“Who’s Allelon?”

puzzled-face-man-00-1This blog will depart from my usual gentle, winsome tone. I’ve avoided using my WordPress site as a bully pulpit, but I can no longer forbear. It’s time for a stern rebuke regarding our spiritual condition. Earth’s probation will soon screech to a halt when Jesus comes with his glorious retinue of angels, and I must testify that we are not ready.

In particular, one standard has been ignored, neglected, even despised among us. God will soon hold our shady lives up to that standard, revealing the leprous darkness of our souls the way a laser moving through flesh stops at the dark mass of a tumor. We’re in trouble, friends. We have corporate cancer.

The standard of which I speak applies to the churched and the unchurched, to every nation, kindred, tongue and people, and to man, woman and child. It makes or breaks every individual life, relationship, family, community, nation, continent, and planet. The Bible speaks of it more than any other standard, and yet many who claim to follow the Bible regard it with indifference. Some of them even defiantly ignore it, in the name of keeping the standards!

Jesus said it explicitly three times, Paul said it twice, Peter said it once and John said it six times. Countless addition times, all Bible writers say it implicitly. Jesus and Paul put it forth as a summary of all Law, revealing its over-arching, all-encompassing nature. In His great signs-of-the-end sermon in Matthew 24, Jesus said many of God’s people would engage in the direct opposite of this command when they “deliver up one another and betray one another,” (vs. 10).

The standard, as you may have guessed, is “love one another,” (John 13:34, 15:12 and 17, Romans 13:8, 1 Thessalonains 4:9, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 John 3:11 and 23, 4:7, 11, and 12, 2 John 1:5). In Greek it’s agapeo allelon. The sheer number of variations of this “love one another” command reveals its quintessence to spiritual life.

We talk often about agape, but not as much about allelon. Yet the New Testament uses the latter almost as much as the former! “One another,” allelon, helps us better understand agape, because agape can’t be experienced apart from allelon. Countless expansions of the “love one another” command pepper the New Testament letters. Among other things, we should prefer, edify, admonish, receive, greet, care for, esteem, forbear and kiss one another (ask me for an exhaustive list).

Cold formalists, arrogant legalists, unprincipled compromisers and bold-faced pagans alike fail to measure up to this standard. Since we already fall short, let’s fall all the way down on our faces before God today, admitting that we don’t love one another as Jesus has loved us.

Who’s allelon? God is allelon. God is all about “one another.” And God will live in us if we receive Him.

 

14 thoughts on ““Who’s Allelon?”

  1. Keith Johnson

    It is unfortunate that you would refer to your article as “bullying” when resorting to telling the truth. Was John the Baptist bullying Herod or Elijah bullying Ahab? Or were they speaking the truth in love? Was Stephen bullying when they stoned him? Would they be acquitted of justifiable homicide in the Judgment? Is a call to holiness and conversion bullying? In the Marine Corps, during boot camp, were our drill instructors bullying us as they prepared us for combat? Whispering will not wake up a sleeping drunk on the tracks while the train is rapidly approaching. Unfortunately, this day and age the church has become an enabler of sin, because it is afraid to call sin by its right name. I found over 31-years in prison ministry, that I must tell them the truth if I expect them to respond to the Gospel. I ask them, “where does legalism end and obedience begin? The answer is at conversion. Agape is the loud cry. God’s grand finale is to produce 144,000 Agapeists, who are hybrids of Job, Stephen, Esther, Daniel, and the three Hebrew Faithful. God does this 6,000-years removed from the garden of Eden, at humanity’s most degraded state, lacking Adam’s height and without 20 x’s the life force, when it didn’t happen at Pentecost. Satan’s knows they are coming and he shudders at the thought. What sets them apart from the status quo? They are pure altruistic lover’s of truth, while the unconverted are: narcissistic hedonists with a form of godliness. It is the difference between love and lust. The acronym that the Lord gave me for the two are: “LOVE is a Life-long Open-hearted Victimless Exchange” vs “LUST is a Love-starved Unfulfilled Superficial Transaction.” So, how can the carnal heart be awaken from its lethargy? Not by whispering or being a silent witness (which is no witness at all.). The truth must be told with love and lived without hypocrisy. Thank you for taking off you mittens and putting on your work gloves. Never apologize for a virtue. Have a blessed day. Your in CHRIST, Keith

  2. Lana

    Everything you said is true! The problem is that we do not see ourselves in the true light any longer. We are mesmerized by devil and deceived by him in regards to the real condition of our own hearts. For this reason we compare others with ourselves, putting “me and my own” as a standard for the measurement of other people’s spiritual experience. We need to understand that every person is different with their own life experiences, tendencies, feelings, character, etc. Jesus is meeting us where we are, He is gently opening for us the new horizons of spiritual development and growth. We need to do the same. In order for us to be able to be like Jesus, and to love others as He does, we need to see ourselves in the true light, the way we really are.
    Here is the prayer we need to pray daily:

    “Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    Try me, and know my anxieties;
    And see if there is any wicked way in me,
    And lead me in the way everlasting.”

  3. Jennifer Schwirzer

    Thanks, Keith. I appreciate the affirmation. You were making me an offender for a word, though. It’s a literary device to exaggerate sometimes. Even the Bible writers do it! But I get what you’re saying–not to feel badly about telling the truth.

  4. Myrna Tetz

    Your inspiration came at just the right time! I’ve been inspired to attempt to be/act/communicate like Jesus. And, that remains as my goal–how will I accomplish this?? Well, you really told me how–

  5. Sharon McGraw

    Grace and Peace,

    It’s amazing I read this right after a long devotional last night on Revival and the return of Jesus. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit. What was brought out in the 40 days book/study was that the disciples got together and PRAYED and fasted and the other people experienced Salvation because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and GROUPS were saved. So, I guess what I am trying to say is that now I understand why I am lead to work part time and be available to pray and study and trust God for rent and food like never before….even though I’ve prayed that prayer that includes “give us this day our DAILY bread” countless times. The quote that always haunts me is “When we get to heavan we will BEG to live our lives over again so that more can be saved eternally” God keep me poor and trusting in YOU..and God bless you Ms.Schwirzer….YSIC ….Sharon

  6. Susan Willis

    I was soo blessed — and spiritually invigorated. My tired, discouraged
    mind is now praising God — and praying that He will continue to use you
    in blessing and inspiring others.

  7. Elizabeth Yeagley

    Thanks for this blog. Honestly I was wondering at the beginning what you felt so strongly about. I heartily agree. We all need to learn to love as Jesus does. If we want to reflect his image we need to act like him! This warmed my heart.

  8. Michael Scott

    I totally agree with you Jennifer. Every day I pray to GOD to love my neighbors as myself, and for all of us (His children) to do the same. As I get closer to GOD, as see more and more of my filthiness and sin, and it hurts; but I know that as we get closer to GOD, we become more and more aware of how sinful and unworthy we are, and how much GOD truly loves us all, despite our sinfulness. This should drive us Christians to strive even more to become more and more like JESUS, and we all need to daily surrender ourselves to Him in prayer and Bible study, if we’re going to truly be ready for His soon coming. Not only do we need to pray more and read the Bible prayerfully more, we also need to come more and more out of our so – called comfort zones and practice what GOD has taught us to do. We can’t remain being just sayers of His Word, we have to be doers of His Word in our thoughts and in our deeds in order for His righteousness to be fulfilled in us. I thank GOD for His patience with me, and with all of us, for we don’t deserve it at all, but He loves us with His perfect love, and I’m coming more and more out of my comfort zone every day! GOD’S blessing me in so many ways, and He’s blowing my mind with how much He loves me! I’m sharing my love for JESUS with others more and more, and my witness for Him is growing stronger daily! More and more people are seeing JESUS in me, and I’m looking to see JESUS in others also! I pray that everyone one of us who loves GOD, that we’ll show His love to everybody, no matter what they might have done to us, or to others, and that we’ll stop judging, hating, condemning, envying, and back – stabbing one another. Most of us (if not all of us) have been guilty of this in one way or another, and we have to be honest with GOD, and with ourselves. We must all claim the promise that “the good work which He began in us, He will bring to completion until the day of JESUS CHRIST”! I pray that we’ll all be ready to see Him, and to be with Him when He comes. GOD bless everyone of us who truly loves GOD!

  9. Michael Scott

    I just wanted to add a few more thoughts concerning how we as Christians are to truly love one another as ourselves. This involves another teaching that’s being outright ignored and violated in the church continually, and on a daily basis. How can we as Christians truly love one another as ourselves, if our church continually keeps making pictures that depict everyone in the Bible (especially JESUS) as being white and European looking? We all aren’t so – called white complexioned with European features, and we shouldn’t be portraying GOD, nor anyone else mentioned in the Bible, as being white and European. Not only are we guilty of not truly loving one another as ourself, we’re also guilty of committing idolatry because of the man – made pictures that many church members continually make for the covers of our church quarterlys,magazines, seminar advertisements, books, etc. This has to stop! We cannot keep being liars and hypocrites when it comes to this matter. I’ve mentioned many times over the years that this prejudiced idolatry must stop! It has brainwashed many into believing that everybody in the Bible is white, that GOD is white, and that white is right and normal. This isn’t true, nor is it good for any of us to think that we have to use images of white, European looking people in our church ministry programs to reach lost souls so that they can be saved. This evil practice certainly isn’t our church demonstrating love for our neighbors as ourselves. I pray that everyone who reads my comments about this will see how serious and relevant my remarks truly are, and I pray also that everyone of us will surrender any evil prejudices we have that we’re aware of, and ask GOD to reveal to us any that we’re not aware of so that we can give them up to Him, and let Him truly transform our minds, hearts, bodies, and spirits intoHis Express Image (JESUS). We need to be more like JESUS, and to remember that He said: “If you love Me, keep my Commandments.” We not only have to love GOD with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves; we also have to demonstrate this love by keeping all of GOD’S Commandments, which includes the second one about not committing idolatry.

  10. Vivian Kohn

    So true. The tares and the wheat grow together and we start to see what that means when evil increases and love wanes. We are told that our own will be crueller than others and so the end begins to unfold before us. Clinging to our Saviour with all He gives us is a must. Oh Lord, please hold us tight, we who wish to stay with You. And help us, if we can, to draw the tares to You.

  11. John Sheffield

    There is but one process by which the soul may be healed of its wounds. Look to the Man of Calvary. – {RH April 9, 1889 Par. 11}

    We are certainly nearing the close of this earth’s history, and God hath commended His love toward us in giving us the truth that has filled our hearts with such joy, that we may exercise love toward others. Look to the Man of Calvary giving His life for the sins of the world. Why? That in beholding such love for man, that all who believe shall not perish, we shall manifest the same love for our fellow-men. Love for lost souls brought Christ to Calvary’s cross. Love for souls will lead us to self-denial, self-sacrifice in order to seek and to save that which was lost. Ye are labourers together with God. Self must die and our life be hid with Christ in God. Love for souls for whom Christ died means crucifixion of self. – {TSA 38.1}

    Evidently we are not looking to the Man of Calvary.

    Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

  12. Mitchell Nicholaides

    Thank you for the focus on “love one another,” the often overlooked commandment. We/I needed that. Recently Joyce Meyer [whom I sometimes hear on the radio] said that of all the 95 or so books she has written, the one that sold the least number of copies was THE LOVE REVOLUTION. Maybe we/I think such love is impossible or maybe we/I do not see our/my need. But “With God all things are possible.”

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