All in the Family
Today there are so many voices speaking to us, from TV, social media, family and friends. Who do you believe? Who do you trust? Most people will go the way that will suit their lifestyle. Yeshua had some people following Him one day, and they did not like what He had to say. Let’s take a closer look.
That day Yeshua was speaking to His followers and He said this to them as recorded in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”
But His listeners did not understand His statement as John 8:33 tells us, “They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” They claimed that they were in the family of Abraham and not anyone’s slave. Verse 34-35 continues this discussion. “Yeshua answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.” Let’s stop and look at what God says about Abraham in Genesis 18:19, “For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has promised him.”
We see that fathers are supposed to teach their children.
Psalm 78:5-8 says this, “He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
Proverbs 3:1-4 says, “My son, forget not My law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”
And again in Proverbs 4:1-4, “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.”
So, should not our Heavenly Father teach us?
Yeshua begins to show them truth in verses 37-38 of John 8, “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”
But they will have none of it, for once again they repeat themselves in
verse 39, “They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Yeshua said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham.”
So often we see people who get very angry when truth is spoken to them. You know the saying , “The truth hurts.” This encounter that Yeshua had with these people is common when peoples’ sins or habits or secrets are exposed. Yeshua was not trying to hurt them or mock them, but simply speaking the truth to them to set them free. When alcoholics begin recovery they must first admit that they are alcoholics. The same with us, we must admit that we are sinners, as Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” But verse 41 of John 8 tells us that they would hear none of it. “You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: even God.” This time they even included God as their Father. Yeshua continues in verse 43, “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.” How many times does the Scripture say, “He who has ears let him hear?” So Yeshua comes out and plainly tells them in verse 44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” In Verse 47 Yeshua tells them why they do not hear, “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 10: 24-27 records Yeshua giving an answer to the crowd who did not believe Him, and maybe it was still the same crowd. “The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”Yeshua answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in My Father’s name testify about Me, but you do not believe because you are not My sheep. My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” So where are we? We have those who do no hear because of their sin and those who do not believe because they are not of the flock of Yeshua. We may say that we are in the family of God, but unless we examine ourselves how do we know? 2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Messiah Yeshua is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” Yeshua accused the crowd of murder. So what is murder, other than actually killing someone? Matthew 5:21-22 tells us, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” And again in 1 John 3:15, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”
So we see that anger, insults and hatred are all murder. We never think that when we get angry at someone that, that is the same as murder, or when we insult someone, it’s the opposite of love, it’s hate, there is no in between. So how often then are we actually showing hatred and not love? All is murder and all needs to be repented of. Yeshua also told them that day to do the deeds of Abraham if he was truly their father.
So what were the deeds of Abraham? Well, one was that he believed God. Genesis 15:4-6 tells us this, “Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.”
How many times do we lack faith? We doubt, we waver, we question…all is unbelief. Abraham did not waver in his faith as Romans 4:20-24 tells us.
“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in Him who raised Yeshua our Lord from the dead.”
Do we ever repent of our unbelief ? Left unchecked unbelief will lead to sin. Romans 14:23 tells us this “But the one who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.”
Hebrews 3:12-18 speaks about the people in the wilderness and their unbelief. “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Messiah, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.”
So everything for a unbelieving person, a person without faith, is sin and he can not be in the family of God. Without faith it’s impossible to please God as
Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “ And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him”.
So we want to look at the deeds of our heavenly Father….well that could take awhile, so let’s look at 1 Peter 1:15-16, “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”
Our Creator, our heavenly Father is holy and we are to be like Him in all things. We are to be godly, or you can say God like. Colossians 3:5-10 tells us about our worldly deeds, “ Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
Colossians 3:12-15 continues, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Messiah rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
1 John 2: 1-6 tells us, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Yeshua Messiah righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. Whoever says “I know Him” but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His Word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever claims to live in Him must live as Yeshua did.”
1 John 2:9-11 continues, “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.”
Verses 15-17 also tells us how we can continue to do the deeds of our Father, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
James 4:4 also tells us, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
And lastly verses 28-29 of 1 John tells us, “And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of Him.”
2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Messiah Yeshua is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”
Are you in the Family? Are you not doing the deeds of your Heavenly Father? Repent and come back to the Family.