By This Shall All Men Know Ye Are My Disciples

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By This Shall All Men Know Ye Are My Disciples – John 13:35

Time after time, year in and year out, I have had members of this body ask me for the address or phone number of a brother or sister who had requested prayer for a particular need. You, as a body of believers, do not just say “depart in peace, be warmed and filled”. This body as a whole is a very giving group of doers of the Word and not hearers only.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of [our] works [of the law], lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

James and Paul were on the same spiritual page. They had “the same mind”. They both had “the mind of Christ”, so James tells us the same thing:

Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Jas 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
Jas 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Jas 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Jas 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
Jas 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

The honor of seeing a door opened in the heavens, and then being given to be seated with Christ in those heavens (Eph 2:6), is not given to those who only hear the Word but do not do the things Christ tells us to do. We cannot say we are Christ’s elect and despise “[our] own flesh” as we have all done in our own time, as Isaiah relates to us:

Isa 58:5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
Isa 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Isa 58:7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Isa 58:8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.

Only then will we be given an open door into the things of the heavens, and only then will we be granted to be seated with Christ in the heavens.

Eph 2:6 And raised us up together, and seated us together in the heavenlies, in Christ: (LITV)

Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

We cannot demand of a weak brother that he immediately become a strong brother. When we do that, it is we who are “them that are weak in the faith”. It is those who are weak in the faith who judge their brother and condemn their brother for not being more spiritually mature. We cannot demand that our brother or sister like our music, the same flavor ice cream or that he or she have our same habits.

How can we know we have been given to be sitting with Christ on His Father’s throne in the heavens? In other words, how can we know whether we are Christ’s own? This is one way we, and “all men”, will be made to know who we are in Christ:

Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Who is the subject of the words “one to another”? To answer that question, all we need to ask is, “to whom was Christ speaking in John 13:35?”

Here is the answer to that question:

Joh 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
Joh 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;

So let it be known that Christ was speaking to “His own”, to those who were to become the foundation of His temple, His spiritual house, His body, a holy habitation”.

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

What are these “spiritual sacrifices” we are to offer up to God by Jesus Christ? Christ told us that His Words “are spirit and they are truth” (Joh 6:63). He asks us:

Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Luk 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
Luk 6:48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
Luk 6:49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

It was during His last meal with His elect apostles that He said “by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” In other words, this statement telling us how all men will know that we are Christ’s disciples is addressed spiritually to you and to me, if we claim to be His disciples.

Does that mean we need not love those who are not “His own” in the sense of being Christ’s most intimate apostles with whom He ate the Passover? No, of course not! It was Christ who told us:

Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

However, this, too, is the doctrine of our Lord which He was teaching us on the night of His apprehension at the hands of the Jews. This is the point He made to all of us the last night He had with all of His disciples before He was delivered up to be crucified for the sins of the world:

Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

This same apostle reemphasizes this point in:

1Jn 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus in the Christ is born [Greek: gennao, G1080] of God: and every one that loveth him that begat [Greek: gennao, G1080] loveth him also that is begotten [Greek: gennao, G1080] of him.

What John is telling us in this verse is that if we say we love Christ and His Father, then we must also love those in whom He dwells. Don’t even bother to deceive yourself into believing that you love God and are seated with Him in the heavens when you cannot humble yourself to show love to a weak brother or sister with whom you simply do not want to be around.

John goes on the make this point:

1Jn 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1Jn 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

You and I know that God Himself has first made us all as wicked men for our own day of evil:

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

We know that it is God Himself who made us to err from His ways.

Isa 63:17 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

We know that it is not in mankind to direct his own steps:

Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

We know that nothing in our lives depends on what we will to do:

Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Rom 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

We know that in the final analysis, everything that happens in this world and within the very body of Christ happens because that event was worked by the Lord Himself “after the counsel of His own will”.

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

We know all these verses, and we know the great Truth of God’s total sovereignty that is revealed within these words. It is through the knowledge of these Truths that we are all given to “love one another”, even if our tastes and personalities concerning physical things are not compatible.

Knowing these things are so, how is it possible that anyone in this body of believers can possibly despise his or her brother or sister in Christ? Yet that is still the inclination of our flesh, and we will be warring against that dying flesh as long as we draw our physical breathe.

We know that every little detail, including the death of a sparrow or the hairs that fall from our heads, is only done with the hand of God working all things:

Luk 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
Luk 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Luk 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
Luk 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

This is Christ speaking to us and telling us that while He values us “more…than many sparrows”, He is not in the business of saving our old man with his dying flesh. He is still intent upon destroying our old man in “Gehenna”.

This is who we all just naturally are, and this is what we all just naturally do:

Mat 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Mat 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
Mat 18:24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
Mat 18:25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
Mat 18:26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
Mat 18:28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
Mat 18:29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
Mat 18:31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Mat 18:32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Mat 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
Mat 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
Mat 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Christ has seen fit to tell us this about ourselves, and we will do well to take these words to heart:

Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 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:
Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40 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.
Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Mat 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Mat 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

So when does “the Son of man” come in His glory and all His holy angels with Him to sit on the throne of His glory with all the nations gathered before Him? The answer is always the same.

Christ’s Words are, were and always will be, and they “shall not pass away”.

Mat 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

These words have a present inward application to the nations within us. This has been the case since the day they were spoken by Christ, and these words will be true in an outward application at the beginning of the millennium, and they will have their final application until the time of the great white throne judgment, which will usher in the “all in all” goal of His creation.

We will conclude with these words which apply to every one of us in our own order:

Rom 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

This must be our attitude “one to another”. We must never say:

Isa 65:5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
Isa 65:6 Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom,

However, we will do just that, and the Lord will recompense us for our deeds which He is working in us, and He will yet give us the victory we are seeking:

Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If we are producing the fruits of His elect, then we are His elect:

Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Yes, we must love all men, even our enemies, but these are some of the last words spoken by Christ to His most intimate disciples, and they have a special application to His Christ:

Joh 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.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Think about that! “As I have loved you” should make us all remember just how much Christ has ‘put up with’ from each of us. Now He is commanding us to do the same “one to another”.

Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

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