250 – COHERENCE – VI
The apostle John revealed the true nature of God to men: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and every one who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). We find three kinds of love in the New Testament: Agape, the charity love; that is, a love that is in the subject, and not in the object. This is the love of God. It is the love that loves, even when it does not receive love back. This love is found in two verses of the New Testament (Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:10). This love does not cease, and Paul defines it very well with the words, “Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with” (1 Cor. 13:4-8). This love does not exist in men. This gift from heaven can only be found in man through the Holy Spirit. It is Paul who says, “The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5; 15:30). Paul also explains this work of the Holy Spirit in the letter to the Ephesians 3:16-21. The second type of love corresponds to the affections manifested in the family. That is the Phileo love. The third kind of love is the love Eros. This is the possessive love, and it is in the object, not in the subject. When the object changes, love also changes. This possessive love includes riches, art, knowledge, and also the erotic love. But our study is based on the AGAPE love, defined in the first letter to the Corinthians 13:4-8 and Ephesians 3:16-21.
1. If God is love, and love does no wrong (Rom. 13:10), why does Jehovah fashion evil, and practice it?“Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, thus says Yahweh: Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return you now everyone from his evil way, and amend your ways and your doings” (Jer. 18:11). “For I have set my face on this city for evil, and not for good, says Yahweh: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire” (Jer. 21:10). “Does the trumpet alarm sound in a city, without the people being afraid? Does evil happen to a city, and Yahweh hasn’t done it?” (Amos 3:6).
2. If God is love and loves everyone in this world, and he did not spare the life of his Son Jesus Christ to save every one who believes (John 3:16-17; 1 Tim. 1:15), why does Jehovah hate the ungodly and the sinners? (Ps. 11:5; 5:5; 78:58-59; Mal. 1:2-3).
3. If God is good, as Jesus affirmed it in Matt. 19:16-17, why did Jehovah give his people commandments that were not good? “Because they had not executed my ordinances, but had rejected my statutes, and had profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols. Moreover also I gave them statutes that were not good, and ordinances in which they should not live; and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through [the fire] all that opens the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am Yahweh” (Ezek. 20:24-26).
4. If God, the Father, is love, and love does not seek his own interests, is not provoked, takes no account of evil, bears all things, believes all things, as it is written in 1 Cor. 13:5-7, why did Jehovah get so furious and kill, afterwards? Here is what Jehovah predicted to his people Israel: “He who is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he who is near shall fall by the sword; and he who remains and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my wrath on them” (Ezek. 6:12). “Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of you, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments on you; and the whole remnant of you will I scatter to all the winds” (Ezek. 5:10).
5. If the apostle, filled with the Holy Spirit, said in the New Testament, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not” (Rom. 12:14), why did Jehovah curse his people? And why did the angel of Jehovah curse those who were not his people? (Gal. 3:10; Judges 5:23). And Jesus, who is one with the Father (John 10:30), died to redeem us from the curses of Jehovah? (Gal. 3:13).
6. Jesus said about the love and goodness of the Father, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil” (Luke 6:35). If this is the feeling of the Father towards evil people, why did Jehovah found pleasure in killing and destroying? “As Jehovah delighted over you to prosper you, and multiply you, so Jehovah will delight over you to make you perish and destroy you” (Deut. 28:63). In men, this is a morbid pleasure. But…
7. If God, the Father, is the God of peace, as Paul said, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance” (2 Thess. 3:16); and he continues, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Col. 3:15); now, if the kingdom of God is a kingdom of peace, joy and righteousness (Rom. 14:17); if God has called us to peace (1 Cor. 7:15); if God is a fountain of peace that exceeds our understanding and keeps our hearts and minds in Christ (Phil. 4:7),why is Jehovah the god of war and of destruction? (Ex. 15:3). Why did Jehovah have a secret book of future wars? (Num. 21:14) And why did Jehovah swear eternal hatred and war against certain people?(Ex. 17:16).
8. If God, the God revealed in Jesus Christ, is love, and is, therefore, good, and wants all men to be saved, as Paul said, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:3-4), why did Jehovah predestine a people to destruction? ““But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed ask him who formed it, “Why did you make me like this? Or hasn’t the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel for honor, and another for dishonor? What if God [Jehovah] (Jer. 18:1-6), willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath made for destruction” (Rom. 9:20-22).
9. If God, because of the love he has for his children, watches over them until the work of perfection is complete, and for this reason the apostle Paul declared, “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13); “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6); “May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23), why did Jehovah watch over evil to destroy his people? “Behold, I watch over them for evil, and not for good; and all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them” (Jer. 44:27).
10. If the New Testament is the Word of Life (Phil. 2:16), and Paul, once again, tells us that the manifestation and the appearance of Our Savior Jesus Christ has abolished death, and brought to light the life and incorruption through the Gospel (2 Tim. 1:10), why did the word of Jehovah kill his children? “Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth” (Hos. 6:5).
Jehovah manifests feelings totally contrary to those of the Father. Analyzing the words of Jehovah, we could think that he is God, but analyzing his works, we do not find in him a single trace of the Father revealed in Christ.
by PASTOR OLAVO SILVEIRA PEREIRA