The Bounded Love of God
The love of God is an enclosed love. It is a jealous love. It is a guarded and protected love. It is a love with boundaries. The boundaries of that love are the Father-Son Union. This means there are two sides to divine love. On the inside, divine love is everything we think of when we think of love. It is intensely all giving and filled with deepest communion.
But there is an outside to this love. As a guarded love it is a wall of opposition to and intolerant of all and everything outside of that communion. It is not love at all as we think of love.
This is better understood by the two natures of fire. The Bible says "our God is a consuming fire." Internally, God is a God of love, and His fire is the fire of love. It is the fire of desire and fellowship and intimacy. It is the fire that warms heart and body and gives light to the eyes and empowers all things productive and beautiful to use.
But externally, God's fire is not a fire of love. It is a fire of wrath, judgment and destruction against everything outside that internal boundary.
Thus we are either on the inside or the outside of the love of God. If we are on the inside, we are able to experience in God all those fiery qualities of desire, passion, communion and oneness. But if we are on the outside of that love, there remains only a fearful looking for of wrath, judgment and condemnation.
The Holy Jealousy of Love
The idea of jealousy captures the two sided nature of God's love. God is jealous for everyone on the inside of His union. And He is jealous against everyone and everything outside of that internal union.
The love of God is a holy love. This means it is a separated love. Holiness means separation. That is a boundary. The fact that God is holy above and beyond all else that He has made tells us that His love is a bounded one. It is a love with definition and parameter. God cannot manifest the fusionary love within the Father-Son Union to anyone or anything outside that union. Relation of love's fire to anything outside of it is fissionary in result, not fusionary. It is divisive, not unifying. It divides as it must do, because it is holy and separated.
Can Love Hate?
Does this mean God is both love and hate? No, not at all. Rather, hate is to love what darkness is to light.
Light stands on its own. Darkness is only the absence of light. Similarly, love stands on its own. Hatred is the absence of love.
But does that mean God cannot hate because He is love (as so many teach)? No. Does God hate? Yes. He hates though He is love the same way he dwells inside thick darkness though He is light. God hates, but is not hate. He is love. But if one is absent His love because He is on the outside of His internal Union, such an one can only experience the consequential hate of God.
This is understood where Jesus said that all men outside the faith are already under condemnation by default. God does not actively have to condemn them. He did not come to condemn but to save.
Likewise, men are already under the hate of God by default because they are outside His internal love. He did not come to express hatred toward them, but to save from the hatred they were already under being outside that love.
This brings us to the love of God beyond love. We are talking about the love of God expressed to make a way for those outside His internal love and under sentence of His external fire to be reconciled to Him so as to be brought through the destructive protective barrier into His inner love union. This out-reaching love is one of determination and kind intent. It is not a love of fellowship, communion or intimacy. Internal love cannot be shown to those on the outside of it. To do so is prostitution.
Thus a bridging love was expressed through Christ to reach out and reconcile those on the outside of the Father-Son Union. This bridging love brought tension into the Divine Union. It was the expression of the conflict between God's holy, closed internal passion for His Son and His passion for what He had made which was now outside that Union.
And this is the tension the Son had to outwork and out-live right up to the cross. He had to reach out to what He had made while remaining true at all points to the holy demands and parameters of His internal love union with the Father. The proving of the outworking of conflicted Divine Love was the entire purpose of His mission, out of which our salvation was the undeserved, un-entitled byproduct.
Thus we see Christ expressing both the Father's internal love to those on His inside and the Father's hatred toward those on the outside, while undertaking to express that risky bridging love outside of Him. He had to hate and reach out at the same time.
This tension played right up into the Garden of Gethsemane. At the end, He was still questioning whether it was worth it to do this? Indeed, He did not want to do it. ("Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.") Yet He had always been committed to do it. ("The cup that my Father has given me, shall I not drink of it?") Thus was His obedience between these two loves perfected, healing the Divine Love Conflict.
The mysterious tension between the internal Father-Son Union and the bridging love outside Union borders to reconcile outsiders to it by His sovereign kind intent is responsible for the misunderstanding and corruption of Divine Love in our own midst today.
God's people don't get the difference between the exclusionary love of God within the Father-Son Union wherein no condition exists because all condition has already been met, and the conditional extensionary love of God outside that Union to bring men back inside the Divine Union. The extensionary love of God is conditional because it requires the meeting of the holy demands of closed internal love for anyone outside it to be able to enter it. Christ met those conditions for the people. Thus entrance into the Divine union is conditioned on Christ's death and its application by the Father's sovereign intent.
But today, no such distinctions are recognized. Terms are used without definition. What on earth is this unconditional love so touted today like a mantra--and no one even knows what they are talking about? The term has come to deny love's separational fiery nature outside the internal Union:
It has come to be believed that God's love is displayed by prostituting the secrets of the fellowship of internal Union before all men, that there is no jealously separating fire characterized by judgment, condemnation and hatred toward all by default outside the Union.
It is believed that the Father's extensionary love expressed through Christ is an entitlement, that God had no choice but to reach out to men just because of Who He Is.
And there are even those who believe that the lake of fire--the ultimate back side of God toward those failing of Christ's bridging love--must absolutely be converted into the internal love of God. God just has to do it, or else He is not love after all.
All these fallacious teachings and beliefs about God's love are a travesty within a very deceived church. Those who teach these things after warning and correction and who continue to debase the sovereign holy character of God's love will bear their punishment at the judgment. It is time for a fresh baptism into the jealously fiery nature of God's internal love. The zeal of your house has eaten me up.
Here is a worthy study. I challenge anyone reading this with doubts to go study out every word and act of Christ in which He told someone off, insulted someone, rebuked someone, told someone no, called them an animal, brought division, demonstrated perplexity, frustration, anger and even violence toward somebody without respect of persons, including family, friends, followers, leadership and political authorities, and made separations between haves and have nots in His ministry--and then start crafting your definition of unconditional love and of the love of God.
You don't have any way to explain the love of God if you don't know how to account for all of this. You will quickly see that the love of God is anything but unconditional. Every one of these negatives proves the bounded and jealously guarded nature of the internal love Union.
Read the if clauses of John 14-15. IF a man loves me He will keep my commandments, and [then] we will come to him and make our abode..... IF you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love..... Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment? (Throw the bum out of here!)
No obedience? No abode. No entrance into the intimacy of the divine union. No entrance into the kingdom. No inheritance. Sorry. No exceptions.
And these final determinations are without appeal.
If the righteous be scarcely saved, where shall the sinner and ungodly appear?
That question is asking, If we who are saved by God's extensionary love are just barely making it into His inner love Union, on which side of that fiery internal love will the rest appear? No entitlement here. The implication is clear. They will all remain to appear on the externally facing wrath side of that jealous love. No man can see My Face and live..Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.
It is absolutely critical we discern between the bounded internal love of the Father and the qualified extensionary love of the Father. As Christ's followers, we have been charged with the same outworking of the divine tension with which He was first charged. This is the core reality to be negotiated in coming into conformity to His image. It means we have to know how to protect the jealous love of God within us, rebuking all that would challenge it, while extending the bridging love to those on the outside as the Father would display it, without compromising the value and purity of that inside Union.
I know this is not easy for any of us. We are beset on every side by false evaluations of love and condemnations galore for failing to affirm the popular humanist teachings on this subject. No truth is more polluted or assaulted than that of the meaning of divine love. But I write to encourage each of you on this Circle. Don't be bullied under the charges of "if you really loved me you would..." or "if you really loved God you wouldn't..." (you just fill in the blank).
All you need to make sure of is that you have surrendered every word and act birthed from your jealous fire to the scrutiny of His eyes and ears in the fear of God Himself.
I commend this word to you all in the truth and grace of His fire.
New Meadow Neck, R.I.
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship