Maranatha Media

One God and One Love

Posted Dec 02, 2016 by Ruben Olschewsky in Character of God
1,320 Hits

How can one word make so much difference? EROS or AGAPE what difference does it really make? Its all love isn’t it?

1 John 4:8 tells us the following:

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Notice that the verse does not say HAS Love but IS Love. To express this more clearly I would like to suggest the following;

GOD = Love

The Greek word which is translated Love here (as many will no doubt already know) is AGAPE. To quickly cover the basics, I would like to offer a simple definition for Agape so that its use in this article is clearly understood.

Agape is a love which gives without the need to receive anything in return and is not dependent on anything from the recipient of that Love.

For the purpose of this article I will endeavour to keep the thoughts quite focused as there are many implications to these thoughts which will be expanded in due time. Because of the nature of Agape it would be impossible for a being to be the source of Agape if he required something of the recipient, for if he was dependent upon something from the recipient his natural tendency would be to make an exchange in order to receive something in return which is how basic wordly trading and economy works. However, the bible Has the following to say about God;

          Acts 17:24-28 (KJV Strong's) God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being;

          John 5:26-27 (KJV Strong's) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

          Psalms 62:11 (KJV Strong's) God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.

         Matthew 28:18 (KJV Strong's) 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

          John 8:28 (KJV Strong's) 28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

         John 6:57 (KJV Strong's) 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

          John 7:18 (KJV Strong's) 18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

(Desire of Ages 21.2)          …..In these words is set forth the great principle which is the Law of life for the universe. All things Christ received from God, but he took to give. So in the heavenly courts, in His ministry for all created beings; through the beloved Son, the Father’s life flows out to all; through the Son it returns, in praise and joyous service, a tide of love, to the great Source of all. And thus through Christ the great circuit of beneficence is complete, representing the character of the great Giver, the law of life.

Because God needs absolutely nothing from anyone it is fitting that His love would not be based on reciprocal love. Continuing this thought further in the great circuit of beneficence is the next recipient of His Love, that being His only begotten Son. When we consider this stream of Love we can see clearly the divine pattern of Authority that exists between the Father and His Son. The Son, according to John 5:26, has received Life from His Father but not as we receive it. It says that “as the Father has life in himself, so has He given to the Son to have life in Himself.” We can therefore understand that Christ has life in himself which He has received from His Father through inheritance (Hebrews 1:3,4; Col 1:15,19). However, because it is in the very Character of the Father to give and because He is the source of all things, it stands to reason that, being infinite, the substance of which He gives will never ever be depleted and therefore He gives all. There is no mathematics for this as the two things, which are the source and the agape are inseparable. There is no selfishness associated with this as He IS agape, He is the very essence of Agape.

His Son being made in the express image of the Father is not only endowed through inheritance with all the fullness of His Father’s image but also His character and therefore He reflects the very character of His Father perfectly which is to give without measure of all that He has which is the same as the Father.

Now comes the most beautiful part J. Christ is the most unique being in the universe in that He has ALL things from His Father and is therefore God and considered by the Father as equal with himself, He also, being a receiver of all things, is our example in all things to not only acknowledge the source of all things as the great giver which is the Father, but also to be a generous giver “for freely you have received, freely give” Matthew 10:8.

Thus in beholding Christ we are made not only partakers of His inheritance but also imparters of all blessings which we have received to those we come into contact with as long as we acknowledge the source of all our blessings, which is the Father through His Son Christ Jesus. If we were to believe that Christ did not inherit all things from the Father then we are embarking on a journey the end of which will leave us in the same circumstance as it did Satan in heaven when believing that the blessings given to him were inherent (meaning that they did not come from God but from within himself), he began to magnify himself in his own mind and his mind was destroyed. If we believe the lie that Christ has not inherited all things then there is only one certain consequence, we will forfeit any possibility of having God’s agape manifest in our lives thus being unable to reflect the character of God and we will be deemed unfit to enter the heavenly kingdom.

This truth is so impacting and has deep ramifications within the word of God and its literal interpretation. I will offer some examples;

  1. John 3:16 (KJV Strong's)

16 For God SO loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The word SO is a connection which binds the gift and the love into an inseparable bond. You cannot take from the gift without taking from the love. Thus the identity of Jesus Christ is bound directly to the kind of Love being manifested by the Father. If therefore you say that the term “Son” is merely a metaphor then God did not actually give His Son and thus not only destroys the pure Love of the Father but also makes God a liar for He did not actually give His Son. I hope you can see how terrible and deadly a path this is?

  1. John 14:9 (KJV Strong's)

9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

These verses make very clear that Christ and the Father are not one and the same being. However, the words Christ uses leave us with no doubt that they were intended to be taken literally. If this is true then the only way that by beholding Christ one sees the Father is if Christ is either identical with the Father through inherent (in-and-of-himself) quality or if he is identical with the Father because He has received all the fullness of the Father by virtue of His coming forth or birth of the Father.

The biblical witness that Christ has inherited all things from the Father is overwhelming which means the idea that Christ’s likeness to the Father being inherent is not able to be supported scripturally.

This leads to the conclusion that Christ saying that if Philip was to see Him he would see the Father was more evidence that when the Father gave Him all things it is clear that He (the Father) did so in a manner that left the Son with nothing missing thus having received all things

If therefore, one was to suggest that Christ did not inherit all things from the Father, he/she is either calling God a liar because the biblical witness makes clear that Christ had to have received all things from the Father in order to say what He did in John 14:9 or else they are calling God a liar because they are claiming Christ to have inherent Qualities which are at odds with the biblical witness. Either way. A denial of the true literal Son makes God a liar! And this is further reinforced by the following text;

1 John 2:22-23  Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

This is irrefutable evidence from the word of God that a denial of the literal Father and Son makes one opposed to or ANTI-Christ and because Christ is Love (Agape) and truth it stands to reason that the one opposed to truth and Love is driven by the powers that are in opposition to truth and love which are namely hate and error or LIES. Having stated what I have previously I would like to expand a little further to include another definition into the conversation for contemplation.

The protestant and Catholic world holds to a somewhat different interpretation of Love using the Greek word EROS. We owe this move to the philosophy of individuals such as Augustine who expressed it as follows;

 “Love is of some one that loves, and with love something is loved.” Augustine. De Trinitite “On the Trinity” Book VIII

Consider now how the Augustinian philosophy is expanded by the Catholic church on the topic of the Love of God; God is the absolute and ultimate source of all being; but this universal principle of creation—the Logos, primordial reason—is at the same time a lover with all the passion of a true love. Eros is thus supremely ennobled, yet at the same time it is so purified as to become one with agape. Pope Benedict IX Encyclical Letter, 2005, Deus Caritas Est “God is Love.”

Now, the following quotation comes from a publication within our own denomination;

          If God is truly—in His very essence—the God of “love” (John 3:16 and 1 John 4:8), then we need to consider the following implications. Could one who has existed from all eternity past and who made us in His loving image—could this God truly be called love if He existed only as a solitary being? Is not love especially divine love, possible only if the one who made our universe was a plural being who was exercising “love” within His divine plurality from all eternity past?...[now quotes from Bruce Metzger] “The Unitarian professes to agree with the statement that ‘God is love.’ But these words ‘God is love,’ have no real meaning unless God is at least two Persons. Love is something that one person has for another person. If God were a single person, then before the universe was made, he was not love. For, if love be of the essence of God, he must have possessed an eternal object of love. Furthermore, perfect love is possible only between equals. Just as a man cannot satisfy or realize his powers of love by loving the lower animals, so God cannot satisfy or realize his love by loving man or any creature. Being in nite, he must have eternally possessed an in nite object of his love, some alter ego, or, to use the language of traditional Christian theology, a consubstantial, co-eternal, and co-equal Son. (The Trinity, Whidden, Moon and Reeve, page 115,116. )

I would now like to compare this line of reasoning, as it has been expressed in the preceding quotes, with the biblically expressed source of Love and see what the consequences, as expressed within the above mentioned quotes, are.

If it is impossible for God not only to have Love but to be Love as a single being then what we are expressing in our definition of Love is not AGAPE but EROS. There are at least two natural consequences for this view and they have fatal ends;

  1. If the Love of God is actually EROS and not AGAPE then it stands to reason that God gives in order to receive in return, for this is the definition of EROS. As we have already shown, from the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, God is emphatically expressed as the great source of ALL things and needs nothing from anyone. Therefore, if the Love of God is actually EROS we are calling God a liar because although he “SAYS” that has need of nothing, His Love has exposed Him as a Liar and because the Bible states clearly that God does not lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18) it means that the Bible is not inspired but a hoax and thus there is no such thing as sin because sin is a transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4) and the law of God is revealed to us in His word. Therefore, the Law of God is arbitrary and will not stand the investigation of the great Judgment currently taking place because God has set a standard for us attain which He himself does not hold to. This may seem to be pushing the line a bit far but it is important to follow the natural progression of a thought to determine  whether it holds to sound biblical doctrine.
  2. To express the Love of God as a form of EROS is to depart from a scriptural platform because EROS is not actually a word found in the new testament. What we are seeing here is the introduction of a philosophy without scriptural foundation. This view, though seeming to elevate the character of God, actually destroys it and paints our Heavenly Father as a being who claims to have need of nothing but actually has a need to be loved and needed. This picture is a perversion of the character of God which actually is a perfect representation of the character of Satan. This is the by-product of Satan’s oppositional mind in that he projects his own weaknesses and deficiency upon others while trying to paint himself in a garb of innocence.

I am praying that this is making sense as the Love of God is the centre of the Gospel and therefore the kind of Love that we attribute to God will determine the kind of Character He possesses;

Those who wait for the Bridegroom’s coming are to say to the people, “Behold your God.” The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them. {COL 415.5}

Can we see the connection here? Satan is determined to cause the very elect to stumble through a distortion of the character of God which will unfit God’s children for the kingdom of heaven, for by beholding we become changed (2Cor 3:18). If we behold a God with a character other than what is clearly represented in the bible and spirit of prophecy then we will emulate that character and the character of Christ can never be accomplished in us.

I pray my thoughts will offer some blessings to you brethren. They have been my meditation and I have been rejoicing in these thoughts as the truth of the begotten Son pervades the entire Gospel truth like a sweet savour.