272 – THE LOVE OF GOD 2
The Bible reveals that there is a false love, which is a love of words only. The apostle John says, “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18). The true love is a love of words and works. This is the love of God the Father. The same John also said, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God announced love accompanied by works. Words alone do not prove anything. Works are the proof. Paul said, “Let love be without hypocrisy” (Rom. 12:9).Love of words only is feigned love. There are husbands who confess their love for their wives, but have affairs with other women. Other husbands mistreat their wives. There are parents who say they love their children, who are afraid of their parents for their tyranny. Love does not offend. “And fathers, do not provoke your children to anger” (Eph. 6:4). Now, if God is a Father, he follows the norms of good sense. Jesus said: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him” (Matt. 7:11). We repeat the question asked before: Was the love that Christ revealed to men from God known before he incarnated? If the love that Jesus confessed for men existed before his incarnation, the first one to know and reveal this love was precisely Jehovah, for they say that he is the father of Jesus, and God the Father is love. And if he knew this love, he would have to practice the works of love, or this love was not true, and Jehovah would be a strange being to Christ. Let us look at this: (1 John 4:8-10).
- Jehovah has never taught true love. He said: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18). This teaching is not perfect, for people are different from one another. For example: A businessman does illegal business for more profit. It is obvious that he is going to teach this to a friend whom he loves. Another enjoys the company of wanton women and invites a friend who is dear to him to enjoy nights of pleasure. Obviously there are a few rare exceptions. Men is not a fitting measure for love, but let us read the qualities of love, according to Paul: “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4-7).
- “Love is patient”, that is, whoever loves, suffers, so that the object of his love does not suffer. Peter declared, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18) “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6). “Surely our grief He himself bore, and our sorrows he carried” (Is. 53:4). It pleased Jehovah to inflict suffering. He said, “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). “Jehovah will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the sword and with blight and with mildew, and they shall pursue you until you perish” (Deut. 28:22). “Jehovah will smite you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with the scab and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed” (Deut. 28:27). All this was done with enjoyment.
- “Love is kind.” What does kind mean? Benign, favorable, complacent, affable, tender. All that Jehovah is not. He said: “For a fire is kindled in My anger, and burns to the lowest part of Sheol, and consumes the earth with its yield, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains. I will heap misfortunes on them; I will use My arrows on them. They shall be wasted by famine, and consumed by plague and bitter destruction; and the teeth of beasts I will send upon them, with the venom of crawling things of the dust. Outside the sword shall bereave, and inside terror — both young man and virgin, the nursling with the man of gray hair” (Deut. 32:22-25). What is very confusing for the reader is that Jehovah commends himself, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness” (Jer. 31:3).What is kindness? It is the quality of the benign. Jehovah’s concepts of benignity and benign are different from our concepts. To us, they are to be kind, favorable, complacent, and tender. To Jehovah, killing all of the first-born is to be benign (Ps. 136:10). To kill and destroy the armies of Pharaoh is to be benign (Ps. 136:15). To Jehovah, hurting and killing great kings of various nations is to be benign (Ps. 136:17-20).
- “Love is not insolent and rash” (1 Cor. 13:4) Darby Version. What is rashness? It is lack of prudence, lack of good sense, thought. Rash is the imprudent, hasty, and careless. It was a lack of prudence from Jehovah to put man in the garden together with the serpent. It is probable that there was cunning. The fall of man was inevitable and waited with expectation. One does not leave a child to play with a serpent. When the human race fell, Jehovah barred the way to the tree of life so that no one would find it (Gen. 3:22-24). The exegesis of Gen. 3:15, saying that the seed of the woman is Christ, and that the woman is Mary, is Roman Catholic. It affirms that Mary is the mother of God. Jesus gives a different version in Matt. 13:34-43. To Jesus, the children of the kingdom are the seed of the woman, and the children of the evil one are the seed of Satan. Paul confirms this truth affirming that the children of the kingdom, the militant Church, will tread the head of the serpent (Rom. 16:20). If Jesus is not the one who will tread the head of the serpent, Gen. 3:15 is not speaking of him. We read in the book of Job that the men who lived before the flood were taken before their time, so that there was haste and imprudence on the part of Jehovah in bringing the flood (Job 22:15-16). Jehovah burned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zebiim; and Jesus declares in Matt. 11:23-24 that they will be judged again. And Jesus affirmed that, if the signs that were done in Capernaum were done in those cities, they would not have been destroyed. Why did not Jehovah do Jesus’ works there? He acted rashly and frivolously, killing people who could have been saved.
- “Love is not arrogant” (1 Cor. 13:4). The humble are not provoked, only the arrogant, for arrogance is pride, haughtiness. The sovereign thinks he is important, better than others, contrary to Jesus, who is meek and humble of heart (Matt. 11:29). Jehovah is easily provoked by men. “And Jehovah said to Moses, ‘How long will this people spurn Me? … I will smite them with pestilence and … I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they” (Num. 14:11-12). Moses interceded for the people and demanded of Jehovah to forgive them. He was heard, for he said: “I have pardoned them according to your word” (Num. 14:11-20). But Jehovah did not forgive them and killed them in the desert (Num. 14:28-32). Because Moses protected the people of Israel, a people suffering with the long Egyptian slavery, an uncultured and unprepared people because of the humiliation and yoke of the Egyptians, Jehovah felt that Moses had offended him, for he said, “Jehovah was angry with me also on your account, saying, 1Not even you shall enter there. Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there” (Deut. 1:37-38).
Who was Moses? Jehovah said to Miriam and Aaron who was Moses, his siblings: “He said, ‘Hear now my words. If there is a prophet among you, I Jehovah will make myself known to him in a vision. I will speak with him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so. He is faithful in all my house. With him I will speak mouth to mouth, even plainly, and not in riddles’” (Num. 12:6-8). Jehovah not only was offended with Moses, but also shut the door of his rest to him. Yes, Canaan is the rest of Jehovah. In the letter to the Hebrews we read: “With whom was he displeased forty years? Wasn’t it with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? To whom did he swear that they wouldn’t enter into his rest, but to those who were disobedient? We see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief” (Heb. 3:17-19). Jehovah treated Moses as an unbeliever. If Canaan is a picture of heaven, Moses is lost. How can Jehovah deal like this with his greatest servant? The problem is that arrogance hardens so powerfully, that his closest friends and the most faithful servants are treated as enemies when they defend any man disgraced by Jehovah. The true God and Father of Jesus saves the disgraced of Jehovah, and does not blame his servants for any mistake. Paul says this in 1 Tim. 4:10.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira