God is immutable. He does not change according to circumstances. Therefore, His principles in dealing with each of us are the same regardless of who we are:

There is no partiality with God (Romans 2:11).

God’s goodness is His love. He is more interested in a relation- ship with His creatures than in order per se. To God, order is a by-product of love, a result of respect for life and freedom. God’s goodness is entirely different from Satan’s Good.

In His conversation with the rich young ruler, Jesus differentiated God’s goodness from the Good of Good and Evil:

Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good teacher, what good shall I do that I may have eternal life?’ So He said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God. But if you want to enter life, keep the commandments’ (Matthew 19:16, 17).

The rich young ruler’s question reveals that what drove him was the law of Good and Evil. He wanted to know what Good works he could do in order to deserve or earn eternal life. He didn’t realize that salvation is given freely to us because of God’s grace—because He loves us. He was thinking in terms of conditions and therefore wanted to know what were the conditions he had to meet in order to earn salvation. To him, heaven was a transaction: if he did Good he would receive the reward of eternal life. And we might add, he only wanted to be good because he wanted that reward. Instead of addressing his misconception, Jesus corrected his perception of what real “good” was—He pointed him to God. “Why do you call me good? There is no one good but God.”

Jesus was not saying that only His Father was good, because Jesus too was good, in the real sense of the word. Jesus was divine; therefore, He had to be speaking about Himself as well when He said “there is no one good but God.” So what was He trying to say? He no doubt also wanted the young man to acknowledge that He was God, He was the Messiah. But there is one more thing He wanted to convey to that young man: He wanted to raise the bar in his thinking regarding what is “good.”

Jesus was separating God’s goodness from the Good of the principle of Good and Evil—“why do you call me good?” Which Good are you talk- ing about, human Good or divine goodness? Having done that, He then stated “there is no one good but God.” In other words, all the Good in the world is a counterfeit, a deception, because it is flawed by selfish motives and agendas, and stems from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Only God’s unconditional agape love stands as truly good because agape is not tainted by any evil. It is not tainted by self-seeking either. The young ruler’s Good works were motivated by the selfish desire to earn salvation, not for love of God or his fellow man. If he had really loved God he would have also loved Jesus, and he would have accepted His amazing invitation to follow Him.

Agape love is the underlying principle of God’s Ten Commandments. The apostle James said that if we break one commandment, we break all of them. How so? If we act outside of agape love in one area we break the principle, the spirit of the law. If we act outside of love in one area, we will act outside of love in another. If the underlying principle that rules our heart is not agape, all our actions will be out of harmony with God’s law.

Says the psalmist, “The law of the Lord is perfect” (Psalm 19:7). How wonderful in its simplicity, its comprehensiveness and perfection, is the law of Jehovah! It is so brief that we can easily commit every precept to memory, and yet so far-reaching as to express the whole will of God, and to take cognizance, not only of the outward actions, but of the thoughts and intents, the desires and emotions, of the heart. Human laws cannot do this. They can deal with the outward actions only. A man may be a transgressor, and yet conceal his misdeeds from human eyes; he may be a criminal—a thief, a murderer, or an adulterer— but so long as he is not discovered, the law cannot condemn him as guilty. The law of God takes note of the jealousy, envy, hatred, malignity, revenge, lust, and ambition that surge through the soul, but have not found expression in outward action, because the opportunity, not the will, has been wanting. And these sinful emotions will be brought into the account in the day when “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14) – {1SM 217.1, emphasis added}.

The Pharisees believed they could hide their hearts behind Good works. But Jesus saw what was inside them—they were filled with iniquity, because their moral law was based on the reward and punishment system. Only agape love can fulfill the law of God. And none of us are able to produce this love—it is a supernatural act of God that enables us to have it. We must desire it—and He will provide it. But even then, it is God who also provides the desire.

…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13, emphasis added).

So what part do we have in it, if God provides both the desire and the empowerment? We must consent. When God shows us the way and gives us the desire, then we must freely choose the path to follow. He will never let go of us, and we must never let go of Him.

So how can we truly distinguish between human and divine love? From a spiritual perspective, in the context of God’s essence, divine and human love have absolutely no common ground because they are based on opposite motives—divine love, true love, is selfless. Human love is always selfish.

In order to understand God’s character, we must comprehend the limit- less difference between agape and Good and Evil. Therefore, it is very important that we make a distinction between divine love and human love.

Human love is dependent on the beauty or goodness of its objects, there- fore it is variable and partial. Human love favours its own, friends and family, those who are considered good, and condemns enemies and those that are perceived as evil. This is not agape love, but the Good of Good and Evil.

The Good of Good and Evil is based on feelings, emotions, and attitudes, while agape on the other hand controls feelings, emotions, and attitudes by an inward principle of unselfish love that never sways. Thus agape provides the basis for an unconditional, impartial commitment. The Good of Good and Evil can provide the basis for establishing a relationship, but it is a superficial and unstable foundation. Agape, on the other hand, is durable, dependable and will never break a relationship. Good yields to circumstances, while agape survives and transcends all circumstances.


The Good of Good and Evil is Satan’s substitute for God’s love; it is unforgiving and selfish, and is not governed by God’s moral law. Agape is God’s plan for all intelligent life relationships, and is the principle that overcomes the unreliability of Satan’s Good. Agape is always generous and forgiving, and when it becomes our moral law, it governs all aspects of our life.

By contrast, the love that stems from the Good of Good and Evil is based on control—it strives to control others. It is insecure therefore it desperately grasps and exercises arbitrary power out of fear of losing control. Agape seeks to control self instead of others; it grants power without fear. The Good of Good and Evil fosters pride, but agape is victorious over this destructive and blinding emotion. Good falters in the face of stress and tension and utterly collapses when it encounters emotional chaos. By contrast, agape survives stress and tension and endures all emotional turmoil.

As you can see, there is a vast difference between God’s agape love and the conventional worldly meaning of the word “love.” We hope that this will help us realize the wisdom of God. Wouldn’t the world be an entirely different place if we all operated by agape love? Imagine a world powered by selfless, giving, unconditional, infinite, never ending agape love! Wouldn’t this be heavenly? This love would indeed heal us.

Agape love is not based on the goodness of the one loved, but on the perfection of the Lover; this is why God’s love and the so-called “love” of the realm of Good and Evil are worlds apart. Agape is a life-giving principle. God’s agape love reaches all, even the most degenerate criminal or terrorist who, in our eyes are unworthy of being loved. Isn’t that true hope? Hope that reaches everyone, not just a few?

This is the love that motivated Christ when He died for us, “the ungodly,” sinners, His “enemies:”

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (Romans 5:6-8, 10, emphasis added).

God demonstrated His love—agape—by dying for us while we were yet enemies towards Him. Enemy love—that’s how God treats those who are in opposition to Him. If Jesus instructed us to love our enemies, we may assume that He and the Father do the same. Listen to His words of life:


You have heard that it was said, ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5: 38-39, 43, 44-45).

Never anyone spoke with such authority, simplicity, and insight into the character of God as Jesus! By telling us to love our enemies, He said all we needed to know about God. By teaching us to love our enemies He overthrew all the wrong concepts about God’s character that had derailed us from a true knowledge of the Creator since Adam and Eve sinned. Because of Christ’s revelation, we can now experience a breakthrough in our understanding of His character.

God can’t ask us to conform to a moral code He does not follow. If we are to be “imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1), God Himself must believe and act according to what He asks of us otherwise He would be a hypocrite and we would be left completely confused. As the express image of God, Jesus is the quintessential example to be followed because Jesus lived according to what God asks of us. There is no contradiction in Him.

God wants us to treat each other, especially our enemies, with agape love, because that is how He, in Jesus, treated us. In His eyes, perfection is having impartial love for all. That is what Jesus meant when He said “… for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on just and on the unjust. …Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5: 45, 48).

How overwhelmingly opposite to our own ways are these words! They cut sharply, against our inner compass, which the Bible calls “the flesh.” How will we ever exhibit God’s agape love when it is so contrary to our nature?

God will empower us, if we so desire it. God’s love will be truly shown by how we treat our enemies—if when confronted with any negativity, we react in love. Agape love will be fully evident in us when we choose to die rather than inflict harm on our enemies, doing good to them even if they have an insatiable hatred for us and are determined to destroy us.

How has God’s goodness been shown to His enemies? When Jesus created the earth He made all things in a state of perfection, and it is His sustaining and up- holding power of life that continually makes life possible:


…He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His [God’s] glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power… (Hebrews 1:2-3).

It is “by the word of His power” that Jesus constantly provides life to all living things. After sin entered the world through Adam, God did not remove the energy and life-giving force necessary for the upkeep of creation. The slow death of the planet began with a wrong choice and continues to this day because of wrong choices. By these wrong choices we counteract the sustaining power of God and nullify it. But not once did God remove the power of His word that upholds His “enemies.”

Even as we destroy the earth to the point of extinction, God continues to bless the world through every possible avenue still open to Him. Had He withdrawn any part of His sustaining upkeep, the planet would have self-destructed from the first moment that sin was introduced.

God will continue to send all the blessings He possibly can, until the last ray of His love is blocked or rejected by a world locked in stubborn rebellion. But even then, His agape love will continue, unabated, because one day He will restore all things to their original splendour:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1).

Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful’ (Revelation 21:5).

The human race is actively participating in the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It is empirically evident that God’s principle of agape love is not being used on earth. If we believed and practiced God’s agape love, the earth would not be in its present chaotic condition. How do we switch from Good and Evil to agape?

As we said earlier, we cannot do this. God will do this for us if we allow Him. Then, we will stop loving with a selfish agenda and begin loving for the long-term betterment of others, even at our own expense; then we will be living by agape love. This is the narrow gate through which we can enter into life:

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and confined is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:13-14).


The greatest manifestation of God’s goodness was to give us His Son, Jesus Christ. Christ came to earth to reveal God’s unconditional love. There were no conditions attached to the love of Christ; this was demonstrated in His life, and even more so, in His death. He sacrificed Himself for us and His giving of Himself was unconditional and is universally applied.

… but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 9:26).

Christ “has appeared to put away sin”—our wrong view of God, our “missing the mark” about the heart of the Creator. In putting away that one misconception, He also puts away all our “sins”—we are all forgiven, justified, “sitting in heavenly places.”

There are no stipulated conditions to be fulfilled before the merits of Jesus Christ’s death for the sins of humanity can be appropriated, because salvation is not based on works we may do:

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the un- godly, his faith is accounted for righteousness (Romans 4:5).

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

God’s Son gave Himself to us, sinners, before He received any positive response from us. He gave Himself to the ungodly, to the world, to the entire sinful human race. He gave Himself unconditionally out of agape love. While we were still evil, wicked, ungodly enemies of God, Christ died for us. God came into our midst through the person of Jesus Christ to rescue us from Satan’s lies. We can subjectively receive this salvation when we internalize and believe that God gave His life for us while we were yet ungodly, undeserving, and living in enmity towards Him.

God’s agape love is like a giant magnet that draws, not forces, us to Himself: And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself (John 12:32, emphasis added).

It is only when the power of God’s agape love attracts us that we begin responding to Him in positive ways. Jesus knew that the demonstration of His love on the cross, where He was lifted up, would attract and draw us to Himself and the Father. The drawing power of His love empowers us to follow Him out of love, not out of fear.


God has always been reconciled to us. When we accept His love as the ruling principle in our lives, we become reconciled to Him. We cannot be reconciled to God unless agape love becomes our governing principle. If we reject God’s impartial agape love, we automatically shift our allegiance into Satan’s partial and arbitrary domain of Good and Evil, and there we suffer punishment, pain and destruction.

When we turn to false gods and their laws, we disenfranchise our- selves from God’s jurisdiction and by default we position ourselves in Satan’s jurisdiction of Good and Evil. When we accept the principle of agape love, then the conditional law of Good and Evil will cease to reign in us. God’s unconditional love is the light that destroys darkness.

One could say that all the tragedies in the world could have been avoid- ed, had God not been a God of agape love. How so? If God had not been agape He would have destroyed Lucifer right from the very beginning.

Lucifer wanted God to implement the knowledge of Good and Evil as the law of the universe. If God had followed his advice to adopt that law He would have taken Lucifer’s freedom away or exterminated him, and we would not have been exposed to the mayhem that overwhelms our world. Would this have solved the root cause of the problem of evil?

No, because had God annihilated Lucifer, He might have achieved a temporary peace, but He Himself would have become evil. He would no longer have been a God of agape love but a very different being altogether. He would have become the ultimate arbitrary dictator, the ultimate controller. The uni- verse would have become a literal hell, because no one would have been able to escape God’s omniscient, arbitrary control. He would have been exactly what Satan accused Him of being: an arbitrary controlling dictator. What a blessing that God was, is, and always will be a God of agape love!