This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1: 5).
The apostle John was given a very a distinct and precise message. The message that he and the other apostles of Jesus Christ had heard, they heard from none other than Jesus Christ Himself, who alone has ever had the absolute knowledge of the character of God. Because Jesus is the only Being in the universe who has ever had a perfect and faultless understanding of God, and because He loves us with an everlasting love, He chose to come to earth in order to share His knowledge of the Father, not only with the human race but also with the whole universe. Jesus at first gave this knowledge to His disciples, and now He is opening our understanding, at this particular time in the history of the earth, in order to give us the pure and undefiled revelation of God the Father. The message Jesus came to bring us is that there is no darkness at all in God.
What exactly did Jesus mean when He taught the disciples that God is light? What precisely did He mean when He said that in Him is no darkness at all? These are the questions this chapter will set out to answer.
God Is Light
It shall soon become apparent that the word ‘light’ is used interchangeably for the words ‘love’ and ‘life’ in John’s message. Likewise, ‘darkness’ is equated to the words ‘hate’ and ‘death. ‘
In his first epistle, the apostle John uses two words to describe God. The first is found in 1 John 1:5, God is light, and the other in 1 John 4:8, God is love. The words ‘light’ and ‘love’ are both used by John to describe the character of God. It is generally agreed that when John says that God is love he means to say that love is the essence of God’s being. It is worth emphasizing that the apostle is not referring in a general way to one of God’s attributes, which are a mere reflection of His essence, but he is specifically referring to the very essence of God, which is love. John did not say ‘God has love,’ but God is love.
The word ‘light’ has been used in the Bible in many different ways when referring to God but always with the foundational meaning that He is love and life. The word ‘light’ also refers to truth, but that truth always has to do with the character of God, which is love.
Light And Darkness
John himself defines the word ‘light’ and its opposite, ‘darkness.’ Through a progression of verses the meaning of those words will become very clear. The first set of verses are found in 1 John 1:6-7:
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanses us from all sin (emphasis added).
In the above verses John is basically saying that we may call ourselves Christians and say we love God, but if we walk in darkness then we are lying not only to others, but to ourselves. Notice that by walking in the light, as God is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.
The second passage that sheds light on this truth is a continuation of the first, 1 John 2:3-11:
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded hiseyes (emphasis added).
Here is clearly seen that ‘light’ is ‘love’, and ‘darkness’ is the opposite of love. So when the apostle John says that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all, he means to say that in God’s love there is absolutely nothing that is a part of darkness.
Only Jesus Could Reveal God Because Jesus Is The Express Image Of The Father
Jesus Christ is the only Being in the universe who knows God absolutely and perfectly, and who has the ultimate insight about God and that is simply because He is the Creator God Himself. This truth is declared in the following passages:
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they (Hebrews 1:1-4).
In this text is seen the absolute preeminence of Jesus Christ as the sole messenger through whom God has in these last days spoken to us. Jesus Christ, the heir of all things and the Creator of the worlds, is also the express image of God’s being, the I AM. Christ is absolutely the express image of the Father. God made certain that by beholding Jesus Christ no one should go astray in regards to His character.
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him (John 1:18).
It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father (John 6:45, 46).
No one has known God as He ought to be known except for Jesus Christ. Therefore, only Jesus Christ’s testimony of the Father is full, complete and true.
To See God Is To Know Him
When Jesus uses the word ‘seen,’ He is really saying ‘know.’ In John 14:7 that meaning is made apparent:
If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him. All things are delivered unto Me of my Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither know any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him (Matthew 11:27).
So we see that it was Jesus Christ Himself, the only One with this ultimate knowledge of God, who told the apostle John that there is no darkness at all in God’s essence. When John states that God is love, he means to say that not a trace of evil, which we will agree comes from Satan’s domain of darkness, is in His love.
The World Believes God Is A Mixture Of Light And Darkness
The statement no darkness at all presupposes that an erroneous belief had prevailed in connection with God’s essence and character. It implies that some semblance of this darkness had infiltrated the minds of the people regarding God. Therefore Jesus Christ is clearly informing the world that we have seriously erred in attributing some or any aspects of the kingdom of darkness to God’s character.
Darkness is complete in itself, so that the words at all, when used in reference to the darkness, are a deliberate over-emphasis of this word for a very good reason. This no darkness at all unequivocally asserts that we are never to make the mistake of having any mixture in our view of God. In particular it is imperative that we do not attribute to His essence both light and darkness, or good and evil.
In John’s declaration, Jesus was addressing a people who believed, from their study of the Bible, in a God whose character was tainted with darkness. But according to Jesus, darkness is the character trait of the evil one and not of the Holy One of the universe. This is the message that John heard from Jesus Christ and which Jesus Christ is now through John declaring to all of humanity.
Isaiah Prophesied That Jesus Would Shed Light On God’s Character
Isaiah had prophesied that Jesus Christ, as the Light of the world, would correct these erroneous beliefs regarding the character of God:
And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the gentiles: the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned (Matthew 4:13-16; emphasis added).
Notice that in this passage darkness is also equated with the shadow of death. Those who sat in the region and shadow of death were in darkness, and this darkness refers to their understanding of the character of God. The shadow of death is governed by the death principle of good and evil, it is darkness, and therefore it cannot be of God.
The phrases have seen a great light and Light has dawned are both references to Jesus Christ because He gave the revelation that darkness and shadow of death do not originate or belong to God’s Kingdom, principle, domain, or character.
To know and understand that the above verses are referring to the character of God, we can read 2 Corinthians 4:6, which makes it very clear that the word darkness has to do with an incorrect knowledge of God’s character:
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (emphasis added).
Again we must note that this passage presupposes that darkness was prevailing in the minds of the people regarding God, and in particular in the minds of those who were given the oracles of God, that is, the Old Testament.
Jesus Christ, specifically referring to Himself proclaimed:
I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12).
Jesus Christ, as the light of life, removes the darkness that enshrouds the minds of the people. The glory of God is the essence of who He is and is reflected in the face of Jesus Christ, in the person of Jesus Christ, for as Jesus had said, I and My Father are one (Jn.10:30). In John 9 Jesus comments on the blindness of the Pharisees, and His coming to open their eyes.
And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.’ Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, are we blind also?’ Jesus said to them ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains (John 9:39-41).
The miracle of healing the man who was blind from birth was no doubt a merciful act to undo Satan’s work. But it had greater significance for the Pharisees, the Jews and the whole human race.
Now as Jesus passed by, he saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world (John 9:1-5).’
When Jesus said that neither this man sinned nor his parents, He appears to be lying, does He not? After all, haven’t we all sinned? So what is He really saying? The apostles asked, who sinned that he was born blind?, meaning, who sinned that caused this punishment to come upon him? Jesus denies that God works by the law of arbitrary reward and punishment, and in effect states the principle that what Satan has meant for evil, God can turn around for good, and that is His glory.
By undoing Satan’s works of destruction such as blindness, Jesus was revealing that it was not God who had caused those infirmities in the human body. The spiritual lesson involved here is also that we are all born blind from birth to the knowledge of God’s character, and Jesus came to the earth to open our eyes and give us sight.
Zacharias’ Prophecy Of John The Baptist’s Witness Of Jesus
Zacharias prophesied in connection with the mission of his son, John the Baptist, who would be called the prophet of the Highest. He was sent to prepare the minds of the people to accept the Light, the Dayspring from on high, that is, Jesus Christ:
’And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest: For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet in the way of peace (Luke 1:76-79; emphasis added).
Speaking about John the Baptist, the apostle John writes in his gospel:
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world (John 1: 6-9; emphasis added).
When John stated that Jesus Christ is the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world, he also implied that a false light was being given by someone else, someone who is an antagonist of Jesus Christ.
God Is The Source Of Life, Not Death
From the time Adam and Eve sinned, the world has experienced death. From the above passages we learned that death is the ultimate darkness, but we may be certain and be assured that whatever is the source of death, God is not in it. Not only is God not the source of death, but neither does He sanction, promote, or participate in anything that promotes death.
God is the source of life, and as such His natural work is in giving life. We may therefore conclude that all death that has been imposed and administered on humanity is not from God, but from God’s adversary and his followers. Isaiah speaks of Lucifer as follows:
Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?’ You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land and slain your people. The brood of evil doers shall never be named (Isaiah 14:16, 17, 20).
The gospel of John is filled with passages that highlight that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is life:
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:4),
For as the Father has life in Himself, so has He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:26),
For the bread of God is He which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world (John 6:33),
I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12),
And I know that His [God’s] command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told me, so I speak (John 12:50).
With such precise evidence that God is life, the source of life, and that He wants to give life to the world, the following words convey even more precisely that only through Jesus will this knowledge be acquired:
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father except through me, (John 14:6),
Jesus Christ unequivocally claimed that He alone has the ultimate knowledge of the Father’s character, which means no one else possesses this understanding in its absoluteness. Therefore, He alone can impart this knowledge to others.
And this is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3; emphasis added).
God sent Jesus to show the world that God is life, and nothing but life. How can we know with certainty that death is not an act of God? God told us that He will resurrect all those that have fallen prey to death, which is Satan’s ultimate act of violence. Jesus makes this claim and pronounces that He is the source of giving life to everyone.
The Sadducees And The Resurrection
The Sadducees had the notion that there is no such thing as the resurrection of the dead. In the context of a discussion He had with them, Jesus taught His audience about death and life. Before looking at what transpired in this exchange, a few questions should be pondered: who is the source of death and who is the source of life? And does Jesus think it is important to understand that there is without a doubt a resurrection from death?
We can apply this discussion of Jesus with the Sadducees as if He were addressing those of us who do not believe that God, as the Creator, is only the source of life, and not the source of death:
Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God’ (Mark 12:24)?
Jesus is in effect charging them with possessing gross ignorance of the Scriptures, and says to them that they are worshipping the god of destruction, who is responsible for death, and not worshipping the Creator God of the universe, who is responsible for life.
But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken (Mark 12:26-27).’
In effect Jesus is here saying that for God, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not really dead for the sole reason that, as the giver of life it will only be a matter of time before He will give them life again. From God’s standpoint, the giving of life to those who have died is a fait accompli.
Even if their death came from the domain of Satan, to God they might as well be alive, and it is only a matter of time until He resurrects them; therefore He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.
Only God Is Immortal
God and Jesus are the source of life because immortality is found only in Them. They only are immortal; therefore, they only can give life to whomsoever They will.
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen (1 Timothy 1:17).
I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:13-16; emphasis added).
God is not the God of the dead, the God responsible for all the death that has occurred and will yet occur. Death stems solely from Satan’s domain. But God is the God of the living, the life-giving and sustaining God, against whom death has no power. Satan and sin are completely responsible for all death. In fact, the Bible tells us that death is the enemy of God:
The last enemy that will be destroyed is death (1 Corinthians 15:26).
God Will Bring All Back To Life
Because God is the source of life, all those who have fallen prey to Satan’s death principle will eventually be resurrected by God:
Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does: and He will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son: that all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him. Most assuredly, I say to you, He who hears my word, and believes in Him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God: and those that hear shall live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in himself, and has given him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this: for the hour is coming, in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:19-29).
Jesus clearly shows that all humans will be resurrected, and the choices they have made in this lifetime toward accepting or rejecting life from God will determine whether they will have eternal life or go into eternal condemnation, as God ultimately respects our freedom of choice.
The Resurrection And The Translation Group
The preponderance of the evidence points to Satan and his emissaries as having been entirely responsible for all the deaths that have ever occurred on earth.
God’s resurrection of all those that have died due to Satan’s rule of law proves that God is not the One who does the killing. As shown in the text above in the words of Jesus Himself, the resurrection will occur in two phases, the resurrection of life and the resurrection of condemnation. Here we see that God will bring to life both the righteous and the unrighteous, but each one in his own order.
There is yet a third group of people that are brought to light in the Scriptures, a group upon whom death will no longer have its hold. Carefully study the following words of Jesus:
I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die (John 11: 25-26; emphasis added).
In the above passage Jesus is referring to two groups of people—those who believe and ‘die’ and those who live, believe and ‘shall never die.’ The first group is made up of those who throughout the ages have believed in God and yet have died. These will be resurrected at the second coming, at the resurrection of the righteous, the resurrection of life.
The second group is made up of those who will be alive and who will believe and yet shall never die. This second group is obviously referring to a group of people who will never see death, a group that will be translated without seeing death, for they shall never die. This is addressed in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
No man, aside from Enoch and Elijah, has lived on this earth without experiencing death. Of Enoch, we read in Hebrews 11:5:
By faith Enoch was taken away (KJV: TRANSLATED) so that he did not see death, and was not found, because God had taken him [TRANSLATED HIM], for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God (emphasis added).
Enoch lived, believed, and never saw death. Thus Enoch is a type of the believers in the last generation who will never taste death.
The Translation Group
It is important that we grasp the significance of this second group. Why is it that they shall never die? The answer is partially because they will be alive at Jesus’ second coming, which means they will belong to the final generation. But is it simply because they happen to have been born in the last generation, and are therefore the lucky subjects of perfect timing?
Or is it perhaps the fact that what they believe and demonstrate in their lives is so powerful that even death has no dominion over them? Listen to the words of the prophet Isaiah, words that, if taken seriously, have a meaning beyond anything any one has heard or seen:
But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; when you pass through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior (Isaiah 43:1-3).
And again, David says in Psalm 91:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.’ Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence, He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste the noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands shall they bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; he shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.
Protection Is Found In The Truth, In The Ways Of God
Notice that it is God’s truth that is our shield and buckler. This truth to which we were previously blind is the light about the character of God revealed to us by Jesus Christ. Truth about God is scattered all over the Scriptures, hidden, as it were, in a field. It is there for our finding through Jesus Christ alone.
I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them. They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, who trust in carved images, who say to the molded images, ‘You are our gods’ (Isaiah 42:16, 17).
In our previously skewed understanding of God’s character, we believed that He is violent. This is equivalent to trusting in carved images to which we say ‘You are our gods.’ Worshippers who bow before images are often found bringing gifts to appease their god’s anger. Christians who believe that God is a destroyer are no different. But all that is now removed through Jesus Christ.
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Jesus Revealed The Living God
Once we have received the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ then the following passage from the apostle Paul should also be heeded:
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, and apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles (2 Timothy 1:8-11; emphasis added).
From these verses we see that this gospel, which is according to the power of God, that is, the power of life from the living God, was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. It already existed in God from before time began, and it has now been revealed by the appearing of our Saviour.
We Were Promised Life From Before The Creation Of The World
We may ask the question: when did time begin? For us, time began at the creation of this earth, when God created the earth in the context of time, in the time period of six days ending with His resting on the seventh-day. Before creation, God had already purposed that we should have life. Jesus came that we may have life, and that we may have it more abundantly (John 10:10). God always intended for us to have life.
The Unbelieving Will Not Be Protected Because They Have Chosen To Believe A Lie
Psalm 91 has tremendous import for the final generation. It states that he who dwells in the secret place of the Most High will be able to live and survive through deadly and devastating situations, that these calamities will not affect them. The Psalm also brings to light another group of people when it states only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.
The Bible itself gives us the definition of the wicked:
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘today,”lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said, ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’ For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief (Hebrews 3:12-19; emphasis added).
The Evil Heart Of Unbelief
All who reject the truth that God’s essence is agape love and that He therefore has no violence in Him have an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. Because they have departed from the truth about the character of the living God, the unfortunate but inevitable result is that they have chosen to have an evil heart of unbelief.
People living in the final generation who will witness the second coming of Jesus Christ and who have an evil heart of unbelief cannot enter and become a part of the group of believers who will be translated for the simple reason that the choices they have made prevent them from entering into the heavenly Promised Land. They have rejected the truth about the character of the God of agape love; they have rejected that He is nonviolent. There is also another reason they will not enter, which is really the outgrowth, or the consequence of what they have chosen to believe: and that is the manner in which they live. In our own lives we each reflect that which we believe, and those who have an evil heart of unbelief will use violence when confronted by evil because they believe in violence. They believe in violence because they perceive God to be violent, and they will do the same things they perceive their God is doing.
The Experience Of Those Who Believe In The God Of Love
The Bible clearly portrays two groups of people at the end time having two different views of God’s character. Both groups will witness the Second Advent of Jesus Christ but each will have a distinct and opposite reaction to that event. One group will have a flawless understanding of God’s character and their experience is portrayed like this:
And it will be said in that day: Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation (Isaiah 25: 9).
The Experience Of Those Who Believe In The God Of Violence
The other group will believe that God is a violent and punishing Being, and with this erroneous paradigm will view Him as the one who is out to kill them:
Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand’ (Revelation 6:14-17)?
Notice how a Lamb can produce such fear. Lambs, more than any other animal, should not elicit abject fear, but these people would rather the rocks and mountains crush them than face the Lamb. Why? Because they think the Lamb is coming to punish them. Having failed to accept agape love as the law for their lives, they judge God by their own mindset.
The Two Groups’ Reaction At The Second Coming Of Jesus
Notice in the following verses the same two groups and the reasons why they react the way they do:
…and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes in that day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; emphasis added).
The first group here mentioned is made up of those, again, who have an evil heart of unbelief in the living God. They are those who do not know God as a God of agape love, and who show in their lives that they believe in a god of violence, for they do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the gospel of peace. According to their belief they therefore perceive that God is coming to destroy them.
The second group are those who believe and who cannot wait to admire their Lord, Friend, and Saviour. They have opened their hearts to the testimony found in the Scriptures, and now believe in the God who is not an enemy, but a friend.
Unbelievers In The God Of agape Love Are Treasuring Up The ‘Wrath’ Which Comes From The Principle Of Good And Evil
But in accordance with your hardness and impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honour, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness – indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of men who does evil, of the Jews first and also of the Greek; but glory, honour, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Romans 2:5-10; emphasis added).
The righteous judgment of God occurs when God gives us up to our final decision not to live by agape love but by the law of good and evil. This is His wrath in the day of wrath, to release us completely to our choice. When this happens, His grace is totally rejected. Our final choice will be without mixture (Revelation 14:10) of God’s grace, which is all that has kept us safe from experiencing the full brunt of Satan’s destructive work on us.
Here again are portrayed two groups of people: those who patiently continue to live by the principle of agape love, and those who obey unrighteousness, which is the principle of good and evil. The first group knows that God has given them eternal life and has no condemnation toward them.
The evidence that the second group does not operate by agape love is that they are self-seeking, and all their actions are done in reference to themselves and not others. Even the love they have is tainted, for it springs from the ‘good’ of good and evil. This group will suffer the greatest condemnation and wrath conceivable, since they did not believe in the forgiveness and unconditional character of God’s love. The principle of good and evil will crush them by its condemnation, and they will pass through unthinkable tribulation and anguish. The only way we may get a glimpse of the horror of their pain is by looking at Jesus’ experience as He went to the cross.
Jesus shed drops of blood mixed with sweat and eventually His heart burst in the agony of His perceived forsaken condition. Here is the reason to preach the good news, so that no one may have to experience such needless pain!
This End Time Issue Will Encompass All Of Humanity
In the following passage in Romans we can easily see that it is our choices that determine our fate. Either we will have God’s rule of law of agape love in our hearts, or Satan’s law of good and evil. The consequences we will experience are inherent in the choices we make. It is also clearly explained below that this issue is affecting all of humanity. Some live God’s law of agape love without specifically having been taught the oracles of God. Others, who even though they have been taught the oracles of God, do not live according to it. Therefore each one of us will eventually be seen for who we really are on that day when God will judge the secrets of men, that is, the inner heart of every man:
For there is no partiality with God. For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel (Romans 2:11-16; emphasis added).
The choice each one of us makes at this critical juncture in humanity’s history, irrespective of whether we believe in God or not, will seal our fate whether for weal or for woe. It is in this context that the apostle Paul makes the above statement in regard to those who do not believe in God, but whose actions reveal what is written in their hearts.
All Humanity Has Been Objectively Justified And When They Believe, They Are Subjectively Justified By Faith
Our objective justification is accomplished by the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. This justification was done for the entire human race. Whether we want this gift or not is irrelevant: it is ours, it was freely given to all of us. It is our entitlement to spend eternity with the God of the universe. This is the revelation of God’s agape love.
We must then ask the question: Does humanity play any part whatsoever in the objective justification which Jesus Christ has completed and which the entire sinful human race has received? The answer is absolutely not. Our justification comes solely from God. Humanity has not contributed anything whatsoever in the finished work of Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross. This fact is confirmed in the passage found in Ephesians 2:4-7:
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus (emphasis added).
We have been conditioned to believe that we must have some important part to play in our unconditional justification by God when in fact God has made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, apart from any works we may have done. The result of our misguided mindset has caused us to disbelieve the truth that our salvation is all God’s work and none of ours.
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 towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8).
What happens when we, by faith, come to know and believe that this agape love of God that was demonstrated by Jesus Christ on the cross unconditionally treats us as if we had never sinned?
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10).
When properly understood, God’s love will subjectively move us to such an extent that we will choose to be justified by faith. Then we will have voluntarily chosen to believe and accept His gift of salvation. It is because we have been so moved internally by His unconditional agape love that we are justified by faith. Now it is our suitability and right to spend eternity with God.
If we, and again it must be stressed that we are talking about the entire sinful human race, are already sitting together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus why should we even bother to choose to believe this truth? It is already a done deal, is it not? Even though eternal life is already ours, God in His agape love will never force us to live with Him for eternity. The final decision will be left with us.
God Does Not Use Violence To Punish His Enemies And Neither Will We, Once We Know The Truth About Him
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1,2).
The power of God’s agape love in us will impact us to such an extent that we will, like God, who through Jesus Christ gave its supreme demonstration, do the same. We will love even our enemies. We will not love even our own lives to the death (Revelation 12:11), nor use violence towards our enemies.
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 5:7, 10).
This precludes any belief that God uses violence to punish His enemies. It must be definitely understood that we are the ones that are at enmity with God, and not vice versa. According to the apostle Paul, if our minds are at enmity against God, then we are in the death domain. As such, we will not be living by the law of God, and this life cannot please God. To be spiritually minded is life and peace.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:6-8).
We Need To Be Reconciled To God Because God Is Already Reconciled To Us
From God’s ultimate revelation of Himself on the cross we know that, when we were yet enemies, He did not violently destroy us because we looked at Him as our enemy. On the contrary, through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross we were reconciled to God even when we were still enemies in our minds towards Him.
Only by beholding what was demonstrated by Jesus Christ on the cross can we come to the realization of the depth of God’s agape love for us. Once we grasp the significance of what was authenticated on the cross, we will completely cease to believe the lies which Satan and those controlled by his principles have caused us to believe about God. This will in no uncertain terms make us aware that God is already reconciled to us and longs for us to be reconciled to Him.
Some Believe That Jesus Is A Shield Between Us And God
There is a significant error prevailing within Christianity. Most Christians believe that the cross event propitiated the wrath of God towards the sinful human race. In other words, there is an erroneous belief that Jesus needs to plead to the Father on behalf of sinners in order to prevent Him from unleashing His wrath on them. It is believed that it is this intercessory work that reconciles God to the sinners, a reconciliation that takes place only at Jesus’ request. Thus it is portrayed that God is reconciled to us by Jesus’ advocacy and that is why He does not kill us for our sins.
The truth however, as previously stated, is that we are the ones who need to be reconciled to God in our minds, and that chiefly because of what Satan has caused us to believe about God, and not because God has given us any reason to think that way. The erroneous belief that God is an enemy out to destroy us, and that Jesus Christ diverts the Father’s destructive behaviour by taking upon Himself the force of that destruction by dying on the cross is not what Jesus Christ revealed.
God Has Always Been Reconciled To Us
We can be reconciled to God only when we are delivered from the erroneous understanding of His character, which Satan had instilled in our minds, a deliverance that only Jesus Christ can provide. Even though God is already reconciled to us, once we are reconciled to Him, He will be reconciled to us. We must keep in mind that God is already reconciled to us.
Satan’s lies about God are unmasked when we acknowledge God’s agape love and no longer believe Satan’s lies about Him. God’s heart moves with overwhelming joy when we know the truth about Him. Any human father would experience the same thing if his children, who were once lied to about him, came to know the truth.
The Cross Demonstrated The Fullness Of God’s Love
The death of Jesus on the cross demonstrated all the fullness of God’s essence of agape love. Not until the cross, when the ultimate revelation of God’s character was demonstrated by Jesus Christ, did God use an event to reveal His attitude towards us. Once again it is clearly stated that God was not the one that needed to be reconciled to us, but we to Him.
For it pleased the Father that in Him [Jesus Christ] all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight (Colossians 1:19-22).
God Does Not Impute Our Trespasses To Us
The spirit of reconciliation is inherent in the essence of God’s agape love, and is always in effect, even without the recipients being aware of this truth. God attempts to reconcile us to Himself by letting us know the important truth that He is not imputing our trespasses to us. From His position He is not placing our sins on us, and that is the proof that He is already reconciled to us. In order for all to be receptive either positively or negatively to this effected reconciliation of God, they first need to be made aware of this actuality. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross demonstrates this verity, and God has given us a great privilege: that of being ambassadors for Christ and making this fact known to others.
Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
To believe that God is at enmity with us, that He is imputing our trespasses on us, and that He is the one that needs to be reconciled to us, unequivocally denies the essence of His being. All false beliefs about God promote the heinous lie that He is at enmity with us and that He needs to be reconciled to us.
God’s Principle Gives Life
God did not violently punish us for being His enemies; on the contrary, through what Jesus Christ demonstrated on the cross, we were given life. We shall be saved from the death principle, by His life-giving principle, when by faith, we no longer kill our enemies. We will thus demonstrate what God has asked us to do, and which Jesus Christ has already done. Jesus did not love His life to the death, but rather gave up His life so that we may have life. He did this even while we were still at enmity with God.
This will unquestionably be revealed by the final generation of earth’s history, by those who will not experience death but will be translated:
He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 10:39).
Those who try to save their lives by killing their enemies will lose it to the first death of sleep, and to the second, or eternal, death. Jesus revealed what will happen to those who are prepared to obey Him when He said he who loses his life for My sake will find it. All who, like Jesus, are prepared to live by God’s agape love principle and who would rather die than kill their enemies will find life, and will not experience death but will be translated.
Historically there have been many who willingly gave their lives rather than kill their enemies. Why will the last generation be different from those martyrs? This last generation will know that God is only a Creator and not a destroyer, and will give up their lives with that mindset, which was never done previously.
Our subjective justification, which is by faith, will reveal whether we are living by God’s agape love. Choosing to live by God’s principle of agape love becomes our fitness for heaven and we will continue to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. This is the only way we participate in what God, in Jesus Christ, completed for humanity.
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. (2 Corinthians 5:14, 15).
It Is Difficult To Believe That God Is Impartial Irrespective Of The Situation
For there is no partiality with God (Romans 2:11) means that the issue in the final generation, just before the Second Advent of Jesus Christ, is not whether we profess to believe in God or not. According to Paul, God has already objectively justified the whole human race as evidenced in what was stated above and what is stated by the verses below:
For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:22-24).
The apostle Paul is making it obvious that without exception whatsoever, universally, all have sinned and all have fallen short of the glory of God. This encompasses every human being.
God has completely reversed humanity’s condition, and He did it without any human participation whatsoever. We are all justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. This proclamation has direct application to every human being who, in Adam, was in an unjustified condition.
Therefore, as through one man’s offence [ADAM] judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act, the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous (Romans 5:18, 19); emphasis added.
In Adam the entire human race was in a sinful state, that is, in an unjustified condition. For all have sinned in Adam means that we were already unforgiving and therefore unforgivable sinners in Adam even before we were born. In Christ Jesus however, even before we were born, we all were justified freely. That means that, in the second Adam, Christ Jesus, we are forgiven and treated as if we had never sinned. The last Adam became a life- giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45).
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness (Romans 4:5; emphasis added).
In the above verse, it is clearly stated that the faith that is accounted for righteousness is the subjective faith of him who believes in the God who objectively and universally justifies the ungodly. Since the whole of humanity is ungodly, we have all been justified objectively, and when we believe this fact, then our subjective faith is accounted for righteousness. This is how even atheists and gentiles, who show the law written in their hearts, are justified objectively, and their subjective justification by faith will show itself in how they treat others. If they treat others, especially their enemies, with God’s agape love, they demonstrate by their actions that they are subjectively justified by faith. Most atheists have consciously rejected God’s existence because of the portrayal of a God of violence. By rejecting such a god, they are in effect accepting the true God.
Those Who Believe About Their Objective Justification Are Blessed
Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin (Romans 4:7, 8).
The above passage reveals that there is a special blessing for those that know that their lawless deeds are forgiven, that their sins are covered and that the Lord does not impute sin on them. This blessing that comes with the knowledge of God’s unconditional forgiveness manifests itself in the fact that those who have it are able to treat their enemies with agape love, and they therefore have a life of peace, following in the footsteps of the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
Our Actions And Reaction Are Evidence Of Our Choice Between agape Love And Good And Evil
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly…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…Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life (Romans 5:6, 8, 10, 18).
Since all of us have been freely forgiven as if we had never sinned, the deciding factor for humanity will be cogently demonstrated in our lives by how we react to evil in others. This will be a universal and all-inclusive demonstration by humanity. It will be seen through our actions and reactions, and in particular by our reactions to satanic deeds perpetrated against us by others, whether God’s law is written in our hearts or not. Our use of either violence or nonviolence in response to depraved activities by others will reveal whether the principle of good and evil or God’s law of agape love is written in our hearts. The individual choice between violence and nonviolence will decidedly differentiate between Satan’s followers and God’s followers.
We may even adamantly believe and profess that there is no God; but how we react to actual or perceived evil confronting us will indicate whether we know God or not: For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified (Romans 2:13). These doers of the law may even be atheists, but they will be justified by faith. One may ask how can atheists possibly be just in the sight of God and be justified by faith when they do not even believe in Him? Unbeknown to them they will be living out God’s nonviolent character of agape love, and as such, they are just in the sight of God by faith.
Professed Christians Who Choose Good And Evil Are Not Justified By Faith In The Sight Of God, So Subjectively, They Are Not Justified
Conversely, those who claim to know God but whose actions deny His agape love principle of nonviolence are not justified by faith in the sight of God. Even though they claim to be followers of God they are not just in the sight of God subjectively because their actions reveal they are the followers of Satan. But the doers of the law of agape love will be justified by faith. The doers of the law can include believers and unbelievers in God because they have faith working through love (Galatians 5:6). Their actions reveal that they have faith by living out God’s nonviolent agape love.
Faith, Hope And Love, And The Greatest Is The Latter
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him (John 1:18).
For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love (Galatians 5:5, 6).
Both faith and hope find their fulfillment in agape love. In and of themselves they do not reach their ultimate realization. Faith and hope are consummated with agape love, according to the apostle Paul. Faith and hope work through love. It is when faith and hope work through agape love, that they reach the pinnacle of perfection.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2; emphasis added).
If faith is not working through love, it is nothing.
Love…does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4, 6; emphasis added).
Faith is the substance or the evidence that we have hope and are waiting to see things not yet seen, those things which are as of yet just a hope. Faith and hope are merely tools through which we may grasp the evidence of God’s love, which is not yet seen in a world that is run by good and evil. Things hoped for is God’s agape love lived out in the midst of sin and evil; things hoped for is a world where love and peace reigns. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10) is the cry of every heart that is yearning for God’s rule of law of agape love to prevail in our ailing world.
When Hebrews 11:1 states that faith is the evidence of things not seen it is not speaking of physical sight. The spiritual meaning of this passage becomes evident when we read John’s words regarding Jesus in John 1:18. He says that no one had seen God at anytime, that is, no one has declared the character of the Father as Jesus has. What no one has seen and only Jesus has declared is the character of God. It is His essence of agape love. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son, came from the bosom of the Father. The bosom of the Father means that He has the same character as the Father. Jesus did not declare even one word regarding God’s physical appearance, so John is not talking about seeing God in a physical sense. But He declared His character by His own life: he who has seen me has seen the Father (John 14:9).
Our Behaviour Reveals Whether We Know The Truth About God Or Not
For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law (Romans 2:12), applies to all who have been oblivious about Jesus Christ’s special revelation about God’s law of agape love. How are they ignorant about God’s law of agape love? Their actions of violence will reveal who they are and they have sinned without law. Therefore, they will also perish without law.
When Gentiles, who do not have the law (Romans 2:14), refers to the people who do not known God’s law of agape love of nonviolence as revealed by Jesus Christ. Though they do not have this particular knowledge about God’s character, these people by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts. All their activities are a demonstration that God’s law of agape love is written in their hearts.
Particular emphasis is placed on their reaction to evil. The pacifist principle of God, His agape love, will show the works of the law written in their hearts.
All believers in God through Jesus Christ who have sinned in the law are those who have lived contrary to God’s law of agape love. These have sanctioned or resorted to violence and will be judged by the law of agape love which is the law of nonviolence. Revelation 21:8 lists the people who will take part in the lake of fire – and it would seem that there are a lot of non-violent people there: cowards (fearful), unbelievers, fornicators, idolaters and liars.
But violence is the act of violating another person’s life in one way or another. So cowards, for instance, would rather kill than die themselves, unbelievers in the God of love are by definition believers in violence, and the same principle applies likewise to all who are listed in that verse.
Practice Of God’s Righteousness Reveals His True Followers
John declares that righteousness may be found in the hearts of everyone who practices God’s principle of agape love, which is His righteousness. Here is emphasized that just believing in the true character of God is not sufficient. agape love is the righteousness of God in which there is no violence whatsoever towards anyone, friend or foe. One must put love into practice:
And now little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous you know that everyone that practices righteousness is born of Him (1 John 2:28-29; emphasis added).
If you know that He, God, is righteous, you will know that in Him there is no violence whatsoever. With this understanding of God’s character then, with this knowledge of God, everyone who practices righteousness, who is nonviolent towards friends or foes alike – even if such friends and foes are liars, fornicators, etc… – is born of God. Everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him, therefore they undoubtedly are confirmed peacemakers because they are in conformity with Jesus’ teaching.
People of nonviolence are peacemakers and are the ones that Jesus identifies as the children of God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9). Jesus Christ unambiguously declares that these peacemakers, identified as the children of God, have their Father’s character of nonviolence.
To make sure that there is no misunderstanding in this connection, we need to keep in mind that only a Divine Being who knew God perfectly could teach such a radical truth. There is not one instance where violence can be legitimately justified by God and humanity alike. Jesus leaves no room for any perverted misinterpretation of the same by stating:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God…But I say to you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you; that you 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…Therefore be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:9, 44, 45, and 48).
Verse 48 indicates that those who treat their enemies as God treats His, are perfect just as their Father in heaven is perfect. Because Jesus knows God like no one else does, He had the authority to state that violence will not be an option for all who shall be called the children of God, because their Father in heaven, God Himself, is nonviolent.
Jesus could have qualified His Sermon on the Mount by agreeing with what His hearers had understood about the God of the Old Testament, depicting a God who either commanded or personally killed His enemies. He could have stated ‘love your enemies, but with one exception…’ He could have told them to treat their enemies in the same way they understood God to have done in the Old Testament. By His claim of being one with the Father, by the authority that position gives Him, Jesus renounced the previous sacrilegious understanding of God. With that mandate He certified that His knowledge of the Father is the ultimate truth compared to whatever had been stated or whatever will be stated that is contrary to it. That includes their misunderstanding of what had been stated. He categorically refutes their skewed belief, thus negating their erroneous understanding of God’s character by stating the truth about God.
The Final Victory Over Death Is Not An Arbitrary Act Of God But The Victory Of agape Love Over The Principle Of Good And Evil
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruption must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your sting? O hades, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:50-58; emphasis added).
In the above passage we see that corruption refers to the word mortal, and incorruption to immortality. Flesh and blood and corruption cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither can incorruption inherit immortality. Flesh and blood and corruption are all part of Satan’s death principle of good and evil, and incorruption is only possible by God’s principle of agape love. Jesus Christ lived solely by the principle of agape love, and just before going to the cross He made this clear:
And now I have told you before it comes [THE CROSS], that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here (John 14:29-31; emphasis added).
Speaking about Jesus the Psalmist says:
I will bless the Lord who has given me council; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope, for you will not leave my soul in Sheol (the grave) nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:7-11).
Jesus did not see corruption because He followed the path of life that His Father showed Him in the night seasons, that is, in a world filled with Satan’s work of darkness; even while surrounded by Satan’s kingdom, He was unmoved from the path of God.
We also must live in the path of life, the path of blessings, and must let go of the principle of good and evil in order to put on incorruption and enter into the kingdom of God.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:6-7).
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors — not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live (Romans 8:12-14).
Peter’s Sermon At Pentecost
Through Peter’s straightforward testimony we learn that death had no hold on Jesus for God had made known to Him the ways of life:
Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know – Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. For David says concerning Him: ‘I foresaw the LORD always before my face, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.” (Acts 2:22- 28; emphasis added)
What Are The Ways Of Life?
The apostle John gives us the answer in a very clear and simple way, so that none may be confused and led astray:
Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:13-15; emphasis added).
Jesus Christ learned the ways of life from the Father and in turn has made it known to us also, by His life, teachings and death. Just as death no more has dominion over Him, so shall it also have no more dominion over us if we obey the ways of life:
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” [NO LONGER VIOLENT]. “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man” [OF VIOLENCE] “was crucified with Him, that the body of sin [GOOD
AND EVIL] might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died [TO GOOD AND EVIL] has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin [GOOD AND EVIL] once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin [GOOD AND EVIL], but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:3-11; emphasis added).
Speaking to the men of Israel Paul says:
Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him, And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death (Acts 13:26-28).
Those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, were given, through Jesus, the opportunity to know that the God they were supposed to worship was a God of agape love, a God who had no violence in Him. They rejected this knowledge from Jesus Christ because they wanted to worship the God of violence. Accordingly they murdered the Prince of nonviolence and fulfilled in their lives what they believed God would do to anyone who did not conform to their belief system.
Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. And we declare to you glad tidings – that promise which was to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ and that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David. Therefore He also says in another Psalm: ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’ For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption (Acts 13:29-37).
Jesus Christ was sinless, which means that He kept the law of agape love perfectly; therefore He experienced the resurrection. He did not remain in the domain of death and corruption because He did not live by the sword. If He had, then His proclamation that all who take the sword will perish by the sword would have been His lot also.
Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you: ‘Behold, you despisers, marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, a work which you will by no means believe, though one were to declare it to you (Acts 13:38-41).’
Paul entreats his hearers to believe in the unbelievable, which was the message of Jesus Christ concerning His life-giving Father, and the fact that death has no power over the agape principle. This message is also meant for us who are living at this time in the history of the world. The Bible indicates that we also may conquer death through Jesus Christ and His principle of agape love, and this is in fact something that needs to happen in order for the polemic regarding the two laws in question to come to an end.
Sleep And The First Death Are Synonymous Terms
Writing to the Thessalonians Paul says the following about death:
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who through Jesus sleep. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore comfort one another with these words (1Thessalonians 4:13-18; emphasis added).
Here are clearly depicted the two groups mentioned earlier, those who believe and die, and those who live, believe and never die. The Scriptures tell us that we shall not all sleep. In this particular context, sleep refers to the first death; thus, what that really means is that we shall not all die. At the end-time there will be a group of people that will not experience death, and they will be translated. They will not experience the ultimate result of Satan’s death principle but will remain alive till the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. They will be conveyed alive from the earth and will meet Jesus Christ in the air:
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law [OF GOOD AND EVIL] (1 Corinthians 15:50-56; emphasis added).
Who will be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet? Those who will be alive then and living by the principle of agape love will be changed. They will be set free from all of the effects they have experienced from Satan’s principle from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which has affected them even to its minutia. Everything that was caused by Satan and sin, and the effects of sin that were inflicted on them will finally come to an end, and they will be set free from the fallout of Satan’s principle.
Paul speaks of this incredible event as something that all creation is eagerly awaiting for:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the Sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Romans 8:18-21).
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:4).
Death Will Cease To Exist In The Universe
God opens to us the window of the future in the book of Hosea, and shows us the time when death will be destroyed, when He will give us freedom from death:
I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O death, I will be your plagues! O grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from my eyes (Hosea 13: 14).
God has eagerly awaited for death to cease to exist. This is confirmed by the passage in 1 Corinthians 15:26, which states that the last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
Hosea’s text also refers to that day when the hearts of men will be forever consolidated into what they have chosen and from which there is no more moving. This is the day of the wrath of God, the day God completely releases us to our choices, the day when pity is hidden from His eyes.
God’s pain at letting go His beloved children can be felt in Jesus’ bemoan over the fate of Jerusalem:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate (Matthew 23:37, 38).
Exodus From Egypt To Canaan Is A Type Pointing To A Greater Event
God has used all of the events of the Exodus from Egypt to Canaan as examples for us upon whom the ends of the ages have come, that is, for us who are living at the end of time, the final generation. It is unimaginable that in this connection all that was written, was written for our admonition. These things were written for a people who will play a pivotal role in informing the world regarding the truth about God’s character; additionally, they will be living these truths in their personal lives. We learn this from 1 Corinthians 10:11:
Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come [emphasis added].
We read previously in the passage from Hebrews 3:12-19, that the children of Israel, in particular the generation who had left Egypt, could not enter into the Promised Land, or enter into God’s rest.
That generation wandered around in the desert for forty years and eventually died without entering into Canaan. The Bible says that the reason they could not enter was because of unbelief. We must be careful to understand this correctly. It is not that God was punishing them for having unbelief that they could not enter. No, it was their own unbelief which prevented them from entering. Their unbelief did not have to do with whether there is a God or not, but with the kind of character this God has.
Let us go back to the Old Testament and read the passages that tell us why the generation that left Egypt did not enter into Canaan. As we read it, we should keep in mind that this incident was a type, an example, symbolic of a far greater future event, and that it’s antitypical application is for those upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Starting with Numbers 14:21-24 we read:
…but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD — because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it (emphasis added).
Has God’s prediction that all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord taken place yet? At no stage in the history of the world has this happened so far. For this reason, the preaching of the everlasting gospel spoken of in Revelation 14: 6-7, which is the message about the character of God, has not yet been fulfilled:
Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth – to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people – saying with a loud voice, ‘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.’
The truth about God’s character will be preached to all the inhabitants of the earth, to a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, (Revelation 7:9). The world has yet to hear the truth that the Creator is the God of agape love and that there is no violence in Him. Jesus Himself placed the revelation of God’s character at the time of the end, just before His second advent:
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).
The entire Egypt-to-Canaan experience of literal Israel has direct application to modern day spiritual Israel. The words Upon whom the ends of the ages have come is a reference to the final generation, to those living just before the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. This last generation encompasses the entire human race. Something of grave significance will be revealed by this group of people, irrespective of whether they believe in God or not. Their lives will demonstrate in no uncertain terms who governs their character, whether God or Satan. Those who belong to spiritual Egypt will live by Satan’s principle of violence. Those who belong to spiritual Israel will live by God’s principle of nonviolence. It is going to be that simple to comprehend so that we all, upon whom the ends of the ages have come, are without excuse (Romans 1:20e), whatsoever.
Believers And Unbelievers In God Will Unquestionably Reveal Their Respective Characters Literal Egypt represented the false belief-systems that prevailed in denying the truth about God’s character. Literal Israel was not excluded from pagan
worship. Four hundred years in Egypt left its mark on their understanding of God. They became well indoctrinated with all sorts of pagan concepts about God’s character; consequently they worshipped the destructive gods of Egypt instead of the God of agape love.
The next passage will shed even greater light into why this generation did not enter Canaan. It is found in Deuteronomy 2:14-18:
And the time we took to come from Kadesh Barnea until we crossed over the Valley of the Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war was consumed from the midst of the camp, just as the LORD had sworn to them. For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from the midst of the camp until they were consumed. So it was, when all the men of war had finally perished from among the people that the LORD spoke to me, saying: ‘This day you are to cross over at Ar, the boundary of Moab (emphasis added).’
The above passage clearly informs us that it was only when the men of war had finally perished from among the people that they could cross into the Promised Land. The language used in this verse can be misleading and we must, with careful study, put together the true meaning intended here. When we read that For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from the midst of the camp until they were consumed we must keep in mind the non-destructive character of God, and we must realize that these were violent men, men of war. A study of the word corpses, the word used in the previous passage in the book of Hebrews, reveals why these men were destroyed from the midst of the camp until they were consumed. Strong’s Concordance defines corpse, kolon, as: “a limb of the body (as if lopped): – carcass.” The Amplified Bible translates Hebrews 3:17 like this:
And with whom was He irritated and provoked and grieved for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose dismembered bodies were strewn and left in the desert?
So we see that these men were warring, killing and being killed, dying violent deaths. They lived by the sword and perished by the sword. If we think that God killed them for being violent men of war, then God is no different from them, and has no right to destroy them. The reason why these men did not enter into Canaan is because they had an evil heart of unbelief; as they believed God Himself to be violent, they also used violence and could not enter into the rest of the non- violent God.
Believers In God, Especially Christians, Will Be Satan’s Main Target At The End Time
Why is it that we see so much violence being used by people who profess to be followers of God? And why are Christians in particular using and promoting violence when they should know better than anyone else, since they have the revelation of the God of peace from Jesus Christ? Religionists throughout history have been the chief users and proponents of violence; that is still a fact today. This is Satan’s trump card which he hopes to rub in God’s face as if to say: ‘See, your own people think that my principles are better than Yours, and they have now become my followers.’ Thus he targets all the professed followers of God, but especially Christians because Christians have a unique revelation of God’s character through Jesus Christ.
Thus, to those upon whom the ends of the age have come, is given the warning:
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today’, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:12; emphasis added).
We are not to be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, which is the principle of good and evil, the principle of condemnation and death. It is God’s purpose that we should have life and not death.
A promise was given to us in connection with the life that God has given us according to His own purpose and grace. Satan has misrepresented the life-giving principle of God as also having death in it, so that we would be blinded to the true meaning of this promise. God has promised that we will know that death and all its facets originated with Lucifer. God has also promised that we will know that He is the source of life and that there is no violence from Him. Once we know, accept and choose these truths to be the operating principles in our lives, we are told that something amazing will happen:
…and the serpent you shall trample underfoot (Psalm 91:13).
This same promise is found in Romans 16:20:
And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
The question as to how Satan will be crushed under our feet is answered further in the Book of Hebrews:
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself” [JESUS CHRIST] “likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Hebrews 2:14-15; emphasis added).
When Jesus died on the cross, Satan’s power over death continued to exist in the world because humanity still believed that God was the author of death. But as a remnant people at the end-time comes to believe that God is not responsible for death at all, then Satan’s power will be destroyed.
We have read that the last enemy that will be destroyed is death. If death is the enemy of God why would God personally use death, His enemy, to punish us? Since Satan, the enemy of God, is the embodiment of the death principle, the last enemy that will be destroyed from the universe will be Satan’s death-causing principle, along with Satan and his followers. It has been clearly stated that it is Satan who has the power of death.
Jesus experienced death so that through His death we may be released from the bondage that is caused by the fear of death. We are subject to bondage all our lifetime through the fear of death. The bondage we are subject to is death itself. By putting our confidence in the God of life, the God who has nothing to do with death, we now become free from the power of death. Thus Satan’s head is crushed when we come to comprehend who it is who had the power of death, and who, along with his emissaries, did all the killing of humanity. The final generation that will be translated will become free from death itself. They will believe that God is agape love and will live out His nonviolent character.
Paul Confirms That Jesus Will Give Life To All
In his writings on life, death and resurrection, the apostle Paul reiterates what Jesus stated regarding life, and he confirms that God and Jesus Christ are the source of life. By the power of life that is within Them, the Father and the Son will be responsible for the resurrection of the dead:
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in its own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterwards those who are Christ’s at His coming…The last enemy that will be destroyed will be death…‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘ O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 26, 54-57; emphasis added).
How much more clearly could it be stated: death came into the world, through Adam, the first man; he made the choice to enter into the domain of good and evil by partaking of Satan’s principle. The death principle was not of God. It was Satan’s principle and it surely contained death: for the day you eat of it you will surely die (Genesis 2: 17)!
God’s Command Is Eternal Life
The domain of death is so powerful that it took the life and the death of the Son of God to open our eyes to the good news of the truth about God. God is life and life only, and it is His wish that we may be the recipients of the gift of life, not based on any works which we have done.
For I have not spoken of My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak (John 12:49; emphasis added).
We Must Not Have An Evil Heart Of Unbelief
Regarding the difficulty in grasping and accepting the magnanimity of the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are encouraged, as we read in the passage from Hebrews 3:12-19, to exhort one another daily, lest any of us be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, through the deception of the principle of good and evil.
In the same manner, Peter warns us not to let go of our trust in the God of life, in 1 Peter 4:17-18:
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now, ‘If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?’
Why does Peter say that the righteous is scarcely saved when we are told in Hebrews 2:1-4 that we have been given so great a salvation?
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy spirit, according to His own will?
The problem lies not in God’s great salvation but in our deliberate rejection of the truth, in all its great significance, that is in Jesus Christ. The power of the principle of good and evil lies in its ability to neutralize the good news of God through deception. That is how Adam and Eve were blinded regarding God, thus hiding in fear of Him, and that is how Satan deceives the whole world. We must be continually guarded against falling into its deceptive web of lies, lest we neglect so great a salvation that God has given us through Jesus Christ. Thus if the righteous are scarcely saved, it is not because God has not given them so great a salvation. It is because the condemnation from Satan’s principle is so strong and deceitful, that it its hard to believe the good news that we are all forgiven and unconditionally accepted by God.
A Kingdom Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand
Now the question may be asked: if God is responsible for executing the unrighteous then why does he later resurrect them? Is He someone who would kill evil people and then also resurrect them at a later time? The following statement of Jesus is an eternal principle:
Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? (Matthew 12: 25-26).
If we were to restate this principle and place God as the One to whom it applies instead of Satan, this is what it would be saying: ‘If God works at cross-purposes with Himself, or, if God first kills evil people and then later resurrects them, He is working in a chaotic manner and is divided against Himself. How then will His kingdom stand?’
The principle that a divided kingdom does not stand is clearly demonstrated by what has transpired in our world since Adam and Eve sinned, and by the fact that it continues to happen even now. It is a statement of fact and applies across the board in all relationships and situations. We know that God’s kingdom will stand forever, so by deduction we may say that His kingdom is not a divided kingdom.
Jesus’ above statement declares that Satan’s kingdom is indeed a divided kingdom and in the end it will not stand, that is, it will not last into eternity. The proof that Lucifer and his principle will not stand is given in Isaiah 14:
Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you:
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?’ All the kings of the nation lie in glory, each in his own tomb; but you are cast out, away from your grave, like a loathed branch, clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a dead body trampled underfoot. You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, you have slain your people. “May the offspring of evildoers nevermore be named! (Isaiah 14:16-20)
That last cry, May the offspring of evildoers nevermore be named!, evokes Jesus’ words that a kingdom or house that acts against its own interests by destroying or casting out its own people will not last, and its descendants will be no more, because that kingdom will soon come to an end.
Light And Darkness Can Never Mix
God is light. The word ‘Light’ is symbolically used in reference to God’s nature and His very essence. Darkness is the ultimate antithetical symbol to light and in the Bible the term darkness is used to describe the nature of Satan, the principles he introduced in the universe, and his deceptions regarding the character of God. Light and darkness can never be fused to form one entity, as light and darkness cannot be generated from the same source. An attempt to mix the two will never succeed, even if an angel from heaven said it could be so.
It is therefore extremely disturbing to see that this deceptive information has become part of the mainstream spiritual thinking. That such a fusion can take place is an absolute lie and is promoted for the sole purpose of deceiving the human race.
Satan and his angels promote the lie for definite nefarious reasons. He believes that if he can convince the human race that God’s character is made up of this duality of light and darkness, then as the human race believes and accepts the principles involved in this incorrect concept of God, he, Satan, will in effect be the one who is being worshiped. That he seeks to be worshiped is apparent in Ezekiel 28:2:
Because your heart is lifted up, and you say, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods’
your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness (Ezekiel 28:17).
Such instruction that God is made of darkness and light will never originate from God or His angels, for it is not the truth, for God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.
Paul Leads Us To The Right Perspective
The word ‘blasphemy’ means to revile, defame, to speak impiously, to rail on, revile. Thus it would be unquestionably blasphemous to try to justify our belief in a God of arbitrary reward and punishment without confronting the dilemma that this dogma presents. It is advisable for us to consider the mistake the people living at the time of Jesus made, that of thinking that He was Beelzebub. We may fall in the same pit they did, and commit the epitome of evil by believing God is an arbitrary God, when He is singularly agape love. God’s agape love is the direct opposite of this dual personality God of arbitrary reward and punishment. To propagate such an erroneous belief about God is the height of disservice to humanity. What an abominable and treacherous depiction of God is portrayed in ascribing this duality to His character. This prevailing belief is a debased distortion of His character of agape love.
Paul states that the God of agape love of the universe is diametrically opposite to this tribal god of arbitrary reward and punishment. Paul confirms that, because God is agape love, He took all evil upon Himself in the person of Jesus Christ on the cross:
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 towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 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: 6-10).
The Light Of The Body Is The Eye
In Matthew 6:22-23 Jesus describes the mind that is governed solely by God’s principle as represented by the tree of life, and which is not tainted with any form of darkness:
The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness.
The eye symbolizes the mind and its beliefs. If therefore your eye is good, refers to the human mind that is governed by the single principle represented by the tree of life. It refers to the mind which knows with certainty that God is agape love and that agape love is His righteousness. As the tree of life reveals that God is agape love, so the human mind believes and accepts this single principle represented by the tree of life, then the whole body will be full of light. This mind is infused and saturated with divine wisdom, the divine knowledge of God. Then the whole body will be full of light, which is a flawless knowledge of the character and the righteousness of God.
Here we can look at another of Jesus’ sayings, the one where he uses the concept of leaven (yeast) to convey His message:
The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened (Matthew 13:33).
Yeast has the power of penetrating the whole dough, and even a small amount added to the dough performs its work in the whole. So the correct knowledge of God: once understood and accepted by the soul will impact the whole person’s life and actions.
Only this correct knowledge of His character will have a practical impact in the actions of human beings, who, by beholding the goodness of the God of creation will be changed from glory to glory.
But if your eye is bad, refers to the mind that is governed by Satan’s principle represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This mind is in absolute darkness about God’s character. If ninety-nine percent of a mind is correct about God’s character but one percent is flawed then the entire knowledge of God is skewed. In this respect Jesus gives this warning:
Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness (Luke 11:35).
Therefore, according to Jesus, we must take heed of something of extreme importance. We should not allow Satan to deceive our minds into believing that some or any of the works of darkness are part of God’s activities. Therefore, make sure, according to Jesus, that the mind we have is not tainted with any darkness, any evil understanding of God’s character because the consequences are total darkness in this connection.
This can again be explained by Jesus’ use of leaven as an example of leaven of spiritual truths:
Now when His disciples had come to the other side they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘It is because we have taken no bread.’ But Jesus being aware of it, said to them, ‘O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because ye have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? – but beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:5-12)
The leaven of the Pharisees, though starting from a small misconception of God, grew into the whole lump of their understanding of God, causing them to misjudge and misunderstand God to such an extent that they would come to the point of sentencing Jesus Christ to death, counting Him among the transgressors.
According to Jesus in Luke 11:36, the opposite is also true:
If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.
Jesus equates a correct knowledge of God’s righteousness, God’s character of agape love, with the whole mind being full of light, thus having no erroneous belief about God.
No Darkness At All In God’s Character
The apostle John ensures that God’s character will not be corrupted by any erroneous notions when he states that:
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).
Clearly in this statement there is no room ‘at all’ for darkness of any kind in God. Jesus came from the Father to teach us His eternal principles:
For I have given to them the words which You have given me (John 17:8).
If the essence of God is agape love, light and life, then internally and externally God is only Love, Light, and Life:
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).
These words and principles were expressed by Jesus Christ who is the ultimate revelation of God, and as such, they are applicable as much to Him as to us. As God is immutable, it then follows that regardless of the circumstances which confront Him, He cannot produce evil acts because He is agape love. agape love is all that proceeds out of the treasure of God’s heart, thus He is represented as being light in which there is no darkness at all.