Love Your Brethren
Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatever you may desire that men should do for you, thusly also you do for them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Leviticus 19:18: “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”
Christ declares that we should put the love of our brethren above other matters, giving an example of your sacrifices upon an altar during His Sermon on the Mount.
Yahweh proclaimed at Exodus 20:6 and also at Deuteronomy 5:10 that He showed mercy unto them "that love me, and keep my commandments."
At Deuteronomy 7 and 11 we read:
“9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; 10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.” 11:1: “Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always.”
At John 14:15 we see Christ proclaim: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” And at John 15:10: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” Therefore the commandments of Christ are one and the same as those of that God of the Old Testament, Yahweh, who is Christ although many so-called churches follow the jews in denial.
John 13: “34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 15:12: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:17: “These things I command you, that ye love one another.”
This instruction to love our brother is a new commandment, but only because it was never explicit in the law. However it was indeed expected of men, as we have seen that Moses was astonished to see two Israelite men quarreling with each other, recorded in Exodus chapter 2.
Leviticus 19:18 says: “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. ”
Loving Your Enemies
Matthew 5:43 You have heard that it has been said ‘You shall love him near you’ and ‘You shall hate your enemy’. 44 Now I say to you: love your enemies and pray for those persecuting you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father who is in the heavens, because His sun rises upon evil and good and rains upon righteous and unrighteous. 46 For if you should love those loving you, what reward do you have? Do not also the tax-collectors do the same? 47 And if you should greet your brethren only, what do you do that is extraordinary? Do not also the heathens do the same? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Here, Yahshua is talking about our personal Israelite enemies, this discourse being to and about the children of Israel. He is not talking about His enemies – the enemies of our God. David made the enemies of God his own enemies, knowing that they could never be pleasing to God. David was a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22).
Psalm 8: 2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
Psalm 92: 9 For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. 10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil. 11 Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.
Psalm 139: 21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
The enemies of God, Christians must expect God to keep from us so long as we are willing to be obedient to His will. Yet they are not the subject here. Our personal Israelite enemies, those of our own race who wrong us, those we must be merciful towards as our Father is merciful to us. And we should be kind towards all Israelites, towards all Adamic men, and not only those who are our near kin or whom we happen to be acquainted with.
The phrase “him near to you” is a literal rendering of the Greek word it comes from. The word neighbor in the King James Version implies a person near (neigh), and our ancient ancestors did not conceive of that including aliens, or outsiders, under normal circumstances.
πλησίον (4139), with the Article (Accusative τὸν at Rom. 13:9 and Gal. 5:14; Dative τῷ at Rom. 13:10 and 15:2; Genitive τοῦ at Eph. 4:25) appears five times in Paul (Moulton-Geden), is a Substantive, and is always translated “he near to you”, or something similar, but in the A.V. is simply “neighbor”. The form πλησίος, which is both an adverb and a preposition, means “near, close to...” (L & S) and itself is a derivative of the adverb πέλας which is “near, hard by, close...” (L & S). Either word, πέλας or πλησίος, used as a Substantive, was used to denote “one’s neighbor”, and L & S gives examples of this from secular writers who used either ὁ πλησίος or ὁ πέλας. Yet in secular Greek there are other words used by contemporary secular authors and in the N.T. translated “neighbor”: γείτων (1069), which is explicitly “one of the same land, a neighbour...” (L & S) and is found at Luke 14:12; 15:6, 9; and John 9:8, and περίοικος (4040) which is “dwelling round...οἱ περίοικοι neighbours...” (L & S) and found at Luke 1:58.
While it can surely be demonstrated, that in Palestine and throughout the οἰκουμένη (the Greco-Roman world), one’s neighbor was most often, and was expected to be, of one’s own tribe, that this is the true meaning of πλησίον in the New Testament is evident in other ways, besides the use of γείτων or περίοικος where it was appropriate.
First, at Acts 7:27, an account of Exod. 2:11-14, one Israelite is referred to as τὸν πλησίον (A.V. “neighbor”) in relation to another Israelite, but certainly not in reference to the dead Egyptian - yet Moses, as evidenced in the Exodus account, could not have known that these men lived in proximity to one another, as we understand the term “neighbor” today. He only could have known that the men had a tribal relationship. Now some may think this conjectural, but it surely is the circumstance.
The Definition of Neighbor
At Matt. 5:43, Yahshua is credited with the words
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor (τὸν πλησίον), and hate thine enemy”
What meaning would the saying have, if one’s enemy, as is often the case, lived in the house next door? See the note at Rom. 13:10.
So here it should be evident that τὸν πλησίον is “one near” to you, but not necessarily geographically. Rather, one near in relationship is more likely the case. The Hebrew word in the original, which is found at Lev. 19:18, is Strong’s Hebrew #7453, “from 7462; an associate (more or less close)” and Strong lists the A.V. translations of the word “brother, companion, fellow, friend, husband, lover, neighbor, X (an-) other” and so it should certainly be evident now that τὸν πλησίον is not simply “one who lives nearby” etc.
The root of 7453, 7462, is defined by Strong: “a primitive root; to tend a flock, i.e. pasture it; intransitive to graze (literally or figuratively); generally to rule; by extension to associate with (as a friend)...” and so it seems to me that one’s πλησίον can only be a fellow sheep! For the bounds of proper Christian association are set at II Cor. 6:11-18, Christ has no concord or agreement with Belial, the ungodly, those without the faith, or the children of darkness, and no government of man, sponsoring “urban renewal” and forced racial integration, can ever change that.
Outward Displays of Piety
Matthew 6:5 And when you pray, do not be as the hypocrites, because they love to pray in the assembly halls and standing at the corners of the streets, that they should be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward! 6 But when you would pray, go into your closet and closing your door you shall pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees shall yield to you in secret.
Real Christians do not need crutches, nor do they need outward displays of piety, which are pretentious. We should have no need to be seen praying publicly or with others. We should seek our God with our hearts and display our love through good deeds for our brethren, and not merely in the pretense of exhibition.
Small Acts of Kindness
Matthew 10:42 And he who would give one of these little ones a single cup of cold water to drink in the name of a student, truly I say to you, by no means should he lose his reward.”
At Mark 9:41 it is recorded that Christ said: “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.” A cup of cold water was valued in the hot dry climate of Palestine, and was a sign in itself of the restoration of life, as Christ described Himself as living water to the Samaritan woman at the well in John chapter 4. We take care of the sheep. And we are rewarded accordingly. But we have absolutely no responsibility to care for wolves, dogs and swine. And if we do, then we are neglecting sheep, and we shall suffer as much for it.
Honoring Yahweh when we can help Brethren
Matthew 9:6 But in order that you would know that the Son of Man has authority upon the earth to forgive errors (then He says to the paralytic): Arising take your cot and go to your house!” 7 And arising he departed for his house. 8 Then seeing it the crowds feared and honored Yahweh for giving such authority to men.
Correctly, the crowds did not honor Yahshua, who they perceived as a mere man, but rather they honored Yahweh for the things which Yahshua had done. Men should never seek the honor of men, but rather all should honor God, that they are able to help their brethren.
Conditions of Love
Matthew 10:34 You should not suppose that I have come to put peace upon the earth. I have not come to put peace, but a sword! 35 For I have come to divide a man against his father and a daughter against her mother and a bride against her mother-in-law, 36 and a man’s enemies are those of his house!
And we in Christian Identity today can imagine just what it was like for Christians in ancient pagan Rome. We are often shunned and excoriated by our own families, because we refuse to accept the universal religion of the empire. Yes, there is little difference between modern ecumenism and the universal paganism of old Rome, where just about anything became acceptable so long as one worshipped Caesar. Today we are for the most part merely shunned, but in the first few centuries of the Christian era, our forebears were often reported, arrested, and martyred merely for professing Christ.
Christianity is not about our own sick ideas of “peace”, sick because they usually include placating aliens and sinners. As we have seen here while covering Matthew chapter 5, a true peace-maker is one who is willing to obey the laws of God, and reprove his fellows when they do not obey. Contrary to the profession of the phony “judeo-Christians”, Christ is not about peace, but rather about obedience to God, love for our own kind, and the consequences of violating those precepts.
Here Christ quotes Micah 7:6, which reads: “For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother-in-law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.”