Almost everyone if asked the question, "are you a loving person", will answer, "yes". But the fact that most people believe something about themselves does not make their claim true, does it? It is similar to asking people, "are you a good person"...how many will answer, "no, I am not"? Very few due to our self-filters and rose colored glasses we wear especially when looking into the mirror!
Listen to the average person as they say, "Oh, I love ice cream...I love my dog...I love that TV show...I love pizza...I love that park...I love those shoes..." And then they say to someone, "I love you". A little 'bell' should ring or a little red flag ought to go up for that person and they ought to ask, 'so what is the difference between me and the pizza?'! Sadly, very little. There is no better way to destroy the meaning of a word than to broaden or re-define its meaning until it loses all clarity and becomes essentially meaningless. The saying, "everyone is special" nullifies the plain meaning of "special" and does in fact result in the belief that therefore "no one person is special" - and so it is with "love". So, what "love" has come to mean in the general culture is 'I really like' or 'that thing really pleases me'. Love has become for many, merely a strong emotional liking for something and synonymous with "really like".
To know if something is true or false, you need a standard to judge, evaluate or measure against. For example, if I say, "I am over 6 feet tall", and you say, 'no you are not', we need to agree on the length of a "foot" and then measure it correctly to determine who is right. So, before we can determine my actual height, we need to first agree on the unit of measure, in this case a "foot".
As another example, you can say, 'Suzy is a giving person', but what is the standard to determine that? Well, one would need to start by agreeing that "giving" means to give good things to other people, whether material of relational. Then, we could talk to all the people Suzy interacts with on a regular basis, and ask them if Suzy 'gives good things to them' on a regular basis. If the majority said, 'yes', then your statement is validated as true. If the majority says, 'no', then your claim - on an objective basis - is wrong, even if a few individuals that Suzy favors disagree.
As you can see, while non-physical things like human motivations, thoughts, words and subsequent behavior are more difficult to measure if no standard is known or agreed upon (in the example above "giving" has no precise standard), it is still possible if people can agree to a standard.
The really good news is that universal standards for human behavior have been given! It was given by the Creator of the human race. The Creator sent His Messenger to tell us the rules for human motivation and behavior...for what is right versus what is wrong human behavior. The Messengers name is Joshua or Jesus of Nazareth, and his words, teachings and truths were recorded in four books that have unfortunately been placed/buried in a very large complicated and error ridden book, the bible. A primary purpose of this web site is to remove the words, teachings and truths of that Messenger from the error ridden book, the bible. It is also the purpose of the book, "The Light of the World: The Life and Teachings of Jesus of Nazareth".
The people of the earth, in general, have not done very well over the millennia...conflict, abuse of power, harming one another and the pain and suffering have been the normal order for thousands of years. Oh, yes, every once in a while there is an exception with a few people participating in the exception and doing much better than the norm. Those exceptions have sadly been few and far in-between and small in scale.
As was stated previously and validated by the One who defeated death, the Creator of the human race sent a Messenger to mankind about two millennia ago, and he made it VERY CLEAR what the Creator wants of His created race of mankind...he wants this all important concept called "love" to be known and practiced by the human race. Sadly and tragically, the human race has for the most part, ignored the Messenger and has gone on it's normal way of being bound by self-pride and fear and selfishness, thus continuing the established order of conflict, abuse of power, harming one another and the pain and suffering it brings.
There has always been some - very few in proportion to the general population of the earth - who have listened to the Creator's Messenger (or the conscience given to them by the Creator) and thus have endeavored to live by this all important concept of "love".
Let us first clarify what love is NOT, for many are self-deceived thinking they are "loving" people because they have the wrong definition or understanding of what true love is.
So, let us take a brief look at this all important concept to gain clarity on it.
As the article began, we must first find the authority or standard to know what "love" is. Since the dictionaries didn't exist at the time and since the Model for mankind provided the definition for love, we would do well to listen to him. I quote two sayings of his at the beginning of this article. In short, Joshua defines love as, "To value someone and have compassion for them and to behave selflessly towards them (help them) and to want to be with them". Please read that again and think about it for that is the core or 'heart' of the "love" that the Light of the world teaches.
Now, ask yourself, who in your life are you practicing love towards?
Here are a few important facts to consider about "love":
Fact 1: The Light speaks to the term "love" about 60 times in the four gospel books, so it is THE primary topic and concern of his.
Fact 2: The Light says the three greatest commandments are about "love".
Fact 3: The Light affirms and clarifies the two greatest commandments and says we are to love everyone we encounter or know in as much as they will let us, even those who make themselves "our enemies". (In contrast, Moses and thus the Hebrew scripture taught/teaches, hate and kill your enemies: "You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart..." (Lev. 19:17) & "Take full vengeance for the sons of Israel on the Midianites (not your fellow countryman)...Now therefore, kill every boy and male child, and kill every woman who is not a virgin..." (Num. 31:1-18). Therefore, you make a great error if you try to understand God through the Hebrew scripture - see The Only Correct Standard for Knowing God and Does the Old Testament Reveal God?.)
Fact 4: The "new command" is not negotiable, nor would someone want it to be if they have a heart to receive it. For the disciples love for one another will be the ONLY way for "all men" to know that we are followers of the Life. And yes, love will be "seen" by other people as we live together in unity and peace and care for each other and do the Master's work together.
Fact 5: The Light says that if those who say they follow him do not live "love" out, then they do not in reality represent him. So, if you claim to be some kind of a "follower of Jesus Christ", and you are not sharing your life (really his Life) with them - that is living with other followers as actual "brothers" and "sisters" - then you are deceived and living a religious lie that will only serve as self condemnation.
Fact 6: The Light says that their is no greater love that can be exhibited than to lay our lives down for our friends. So, if we are unwilling to live for and with our friends, what would make us think we would be willing to die for them other than the delusion self- pride would generate?
If you can accede to the above truths about "love", AND you want to live by "love", AND you can see that you have NOT been living by love, then you are on the brink of a very different life than the one you have been living...
A simple truth is that the manifestations of love cannot be realized by one person willing to live by love. It takes at least two people who are willing to love each other for the manifestation's of the love that Joshua talks about to exist. Furthermore, if you claim to be a disciple of Joshua, the new command cannot be lived out among merely blood or legal relatives. Nor can it be lived out amongst a religious group of people who do not actually love each other as Joshua defines it.
It is important to note before we take a closer look at love, that love does not exist in isolation of other important aspects of human life, or stated another way, love exists within - or is 'subservient to' - only one constraint...truth. We could not even know what love is without truth because love is not an emotion. In short, we cannot be practicing something wrong against another person and actually be loving them. Joshua teaches those wrongs and rights clearly, but IF we are living by love, we really won't need to 'refrain from the wrongs' since we will naturally be doing what is right. Said another way, love causes us to do what is right without having to concern ourselves with abstaining from what is wrong. Love is active and reaching out or 'other's' focused (what can I do to help that person), whereas "rule" or "law" is passive and preventative and self-focused (what will happen to me if I do that wrong thing).
The Creator has given human beings the metaphysical aspect of our nature called a conscience. The conscience is the "rule" or "law" of human behavior programmed into our nature...it 'informs us' when we are thinking about doing something wrong; or actually doing something wrong; or after we do something wrong. But our conscience does NOT motivate us to love...something more is required for that. For people of faith, we must first experience our Father's love for us as expressed through His Son.
Here are some characteristics or "manifestations" of people who are living by the "love" that Joshua of Nazareth teaches... manifestations of those actually living out the "new command"...
Most Christians, when they hear these simple truths, respond with self-pride or fear and say something like this, "Oh, what are you saying, that we need to be part of a commune...that we need to be part of a cult...that we need to live like socialists, groupies or hippies...' or a myriad of other fear-based defensive responses. My response is, 'no, I am just repeating what Joshua of Nazareth teaches'. Or they will say, "show me a verse in the bible that supports your view of love", and I quote Acts 2:44-45, "And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need."; but those who don't have ears to hear and who do not want to live by love will not listen even to their beloved bible if it says something they don't want to hear, and will find every excuse or 'theological' trick to make the words of no effect.
Those who fight against his simple truths and his definition of love are those where the seed falls on the bad soil...where holding onto this world and their lives in this world have domination over listening to the Light and his Way of love despite the Life saying...
Dear reader, if you are looking to save or preserve your life in this world, then you will lose eternal life, which is real Life.
If you continue on in all the self-delusions about how you are a person of God's love when you are not, you are destroying yourself and forfeiting Life.
If you think you can live the selfish, independent, proud American way...the way of "this is mine and that is yours and you stay over there except when it is convenient for us to get together for a few meetings"...then you are on the broad way of destruction.
If you are a Christian or Biblians who thinks having some ideology that is different than 'the main stream', or that not being part of the obviously dead Christian system is noble - yet you are not living out the new command - you too are badly deceived and falling short.
"There is no greater love than this...that we lay down our lives for our friends."
Lay down our life means...die for our friend. I say again, if you are not willing to live with your friends and help them and care for them each day, then what makes you think you will die for them other than the delusion produced by self-pride???
Here come the lame excuses...'oh, I would BUT my religious leader says...BUT my wife...BUT my parents...BUT my husband...BUT my job...BUT my children...BUT my situation...BUT I have this problem...BUT my career...BUT my work...' and on and on the loveless-ness goes, growing colder and colder as each year passes... For the record, none of those excuses will bring Life nor will they prevent you from sending yourself to destruction...but then, that is the nature of delusion and deception, isn't it?
"The love of most will grow cold, but he who endures (continues by faith to love) to the end (even when love has been redefined and the people grow content in their selfish, materialistic lifestyle) will be saved (from the emptiness and self-condemnation and destruction that loveless-ness brings)."
Please, enter into his Life and come, join the Peaceful Revolution!