Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The Love of God
From Chapter 15 of the book, SonPlacing, by Garrison Russell. Available from: Amazon.com. Read this book, it will change your life. This is a lengthy article, you may want to print it and read it several times.
Agape-Love: The Substance of God
The little group stopped along the highway and looked in silent horror, some queasy with disgust, others growing fierce with rage. A short distance off the road, at the top of a gentle rise, a man had been viciously attacked. The grizzly scene glinted red with blood where the hapless victim had been mortally wounded and left to die. It appeared there was nothing more to be done, as already a small crowd had assembled at the site, presumably to administer first aid.
The travelers stood entranced, caught in the despair of senseless waste. “This is the work of Satan,” the businessman finally thought aloud.
“No, this evil comes from wicked men,” the housewife responded, her eyes transfixed on the scene.
“You don’t know that,” interjected her girlfriend excitedly. “This could be the work of God. It could be that the victim was wicked and this was God’s righteous judgment.”
Another stepped in to calm them, “But then again if God caused this, maybe he meant it for some higher purpose, unknown to us. He might even somehow use this terrible act for his glory!” he offered hopefully.
“Are you crazy?” retorted the preacher. “We worship a God of love! Our God would never allow this!” he stormed, eyes flaring with anger.
The little group buzzed with concurrence, then slowly turned back to the road and resumed their journey, affirming their denunciation of the crime as they continued on their way. All of them oblivious to the Roman soldiers who were gambling for a cloak.
Love is the most misunderstood word in existence. To many it means little more than a physical craving. To others it is an intense emotional dependency.
To some people love is a character trait of God, which is manifest in peace, success, and happiness. It is that special blessing of God that meets their needs and fulfills their wants. Because God loves them, he gives them all the good things of earth to enjoy. To them, anyone who is smiling, or lounging in earthly wealth, is obviously centered in the love of God. For these people, God’s love creates a fondness for the things of earth and a coddling affection for all its creatures, in a soupy, mind-numbing bliss.
But to a few of earth’s voyagers, love is something entirely different, something not of this world. It is a wisdom that energizes every action in the universe, whether it appears as good or evil.
If you had stopped along the road and witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus, would you have recognized it as the supreme love of God? How is the love of God displayed in his slanderous betrayal and murder? Would this be the love of God if it happened to you?
* * * * *
Love is the lonely word that God has chosen to describe his essence. It is much more than just a character trait, for the Bible says that love is the substance of God. It is a state of being that can be entered, and yet it also permeates all things. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Love is the primal structure of God’s being, the insight that designs and creates all things. All his works are manifestations of love. Everything in creation glistens as a facet of God’s love. Every star and creature has emerged from the love of God, to tell of his wonder. So also, every circumstance of earth is an agent of his love. And every happenstance of man has a purpose conceived in the love of God. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
The greatest expression of God’s love was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Though Jesus was the sinless, ever-pleasing, firstborn Son, God arranged for him to be unemployed, homeless, betrayed, mocked, and murdered. For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He even gave up His only-begotten, unique Son. John 3:16 (Amplified). The righteous was torn and slain as a gift to the carnal and common. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.
If this is the love of God, then every action in creation also manifests the love of God. Thus the casting of Satan to earth was the love of God. The dazzling arrival of Adam and his placement in paradise were the love of God. So also, Eve’s failure and adultery were the love of God. Abel’s brutal murder was God’s love. The drowning of the Adamic race under the hull of Noah’s ark was God’s love. Egyptian slavery and the slaughter of countless Israelites and their babies originated from the throne of love. God’s love was the fiery furnace for the faithful, the stoning of Steven, and the execution of the apostles. The torturous deaths of millions of martyred Christians manifests the arcane and benevolent love of God.
So also today, the villainous horrors of modern life are all the love of God. Your errant children, unfaithful spouse, failed business, and poor health, are the embryos of divine love. For God is love and everything in the created realm has emerged from that love. His purpose is immutable, his power supreme. All the works of earth will ultimately glorify his love and there is none that can prevent it or change it. Of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever.
This concept of God’s love is lofty, and goes far beyond the common. To be able to grasp it, you are going to have to raise your definition of “love” to the supernal and sublime.
In the King James Bible, twenty-five different Hebrew and Greek words were translated love. Of these, the Greek noun agape and its companion verb agapao, are unique words that represent the substance of God himself, revealing the very fabric of his nature. In the New Testament the Holy Spirit used agape to express ideas of love that were previously unknown, concepts never before uttered amongst flesh and blood. The consummate description of agape is given in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, here from the Amplified Bible. Love endures long and is patient and kind. Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy. Love is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. Love does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self seeking. Love is not touchy, or fretful or resentful. Love takes no account of the evil done to it. Love pays no attention to a suffered wrong. Love does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness. Love rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes. Love is ever ready to believe the best of every person. Love’s hopes are fadeless under all circumstances. Love endures everything without weakening. Love never fails, never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end. This love is not simply an attribute of God’s personality. It is the essence of his substance. It is the source from which all his character traits flow.
Agape-love is the bountiful source of God’s intentions, the fountainhead where his thoughts are conceived. These thoughts then become visible in his actions. This love emerges from obscurity as the deliberate choice of a Supreme Being. It is given based on need and without expectation of repayment. It is not an impulse from the feelings. It does not originate from human inclination, nor is it spent on men in relation to any obvious merit.
Agape-love is the spiritual energy of God, sometimes made visible, but always emanating toward seemingly unworthy objects. God commendeth his love (agape) toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Agape is an utterly selfless giving, an outpouring that flows to all things. It produces a reverential “love” in the receiver and a gentle but irresistible desire to seek the source. We love him, because he first loved us. Agape-love is infinite, celestial, and eternal, and exists only in the divinity of God himself.
The temperament of fallen Adamic man is quite the opposite of this. By God’s design, the Adamic nature is short lived and always fails. It does not possess the ability to endure long and would never dream of disregarding the evil done to it. Carnal man is incapable of forgiving the smallest offense. He complains at everything; his hopes fade with the first harsh word. Man rejoices in iniquity and rarely believes the best of anyone. He is terrified, selfish, envious, and proud of it. Yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live. There is no mortal that shall ever attain the description of love found in 1 Corinthians 13 for agape is holy, boundless, and immortal. Thus it is, that to become agape-love, you must depart the mortal realm.
Phileo and Agape
All men are born subject to the fallen Adamic nature and enslaved to the carnal mind. This mind is enmity to God; it cannot even perceive his existence. The unregenerate know nothing of the encompassing power or infinite wisdom of God. They cannot comprehend a love that might express itself through both good and evil events. He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. Instead of searching out the truth of God, these people have created a carnal religion that befits their befuddled state. In this system they classify “good” actions as the love of God, and “evil” actions as the work of Satan. That is unless the evil happens to fall upon someone they don’t like. Then evil is called the “judgment” of God! By this duality the mind of man has amputated the love of God and redefined it as “temporal good fortune,” a description altogether acceptable to self-serving mortals. Men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness. This human concept of love is represented in the New Testament by the Greek word, phileo. Phileo has often been translated as love, but it really means “worldly affection.”
Phileo-love is selfish desire it invariably adds to self-esteem. It is the self-enriching love agreeable to carnal men. It is always based on merit and directed toward items of obvious value. It originates in human feelings and is guided by group consensus. It functions in the emotions, bringing laughter or tears. Phileo-love is the warm attraction and buzzy titillation that mortals first feel for their creator. This was the love that Judas had for Jesus. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss (phileo), that same is he: hold him fast. The worldly affection of phileo-love comes naturally to the carnal mind. Thus it is no wonder that Modern Christianity has mistakenly accepted phileo-love in place of agape. Modern Christians have been swindled into believing that a temporal, self-enriching love is the agape of God. They accept human tenderness and earthly riches as the perfection of God’s substance within them. Thus phileo-Christians believe they are spiritual when they convene into groups for hugging, bask in emotional warmth, and display their wealth. All the children of the earth who serve thee and remember thee when they require anything from thee. Jasher 22:48. Based on this concept of phileo-love, Modern Christianity has concocted a system of doctrines that allows them to draw close to God in tender affection while rejecting anything they don’t like. They retain Free Will and reject God’s sovereignty. They claim resurrected glory but disavow the crucifixion process that produces it. They retain God’s good, and deny his evil. They are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. Having separated themselves from the deep workings of God they convene to share fables for the approval of men at social gatherings called “church.” For they love (phileo) to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Thus phileo-love is the ever-failing sticky syrup that is commonly substituted for agape and served up weekly by Organized Christianity. If any man love the world, the love (agape) of the Father is not in him. Phileo-love is produced in response to God’s “good.” When God brings good to your life you selfishly enjoy it, and phileo-love swirls around inside you. This love can only be phileo because it is based on receiving. The cursed Adamic nature can thrive forever on this love. But this is not the final destiny for man. Phileo-love is incomplete. He that loveth (phileo) father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. Phileo-love cannot sustain you in times of evil, for it cannot explain the presence of travail in your life. The ineffectual sugar of phileo-love becomes pathetically inadequate when you are engulfed in a fiery storm by the hand of God. He that loveth (phileo) his life shall lose it. When this happens you will either run away and blame Satan, or press forward to search for a new and higher definition of God’s love. If you are willing to leave off your carnal bias, one day God will bring you an amazing experience. He will engulf your life in a travail of his own making. There you will learn that God is the instigator of all things good and evil. Then your ideas of his love will begin to change. You will find a larger love that can bring evil for a benevolent purpose. As this understanding materializes within your spirit, the limitations of phileo will crumble into the ashes of your life. There you will learn that phileo-love is formed in you when God gives you his “good.” But agape-love is formed in you when God thrusts you through with his “evil.” What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? Agape-love can only be produced in response to God’s “evil.” It can only originate from situations of emptiness and distress, where the carnal man receives nothing. Agape-love does not produce a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. It is born of pain and responds to unworthy people and devastating circumstances with forgiveness, hope, and humility. This selfless perfection can never be an attribute of the fallen Adamic nature. To the contrary, it appears in man only after his Adamic nature is broken. Agape-love is fashioned inside the high walls of heartache and terror, in a prison far removed from selfish desire. While locked in this cell with their accusers, most men will seek to escape the trials that would produce agape-love inside them. But fortunately for you, God will arrange things so that this is impossible. He intends for you to grow up through your trials, not escape from them. Thus he hems you in by his sovereign work, then patiently waits until agape-love is born in your spirit and exudes from your bones. I pray, that your love (agape) may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment. Your bid to become the love of God is a two step process. Phileo is only the first step. Phileo-love is an attribute of created beings and carnal death. If your love remains at the phileo level you will remain spiritually dead. Your love for God begins in “phileo,” but must continue on to become “agape.” When you first learn the goodness of God you will have phileo-love for him. After that, you must learn the affliction of God to become the perfection of agape. This is the crucifixion process. When you experience a cross from the hand of your Heavenly Father, your fallen Adamic nature will be shattered and with it your adolescent understanding of good and evil. By the time agape-love flows out from your spirit, you will have learned that every event in creation is God, and each is an instructor of his divine love. After his resurrection, Jesus asked Peter if agape-love was yet formed in his heart. Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (agapao) thou me more than these? But though Peter “loved” Jesus, he had denied him three times. His love was still at the phileo level; it was far from perfect. Even with all the “good,” the miracles, and the personal instruction of Jesus Christ, agape-love had not yet been birthed in Peter’s spirit. Peter was still at the first step, the “phileo” stage. Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (phileo) thee.
Agape-love was matured in Jesus Christ when he gave his life in response to evil. Now it is your turn. If you seek an intimate relationship with God, preferring him above all else, he will arrange for the birth of agape-love in you. The process will begin as trials of evil slam into your life. When that happens you must leave phileo behind and pursue agape-love. Above all these things put on charity (agape), which is the bond of perfectness. Stepping toward this glowing threshold to the Begotten Realm is a solemn experience. It requires that you deny yourself, take up your cross and follow him. If you will, then your life is about to change. And to you he whispers of a spiritual destination that is incomprehensible to mortals. This is a share in his divine substance, through the birth of agape-love. 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 (agapao) him.
Begotten Love: The Plan of God
It is not enough that you should simply bathe in the glory of God and enjoy the love that comes to you. His plan for you far exceeds this initial step. God intends that you are to become a new source for his love, an independent wellspring of his substance.
God has initiated a plan to give you his divine love, in seed form. This spiritual seed was prepared through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When you accept the forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ, the seed of agape-love is sown into your spirit. God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. This nucleus will take root inside you and begin to grow. As it grows it will destroy your old Adamic nature and eventually blossom into the mature divinity of agape-love.
Agape-love is not created, it is begotten. It is individually birthed in the spirits of men. It must be born in your spirit as certainly as you were born of your mother. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. This “born again” experience is Sonship, and it is not complete in you until agape-love is birthed in you and flows out from you. Beloved, let us love one another: for love (agape) is of God; and every one that loveth (agapao) is born of God.
Ultimately this new living love will transport you to a supernatural existence with God in a realm beyond creation. As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Those who are begotten of God will reproduce his substance within themselves and grow to become what he is. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
That you should become this begotten love is the plan of God, his motive from the beginning of time. Consider Ephesians 1:4-6.
Ephesians 1:4. He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love (agape). In eons past, God chose to make you a little lower than the angels for a short time, that you might experience the suffering of death as a mortal on planet earth. Through this process your spirit will produce something new and wonderful. Your destiny is to become holy and sinless in agape. Holy is the Greek word hagios, which means, “higher than sacred, more than honorable, more than pure. It is characteristically, Godlikeness.” The words without blame are from the Greek word amomos. Amomos really means “without blemish.” It refers not to a cleansing, the removal of blame, but rather, to a new sinless state of being, as a lamb conceived perfect from its birth. Godlikeness … sinless … in agape. God has ordained that you should enter a new state of existence, a newborn state of sinless Godlikeness, as you become agape-love. Ephesians 1:5 (Fenton). Having prepared us for adoption to Himself through Jesus Christ according to His settled purpose. Prepared is the Greek word proorizo, which means, “to predetermine, to appoint beforehand, to decree from eternity.” Adoption is the Greek word huiothesia. Huios means “a Son,” and thesis means “a placing.” Literally, “a Son-Placing.” Thus, from eternity by sovereign decree, God appointed you to become his own Son. This SonPlacing was initiated through the work of Jesus Christ, and is the changeless purpose of God for you. Ephesians 1:6 (Fenton). In accordance with His glorious gift which He presented to us from love (agapao). The glorious gift is the transfer of love. God gave you the spirit seed of agape-love. This seed came through Jesus Christ. It is from the agape of God and grows up to become agape in you. When this seed matures in you, you will be a sinless Son of God, just like Jesus Christ. Agape-love is SonPlacing, the birth of Godlikeness in you. Agape is not part of the created realm, for it is begotten of God. Behold, what manner of love (agape) the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Agape is not forgiven, for it has never sinned. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. Agape-love is eternal life. You will attain immortality only when agape-love is born in you and flows out from you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love (agapao) the brethren. He that loveth (agapao) not his brother abideth in death. Agape-love encapsulates the genetics, character, and capacity of your Heavenly Father. When it is born in you, it will make you what he is. That you may really come to know practically, through experience for yourselves, the love (agape) of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge without experience. That you may be filled through all your being, unto all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:19 (Amplified). Just as phileo is produced in response to God’s good, agape is born in response to his evil. Thus like all births, the birth of agape is attended by travail. When God is ready to initiate the growth of agape-love in you, he will send evil against you. This was God’s promise to Eve. He told her that agape, which is Sonship, is born from sorrow. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.
To spark the birth of agape-love, Jesus Christ endured crucifixion. Greater love (agape) hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. For the birth of agape-love, Job’s children, business, and health were destroyed. For the birth of agape-love, Joseph was betrayed to prison. For the birth of agape-love, Paul was shipwrecked, beaten, and beheaded.
It is the sorrow of evil against you that forms agape-love in you. That is God’s recipe. Tribulation is always the first indication of this begotten love. When tribulation wounds your life, God is presenting you with an opportunity to become his Son, to enter the resplendent radiance of agape-love. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.
To the carnal mind, inconvenience is irritating and adversity is folly. Trouble of any sort seems a pointless and painful excursion to nowhere. Thus the call to agape-love is not supported by human reasoning. And no wonder, for the travail that births agape-love in your spirit, also kills your Adamic nature. Fortunately, God pays little attention to the whining self-justifications of your cursed carnality. He will arrange a cross for your life while your humanity screams. As this tumult thunders into your spirit the erroneous notions of your carnal mind will be destroyed. And from that death, agape-love will draw its breath. Agape-love is the flower that blooms with its roots in Adamic decay. Its beauty can arise only from the ashes of your carnality. As your Adamic legacy is incinerated, your love and understanding will flourish into begotten brilliance. Seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. It follows then, that the greatest blessing God can give you is an ordeal that will mature the seed of begotten love in you. This is a peculiar, enduring ache, which must be at once inescapable and penetrating. If ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. An experience of this intensity will jump-start the maturing of agape-love in your spirit, and this will ultimately transform you into the substance of your Heavenly Father. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
This greatest of all blessings will look much like the following:
1. It will be a situation that will take from you everything that could ever spawn any boasting, arrogance, or pride.
2. It will limit your choices so that insisting on your own way is physically impossible.
3. It will provide grievous personal evil against you so that you can take no account of it.
4. It will immerse you in injustice and failure until you can see through them, and stare into the eyes of a sovereign God.
5. It will be an anguish for you to bear up under for a long time. This is the gestation for agape-love.
God’s greatest blessings are predicaments of divine distress circumstances that energize the procreation of agape-love in you. These battlefields come labeled as “evil” by the faithless Adamic nature, because they provide an inevasible opportunity for you to love your enemies.
The birth of agape-love is SonPlacing, and this is God’s plan for you. But this love is not formed in you amidst mirth and abundance. Like all births, it issues forth from travail, as prescribed in 1 Corinthians 13. Love … does not seek after the things which are its own, is not irritated, provoked, exasperated, aroused to anger, does not take into account the evil which it suffers. 1 Corinthians 13:5 (Wuest).
Forgiveness & Love
The maturing of agape-love is initiated by sin against you. If you wish to have this love, your only response can be forgiveness, regardless of the circumstances.
In the Bible, forgive and forgiveness are translated from four original Greek words which mean, “to send forth, to send away; to bestow a favor unconditionally; to let loose from, to release.” These words describe “forgiveness” as an absolute annulment of transgression and its penalty, as a debt that is canceled and expunged. Forgiveness demands that both failure and reprisal be loosed away forever, as to a supernal incinerator. And forgiveness embodies one additional, elusive requirement: the mandate to create a magical new reality, wherein the offense actually never existed. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Forgiveness originates in God and is transferred to you when you accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This forgiveness is an unconditional release from the penalties accrued by the sins of your fallen carnal nature. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. God’s forgiveness is a wonderful experience, dubbed by the church as “Salvation.” As you turn your life toward God, your infractions and their fines are erased from your account. You feel washed and free, and flowing with luminous energy. Forgiveness is the gift of love. When you receive “forgiveness” from God, the seed of “love” is sown into your spirit. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. This kernel blossoms first into the adolescence of phileo-love, a bubbling but self-centered joy for what you have received. This is the embryonic stage of agape. Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. Forgiveness coming to you from God’s “good” produces phileo-love. After that first step it takes forgiveness coming from you, in response to God’s “evil,” to produce agape-love.
Agape-love can grow only in a special environment, where like God, it can “take no account of the evil done to it.” Sin against you is the catalyst that transforms phileo-love into agape-love. This process functions through the agency of forgiveness. Agape-love is sown into you when you are forgiven, but it is matured in you only as you forgive.
Every evil action that God allows on the earth obligates an ultimate forgiveness. Evil is like a hole that demands to be filled. When an offense comes against you, it creates a need for forgiveness, where no such need existed previously. To forgive the offense, forgiveness must be fashioned by your understanding. It must materialize inside you. It then issues out from you unconditionally and fills the hole that was created by the offense. By sin against you, forgiveness is birthed inside you, and flows out from you. Through this process you become a new source of forgiveness. You become a creator, empowered to dispatch forgiveness in response to a need.
But notice that forgiveness meets all the requirements for agape-love as given in 1 Corinthians 13. Forgiveness endures long and is kind. It is not based on receiving. It does not arise from any self-centered motive. It is ever ready to believe the best of every person. Forgiveness takes no account of the evil done to it. It bears up under anything and everything that comes. Its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances. Forgiveness never fails because it has been developed through both good and evil. Forgiveness is the only thing known to man that fulfills the requirements for agape-love. Forgiveness is the birth of agape-love made visible. And above all things have fervent charity (agape) among yourselves: for charity (agape) shall cover the multitude of sins. Forgiveness is agape-love, born from offenses. Without offenses there could be no forgiveness, and hence no birth of agape in you. This requirement for offenses brings enemies against you, riding high upon bewildering evils that stampede through your life with the fiery sword of God. These trials are the servants of God, to awaken a new love in your spirit. Agape-love comes alive as it is thrust into hardship. It is matured as it suffers long and with kindness. It must be plunged into anguish, so that it can learn to bear up under anything and everything that comes. Agape-love is produced only in ardent travail, by the dispatch of forgiveness. This is the crushing process of regenerative birth. Love (agapao) ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest. To receive forgiveness you must turn to God, repent of your sins and confess them. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. But your giving of forgiveness has no such requirement. Your giving of forgiveness must be limitless, exhaustive, and without qualification. Your fellow mortals have nothing of any value with which to pay for their sins, and certainly owe you nothing at all. Their offenses must be met with your bold, unconditional release. And this is for your own good. For it is only this forgiveness that can produce the splendor of agape in you. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them. Your bid to become the love of God will not change the events that occur around you. Rather, it will change the events that occur inside you. You need to forgive so that agape-love can be birthed in your spirit. The work of forgiveness in those around you is only a by-product. I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Do not yield to your fleshly cravings for revenge or reparation. Silence the moans of self-pity. Cast aside your concocted carnal arguments to withhold forgiveness. These are lying emissaries sent to shackle your spirit with failure. Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Your desire to flush your friends away, replacing forgiveness with resentment, is a desire to terminate your own spiritual wealth. This is your conniving Adamic nature clinging to its own death. For any excuse to withhold forgiveness, will withhold the birth of agape-love in you. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. When Jesus Christ forgave sin he was accused of blasphemy. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? This complaint was understandable, for in the Old Testament, forgiveness came from God alone. For who can forgive sins but God only?
But now this divine power, God has given to you. When you received the forgiveness of Christ, it came in seed form. As it grows it will multiply, to become a power at your disposal. Forgiveness is the first true power of God that he has given to his maturing Sons. It is real, it works every time, and it is absolutely yours.
Forgiveness is the only spiritual power that you require to reproduce the majesty of agape-love in you. Now you are commanded of your Heavenly Father to exercise this divine authority, for your own benefit. If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Forgiveness and the love it creates are your keys to the Kingdom of God. Remember that this kingdom is not a place, it is a begotten spirit within you. Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
If you bind sins while on earth you bind your spirit to the evil earthly realm. But if you forgive sins while on earth, you will loose your spirit into the perfection of agape-love. Forgiveness and agape-love are keys to a spiritual lock. They open a secret door to a heavenly kingdom, and will usher you in to Godlikeness. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
When forgiveness flows from your spirit, agape-love is birthed inside you. This celestial love is alive. It is a Son of God, growing in your midst . When this living substance is fully matured in your spirit you will step into the endowment of your Heavenly Father. This is a new state of being, a fresh reality in the Begotten Realm.
Within the Begotten Realm no mortal has ever trod. It is a domain which exists beyond creation. It is the realm of agape-love.
In this magical dwellingplace the sins of the flesh have actually never existed. We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not. Agape-love has never lacked from the glory of God. When you become this love, you will have never lacked from the glory of God. For I do always those things that please him. You will be a new creature, born of the perfect spiritual DNA of your Father. Your past, present, and future will be infinite and flawless. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
The spectacular birth of agape-love in you is the desire of Jesus Christ and the joyful expectation of your Heavenly Father. That the love (agape) wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. By this hopeful delight you are now aimed at a new dimension, beyond the creation of flesh or spirit. This heavenly target is the realm of begotten love. That the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
This is not a place you must go. Rather, it is a fire that you must become. Begotten love is a living ember that must penetrate your spirit and then ignite into blazing splendor. When it is complete in you, perfection will be as easy as thought, and your every desire will come wrapped in an infinite capacity to produce love in any situation. To know the love (agape) of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Your time on earth is quite limited and is thus your most precious commodity. How will you spend it? Many awake each morning, then plod out in search of earthly treasures and physical pleasures. Others crave political power or the praise of their peers.
But while these things seem desirable and appear noble, they are insignificant dross when compared to agape-love. If I can speak in the tongues of men and even of angels, but have not love (agape), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1 (Amplified). Even if you obtain stupefying power, angelic understanding, and earth-shaking ministry, you will remain a meaningless nothing, if you fail to apprehend agape-love. And if I have prophetic powers, that is the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose; and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have sufficient faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (agape) I am nothing; a useless nobody. 1 Corinthians 13:2 (Amplified).
The sole purpose for your existence on this planet is to become begotten love. This must be your only goal. But the road to agape is not for cowards or courtiers. It is a terrifying trek through the wisdom of God, a strategic assault against the darkness within you. There are secrets to discover, battles to fight, dangers, fears, and victories. This is a race you must run, a quest you must take, that will lead you to a shimmering possession of living love.
Follow the flowchart*, Becoming Agape-Love. It will help you find your way from your worst nightmare, to the beauty of begotten immortality. "I will show you a still more excellent way, one that is better by far and the highest of them all: love (agape)." 1 Corinthians 12:31 (Amplified). *NOTE: This flowchart is in the book...purchase a copy today.
In the garden of Eden the future Sons of God were indentured to corruption by the hope of their Father. The mind of man was turned to error and became a purveyor of evil. From this corruption sin arises, both within you, and against you. Both of these must be dealt with. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. If you now feel compulsive desires for behavior which violates the Ten Commandments, then you are self-destructing. The perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. You must free yourself from this addiction to evil. Immediately cease the actions and face the forces that have invaded your mind. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Go to your parent, spouse, or Godly friend, and tell them everything; hold nothing back. Pray with them for your deliverance and you shall certainly have it. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Then receive the forgiveness of Jesus Christ which is the seed of agape love. This is your ticket into the contest for immortality. Now turn every fiber of your being to the nurture and development of this seed. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Failure is a requirement of the human experience. In this slough all men need God, and from this depravity all will one day reach for his forgiveness. When they do, they will receive the spirit-seed of agape-love, and when this love is fully matured, they will grow into the image of their Heavenly Father. Sin is thus a prerequisite for immortality. It is the method that God has chosen to accomplish the transfer of a nucleus of his perfect love into you. Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
After you have struck a compelling blow to the sin within you, you will then come to the next step. From the corrupted nature of man offenses multiply and are strewn about. One day one of these will strike through your heart as an ingenious sin against you.
Sin against you is a painful experience and difficult for mortals to understand. But God’s greatest blessings, those that can produce agape-love in you, come to you disguised as evil. And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places. Affliction is the opportunity to generate forgiveness within you. When forgiveness flows from you, the seed of agape-love inside you germinates, springing suddenly to life. The sorrow of sin against you is a painful necessity, for without it, the seed of agape-love in your spirit would remain absolutely dormant. I say unto you, That ye resist not evil. It is the dark press of bewilderment and betrayal that initiates the birth of agape-love in you. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. Only sorrow changes your capacity for love; not a good job, peaceful family, money, cars, or ministries. It is through adversity that agape-love is matured and birthed in you. Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. Sin against you is thus the evidence of divine favor and your election to the realm of begotten love. Every pearl is formed from an irritant. God gives his beauty only for your ashes. The oil of his joy is reserved for those laid waste in mourning. Sin against you is the launching pad to the wisdom of God it is your amazing embarkation to the spirit realm. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations … that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. When evil comes crashing into your sphere, turn to your Heavenly Father with an immovable love. Do not let pain turn you away from God. Rather, let it drive you to his care. You must love God first, totally, all of him and all his works, before you can hope to love any man. Thou shalt love (agapao) the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. So extreme must this love be, that it must easily eclipse every other desire in your life. From this unshakable love a new understanding will slowly seep into your problem, a soft spiritual illumination, giving shape to the plan of God for you. If a man love (agapao) me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love (agapao) him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. Before you can find God you must want him only and seek him with all your heart. For they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them. To build this insatiable craving within you, God sends the anguish of sin against you. In their affliction they will seek me early. When you face your own lack and finally concede a need borne of helplessness, your heart will incline fully toward God. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon the earth that I desire beside thee. Wet with the tears of travail you will ache for the comfort of unfailing love. This deep longing for God, this abandon of earthly hopes and dreams, this pining for the fulness of God, is required if you are ever to find him. For whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. By sin against you God separates you from all the familiar of this world. Then he draws you close to himself for succor and instruction, in the acclivitous gestation of agape-love. 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. God is the supreme power of the universe. Absolutely all things are conceived in his wisdom and emanate from his throne to accomplish his will. According to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. This pervasive sovereignty far exceeds the fragile abilities of human imagination. For God works in everything, everywhere, all the time, to accomplish his good pleasure. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? There is no circumstance that does not originate in God. Every “accident” is his generous wisdom, arcane and ultimate, showing itself to man. The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord. Even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by him. Proverbs 16.33 (Amplified). Nothing can initiate itself, no thought, no action, no hair of your head. All things are orchestrated by God and animated by his power. A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Furthermore, there is no created being, no man or spirit that can act in violation of God’s counsel. All creatures derive their authority from him and incubate their plans from the ideas he has given them. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Your experience on earth is swathed in the omniscient love of God. Every problem originates from his wisdom and all that touches your life will one day reveal his staggering love for you. All things have been delivered unto me of my Father. When calamity appears, look deep into the situation until you find your Heavenly Father, waiting there in the midst. Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above. Never look for answers in remorse, or in the chain of events that brought the problem. They are not there. You must look beyond the actions of men and devils, to see the working of God in your predicament. It is he who has summoned your tears. As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. God is not a weakling whose powers are limited to the pathetic “good” of human desire. God is the stunning magnificence of agape-love. This compelling love is the architect of all things. Every event amongst the stars is an operation of this brilliant love. And this is irrespective of whether your silly mind calls it “good” or “evil.”
Every song of sweet good and coal of burning evil shall one day unmask as the love of God. For what God does not intend to use for his love, simply does not occur. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. The carnal mind is the tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil, made flesh. This mind is shackled to the idea that everything on earth is either “good” or “evil.” Carnality further assumes that “good” things represent God’s love, and that evil things do not. This carnal perspective is the Tree of Death. The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Certainly you loathe to find evil in yourself and detest it in others. But while you believe that evil is beyond God’s immediate control, you limit his sovereignty. The limit you place on his sovereignty is the boundary where your ignorance begins. While you continue to deny God’s power over evil, you will remain blind to his greater purpose, and in this blindness you remain spiritually dead. Thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. You must climb down off the Tree of Death and run to the Tree of Life. There you will eat from a new and satisfying sapience, a superlative understanding that every earthly event is God. From this tree your perspective will sweep to encompass a refreshing new grandeur, a comprehension that all things, both good and evil, are the fodder of new love. All things work together for good to them that love (agapao) God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. As you leave the Tree of Death and begin to move toward the Tree of Life, you will encounter the flaming sword of God. This is the adversity that produces agape-love. And he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. As you pass through this sword the erroneous notions of your carnal mind will be hacked to pieces and torched.
Foreseeing its demise, your carnal mind will call these actions “evil.” But your Father knows that bewildering evils will both kill your carnality, and instigate the birth of agape-love in your spirit. Travail is the tomb of Adam, but the midwife of begotten love. As for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good. Your greatest nightmare, your worst failure, is your personal secret entrance into agape-love. These depths of grief have the power to produce the pinnacles of love in you. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Now comes your first introspection and progress report. Look inside and examine yourself. It is always a temptation to evaluate someone else, but this will never produce agape-love in you.
After all the trials of Job, he was wise enough to abhor himself, not his adversaries. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. When God kills your children, destroys your business, smites your body, and your friends taunt you, you must abhor yourself, never someone else. You must abhor your own lack of understanding and bow to the supreme wisdom of God.
If you love God first, see him in all actions, and recognize that every event has been ordained for your ultimate blessing, then you will yield to his superior wisdom and embrace his work in your life. This knowledge will give you peace, even amidst impossible trials. Though the tempest rage, yet your faith will rest with God, anchored in his purpose and love for you. If this be the case, you can move ahead to number eight. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
But if you feel hate, anger, or self-pity coming from within, then you still want your own way. You are bewitched by the noxious voices of self-preservation and self-justification. Clinging to the selfish desires of the carnal mind, no matter how “good” they may seem, denies the sovereignty and the wisdom of God’s actions. You need to learn that God’s ways are best. His wisdom is irrefutable, even if you do not presently understand it.
If resentment still stampedes your thoughts, then you must come to the dark night of Gethsemane. There you will begin the crucifixion of your selfish Adamic nature in agonizing surrender to the sagacity of God. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
The crucifixion of your carnal mind begins with the gloom of evil treading upon the hills of your hopes. This night hails your worst fears, things seemingly impossible yet unmistakably marked with the fingerprints of God. This is the surrender of Gethsemane, a terrifying battle where life engages death in the greatest contest ever devised.
When the winds of evil gather against you, hasten to scamper about, rectifying all the actions to the best of your ability. But when you arrive at the weary end of your doing, you will come face-to-face with all the purpose and fury of God himself. There you will be held in a vise of unchangeable circumstance until you give up your self-will and your earthly desires, and embrace the frightening wisdom of God.
Encountering the power and purpose of God, Mary surrendered to his will. Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. Encountering crucifixion from his Father’s hand, Jesus surrendered to his will. O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. The life of Jesus from conception to crucifixion, was a continual surrender to the will of God. By this surrender, Jesus Christ came to a glorified resurrection, opening a new supernatural passage to the realm of begotten love. Therefore doth my Father love (agapao) me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. Surrendering to the bewildering and painful wisdom of God is the ratification of the New Covenant in you. And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament [covenant], that by means of death [yours] … they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. When you yield to distasteful events with an unrelenting trust fixed upon your Father’s love, you establish the New Covenant in your spirit. Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first [covenant], that he may establish the second. This New Covenant must be ratified individually by the death of each participant. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. The New Covenant is the surety of agape-love in you. This supernatural love is the fulfillment of every promise that God has ever made to man. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts. Willing surrender to the wisdom of God, even unto self-sacrifice, is the principle that fashions the beauty of agape-love from the ashes of Adam. I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. And it will never happen any other way. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice. Jesus was betrayed, crucified, and resurrected by the far-sighted wisdom of God, and this was an example for you. If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. The crucifixion of your carnal nature is the only possible way to resurrected life and the maturity of agape-love in you. He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. The cross is not your problem, it is the remedy for your problem; it heralds your redemption from the cursed Adamic nature. You must be separated from this hateful thing as one might be rescued from an alien planet.
The cross enters your life through offenses that cannot be explained by the carnal nature nor by the mute inadequacies of phileo-love. In this tumbling scenario of bizarre events your spirit must first surrender to the will of God, and then arise to destroy your carnal mind, the usurper who has dominated your life. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
When nailed to a loathsome reality, you must silence the tantrums of self-preservation. Cut off the supply of self-pity! Crush the feelings of anger! Relinquish your earthly treasures, hopes, and pride. Push your spirit to learn wisdom. Stab your carnality with new-found truth. Abandon your future to the austere mercy of God. Into Thy hands I commend My spirit. This is a struggle of many days, a lonely battle that pulls your spirit free from slavery. It is a time you hang suspended between heaven and earth while your spirit streaks toward a new dimension. Being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. When the dust finally settles, your self-willed Adamic nature will be splintered and your delight in this world permanently broken. To you the treasures of mortals and the physical realm will have become a relatively worthless wreck. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. You will have become a vessel shaped in the Master’s hands and made strong in the kiln. And they loved not their lives unto the death. As you arise from a cross of this intensity you will irrevocably turn from all the familiar, to coddle in your spirit the kindled embers of newborn love. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, … being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him. The carnal mind is death made flesh, the offspring of Satan from Eden. This mind is deluded by its own beauty and addicted to Satanic desire. It is the portion of man that commits sin. He that committeth sin is of the devil. With this cap of iniquity, all men were turned to destruction by the purpose of God. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
When a man receives forgiveness from God for the sins of the flesh, the seed of love is sown into his spirit. Though not mature, this seed is nevertheless sinless and perfect. If this seed dwell in you, there is more to you than just failure and decay. Though your carnal nature remains an earthen vessel of corruption, within this container dwells your sinless spirit, unfolding in the genetics of newborn love.
These two are locked in deadly combat. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other. Your spirit and your flesh are at war. For from the internal man I delight in the law of God; but I perceive a foreign law in my faculties, contending against the law of my mind, and dragging me captive to the law of sin which is in possession of my organs. Romans 7:22,23 (Fenton). If you can separate your own carnal actions of death from your spiritual desires for life, then you must also extend this grace to your fellow mortals. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. You must look beyond the hurt to behold in them an immature spirit, imprisoned in a body of failure. Look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. Consider those who have offended you. Then take the sword of truth and separate the sinful actions of the flesh, from the sinless spirit. Condemn sin, not the sinner. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. Cut away the offenses of your carnal foes and begin to recognize all men after the spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. God is in control of all things, good and evil. He has allowed, even ordained the offenses that have come against you. He has conscripted your adversaries to their grim role. When you can see in them the handiwork of God, you are well on the road to agape-love. Henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Forgiveness is the pearl of sin, the inevitable beauty that must result from every offense. When you sinned, you were forgiven and received the seed of agape-love. This seed of love matures in you as you forgive those around you. Forgiveness and agape are one and the same. One begets the other love fashions forgiveness, which then grows into more love, which then fashions more forgiveness. If agape-love is to grow in you, you must begin to love your enemies. If you love them you will forgive them and release them to the will of their Heavenly Father. I say unto you which hear, Love (agapao) your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. Forgiveness is not some magnanimous display of self-righteousness. It is understanding wrapped in mercy. It is conceived by a discernment that places God sovereignly in control of every event, and every event in the cadre of his love. As you grow to perceive God’s hand in every good and evil, the magic of forgiveness will flutter to life inside you. This is not a loathsome constraint. Forgiveness is a real and effortless outflow of compassion, the powerful first indication that agape-love is maturing in you. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Do not listen to petty intellectual arguments for withholding forgiveness. It matters nothing whatever whether your friends are repentant or have begged your mercy. Give no place to revenge or emotional extortion, as these are hallmarks of the carnal mind. Forgiveness costs you nothing. The only thing you give up is your slavery to pain. Only you will steep in the torment of the animosity you retain. And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
If God is begetting agape-love in you, this is irrespective and separate from his work in any other person. Let your compassion be stronger than your self-pity. Slay your carnality, forgive them, and unleash the glory of agape-love in your spirit. Love (agapao) ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Both you and the people you now despise sin daily in the unbelief, anger, and evil deeds of the carnal mind. If there is forgiveness for you, then there is forgiveness for them. When ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Consider the source of their actions and forgive them for being born as a human. Forgive them for inheriting sin from Adam. Forgive them for being made a little lower than the angels. Forgive them for being struck down by the forces of spiritual evil.
Go ahead and forgive them for all of God’s doing. For when you are finished with them, you will finally come blustering into the naked, angry presence of God himself. And there you will have to face the real perpetrator of your troubles. For when you finally realize that God is responsible for the evils in your life, then you will have to forgive him too, and this is by far the hardest of all.
Ultimately, every offense must be reconciled between you and your Heavenly Father. You must respond to him in loving gratitude for the destructions he has brought to your life. As you return to God the same forgiveness that you received from him, you will complete the circuit of love, and forever fuse your relationship into the permanence of begotten agape. Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.
Now you arrive at your second self-examination. Are you able to dismiss the offenses that have struck to your heart, calling them the wisdom of God? Can you comprehend that evil is the servant of God, recognizing it as part of a greater plan to birth agape-love in you?
If you can do these things then you have learned God’s sovereignty, crucified your self-will, and dispatched forgiveness. You have entered that empyreal habitation where all things contribute to the wonderful purpose of God. This does not mean that you chop off your memory. You do not “forget” sin, neither do you “love evil.” Rather, you love the working of God in your life and count it all a blessing. This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. If you can dismiss the sting of searing words, the doubts of your worth, and the barbs of remorse, you are exuding already the living emollient of agape-love. But this state is not easily achieved, nor ever found by the timid. As you know by now it is the prize of many battles, the laurels reserved for the greatest warriors who will ever exist. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Giving is the secret to an ever growing tide of agape-love in you. Giving is utterly contrary to the selfish devices of the carnal mind and therein lies the certainty that this path leads out of the carnal realm. In all things give thanks, for this is the will of God concerning you in Christ. God is agape-love. When you were a reckless sinner, this love gave you forgiveness, comfort, and instruction. When you start giving these things as he did, you become agape-love, just like he is. For God so loved (agapao) the world, that he gave his only begotten Son. The opportunity to give to those who have betrayed you, brings to you the same circumstances that God provided for himself. To become like your Heavenly Father you must start giving, even to those who failed you. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? … Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. The seed of love thus comes packaged with the commandment to give. Freely ye have received, freely give. Giving is the exercise that develops the muscle of agape-love in you. It is the engine that will accelerate you to the Begotten Realm. Then Jesus beholding him loved (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. All the laws of God are consummated in this one, that love (agape) should flow out from your spirit to those around you, even as it is being matured within you. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love (agapao) thy neighbour as thyself. Jesus Christ affirms this command, instructing you to start giving agape-love. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love (agapao) one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. As the gifts of selfless love begin to trickle out from your spirit, they wash away the slag of crucifixion. These new rivulets will merge, and increase, joining in power until they run like a raging torrent. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love (agapao) one another with a pure heart fervently. Now start giving your time, your prayers, your counsel, your encouragement, your resources, and your forgiveness, especially to those who trouble you. For the measure that you use in giving to your enemies, is the same measure that God will use in giving to you. Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together. … For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Agape-love is the Son of God. Its emergence in your spirit is a true birth in every sense. And like any birth this requires a period of gestation. But while enduring an arduous pregnancy hope tends to ebb. To survive this period of slow, painful progress, you must shift your attention to the future. Change your frame of reference from the slavish, narrow view of current problems, to the grand and eternal perspective of God. Reinforce your endurance by fixing your hope on the result you seek, the birth of love in you. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. The Sons of God will be born into the substance of agape-love, and this is the anointing called “Christ.” The “Body of Christ” is a group. It is the confederation of the firstborn Sons of God. Each of these Sons must complete his gestation and travail to accomplish the birth of agape-love in his own spirit, just as Jesus Christ demonstrated. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. The maturing of agape-love in your spirit is “Christ” growing in you. But speaking the truth in love (agape), may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. The hope of this glory is the grandest treasure in existence, for it will transform you into the substance of your Heavenly Father. The mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints … which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. By fixing your hope to this celestial destination, even to Sonship, your faith is daily rejuvenated and your perseverance re-energized. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.
Press your hope forward, through the veil, into the unseen future, and grasp there the reality of begotten love in you. Draw this hope to yourself and let it expand within you, burgeoning outward as a storm swirling from within your being.
This height of vision will infuse you with power and your problems will become dwarfed to insignificance. By this hope you are energized for victory, summoning even life from situations of death. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Now once again take stock of yourself. Check your progress and assess your actions, thoughts, and speech. Let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. Have you endured rejection with patience and kindness? Have you forfeited your own rights, giving to those who slander you? Can you dismiss the willful, evil actions of your fellow man? Have you struck down the anger within you, accepting the cross from your Heavenly Father? Have you suffered the death of self, and ratified the New Covenant in your spirit? Have you entered an impregnable peace, based on your understanding of God’s greater plan? Has your hope laid hold on the supernatural, standing fast against the gremlins who say you can’t have it? These are the indications of agape-love. If these things are in you, then your spirit is being birthed into your Father’s image. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. If these things are not yet complete in you, renew your resolve and begin again. Do not faint or turn back. The battle to become agape-love is the battle for your spiritual existence. If you lose this fight you will forfeit every permanent treasure and remain a prisoner in the carnal realm. This is war, and warriors need enemies. Great warriors need great enemies. Never give up. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Agape-love is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises, the terminus of your development on earth. Those who die to self and enter into agape-love are the Sons of God, born-again into their Father’s likeness. A great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. These Sons will enter a new state of existence in the Begotten Realm, clad with a description of deity. I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. These majestic beings will possess the character, life, and power of God himself. When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. At the completion of this age the Sons of God will rise in the first resurrection, then seize the angelic realms, subdue the governments of earth, and capture the hearts of men. They will establish a new cosmic order, administering the kingdoms of God with benevolent spectacle. There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. The dominion of these Sons will re-employ the devices of good and evil that first birthed them into the perfection of begotten love. Their “good” will plant phileo-love into those who receive it, and their “evil” will mature this love into agape. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, … shall be able to separate us from the love (agape) of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All the offspring of Adam shall one day be gathered into the image of God’s love. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But you don’t have to wait. For all this treasure can be won today, by pressing your battle for agape-love. Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire this love, make it your aim, your great quest. 1 Corinthians 14:1 (Amplified)