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CHARACTER OF GOD


At a time when the whole Christian Evagelical Missionaries are presenting the Christian God
as an ego maniac, angry God who enjoys in putting mankind through the hell for eternity
and showing partiality to an elect few to be with him which he had determined before the
creation of the world this may come as a surprise. These presentation may help as a fear
tactics in the mission fields. Eventually it will be the demise of Christianity. We will be failing in the Great Commission handed over to our fathers, if we are not faithful stewards as the elect called out to die for others.
The God as presented by Jesus is a totally different. This is the God our fathers presented to
us.

What is the character of God?.

The character of God remained the same throughout the period of creation and goes on to ages after ages without end.

Malachi 3:6 - For I the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

James 1:17 - Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Revelation 1:8 - I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

They were revealed through the ages in context as was needed for the growth and perfecting of man . It has been a progressive revelation.

(Heb 1:1-2) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.

These revelations and teachings were transmitted mostly orally through teachings of the early saints and fathers. Later when the art of writing came into existence some of them were written down. These teaching tells us the character of God.

 

God is Love

In the New Testament documents we have the best definition; "God is Love"This is actually the only definition of God in terms of who God is and His Character in relation to Man and within the Trinity.

This is why the ultimate expression of God's love to man is found in the cross. The whole Christian Faith hangs on this understanding. All actions of God are to be understood in terms of His love. Love comes first and all others emerge out of this character, even judgment, punishment and death. OH even the hell.

"God proved his love on the cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died it was God saying to the world—I love you."  Billy Graham

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This is why the ultimate expression of God's love to man is found in the cross. The whole Christian Faith hangs on this understanding. All actions of God are to be understood in terms of His love. Love comes first and all others emerge out of this character, even judgment, punishment and death. OH even the hell.

"God proved his love on the cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died it was God saying to the world—I love you."  Billy Graham

 

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God as Abba Father

 "Father" is a metaphor used to describe God by nearly all ancient peoples. In fact most people worship their forefathers as part of God. The dead never leave or cease to exist. Instead they are the mediators between the living and God.

In sharp contrast God is seldom referred to as Father in the Old Testament. Here are the few:

"Is this the way you repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?" (Deuteronomy 32:6, NIV)

[The Father] guarded him as the apple of his eye.” (Deuteronomy 32:10)

"Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." (Isaiah 64:8, NIV)

I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee: (1Ch 17:13)

He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever. (1Ch 22:10)

"He will call out to me, 'You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.'" (Psalms 89:26)But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name." (Isaiah 63:16)

"They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel's father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son." (Jeremiah 31:9)

"Have you not just called to me: 'My Father, my friend from my youth...." (Jeremiah 3:4)

"I thought you would call me 'Father' and not turn away from following me." (Jeremiah 3:19b)

 

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"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

““A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.  God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing.”  (Psalm 68:5-6)

At least some patriarchs knew God's love and protection as that of a Father. That was it.

 

One of the functions of the Father is to discipline children to make them whole.

  Heb 12: 5-11 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

One of the things my Muslim brothers could not understand was that I called God "Father". Just like the Jews, they understood God only as a slave master who is angry. He might reward you if you do good, but will burn you if you don't do as He expect you to do the job. "Allah, most merciful and gracious" is a task master. That is exactly how the Jews saw God also.

It was in this context that Jesus came with a revolutionary declaration of God as the Father of all Adamic Race. When Jesus taught his disciples he told them to address Him as "Our Father" in Aramaic it meant "Abba", "Daddy" as the babies addressed their fathers.

That was the real character of God in relation to man.

Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:4)

“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8)

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26)

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)

“Your Father in heaven is not willing that any one of these little ones should be lost.”  (Matthew 18:14)

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him… But the father said to his servants, `Quick!  Bring the best robe and put it on him.  Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it.  Let’s have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” (Luke 15:20b, 22-24)

“Jesus answered, `I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me…. Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:6,9)

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor [or Comforter] to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth.” (John 14:16)

“The Father will give you whatever you ask in [Jesus’] name.” (John 15:16)

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of son-ship.  And by him we cry, `Abba, Father.’” (Romans 8:15)

“I will be a Father to you and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18 & 2 Samuel 7:14)

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he chose us…. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his [children].” (Ephesians 1:3-5)

“Through [Christ] we… have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:18)

“[God is] the Father from whom all fatherhood derives its name.” (Ephesians 3:15)

“Now to [the Father] who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1)

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The history of man
and
his future history
lie on this relationship.
God deals with humans as a Father deals with his sons.

 

The talismanic word of the Alexandrian fathers, as of the New Testament, was FATHER.

This word, as now, unlocked all mysteries, solved all problems, and explained all the enigmas of time and eternity.

Holding God as Father, punishment was held to be remedial, and therefore restorative, and final recovery from sin universal. It was only when the Father was lost sight of in the judge and tyrant, under the baneful reign of Augustinianism, the Deity was hated, and that Catholics transferred to Mary, and later, Protestants gave to Jesus that supreme love that is due alone to the Universal Father. For centuries in Christendom after the Alexandrine form of Christianity had waned, the Fatherhood of God was a lost truth, and most of the worst errors of the modern creeds are due to that single fact, more than to all other causes.

If God the Father was at least one tenth as good as my earthly father he would deal much better than the God who sends most of His children to burning hell for eternity because He considers himself Sovereign against whom they revolted.

Matthew 7:9-12  

Or what man is there of you,
whom
If his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
 
If you, then, though you are evil,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you,
for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

 

It really is true—
God loves us. Jesus said it plainly:
“For the Father Himself loves you”
(John 16:27).

 

 

CREATION AS AN ACT OF LOVE

 

Creation of man was the greatest act of love

The character of God in His relation to the creatures in His creation is found in the very act of creation.

In the Jewish mystical thought known as Kabballah, the creation itself will require that God constrain himself - empty himself - for the existence. If the "Infinite" did not restrict itself, then nothing could exist—everything would be overwhelmed by God's totality. Thus existence requires God's transcendence. In order to create, God restrained himself to provide space for existence and freedom for the beings he created. God sacrificed his sovereignty, his space of Lordship and his freedom. This is the ultimate sacrifice of an infinite God.

Freedom means possibilities.

God knew the possibilities - possibilities of fall and possibilities of redemption. God knew the pain right then, yet in His love He generated His Sons and Daughters in His likeness with total freedom as He himself has.

This is not new.

Every father and mother as they grow into a family repeats this process. Eventually every parent knows that their sons and daughters will have to act on their own free will and grow into maturity. The process of growth we know is sometimes filled with pain.

They may fall.

That is why parents are there.

If they fall into evil ways, the parents do not kill them.

They lay their lives to redeem them.

It is this love of God that is expressed in the Incarnation. This is why Jesus was called 'the lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world".

 

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Tzimtzum - Kenosis

 

This contraction or kenosis (in Greek) or emptying of himself is known as tzimtzum (in Hebrew). The word used here is "kenosis", and it is a self-renunciation - a transcendence of ego.  At the same time nothing can exist without God requiring that God be simultaneously transcendent and immanent. On the one hand, he is absent from the space. On the other hand, God continuously maintains the existence of, and is thus not absent from, the created universe. The Divine life-force which brings all creatures into existence must constantly be present within them, were this life-force to forsake any created being for even one brief moment, it would revert to a state of utter nothingness, as before the creation. Because the tzimtzum results in the "empty space" in which spiritual and physical Worlds and ultimately, free will can exist, God is often referred to as "Ha-Makom" (המקום lit. "the Place", "the Omnipresent") in Rabbinic literature This understanding is supported by various biblical teachings: "You have made the heaven... the earth and all that is on it... and You give life to them all" (Nehemiah 9:6); "All the earth is filled with God's Glory" (Numbers 14:21); "God's Glory fills the world" (Isaiah 6:3). Creation therefore requires God's immanence. While God transcends the creation.

 

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Rabbi Nachman of Breslav discusses this inherent paradox as follows:

Only in the future will it be possible to understand the Tzimtzum that brought the 'Empty Space' into being, for we have to say of it two contradictory things...

[1] the Empty Space came about through the Tzimtzum, where, as it were, He 'limited' His Godliness and contracted it from there, and it is as though in that place there is no Godliness...

[2] the absolute truth is that Godliness must nevertheless be present there, for certainly nothing can exist without His giving it life. (Likkutei Moharan I, 64:1)

Adam, Son of God

Tzimtzum - Creation "Out of Nothing"?

In the beginning there was only God... and nothing else. God, or Ein Sof, was an all-encompassing Divine Presence, light called "Or Ein Sof" (the Light of Infinity). Since nothing but God existed before creation, when God decided to create 'yesh' (i.e., "something") from its 'Ein' (i.e., "nothing"), God needed to "make a space" or to "provide room" for that which was not God (i.e., otherness). God therefore "emptied himself" by contracting his infinite light to create a conceptual space for the creation of the universe. In a great cosmic flash, God then "condensed" into a point of infinite density and infinite energy called 'tzimtzum' (*צִמְצוּם*, "contraction") and "exploded out" in all directions (i.e., the cosmic "Big Bang"). In a sense, this self-imposed "contraction" of the Infinite Light is a picture of God "sacrificing" Himself for the sake of creation - the cross. This is the lamb that was slain before the creation of the world.

There is another paradox in the creation. The real world created by God is not based on power and authority but on sacrifice and service. The greatest in the Kingdom of God is not the one who act as King and Sovereign but those who serve.

Matthew 23:11-12 He who is greatest among you shall be your servant. For he who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Three words that describe God's Nature are : Love Sacrifice Serve

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Here's how Isaac Luria (the Ari) describes the doctrine of tzimtzum:

"Prior to Creation, there was only the infinite Or Ein Sof filling all existence. When it arose in God's Will to create worlds and emanate the emanated...He contracted (in Hebrew "tzimtzum") Himself in the point at the center, in the very center of His light. He restricted that light, distancing it to the sides surrounding the central point, so that there remained a void, a hollow empty space, away from the central point... After this tzimtzum... He drew down from the Or Ein Sof a single straight line [of light] from His light surrounding [the void] from above to below [into the void], and it chained down descending into that void.... In the space of that void He emanated, created, formed and made all the worlds."

So God restricted himself from this worlds he created and thus do not want to know what is their will and actions and future. This will take away the predestination problem. God willingly gave up his prescience and gave an area of uncertainty and ability to choose within those realms. God has that freedom and he gave that freedom to man - so that man may be the image of God and hence in true sense Sons of God - "Adam, Son of God".

The Bible reveals God has other sons besides Jesus (who alone is cosubstantial with God; His only begotten Son ), who are created by God in the various dimensions of Cosmos. They form the body of God.

a. Angels - the sons of God (e.g., Job 38:7) including Fallen angels (Genesis 6:2), and even Satan (Job 1:6)

b. Adam - the son of God (Luke 3:38) and through Adam all Mankind - Fallen and Unfallen

 Specially the Believers - "sons of God" (e.g., I John 3:2)

Genesis 1:2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

The material world is subject to predetermined laws of Physics. Even there we see uncertainly principle that gives space for choice which are not predetermined. The written Law correspond to this type of administration while the Law of Spirit gives choice and more freedom.

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But God gave the freedom of the Spirit world to the Spirit of Man.

Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.

John 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing;

2 Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom"

Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

John 20:17 17Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'"

God's primary goal of creation was a Man who was to be made in God's image.
If Adam was pre-programmed and every action of Adam was pre-destined, Adam would never had the freedom as the son of God and was not an image of God. It is the image of God property that gave Adam the ability to fall. Did God fail? As a growing up process Adam fell. But the presence of the Father will be there to rectify and restore. Finally, we are told He will redeem and restore all creation to the perfection He wanted to be so that God will be "all in all," and the world will be restored to heavenly perfection....God will have his family with Him made in right standing..

 

Creation as the Body of God

Since God created everything within himself they form the body of God. According to Judeo-Christian monotheistic pattern that includes material and spiritual worlds, including all dimensions and life forms in cosmos.. Where else could it be? The beings hence form part of the living cells within the body which has specific function to do and combine to form organs of the body of God. As long as the whole parts work synchronized with the whole Godhead as one unit, the body is perfect and complete.

 

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Sin of sentient beings form the cancer within God's body.

  If some cells try to take over the function of other cells and some organs become cancerous the whole body suffers and God is in pain. Hence the redemption (healing) alone can bring back God and creation in consonance.

Since there are no space outside of God, no surgical removal can be done.

Total annihilation of these sinners could remove the material pain. But what about the memories of the past.

Total redemption of everything is the only solution if God has to get out of his agony. In Him, we move and have our being. If just one tiny cell remain sick and evil, God will be in agony. Hence follows the extreme self giving, sacrificing Love of God and the total redemption of the whole creation so that God may be what He wants to be "in all and all in Him".

We can think of this analogy also as an analogy of a family or a tribe or our planet of even beyond. In love we are one. We can never be complete and happy by surgical removal of a live part and throwing it out. They will always be part of us and will be an agony to eternity.

 

Monotheism and Dualism

In the above argument, we have started with the Person of God alone as the sole starting point who can create matter and all other entities potentially. There are systems of religion where they start with both Person and the Matter (Purusha and Prakriti) and the Person creates using the Matter and the Space outside of Him. Here since the Person of God is outside of the rest of the Universe, what happens in the Universe does not cause pain to the person. In this case the pain remains with the beings in the Universe alone. God can turn His back on Prakriti and go on with His future. However this dualism is not acceptable to Christian monotheism. As a result anything happens to the creation is happening within God Himself.

Purusha (God) and Prakriti (Cosmos) existed as separate realities.

 

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God alone existed in the beginning. God created cosmos and shared his energies with beings he created.

 

YHVH reveals Himself to Moses

 

In the Old Testament YHVH's nature and character is described in the announcement of the Angels as the Lord passed before Moses when Moses asked to see the face of God. God does not show His face since no man can see His face and live. Instead Moses sees only the back of God - a part of God's nature. We do not know what Moses Saw. But what is presented is a Royal entry of YHVH and the declaration of who YHVH is as he enters the scene in the traditional Kingly fashion. It gives 13 attributes of God. This revelation came in the very Beginning of the giving of the Law, long before the final revelation through Jesus the Son of God through His incarnation as Son of Man.

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Thirteen Attributes of Mercy
(Shelosh Esreh Middot)

http://www.hebrew4christians.com

"During the month of Elul and during certain festivals, the "Thirteen Attributes of Mercy" are recited three times:
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"The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation" (Exod. 34:6-7)

According to various traditional interpretations, these thirteen attributes of God's Name may be understood as follows:

1. Adonai - I, the LORD, am the Compassionate Source of all of life and Ground of all being; I am the breath of life for all of creation. I am the God of all possible worlds and Master of the universe. Everything that exists is an expression of my loving will and kindness: olam chesed yibaneh: "The world is built with chesed" (Psalm 89:3). Since the relative difference between existence and non-existence is infinite, God's creation represents infinite kindness, and since you exist, you likewise are expression of God's kindness and love. You do not exist because God needs you but solely because your life is willed by God as an expression of His love.

2. Adonai Though the LORD created the universe "very good", He remained the Compassionate Source of life even after mankind sinned, and therefore the Name is repeated to refer to His loving relationship with alienated, fallen creation. I, the LORD, am also compassionate to one who has sinned and repented (i.e., the Creator gives us free will and the good gift of teshuvah). God created mankind for the sake of teshuvah - that is, our return to Him. God desires atonement with mankind even after sin and therefore continues to give existence to the world. "He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:45). Moreover, as the Savior and Redeemer of the world through Yeshua, the LORD reveals kindness even to the evil, and even partakes of its presence by means of His sacrificial love on the cross. Since teshuvah can only exist after the advent of sin, Yeshua is called the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8; Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:20).

3. El - I, the LORD, am God the Almighty and Omnipotent;

4. Rachum - I, the LORD, am merciful (rachamim means "mercy" and rechem means "womb");

5. Chanun - I, the LORD, am gracious; I pour out my favor freely to all of creation. (Chen is the word for "grace");

6. Erekh Apayim - I, the LORD, am slow to anger and patient (the word erekh means "long" and af means "nose." The idiom erekh apayim means "long suffering, patient");

7. Rav Chesed - I, the LORD, am abundant in love to both the righteous and the wicked;

8. Rav Emet - I, the LORD, am truthful and faithful in carrying out promises;

9. Notzer Chesed La'alafim - I, the LORD, retain chesed (love) for thousands of generations, taking into account the merit of our worthy ancestors (called zechut avot);

10. Nosei Avon - I, the LORD, forgive iniquity (avon), defined in the tradition as wrongful deeds committed with premeditation; I "carry iniquity away" (nasa) for the penitent;

11. Nosei Pesha - I, the LORD, forgive transgression (pesha), defined as wrongful deeds committed in a rebellious spirit;

12. Nosei Chata'ah - I, the LORD, forgive sin (chet), defined as those wrongful deeds that were inadvertently committed;

13. Nakkeh - I, the LORD, will not cancel punishment, but I will clear the guilt for those who genuinely return to Me in teshuvah.

The Shelosh Esrei Middot formula is recited on Yom Kippur, and also during the Torah service on the High Holy Days, Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot.

You came from his womb and Adam was the first created Son of God.

You being sons of Adam are God's children.

Hence He deals with you as a father deals with his children.

>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

"Even in the combination there is right measure of Chesed and Din that can be seen in the verse. what is the “perfect” balance of Chesed and Din for which we should strive? I believe that a strong case can be made that the core teaching of God’s Thirteen Middot Ha Rachamim tells us that Din, must not merely be equally balanced by Chesed; the fact that Chesed is shown by God to the thousandth generation, while Din is shown only until the fourth generation, teaches us that Chesed must take precedence over Din."

The Zohar, the most important book of Cabala, states that an excess of Din is the source of ultimate evil. When there is too much of an emphasis in one’s life on Din (justice or control), evil (which is defined as “lack of balance”, “lack of wholeness”, or “unnatural separation”) arises. For this reason, the Cabala advises us that we should “lean” toward Chesed.

Without Din, according to Cabala, the world would be so overwhelmed by God’s love that it would be re-absorbed into The Infinite- Eyn Sof; without Chesed, the most significant aspect of human existence would be our imperfections. We would be called to account for every wrong that we committed. God’s judgment would unleash forces of destruction on the world, making it unsustainable." http://dorsheitzedek.org/sites/default/files/managed/dvarim/13_attributes.pdf
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"When it came time to create the world, God reflected,
“If I create the world with the attribute of Chesed (Loving Kindness) alone,
there will be an overflow of wrongful acts—no one will be afraid of punishment.
But if I create the world with Din (Justice) alone,
how could the world endure?
It would shatter from the harsh measure of justice.
So I will create it with both justice and compassion,
and
it will endure.”

(Genesis. Rabbah 12:15)....

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In the Character of God there is a balance of "Loving Kindness" to "Justice" is given as 1000:4

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 The Hebrew word for repentance is teshuvah http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/love/love_files/img00031.JPG, a word derived from a Hebrew root that means "to return". God is always ready to welcome our return. The Rabbis stressed the constant availability of forgiveness to those who return to God:“God says to Israel. Open to me a gate of repentance no bigger than the point of a needle, and I will open to you a gate [of forgiveness] wide enough to drive a wagon and carts through” (Canticles Rabbah 5:2).

In this list of God's Character there is no Holiness.

What it emphasize is that:
God is Love and all other attributes are derived from this Love. They are remedial so that his children can into His likeness and be love.

 Bible Verses About God Loves Everyone

Bible verses related to God Loves Everyone from the King James Version (KJV) by Relevance

Romans 5:8 - But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

So God loves even the sinners and died to save all of them. Did he elect all? Could he save all? If God is Love and Adam was the son of God, wont he save all of his children through Adam? Do they have a choice?

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus did die for all the world and did he give the ability to believe in him also? Certainly otherwise this death has no meaning. Man can still choose. He is still free even when they are sinners.

Proverbs 8:17 - I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

Matthew 5:43-48 - Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Acts 10:34-35 - Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

1 John 4:10 - Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.

2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

1 John 4:8 - He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Thus can man love, repent, believe in Jesus while yet a sinner. Does God love all mankind including the dire sinners?

God’s actions are based on his love for all mankind.

 

The Concept of Contraction (Tzimtzum) as Sacrificial Love

The concept of tzimtzum is the principle described in the contraction and repair theory of the "Arie" (Rabbi Isaac Luria).

According to his school, the deity constricted His Infinitude to make room for the creation of man and the world. In doing so he empowered man charging him with the responsibility for his own destiny and even for influencing the divine construct. This is what we call Freedom. In this a two-way relations are created between the Creator and the created, both contract themselves and complement each other’s creations. This is what we call ‘LOVE”. This model serves as a basis for tzimtzum on the human level.

This is defined by Jesus in his statement:

John 15:13 (ASV) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

 

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For every contraction (tzimtzum), another part expands.

Tzimtzum makes room for others, thereby giving a person and others space to co-exist.

The movement of tzimtzum is dynamic. Sometimes there is tzimtzum, and sometimes there is extension or expansion, and there is no one constant force that controls the other.

The tzimtzum of an individual makes room for the other but is essentially different than self-effacement as it is commonly understood. In the tzimtzum the individual does not vanish or become erased but continues to exist but with higher potency. Since the point has zero dimension, the potency will be (Potency)/0 which is the definition of infinite.

Tzimtzum may be articulated on an inter-personal level, between parents and children, between spouses and between friends.

It can be articulated in a family, a group, a tribe, a nation and even in the whole world of mankind.

 When it is expressed in the whole creation, it becomes the Kingdom of God, where God will be in all and all will be in God.

This was clearly explained by Jesus:

“Jesus called [the disciples] together and said,

“You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,

and their high officials exercise authority over them.

Not so with you.

 

Instead,

whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,

and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,

and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45

 

Yes, the Gentiles use their power to overpower the people around them.

They make sure everyone knows who the boss is. Not so with you.

 

“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power,

and that he had come from God and was returning to God;

so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing,

and wrapped a towel around his waist.

After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet”. John 13:3-5

 

In this upper room as Jesus prepares for the cross set before him, He becomes acutely aware of His authority.

So what did Jesus do?

He immediately humbled Himself and served!

 

‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them.

‘You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am.

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet,

you also should wash one another’s feet.

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

 

Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master,

nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.’ John 13:12-15

This order stop at Jesus, there is another who is greater than Jesus

“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.”

(Joh 14:28)

Who serves whom if the Father is greater than Jesus.

Who causes things and serves Jesus and gives all the Power in His hands?

Father God shows his Power by serving and magnifying Jesus because Father loves the Son.

The statement can be extended to all God’s children. That includes Adam and the human race.

God the Father gets his praise not because you praise Him, but because in His love he serves you.

This is the praise of Jesus

In turn this is the praise of the Father.

 

This then is the principle of the Kingdom of God.

This is what the Christian Churches failed to realize.

Tzimtzum includes two main processes: contraction and expansion. The very process of constriction necessarily makes room for the expansion of some other element. Tzimtzum does not weaken but strengthens, and a connection (contact) is created between the constricting parties, which is stronger than the strength of either party.

“I and Thou” as Opposed to “I or Thou”

One may compare two types of inter-personal behavior-the “I and thou” pattern and the “I or thou” pattern. In the “I and thou” pattern, the individual and the other act in co-existence, and the “I” evacuates space for the “thou”; whereas in the “I or thou” pattern, there are hostile relations between the “I” and the “you,” and one will always be at the expense of the other. In this type of relation there is always competition, one attempting displace and destroy the other. This is today the Kingdom of This World. The significance of this principle will be evident later when we discuss the reason for this upside down world.

Reparation (Tikkun)

In Kabbalistic Hasidism the idea of tzimtzum is accompanied by the additional concept known as tikkun (repair). The contraction is only the beginning or preparation for creation. After God’s act of contraction for the sake of creating the world, a kind of cosmic explosion of light and sparks is described - the word went out and creation took place. In the process of creation, as the creative word went out into the empty space, the containers were not able to hold them and a shattering of vessels took place, which in Kabbalistic language is called “the shattering of the vessels,” in the wake of which the sparks of holiness became scattered in the upper and lower worlds and became encased in separate shells. This is the fall. Instead of being together they were scattered and thought themselves elevated creating an “I or You” world

The Hebrew verb Tikkun is only found four times in the Scriptures (Ecclesiastes 1:15, 7:13, 12:9, and Daniel 4:36). It means to make straight, establish, arrange, or repair. In Ecclesiastes 7:13 the writer said, "Consider what God has done: Who can straighten [Takkan] what he has made crooked?"

The concept that we have a moral duty to society originates in the Torah. In Deuteronomy 16:20 God commanded Israel: "Follow justice and justice alone." The Hebrew prophet Amos condemned Israel's disregard of the widow, orphan and alien. He declared: "Seek good, and not evil, that you may live...Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate...let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream!" (Amos 5:14-15, 24).

Here is the mystery hidden. The scattering of the vessels resulted in a social mishap. It is not that there were no spark of God within the particles. They were separated without subjecting to one another, without loving one another and not dying for one another.

This then is the fall. It is not an individual problem. It is a social problem. Apparently the growing church as it failed to see the “I and you” connection is still thinking of the problem as an individual transformation problem alone..

You look into any presentation of the gospel,in today’s world, it is only directed at the personal level of transformation and faith in Christ so that they can escape the hell, totally ignoring the oneness aspect of the mankind.

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

~I John 4:7-12

Early Church as soon as Jesus left tried to build this commune of love. They were defeated by one couple who retained “We and You”. Apparently everytime it was tried elsewhere they lasted only for a very little time, for the same reason.

Since then the established church never even tried to rebuild the dream of Jesus. The communion meal became a symbol, and messages were for personal salvation and for them going to heaven.

This is the communion today. “Please use recyclable cups” lest we contaminate

A person’s job is to repair the fracture by an action called “raising the sparks”. Instead of leaving the sparks in a state of disconnection and separation, a person takes an active role in recreating worlds by tikkun, by repair-by connecting the scattered elements.

 

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God is Holy

Qadash קָדַשׁ

 

KJV Dictionary Definition: holiness

HO'LINESS, n. from holy. The state of being holy; purity or integrity of moral character; freedom from sin; sanctity. Applied to the Supreme Being, holiness denotes perfect purity or integrity of moral character, one of his essential attributes.

Who is like thee, glorious in holiness? Ex.15.

1. Applied to human beings, holiness is purity of heart or dispositions; sanctified affections; piety; moral goodness, but not perfect.

  We see piety and holiness ridiculed as morose singularities.

 

2. Sacredness; the state of any thing hallowed, or consecrated to God or to his worship; applied to churches or temples.

 

3. That which is separated to the service of God.

Israel was holiness unto the Lord. Jer.2.

 

4. A title of the pope, and formerly of the Greek emperors.

 

HO'LY, a.

1. Properly, whole, entire or perfect, in a moral sense. Hence, pure in heart, temper or dispositions; free from sin and sinful affections. Applied to the Supreme Being, holy signifies perfectly pure, immaculate and complete in moral character; and man is more or less holy, as his heart is more or less sanctified, or purified from evil dispositions. We call a man holy,when his heart is conformed in some degree to the image of God, and his life is regulated by the divine precepts. Hence, holy is used as nearly synonymous with good, pious, godly.

Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 pet.1.

 

2. Hallowed; consecrated or set apart to a sacred use, or to the service or worship of God; a sense frequent in Scripture; as the holy Sabbath; holy oil; holy vessels; a holy nation; the holy temple; a holy priesthood.

3. Proceeding from pious principles,or directed to pious purposes; as holy zeal.

4. Perfectly just and good; as the holy law of God.

5. Sacred; as a holy witness.

Holy of hollies, in Scripture, the innermost apartment of the Jewish tabernacle or temple, where the ark was kept,and where no person entered, except the high priest, once a year.

Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, the Divine Spirit; the third person in the Trinity; the sanctifier of souls.

Holy war, a war undertaken to rescue the holy land, the ancient Judea, from the infidels; a crusade; an expedition carried on by Christians against the Saracens in the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries; a war carried on in a most unholy manner.

Definitions from Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828.

In 1 Chronicles 23:13 we read of Aaron being “set apart” or made unique in his capacity to offer sacrifices for the people of God. This quality of uncommonness or uniqueness can apply to people, objects, or time. The ground, for example, upon which Moses encountered the Almighty in the burning bush was holy ground (Ex. 3:1–6). The part of the tabernacle containing the ark of the covenant is the holiest place (Lev. 16:1–2), and the old covenant festivals represent holy time (23).

All of these earthly examples are holy because they are set apart by the Lord who is the most “different” or “other” person in the universe. Scripture communicates this idea in speaking of God’s transcendence. Our Creator is high and exalted (Isa. 33:5), above all things and unmatched in His power, glory, and purity (Ex. 15:11).

 

Strong's Concordance 6942. qadash

qadash: to be set apart or consecrated

Original Word: קָדַשׁ
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: qadash
Phonetic Spelling: (kaw-dash')
Short Definition: consecrate

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin denominative verb from qodesh
Definition to be set apart or consecrated
NASB Translation
become consecrated (2), become defiled (1), become holy (1), consecrate (43), consecrated (35), consecrates (7), consecration (2), declare holy (1), dedicate (2), dedicated (8), dedicating (1), holier (1), holy (5), keep (1), keep it holy (2), keep the holy (3), made it holy (1), manifest my holiness (2), prepare (2), prove myself holy (2), proved himself holy (1), purified (1), regard as holy (1), sanctified (9), sanctifies (10), sanctify (12), set them apart (1), set apart (4), set apart the consecrated (2), show himself holy (1), transmit holiness (2), treat me as holy (3), treated as holy (1), vindicate the holiness (1), wholly dedicate (1).

Qadash is being clean. God defines what is right and what is wrong, what is moral and what is not moral. In order to be clean God will have to move away from uncleanness or wash away the uncleanness. If a sinner comes into the presence of God what will be his reaction? What can God do. Is there a place where God is not present, where God can place the sinner? Since this cannot be, the only solution for God is to wash away the dirt

1 Peter 1:14 - 19 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.". If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

The Sovereignty of God

 

To begin, we must go back to eternity past to when God alone existed.

"In the beginning, God"(Gen. 1:1).

This is an assumption all believers make.

God has always existed and is self-existent (Rev. 1:8).

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Rev 1:8)

Did God existed before the creation? Rev !:8 does not say that. It only says that as long as there was a beginning he was there. He will be there when there is an end.

Existence itself gets the meaning only from God.

Now we know that God created all things (Gen.1:1). The very sovereignity of God is at stake when he created free willed beings within himself as we have seen in the contraction concept. God laid down his sovereignity when he created man. Otherwise man was just a puppet or a machine.

"Our God is in the Heavens. He does whatever He pleases" (Psa. 115:3; cf. Psa. 135:5-6; Job 23:13; Eph. 1:11; Dan.4:35). Does that mean he can do good and evil? Not really. God is good because goodness is defined by God. Goodness is what Love is. Anything done in love is good. Then anything done outside of love is evil. Can God do evil? Yes certainly God does whatever He wants to but all that he will do will be in love.. This is the pleasure of God (Matt. 11:26).

God does as He pleases, always as He pleases, only as He pleases.

But what determines his pleasure is decided by his character which is simply given as Love.

Hence in all that he has been doing and will be doing will be based on this character unless God himself changes his character.

In love God willed to create a universe.

The soveregnity of God is to be understood in terms of Love. He is the Master of all creation and hence He loves all his creation and He is King of Kings by serving His creation as a slave but as Love. This word is heavily misunderstood by interpreting sovereignity in terms of the Human upside down Kingdom. This has led to the theology of Calvinism and their various forms attributing God an evil hating heart. Yes indeed the glory of God is bringing the whole creation in unison, ransomed, redeemed and new.

We present ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice, loving one another, living a holy life pleasing to Him. This glorifies God and is our “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). It pains God when this sacrificial life is lost. When we worship with an obedient heart and an open and repentant spirit, God is glorified, Christians are purified, the church is edified, and the lost are evangelized. God is glorified and in good health. These are all the elements of true worship. This then is the interpretation based on the faith that is monotheistic. God will not give his glory to another. When it is given God will intervene and rectify.

 

God is Spirit

 

“God is spirit,” He declared, “and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24

This declaration is with regard to how to worship. Our contact point as man to YHVH is through the spirit which is part of God Himself within every man. God is a Spirit does not define God nor his character, it defines his dimension of existence. The only definition of God in relation to His character is what we had in the Exodus passage.

God doe not need any worship. Yet we need to worship him in order that the focus is on love and God, so that we may be in consonance and resonance with God, thus making the whole body and the mind and the spirit of God in health. Worship is the means of synchronising with the spirit of God. God as a person do not and will not need it.