Have you ever wondered what life could have been, had Adam and Eve not opened the floodgates of evil upon the earth? Or have you imagined what it would be like to live in a world in which there was absolutely no pain, destruction or death?

It is hard for us to imagine heaven, given we have never seen or experienced anything like it. But whatever heaven is, we know “it is heaven!”

We often use this phrase to qualify a wonderful, positive, absolutely delightful experience. If a friend said, “I went to Fiji for Christmas, and oh, it was absolute heaven!” we need hear no more. We would know exactly what he or she meant, and even though we wouldn’t know the precise particulars of their vacation we would know they had a peaceful, relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable time.

The next question we then ask is this: what makes heaven heaven? Take a look at this verse from the Book of Psalms:

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11, emphasis added).

This is a description of heaven, isn’t it? “Life,” “fullness of joy,” “pleasures forevermore”—a paradise. It sounds like our friend’s Fiji vacation, doesn’t it? And what makes heaven a place where there is “fullness of joy” and “pleasures forevermore”? If your answer is the “presence” of God you are absolutely right! What else could it be?

The Psalmist talks about the “presence” of God—but he also mentions the “path of life.” In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses contrasted the “path of life” with “the path of curses,” describing the latter in blood-curdling language, leaving nothing to the imagination. Where, how, and by whom did this other destructive “path” originate? Did it have its origin in God, who shows us “the path of life,” or in someone else?

If God is love, and if love is His very essence, His perfect character, His benchmark singular principle for the governance of every aspect of life— can He also be involved in death? If love is the governing law that God utilizes even in the most infinitesimal events in the universe—it is a reflection of His very character—then can He also be involved in the darkness that causes pain, suffering, misery and destruction?

If God is love, then God created everything out of love, by love, for love, through love and in love. The Bible’s message is that God is love, and that His love is life. God’s love is “the path of life.”

Take a look at the following verses from the Book of Proverbs, where Solomon connects the commandment, the law of God, with “the way of life:”

For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life (Proverbs 6:23, emphasis added).

The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death (Proverbs 13:14, emphasis added).

Paul states the same principle in the following verse:

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2, emphasis added).

Paul not only points to God’s law as being the law of life, the “law of the Spirit of life,” but he reveals that there is another law present in the world—“the law of sin and death.” What is “the law of sin and death,” and where did it come from, and with whom did it originate? Now we know where death comes from: “for the day you eat of it you shall surely die,” (Genesis 2:17). So does this law also belong to the God of love and life?

We must understand how sacred the law of God is:

The law of God is as sacred as God Himself. It is a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, the expression of divine love and wisdom. The harmony of creation depends upon the perfect conformity of all beings, of everything, animate and inanimate, to the law of the Creator. God has ordained laws for the government, not only of living beings, but of all the operations of nature. Everything is under fixed laws, which cannot be disregarded. But while everything in nature is governed by natural laws, man alone, of all that inhabits the earth, is amenable to moral law. To man, the crowning work of creation, God has given power to understand His requirements, to comprehend the justice and beneficence of His law, and its sacred claims upon him; and of man unswerving obedience is required {PP 52.3, emphasis added}.

God’s law “is a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, the expression of divine love and wisdom.” God’s law is what the Bible refers to as “righteousness,” God’s ways, His idea of what is right. “Righteousness” can also refer to God’s justice.

In Hebrew, “righteousness” means “rightness, rectitude, moral virtue,” (Strong’s Concordance). God’s justice, His “rightness, rectitude, and moral virtue,” is always in harmony with His agape love. Thus, His justice is al- ways kind, gentle, impartial, unconditional, merciful, equitable, freedom- giving, peaceful, nonviolent and loving. It is never harsh, punitive, cruel, partial, conditional, arbitrary, controlling, forceful, or violent.

There is, however, a counterfeit “justice” in the world, a “rightness, rectitude, and moral virtue” that is contrary to God’s righteousness. This counterfeit uses all these negative methods listed above; this is the “justice” the world by and large knows and operates by—but this is not the justice of God, according to the Scriptures.

God’s law of agape love is an expression of who He is—therefore it is impossible to separate God from His law of agape love.

When man, beguiled by Satan’s power, disobeyed the divine law, God could not, even to save the lost race, change that law. God is love, and to change the law would be to deny Himself, to overthrow those principles with which are bound up the good of the universe {Messenger June 7, 1893, par. 6, emphasis added}.

Notice that God’s law contains principles “with which are bound up the good of the universe” and to change this law would be to “deny Himself.”

So we have established that God’s law is the law of love. But how is His law articulated? Is it a written code, many pages long, which must be carefully studied before it can be understood? Is it anything like the legal documents we all encounter nowadays, filled with fine print and unintelligible jargon?

No—His law is much simpler than that, and yet of much more con- sequence. His law is a moral law—and this is extremely significant. The moral law resides in the heart of each intelligent being God creates; it is this moral law that guides our every thought and action, because the heart is the seat of our judgment. What we mean is that all our decisions, which are based on our moral judgments, come from our hearts. To use a modern concept, God’s moral law is the “software” that comes with every “device” He creates—a software that ensures optimum functionality.

We are getting closer to answering the question we posed earlier—what was it that made heaven a heaven? Wasn’t it the fact that in heaven God’s will (His law) was done by all, in that all lived by His moral law of love? Wasn’t heaven a heaven because all intelligent beings emulated His character because they willingly conformed to His agape love? It was by the corporate use of the law of agape love that harmony, peace and life were able to exist in heaven, and thus make it a place of pure joy.

Some might be thinking that we are taking off in a legalistic path; please continue reading—this is not the case. There is an appropriate, accurate biblical stance on the significance of the law. Whether we realize it or not we are all living by a moral law—“the law of the Spirit of life,” or “the law of sin and death.” These are two moral laws, the moral law of life or the moral law of death. We must be able to distinguish between these two antagonistic principles, which operate by antagonistic motives.

The heavenly conditions of bliss we pictured in our minds were possible for one reason and one reason only: because from eternity past God ruled the universe with the law of love, “the law of the Spirit of life.”

Can you imagine an existence where love is the constant state of affairs? Where every interaction is done with other people’s greatest good in mind? A place where there is no yelling, no lying, stealing, hurting, destruction, deception, cheating, no need for crying? Instead, there is kindness, care, concern, and utmost respect? Well, that is heaven—where the moral law of love rules. But love does not feel like a law; it is not drudgery:

But in heaven, service is not rendered in the spirit of legality. When Satan rebelled against the law of Jehovah, the thought that there was a law came to the angels almost as an awakening to something un-thought of. In their ministry the angels are not as servants, but as sons. There is perfect unity between them and their Creator. Obedience is to them no drudgery. Love for God makes their service a joy. So in every soul wherein Christ, the hope of glory, dwells, His words are re-echoed, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8 {MB 109.2, emphasis added}.

Being in a state of love means being filled with joy, and when we love someone it is a pleasure to be with them. Love evokes all sorts of positive and wonderful thoughts and feelings, and if used as a guideline for our lives, it is not cumbersome to follow. Love’s greatest joy is to make an- other happy. If absolutely everyone was filled with God’s love, the world would be a peaceful place because His love, which is unconditional, impartial, and freedom giving, is the perfect mechanism for social inter- action. Everyone is cared for, and no one left out.

The apostle John said:

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3).

The commandments of God, summarized, is that we love one another. There is nothing “grievous” or burdensome about loving one another. Hopefully we have all experienced love to a certain degree. Those in a loving relationship do things for each other freely, out of joy, not duty. This law of love cannot be forced upon us—it must be freely accepted and adopted. Neither can we enforce this law upon others—not even on our children. All must accept or reject it for themselves. Love never operates by force and is not enforceable. By definition, love and freedom go hand in hand. If they don’t—then we are dealing with something other than love.

Before Lucifer’s sin, heavenly beings had never known anything contrary to the joyous, happy and harmonious state-of-being they enjoyed under God’s law of love. Their relationship with God and each other was filled with this pure joy. Their complete devotion to God and their peers was an expression of free will. It was a love exchange—God loved them, they loved Him, and they loved each other. They saw no evil in each other.

The residents of the universe certainly didn’t follow God out of fear. On the contrary, at that time there was absolutely no such thing as fear. How do we know this? Consider the following passage from 1 John 4:18:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

There is so much to explore in this verse, but for now it suffices to bring to our attention the fact that if God is love, indeed “perfect love”—agape love—then a universe with a God of perfect love would have to be free of fear. Fear, therefore, is an intruder, and did not originate from God.

Fear and love are both motivators, powerful ones, in fact. Imagine a world in which the sole motivation for every thought and action was love. Could it even be possible? Yes: this was the condition of things prior to sin. All were motivated by love alone and all things worked in perfect harmony. God’s universe of agape love was flawless, His government of love, a paradise.

Yet one day, Lucifer challenged that standard. He saw a flaw in it, and as a result he began a war against God’s government of love:


There is a grand rebellion in the earthly universe. Is there not a great leader of that rebellion? Is not Satan the life and soul of every species of rebel- lion which he himself has instigated? Is he not the first great apostate from God? A rebellion exists. Lucifer revolted from his allegiance and makes war on the divine government {4BC 1163.4, emphasis added}.

It is hard to imagine such a thing, Lucifer making “war on the divine government,” waging war against God’s perfect system of love. Some- one should have told him, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”

When he started his war on God, Lucifer brought in confusion about God. His attack on God’s perfect system of love was targeted directly at the very heart of God because that is where God’s system of government came from—it came from His heart of love. The moment Lucifer attacked God’s government, God’s heart was put on trial. God’s message to us, at this time in the history of the world, is to listen to the only True Witness who can reveal His true heart of love.

Most of us realize that we are living near the end of earth’s history, and as such, we are living in the period of the Laodicean church of Revelation chapter three. To us, the Laodicean church, God says:

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God (Revelation 3:14).

Laodicea is beckoned to listen to the True Witness. Nowhere else in the Bible are the words “True Witness” directed to anyone—only to Laodicea. This is because Laodicea is the church that is living during the time of God’s trial—the trial that will exonerate Him of all Satan’s false accusations. The time of Laodicea is also the time of the three angel’s message, which is the hour of God’s judgment:

“Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water” (Revelation 14:6, emphasis added).

God’s hour of judgment is good news for us, because as we look at the evidence in this trial it will become very clear that all the accusations of Sa- tan the accuser are false. It will be seen that the divine government of love is not only perfect, but also the only viable way for living beings to exist.