Only in God is Goodness

An evening a couple of days ago I had another one of my Elijah moments. After Elijah had called fire down from heaven and killed all the Baal prophets he fled from the scene afraid for his life. It seems to me as great successes now and then are succeeded by some sort of ordeal. Anyway, Elijah complained to the Lord concerning his misery. His main issue was perhaps a strong sense of being alone.  I, on my part, told my Father I never would write another article. I quit, I said. Our Father has this wonderful inclination towards comforting His children. As a consequence He told Elijah that there were seven thousand in Israel who hadn’t bowed knees to Baal. When it comes to me He asked me to write an article about how He is only love. In this moment of weakness I said yes, wholly aware of the fact that others have done a most superb job in doing so long before I entered the scene.

In God there exists only love and goodness. His desire to communicate good led Him to create man upon whom He wanted to suffuse nothing but good. “He is the Love itself, the unmixed, immeasurable Love, doing nothing but from Love, giving nothing but Gifts of Love, to every Thing that He has made; requiring nothing of all his Creatures, but the Spirit and Fruits of that Love, which brought them into Being.” (William Law) His goodness and love are infinite, immeasurable, and cannot be comprehended by the natural mind. It doesn’t have the qualities of human love. It far supersedes any notions we have of love. His love is mind-boggling – it defies understanding – it can only be acknowledged as a quiet flow of joy in our innermost being. It goes beyond everything we think or expect – it breaks every limitation we have put upon love. Love’s undeniable quality is that it always will triumph. It will always see its fulfillment.

As God has led me further and further into the mystery of our union I cannot find any wrath in Him. It simply isn’t there. I know that before I met God and let Him into my life there was wrath in me and as a consequence I perceived everyone else to have the same wrath in them, including God. I was a child of wrath. This wrath entered humankind at the Fall, that is, a fire which goes inward like a black hole which sucks everything into itself. As a new creation I was cleansed from wrath. I had thus become an outgoing fire like the sun which gives life and warmth to everything created. However, it took many years before this mindset of wrath was done away with. Many will perhaps accuse me of nullifying Jesus’ work at the cross when I assert that there is no wrath in God. In their theology God emptied His entire wrath on Jesus Christ at the cross so that we could go free. I don’t think that is an accurate description of the actual realities. I firmly believe Jesus came to reverse the effects of the Fall as a perfect human born by the Spirit – as the Second Adam who would reconcile the world to God. We were estranged from God – not the other way around. This will be my firm platform of understanding until the Spirit persuades me otherwise, which I believe is very unlikely. There have been many sequences of repentance before this persuasion settled in me and altered my entire worldview.

William Law so masterly stated: “If therefore Wrath, Rage, and Resentment could be in the Deity itself, it must be an unbeginning, boundless, never-ceasing Wrath, capable of no more, or less, no up or down, but always existing, always working, and breaking forth in the same Strength, and everywhere equally burning in the Height and Depth of the abyssal Deity. There is no medium here; there must be either all or none, either no Possibility of Wrath, or no Possibility of its having any Bounds. And therefore, if you would not say, that every Thing that has proceeded, or can, or ever shall proceed from God, are and can be only so many Effects of his eternal and omnipotent Wrath, which can never cease, or be less than infinite; if you will not hold this monstrous Blasphemy, you must stick close to the absolute Impossibility of Wrath having any Existence in God. For nothing can have any Existence in God, but in the Way and Manner as his Eternity, Infinity, and Omnipotence have their Existence in him. Have you any Thing to object to this?”

The Ark contained everything created before it landed on Mount Ararat. Everything was in Christ before the cross. When the Ark landed on Mount Ararat the curse of wretchedness and condemnation was reversed. Ararat means Mountain of Pain, but it also holds the meaning; the curse is reversed. The cross definitely was a mountain of pain. The Godhead entered the cross with His son, the union between Father and Son was not broken at the cross as someone asserts. That is an impossibility. To claim such a thing means that the Triune fellowship was broken up – somehow shredded to pieces. His goodness couldn’t do anything but rescue His beloved ones. Love compelled Him to let His only begotten Son die a most horrendous death. It is even said about His love that it pleased Him to bruise His son. The goodness that came out of the cross satisfied His love. All the mysteries hidden in the cross are pure love as manifested in God when He publicly exposed His heart for all to see and thus recognize His yearning for genuine fellowship with a fallen creation. Notice that we were in the Ark when it landed on the mountain top. The entire human race was in Christ at the cross.

There was immeasurable love present at the Fall. The record speaks only love when God called for Adam and Eve and clothed them before they embarked on their journey in wretchedness. We cannot repudiate that our Father is almighty and omnipresent. He could easily have prevented the Fall. It also clear that He foresaw the Fall since Jesus was chosen to atone for its consequences before the foundation of the earth. Even the Fall was an extension of love. Who can understand the wisdom of God? Who can freely and universally choose God and His goodness except those who have tasted wretchedness and condemnation? Who can be absolutely convinced about His goodness but those who have tasted evil? Paul wrote: “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Rom 5:18). Those who have lived under the curse of condemnation and tasted the wretchedness thereof are safe sons of His love. Only those who have tasted both condemnation and justification of life can willingly surrender to His love. The alternative is so ugly and hideous that it holds no appeal to the mature man who has left everything behind, and considers everything as trash compared to being with God.

Only God is good. Only in Him is goodness found. He is an everlasting fountain of love and goodness. He is indescribable joy and peace. It is thus only in Him that we find fulfillment and become and experience the same goodness and joy. Outside Him we hence neither find good nor true everlasting joy. Law wrote: “We find ourselves incapable of thinking any otherwise of God, than as the one only Good, or, as you express it, an eternal immutable Will to all Goodness, which can will Nothing else to all Eternity, but to communicate Good, and Blessing, and Happiness, and Perfection to every Life, according to its Capacity to receive it.”

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15 Responses to Only in God is Goodness

  1. Colin says:

    Thank you for writing this powerful piece, I have been thoroughly blessed by it, and I know the power of it will continue in me to grow new “shoots”
    I echo your thoughts here Ole, the experiences that I have of His tangible love are so far removed from any wrath and the like; they are pure, refreshing streams of invigorating peacefulness, and any knots of wrath and anxiety and unwholeness in me are melted away by His pure love.

    “He who has been forgiven much, loves much”

  2. Bill says:

    Once again, you have “painted a beautiful portrait of our Beloved”, not as much of institutional Christianity has made Him out to be, but as He really is….”God IS love”!
    Man has attempted to “make a God after his image”, instead of humbly acknowledging that God is making man after His glorious image. We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus…….He is not ours and what He has begun, HE WILL FINISH!

    Thanks for “telling it like it is”, Ole, you are a blessing!

    • Ole Henrik says:

      Thank you, my friend, for blessing me with such a wonderful comment! I am thrilled and so relieved that there are so many of us to whom the Spirit has revealed the beauty of God and that we are an image of that beauty!

  3. Bill says:

    I totally agree….100%…. and I am glad you remembered to add the “halo”!

  4. Richard says:

    Ole,

    I thought you might enjoy this article entitled The Grace of Wrath~http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/may/23.64.html?start=1

  5. Patty Musick says:

    What you say here about God makes perfect sense…it has opened many doors for my thoughts and heart to explore. I realize all the past molds of God I have had are being smashed to bits! He is the living Person and He will always be who He is. Glorious to know that there is such a strong undercurrent of truth all around us that will be known no matter how many levels of lies and untruth there are. I am speechless!

    • Ole Henrik says:

      He peels off those lies layer by layer and for each new revelation about Himself we experience a greater degree of freedom to be the Son. Yes, there are moments when I am speechless too!

  6. Hi Ole, this gave me chills. I grew up with the view that God poured outhis wrath on Jesus on the Cross, and I hadn’t thought of it as an idea still hanging around in the back somewhere. My understanding of God as not having wrath has grown continually through first Norman, then Jacob Boehme, and William Law, and contemporary friends of course, too many to name, in this stream of understanding. Yours here articulates so beautifully the same but also hit me in a new way because of your comparison to the ark and the fact of the undivided Godhead, even in the crucifixion. On another note, I too feel that frustraion of being such a minority voice. On the one hand, I know that I don’t want to go with the crowd, as it were, but then not doing so chafes too. But it is always bracing to reaffirm that neither is the point, andone doesn’t try to go or not go; one simply is faithful. You capture that so very well. Brian

  7. Teresa Dennis says:

    Wow! This is the first time I have visited your blog! What a beautiful piece of writing! I too only know of a God of love in my life! Great Love as Paul speaks of in Ephesians! I too absolutely loved the comparison to the Ark. His gift of writing through you has blessed me mightily – living here at the bottom of Africa!!!
    Christ is all and in all
    Teresa

    • Ole Henrik says:

      Hello Teresa! What a delight to read your comment and to meet you here on my blog. Your comment truly blessed me! Thank you for your generosity! Christ is all and in all, and what a wonderful gift it is when our eyes are opened to this amazing truth.

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