Is God's Love to All Mankind
Conditional or Unconditional?
Is God's Love to All Mankind
Conditional or Unconditional?
There are four fatal mistakes people, believers and non-believers in Messiah Jesus, do which leads them to false theology on this topic:
(1) Most theologians and believers understand love as emotions or feelings. They describe God’s love as feelings or emotions which motivate God and direct Him in His ways. This is false because, as you will see, love is NOT feelings or emotions. Feelings and emotions of love are subsequent to true concrete love.
(2) Most theologians and Christians mix up God’s love with Salvation.
They assume, falsely, that God’s love is the same as redemption (salvation). We need to distinguish and separate God’s love from God’s justice.
God’s nature is Love and God’s nature is Just. There is no contradiction in God.
(3) Most theologians, Christians, and Jews falsely assume that God’s love obligates Him to save (redeem) us. First, nothing outside God can force him to do anything. Second, a part of God’s nature cannot force God to contradiction or annul another part of God’s nature. Hence, God is NOT obligated because of His love to save anyone.
(4) Most theologians and the most Christians confuse God’s love with the comfortable, healthy, wealthy, abuse free, violence free, and disease free life. Love does not mean physical blessings. God’s love allows the consequences of men’s sins to prevail at times. But, through all trials, we are victorious. Our ultimate victory is at Yeshua Jesus’ Second Coming. The Churches are teaching a false gospel. Instead of teaching submission and obedience to YHWH the Lord, they teach power, riches, blessings and healing.
✦ Imagine a loving man who loves his children and who is a judge. One of his children committed a crime that is worthy of death. He, as the judge, has to apply the law and order the penalty of the crime which would be the execution of his son. Does this mean that a good judge cannot love his children? This judge loves his criminal sinful son. But, justice has to be applied. There is no contradiction between this man’s love to his son and the sentence to execute his son for his crime. There should be no confusion, even though it is extremely painful for the judge.
❏ “Yeshua Jesus said to the man, "Why do you call me “good”? No one is good but One, that is, God. [Jesus said this to test the man’s faith if he believed that Jesus is God or not]. Jesus continued to say: But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments,” (Matthew 19:17).
In this verse, Yeshua Jesus affirms that He is that good God and at the same time He will send those who do not believe on him to hell judgement. If some people are punished for their unbelief, this does not mean that God is not good. God is good both in His nature and in His acts towards mankind.
If life is hard and unfair, this is because of man’s sins and choices which hurt him and others.
But, God is pure and good. His love endures forever.
In order to understand more about God’s love, let us examine the following:
✦ ESSENTIAL QUESTION ONE: What is the origin of love?
Is it God's foreknowledge? Is it God's commitment and decision to love? Is it a burst of feelings?
✦ ESSENTIAL QUESTION TWO: What is the nature of love?
Since it is not feelings and emotions, then what is it?
✦ Love has three components: Respect, Accept and Do good.
(1) God respects us. When we pray and cry out to Him, He responds. He may remind us of our faults and sins, but when we repent, God restores our honor.
God YHWH Yeshua Jesus imputed on us His righteousness. This is a mark of highest respect.
Yeshua Jesus calls us His ambassadors. This is also a mark of respect and honor.
(2) God accepts us. When we return to Him, He accepts us as the repenting prodigal son. He treats us as humans, when we as sinful men and sinful women treat each other as insects and dogs. God sympathizes with our weaknesses. He accepts us and strengthen us to become strong.
God accepts us to the point that He came in the flesh as a humble weak man, the Messiah Yeshua Jesus. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin,” (Hebrews 4:15).
(3) God is good to us.
First, while we do not deserve anything, God gives us life, health, money, homes, education, clothes, and food. Some people who think or feel that they are entitled to everything may say that their life is miserable, therefore God is not good to them. Others who are suffering abuse or persecution may say where is God?
Thus, those who claim that God is not good, base their claim on their personal feelings and personal views rather than absolute concrete reality. God is good to us all. He allows sinful people to mistreat us or even to persecute us, but He is there throughout.
Second, at times we cannot see why do we have to suffer. We sleep, yet God is watching over us day and night, lest the enemy hurts us. God reminds us very clearly that He cares for us in the following verses:
(a) “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive,” (Genesis 50:20).
(b) “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose,” (Romans 8:28).
(c) “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You,” (Psalm 86:5).
(d) “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning,” (James 1:17).
(e) “Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep,” (Psalm 121:4).
(f) “Cast all your care (worry and anxiety) upon Him, for He cares for you,” (1 Peter 5:7).
God is good to us. We may suffer because of our own ego-centrist sense of entitlement and because we live in a world full of sin and corruption.
God’s love to mankind is not a feeling or emotions. God’s love to all mankind is concrete. It is characterized by:
(1) Positive and unconditional respect. God respects everyone; the homeless, the filthy smelly, the young, the old, the poor, the rich, the believers, the non-believers, the honest poor pastors, the fake pastors, and the prodigals. God wishes, from all His heart, that they all repent and become honest and true sons of God. Respect does not mean agreement to their behaviors.
(2) Acceptance of every human to the point of His identification in our weak humanity in the body of the Messiah Jesus.
(3) Doing good for us day and night. God is good to us, not according to what we want, but according to His good plans for us to have a true spiritual blessing and eternal life.
✦ The question remains: What is the origin of love?
The answer is: God’s unconditional love to mankind stems only from the mind of God. In the Decree of God, God decided to create man and God decided to love man as His own sons and daughters. Even when the woman sinned and the man followed his wife, God did not cease His love, but immediately killed a lamb and covered them and promised them that He, personally as the Messiah, will save them from the snare of their sins and the demands of Satan.
GOD DOES NOT CHANGE:
❏ “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning,” (James 1:17).
God loves all mankind. God’s love is not conditional and has no variation or shadow of turning.
✦ God’s love does not depend on either His feelings, or on man’s obedience or disobedience. God’s love is unconditional.
God’s love endures forever without change or variations. It suffices to read the Psalms, one after another, and we see the clear word that God’s love endures forever.
GOD’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE TO MANKIND BEGAN AT THE CREATION.
✦ God loved Adam and his wife with unconditional love at their creation. God was their friend. The term “friend” does not mean much nowadays. But, as Jesus teaches us, a true friend is ready to die for his friend.
✦ God’s unconditional love does not change; He continues to love all mankind with the same unconditional love.
✦ Someone may say, NO, God loved Adam and Eve contingent only on their obedience because He told Adam, “The day you shall eat of the forbidden tree, surely you shall die.” They say that this is an evidence of conditional and contingent love.
I would respond here by saying that they confuse love with justice. God made the Covenant of Works with Adam which was: obedience for life or disobedience for death. The Covenant of Works does not include God’s love. God never said “I will stop loving you if you eat of the forbidden tree.”
Therefore, God’s original unconditional love to all mankind remains the same in full vigor.
GOD’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE IS A MODEL FOR MAN LOVE
God’s love is unconditional. God created us in His image and in His likeness. He commanded us (or told us) that we should love our neighbors and our family of the sons of God without conditions or limitations.
✦ In the Second Love Commandment, God said “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and Jesus said: “Do good to your enemies and forgive them.” These are not conditional on the repentance of the ungodly neighbors or enemies, but unconditional. The neighbor may or may not be a believer. He or she may or may not be our haters (enemies). But we are commanded to love them as ourselves.
❏ “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.
❏ "Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, 'The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,' and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the LORD against you, and it become sin among you. You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, 'You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land,” (Deuteronomy 15:7-11).
✦ The Third Love Commandment says “Love all the true believers as Jesus loves us.” This means that the love we give to the truly born again must be immense, true and sacrificial.
✦ The Second and Third Love Commandments to us reflect the nature and attributes of God. His love to all of us is unconditional, but it varies in degrees.
✦ PRINCIPLE FOUR
GOD’S LOVE HAS MULTIPLE EXPRESSIONS
God’s love is manifested unconditionally, but in different forms. Most people who demand a certain manner of rewards, (which they call love), feel that God does not love them.
It would be a grave misunderstanding to assume that God’s love discriminates between people.
For example, Jesus healed many people in KafarNaum and around Jerusalem. But, there were many more sick people who suffered and who were not healed by Jesus. Yeshua Jesus could have extended his hands and healed every sick person in the land of Israel, but He did not do that. This does not mean that God’s love discriminates or is contingent on any factor. Healing per se is not love but is one expression of love. Jesus healed those who requested their healing.
Therefore, we should not mix up concrete love with philosophical or humanitarian or emotional principles.
PHYSICAL BLESSINGS OR SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS
✦ I have friends who are not born again and others who profess faith in Christ, and also others who claim to be anointed by God as pastors or ministers, while they are deceiving the faithful Christians and amassing thousands of dollars every year in white envelopes handed to them discretely without declaration. (I am a pastor and I refused to be part of this system.)*1 They abuse the trusting Christian people in other ways to their personal gain. Very few of them are having several sexual relationships with women in Churches, also discretely. Most of them do not hesitate to slander and to manipulate people against others for what they think profitable for them and their churches. They call this "managing the business of God," but God (Jesus) is innocent of their actions. Does God love them unconditionally?
Yes, God loves them unconditionally, they are healthy, wealthy and have absolute power and praise from everyone. But at the same time, God is grieved and angry at them.
[*1 Read the chapter on MONEY "The Origins of the Christian Church," by Dr. David d'Albany.]
They have happy marriages and healthy children, one or more big houses, a boat and they travel frequently and have millions of dollars in savings. At the same time, some of their poor donors do not have enough money to travel or to buy meat or normal food and at times, they cannot pay their bills on time for lack of money.
When we compare this picture with other men of God who refuse to take money in envelopes and who never touch any woman other than their wives and who do not slander or manipulate people, you may find that the good men of God are poorer and may go through many difficulties. Does God love them also unconditionally.
Yes, God loves them unconditionally.
✦ If we take the physical blessings as a measure of God’s love and compare, we will find that the rich and the powerful are the non-believers and the false believers who pretend to be anointed by God (as pastors or Christian leaders). While the poor and struggling in many ways are those faithful men of God who serve God freely and honestly.
This appears that God loves the fake believers and hates the true faithful believers. If we judge based on physical blessings we err. God's love is NOT determined by physical blessings.
Neither physical blessings nor feelings nor healing reflects the love of God.
If we judge superficially, we could come to a false conclusion that God loves the evil people and the wolves in the Churches (paid pastors and paid Christian leaders) more than the honest faithful servants of God.
Job the righteous man (Hebrew: Ish Tam) saw this and understood what most Christians do not understand, Job said:
❏ “Why do the wicked live and become old, Yes, become mighty in power? Their descendants are established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, Neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull breeds without failure; Their cow calves without miscarriage. They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children dance. They sing to the tambourine and harp, And rejoice to the sound of the flute. They spend their days in wealth, And in a moment go down to the grave. Yet they say to God, 'Depart from us, For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?' Indeed their prosperity is not in their hand; The counsel of the wicked is far from me. "How often is the lamp of the wicked put out? How often does their destruction come upon them, The sorrows God distributes in His anger? They are like straw before the wind, And like chaff that a storm carries away,” (Job 21:7-18).
The true blessings are in heaven for eternity. Even though the self-serving Christian leaders have more money, happy marriages and healthy children, yet the faithful who are poorer are loved deeply and unconditionally by YHWH.
God blessed Ishmael (the Arab nations) and Esau with abundance financially beyond measure. He blessed His chosen Isaac and Jacob with very little in comparison to Esau and Ishmael. Does this mean that God loves Essau and Ishmael and hates Isaac and Jacob?
The Israelis were slaves in Egypt and then became Bedouins for forty years, then became a small despised tribes of people without a king. At the same time, the nations around them were large empires. Does this mean that God loved the Amorites, Aramaens, Babylonians and Chaldaeans and hated Israel?
While Israel had famines in the land, Edom had plenty. Even a man by the name of Herod, who was an Edomite, established the Herodian dynasty and ruled over Israel for a century. Did God love Esau (Edom) and hated Israel?
❏ “I have loved you," says the LORD. "Yet you say, 'In what way have You loved us?' Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" Says the LORD. "Yet Jacob I have loved; But Esau I have hated,*2 And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness." Even though Edom has said, "We have been impoverished, But we will return and build the desolate places," Thus says the LORD of hosts: "They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever. Your eyes shall see, And you shall say, 'The LORD is magnified beyond the border of Israel,'” (Malachi 1:2-5).
[*2 The term hated and loved referred to spiritual blessings and not the physical. Esau was richer than Jacob because of the petroleum.]
JUDGEMENT DAY AND GOD’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
✦ I continue to affirm that God’s love to all mankind is unconditional.
The non-believers, whether they are polite social good Christians or openly God haters, will receive God’s anger and wrath in due time (the Last Day). God still loves them, but they have judged themselves.
✦ If we take the prodigal son story as an illustration. This story might had been a true story rather than a parable.
❏ “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Then Yeshua Jesus said: "A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants." And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry. Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.' But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.,'” (Luke 15:10-32).
Let us look at and focus on the father. Can one say that the father loves his prodigal son more than his obedient son? Some people may think that. The obedient son believed that also.
But, the father loved both sons unconditionally. When the prodigal son who called his father “dead” and took half of his money and spent it on sweet girlfriends, his father continued to love him unconditionally. When the prodigal son repented, the father immediately treated him as a prince and gave him highest honor.
Thus, the father loved both equally and unconditionally. True love is not a feeling, it is doing good to both. The father accepted, respected and did good to his repentant prodigal son.
Now some people may say that this father treated them differently. This is normal: as people are different, they treat each other differently.
Did the father punish (had less love to the prodigal son)?
No, he told his obedient son that everything will be his inheritance, but the prodigal son had already wasted his inheritance. If this is a punishment, then it is from the prodigal son onto himself.
✦ Similarly, people who are subject to God’s wrath have brought God’s anger and terrible judgment onto themselves.
But, God is grieved because He loves them unconditionally and He wishes that they would repent and return, but they continue to refuse.
❏ “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Behold! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!'” (Matthew 23:37-39).
GOD’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND LIMITED ELECTION
Pastors and Bible teachers err when: (1) They claim falsely that God rejected His elect, Israel and decided to choose the Roman pagan Church instead, (2) They, the pastors, claim falsely that they are anointed by God, thus replacing Moses, Aaron and King David and taking their divine authority, (3) They claim falsely that God chooses whom He loves based on His foreknowledge. This means that man saves himself and God has to agree with man’s will, and (4) They claim falsely that God’s election is an evidence of His conditional and limited love.
This teaching is not only erroneous but also makes God of lower stature than man.
We need to remember always in all humility that God is the Creator of the entire universe and we need to humble ourselves before His Holiness. How dare we project our weak emotional kinds of love and our corrupt and deficient minds onto God.
God has absolute right to elect whom He wants. He chose Israel. But not all Israel is Israel. Hence the elect sons of God are called "the True Israel of God" in contrast with the generic term "Israel" which would be the political nation. Furthermore, a good number of Ashkinazim who are about six million Jews are not of Hebrew blood from Abraham. But they are Israelites by proselytization in the tenth century. Those among them who believe in Yeshua Jesus the Messiah become also of the True Israel of God. And, the Gentiles who convert and believe truly (not falsely*3) in Yeshua Jesus, they become equally members of the True Israel of God.
[*3 see "Twenty Essential Measures of Every True Believer," by Dr. David d'Albany.]
God’s election does neither negate nor reduce the unconditional love of God to the non-elect, such as Esau. God loves all mankind unconditionally, but He decides the life and the future of every human being. God is NOT obligated to give the same life to everyone. Although God decreed the election, man is fully responsible of his actions and faith. No one can say, it is God’s fault for not choosing me because we are already guilt and deserve death.
Limited Election leads to what is called in the Reformed Christian faith “Limited Atonement.” The Arminians and the Universalists claim that God’s love necessitates that God must save every person which is false. Others, such as the Lutherans say that God is obligated to save everyone because of his love, yet man can resist God, thus some men will be judged in hell. This is false because no one can resist God or God's grace.
❏ “I tell the truth in Christ, I (rabbi Shaul Paul) am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called." That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise: "At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son." And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, "The older shall serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated." What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion." So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy,” (Romans 9:1-16).
EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS ARE NOT LOVE BUT ONE OF ITS EXPRESSIONS
✦ Emotions are dynamic and not static, thus they cannot represent God who does not change.
✦ Emotions change constantly in men and in women. They change in quality and in quantity.
✦ It is false and deceiving to think that love is feelings or emotions. To think such thought means that there is no real love between men and women. Sexual or erotic or romantic feelings are powerful, but they are not love, they are one of the manifestations of love in marriage.
✦ I have spoken with thousands of patients and clients throughout the years, and most of them believe that love is feelings. In one of my classes, a question was posed: “What is your definition of love?” about twenty-three students of Marriage, Family and Children Clinical intern therapists mentioned feelings of happiness, serenity, joy, oneness and many other New Age terms. Only two in the class stated: “love is doing something good for the person I love.” Not only our society, but also our churches and synagogues have a wrong idea of what is love.
✦ Lucifer used Eve’s emotions and succeeded in seducing her. Did Eve use Adam’s feelings to cause him to sin with her? Did she seduce him to submission and obedience to her demands? We do not know. These tactics are used today to control the believers into joining in and adopting the lifestyles of the world. Emotions and feelings are not love.
✦ Feelings and emotions Do Not produce true love.
✦ God’s feelings do not incline God to love mankind and do not force God to love mankind.
✦ Feelings are wonderful and they motivate us, but they are NOT love. Feelings make love wonderful and sweet for us. Those who equate God’s love to our feelings of love have rejected YHWH God and created their own image of a god calling him God.
We should never make God in our image.
✦ Love is not feelings.
Another evidence is that some (many) men and women who have intense love to each other slander each other, or are suspicious of each other, or are hurting one another?
Yes, they have love feelings, even intense love feelings, but they have no true love.
✦ EXAMPLE OF HUMAN FAKE LOVE
How about girlfriends or prostitutes who sell love or who are friends or lovers for benefits. Actually, the stupid men who befriend them receive no love although they may have strong love feelings. A word of caution to those men who take prostitutes as girlfriends for an hour or a few hours or a few months or a couple of years: These women do not give you love, but rather they give you: (1) Hatred and humiliation, not love, (2) Destruction of your inner self, (3) Poor self esteem as worthless animal, (4) Sexually transmitted diseases, some of them are permanent for life, (5) Destruction of your marriage, if you are married, (6) Poverty as these fake lovers take your money and expensive gifts, (7) Bad name as untrustworthy “simple” man. (8) Rejection. When your money runs out or the benefits they get are reduced, they leave or pretend to break up for other reasons. This leaves you with clear message that you have no value as a human being.
Remember Love is not Feelings and these lovers for benefits do not accept you, respect you, or do good to you unless you pay them with money or benefits or both. This is fake love.
We need never to imagine that God’s love to us falls in this fake and human animalistic category.
God’s love is true and free without any payment. His love is unconditional.
The true love which God gives us and with which we need to love one another is:
(1) Respect (always),
(2) Acceptance (always), and
(3) Doing Good (whenever possible).
✦ God’s love is concrete and true.
✦ Finally, I affirm that God’s love is unconditional. But, let us be aware that the Love of God does not mean that we will escape God’s terrible judgement in the Day of the Lord. With great sadness, God will pass the Word of Judgment and Condemnation on all the fake Christians, the fake Messianic believers, the fake pastors, the fake men and women, and those who refuse to accept Yeshua Jesus as YHWH God, the Creator of the universe.