Loving God and Your Neighbor
God is working so hard to get us to understand FAMILY!

Satan, in a very subtle way, destroys the God Family vision. I want to show you how he does that. He is trying with all his being to pervert this teaching.

I want to talk to you about a sermon that was given by one of our ministers. He was confused about love for neighbor and love for God’s Family, or the Church. I believe most of our ministers have been confused about this subject, which is why God is teaching it to me more deeply. Satan tries to destroy the God Family by deceiving us about God’s love. In fact, he has already destroyed many members of the God Family by confusing them on this subject, the God Family. So please keep that in mind and pray that God would deepen your understanding on this important subject.

John revealed that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). The law is summed up in two great commandments: love toward God and love toward neighbor (Matthew 22:36-39). The second great commandment toward your neighbor is directed at other human beings, but only those unconverted in the world. Though God wants those billions in His Family, He is not working with them at this time—they are not begotten of Him yet.

The confused minister said that our neighbor is every human being, including those inside the Church. If you understand the Family of God, it is not what the Bible terms our neighbor. When God says love your neighbor, He’s talking about loving those in the world. There is a big difference in how we love God’s Family and how we love the world. There is a difference, and there must be until that family in the world becomes God’s Family.

This minister used the following scripture and said it applied to loving your neighbor: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1-2). That scripture is directed toward God’s Family; it uses the word brethren. But this minister applied it to loving your neighbor. That was a mistake.

He said, “Brethren, go to your neighbor and love your neighbor actively.” If you are not careful, this gets confusing—because you are to love your neighbor, but how? You could give him physical food, or you could give him $100 a week—there are a lot of ways. But those won’t solve any lasting problems. The most important way you love your neighbor is by offering or giving him spiritual food. None of his problems will ever be solved until he gets his spiritual life correct. If you study the prophecies of God, you understand that those physically hungry nations and people are going to multiply 10-fold and 100-fold if they don’t repent and heed this word or receive God’s spiritual food.

There is a big difference in how we are to love God, which includes His converted saints, and how we are to love people in the world.

Notice Matthew 25:34-40: “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

If you serve someone in the world, that falls under the category of loving your neighbor. But Jesus Christ said that if you serve someone in the Family of God, then you are showing that same love toward God! When God says that we are His Family, He means that we are His family! The world is not our family yet, though they will soon have that chance.

Our salvation is at stake. But your neighbor hasn’t even been called yet. He is not in danger of eternal death as we are. At the Last Great Day, God will call those people of the world—our neighbors. They will be resurrected and have their day of salvation. But anybody called today will either be in God’s Family or become ashes under the saints’ feet! The stakes couldn’t be higher.

God is working so hard to get us to understand family! Likewise, Satan is working just as hard to distort that understanding. It is so important that we make this distinction between loving God—which includes His Family—and loving the world.

Soon, God will call everyone (1 Timothy 2:4). But He has not yet because the teachers are not ready. We as their teachers will have to be full of God’s love. They will need so much love because they will have just lived through the worst time of suffering ever known to man.

One minister left God’s Church saying we should love everybody, mistakenly thinking that meant we should be inviting everybody to Church services—even going to the mental institutions to invite people. That is a sure way to destroy God’s Church!

If we don’t make a distinction between the God Family and our neighbor, then we can get confused and be in grave spiritual danger.

Here is another strong statement from Jesus Christ about God’s Family. “While he [Christ] yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:46-50).

Christ’s disciples were His Family! Those who were doing the will of His Father were His Family! That is your family too. That is not your neighbor. Your neighbor does not do the will of the Father. Who does? Who talks about the God Family vision? Who is willing to fight about it in court? Who proclaims this revelation to the world? Our neighbor? No—God’s Family does.

And if God’s Family becomes lukewarm and fails to do it, then there is still a little remnant of this Family who must. This message about the Father—about the God Family—must be declared! We must proclaim what our Father has given us. Loving the Laodiceans and loving the world is done mainly through the work of God. It is done by supporting this work and this message that declares the Father. It is done by being a light for God’s Family. We are sons of God. We don’t act like the people of the world. And they can see that we are different, because we represent our Father in heaven.

You can read Matthew 18, where Christ said, “[W]hoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me” (verse 5). That teaching applies only to God’s Family, or Church. It never applies to our neighbor or the world.

Luke 10:25-27 states, “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

There is the law of God in its two basic principles. Obviously there is a greater love toward God than toward man. You love God “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind”—in other words, more than yourself. And you love your neighbor “as thyself.”

When someone is called into God’s Family, he or she moves from the “love toward neighbor” category into the “love toward God” category. That person moves into the God category—into the realm of the first great commandment.

Begotten of the Father

“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat [God the Father] loveth him also that is begotten of him” (1 John 5:1). That is one of the most beautiful scriptures in the Bible. You are to have the same love toward those who are begotten as you do toward God, the one who begat. You are to have the same love because they are now members of God’s Family; they are begotten of the Father. That could never apply to our neighbor.

Of course, we place the Father and our Husband, Christ, at the head of this family of love. Nobody could ever replace them. But when someone enters the God Family, the Father wants that person to receive the same love He receives. He wants you to love that new member with all your heart, soul, strength and mind—more than you love yourself. That is what makes a family work!

Paul tells us in Philippians 2:3 to “let each esteem other better than themselves.” That is talking about those in the Family of God. We can love those in the world as ourselves, but we must love God’s Family more. What better way to unify God’s Family than to grow more deeply in this kind of love?

Satan hates this law of family love. He even got the translators to use the phrase adopted sons instead of begotten sons in places, because he wants this God Family vision to be hidden from the world.

We are going to be born into the God Family, just as children are born into our physical families. We are not adopted! We are real sons of God! Just as physical sons and daughters are born into our families—our own flesh and blood. Romans 8:14 states, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

To say that love for neighbor is the same as love for God’s Family is a dangerous deception. That’s a gross distortion of God’s truth, and anyone who believes that needs to understand God’s law of love more deeply!

“And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also” (1 John 4:21). If you love God, you love your brother—the one God begat into His Family. This is so hard to do humanly. We must use God’s Spirit as never before to rise above ourselves and serve and love God’s Family in this way!

John recorded Christ’s prayer the night before His crucifixion. That prayer concludes, “O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the lovewherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:25-26).

Christ asked that the very same love with which the Father loved Him would be in us. The same love the Father had for Jesus Christ is going to be in you! This does not apply to our neighbor, the world. What an opportunity for growth. This is the heart of the God Family vision!

Royal Vision, July-August 2004