The Matter of Godly Love

A recent discussion about the meaning of unconditional love prompted this article, written  by Ayo Fabiyi, dealing with the human and spiritual facets of love.

The original posting is located at the Is Was And Will Be site, called: The Matter of Godly Love.

THE MATTER OF GODLY LOVE

by Ayo Fabiyi

(All Scriptures quoted are from the King James translation of the Bible,
except where otherwise stated)

26 November 2012

INTRODUCTION.

To the body of Christ scattered abroad:

Greetings.

There are innumerable issues in this life that we are given to deal with on a daily basis. How we behave and handle the many different situations is rooted in what is in our heart, what our heart is subjected to. We are told to guide our heart with all diligence for a very good reason…

Pro 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

The issues of life are many and diverse, manifesting to each person at different season and times. Nevertheless, each person, in previously appointed order, will be given an experience by the Lord God to prove us and to manifest the counsels of the hearts so we can know what and who we really are. It is for our sake and benefit. The Lord God knows all things already and need not any man to ‘prove’ this to Him. It is a lesson for our profit in the process of being conformed to His express image, and an experience for the sake and benefit of our neighbor, and eventually to all in Adam.

1Jn 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

Joh 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
Joh 2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

This testing is an event which is common to all men, and when all is said and done, each person will have experienced in the spirit all that has proceeded out of the mouth of God for his great purpose.

There is no greater issue of life the Lord Jesus Christ uses to try us, as grain is sifted in a sieve, to separate the many from the few, the fake, counterfeit from the genuine, the disobedient from the obedient, the earthy from the heavenly, than this issue of Love. This is the exam the Lord sets those that are seeking the price of the high calling. This is the ‘litmus test’ that cannot be feigned before the Lord and His examiners. As usual, the world has many definitions of love and these are not without significance. The orthodox Christian world (which the Lord is choosing His Elect out of) has many of its own interpretations and definitions.

Millions of “best-seller” books have been sold to talk about the issue of love and billions deceived by many false prophets on what is the love of God. The common factor from the definitions of the many called Christians and the uncalled is the contradictions and many smooth words that fill their pages.

The issue of love, the unconditional love of God as opposed to the love that appears to be based on performance, was sent to the fellowship for spiritual discussion. The discussions from several members of the body will serve to sharpen our knowledge of the love of God contrast with the love that is in the world, or that is performance, ‘work’ based.

The hidden wisdom and the love of God is, and will be made manifest, brought to light and made known to all through the Body of Christ, the church.

Eph 3:9 and to bring to light what is the fellowship of the mystery which from eternity [Gk: aion, the beginning of the age] has been hidden in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ;

Eph 3:10 so that now to the rulers and powers in the heavenlies might be known by the church the manifold wisdom […and LOVE OF…] of God.

[Modern Kings James version – MKJV]

Through these discussions, we pray the wisdom of God in His love, what and how this love is unconditional can be brought to light and further increase our knowledge of Him. These are the deep things of God, and through the holy spirit of God (dividing to each man severally as he will) we can all get a deeper and more wholesome meaning, and practical applications of His love to profit us all.

John McDowell first asked:

Dear all,

I’ve had something come to me this morning. The topic of love.

All you married folks, please help me understand something. And those who aren’t married, regardless, I want to know the biblical answer to this.

We toss around the phrase “unconditional love” a lot when speaking of relationships, marriages, etc. My question is, where does this come from?

Is God’s love unconditional? or is it performance based?

Likewise, should our “love” for a spouse be unconditional? or performance based?

OR… is there something in between that I’m missing?  Is love supposed to be unconditional, yet driven by performance in some way? Forgiving faults, but always pursuing perfection.

Sincerely,

John McDowell.

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Tim Treon first shared his wisdom:

“Joh 3:16 God so loved THE WORLD…. [We] are created Marred in the Potter’s hand.  I’m divorced and don’t love my ex’s past performances, but I still love her and always will, but He [the Lord] gets the credit for it.

Our outline for prayer, Our Father who art in heaven….thy kingdom come, THY WILL BE DONE…FORGIVE OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US.   Nothing is based on another’s performance in that scripture either. As always I’m open for correction.

Blessings, Tim”

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From Robin Korevaar:

“Hi John,

God’s love is unconditional, but it has an appearance of conditions from our perspective. God knew the end from the beginning which is He will be all in all. Because we still live in these marred vessels of clay, we are not able to love unconditionally, but we will when God is all in all. In our vessels in this present evil age there is a time for everything.

Ecc 3:1  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Ecc 3:2  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

Ecc 3:3  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

Ecc 3:4  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Ecc 3:5  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Ecc 3:6  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

Ecc 3:7  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

Ecc 3:8  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecc 3:9  What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

Ecc 3:10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

We live in an age of exercise, of getting experience, and that means we need to live through all kinds of “negative” experiences. The word “unconditional” in itself does not leave room for experiencing everything.

Ecc 1:13 (CLV) I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

Does this make any sense?

Robin”

As Robin mentioned, this is an age of exercise that is primarily intent on us experiencing the many different situations and issues of life. This age is by nature, a condition itself. We are also creations of conditions, with earthly perspective. Everything we do is subject to our immediate environments and circumstances.

This is important to keep in mind as we continue this thread to add to Robin’s words and make sense of it all.

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From Ursula Van Heerden

“Dear John,

In my marriage the Lord taught me to love unconditionally. It does not come naturally at all, as we all know.  It is very natural to love those who “perform well” (i.e. love us back):

Mat 5:46  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same?
Luk 6:32  For if you love those who love you, what thanks do you have? For sinners also love those who love them.
Luk 6:33  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks do you have? For sinners also do the same.

I once read a marriage book that was probably very ‘babylonish’, but it really taught me something.  It said that our relationship with our spouse has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW THEY TREAT US AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH OUR OBEDIENCE TO GOD. This book (quite strangely for a Christian book) taught that marriage was not a place for us to have our needs met, but a place where God grew us spiritually, and we all know spiritual growth does not happen without trial!

Act 14:22  confirming the souls of the disciples, calling on them to continue in the faith and that through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God.

So this really struck me at a time when I so much wanted to have my needs met by another human being who really was unable to ever fill the huge needy gaping hole that was me at that stage!  No wonder he fled from me emotionally – I was a void that could not be filled! I realized later that even all my praying for our marriage and my serving and loving him was at the root selfish because I (even unbeknownst to myself) hoped by doing so he would love me back in the way I needed.   It was only when I eventually “gave up” trying and just got to the point of saying ‘YOUR WILL BE DONE’, I was given to love my husband DESPITE any actions on his part.

 Loving unconditionally is the ONLY way to really love anyone.  This does not mean that one should put up with abuse and ill treatment, as tolerating evil is also evil.  But if the Lord grants us to be able to do that, we become more Christ-like. So, the case of abuse in marriage aside, I say UNCONDITIONAL – 100%.

YSITC, Ursula”

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As Ursula pointed out above, (unbeknown to many of us,) our tolerance of evil is what the adversary subtly uses to blind us to pass it as Godly “love”.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Suffering fools gladly and boasting in it as ‘doing it for God’ is nothing more than being in cruel bondage and is not the love of God. Nevertheless, it is a necessary experience from which we must first learn.

2Co 11:18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
2Co 11:19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
2Co 11:20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.

There are times in our lives we tolerate such abuse of ‘men’ because it is covered by a form of “love”, which blinds us from seeing the true spiritual situation of the heart.

As always, such love is based on the glory of men, even as we all loved Jesus Christ after the flesh at a point of our lives.

The name of Jesus has been violently perverted, because of the sincere ‘love’ we first had for him, to cause us to suffer fools gladly, to suffer from grievous wolves masquerading in sheep’s clothing. We are to repent from all such types of conditional, fleshly-based love as we come to know the love of God.

As we go on, the members of the body will be defining Love as the Scripture defines it. What this true biblical love is, how this love is manifest, the examples of true Godly love contrast with the love of the flesh the world in scripture, and how this will confront us in our walk with Christ.

There is still a lot to learn! Robin Korevaar continues this thread to reflect that the love of God does not include “suffer[ing] fools gladly!

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Robin Korevaar:

“Dear Sisters,

I have a lot to learn about this topic. “Unconditional” within this marred vessel is something I cannot comprehend. Doesn’t “unconditional” have the same meaning as “fullness now” … perfection now?

Can you tell me what your definition of “love” is in a marriage? If people have different definitions on the same word, then it is very easy to get misunderstandings.

Is the love of God, the ability God has to love, the same as our ability? Will I love my wife if she sleeps with the neighbour? Will I love her if she does it for the second time…third…tenth? I don’t think so…. will I hate her…Lord willing not, but I will let her go. Will she love me if I commit these sins?

Unconditional is a very, very strong word in my humble opinion. Maybe I have a strange understanding of the emotion called “love”, because thinking about it…it is mind-boggling.

YbiC

Robin”

Steve Crook adds more light to the subject of Love:

“Hello everyone, and thank you all for your thoughts.

As different perspectives have been discussed, I have had a few things come to mind.

Joh 4:16 – And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

God is love. Seems simple enough. However, though we have all heard this verse many times, it doesn’t really ring true for “us” until we are shown the love of God in our lives as He gives us the Fruit of the Spirit called love.

Because of my study last weekend being fresh in my mind, I immediately thought about the examples we see in scripture of differing “layers” of God’s love. We are told God is love, but He also gives us a measure of love in our lives. Just like faith, it is a gift.

As we work this out in our lives day to day, we truly only have one way to love anyone. How DO WE LOVE?

Rom 8:39 – Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Much as when we speak of Faith, and faith being of Christ, it is in Christ and Him being IN US, that we are able to love God because we have been … given that love in the first place.

2Jn 1:1 – The elder unto the elect lady and her children [John is speaking to the church and those that are added to the church], whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;

I ask you all now, have you known the Truth and KNOW the Truth? Do you know Christ and His mind?

Joh 14:1 – Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in Godbelieve also in me. Joh 14:2 – In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Christ tells this to His disciples right before He says:

Joh 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 – If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Do you know God and His Word? Do you know the power of Christ in you?

2Jn 1:2 – For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
2Jn 1:3 – Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
2Jn 1:4 – I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.
2Jn 1:5 – And now I beseech thee, lady, [I BESEECH YOU MY BODY] not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
2Jn 1:6 – And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

I reckon that when we try to define love, we FAIL. Much like Ursula mentioned, we tend to love for very selfish reasons at times, and at others, we are given love that is what most of mankind knows as “love”.

The fact is that love and truth go hand and foot. Much like marriage, the two are intertwined with the Head as focus.

What do I mean by that? Christ came to do the will of God. When any of us have this mind, then we ALSO have the love of God DWELLING in us. In this tabernacle of flesh, EVERYTHING is given in measure…even love, too.

Only the Father can give us this love. As we are given it, we see the utter helplessness of our family and friends, those in the world and those in Babylon, to do anything other than what God has planned for them… just as He works with us. As such, and just as Christ demonstrated for us, we must be willing…. we must pick up our cross and follow Christ dying daily and SHOWING by being doers of the Word… that we KNOW, the Way … the Truth … and the LIFE.

We are all going to die, let’s get this show on the road and realize that judgment BEGINS NOW at the house of God. Judgment is NOT a bad thing. It is because of judgment now…fiery trials, that we realise that the “end of them” is going to be the SAME as with US … it is all just a matter of timing.

Now, just LIVE it out; Christ in you. When we profess His name and keep His commandments ….we cannot fail … though along the way, being in the “lesson of flesh”, we will fall.

I know there is much more that can be said about this topic, but that is what was coming to my mind as I read all your wonderful replies. I know the Lord works through us all and implore you all to share what God has given you to share, as you are led to share it 🙂

YBITC, Steven”

Alice Lubbe re-emphasizes to us what this scriptural definition of God’s love is, using one of the most pivotal scripture in all of God’s word.

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Alice Lubbe:

“That is beautiful, Steven.  Thank you for writing your response.  It is edifying and encouraging.  I was in the middle of writing this when I saw your email.

Hope this helps, Robin: It seems to me that the definition of love from scripture applies in terms of obedience to God.

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.  1Jn 2:5  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1Jn 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
1Jn 2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
1Jn 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
1Jn 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1Jn 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

Rom 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

The Lord is showing me lately the difference between love (as indicated above) and fondness or affection for someone. When I am fond of someone, or have affection for him or her, I will want to bless them (Mat 5:46) or even to please them. But these feelings must be subject to obedience to Christ.  And often I am finding that I offend those (unintentionally) that I am most fond of because I am learning to obey Christ.   If my fondness or affection for my spouse leads to disobedience to Christ, then I am not walking in love.  I guess I see love as a verb, but fondness/affection as a feeling. God bless you, and thanks, John, for this thread.  It is very timely.

YsiC,

Alice”

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Robin Korevaar:

“Dear brothers and sisters,

Thank you all for your thoughts on this matter. What I do read is that for us having the love of God, the condition is that we keep His commandments.

The keeping of His word is the condition for the love of God to be perfected

1Jn 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

Faith is a gift. It is not unconditional. The condition is the giving of it. If it is not given to me, then in no way can I get it.

Love is obedience (the condition), NOT AN EMOTION.

As far as my understanding goes, no human has control over this, and therefore unconditional is a word which is not in my vocabulary or I do not understand the meaning of the word.

Thanks for bearing with me,

Your brother in Christ,

Robin”

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From a human, earthly perspective, unconditional love, or anything unconditional, is not in man’s power. It is a ‘vocabulary’ that is not given to man to use. However as students of scripture and those seeking to know the mind of God, we must pursue greater understanding of the inner workings of this love of God for our edification.

Tony Cullen expounds further on this love of God and of the flesh.

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“Dear brethren,

If I could just add some thoughts to this thread, I think we’re all seeing and saying the same thing for the most part and that is that our flesh is conditional, and it is on the third day (Luk 13:32) that we go unto perfection to lose its conditional status. Our unconditional actions, as Robin was saying, are really not our own, and God’s word does show that every good gift comes from above (Jas 1:17).

Jas 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

We also know that God is working the “conditional” behaviour in our life as well, and that both the conditional (conditioned by a law of sin in our members – Rom 7:23) which God is the giver of (Jas 4:12)) fleshly actions, and the unconditional love of God working through conditional flesh is all working according to the council of God’s will (Eph 1:11, Rom 8.32, 1Co 3:22)

Rom 7:23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Jas 4:12  There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Rom 8:32  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

1Co 3:22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

God tells us that what He sets out to accomplish in our hearts will be accomplished (Rom 2:4, Joh 4:23, Mat 20:23). Boasting therefore is excluded by the law of faith (Rom 3:27, Heb 12:2) as God’s love is shed abroad in them (Rom 5:5).

Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Mat 20:23  And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Rom 5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Our Father therefore is working within us both to will and to do of His good pleasure, which is the unconditional love that proceeds from Him (Php 2:13). All of God’s actions are acts of unconditional love. He sees the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10) and declares that the end of the matter is better than the beginning (Ecc 7:8).

Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Isa 46:10  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Ecc 7:8  Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

From our perspective in the flesh, how could war and famine, etc., be a reflection of God’s unconditional love, but it is, because only God can take evil and make something good come out of it at the end. While we are in these earthen vessels, we are being perfected by a perfect God who is love (1Joh 4:8), and that love of God is unconditional. He does not change (Mal 3:6), “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jas 1:17), and so as we are given to look to Him today (Joh 6:44), we will learn of His perfection, until we can go unto perfection on the third day, and then we will have no shadow of turning and will see Him face to face (Luk 13:32, 1Co 13:12).

1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Mal 3:6  For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Jas 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 

Joh 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Luk 13:32  And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

1Co 13:12  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

The ultimate example of unconditional love being reflected in the flesh was Christ on the cross, and He tells us that He could of His own self do nothing (Joh 5:30). Christ did not always express unconditional love as a baby; he had needs and they were met, and all flesh has to grow to maturity, including Christ’s fleshly life (Heb 5:8). He never sinned in this sinful marred vessel because He had the spirit without measure (Joh 3:34), and the hand of Satan was stayed from destroying Him throughout his entire life, and Satan was only allowed to bring upon Him what was predetermined from the foundation of the world, but Christ never declared himself to be the source of that unconditional love being perfected within Him. All the unconditional moments of love in Christ’s life we’re revealing the power of the Father working through Christ, and in the same manner it is Christ, the hope of glory within us who is declaring the unconditional love of the Father which is working in us through Christ as he accomplishes this by grace and faith in this our age (Eph 2:8, 1Joh 4:17). Herein is God’s unconditional love made perfect within us!

Joh 5:30  I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Heb 5:8  Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

Joh 3:34  For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

1Jn 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

We are all having an evil experience to humble us thereby (Ecc 1:13, Ecc 3:18) as we learn of His faithfulness, His love, His ability to finish what He has promised, and as we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, this quality of God’s unconditional love will be understood more and more as we decrease and He increases, but we will never be the source of that unconditional love, and we will be echoing what Christ said ‘don’t call me good’ (Rev 22:9), there is one who is good, one who has always been and will be unconditional in that goodness, and that is God (Luk 18:19).

Ecc 1:13  And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

Ecc 3:18  I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

Rev 22:9  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

Luk 18:19  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

We never read of Christ striking back, so His actions represent the unconditional love of God, and Christ having the spirit without measure (Joh 3:34) would always be able to reveal the Father in His actions.

Joh 3:34  For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

God has ordained that we fall seven times (Pro 24:16) in this process of maturing to the fullness and stature of Christ (Eph 4:13) as we become a little stronger every day, and as we decrease and He increases within us (Joh 3:30, Deu 7:22).

Pro 24:16  For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Joh 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.

Deu 7:22  And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.

Peter said he would never deny Christ, which was all to demonstrate to us what we will do in this very conditional flesh which denies Christ three times.

To God be all the glory (1Ti 1:17) as we learn that there is no good thing within us, and that there is only one who is Good. Christ reminds of this point by saying “none is good, save one, that is, God.” He is expressly speaking of His flesh, which is sinful flesh, and full of conditions that can only be conquered by the power of the Holy Spirit that he had without measure (Joh 3:34).

1Ti 1:17  Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Luk 18:19  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

Joh 3:34  For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

Certainly Christ’s actions demonstrated unconditional love, but the real question is: to whom did He give the glory to be able to do what He did? We know all glory and honour are the Father’s from where every good and perfect (unconditional gift) comes from (Jas 1:17).

Jas 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Thank you for all the encouraging points on this thread, and I thank God for the unconditional love of the Father growing within His body.

Your brother in Christ, Tony

End of body thread.

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The thread above has given us great insight and wisdom of the love of God and the performance based love that is the condition of the natural man.

We will continue to search even more the sum of the word of God concerning His love as opposed to the love of this world.

Let us now look at the opposite of love and how that relates to God himself.

LOVE AND HATE

The thought of seeing love and hatred having one root applied to God is disturbing to the mind of the natural man and his carnal way of thinking.

Through the body of Christ, we have come to see that the word of God, in this case, Love, is a double-edged sword, with a positive side and a negative, death and hatred to the flesh and life and love to the New Man.

Throughout scripture, the “love of God” is always contrasted with that of his “perfect hatred”. Without knowing or having this necessary contrast, it is impossible for us to know what true love is and how this love can be displayed to the rest of men.

———————————————————————

Mike Vinson adds his wisdom to reflect how the world sees the Love of God in us as opposed to our old ways of what we thought is meant by love.

“This world cannot understand how it is possible to hate the way of life of our old man and still claim to be filled with God’s love. Here is a section of scripture that that reflects what the Love of God also means.

Psa 139:19  Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.  Psa 139:20  For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.  Psa 139:21  Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?  Psa 139:22  I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

Another definition for “the love of God” is this thing called “perfect hatred”. When we sigh and cry for the abominations in Jerusalem, we do so because we ‘hate’ those abominations of our self-righteous old man, who was created to be destroyed.

2Pe 2:12  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; “

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As Robin quoted earlier, a necessary part of coming to know and understand love is being given an experience in a condition of evil. We will revisit how the role of hatred is crucial in manifesting God’s love.

Ecc 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Ecc 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

All “season” and “times” are in the hand of God.

Psa 31:15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

The true love of God is one with the truth of God, the fruit of the spirit, righteousness, wisdom, etc. and only is manifest through perfect hatred and destruction of the things of the flesh and the ways of this present evil world within and without.

For those that are still walking according to the flesh and do mind the things of the flesh, the love of God will appear to them as demonic, a fearful thing that is counter-intuitive to their manner of life. Perfected love is perfected hatred to the flesh. This can only be done through obedience to the commandments of God as pointed out by the brethren. No man ever hated his own flesh, but want to nourish and protect and preserve it. Thus the act of hatred, voluntarily submitting our own flesh to be “taken and destroyed” for love’s sake is beyond our natural mindset.

What makes God’s love as a consuming fire and totally destructive to our natural ways is the things He utterly hates, which are resident in the natural man.

These things are altogether a complete abomination to Him.

Pro 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [complete] are an abomination unto him:

Pro 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

Pro 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

Pro 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

It is this perfect hatred of “every false way” that the word of God becomes a light unto the feet of those Christ is dwelling, and a light unto their path.

Psa 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

Psa 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Hatred of evil goes together with the love of God. This is an absolute state of God with no compromise. Jesus Christ has preeminence in ALL things, above his fellows, and this is inclusive of his complete hatred for the deeds of the flesh and all its iniquities.

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things [..even the hatred to the flesh..] he might have the preeminence.

Heb 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Those few the Lord is working unto salvation within do not continue to suffer fools gladly and call it “love”. We cannot by one mouth continue to say, “I love Jesus”, and yet tolerate evil and unrighteousness of men.

That lying spirit must decrease and be done away with.

Psa 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

The saints hate iniquity, falsehood and the deeds of the flesh in the equal measure they love the righteousness of God. Contrary to the false sayings that “God hates sin, but loves the sinner”, the love of God absolutely abhors and hates the sin and will destroy the sinner! The sinner, who has the seed of sin, is the old man himself within, who as the natural brute beasts is “made to be taken and destroyed”, along with its body of sin.

Psa 5:4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.

Psa 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Psa 5:6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

The evil one is none other that the man of sin dwelling in the temple of God, the worker of iniquity in our members bringing forth the fruit of death. This old man is the “bloody and deceitful man” who “speaks leasing” in our members. It is he, the sinner, that is hated and abhorred, and will be destroyed by the brightness of the Lord’s coming within our heart.

Rom 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

So comparatively speaking with respect to the New Man, God abhors the sinner, loves less the old man, first Adam we all are first created in, and has a great love for the righteous New Man, the express image of God we are being conformed, transfigured into.

This is how the love of God is manifest. ‘God is love’ has a double-edged side, “a sum” of the truth, (Psalm 119:160 NASB) “wholesome words” (1Tim 6:3) that complements this and that is God HATES evil. It not God’s love to tolerate the sinful ways of the natural man and his unrighteous deeds. This link (http://www.iswasandwillbe.com/Does_God_love_sinners.phpfurther clarifies why it is speaking “leasing”, that is lying and falsehood, when men say, “God loves sinners and hate the sin”.

It is lack of understanding of what sin is and who is a sinner according to the mind of Christ, when such sayings are being held up as wholesome truth.

Because this hatred to the flesh and love of the ways of God is absolute, the word “unconditional” comes into play.

A dictionary definition of the word can be defined as:

un·con·di·tion·al

adjective

1.

not limited by conditions; absolute: e.g. an unconditional promise.

Another phrase to use with respect to the love of God is ABSOLUTE LOVE.

In this way, as brother Tony Cullen mention above, it can harmonize with the fact that it is God working ALL, ABSOLUTELY all, after the counsel of his own will, and he’s not limited by any conditions. Because it is He working all things unto good, we human beings do not have “free” morals, “free” will, but our wills are in the hand of God’s will. He is without conditions/directions from the natural man. Let us look closer at the conditions that make the natural man, our earthy self, only being subjected to conditions to love, and cannot have absolute love.

CONDITIONS

con·di·tion·al

adjective

1. imposing, containing, subject to, or depending on a condition or conditions; not absolute; made or allowed on certain terms: conditional acceptance.

2. Grammar . (of a sentence, clause, mood, or word) involving or expressing a condition, as the first clause in the sentence If it rains, he won’t go.

3. Logic .

a. (of a proposition) asserting that the existence or occurrence of one thing or event depends on the existence or occurrence of another thing or event; hypothetical.

In order to look at what makes God’s love unconditional, let us look at the conditions that first separate us from the love of God. A simple extrapolation of scripture can show us the condition that limits us as natural man from exhibiting this love of God.

Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall […the following conditions of …] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither [..conditions of…] death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God’s love from the vantage point of God’s spirit is unaffected by those conditions of death, life, angels, principalities – nor any other creature of God.

Let us take heed; condition of DEATH, or a creature like the devil, is not able to separate any man from the love of God. I repeat, death, and he to whom is delivered the power of death, that is the devil, is not greater or more powerful than the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. The false doctrines of many false prophets in the synagogues of Satan, deceitfully preaches the grace and love of God is directly linked to a man’s heartbeat. These are inventors of evil things. At the point of death say they, if the sinner has not ‘received’ Christ into their carnal heart of their own “free” will, the poor sinner is ensured on a one-way ticket to ‘hell’ because the grace and love of God ceases at the point of physical death.

Many Christians do not even have the natural affection apostle Paul talks about to be uncomfortable with this whole demonic doctrine. While the very few seeking knowledge continue to sigh at this abomination, there abides with them those loving the praise of men than the praise of God. Many will go to ‘church’ on Sundays and extra days, but has no natural affection to fellow men, consigning the sea of uncalled mankind to eternal flames of hellfire and with the double tongue of hypocrisy, singing “God is love and His mercy endures forever” in the same breath. And such continue to applause and “love” others, having pleasure in them that subscribes to their demonic idols of a Loving Father and faithful creator.

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

In so preaching such falsehood, the love of God in Jesus Christ is subtly changed to a conditional, performance-based love that hinges on the almighty power of a sinner’s ‘free will’. Through these professors of deceit professing to be wise, we become deceived and blinded, separated from the true love of God for an appointed time and season. These are the “powers”, false, evil “angels” and “principalities” which are governors of the ministry of death that changes the glory and love of God in our life to the corruptible, conditional, and temporary based love of this world.

Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 And changed the glory […and love..] of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

It is that season and time, we are without God in our world. God is omnipresence, but God is not revealed, manifest to all at that time, ‘hidden’ from the sight of men. It is at that time we were dead in trespasses and sins, under the shadow of death and darkness, not seeing the light of Christ. Do we remember when we all thought God was going to literally burn all ‘sinners’ in eternity forever and ever and still believe God is Love? Do we remember when we thought just being a ‘good Christian’, doing good to others and attendance to church and paying tithes to men equates to the love of God? It was we that were Christ-less, clueless and hopeless, not knowing God’s true love was not manifest to us at that time.

Eph 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, […in whom the love of God is in – Rom 8:39] being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Our hope is Jesus Christ, in God by Christ, which in time past we were without.

Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

It is at that time, we were ungodly and without strength….

Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

God the Father is working His purpose continually to gather together all things in Christ. But in the time appointed for each person, He begins to commend His love to us sinners, we that were dead in sins, without hope and were without Christ in the world.

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, […how is this love commended? It was not on any condition from the sinners dictating to God or telling God what to do…] in that, while we were yet sinners, [“having no hope, and without God in the world:”] Christ died for us.

Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)

This love is without condition of the sinners, the Gentiles in the flesh, the enemies of God, those without spiritual strength who the apostle Paul noted that they all one and the same, “us”, “we” at that appointed time.

Hence it is termed a “great love”. Sinners have no spiritual strength to ‘love’ God. Dead men cannot do anything, let alone choose. That’s why the word “dead” exists, in sins and trespasses. God does not love sinners in the way many think of the love of God. As it was briefly discussed above, the love of God is a double-edged sharp sword. When God commends, manifest this love to sinners, the apostle Paul reveals to us what this love does.Those that the true love of God is appearing are now bitterly repenting of their idolatry in dust and ashes as we all did when first enlightened to the Word of God. How can God love and hate AT THE SAME TIME?

Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

“Have I loved”….”Have I hated” is an on going, living word that is still being fulfilled to this very day.

Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I lovedG25 [G5656], but Esau have I hatedG3404 [G5656].

G5656

Tense-Aorist

Voice-Active

Mood -Indicative

Count-2319

“Loved” and “hated” are words in the aorist tense, active in that God is performing this dual action. Mood-Indicative

The indicative mood is a simple statement of fact. If an action really occurs [is] or has occurred [was] or will occur [will be], it will be rendered in the indicative mood.

God’s love is to perform one event to all men. The destruction of sin and the vessel of the old man, the sinner that cannot please God, the servant of sin that cannot understand God, cannot be subjected to the law of God and cannot love according to God. In so doing, this hating of Esau or loving less relative to the new man, the destruction of the hated old man, the new righteous man, typified as Jacob, is being birthed. These two men are not ‘out there’ somewhere, but they are the two spirits nigh unto you and I, in our mouth and in our heart.

Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

2Pe 2:12  But these, [sinners] as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; “

Here is a verse inspired by the holy spirit of God to show the double edge of God’s unconditional love. He does not commend his love by having sinners continuing in sin in His kingdom. That is not love but an idol of God.

Psa 145:20 The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.

The wicked is the man of sin dwelling in the temple of God (2Thess2: 4-10), which temple we are. (1Cor 3:16, 1Cor 6:19)

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, [the wicked defiler within] him shall God [1Jn 4:16 who is “ is Love”…] destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

So Godly love is perfect hatred, destruction to our fleshly ways, the temple of idols.

THE IMMUTABILITY OF HIS COUNSEL

Rom 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God […the commending of His love..] are without repentance.

This love of God is without repentance, and is not of works of men of ‘free will’, but the work of Christ in us.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselvesit is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The true Grace of God is attached to his love. Just as grace can be described as unmerited favor, undeserved blessing and gift of God, manifesting through God’s chastening, likewise the love of God is unconditional. Our faith is not determined by our conditions to ‘accept’ him at the altar by our own will. Rather it is all the working of God dragging us to himself.

Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

No man has done anything of himself for God to recompense him with more love. No soul has ‘sown’ to God of their own will for God to supply them with more abundant love. It is all of God without our own righteous act of the law to aid him. He is the great director of our performances; we do not direct him by our performances.

Ecc 9:1 For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.
Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so isthe sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

There is one event to all and no conditions on the love of God, because all is in the hands of God. These are the deep things of God not given to many to see and understand.

1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

No human being has the fruit of self-control innately. Therefore we are all beings of conditions. This is a hard saying for the natural man to receive, “deep things of God” that can be seen as evil by the princes of this world.

Ecc 9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: […for example, God’s unconditional love of salvation of all at the end] yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, [..by good performances or evil…?] and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

Here is a summary verse that highlights why the love of God is unconditional:

Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

God’s promise to Abraham is based on the unchanging nature of His character and His love from the beginning of the age. This promise to Abraham, a figure of Christ, is the imputation of righteousness, the love of God to all.

Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

Gal 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Another thought to reflect this unchangeable love of God, which is and will be extended to “the uncircumcised,” “the heathen”, is the immutability of his counsel.

Heb 6:13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,

Perfect love does not change by circumstances. It is not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine and fleshly performances. It is immutable.

Heb 6:17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
Heb 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

THE COST OF LOVE

It is God that works in us to do and to will, and we cannot dictate of our power what is on the morrow. Therefore, as natural men dwelling under the sun, our ability is limited by our boundary and habitations.

Does the world have to love God for God to commend His love to the world? No. The world cannot love God. Our natural self cannot love God and the children of God.

GOD IS LOVE and is impossible to do anything but out of himself, Love. He so loves the world unconditionally because it was done before the foundation of the age, before any man is born into the world. This verse has been in the Bible and hidden in Christ before we began to see him as He is. (John 3:16 has been in the bible before you and I were born!)

Joh 3:16 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.

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Regardless what is happening around us, the Love of Christ to the Father is not dependent on external agent. There is none else besides him.

Isa 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

Isa 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me;a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

A great example reserved for our admonition for the cost of love is by three certain Jews, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. This is the love God in action. This is how God’s love is to be exhibited.

Dan 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
Dan 3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
Dan 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
Dan 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
Dan 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Because we by nature are limited by our surroundings and circumstances, our conduct and manner of life is thereby dependent on daily events, and preservation of this life. The trust, faith and love that is required to obey God, love God and thereby love the children of God, necessitates that we die and lay down our lives. Trusting in God is closely linked to the love of God displayed by Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.

It requires that we yield our bodies as a living sacrifice, and not serve the gods of the king of Babylon or worship the idols the men of this world has set up.

Dan 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Psa 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

There is a great price to pay. Facing death in a fiery furnace, the power and will to not go along with and bow down to the god of this world cannot come from our flesh. The will not to tolerate and cave in to worship of idols is not of him that wills.

We are limited by being under the course of this world, by feelings, hunger, greed, poverty, lust, jealousies, riches of this word, geography, wars, envy and many other conditions and the greatest of all, death.

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

The great cost of the love of God to remove us from a performance-based, conditional world is to die, to come out of the realm of fleshly conditions. The love of God is exhibited by being killed daily, as a sheep to the slaughter…for the sake of manifesting this unconditional love of God to others. We have to die to our natural condition of selfish love in this world.

Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christshall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

The love of God can be seen as ‘conditional’ at first because of all His commandments. This has led to many followers of Christ to stray into salvation by works, or earning God’s love by works of keeping the letters of the law.

Through keeping these letters, the law of love is transgressed and the spirit of charity becomes conditional.

Though such followers will strenuously deny it, but their works and faith proves them to believe God’s love is based on individual performances and righteous act ‘for’ God.

Natural affection and emotion is a type of this that can often change as the season changes, and binds us to the earthy. This is the boundaries of the natural man.

THE BOUNDARIES OF THE NATURAL MAN

God’s love is without bounds.

We are bound creatures to our surroundings, the nations of the earth, the law of the nations and nature, the seasons of the earth. Jesus Christ came to deliver, loose us from such limited, bound environment of worldly love. The love of Christ exceeds much more in glory and power.

2Co 3:10 For even that which was made glorious [..had a shadow of love…] had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory [wherein is the love of God] that excelleth.

Worldly love that is passing away is no love at all by comparison of the love of God that excels all.

Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; […in conditional earthy love]

Rom 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; [earthy love] but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

1Co 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, [earthy love] she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

We are first bound to the love of this world, of the flesh and its things by a law. It is a law of sin and death that is first imposed and working in our members to keep us bound to the earthy, carnal ordinances of love. No matter the magnitude and how frequent this carnal figure of love is displayed upon the inhabitants of the earth, it brings us no closer to the true love of Christ, but has a significance of being a shadow of the better love that is to come.

Heb 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices,[types of offering for love] that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Heb 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed [a boundary no man can pass] on them until the time of reformation.

A law working within the heart imposes this carnality boundary upon us.

Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

In the sovereignty of God, in his love, He first keeps us in a realm or conditions in which we first have to have this experience of evil mentioned in the body thread earlier.

We are captive to our environments, to feelings of people around us, to allegiance to the nations of the earth, that is, to our carnal nature. This experience of evil, “present with me” is first necessary in coming to know and understand what is good and evil, according to God.

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

To be conformed to the express image of Jesus Christ is the age-lasting purpose of the Father, who express image is Love. In coming to be conformed to this, “to become as on of us”, we first have to know the earthy, the evil, the type and shadow of Godly love. We are delivered by God to be bound by our surroundings, circumstances, backgrounds, territory and all the conditions associated with them for a time, so that our ‘love’ and devotions is first centered on the earthy.

Job 14:5 Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, [God] thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

Job 26:10 He hath compassed the waters with boundsuntil the day and night come to an end.

The waters are:

Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

Paul gives us this New Testament witness.

Act 17:24 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;
Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;[…’Love’ is the greatest and most important of these “things”, which He first gives us an earthly shadow of it]
Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men [“the waters”] for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;[…and boundary of Love]

Until the point of death and the time we have to ‘come out of her’, the “old world”, the ‘face of the earth’, we are bound to the conditions of the earthy, that is, human conditions and laws appointed by God…until a change come, and the day and night come to an end.

Job 14:14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time [“his bounds that he cannot pass”, “the bounds of their habitation” ] will I wait, till my change come.

Job 26:10 He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.

God setting bounds is inclusive of our love for ourselves, families, pleasures of this life, nations, and many other things on the face of the earth. At this time, all kinds of love exhibited are but a type of the true love of God. Howbeit, none is without significance or meaning. They are all a shadow that is signifying the true love of God and the things of God.

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are madeeven his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

This natural love can and does keep us in bondage to the things of the world, fully obedient to the course of this age, an experience of evil that is flesh and blood.

THE TWO TYPE OF LOVE – AGAPE AND PHILEOS

There is an “agape” love of the world, which is being fully obedient to the gods of this world. In its positive use, there is also a true agape love of God.

Let us keep in mind as with any word of scripture, “agape” is not exclusively related to God only, but also has a negative use (a shadow) that applies when we love the course of this present world and are unaffected, completely dead, non-responsive to the conditions, the way of the spirit of God. Let us look closer how the spirit of the Word uses the word “agape”.

1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Let us look closely at the Greek words use for “love the world”…

1Jn 2:15 LoveG25 [G5720] not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loveG25 [G5725] the world, the loveG26 of the FatherG3962 is not in him.

G25

Agapaō

ag-ap-ah’-o

Perhaps from ἄγαν agan (much; or compare [H5689]); to love (in a social or moral sense): – (be-) love (-ed). Compare G5368.

G26

ἀγάπη

agapē

ag-ah’-pay

From G25; love, that is, affection or benevolence; specifically (plural) a love feast: – (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.

When the understanding, wisdom and knowledge of the Father through Christ begin to fill His elect, the love of God begins to manifest in our thoughts, ways and deeds. This love is unconditional, it depends on nothing that is done by others, and we show agape love of the true God to all men. We must also keep in mind that there is an agape love of the world that is impossible for the natural man to be drawn away from. The apostle John, to contrast the great love of the Father, uses the same Greek word “Agapaō” and the love man has for the things of the world.

As Strong’s concordance explains above, it is when we love, agape (in a social or moral sense)affection or benevolence , when we hold “dear, love” the things that are in the world, and NOT OF THE FATHER.

The sum of God’s words shows that agape is a type of love that is centred on obedience to a law. The question to be asked is who the obedience is subject to?. Whether it is to men’s doctrines, philosophy and all the things that are in the world, or whether it is to the true God. This “agapao” love of all that is in the world is a yoke of bondage, not the true “agape” love of the Father. It is a love we first have as spiritual children, carnally minded babes in Christ.

Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

This bondage first masquerades itself as love to God and love of Christ. It includes bondages such as:

Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Gal 4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

The subtlety with which the adversary deals with the spiritually carnal is such that bondage and love to the world are disguised as love to God and the children of God by many religion. The craftiness is such that we even, in times past, glory in our bondage to the love of this world and the things in it. No man will accept such ways and traditions, and allegiance to the things of this world can be called “bondage” by the word of God. Many in this world shows ‘love’ to each other, observe ‘love’ to others, by “gifts and sacrifices” according to “days, and months, and times, and years” not knowing that such ways are carnal ordinances and beggarly elements, boundaries and hedges imposed upon them until the appearing of Christ in their heart, that is, the time of reformation of all things. Even while being spiritually devoured, the natural man will still glory and claim to have love of God, not knowing he is wallowing in the mire.

2Co 11:18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
2Co 11:19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
2Co 11:20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.

It is beyond belief the things the natural man can pass as love to each other! At this time, the elect of God are not set to judge those without, but the things that are within each of us, and in the body of Christ (if any man be called a brother or sister in the Lord.)

1Co 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

We are to be putting away any such counterfeit love of God, fake agape of the Father that is causing us to suffer fools gladly, that is causing us to remain in bondage to men/woman of the world masquerading in sheep’s clothing, situations that are devouring us spiritually which we claim is of God, situations and people that is robbing us of the joy of the Lord, exalting and jostling for dominion over our life and faith and disguising it as ‘love’. Paul warns us we must henceforth avoid such deceivers, situations that have great appearance of love, with ‘good’ and ‘loving’ words, great speeches to the natural man, but to the stronger in the faith, is nothing less or more than subtle deceiving contrary to the doctrine of Christ.

Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Rom 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, [whom the love of God is in..] but their own belly;[natural, earthy affections, eating own bread, serving the lusts of the flesh], and by good words and fair speeches […saying “love, love, love”…] deceive the hearts of the simple.

Overt hatred and violence rarely deceives the children of God. But “good words and fair speeches “ certainly does give strong delusion the simple minded.

There is no glory and love in being continuing to be spiritually smitten on the face for feigned love of men. It is an important issue of life, and we must guard our heart with all diligence and be vigilant to such devices of Satan.

Pro 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

1Co 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. […with the love of this world within your body and the body of Christ.]

We have hope in Christ to be set loosed from these boundaries of worldly, agape love.

REMOVING THE BOUNDARIES.

The love of the Father through Jesus Christ, the Word, is NOT bound.

2Ti 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God [..wherein dwelleth the love of God..] is not bound.

The agape love of the Father is exhibited through Jesus Christ. When Christ is in us, and the life we now live is by the faith and love of Christ, we become loosed from earthy conditions and laws. Although this is in part, down payment at this time, the love we exhibit will not be based or depended on our earthy habitations, or conditions of those around us. We are able to endure all things for Christ’s sake, as we are redeemed from such typical love of the world, which is a zealous affection at best.

Gal 4:17 They zealously affectG2206 [G5719]but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affectG2206 [G5725] them.

G2206

Affect – dzay-lo’-o

From G2205; to have warmth of feeling for or against: – affect, covet (earnestly), (have) desire, (move with) envy, be jealous over, (be) zealous (-ly affect).

The bondwoman also loves her children, and “zealously affect” ‘desire’ them, and will fight tooth and nail to keep them in her elements. This is the bondage of ‘agape’ love to the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes and pride of life that is in the world.

This love is centered on pleasing the flesh, a people pleaser. The love of Christ does not leave room to the lusts of men to negate the will of the new man.

The act of love is only done to please the Father through obedience to his commandments, nothing to be done by selfish ambitions.

Joh 8:28 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.
Joh 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

There is a fine line between bearing the infirmities of the weak in Christ, as a parent bears the weakness of an infant/child with patience, and being a man pleaser of this world and disguising it as love. Fitting in with this world is the easy and smooth way.

We go from bring conditional lovers as natural men to exhibiting the unconditional love of God by being compelled/constraint by the spirit of Christ in our hearts. Christ constraining us to will and to do is as the bit and bridle of a horse guiding us through many of life’s difficult, unlovable issues.

We cannot love people and self of our own, let alone be unconditional. It takes the power of God to accomplish this feat in us.

2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ [..in our hearts] constrainethG4912 [G5719] us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

G4912

sunechō

soon-ekh’-o

From G4862 and G2192; to hold together, that is, to compress (the ears, with a crowd or siege) or arrest (a prisoner); figuratively to compelperplexafflictpreoccupy: – constrain, hold, keep in, press, lie sick of, stop, be in a strait, straiten, be taken with, throng.

It is foolish for the natural man to love without conditions for his gain. Therefore it is the spirit of Christ that will constrain us to abide in His love.

Job 32:18 For I am full of matter, the spirit within me [Rom 8:9-11-‘if the spirit of Christ be in you’] constraineth me.

It is the spirit of Christ that will enable us to go from feigned love, which is often marked by lip service and shallow affections, ‘gifts and sacrifices’ according to ‘days months and years, to the unfeigned love of God. We are caused to make this transition, change, conversion through fiery trials to cleanse, purify our souls to attain to the agape love of Father.

Before Pentecost Peter was shown to have this counterfeit love for Christ. In a moment of trial, he was shown to deny his master and disobey his new commandments, but by natural instinct, show his own love by keeping the Old Testament law.

Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, [vs 21 by them of old time] Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

In a moment of trial, Peter did not love Christ in keeping his word at the mount, but was intent on preserving his flesh and that of Christ – the things of this world:

Joh 18:10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

His love was feigned but was only exposed by this fiery trial. Just like Peter, our religious flesh likes to have natural affection around the things of God. We are still as children at that time, and our love is indicated by fondness, personal feelings, keeping carnal ordinances but agape love of God has not manifested in our hearts to empower us to endure trials.

Joh 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [agapao] thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love [phileō] thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
Joh 21:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [agapao] thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love [phileō] thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Joh 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [phileo] thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest [phileo] thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love [phileō] thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

“I love you…I love you…I love you.” Two type of love examined and scrutinized in temptations and trials. It is instructive to note that the love Peter has for Christ, just like we all in our time and season before experiencing fiery trials of our faith, is only a conditional, phileos based worldly love, after the flesh, which is far inferior to the phileos and agape love of the Father, which are after the Spirit.

Peter’s love at that time depended on being loved back in return, a personal outward attachment without knowing the mind and the laws of Christ within. This was the state and love of Peter for Christ before Pentecost, the baptism of fire, and the judgment of God came upon him. He loved and regarded Christ after the flesh.

Peter was being genuine, and replied each time by saying he has phileo love for Christ, which is what was given from above at the time. Christ used that opportunity to give instructions that will be fulfilled in Peter’s heart and mind shortly.

G536

phileō

fil-eh’-o

From G5384; to be a friend to (fond of [an individual or an object]), that is, have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling;

Having phileo for Christ, the body of Christ and those in Him is good. Nevertheless it must be built upon the agape love to Christ, that is, the keeping of His commandments. The men of this world also love to have those that love the world around them.

Sinner loves (phileo) sinners and loves to “have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling.”

When the code of their laws is kept, this translates as agape love of the world, as it has now has to do with obedience to a letter of law/ordinances.

Phileos love can cause us to do many wonderful works but it “pass over” agape love of God. We can have phileos and agape love of the world, loving those that love us back and keeping worldly ordinances and carnal commandments.

The world also loves being a friend of his own, phileos of the world is also seen in assemblies that do not provoke the love of God or good works.

Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love [agapao] and to good works:
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Many to this day assemble together for the sake of another Jesus Christ, not provoking the good works of God by obedience to his commandments. God’s elect are to provoke each other unto good works based on the doctrine of Christ and walking his steps, not the works of the world. An assembly that does not generate the love of God in believing on the Truth of Christ and to do the truth is what the Scripture calls a dead church, regardless of the thousands that are assembled together.

Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, [..e.g. thousands gathered in assemblies and many goods works of the flesh, but…] and art dead.

Such assemblies and the natural man loves his own, as we all by nature first attracted to the things of the flesh. This is another type of the love of the world, in which people loves the gatherings together, being around each other, the camaraderie, the traditions, the carnal fellowships and merchandising of men, all termed ‘phileos’ of the world. As always, these are not evil in themselves. (Rom 14:14) But the lie is that many profess Christ is among them and they know God; but in obedience to his commandments, they deny him by not seeking the things which are Jesus Christ’s. This renders such assemblies as spiritually dead and vain.

Php 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

The elect of God are commanded to love (agape) God by keeping his commandment, which is what will grant us to enter into the holy city, Jerusalem above. We are also commanded to love (phileos) God and the body of Christ, to have loving fellowships and relationship with the brotherhood.

All outside this city, all NOT keeping the commandment of God to do them are “the world” that are without. The Lord also remind us that the world also loves (phileos) his own and there is also a worldly agape love too, which we must discerned for it not to be possible to deceive the very elect.

Joh 15:17 These things I command you, that ye loveG25 [agapao] one another.
Joh 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
Joh 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would loveG5368 [phileohis own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveG5368 [phileo] and maketh a lie.

phileō

fil-eh’-o

From G5384; to be a friend to (fond of [an individual or an object]), that is, have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling;

To continue to be loved (phileos) by the world, rather than being hated of all men, (which is being loved less by the world), is indicative of being in enmity against God.

Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the the friendshipG5373 of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friendG5384 of the world is the enemy of God.

G5373

philia

fil-ee’-ah

From G5384; fondness: – friendship

G5384

philos

fee’-los

Properly dear, that is, a friend; actively fond, that is, friendly (still as a noun, an associateneighbor, etc.): – friend.

Adding the above verses together, we can see the “love of the world” is closely related, almost one and the same words as “friendship with the world”.

Likewise, the world of sinners also love (agape) those that love (agape) them.

Luk 6:32 For if ye loveG25 them which loveG25 you, what thank have ye? for sinners also loveG25 those that loveG25 them.

G25

Agapaō

ag-ap-ah’-o

Perhaps from ἄγαν agan (much; or compare [H5689]); to love (in a social or moral sense): – (be-) love (-ed). Compare G5368.

We can show love to this world, appearing so godly, even as the Agapao love of God, but once again, unless it relates to keeping “his commandments”, it is but a type and shadow of the genuine love of God.

Luk 7:4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:
Luk 7:5 For he lovethG25 [agapao] our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.

The centurion of Capernaum was said to be worthy of Christ because he built a synagogue for his nation, in a dispensation under the Law of Moses. He showed ‘agape’ love to his nation, under the Law. However he was not commended or praised for this noble and sincere act.

He was worthy of Christ and commended by Christ because he understood the governance of God. Because (in type and shadow) of the great faith he displayed in Christ, not the works of the Law.

There are many today who have done many wonderful works for their countries and the nations of the world, and many good charities for men and families. They have their rewards and will be commended and rightly praised by men.

In the sight of God however, the work of the New Man is by keeping his commandments and his doctrine. Many wonderful works are done in the name of worldly love, phileos and agape, through fondness, friendship and keeping the commandments of men.

1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charityG26 [agapē], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
1Co 13:2 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, and have not charityG26 [agapē], I am nothing.
1Co 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charityG26 [agapē], it profiteth me nothing.

All those wonderful works Paul mentioned (suppositions), especially of verse three can be done in the love of this world but having an appearance of Godly love. It however does not have true charity because it passes over, neglects the true love of God.

Luk 11:42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. [English Standard Version]

Luk 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the the loveG26 [agapēof God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. KJV

G26

agapē

ag-ah’-pay

From G25; love, that is, affection or benevolence; specifically (plural) a love feast: – (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.

At the hour of temptation for Peter, while still under the law know Christ after the flesh, his phileos loved was not sufficient or has no power to love his enemies and keep the commandment of Christ. It will need “another” comforter to guide Peter into this greatest of love of God.

Joh 21:18 Truly, truly, I say to you, When you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you wished. But when you grow old, you shall stretch forth your hands and another shall gird you and carry youwhere you do not wish. [MKJV]

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. [How can we keep his commandments? This is how we will be able to love God and the children of God…]
Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

At Pentecost, the spirit of Christ, “another” comforter, another priest, was given to Peter, as a consuming fire came into Peter’s heart, to gird Peter and carry him into the Agapao, unfeigned love of God his flesh would not naturally wish to go.

Act 5:29 And Peter and the apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

2Co 6:6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,

1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit [“another comforter”] unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love [agapaoone another with a pure heart fervently:

All love outside of the spirit of Christ, under the sun, will soon perish as the spiritually dead outward man himself perishes.

Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
Ecc 9:6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

God’s love is His entire work unto the express image of Jesus Christ. The love of God is the revelation of Christ himself. It cannot be bribed or bought by conditions under the sun. Conditions of abundance or poverty, intellect or folly, good or evil, young or old, righteous or sinner, proud or humble, or by them that sacrifice and them that do not sacrifice under the sun.

The sons of men cannot bear this agape love of God until the appointed time the Father reveals it to each man.

Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

When we love (agape) the world, which is obedient to the idols of this world, we are under the dominion of our carnal nature.

Just as agape love of God is keeping His commandments – the law of Christ, likewise agape love of the world is keeping the do’s and don’ts ordinance of the law, the law of sin and death typified by Moses’s law. Changing of this conditional, temporary law to a new law of Christ is something many cannot bear straight away.

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days[…keeping laws, obedience to earthy ordinances]
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Rom 2:27 And the uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfills the Law, shall it not judge you, who through letter and circumcision become transgressors of the Law? [MKJV]

Trying to show ‘agape’ type of love through keeping the ‘letter’…through “the commandments and doctrines of men” causes us to be in enmity with the true ‘agape’ love of God.

Col 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, [by which we love this world] why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to [carnal] ordinances,
Col 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
Col 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

The scripture shows us again that ‘agapao’ love of the world is by keeping the “the commandments and doctrines of men”, “the Jewish fables”, not the “words I speak unto you” of John 6:63.

Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; [‘I Love Jesus’ lip services..] but their heart is far from me.
Mat 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Tit 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

Agapao love of the Father, the true love of God is by keeping his commandments. This commandment redeems us from the unprofitable and weakened love we are subjected to all our carnal life under the law.

Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Heb 7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
Heb 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Heb 7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

2Jn 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

Joh 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: [ Re-read Matthew 5,”…But I say unto you” etc.] and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Joh 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

Here is the summary and conclusion of how we keep the faith, patience and love of God to become a whole man.

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole of man.

Those who live according to the flesh and set their minds on the things of this world, then this world will rule their feelings, thoughts, emotions and deeds for a long time, as we do things contrary to the righteousness of God. Being subjected to such emotions, we can easily be tossed to and fro by the will, commandments and doctrines of men, by the allure of worldly “love”.

Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

In our appointed time, Jesus Christ manifests the love of the Father in our hearts, bringing an end to the bondage to the love of this world and the things in it.

Jesus Christ is the channel, medium through which this love of God is given to us. We are bound in the earthy first, but after that, when fullness of time is come:

Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, [captive to the bondage of the law of sin in our member, in our hearts – Rom 7:23] that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son [Jesus Christ] into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, [works of phileos and agape of the world we have done, righteous deeds and love in the world which cuts us off from God. The love of God is in spite of these conditions, in spite of verse 3] but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin [the spirit of Christ] unto salvation.

We are then directed into love of God, the keeping of his commandments through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the second coming in the Spirit to those appointed.

2Th 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
2Th 3:4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. [Why so much confidence? It is because…]
2Th 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

We see once again it is the Lord working our obedience, directing our hearts into the love of God, not based on our conditions, but his good pleasure.

It is the Lord himself that keeps us in the love of God by his spirit, through which we know his chastening love/grace.

Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love [agape] of God, [keep ourselves to his commandments, not commandments of men] looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

“All their Lifetime” is when we took the defiled religious love of men and fleshly commandment (Hebrews 7:16, 18) for the love of God. When we used God as an excuse to continue in idolatry, false worship, tolerance of evil and the name of Jesus as ‘get out of jail’ card, using feigned word to cover our service to corruption.

2Pe 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, [speaking “Love…Love…Love” by many false prophets and followers…] they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
2Pe 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same […great swelling words of vanity, such as talking about loving God without defining His meaning..] is he brought in bondage.
2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

An example written for our admonition, whose love is more to the world, and keeping the doctrine of men than to the Father, keeping the Father’s commandment was Demas, who forsook Paul.

2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having lovedG25 [agapao] this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Demas “loved” [ agapao] this present world, is in the aorist tense. Those seeking this price of the high calling of God (through His great love) must stand fast and not be entangled again like Demas with the love of the world, the keeping the commandments of men.

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, [..making us free from agape of the world..] and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Not loving this world and the things in it is a great endurance and trial of our faith.

Because we fear the consequences of not going along with the rudiments of the world, the traditions and conditions of the world, and “death” to our ways of lives, we inherently do not have the power to keep the commandment of God, that is show and manifest His agape love. To show this love of God therefore necessitates us going through death of the flesh. No longer being able to fear death is a necessary thing to remove ALL CONDITIONS that hinders, is an obstruction to displaying God’s love.

Greater love is thereby shown by means of death that removes all earthly conditions.

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, [..a condition with boundaries] he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death [..through that bondage] he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Greater love of God is therefore displayed through death to the love of the things of this world.

Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

No man can lay down his life of his own will to show true love. As the perfect love of God by Christ comes into our heart, little by little and in part, this more excellent way of love covers our life and goes beyond our natural habitat and boundaries. It is a love that is given to a few to display at this time. It is agape love of God that will first overcome our world within, and in the age to come qualify the few to be “saviours of the world”.

We are to continue to walk in this love of God now and not to live the rest of our time in the flesh to the lusts, love of the doctrine of ‘men’ and our fleshly pulls.

Eph 5:2 And walk in loveG26,[agape] as Christ also hath lovedG25 [agapao] us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Jesus Christ loved us in his passion by keeping the commandments of the Father and laying down his flesh for us. We are to lay down and loose the carnal life, those whose minds are set on the things of the flesh, those things which are causing us to have great fondness, friendship to our carnal ways, those habits and weakness causing us to love (Phileos and agape) our life, in this world. That is how we overcome, to not love our carnal life in this world, but to lay it down.

Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they lovedG25 [agapao] not their lives unto the death.

Joh 12:25 He that lovethG5368 [phileo] his life shall lose it; and he that hatethG3404 his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

G5368

phileō

fil-eh’-o

From G5384; to be a friend to (fond of [an individual or an object]), that is, have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling;

G3404 (hateth)

miseō

mis-eh’-o

From a primary word μῖσος misos (hatred); to detest (especially to persecute); by extension to love less: – hate (-ful).

That is to say, if we continue to be a friend, fond of individuals and affection, personally attached with sentiments and feelings OF THIS WORLD, loving our carnal life to death, we shall lose that phileos type of love. If and when we begin to hate that type of love in this world, we shall be kept unto knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent.

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

This is impossible for the natural man to do. But as we have seen above, it is through Jesus Christ the Father will work this in us and break down those worldly love boundaries.

Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

The agape love of God is the bond of perfection to the christ of Christ, the members of His Body. This is through keeping His Truth and commandments.

Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charityG26[agape] which is the bond of perfectness.

The phileos and agape love of God was witnessed in how the Lord loves Lazarus. This love is to continue amongst the members of His body. ‘Phileos’ is especially for those of like mind, fellowshipping with each other, special fondness of being around each other to eat and drink with the Lord. It is a love of God that is especially to the household of faith, for the brotherhood. It is a love produced through agape love.

Joh 11:3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovestG5368 [phileo] is sick.

Joh 11:34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
Joh 11:35 Jesus wept.
Joh 11:36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he lovedG5368 [phileohim!

Jesus Christ “Phileo” Lazarus. Not only to Lazarus, but also the disciple whom the Lord loves.

Joh 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus lovedG25 [agapao]

Joh 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he lovedG25 [agapao], he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

Joh 20:2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus lovethG5368 [phileo], and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

Joh 21:7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus lovedG25 [agapaosaith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

Joh 21:20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus lovedG25 [agapao] following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?

Let us notice this love was not limited to ‘phileo’, but was underpinned by the agape love Jesus Christ has not only for Lazarus, for his disciples but also for all men.

Joh 11:5 Now Jesus lovedG25 [agapao] Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

This love is not partial, but will be dispensed and testified to the rest of men in due time. It is a love that begins at the house of God, to be continued by the body of Christ. It is to all men, especially to them of the household of faith.

Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good […by LOVE!] unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Paul and John exhort us to continue in this phileo type of love amongst ourselves, “especially unto them who are of the household of faith “ and to increase and abound in agape love to all.

1Th 4:9 But as touching brotherly loveG5360 [Greek: philadelphia] ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to loveG25 [agapaoone another.

Heb 13:1 Let brotherly love loveG5360 [Greek: philadelphia] continue

G5360

philadelphia fil-ad-el-fee’-a

From G5361; fraternal affection: – brotherly love (kindness), love of the brethren

Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye loveG25 [agape] one another; as I have loveG25 [agape] you, that ye also loveG25 [agapeone another.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have loveG25 [agapeone to another.

1Th 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in loveG26 [agape] one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 1Jn 4:19 We loveG25 [agapao] him, because he firstlovedG25 [agapao] us.

1Jn 4:20 If a man say, I loveG25 [agapao] God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that lovethG25 [agapao] not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he loveG25 [agapao] God whom he hath not seen?
1Jn 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveG25 [agapao] God lovethG25[agapao] his brother also.

The phileos love of God is not just for enjoying each other’s company and fellowship. We love one toward another by obeying the voice of Christ from our family in the Lord. “One toward another” does not leave room for selfish ambitions and self-righteousness to dominate each other. It is the words, doctrine of Christ that must have pre-eminence in our heart and not glory and love of this world.

It is through this brotherly love, one to another, that each member sharpens, chastens and rebukes each other in love, to deny ungodliness and worldly love and grow up into Christ.

Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in loveG26, [agape] may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Rev 3:19 As many as I loveG5368 [phileo], I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Rev 3:19 As many as I love,- Phileosa friend to (fond of [an individual or an object]), that is, have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling e.g. in the scripture, we are given two examples of Jesus Christ having a personal fondness for the young disciple John who wrote the gospel of John and the Book of revelation, and for Lazarus.] I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, [the phileos and agape love of God] nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord lovethG25 [agapaohe chastenethand scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

The multi-faceted love of God reveals to us every things God does has a great purpose. Even while we were yet sinners, yet walking according to the course of this world, keeping the commandments of men, the sum of God’s word shows to us the Lord still gives us examples of his phileos and agape type of love, leaving us a type and shadow witness of himself:

Act 14:16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. [Rom5:6, 8 while we were yet without strength, yet sinners, in times past – Eph 2:2-3]
Act 14:17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

Mar 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. Mar 10:20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him lovedG25 [agapao] him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Mar 10:22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

Jesus still “loved [agapao] him”…..beholding him, He still loved him! He that has ear to hear and a heart to perceive will understand this great love the Lord has to even those still under the law, still trusting in uncertain riches and love of earthly possessions. He still loved the rich man within us while we have our heart in the things of the world. He showed His love by telling us the one thing we truly lack, and how to attain to this, and that is by taking up our cross and dying with him, and through this we shall have great heavenly possession of the love of the Father in us.

As we mature more in the ways of God, we are given more of His Spirit and all things becomes new, to discern between good and evil, the reality and the shadow, the clean and unclean, the difference between the love of this world and the love of the Father. Both are ‘love’, but only one is expedient to the man of the Spirit.

We will exhibit the phileos love of God by keeping and doing His spiritual commandments, the agape, not vice versa. It is all an exercise to bring us into the maturity of Christ to be His great workmanship now and in the age to come.

CONCLUSION

1Co 13:8 Love [of God] never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
1Co 13:9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
1Co 13:10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
1Co 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. [Gal 4:3 – loved as a child “under the bondage and elements of the world”] When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
1Co 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1Co 13:13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. [English Standard Version]

The partly conditional, performance based, childish love is being done away with as the perfect love of Christ grows, increases in our heart each day. To be saviors of the world and be not a respecter of persons, not limited by boundaries, to fulfil the gospel preached unto Abraham, the power of love greater than the bounds of this world is required. In this world, all seek their own, to conserve and preserve their lives first because of fear of death.

Rom 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

God so loves the world himself and is manifesting this love by our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created. This unconditional agape love is not yet appeared to all at this time. But to a few scattered upon the face of the earth, their dying daily to the love of this world is the manifest token of the love of God, setting them loose from the bondage of the love of this world.

Act 10:40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly
Act 10:41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

The appearing of the Lord a second time in their heart constrains them to die to self, the conditions of preserving the flesh and obedient to the things, people, power, money, selfish ambitions, fame and the innumerable conditions of this age.

The love of this world, and the things we so highly esteem are all passing away as a shadow, a temporary condition.

1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

The love of God in Christ Jesus abides for all ages and will manifest to many in the ages to come. The Lord knows those who are His. By the keeping of God’s commandments are they known. By obedience and in practice of righteousness of Christ are they recognised.

By laying down their old carnal lives and perfect hatred to the ways of unrighteousness are they a light to a dark world.

By being separated from the defiled religion and bondage to the gods of this world are they given their exceedingly great reward.

This “full reward” is not of men or by woman. It does not depend on any man. It is given by abiding in the doctrine of Christ.

2Jn 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive full reward.
2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, [the one and only full reward is…] he hath both the Father and the Son.

To them who by patient continuance seek the love of God and obedience to His will, it is a fiery and narrow path to walk. It is a path that will separate the lovers of pleasures and of their own selves, from the lovers of God. It is a narrow way where the Lord will issue many certificates of divorce to the lovers of pleasure and not God.

It is a path that will cause the carnal-minded babes in Christ to despise and hate those whose minds are stayed on God, loving them less than the things of this world. It should be of no great marvel to those being exercised in the love of God. Nevertheless, we must constantly remind and exhort ourselves lest we faint in the way, that the more the love of God is displayed to a carnal world, the more the world will manifest its hatred.

Joh 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would loveG5368 [phileo] his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hatethG3404 [Gk: miseō] you.

G3404

miseō

mis-eh’-o

From a primary word μῖσος misos (hatred); to detest (especially to persecute); by extension to love less: – hate (-ful)

Here’s the true meaning of the world hating, detesting the love of God in us:

2Co 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I loveG25 [agapao] you, the less I be lovedG25 [agapao].

The phileo love of the world is the hatred to God and the lovers of God. It is not a ‘fair‘ exchange indeed, but we should however rejoice in that day that our love, joy and sufficiency are of the Lord himself by His Body.

Luk 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hateG3404 [Gk: miseōyou, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
Luk 6:23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

We are to rejoice, and will be caused to rather suffer with God’s people than to continue being children of disobedience and temporal worldly pleasures.

Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
Heb 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Heb 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

We cannot and will not be “forever”, “eternally”, separated from his love as many falsely teaches. In due time, the whole world themselves will be a recipient of the true love of Christ, not the shadow. All earthly boundaries will be destroyed.

Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It is our prayer in this body of Christ that the love of God, which is perfect, non-partial and unconditional, continues to manifest in our hearts so that that the conditional, partial, earthly and sensual be done away with.

Joh 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

2Co 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. Amen.

Here is the conclusion of the whole issue of love and issues of this life:

Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole of man.

[Topic raised and thanks to John McDowell from the body discussions. Contributions from Tim Treon, Robin Korevaar, Alice Lubbe, Ursula Van Heerden, Steven Crook, Tony Cullen, Mike Vinson, Ayo Fabiyi and the body of Christ.]