 or 8 different versions of the Bible plus 3 or 4 commentaries plus Strongs concordance on a regular basis but I am still far from knowing it all,especially Greek. Jesus said it best in Matt:22:37-40. No metaphors or symbols, just plain understandable language.

        • Paul, hope you don't mind my observing that you "strongly affirm" my statement of agreement with you; but expressed your dislike, again, for Jennifer using the Greek language in developing a better understanding and meaning of "love one another". Of course that means you threw out the rest of what I wrote.

          I do find it quite contradictory that you "see no redeeming value in using language that is different from what we understand and is used in the English"; basically arguing that our previous understanding and our own language is the only experience of value; and that we cannot learn from another person's language or understanding. Is this a personal reflection of cultural Americanism that the American language and understanding is not only superior to that of other cultures and languages, but in fact is the only "redeeming value" worthy of mention?

          I find it strange that you see the language used by the Writers of NT Scripture as being inferior to your understanding and the English translation. I wonder whether you just dismiss how much is often lost in translation from the Greek or Hebrew or Aramaic to English. I used one example to demonstrate how much you lost in the English translation when you only read: "Peter, do you love me"? In English you read one word: "love". Jesus used two different Greek words, with different meanings. When Jesus said to the Pharisees "in hearing you do not hear (Gk - "akouo")", do you have any understanding of how much is lost in the English translation, and how much is therefore lost in understanding? Or when a storm almost sank the ship with the disciples and Jesus sleeping in the stern, how much is lost in English understanding when you do not know that the Greek uses the passive tense in observing that a storm arose?

          I hope that you have realization that some new translations that we are reading and using in Church completely leave out several whole verses of Scripture, or certain parts of verses of Scripture, specifically verses that identify Jesus Christ as God and salvation through believing in Jesus Christ. Cultural Americanization, representing a larger global trend, in moving to all inclusive language in moral, religious and cultural issues, of necessity have to reduce or eliminate certain teachings of Scripture.

          I take time to address this, brother Paul, because the Sabbath School Lesson is an international phenomenon, translated into many languages, with the original languages of Scripture being the basis of learning and understanding in those cultures, not English. The German and Spanish languages(just to mention two) offer in many cases a more authentic understanding of Scripture than the English. And often, right here in the United States of America, the experiences of the Black American through slavery and post slavery, offer a clearer understanding of the Biblical language, when written or spoken in Black Americanisms rather than in White Americanisms. So please, let us not even hint that SSNET, representing the Sabbath School Lesson of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, limits understanding of Scripture to White Americanisms of the English language.

          May our God and Father of us all, internationally, help us to understand His messages in all cultures and languages, each supplementing the other, with none superior to the other.

  4. Thanks for your comments. At times it is difficult to show love to those who so negative. You attempt to show them that the glass is half full, yet they can only see it half empty. How can you (we) emulate agape allelion to these souls?

    • Naomi, when you say "show them..." do you mean convince? This was/is never our mandate. We are His witnesses, and those who see us must be their own jury. We simply share what God has done for us in joyful "song"(Ps 40:3) and leave the conviction to the Holy Spirit who alone can bring it to the willing, receptive heart.

      Our part is easy; reflect Jesus. (no, not "easy" in this world where all who do reflect Jesus "shall suffer persecution", just as Jesus did, as well as all those who reflected Him beginning with Abel) But doesn't Jesus bid us "leap for joy"(Luke 6:23) when this happens to us?!

      • Robert, I noticed that in your response to my questioning your statement "love less of the world", you changed definitions from what you wrote earlier. That's fine. Whatever you or I present, that's our opinion unless it clearly reflects God's Word. Whatever Jesus Christ presents, we listen to: "Love not the world, no the things of the world....the love of the Father is not in him."

    • Naomi, I hope you don't mind my responding at length to your post, since I think you raised a very significant and very important issue in human and especially Christian experience, as far as Scripture is concerned.

      I presume that by saying "difficult to show love to those who so (are)negative" you likely mean "difficult to be loving to those who are complaining". If so, might it be more productive for us to genuinely offer praise and thanks to God for His goodness towards us, replacing the griping and dissatisfaction that goes up to Heaven with a genuine offering of appreciation to God? If we do not have reason in our own hearts to genuinely offer "incense" of praise to God, might it be more difficulty to love the complainer? We never have to "show love". We reflect the love of God in our hearts as we truly are in His light and love.

      In your second sentence, you captured another form of that regular human behavior in arguing with the person that life is good, rather than allowing them to share life is bad. Fact is, if six out of twelve times a person gets kicked in the face, dumped on, feel messed up and disappointed, it will be very difficult to see the other six times when life runs normally good. The fact is that most of us will hold on for years to two or three bad experiences that pained or exposed us, and keep on talking about them. Some bad experiences are chronic, and so much in our faces, daily, that we feel trapped in the pain and resulting complaining. Most of us Christians do no have what it takes to "show them" that the other six is good. That too is a routine trap for those of us to try to respond. This is not the method of Scripture, in general.

      God does not like complaining, whether for 10 or 50% of our troubles. Remember what He told Moses regarding the chronic griping and complaining Israelites? Israelites kept griping that God could give them a better deal (with entitlement) than what they were experiencing, even forgetting they were slaves. When we complain, we are bad talking God or gossiping about God to others, telling them how God has been messing up, and continues to mess up in how He takes care of us or treats us. Even Egypt was better, we gripe.

      It is very interesting that genuinely giving thanks and praise to God is not a high focus for most of the writers of Scripture, although giving praise and thanks is the opposite and antidote to complaining. David, particularly, and Paul are the best examples of high giving thanks to God. Most of the writers of the Bible focus on returning to God, surrendering to God, trusting God. Why? Because that is what gives us reason to praise.

      Both David and Paul had really bad experiences in failing God, and therefore had great reason to give praise in celebrating how good God has been to them. Both cases actually demonstrate what will happen when we follow what all of Scripture tells us: when we surrender to God and experience reason to love Him, we have much to give praise and thanks for. The first three pages of Chapter 1 of Desire of Ages tells us that the selfish heart of human beings is the only exception in nature to following God's Law of the Universe. Antidote to human selfishness includes returning praise and thanks to God. Meaning> It is the surrendered and changed heart that has reason to praise.

      A Physician friend spent a lot of time with his sister over the past weeks as she deteriorated rapidly with cancer, and died a couple days ago. Here is what remains most imprinted in his mind from their extensive conversations and experiences: she testified, in one profound statement, that she had gone through really difficult and painful times, but much larger than her trials and her pain was the goodness of God towards her, for which she gave thanks and praise. Isn't that the point of David and Paul? Then turning our eyes from all other human examples, what of Jesus Christ, as human, so totally surrendered to the will of God that he saw His suffering and death as His destiny, and followed it in obedience and honor to His Father, and for those who will be saved through His suffering. That is our model for overcoming complaining. Rather, that is our model for complete trust in the Love of our Father in Heaven.

      I have reason to praise. Around the smell of death around me, I lift up the goodness in the name of my Father and Savior. I do not want the Holy Spirit to have "groanings that cannot be uttered" when He presents my prayers to my Father in Heaven. I want the Holy Spirit to joy in my praise and thanks. Dr. D has experienced a lot of deaths around him, and even the death of his wife, but what made the deepest impression in his heart is the testimony of his sister: God is good, though the trials He allows were difficult as they sharpened my focus in becoming more and more like Jesus.

      God bless us all in having reason to praise God. God bless you.

    • Nicely put. Succinct and real: "with consistent example". Actually their change starts with having a different experience with God, where they have a true encounter with God; instead of just hearing about God and thinking that since He is powerful He ought to change my circumstances. This has to be personal. I am not going to be able to give Him praise for another's gift. It just might sink me deeper into complaining that God treats the other person better than I get day after day.

  5. Yes, that's what HUMANITY needs right now "TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER". The enemy was planting envy, hate, lust and etc. The best enemy tactics to plants these seeds of darkness by means of inventing earthly treasures to forget LOVE. These earthly treasures makes people fight each other, envy each other and kill each other. Millions were blinded of this TRUTH. For the love of earthly things means departure from the love of GOD.

  6. Jennifer, your concerns are my very own and my missive last Sabbath expressed some of my worries for the church. And while the world is in conflict and chaos, our own church is plagued with the same. There are bullies in the church, many of whom are elders (I speak from personal experience). False teachers questioning not only the divinity of Jesus but His humanity as well (spreading doubts whether His temptation was real as we are tempted). Praisers of those who appear wealthy whilst shunning others whose dress isn't high fashion (all these instances and more have taken place very recently if not weekly).

    It breaks my heart and vexes my spirit almost every week during SS class discussions. I often feel alone yet keep reminding myself God has His children and I pray for compassion for my brethren as well as courage to speak up to defend the Word.

    Yes, we need agape allelon for all, because every man is our neighbor.

    Perhaps what is troubling (and it shouldn't be,it should be comforting) is the fact we see Scripture coming to fruition right before our eyes. Time is drawing nigh. My prayer is we will work it out as is written," with fear and trembling". We must search our hearts and choose this day whom we will serve and be the best witnesses we can be with compassion and humility.

    • Hi Jennifer,

      I understand your frustration and disappointment with those around you. Maybe you have been put there for such a time as this to be a shining beacon of love and kindness.

    • we really need this kind of love "agape allelon" because if we have this, surely all the situations will be smooth thanks for the comments, it opens my understanding.

    • Jennifer, your situation is not uncommon today. This is what prophecy has revealed and Ellen defines clearly as well, stating that for God's faithful, perplexities will increase, but as Paul wrote, "we are perplexed, but not in despair". God will address all this Himself as we look in faith for His leading in our daily lives. While feeling alone, we are never alone.

      In scripture the remnant are shown as being vexed for those things going on in their fellowship, while God works to bring all to repentance, and soon will fulfill Isa 4. Very solemn times are just before us and faith is what Jesus will look for when He comes, and will find it in those who serve, for only Servants are sealed. Agape allelon is found in service. (Matt 25:31-40)

      I find the sharing of your situation encouraging, and as Shirley states, we are all where we are as Witnesses.

  7. Timely words and greatly appreciated Jennifer. Your posts are always Spirit-filled and challenging to my insipid Christianity. Keep it up and God bless!

  8. Lenny Moore, you seemed very concerned about the emphasis on love, that it would somehow lead to the compromise of standards. I'm saying I don't see that concern reflected in the writings of Jesus and Paul, who both admonished toward unity and love for one another, not to dismiss standards, but to actually fulfill them.

    • Jennifer,

      I think Pablo said what I was trying to say. It is not a concern with an emphasis on Agape Allelon. I was just trying to further define what is meant by that term. As I said, "love" is being used to replace standards. The Bible never uses Love in this way. God's commandments are an expression of His love. And, by the way, emphasizing "love" is quite popular these days, with even secular people stressing it.

      • Among the list of allenon admonitions in the New Testament we see "admonish one another" and "rebuke one another." Not all manifestations of love are positive. True love doesn't condone sin, and implying that it does is indeed an abuse of the term. But the abuse of the term didn't keep Jesus or Paul from using the term correctly. They weren't so frozen in fear that someone would hear "license" when they said "love" that they avoided the term entirely. Sometimes we're so afraid of license that we fail to stress the positive aspects of love, and in my observation fail to love at all.

        • I don't find rebuke negative.

          It is sorely needed and should be taken in the right spirit, and with heart-felt love. Rebuke is positive and part of the Biblical mandate. We need to so love another that we welcome rebuke from one another. We can also welcome rebuke from more distant sources. I've learned from the rebuke of people and situations that aren't God related. God is ever sending messages to those that have ears to hear, eyes to see and a heart open to repair. It's the thinking/feeling head/heart that God is after. So many Christians are stuck in their thinking head and can't feel and are so uptight.
          Even if leaders don't say everything exactly correct, we need to be open to discussing ideas with them in heartfelt caring. The church is a body and will remain so until the end of time. We need to remain part of the church process of rebuke: both giving or receiving.

        • Jennifer, could we say that all manifestations of love are not "pleasant", but in fact are always positive if received with humility? I see "reproof, correction and instruction..." as positive things. Admonishing a young child to avoid a hot stove will always bring positive results.

          Yes, I know what you meant by "positive", but wanted to clarify further.

    • Jennifer, I often find that striking a balance is difficult. I think of the term "tough love" that I believe in many cases has been over used and abused to the detriment of children and yet I see the opposite in my own upbringing where there was no discipline at all. I attribute many of my problems to that neglect of parental supervision and when I see children that virtually control their parents my heart breaks because I know where that's going to lead. I think that US prison statistics, for the most part, reflect the attitude that society in the US has when it comes to where that balance is and in viewing that situation to me it does not appear to be good.

      Even in this quarter's lessons when considering faith and works we see problems in understanding the two which has been a constant headache for God's church for centuries. And then there is the problem that managers and supervisors have in being a leader rather than a dictator even though there certainly are times when people have to be told what to do. Jesus addressed a lot of that in Matt 20:25-26 but the issue still gives problems for church leaders and pastors. In spite of that I think there is a balance to be had in all these issues where we tend to be on this side or that.

      All of these problems are further compounded because of the fall in Eden from which we inherited a bent to sin and self serving which we see evidence of throughout the Bible, even among God's elect. And that is not to say anything about Satan's constant muddying of the waters and his multitudinous smoke screens that confuse and bewilder. It seems to me that because of all of this that we tend to be creatures of fanaticism going from one extreme to another that have trouble knowing where that golden thread is down the middle of the road.

      • Our trouble with failing to find "that golden thread" comes when taking our eyes off Jesus, who Leads. Satan can only bewilder or confuse those who do not follow Jame's admonition to "resist the devil" who must then flee from us as we gain the victory that overcomes the world through faith. (1 John 5:4) Jesus' pattern of love for us will keep us steady in our loving our neighbor as our self. The counsel of Proverbs 3:1-8 will always bring the best results if followed.

        I would guess that very few have had proper training and faithful examples to follow, but God will "instruct and teach" all who believe His exceeding great and precious promises.

        Faith is the victory.

  9. You are right for me i believe where i ve gone wrong is instutionalizing brotherly love...there lesson talks about actions..feeding the poor, taking care of others needs clothing, medicating etc. What mean is that i tend to give to church institutions that do that for me neglecting the fact that God wants me to do not give to others to do good. Don't think the intend of love they neighbour was meant to include judgement and acceptance of sinners blabla when Jesus when to the temple and kick the table and stop the market...it shows us that wrong is wrong ...so i do believe James refers to helping others being fair and follow Jesus example

  10. Hallelujah! I am so happy to hear this message from SSNET. I hope I and all of us heartily repent so that we can recieve the latter rain!

  11. I think the stern rebuke of the main article by Jennifer is in place, considering that the passage of James is even much more disturbing to have us wake up.

    Reading and rereading the passage in James over and over again as to the destroying action of the tongue, I got deeply shocked. James is pointing out the scource of this devastating action threathening the whole church. The forces of hell as well as the poison of the serpent are behind these attacks the instrument of which is the tongue (James 3:6.8; Psalm 140:3). And there is no use trying to tame the tonge in a covenant with hell. The possibility of taming the tonge in James 3:2 is in a context of living in Christ, an alltogether differernt setting.

    James is alarmed at seeing that many are trying to become teachers of the church (James 3:1). This was a serious problem. Peter is warning the church of false teachers to come (2 Peter 2:1) with their devastating teachings and actions (see verses 2-21), and so does the whole epistle of Jude who remarks that the false teachers are already there (Jude 4). The tongues of these teachers proclaim freedom in sin. The church seems to be burned up.

    After considering this serious issue and stern rebuke I asked mayself: What solution does James have as to this danger? I think he is hinting at a solution using the image of a fountain (James 3:11). If the poison of the snake and the forces of hell have poisoned and defiled the fountain,the only solution conists in having the fountain cleansed by the blood of Christ (1 John 1:9; Psalm 51:7.10) in order for the tongue to issue blessing instead of blessings mixt up with curses (James 3:10). The same is repeated in the image of a tree bearing fruit after his kind (James 3:12). James may be thinking of what Jesus said on the relation between the kind of tree and its fruit (Matthew 12:33).

    Since this pertains to the early church as well as to the endtime church, a continual cleansing of heart and mind is called for. The church is left with this hope looking forward to the latter rain to come under cleansed conditions only.

    Winfried Stolpmann

  12. We had a great learning experience going over some of the ideas you brought out in the post, and these verse were brought up in Bible study.

    Proverbs 25:11,12 New Living Translation (NLT)
    Timely advice is lovely,
    like golden apples in a silver basket.
    To one who listens, valid criticism
    is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.

    My understanding is the gold represents the highest standard, and it is precious and valuable.

    • Jane since you are a regular on this site and this post is current: I will ask a question that I ask previously regarding the word "allelon" that I didn't see an answer. I can only speculate why. Maybe you can answer or find someone that can. The question is, where did the word allelon originate? I don't find it in the Bible or in the dictionary and when Jennifer said that "God is allelon" it peaked my interest. I do find ag.a.pe Greek for a type of love in the dictionary , but no mention of allelon.

      • Paul, allelon is: ἀλλήλων (allélón) found in many passages such as John 13:34, meaning: "one another" or "each other", etc.

        When Jesus said; "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.", it would then support that "God is allelon". How we view/treat others reflects our true view and treatment of our Creator. John asks; "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (1 John 4:20)

        • Robert,I rather thought that may be the source. I guess we are at liberty to use what ever means of communication we choose. I had not heard that expression before, but then I don't text or use the abbreviations used by many that are involved in the latest technological fads either. Maybe not stylish but if I want to reference something from the Bible, English works well for me. If I understood and spoke the Greek language I am not sure it would be beneficial in understanding the Bible, more so than the English translation.

        • I understand what you are saying Paul, and each of us has our way of learning that works best for us. I thought Jennifer's post was thought provoking in realizing our love towards one another reflects our true love (or lack) towards God Himself. Isn't this the teaching of Christ and His apostles?

          For me, there are cases in scripture where the original language brings a clearer understanding of what the writer was inspired to say. Each language has it's limits with specific words, and I find it helpful at times to dig a little deeper and at times feel prompted to it, and it is rare when the effort is not rewarded.

          For example, did you know that in Greek, the word translated "forever" is literally "a portion of time"? This would make "forever" related to it's context and subject, and not always forever as we understand it; without any ending.


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