God is light (1 John 1:5).
VERSIONS READ: ‘KEEPS NO ACCOUNT OF EVIL’]; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in
the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (verses 1-7; emphasis added).
As children we had an immature understanding of God’s character of love. Our behaviour reflected all the childish things we were involved with because we had an
incorrect knowledge of God’s love. We become a man when we know with certainty that the essence of God is love.
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. Love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 12:14, 17, 21; 13:8, 10).
As we study God’s agape love, we will realize that His love and human love are worlds apart. It is extremely important that we understand all the facets of divine love. One must also realize that agape love is the very essence of God, and not simply one of His many attributes. God possesses one supreme, unimpeachable, impeccable essence, and that is agape love:
“God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
“The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, [JESUS CHRIST], and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death [THE HUMAN RACE] light [LIFE] has dawned” (Matthew 4:16; emphasis added),
One of Jesus’ boldest statements declares that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Matthew 22:32). What is Jesus really saying by such a categorical statement? Is He saying that God has forsaken those who are dead, or is He saying that God has no part in the principle that causes death?
“For since by man [THAT IS, ADAM] came death, by man [JESUS CHRIST] also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming…The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:21, 22, 23, 26; emphasis added).
by the life-giving principle of agape love. He is not the God of death and of the death-giving principle, which is Satan’s principle of good and evil, the principle that was
represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. These two principles, agape and good and evil, are the main subject of this book and will be
explained in depth.
It is extremely important that we comprehend the significance of what Jesus stated in the previous two verses from Luke and Matthew. By making such a statement, He refuted and overturned the erroneous belief that God causes death, while at the same time
affirming with certainty that God is the giver of life. God does not and cannot use the death principle. It is absolutely contrary to His character and nature. Thus He is not the One responsible for the death we all experience. Therefore, since He is not the God of the
dead but the God of the living, death is anathema to Him. This is made quite clear through what the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians15:26: “the last enemy that will be
destroyed is death.” The Scriptures make it abundantly apparent that death is an enemy of God because death is the ultimate evil, and as such death cannot proceed from God.
Having made the above statements, and with a preliminary understanding of the biblical meaning of the words ‘light’ and ‘darkness’ we are compelled to ask the following questions: have we truly grasped the depth of what is involved in the war between light and darkness? Where did darkness originate? Does God’s character, the sum total of His thoughts and actions, reflect any of the works of darkness?
How is it that the majority of the religions of the world can believe in a God whose character is comprised of just such a mixture of light and darkness? Can God’s
character possibly be comprised of two paradoxical and contrary principles, which somehow become fused into a hybrid principle of love?
Many believe that the wicked will be destroyed by God’s wrath. It is widely thought that wrathful anger against sin and ungodly sinners is an inherent component of God’s love, and this wrath is classified as His righteous indignation, His righteous anger. Is this true, and if so, could this darker aspect of His character, that of wrathful anger, still be considered a part of His love? We all agree that when the Bible says God is love, His love must apply to godly people.
What about the ungodly? Would God still be love if He were to exercise wrath to the point of personally killing or having ungodly people killed? Would God break his own injunction to love one’s enemies? Would God still be love if, in an effort to prevent evil from contaminating and affecting the lives of the godly, He destroyed the wicked? Is the destruction of the ungodly a consequence of God’s moral justice on sin and sinners, and if so, would it not nullify what happened on the cross of Calvary?
wrestling with God for answers, one will irrefutably conclude that God has not, and will not have any part whatsoever in such works of darkness. God invites us to ask hard questions. He wants us to investigate these issues so that the mind and intellect which He gave us may be satisfied. Thus, He invites us to reason with Him:
“Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7).
“Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight.”
It would be wise for us to come to a proper understanding of God’s counsel to humanity in the statement But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me. To understand and know God we need to go back to the book of Genesis in order to
clearly grasp what God meant when He told Adam and Eve that the day they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would surely die (Genesis 2:17).
The presence of the two trees in the Garden reveals the nature of God’s character. One tree represented God’s principle of agape love and the other Satan’s principle of good and evil. One may wonder how it is that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil has any role in reflecting God’s character. It does, in this sense: that by allowing Satan’s principle to be equally accessible to Adam and Eve, existing side by side with His own principle, God reveals two aspects of His character that could be easily overlooked: one, that He provides equal access, and two, that He always gives us freedom of choice.
God gave Satan equal access to Adam and Eve so that they could have the freedom to choose whom they would obey and follow. God need not have offered a choice; had He
not, Adam and Eve would not have had the opportunity to disobey God and obey Satan, and sin, along with its terrible consequences, would never have entered the world. But it
is not in God’s character and nature to withhold freedom.
Freedom is an inherent component of God’s love. The fact that God gave equal accessibility to the adversary in respect to Adam and Eve, additionally reveals God’s impartiality, even while faced by evil. This is confirmed by the apostle Peter when he said: ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality’ (Acts 10:34).
The foremost criterion in divine wisdom is that it is first pure, single, without mixture. This means that in divine wisdom there is no synthesis of any two conflicting, or antithetical principles. This is represented by the tree of life, which represents the single principle of agape love. Those who possess this pure divine wisdom show no partiality in all their activities, even in respect to enemies. The conduct of all human beings reveals whether they are utilizing God’s single, pure principle of agape love, or whether they are operating by the dual, demonic principle of good and evil.
all. Therefore, God’s principle is not self-seeking, but is willing to yield and is without partiality.
“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
The two literal trees served only as representations of the two antithetical principles, God’s agape love, and Satan’s principle of good and evil. Not only did the presence of the serpent in the tree make it a vessel of death, but the principle that the serpent was proposing to the couple was itself a deadly principle. As previously mentioned, it was by the presence of the two trees in the Garden that Adam and Eve were given the freedom to choose to obey either God’s or Satan’s principle.
Tragically for God, for us, and for the whole universe, they chose Satan’s dual principle of good and evil. Since that one fateful choice, we are all born into this mindset, and that is all we know. It is not surprising therefore that we mistakenly make God into one such as ourselves.
see that all of God’s activities are governed only by the single principle represented by the tree of life. Under no circumstances whatsoever does God ever utilize Satan’s death principle from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The two trees enable us to see and to know without question that the embodiment of the death principle can originate only from Satan’s rule of law, because God’s rule of law is represented by the tree of life.
The Bible further makes it crystal clear that God’s principles are represented by the tree of life and not by the tree of death, for in the renewed earth, as depicted in the book of Revelation, there is no mention of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; it will cease to exist, as will death. In the new earth there will be only the tree of life, from which the healing of the nations will come. If God operated in any way from the principle that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil represented, then the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would also exist throughout eternity, because good and evil would be in God Himself.
As such, it would be an eternal principle, as God is eternal. The tree of life is a symbol of God’s life-giving power, the principle of unconditional love, the only eternal principle. It is this life-force, this infinite love which will heal the nations and give us eternal life.
The study of the Bible reveals that, tragically, all darkness was introduced in the universe and in the world by the angel called Lucifer, who, ironically, was also named the ‘son of the morning.’ Meaning literally ‘day star’ or ‘light bearer,’ Lucifer was one of the two covering cherubs in the throne room of God (Isaiah 14:12, Ezekiel 28:14). After iniquity was found in him (Ezekiel 28:15), the next time he surfaces in the biblical account is in the book of Genesis as the ‘cunning’ Serpent, seducing Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Were God to take part in any so-called works of darkness, He would then be the rightful author of all the deadly ramifications from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
These would be logically attributed to Him, as they presently are, but were that the case, God would cease to be the God of agape love. Without understanding this
incontrovertible fact, we have attributed, and will continue to attribute to God a character which operates by the principles of good and evil and not agape, and will believe that He governs the universe by the dual, or hybrid rule of
law of good and evil.
The final questions we must ask ourselves are these: if good and evil and agape are two antithetical principles, could they possibly co-exist in the one true God of the universe? And if they are not two irreconcilable and antithetical principles, then are they just different attributes of the God of love? Failing to arrive at the correct answer to these two
questions will certainly result in Satan, rather than God, being worshipped, for we will be worshiping the Creator only in name but not in character; not in spirit and in truth.
cornerstone of the church, Jesus is the ultimate and final authority on biblical truth, and He and no one else should be the focus of all our studies. These findings are confirmed when the Bible is interpreted with the cross principle as the sole foundation of biblical interpretation.
interpretation. Whenever God is portrayed in the Bible as doing Satan’s work of death and destruction, we must turn to the principle of the cross, agape love, for a true understanding of the situation in question:
The law is God’s law of agape love as commanded by the one true God of the universe. Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 respectively state:
“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.”
In the New Testament, Jesus confirmed the law of love:
yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:35-40).
“Love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10).You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the LORD. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Galatians 5:14).
The testimony spoken of in Isaiah 8:20 is the testimony of Jesus Christ regarding the character of God. Revelation 12:17 declares that these two, the law and testimony of
Jesus Christ, will bring the wrath of Satan upon the church, that is, upon those who have the two:
John the Baptist gives this testimony about Jesus Christ, confirming His ultimate and sole authority by the heavenly credentials that only He held:
God does not give the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:31-36).
The apostle Paul, likewise, used no other authority but that which was revealed and given to him by Jesus Christ:
For the most part, our worship of God has regrettably been based on a mistaken, incorrect and untrue knowledge of Him. For the most part, our worship of God has remained a worship based on the knowledge given to us by the old covenant, from which God is calling us to come out. This is shown to us in the book of Hebrews, where God promises to put His law of agape love in our hearts, the promise of a new covenant:
LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbour, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to banish away” (Hebrews 8:8-13).
Humanity’s initial flawed knowledge of God’s character and law of agape love has become obsolete, as the verse says: He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. When this is accomplished we will be enormously blessed with such an intense love, respect and appreciation for God that all our energy and passion will glorify Him. When this transformation takes place in us, we will vindicate His character of pure, unalloyed agape love. Even though such a transformation appears to be a formidable endeavour, God’s grace is sufficient for the
task of vindicating His character and increasing our love and appreciation for Him even more.
There is a God-created void in the human heart that can be filled only by God Himself. Yet the true knowledge about this one and only Creator God of the universe that is needed to enable us to worship Him in spirit and truth is sadly and painfully lacking. Our thinking that God is a Creator as well as a Destroyer is a misconception that has
resulted in our worshiping Him with a sense of dread.
When we do not know Him as He should be known, we worship Him only from fear of the consequences of not worshiping Him, a fear that may not even be acknowledged at the conscious level. John’s statement that perfect love casts out fear becomes pregnant with meaning when we behold Jesus dying on the cross, demonstrating His perfect agape love for all of us:
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that
Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be
filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19; emphasis added).
“To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. They will pass through it hard-pressed and hungry; and it shall happen, when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and curse their King and their God, and look upward. Then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness” (Isaiah 8:20-22).
We will be driven into darkness because we believe in a God capable of causing such destruction, and we will curse our King and our God, for we will mistakenly think that He is the One responsible for these things.
Absolutely and unquestionably, there is a God of the universe. Absolutely and unquestionably, God has an antagonist and an adversary. Failure to understand
these basic facts will undoubtedly result in a catastrophic deception that would cause us to inadvertently worship the wrong god.
worshipping the wrong god because it fails to know the character of the true God.
This may be extremely difficult to believe and accept, but sadly it is a reality. The adversary’s mendacity is so ingeniously crafted, that without the cross principle, it would be impossible to discern the deception. Jesus told us that false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:24).
“And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20).
Ephesians 3:10 states our role in this ongoing controversy between God and Satan:
“To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (emphasis added).
Finally, there is a universal and timeless law in existence which states that whatever we behold will impact our thinking and our lives. The principle that by beholding we become changed is a known fact and is biblically proven; what we behold will undoubtedly materialize in our lives:
“For all people walk each in the name of his god, But we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever” (Micah 4:5).
Our worldview is the result of that which we contemplate and behold, and our objective reality will impact our thinking and living either for weal or woe. How we perceive the character of the God we worship will undoubtedly affect our reaction to the very essence of Jesus’ teaching, and will impact our inter-relationships in every facet of life. This is where ‘the rubber meets the road’ in Christianity:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34, 35).
According to Jesus, the greatest revelation of loving one another is manifested when we fulfill the most profound directive given to Him by God:
rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48).