Category Archives: The Love of God

God’s Love Can Change Everything

By John Thiel, mp3

Isaiah 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? [there is] no searching of his understanding. 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to [them that have] no might he increaseth strength.

We need to understand the true import of these words for our happiness and joy. Read the rest of this entry

The Principled Love of God


By John Thiel, mp3

The messages that have been currently conveyed from this pulpit have been prefaced by the words of the book ‘In Heavenly Places’:

I want you to fall in love with the Man of Calvary, {HP 354.3}

This term “fall in love” as used by the Spirit of Prophecy here, has deteriorated into an emotional, love-sick, sentimentalism in this generation, so that the true meaning of those words are all smudged in our mind. It is a term that is used that generates divorces nowadays, because people emotionally fall in love with one another governed by the passions of the flesh and love-sick sentimentalism. The old-fashioned meaning of falling in love is better illustrated in another page: Read the rest of this entry

The Reverence of Love


By John Thiel, mp3

We have been contemplating the great reconciling love of God. We have seen that He, the creator of the universe has sacrificed such an immeasurable amount. He, the pure God, came into impurity with us. The Father was there as we have read in Corinthians with Christ reconciling sinners, appealing to them through His sacrifice to love Him whom they did not love.

As we contemplated these amazing dimensions of God’s love and we saw what Jesus has done because of my sin, our sinfulness becomes magnified. This is one reason why many people don’t want the real Jesus. If you look at the real Jesus you will feel absolutely grotty. You will feel like you are a vile sinner, you will see yourself, you will abhor yourself and you will hate sin whereas before you may have enjoyed it. Why do we hate sin when we look upon the love of Jesus? We discover that that sin which I enjoyed caused the death and suffering of the divine one. Read the rest of this entry

The Love of God Amidst Human Chaos


By John Thiel, mp3

Oh that our hearts are lifted up to our wonderful Creator and powerful guide that nothing will permit us to be disjointed by things that transpires on this planet. I would like to turn our attention to this wonderful God who loves us even when everything that we see about ourselves and we see in people around us looks hopeless, that He is there. He is in the midst of it all. The plight of humanity, ever since the fall, is one of unexpected sorrow and chaos. You look right back through the history and everywhere you look things started well and then they went chaotic. The chaos was severe. Then there was a little lull and then away it went again. Repeatedly through history chaos thickened on this planet. Chaos was described in Isaiah 59, both in the house of the church, the house of Israel and among the wicked. This is talking about God’s people in the church:

Isaiah 59:11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but [there is] none; for salvation, [but] it is far off from us. 12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions [are] with us; and [as for] our iniquities, we know them; 13 In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. Read the rest of this entry

God’s Love with Whom We Have to Do

By John Thiel

You may be wondering about the grammatical correctness of the title of this sermon. The meaning can be found in 1 John:

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

It is the noun of God. God is love. If God is love, what is love? Love is God. God’s love with whom we have to do. We have to do, every single one of us have to do with Him who is love. Everything we have studied in reference to Him is love, is what pertains to each one of us individually. Our danger is that we don’t have to do with Him in our own mind. I will go on doing what I choose to do in spite of the amazing love that God is.

Our scripture reading is very sobering as we consider God’s love with whom we have to do:

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword,

The word of God is love. What does it do? It pierces into your and my very soul. It divides asunder soul and spirit. It actually penetrates into the joints and marrow.

Hebrews 4:12 piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Do you like hearing the word of God that penetrates into your very intents where you have often felt, what does John know about me? John doesn’t know anything about anybody but only what the Lord reveals to him. The point is, that God knows everything. Everything!! Read the rest of this entry

A Love that Cannot be Offended


By John Thiel, mp3

We have seen that love cannot be quenched yet the love of many grows cold. What was the reason? Many had permitted the pleasures of the world, life’s cares and perplexities and the faults of others or their own faults and sins to distract them from receiving that love that cannot be quenched and actually pushed it out of their memory.

As we are living in these last days, the love of many waxes cold because iniquity abounds and as a consequence, the church that Jesus addresses in Laodicea in Revelation is that they are lukewarm. Their love has grown to that condition of lukewarmness, not hot love anymore. Read the rest of this entry

The Healing Rays of God’s Love

By John Thiel, mp3

We are in the presence of the great physician and we need to receive the healing rays of His love. As we contemplated in our previous message, how to tap into that love of God so that we can have it and fulfil the command that we should love as we are being loved, we reflected on Christ’s example how He could only do as He saw the Father do. He could only do as He heard the Father. As He saw, and as He heard; He could do nothing of Himself. This expression as I see and as I hear my Father do, suggests a very intimate communion. To see and to hear and to relate to continually. We cited Moses’ experience in reference to this:

Hebrews 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Moses made an experience which was relating to an invisible being. Someone you can’t hear with your ear or see with your eye, but he did as Jesus did.

Moses gained that which went with him throughout the years of his toilsome and care-burdened life,—a sense of the personal presence of the Divine One…. {SD 94.2} Read the rest of this entry

Diligent Attention to God’s Companionship

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

I cannot, dare not walk alone. Do you find yourself lonesome, in this world? Do you find yourself handling life’s cares and conflicts and responsibilities as a soul operator? And as time goes on, do you find that things are getting too much? You can’t cope anymore, ready to fold up? It’s all getting too much. The words have come to me often: If only there was someone with me, I’m all alone, someone to talk with, to counsel with, to understand me.

As there words are often spoken to me, I turn around and say, there is somebody, and I point them to such a one. Quickly the answer comes back: But I need someone to see and to touch and to hear and to speak with. How real is God to you? How important is this mentality of thinking, this subject that we are handling here today? How important is it for those who are living at this time of history? How important? A companionship, a constant, unbroken walking with God, an experience of knowing that there is somebody livingly really with me. How important is this subject for the people who want to be among the 144,000: the product of the three angels’ messages. To be translated from among the living, how important is this subject? We have a representative of this subject for the people living in these last days. It’s found in our scripture reading, he is found in our scripture reading:

Genesis 5:24. And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah, for 300 years. And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.

Enoch walked with God. Who was Enoch that he should be a representative of us today? What did we read here? God took him. This is an important subject for you and me today:

By faith Enoch “was translated that he should not see death; … for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5. In the midst of a world by its iniquity doomed to destruction, Enoch lived a life of such close communion with God that he was not permitted to fall under the power of death. The godly character of this prophet represents the state of holiness which must be attained by those who shall be “redeemed from the earth” (Revelation 14:3) at the time of Christ’s second advent. Then, as in the world before the Flood, iniquity will prevail. Following the promptings of their corrupt hearts and the teachings of a deceptive philosophy, men will rebel against the authority of Heaven. But like Enoch, God’s people will seek for purity of heart and conformity to His will, until they shall reflect the likeness of Christ. Like Enoch, they will warn the world of the Lord’s second coming and of the judgments to be visited upon transgression, and by their holy conversation and example they will condemn the sins of the ungodly. {PP 88.3} Read the rest of this entry

The How of God’s Love


By John Thiel, mp3

The Holy Spirit is here now to answer our prayer and His wooing voice speaks and says my son, my daughter, give me thine heart.

Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

We have come to know that this person speaking to us is our loving, loving God. He is wooing by demonstration of His love. Wooing our hearts so that we may fall in love with Him. Then He says, when I have your heart, let your eyes observe my ways. Once He has our hearts, the connection of love is to observe His ways so that I may willingly do them. This has been our contemplation as we have been considering this principle of falling in love with God. How that God’s infinite love captivates our hearts and constrains, compels us to obey Him, to embrace His way of love. Our last study was a new commandment I give you that you may love one another as I have loved you. As we meditated on this, and in my conversation with souls afterwards, I received a huge burden upon my heart that after all the love that God has shown us that is to motivate me, to compel me to follow and embrace that love toward one another, that although He has attracted my heart we still have a problem. That problem is what I want to deal with in this study. Read the rest of this entry

God’s Sacrifice to Save


By John Thiel, mp3

Scripture reading: Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Our exploration into the infinite love of God takes us now to the Hebrew sanctuary to explore a particular element of God’s love. The holy God, the one that we sing of, where we use those words of His greatness as revealed in the starry skies:

Lord of all being throned afar…
Lord of all life, below, above.

This holy God, far removed from sin and sinners, came to the Hebrews. And what did He have to witness in reference to the Hebrews? This is an aspect of the Hebrews that really makes my head swim to think what they were already like in Egypt, before He took them out.

Ezekiel 20:5 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I [am] the LORD your God; 6 In the day [that] I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which [is] the glory of all lands: 7 Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God. 8 But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9 But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they [were], in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt. 10 Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.

What were the Hebrews like? Were they a people special in their behaviour, in their attitude towards God? Were they any different from the rest of the wicked world? While they were in Egypt, God already revealed the condition of these people; and they revealed it for themselves by their response when He asked them to cast away their abominations and their idols. Instead of them listening to Him and doing what He said, they rebelled. What did God do? Listen to what He says to these rebellious people whom He took out of Egypt in such a powerful manner, in such a demonstration of His kindness and love.

Exodus 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

To rebellious sinners, people who would not do as God had said, He said, I want to come and dwell among you.

Leviticus 26:11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. 13 I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.

“Let them make Me a sanctuary. I have set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you.” But they were sinners, as He described them in Egypt. Then afterwards He goes on in Ezekiel and continues to describe their rebellious nature. “I want to come and dwell among you.” Here, in living example, the God of heaven displays a dimension of His character, His glory, that we want to fully appreciate. We want to study it in the gift of Jesus because when Jesus came to this earth, who was He?

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just [man], and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

“I will set My tabernacle among the Hebrews; My soul shall not abhor them.” Here was the prophetic story of Jesus to be born and tabernacling with us. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. He so loved rebellious sinners that He placed His sanctuary among them; He tabernacled with them.

God commanded Moses for Israel, “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8), and He abode in the sanctuary, in the midst of His people. Through all their weary wandering in the desert, the symbol of His presence was with them. So Christ set up His tabernacle in the midst of our human encampment. He pitched His tent by the side of the tents of men, that He might dwell among us, and make us familiar with His divine character and life. “The Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the Only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.” John 1:14, R. V., margin. {DA 23.3}

It’s so easy just to read that. It is so easy just to pour over those words and just let them affect a little interest, but what did this mean to God, that He, the holy God who was far removed from sin and sinners, would come and dwell among them, at close range? As we sang, My glory-circled throne I left for earthly night. Do we really comprehend the sacrifice that God made? God with us. With whom?

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

God came to dwell among them. The comparison of someone who lives in a castle with a queen coming down and living with the paupers in the street, is only so small to what God did. It would be more in terms of someone who is in glowing health, living up there in the high position of a king or queen and coming down and dwelling in a sewer of disease. That’s even more so, but still doesn’t reach it. I am praying that the Lord will help us to see a dimension of God’s love that will burst our pride bubbles.

There is none righteous, no, not one; but we who are sinful don’t want to admit that. But when we look at God’s love in regards to what He has done, who has He come to dwell with? Someone who doesn’t really, really want Him in the first place, but who is feeling miserable because the consequences of sin have put him into the sewer.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

What is God’s love like? He came to dwell, abide, among enemies. When we look at Jesus dwelling among enemies, He has this wonderful state of mind that we can read in Zechariah, This is what happened to Me in the house of My friends. That is a subtle way of saying, These are My enemies; My friends are My enemies.

Try to comprehend, stop long enough to look at this, and may the Holy Spirit help us to understand what this sacrifice was and is. He who is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” came and dwelt and tabernacled among us, and exposed Himself to what? This pure, undefiled, harmless, holy God shudders in any contact with sin. Yet here is Christ, God with us.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

He has come to dwell among us as He dwelt among the Hebrews in the tabernacle. God was in Christ. Christ was the tabernacle. God was in Him. And as God was in Him, what did He expose Himself to?

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

He has tabernacled in a body that was made to be sin for us. What kind of an experience do you imagine this could be? Let the Holy Spirit really reveal it to your mind. Are you in tune? God’s untouchable nature, holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners, exposed Himself to sin itself, although He knew no sin. “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” Dwell! Not only pop in and pop out again, but be there, and dwell, abide, among them, exposing Himself.

Remember why He wanted to do that. He wanted to help us, He wanted to save us.

Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified [are] all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

The church was the Hebrews. The church were the people who accepted and walked with Jesus; and that included the seventy; that included Judas; it includes every sinner who acknowledges that He is among them. And He calls them brethren. “My friends.” “This was done to Me in the house of My brethren.” Are you picking something up here? How easy just to read through this material. As I have experienced many times, when I try to get this material across to people I have studied with, it’s a bit of a burden as a minister to do this. People would rather study prophecy; they would rather study something exciting, but this, in my experience, has been a battle to get across to people to really get them fascinated with this. I find this amazing. That is why we need the Holy Spirit to help us here.

Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

God was in Christ, reconciling us to Him. God was in Christ, who was made to be sin. In all things it behoved Him to be made like unto us, not just to come and dwell with us as an immaculate being. You know what the teaching is – the immaculate birth of Christ. No, no, no. Satan has deceived the minds of people right down to the Adventist circles, and the reform circles, saying that Jesus was a notch above us. This makes me shudder that the pure gospel has been so contorted. Because this pure gospel gives us a manifestation of God who is so harmless, so undefiled, so holy that He would actually expose Himself to feel and experience sin, which was His divine horror – abomination, dreadful to a pure being. Consider this with me as we try to appreciate and comprehend.

How few have any conception of the anguish which rent the heart of the Son of God during His thirty years of life upon earth. {TMK 66.2}

How long? Dwelling among us for thirty years. What anguish rent His heart right down the track.

The path from the manger to Calvary was shadowed by sorrow and grief. He was the Man of Sorrows, and endured such heartache as no human language can portray. {Ibid.}

I can’t even do it. It’s the Holy Spirit who has to portray it to you. He endured the path from the manger to the cross, a heartache that cannot be portrayed.

He could have said in truth, “Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow” (Lamentations 1:12). His suffering was the deepest anguish of the soul; and what man could have sympathy with the soul anguish of the Son of the infinite God? {Ibid.}

Remember, God was in Christ.

Hating sin with a perfect hatred, He yet gathered to His soul the sins of the whole world, as He trod the path to Calvary, suffering the penalty of the transgressor. Guiltless, He bore the punishment of the guilty; innocent, yet offering Himself to bear the penalty of the transgression of the law of God. The punishment of the sins of every soul was borne by the Son of the infinite God. {Ibid.}

What is it? He hated sin with a perfect hatred; He was undefiled. There was not the slightest impurity in His mind, and yet He exposed Himself to sin.

The guilt of every sin… {Ibid.}

How many? Every sin

…pressed its weight upon the divine soul of the world’s Redeemer. {Ibid.}

Who is the divine soul? God Himself.

He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. In assuming the nature of man, {Ibid.}

In assuming the tabernacle of man,

…He placed Himself where He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, that by His stripes we might be healed. {Ibid.}

In His humanity Christ was tried with as much greater temptation, with as much more persevering energy than man is tried by the evil one, as His nature was greater than man’s. {TMK 66.3}

When you and I are tempted, our nature is already grotty, and for us be tempted by grottiness is nowhere near as painful (even though we are trying to get out of it) as it was for the one who was completely pure, who hated sin with a manner that you cannot comprehend. And He had to go through with what we have to go through.

This is a deep mysterious truth, that Christ is bound to humanity by the most sensitive sympathies. {Ibid.}

What were those sensitive sympathies?

The evil works, the evil thoughts, the evil words of every son and daughter of Adam press upon His divine soul. The sins of men called for retribution upon Himself, for He had become man’s substitute, and took upon Him the sins of the world. He bore the sins of every sinner, for all transgressions were imputed unto Him. . . . “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3). {Ibid.}

Most people don’t want to look at this long enough because it hurts too much. But let it hurt, and at the same time let it touch our hearts to do something. I thank God for this description because it qualifies perfectly that when Jesus, the man who was the tabernacle for the most High God, went through this, the most High God, the divine soul, was exposed to our sinfulness.

The mind of man cannot conceive of the unutterable anguish that tortured the soul of our Redeemer. {BEcho, August 1, 1892 par. 13}

It has to be revealed to you; it can’t be conceived.

The holy Son of God had no sins or griefs of his own to bear: he was bearing the griefs of others; for on him was laid the iniquity of us all. Through divine sympathy he connects himself with man, and as the representative of the race he submits to be treated as a transgressor. He looks into the abyss of woe opened for us by our sins, and proposes to bridge the gulf of man’s separation from God. {Ibid.}

He looks into the abyss and He says, “Right, I will become the ladder. I am going to be the God that I am and I am going to come and touch the human nature” the way we have just described, touching us right down to the lowest rung, to experience the evil works, the evil words and the evil thoughts in Himself. Is that a sacrifice? But let’s not rush away from it, let it sink in. Let it be our meditation as we spend time with Him here and when we go out from here, and let it not lose its impact on our soul. Why did He do it? Why did He expose Himself? Why did His divine soul become so bruised by something that indeed would bruise a divine soul who hates sin so much? Why did He do it?

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin;

That what?

2 Corinthians 5:21 …that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The righteousness of God who hated sin, the righteousness of God whom we didn’t have because we were separated from God. There was the tabernacle, Jesus Christ, and there was God inside of Jesus. And as He dwells among us with our sinfulness, He says, “Let me exchange. Your sin is Mine and My righteousness is yours – My godly hatred for sin, My godly purity, My undefiled nature in Jesus Christ, is exchanged in the man.” That’s why He did it.

He hates sin; but from love to sinners He gave Himself, in the person of Christ, that all who would might be saved and have eternal blessedness in the kingdom of glory. {5T 633.1}

Can you appreciate what that means? He gave Himself in the person of Christ. God was in Christ. He gave Himself in the person of Christ, that all who would might be saved and have eternal blessedness, that all who would might be made the righteousness of God in Him. This is His purpose, “that all who would.” I want to pose this thought very heavily upon our conscience. Read in Lamentations the actual disastrous experience of the divine God appealing to us, “Do you care? Would you care to appreciate My sacrifice? Is it nothing to you?” Here is that plaintive cry of God:

Lamentations 1:12 [Is it] nothing to you [what I have sacrificed], all ye that pass by?

How many have passed by this story? Is it nothing to you?

Lamentations 1:12 …behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.

Try to get your head around that. God was in Christ, and the Father was pouring His anguish and grief and anger upon Himself. Is it nothing to you? Do you struggle with certain requirements of God’s will?

This is the purpose of my whole ministry from here onwards, that we come face to face with every aspect of God’s will, and it’s going to cut you right to the core. It’s going to strike you right at the root of all that motivates you in sinful self, and me too. As I share this, with the repetition of God’s love continually, the language will be, Is it nothing to you what Jesus has done, what the God of heaven has done to sacrifice His comfort so that you will sacrifice, and I will sacrifice my comfort, to do His will? I have often heard people say, It’s too hard. It’s too hard, I can’t. That is why God did the hard thing. As we struggle with the requirements of God’s will, reflect whether it was too hard for God to expose Himself to such dimensions as I have described through His word. Is your burden of sin so hard to drop in comparison to what He dropped and what He suffered under? The exchange is just out of balance.

He wants us to drop the indulgences of self, which are our destruction, by Himself coming and exposing Himself and proposing to take my guilt and evil upon His divine soul. It’s too hard for Him; it caused the human tabernacle to die. Was it too hard for Him? He could have said, I can’t any more. Isn’t that what Jesus said? As the divine nature felt the detail of being exposed to the sin, what did He say? Father, I can’t anymore; but if it’s Your will, I will. Have you ever said that in reference to something you must give up, in reference to something that is so dear to you it feels like it’s the life-blood in your soul? That is what Jesus felt. And He poured his life-blood out to submit to the will of God. What will you and I do? Sin that teems around us, that is indulged because everybody is doing it, certain aspects of life that we have become used to – they have become our mode of action, they have become our norm. And we realise, If I continue down this path I’m going be destroyed! and I want to stop, but I can’t because it’s so much my norm.

But the fear of destruction doesn’t do the trick, does it? Have you found that? It doesn’t change a thing because I will keep on plunging deeper. This is what I see this in the people I care for who are in the drug world. And that is what Jesus felt. An attachment of sin to the human so strong that He could hardly give it up – He felt that in Himself. In this story of what we have just contemplated there is something more powerful than the fear of destruction, when we contemplate the sacrifice of God.

We are living in an age when wickedness prevails. The perils of the last days thicken around us, and because iniquity abounds the love of many waxes cold…. The shortness of time is urged as an incentive for us to seek righteousness and to make Christ our friend. This is not the great motive. It savors of selfishness. {TMK 320.3}

Selfishness must be totally uprooted out of our life. So if I am going to give you messages of warning that Jesus is coming very soon and you better get ready because otherwise you will be destroyed, you will be motivated by selfishness. “I want to be saved, therefore I better do what’s right!” You will not succeed. This is not the great motive. It savors of selfishness.

Is it necessary that the terrors of the day of God be held before us to compel us through fear to right action? This ought not to be. Jesus is attractive. He is full of love, mercy, and compassion. He proposes to be our friend, to walk with us through all the rough pathways of life. He says to you, I am the Lord thy God; {Ibid.}

Isn’t that what He said to the Hebrews? “Make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell with you.”

… walk with Me, and I will fill thy path with light. Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, proposes to elevate to companionship with Himself those who come to Him with their burdens, their weaknesses, and their cares. He will make them His dear children, and finally give them an inheritance of more value than the empires of kings, a crown of glory richer than has ever decked the brow of the most exalted earthly monarch. {Ibid.}

“I want to dwell among you, so that you may dwell with Me. I want to dwell with your iniquity, so that you may dwell with My purity.” Is it nothing to you when it comes to giving up our precious comfort zone?

As I mentioned already, the messages that I will be passing on in the future will lay the requirements of God’s will vividly before us while this love will be replayed all the way through. We are to be inspired by His love to be:

…like-minded with God, pure, holy, sincere. {20MR 370.3}

God wants us to be like-minded with Him, pure, holy and sincere. That’s what He is like.

Our standard is to be the character of Him who is pure, holy, undefiled. {CT 392.3}

That is the righteousness that was in Christ who is connected with us in our sinful condition. This is His wonderful proposal by His powerful infinite love.

Romans 8:31 If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?

Can you appreciate what that means? What did He do? He gave us everything in Jesus Christ. Everything. There is nothing that He doesn’t give us by becoming one with us in sin. Never forget, I didn’t say in sinning, but in experiencing my sin. He who hates it. That was the suffering, and with that suffering He brings us His righteousness so that we might suffer in sin instead of enjoying it, so that I will suffer like He does with contact with evil, so that I will suffer and be sinless, as it is written.

1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

What a profound message that is. It gives you a practical understanding of what it means to suffer with Christ. It means to hate sin as He hated it. And the only way you can hate sin as He hated it, is to see that He who hated sin became part of your and my sin.

The ransom has been paid, and it is possible for all to come to God, and through a life of obedience to attain unto everlasting life. {FE 234.1}

How are we going to attain to everlasting life? By a life of obedience, as Jesus obeyed.

Then how sad it is that men turn from the immortal inheritance, and live for the gratification of pride, for selfishness and display, and through submission to the rule of Satan, lose the blessing which they might have both in this life and in the life to come. {Ibid.}

Isn’t this what man is doing? They do not let this strong compelling force of God’s love in touching us in the sacrifice He has made; they do not permit that this should break the gratification of pride, of selfishness and display. So every time this pride and selfishness and selfish desire of reaching out for things, is totally broken in us, that is what is going to save us so we can obey.

They might enter into the palaces of heaven, and associate on terms of freedom and equality with Christ and heavenly angels, and with the princes of God; and yet, incredible as it may seem, they turn from heavenly attractions. The Creator of all worlds proposes to love those who believe in His only-begotten Son as their personal Saviour, even as He loves His Son. Even here and now His gracious favor is bestowed upon us to this marvelous extent. He has given to men the gift of the Light and Majesty of heaven, and with Him He has bestowed all the treasures of heaven. {Ibid.}

He has given us all things.

Much as He has promised us for the life to come, He also bestows princely gifts upon us in this life, and as subjects of His grace, He would have us enjoy everything that will ennoble, expand, and elevate our characters. It is His design to fit us for the heavenly courts above. {Ibid.}

That was why He paid the sacrifice, why He made the sacrifice of such dimensions. And this is what is expressed by someone who understands, like E. G. White:

What love! What amazing condescension! The King of glory proposes to humble Himself to fallen humanity! He would place His feet in Adam’s steps. He would take man’s fallen nature, and engage to cope with the strong foe who triumphed over Adam. He would overcome Satan, and in thus doing He would open the way for the redemption from the disgrace of Adam’s failure and fall, of all those who would believe on Him. {AG 23.6}

What love. May this love fill us with determination to sacrifice our comforts for our salvation, as God sacrificed His comfort for your and my salvation. This is my prayer. May we grasp it.

Amen.

The Love that Motivates Obedience


By John Thiel, mp3

“Redeeming love has been my theme and shall be till I die.”

Is that your theme? It is mine and this is the theme that I will continue to make prominent in all the messages in the future. I want to ask you a question. If God came to you and asked you to do something that made not a skerrick of sense to you, would you do it? If He lay a requirement upon you that you cannot feel comfortable with because it goes right against your grain, what would you answer? Would you answer like some people have in my experience, please God, I’m not convinced on that point yet. When I’m convicted I can do it. I want to get some explanations to see whether it really is right or not.

I want you to exercise your mind on that question. Anything at all that God lays upon you and you cannot see within yourself that it is a good idea, it has some ramifications, it has some problems if I do it, what would you do? Would you say, alright God, you know everything and I don’t know anything, I will do just what you say because I love you. Is that what you would say? Read the rest of this entry

A New Commandment


That dying love Thou gavest me, nor should I ought withhold, dear Lord from Thee. In love my soul would bow, my heart fulfil its vow, some offering bring Thee now.

By John Thiel, mp3

We are to respond to such a love, to sacrifice all for Him. That which we want to meditate about now is to sacrifice something for Him in regards to our relationship. We know well how the Ten Commandments are the laws of relationships, the relationship between God and us and us with one another. These commandments of God have been chronicled for the revelation to all humanity and they are indeed summarised here. Let us appreciate what God has said in reference to these Ten Commandments in their summary.

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. Read the rest of this entry

An Exposé of God’s Love

By John Thiel, mp3

1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

The big problem in modern Christianity today is that people do not believe that the Ten Commandments can be perfectly kept. They do not believe that Jesus can save us from sin so that we can have sinless perfection. Here the love of God has been given us so that we can believe that because the love of God is something that motivates to sinlessness and to perfect obedience. Read the rest of this entry

The Things that Quench Our Love

By John Thiel, mp3


 

This series of messages has to do with falling in love with the Creator of the universe, with Jesus. All religion in Christianity is for this objective, that we would love God; but to love Him we need to get to know Him. And when you really know Him you will not be able to hold back your love to Him, unless you push Him away. This is our subject now, that there are people who actually reject God’s love. So we want to understand the things that quench our Love.

But there comes a thought straight away to my mind, Is there such a thing as love being quenched? Can you quench love?

Song of Solomon 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if [a] man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

Here we are told that love cannot be quenched. Love is an indomitable force that cannot be conquered. And the Scriptures actually say that God is love. That opens up the understanding a little. If love is qualified by the God of the universe, then can He be quenched? Can He be conquered? No; He can’t. The devil himself wanted to conquer Him, but He was completely conquered himself by love. So love cannot be quenched.

This is how indomitable love actually is:

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity [or love] suffereth long,

If love is brought to suffer, does it become quenched? No; it suffers long.

1 Corinthians 13:7 [Love] beareth all things,

What does love do? Can it be overpowered? No; it bears all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4 [Love] believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 [Love] never faileth:

Here is a second witness in the Scriptures that love cannot be quenched. This is an interesting meditation for us. Love cannot be quenched by anything. It suffers all things, it hopes all things, it endures all things. Nothing can be done to quench it.

Yet, if you come to the words of Jesus, you find a seemingly contradictory statement. This is why many people have said to me, The Bible contradicts itself. But I want to tell you it doesn’t, although it appears that way. Here it appears as though the Bible contradicts itself:

Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

That word wax is the old English word for growing cold. It grows cold. So love can grow cold? But we have read that love cannot be quenched, that love is not affected by anything that would cause it to be quenched. So let us try to understand this. If love cannot be quenched, why is it that Jesus said, Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold? Jesus speaks here to the early Christian church about A.D. 100, and He has something against them:

Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Here is the early Christian church, and we know how on fire they became with Jesus Christ. The disciples, after His death and resurrection, were on fire, and many people were added to the church because of the love that vibrated in their hearts towards Jesus. But as the church grew and multitudes joined the church, there came a point in time where that love began to wane. So He says, I have this against you, that you have lost your first love. And the very wording helps you to understand. Does love fail? Love doesn’t fail. But what fails? You, the church, you have lost that love; that’s the problem.

This change is represented as a spiritual fall. {7BC 957.3}

The losing of the first love is specified as a moral fall. {7BC 957.4}

For those people who have loved and who had the love of God installed into their hearts, that love is there, but it can be lost because people lose their focus upon the spiritual overtures that God had communicated with them through Jesus Christ. Love was not the problem; it cannot be quenched, it never faileth. The problem lies with the human vessel. The vessel, which is you and me, receives something poured into it, and it is in there.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Let us ponder these words for a moment. Here is the ability of God who is love. He who created this world out of darkness, spoke and said, Let there be light. And what happened? There was light. God can speak light and bring light out of darkness. God can do that. And in our heart, which is black, dark with sin and corruption and with everything that confuses the mind, God shines. We saw it in the story of Saul of Tarsus. When Jesus came into his presence his darkness was revealed, and he went blind. This is what sin actually produces. It produces darkness, and when the light of God shines upon it, the darkness becomes prominent, and then that darkness can be impregnated with the knowledge of the glory of God. The knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is brought into the heart that is dark with sin. So we have this treasure, this love, this glory of God, poured into the vessel, an earthen vessel. But now that earthen vessel is not the love. It is God that is love in the face of Jesus Christ whom we receive into our conscious life. And then what can happen? Does love die out? No. It is the vessel that loses it. It is the vessel that lets other stuff pour in.

If you have oil in a vessel and you then pour water into it, the oil floats to the top; and if you keep on pouring, eventually the oil flows out over the top and it’s gone. This is a very good object lesson because the Holy Spirit of God’s love is represented in the Bible as oil. The oil of the Holy Spirit is in the vessel, and with all the other rubbish that is being poured into it, the oil comes to the surface and flows out. And as a consequence, the love is lost.

It is our work to know our special failings and sins, which cause darkness and spiritual feebleness, and quenched our first love. {7BC 957.1}

It is our work, because this love has been lost by many Christians. The true love of God is lost by many Christians, and the task that is portrayed here, our work, is to know what these things are, these special failings and sins which cause darkness and spiritual feebleness that quenches our first love. And the word quenching here is not to be understood in the sense that love itself is dying out in itself; it is simply taken out of our hearts.

This is the purpose of this meditation, to understand the special failings in the Christian’s heart and life which cause darkness and spiritual feebleness for the love to go. For those who have been watching the world and Christendom in general, isn’t this what has happened to Christendom? Go to the First and the Second World War and find what Christendom has done. Go back to the Dark Ages and see what Christendom has done. It has totally lost the love and the true nature of God; yet they claim to be Christians.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

This is how the love is to flood into the heart – the glory of God. What did Jesus say was the glory of God? This is the glory of God that Jesus wants us to appreciate; here is Jesus speaking to God in prayer:

John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am;

Why does Jesus want them to be with Him?

John 17:24 …that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me:

Now notice how He qualifies that. He wants them to see His glory, which the Father had given Him. What was that?

John 17:24 …for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

The glory that existed between Father and Son was His love.

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

It is the task of Jesus Christ to bring to the human heart the love that existed between the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, the three persons of the Godhead. There was a relationship between them that the human race does nothing of. And it was Jesus who came down and is pleading here. Notice how He is pleading earnestly and how He is labouring to get this across to the human believers, that they might know the glory of God which was His love that existed between these three persons of the Godhead.

Our dark, sinful hearts had no love of that nature because sin is self-absorbed. The only love that we know of is a love of a wonderful sensation. Through sin we love somebody petting me. You know what it’s like when young couples first fall in love, one feels nice about the other because the other is nice to them. Is that the kind of love that God is? You can see what the problem is on this planet – people have selfish love. They want to be loved, and when they are loved then they will love again. There is a big confusion in the world today in regards to love. There are shattered sensations and hopes, nothing nice any more. They start off well and then, when romance wears off after marriage, bang. There are arguments, there are fights, and wherever you look today: divorce, divorce, divorce. Not only that, but warfare, attacks, nastiness, because selfish love is ruling. But true love, which comes from God in the face of Jesus Christ, that is something totally different. Let us spend some time in beholding that love.

Behold the Love of God

He is writing here in Jeremiah to the Jews who had become totally bereft of God’s love. They were beginning to worship other gods. But He was loving them and still wanted to help them. This was just before Babylonian captivity. Here is Jeremiah speaking to them, and he says:

Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, [saying], Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

These words are echoed by Jesus. He said, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me”, because there is something in Jesus that is so totally unselfish which begins to work on a heart that is bereft of happiness. You know, we love because somebody is showing us love. And that is the avenue by which God comes to the human sinful heart. You can understand love when someone gives it to you. And here I am, says God, I am giving you a love. It is God loving us with an everlasting love, even though these people were so bereft of love. They had become enemies of God. And this is the love of God, that while we were yet enemies, God gave us His Son. While we were yet enemies, that’s the love.

Jesus would have us understand the love of the Father, and He seeks to draw us to Him by presenting His parental grace. He would have the whole field of our vision filled with the perfection of God’s character {AG 99.4}

Jesus is really trying to help us understand this love. He says, You loved me, Father, before I came to this planet, and now I want them to see that love.

A plan has been devised whereby the wondrous grace and love of Christ shall stand revealed to the world. {AG 99.3}

In the heavenly counsels a plan was devised so that they could understand this love.

In the infinite price paid by the Son of God to ransom man, the love of God is revealed. This glorious plan of redemption is ample in its provisions to save the whole world. {Ibid.}

Remember the words of John 3:16? God so loved who? The world. That includes every individual living on this planet from the time of the beginning to the end. God wanted the whole world to visualise this love and save the world.

Sinful and fallen man may be made complete in Jesus through the forgiveness of sin and the imputed righteousness of Christ. {Ibid.}

Imputed means it is applied to the heart of everyone who would believe. This unspeakable love is a love that cannot be quenched. It is a love that comes and reveals a selflessness to forgive the person who has done God a dirty deal; because this is what Adam and Eve did, and that is what the human race has done. But He comes close to them and says, I want you to appreciate My love; I am prepared to forgive, and it is going to cost Me something. Let’s go to par. 2, it says:

The Lord of life and glory clothed His divinity with humanity to demonstrate to man that God through the gift of Christ would connect us with Him. {AG 99.2}

He wanted to connect the whole world with Him, so He brought Jesus Christ and connected the divine personage to the human and made a human out of Him so that the human God-man could demonstrate this love.

Without a connection with God no one can possibly be happy. {Ibid.}

Hasn’t that been demonstrated? You ask people, Are you really happy? and they say, “Oh yes, because of this and that.” “But just a moment, are you really happy? With all the fun you have when you go out to do this and to do that, deep down inside are you really happy?” We can’t be; it’s impossible, because disappointment is around the corner for every person. We know it, we have experienced it, we have looked back at history, and it’s just disaster.

Without a connection with God no one can possibly be happy. Fallen man is to learn that our Heavenly Father cannot be satisfied until His love embraces the repentant sinner, transformed through the merits of the spotless Lamb of God. {Ibid.}

We saw an illustration of that in our study this morning. Saul of Tarsus, angry and annoyed at the Christians, after them, killing them, all these ugly characteristics of his own personal pride and devotion, thinking he was doing God a favour when he was not demonstrating God’s love at all; that person was confronted by Jesus, and Jesus could actually transform him through this amazing demonstration of His love. This is what God wants to do for every human being if they will respond.

Christ came to manifest the love of God to the world, to draw the hearts of all men to Himself. {AG 99.5}

Why did He love them? So that they could enjoy the love that He had.

What follows now is a very important statement. What is the first step that you must take if you want to be saved?

The first step toward salvation is to respond to the drawing of the love of Christ. {Ibid.}

People say, What must I do to be saved? Look at the love and respond. It is as simple as that. This is what the early Christians did; they responded to it, they opened their hearts to it, and they were rejoicing in a happiness and a love that was out of this world. Here is how love is gained. God’s love is gained through this representation of Christ.

Let us reflect a little longer to really appreciate this love. We have already touched on it, but we want to see more. Let us linger in God’s loving presence. We read that “God so loved the world that He gave,” and He dressed Himself in the human body. That is easily said; but have a closer look at it. Really understand what this love is.

Christ, at an infinite cost, by a painful process, mysterious to angels as well as to men, assumed humanity. {UL 90.2}

He was God, divine. And by a painful process (that even the angels were watching taking place) He assumed humanity. How did Jesus assume humanity? The story of Christmas as the people use it today, Jesus was born of Mary, was He not? Before the birth, what takes place? Conception. That was when the angel came to Mary, saying, That holy thing in you is the Son of God. What? God would be constrained into a tiny little microscopic item and joined together with the ovum of Mary, and there was a conception. Can you comprehend what it cost the second person of the Godhead, Jesus Christ the Son of God? What did it cost Him?

…an infinite cost, by a painful process, mysterious to angels as well as to men, … Hiding His divinity, laying aside His glory, He was born a babe in Bethlehem. In human flesh He lived the law of God, that He might condemn sin in the flesh, and bear witness to heavenly intelligences that the law was ordained to life and to ensure the happiness, peace, and eternal good of all who obey. {Ibid.}

What did Jesus come to earth for? To demonstrate the love. Here is the beginning of the demonstration. Just place yourself if you can in your imagination as a living being up there in heaven; you are conscious of all your surroundings, the angels are worshipping you, and all of a sudden, by a choice that you have made, you are submitting yourself to the scientific constriction into an unconscious state. That seed that was conceived and then was born was unconscious. It was not knowing what was going on. And for Christ to come out of consciousness into unconsciousness was a painful process. Many people look at the cross of Jesus as the only thing that Jesus suffered, but the suffering started when He was constricted into an embryo. That’s God’s love. Then began a journey that was indescribable.

This is the mystery of godliness, that One equal with the Father should clothe His divinity with humanity, and laying aside all the glory of His office as Commander in heaven, [should] descend step after step in the path of humiliation, {UL 90.3}

A path; there was the beginning of it. And after He was born it took Him twelve years to become conscious of who He really was. Then, after living in the home of Mary and Joseph and being a carpenter up to the age of thirty, when His brain was fully developed spiritually, physically, and mentally, He became a minister for the human race. This was a step after step in the path of humiliation.

…enduring severe and still more severe abasement. Sinless and undefiled, He stood in the judgment hall, to be tried, to have His case investigated and pronounced upon by the very nation He had delivered from slavery. The Lord of glory was rejected and condemned, yea, spat upon. With contempt for what they regarded as His pretentious claims, men smote Him in the face. {Ibid.}

Did you ever realise that the cross of Jesus was just the bottom of the pit? It happened long before. Step by step down He came and suffered humiliation with the human race right to the enth degree. What was it that He suffered when He became man and came to the cross? What did God the Father do to Christ?

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Whoever believes in this will discover that God had become man, and even before the cross, in the wilderness just after His baptism, He suffered the sin of the human race. He was made to be sin itself, so that you and I who are sinful beings might be transformed to be like Him.

We are here contemplating a love that can only be generated from the One who is love. Here Jesus had just been baptised by John the Baptist, and

Upon coming up out of the water, Jesus bowed in prayer on the river bank. A new and important era was opening before Him. {DA 111.3}

This is another step.

He was now, upon a wider stage, entering on the conflict of His life. Though He was the Prince of Peace, His coming must be as the unsheathing of a sword. The kingdom He had come to establish was the opposite of that which the Jews desired. {Ibid.}

What did the Jews desire? They wanted to conquer the Romans to set themselves free from Roman bondage. But Jesus came with something different.

He who was the foundation of the ritual and economy of Israel would be looked upon as its enemy and destroyer. He who had proclaimed the law upon Sinai would be condemned as a transgressor. He who had come to break the power of Satan would be denounced as Beelzebub. No one upon earth had understood Him, and during His ministry He must still walk alone. {Ibid.}

How do you feel about walking alone? Do you like it? Nobody to understand you. That is often how we feel, isn’t it? “Nobody can understand what’s really deep inside of me.” Jesus went through that.

Throughout His life His mother and His brothers did not comprehend His mission. Even His disciples did not understand Him. He had dwelt in eternal light, as one with God, but His life on earth must be spent in solitude. {Ibid.}

As one with us, He must bear the burden of our guilt and woe. The Sinless One must feel the shame of sin. The peace lover must dwell with strife, the truth must abide with falsehood, purity with vileness. Every sin, every discord, every defiling lust that transgression had brought, was torture to His spirit. {DA 111.4}

This is God, this is Jesus, this is love. Does not your heart burn within you if you believe this? Does not the heart burn with a desire to respond to this love? That is the first step in salvation. Love is stirred into position here. This is how it is received. And Jesus said to the people who had received that, I have somewhat against you in that you have lost your first love.

You know, I often observe this. I have studied with people for the last fifty years out of the Bible, like I am sharing with you now, and I have seen people melt under this beautiful story. But depending on circumstances, this beautiful thing that has touched their hearts has over the years in many cases become quenched. Why? How can something that is so precious as what I have just shared with you here be lost? How is that possible? Remember, this is what we need to understand.

It is our work to know our special failings and sins, which cause darkness and spiritual feebleness, and quenched our first love. {7BC 957.1}

It is important that we understand this. Now comes an important point. Follow carefully what it is, after your heart has been touched with this love, that causes it to be lost.

Our Responses

Remember that you and I are vessels. And Jesus, knowing our problem, gives us a parable in the Bible to know how this love is lost. It is first gained by the descriptions of the word of God, and as it falls upon our hearts it meets with different responses from us, which Jesus describes here:

Matthew 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The word of God comes down and it is love; it is a seed which is to fall into our hearts and is to germinate. Love is to germinate. There is one kind of people that it falls upon and the heart is pretty hard, it’s like a wayside that has been trampled underfoot. The seed falls on there and it just bounces. The love bounces on a hard heart. And what happens? The birds come along and pick it up. Jesus then enlarges that:

Matthew 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not, then cometh the wicked [one], and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

We are being shown by the Lord that if I am a person that is hearing this and I go, Wow, but because my heart has become so hardened, I find it difficult to even understand what this is all about, then I am a wayside hearer. The word bounces on that heart and we go home after hearing something like this, and what happens? The devil doesn’t like what we have heard and he goes along and quickly takes that out of there.

This does not mean that we are lost just because we have got a hard heart. Do you know what can happen? The minister of God can come and study with you and break that hard heart. When a farmer sees that the wheat goes onto hard ground, he can actually make sure that there is no hardness of the wayside; he can start cultivating that soil and turning it over. This is often my experience in my ministry. I have come across some pretty hard people. But as I keep working with them it turns over, it starts to get soft. They have a hard heart to start with, but after a while, when the beautiful seed of truth starts falling in in its love pattern, it can take root. But if the heart does not want to become softened, it is snatched away, the love is lost. I heard the love, it was beautiful, but it’s lost.

Matthew 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

“Oh, it’s beautiful! I love it! It’s wonderful!”

Matthew 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while:

So yes, it’s nice. I take it home; I meditate upon it during the week. Maybe I can keep it for a month, but then something begins to happen.

Matthew 13:21 …for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

That beautiful love that has been stirred becomes an offence because “I didn’t know I was going to go through persecution because of this. I didn’t know this and that was going to happen. Forget it.” And we forget the amazing love.

Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

So there the love grows amongst the weeds and thorns. But as the thorns grow, they grow faster than the Lord’s beautiful love in the heart, and it overwhelms it, it chokes it. What is it? The cares of the world, the negatives of experience of pursuing things that take pre-eminence over the love that we have contemplated. Oh yes, people hunt riches, but to hunt the wealth and the treasure of Jesus, that is second place, and so it becomes choked.

As you hear and appreciate this, all of us who are sitting at the feet of Jesus now can actually say, Right, if this is how it’s done that I can lose this beautiful love, I know now what to do. That is what I am hoping we will pick up here. Don’t despair if you might be a wayside hearer, a stony-ground hearer, or a thorn-surrounded hearer. Don’t despair! We are getting the answers of how to clean up the mess so that I can keep this love.

Whatever attracts the mind from God, whatever draws the affections away from Christ, is an enemy to the soul. {COL 53.2}

Are we looking for happiness? are we looking for true love? Where did the love come from? It came from God through Jesus Christ. And whatever it is that distracts us away from the source of this love is an enemy to my soul. So these are the items that can lead us to lose this love: tribulation, persecution, the cares of this world.

Especially today we have been surrounded by so much compacted concentration on issues of life that we have no time to contemplate Jesus. When you go home, remember, there is something very important – to stay focused while we still have to care for the responsibilities of life. It is possible.

Distractions

We will now spend some time in appreciating the detail of what Satan throws into our pathway so that we can identify it and deal with it so we don’t lose this beautiful love. This was the answer to my soul when I was 21; I was ready to give up my Christianity and here was the answer, and I said, Yes! This is what’s going to keep me going.

When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of strength and life. {SC 71.2}

The love is the source.

Hence it is Satan’s constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Saviour and thus prevent the union and communion of the soul with Christ. {Ibid.}

He seeks to prevent the appreciation of the actual love that Jesus came to impart to me. What are his distractions?

The pleasures of the world, {Ibid.}

If you are wrapped up with the pleasures of the world, can you think about the love of Jesus? It doesn’t work, does it? That is Satan’s work.

…life’s cares and perplexities and sorrows, {Ibid.}

Are you surrounded with them? This is what Satan does to obliterate this beautiful picture.

…the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections—to any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind. {Ibid.}

You’ve seen this beautiful love, you see what Jesus has done for you, you think, I love it! But then you go home and in comes all the floods, the thorns, the thistles, the perplexities, the burdens, and it floods me, and Satan says, Come on! You’ve got to face it! You’ve got to battle it! Keep on holding on to your problems; keep on thinking about them; keep on letting them destroy your focus on Jesus, this is what I want you to do.

Do not be misled by his devices. {Ibid.}

How conscientious are you?

Many who are really conscientious, and who desire to live for God, he too often leads to dwell upon their own faults and weaknesses, and thus by separating them from Christ he hopes to gain the victory. {Ibid.}

The love of God is poured into our hearts by the beautiful word that penetrates, and then He says, I have something against you; you’ve lost it. Why? What went wrong? You have permitted the pleasures of the world, the cares and perplexities and sorrows, the faults of others and your own faults and imperfections to get in front of your vision. Don’t let Satan do this. They are his devices.

You are really conscientious? you desire to live for God? Satan too often leads you to dwell upon your own faults and weaknesses, and thus by separating you from Christ he hopes to gain the victory. Examine yourself in the light of this. I did that, and I said, Right! I’m not going to let this happen; I’m not going to let this take root in my life. This is what happened to the early Christian church. Why did they lose their first love?

…the early Christians began to look for defects in one another. {CCh 44.1}

Is that hard? You can see plenty of faults in people around you. And those of you who first come here, you might say, Oh what a wonderful church this is! But when you get closer and closer you see faults. People here are still faulty; but don’t think about it, don’t look at it.

Dwelling upon mistakes, encouraging suspicion and doubt, giving way to unkind criticism, they lost sight of the Saviour and of the great love He had revealed for sinners. They became more strict in regard to outward ceremonies, more particular about the theory of the faith, {Ibid.}

When someone is contradicting the theory of the faith, you stand up there and you are ready to combat. This is what many ministers do, and I was nearly drawn into that myself, but I could see the danger and I said, No.

They became more strict in regard to outward ceremonies, more particular about the theory of the faith, more severe in their criticisms. In their zeal to condemn others, they themselves erred. They forgot the lesson of brotherly love that Christ had taught. And, saddest of all, they were unconscious of their loss. They did not realize that happiness and joy were going out of their lives, and that soon they would walk in darkness, having shut the love of God out of their hearts. {Ibid.}

How was it done? The faults of others, the perplexities and problems. What happens in your mind when you become surrounded by these dreadful things? Because iniquity abounds, the love of many grows cold. Here is the simple answer. What were the people doing who were letting their love grow cold? They were beholding the horror, the corruption and the evil; they were thinking about it; they couldn’t sleep at night; their mind was occupied with it – this wrong and that wrong and I’m so bad too, I might as well give up also. Have you ever gone through that at night time? “I might as well give up; I might as well go and take my life.”

I am here to testify to you that that love of Jesus has continued to follow me because I made a decision to hold onto Him. As He unveiled to me the progressive revelations of His love, I came to a point in life where I said, That’s it, Lord, I don’t want to ever lose it, whatever happens. I decided to keep my face like a flint no matter what people would say about me or do to me or to those around me, no matter how much evil I would be looking at; I would not look to hold it in my heart. I would dismiss it. This is what I want to conclude with.

We have legitimate reasons to become distressed about things that happen around us. We really believe, That is legitimate! I can get angry here! I can think about it! We may think that. But didn’t Jesus have legitimate reasons? More than any one of us. He was the God of heaven, He could have said, Two hoots about you, I’m not interested in you anymore. You’ve given me too much trouble, I’m back! But what did He do?

1 Peter 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:

“Father, into Your hand I commend My spirit.” This is what He said at the cross. “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” Wasn’t that love? He prayed for His persecutors. He had legitimate reasons, and He shows us and demonstrates to us a love, and says to you and me who are bombarded by iniquity around us:

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Follow the love; let that be the steps.

1 Peter 2:19 For this [is] thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory [is it], if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer [for it], ye take it patiently, this [is] acceptable with God.

Hasn’t He demonstrated it? That is what He was like. This is the love of God. This is what makes my heart pulsate. As I see the darkness and the corruptions around me, as I see battles in my own home life, I do not countenance this to let it continue to multiply around me in my mind and in my heart.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

This is the love, the peace.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

Don’t think about the iniquity. Because iniquity abounds the love of many will be thrown out, so don’t think about it! Only think of all those good things; and there are heaps of things to think about every time the evil wants to come in and Satan throws it at your face.

We should bring the attractiveness of Christ into our Christian service. {TMK 136.2}

This is what it means to look at those beautiful things.

The soft beams of the Sun of Righteousness should shine into our hearts, that we may be pleasant and cheerful and have a strong and blessed influence on all around us. The truth of Jesus Christ does not tend to gloom and sadness. . . . We must look away from the disagreeable to Jesus. We must love Him more, obtain more of His attractive beauty and grace of character, and cease the contemplation of others’ mistakes and errors. {Ibid.}

Did you get that? Please, wives, husbands, it is so hard to live in close range with one another, isn’t it? Cease to contemplate your husband’s or your wife’s errors and mistakes. Don’t contemplate it. It drives you insane, it drives you to such insanity that you don’t even behave like a proper, sensible person any more.

We should remember that our own ways are not faultless. {Ibid.}

One looks at the other and says, Urgh! and the other says, Yeah, but look at you! The pot calling the kettle black. It’s true! We are not faultless.

We make mistakes again and again. . . . No one is perfect but Jesus. Think of Him and be charmed away from yourself, and from every disagreeable thing, for by beholding our defects faith is weakened. God and His promises are lost from sight. {Ibid.}

The love is lost from sight. Aren’t you happy we have some answers? This makes my heart throb with joy in the midst of the iniquity that abounds around us. The iniquity with its baleful impact upon our tender senses abounds; it’s in your face! You cannot help but see it. But don’t stop to look and think upon it; that’s all. This is God’s servant, the one who has opened his heart to the Lord; and what will he do?

Isaiah 42:19 Who [is] blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger [that] I sent? who [is] blind as [he that is] perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant? 20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.

You can see things and you can hear things, but they don’t have to penetrate. You can be blind to them. Convenient amnesia. I am conveniently not listening. I am conveniently not looking, because my convenience is found in Jesus Christ. I don’t want to see, I don’t want to hear, although I look, and I am looking for what Jesus is doing; that’s all. I see lots of things in the world, but I don’t think, Oh, yuck! I think only on that which is good. You look straight to Jesus and it’s gone. And because you are looking at everything through the eyes of Jesus, you see souls who can be helped. This cruel Saul of Tarsus had something inside of him. You look, as a servant of God, and see what Jesus is doing.

I studied with one person for two years and the minister of the church that was together with me said, Why do you waste your time with that man? He’s not making any decisions. I said, I can see something there. And that man was recovered from brain damage from alcoholism because I stuck with him. This is what God can do. Don’t give up on yourself; don’t look at the darkness; look at the power of God. And when you will be counted in these last days in which we live, in which iniquity abounds and the love of many is growing cold, what will be your experience?

Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

What is that enduring? Love endureth all things. In other words, the love of God is held onto and you will endure all things to the end. It will get more horrendous than it is now, and as the world is crumbling down around us we want to practice what I have shared with you here. God’s love will not be quenched out of your heart.

May God help us to put it into practice so that none of us need to be lost. My heart goes out for every human being no matter where they have come from, no matter what they have done, and especially those in the church that may have fallen; they may have made serious mistakes, they may be cursed in my mind because of the evil they have done to me, but Jesus didn’t curse them. Remember that. While the soul comes for mercy, no one has the right to shut them out. May God help us to hold on to that, is my prayer.

Amen.

Our Need of God’s Love

By John Thiel, mp3

Scripture reading: John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

We need to be daily strengthened by the deep love of God, {UL 159.6} 

For this reason it is in my heart to frequently display that deep love of God before the congregation. If it’s needed daily then we need it on Sabbath very much. We are here keeping the Sabbath to admire our God. To admire Him we must see something to admire; and it’s His love. It was the Apostle Paul’s earnest prayer that the people whom he ministered to could appreciate that love. Together with Apostle Paul this is my prayer. Read the rest of this entry