GOD DEALS WITH GREAT LOVE AND
TENDERNESS WITH EVERY SINGLE
ONE OF HIS CREATURES
God deals with each individual creature in a most loving manner far beyond our wildest dreams or imaginations. He is infinite in mercy, compassion, and love. He has a thousand ways to solve every problem when we cannot even think of one solution. Ps 147:5 “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” Ps 111:4; 112:4; 147:4. “The Lord has appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you.” Jer 31:3.
When we see someone doing something wrong, we feel compelled, more often than not, to lecture, criticize, and condemn him for his “bad behavior,” ”aberrant actions,” and “sinful ways.”
But God doesn’t use these methods. The Bible tells us that we all have sinned and “come short of the glory (character) of God.” Romans 3:23. Furthermore, Paul speaks very bluntly on this point of judging others: “But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” Romans 2:3, 4. NAS.
Notice carefully the teaching of Christ on this business of judging. “I have come a light into the world,” (Jesus said in Luke 12:49 that He came to bring “fire,” that is, a “fire of truth and righteousness”) “that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.” John 12:46-48 RSV.
The fire of God’s word will reveal God’s love to the wicked in the final Day of Judgment. God’s word is a “sword,” and it is a “fire.” Someone has written this little poem about the power of Christ’s name.
“I know of a world that is sunk in shame
and of hearts that ache and tire.
But I know of a name, a name, a name,
that will set that world on fire.”
Yes, Jesus Christ is the fire of God’s eternal truth and love. This love and truth will burn in your heart to give you life or it will burn in you to bring death, as it did to Judas.
Paul says the same thing this way. “For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life.” 2 Corinthians 2:15,16. Satan tempts us to break the law and then uses it to produce guilt (fire). See Matthew 12:27, Deuteronomy 32:31,37, Job 31:11,12, James 4:11, Matthew 5:25, John 8:50.
When we truly have Jesus and His word in our lives, we will be hated intensely by most of the people in the world. Many even in the church, who do not really know the Lord, will hate us. But, you will be loved by a faithful few who will stand by you through thick and thin. Many heartaches, problems, and obstacles will come into the lives of those who go all the way with Christ. But, if we truly follow Jesus, He will give us glorious victories. Every problem will be solved in a manner which is in keeping with the character of God.
Most of our solutions are based on man’s concept of problem solving, which is the use of force and violence. God never directly forces anyone against his or her will. He does not use force and/or coercion to bring a person to a decision. He does, however, permit Satan to use these methods on us to develop our character and demonstrate His keeping power in a human life.
We see this happening in the life of Job and again in the life of Jesus, especially at the beginning of His ministry, when He was tempted by Satan, after He had fasted for forty days. See Matthew 4. God permitted this to happen. He used something that was meant by Satan to bring defeat and death to Christ and the world, to instead bring victory and eternal life to us all.
A man recently wrote to me saying, “I do not agree with your belief that God doesn’t directly punish and destroy people. When my children sin, I do not bring in my worst enemy to punish them.”
At first glance, the analogy seems to be quite valid, but when we examine it further, we can see how it does not apply at all.
In the first place, we cannot bring God down to our level. We are sinful. He is sinless. We are mortal. He is immortal. He is infinite and omniscient. We are finite and unable to know the future. His ways are higher than our ways, and much better. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9.
In order for us to realize the horribleness of sin, God permitted the sacrificial system or ceremonial slaughtering of animals for sin to be instituted. The sinner had to kill a lamb so he would realize that it was his own sin that would cause the death of our blessed Redeemer on the cross. This was the type that pointed forward to the death of the Messiah.
In like manner, God allows fathers and mothers to administer punishment to their own children so that the parents might realize that they have passed on their own sinful natures to their children. We “chasten” after our “own pleasure.” Hebrews 12:10. But God’s “chastening” is not like ours. His ways are “higher” than our ways.
Just as killing a lamb is distasteful to us and makes us cringe, so also a godly parent does not take delight in administering punishment to his precious little one who weeps as he spanks him or her. God permits punishment to come to us. He does not bring it. Lam. 4:6.
Since God is not responsible for passing on to us a sinful nature, which has its own punishment, in and of itself, as we live day by day, He does not need to directly punish us as we need to directly punish our children. Instead, He simply controls, directs, and guides us by permitting and preventing events and circumstances to take place and to develop in our lives.
Without ever interfering with our free choice, He uses each experience to teach us lessons and, yes, to allow punishment to come to us indirectly, if you please. Satan is right there without being invited, doing all he can to destroy us. Proverbs 13:21. God did not invite him, but He does not “cast him out,” either. We ourselves must make the decision as to which power (God or Satan) will control us by our own choice. We have the power to cast him out ourselves if we so choose. It is our choice whether he stays or leaves.
As one of my friends said, most people have the “ivory soap syndrome.” That is, about 99 and 44/100 per cent of them don’t know how God operates, for they misinterpret His character. They are “purely” in the dark about Jesus’ true love.
When you begin with a false premise, as this man who wrote to me did, you cannot avoid coming to a wrong conclusion. God is not a man, and because of that, we cannot parallel the way He deals with us with the way He has instructed us to deal with our children.
Of course, there are many similarities and parallels, but there are of necessity many differences because of the sin factor. Satan has been at the side of Christ and mankind from the beginning of the Great Controversy. This fact is made clear in Zechariah 3:1. Satan is the accuser and has been playing his role well from the beginning. And yet God has never used force or coercion in any of His dealings with Satan.
God’s patience is incredible when you think about it. Our God is much bigger and mightier than any of us have ever or could ever imagine. And I believe it is a terrible slander against His wisdom and power, when we attribute to Him our own carnal motives and actions. We cannot conceive how such an enemy as Satan could be overcome without force and coercion; that is, a direct blow in the right place at the right time!
Thus we bring God down to our level and make Him after our own likeness. This practice is called anthropomorphism. May God forgive us for doing it, and praise His name, He does forgive us. He loves His innocent creatures and realizes we are the victims in a terrible struggle, but He Himself has become the sacrifice, so He can make the journey through this vale of tears, just as pleasant as possible for us.
If only we knew how much suffering sin has brought to the heart of God, I think we would stop feeling sorry for ourselves. But the main thing I want to emphasize here is that God’s government is moral. Truth and love are to be the prevailing power. His nail pierced hands are always outstretched to save, never to smite. His hand is outstretched still. Isaiah 5:25; 10:4; 9:12, 17, 21. Compare Romans 10:21; Matthew 14:31; Psalms 88:9.
God’s wrath is not when He gets angry, no. God’s wrath is simply the condition in which God no longer is able to restrain man from destroying himself, and He is forced to “give them up.” “How shall I give thee up, Ephraim?” Hoses 11:8.
And Paul says, “But God shows his anger (wrath, in the KJV) from heaven against all sinful, evil men who push away the truth from them. So God let them go ahead into every sort of sex sin and do whatever they wanted to—yes, vile and sinful things with each other’s bodies. That is why God let go of them and let them do all these evil things, so that even their women turned against God’s natural plan for them and indulged in sexual sin with each other.” Romans 1:18, 24, 26. Living Bible.
God never turns away from men. Men turn away from God. Paul in A.D. 60 wrote to the church of Rome and asked, “Has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.” Romans 11:1,2 RSV.
And at the close of human probation God does not cut people off. No, they cut Him out of their lives. He does not reject them, they reject Him. The close of human probation is an act of man against God, not an act of God against man.
Revelation 22:11 makes it clear that God is simply permitting men to remain in the frame of mind they have chosen without any further interference on His part. They have made their final choice or decision as to whom they want to serve, and He honors their right to choose the way they wish to go, which is their own way and to follow their own counsels. Psalms 5:10.
And yet God takes the blame, saying, “I killed them with seven last plagues. In my wrath I am sending seven angels to pour out seven vials upon them because they have rejected me.”
It does seem that God is authorizing seven angels to do a lot of destroying down here on this earth, in Revelation 15 and 16. But, Revelation 7:1 shows that four angels are holding back the “winds of the earth,” (war, strife, sickness, disease, astral and terrestrial catastrophes, such as cyclones, tornadoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, and so forth: see Psalms 9:6 Isaiah 14:15-20 to show that Satan brings them).
Revelation 15 and 16 simply describe seven angels who are commissioned to command the four angels to no longer restrain all of these calamities. And by withdrawing their restraints, or discontinuing their holding pattern, they are indirectly “pouring out their vials.” Like their Lord, the angels receive the blame.
If a person will accept this premise, he immediately obligates himself to acknowledge that the same principle applies to all the destructive acts in the Old Testament as well. This application most people refuse to make; therefore, they are stuck with a “killer god,” and there is no escape for them from their dilemma, except to go all the way and accept the military Messiah concept which Satan will fulfill when He comes claiming to be Christ. How tragic that so many will believe this terrible lie about our Lord Jesus Christ and His Father.
In every age, only a few have stood for the truth. Only a few have remained faithful in the face of imprisonment, torture, and loss of property, livelihood, and life itself. Why should it be any different in this final hour? It won’t. In fact, it will be worse. But thank God we can make it. Thank God we can know who God is and we can know His character and possess it and reveal it to others. This will be the final work of the Elect. This will be their final message, “Behold your God.” Yes, God’s people will be giving the final message verbally with their lips, but they will also be showing with actual deeds of love and mercy to the sick and dying what God is really like.
Only those who have carefully studied the life of Jesus and beheld His beautiful character will be transformed into His perfect likeness and thus be enabled to give the final message to the world in both word and deed.