Reading 7 – Sabbath, December 14, 2019


By Tzvetan Petkov, Bulgaria / USA


“Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” 1 Corinthians 13:7.

Many times, divine love is misun- derstood and confused with our human feelings, emotions, and abstract concepts. In addition, the understanding or  interpretation  of  love  is generally inherited  from  different cultures  and religions. One of the most impressive parts of the epistles of the apostle Paul is his description of divine love and its indispensable necessity in the character of a Christian follower. In 1 Corinthians 13, he emphasizes that love is the most important quality and gift of the Spirit that the believer should have. Being highly educated, the apostle used an excellent system of instruction, leaving no doubt or room for misinterpretation. In verses 4-6, he describes what love is not. In verse 7, he describes what love is. Thus, we are directed to God Himself, who is truly and revealed in our Lord Jesus Christ.


All things

In verse 7, the words “all things” are repeated. In Greek, the word for this phrase is panta, which means literally “each and every one.” It may be used as an adjective and also as a plural characteristic. Many Bible interpreters have paused at this expression, seeking to understand if its meaning is literal or is only a metaphor for “many.” But, in  the  Biblical  context,  we  see  that this meaning is repeated on several different occasions in reference to the plan of salvation and the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ. For example, He died for everyone. God the Father loves everyone, good and bad. Matthew 5:45.

Christ wants everyone to be saved and no one to be lost. These and many other verses make it plain that the gift of God and His great salvation are offered equally to all, in the plurality of humanity, and to each and every single individual; and there is no exception to God’s grace. John 3:16. If a person fails to receive the saving grace, it is because of his personal choice, not because the hand of God is short. The same principle applies here to the gift of love. The one who receives this special measure of the Holy Spirit becomes Christ-like. The word “all things” is the assurance that all who receive the gift of love are partakers of His divine nature indeed, members of His heavenly family, sons and daughters of God.


Bears all things

“Bear” in Greek is the word stego and means to cover, to protect, to preserve in silence. This quality of divine love is seen in Christ’s life as His perfect dedication to saving the human race. He covers, protects, and preserves sinners by giving Himself as the payment for the race, choosing to suffer and assume the guilt that is not His, for the purpose of saving the sinner and giving him a second chance. Christ was   and   is   sinless–holy.  However, He voluntarily took the fallen human nature upon Himself. “But our Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation. We have nothing to bear which He has not endured.”–The Desire of Ages, p. 117. He became obedient unto death, taking the sins of the world upon Himself.

There is no more exalted expression or demonstration of love than the life and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. His followers will demonstrate that same quality. Moses was told to get away from the people, rebellious Israel, so that  God  might  destroy  all  of  them and  raise  up  a  new  generation  from the children of Moses. But Moses pleaded with God and interceded for his disobedient fellowmen. In a similar manner,  the  apostle  Paul  interceded for his fellow Israelites, saying that he would choose to lose his own salvation if only his fellow Jews could be saved. Romans 9:3. Stephen, the godly deacon chosen by the early Christian church, gave no place to anger or vengeance when he was stoned by his fellow countrymen. In his dying prayer, he pleaded earnestly for God to forgive their sins, because they did not know what they were doing. Acts 7:59, 60. Dear brother, dear sister, you can also have this gift and divine love. Let us pray that the Lord will cleanse our hearts and minds from all hatred, evil thoughts and words, anger, envy, and jealousy, and fill us with the divine perfume, the sweet fragrance of divine love.

At the same time, the protective quality of divine love is demonstrated in the parabolic comparison of believers to watchmen who are commissioned to sound the alarm, to blow the trumpet. Numbers 10:9, 10. The trumpet was sounded on a daily basis in Israel to proclaim  the  hour  for  worship  and to  announce  the  time  for  meetings, war, and other religious and civil gatherings. One who receives divine love will not be passive. He will not be indifferent to his neighbor’s suffering. He  will  not  be  like  Cain,  who  said, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9), but will sigh and cry for Israel’s transgressions. “And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through  the  midst  of  Jerusalem,  and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” Ezekiel 9:4.

In the time of the gold rush, two friends got lost in the snowy wasteland of Alaska. The temperatures were very low, and one would freeze to death if the proper precautions were not taken. One of the men was strong, but the other was very weak and frail. Often, as they walked, they had to stop, because the weaker man was unable to go on. The stronger man would help him, carry him, massage his frozen legs, look for food, and do everything possible to save his friend. After many days, when the two men finally reached safety, the stronger man confessed that his weak friend was the reason he himself did not  freeze  to  death.  By  helping  him and constantly working with him, he himself was warmed up and survived the bitter cold. Similarly, when we work for the salvation of others, when we  preach,  teach,  warn,  and  protect our fellow believers, we ourselves are warmed up and thus are able to express Christ’s love to others.


Believes all things

The word “believe” in Greek is pisteo. This means to believe things to be true, to trust, and to have confidence. Once again, the greatest example of trust and belief is our Lord Jesus Christ. He believed from the beginning that the plan of salvation would be completed, that  the  human  race  would  accept God’s merciful hand. Satan and his fallen angels would oppose Him and war against Him, but victory over sin and death would be achieved.

During His life on earth, Jesus used only the power that is available to  human  beings.  By  living  faith, He received the power to live a holy life,   overcome   temptation,   and   be man’s  example  and  substitute.  That is why His followers are said to have the   characteristics   of   keeping   the commandments and the faith of Jesus. Revelation 14:12. The same faith that Christ has is imparted to His followers. The same strength of the Holy Spirit that sustained Him is entrusted to the believers   as   they   faithfully   follow the instructions given in the holy Scriptures.

“A knowledge of the riches of this grace, will ennoble and elevate the human soul, and through connection with Christ, it will become a partaker of the divine nature, and obtain power to   resist   the   advances   of   Satan.” –Christian Education, p. 27.

In the parable of the mustard seed, Jesus described this faith as a small seed that grows, bears fruit, and connects His children with the heavenly kingdom. The apostles received this faith when they were converted and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the early rain. To the believers at the end of time is promised both the early and the latter rain. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, everything is possible. “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them,  With  men  this  is  impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26. This faith moves mountains  and  enabled  the  apostles to preach the gospel successfully and perform healing miracles. So also you, sister and brother, are privileged to obtain the same gift of the Spirit, faith for all things, the faith of Jesus, and successfully  fight  against  the  power of evil. Do not hesitate to ask, because those who ask will receive.

There is an inspiring story about Angela Yuan. Her son Christopher was a good student and an obedient son. However, after his teenage years, he turned his back on his mother, ran away from home, and wasted his life on drugs, homosexuality, and criminal activities. His mother was so devastated that one day she decided she would take her own life. However, the minister of her church helped her to understand that divine love is unconditional, immense, and forgiving. This changed her life and filled her heart with faith and hope. She started to look for Christopher, fighting spiritually in prayer and perseverance. Many times one becomes desperate and is able to view the future only by faith.

Today, Angela and her son Christopher have overcome their doubts. They are traveling  around  the  globe,  sharing their experience of faith and victory. “Never give up” is the conclusion of this suffering mother. Pray and have faith.

The   apostle   James   presented faith and works as inseparable con- cepts.  True  faith  moves  the  believer to action and obedience. “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by  my  works.”  James  2:18.  Faith  is the engine of every honest Christian, giving him power to practice the wisdom, love, and obedience found in God’s word. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews, in chapter 11, presents a gallery of men and women of faith and their supernatural achievements. And James mentions that prayers will be answered only if they are based on faith and one does not waver like the waves of the sea.

Love   and   faith   are   similar, for they are not based on feelings or emotions but are living principles encompassing incredible power to change a person’s way of thinking and speaking and to plant a new character in his heart. Through faith and love, God’s  law  is  imprinted  upon  one’s heart and becomes part of his soul. “As Christ lived the law in humanity, so we may do if we will take hold of the Strong for strength…. And they will receive not only wisdom, but strength. Power   for   obedience,   for   service, will  be  imparted  to  them,  as  Christ has  promised.  Whatever  was  given to  Christ–the  ‘all  things’  to  supply the need of fallen men–was given to Him as the head and representative of humanity. And ‘whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.’ 1 John 3:22.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 668.



In Greek, the word “hope” is elpizo, meaning confidence, hope. Without hope for the future, it is not possible  to  survive.  So  many  things can go wrong. Even the rotation of our planet is subject to divine power, and by faith and hope we assume that it will continue, even though there is no guarantee for it. On March 16, 2011, National Geographic published the observation that the axis of the earth has shifted by four meters as a result of the earthquake in Japan. Scientists did not know how to explain this, even though they expected extreme irregularities in nature. Only by hope and confidence in  God  can  we  overcome  anxiety and navigate a straight course to the harbor, even while not being able to see it. “Mourn not as those who are hopeless and helpless; never, under any circumstances, give way to despair; but from grateful hearts, from lips touched with holy fire, let the glad song ring out, ‘Jesus is risen; He lives to make intercession for us.’ Grasp this hope, and it will hold the soul like a sure, tried anchor. Believe, and thou shalt ‘see the glory of God.’ John 11:40.”   –Gospel Workers (1892), p. 467.

Believers  who  cherish  hope also  have  a  positive  attitude.  They do  not  panic  when  things  go  wrong or do not come out according to their expectations. The gift of hope makes it possible not to depend on circumstances for our choices and moral standards but to press forward even when there is no visible sign of success.

Charles Darwin had a daughter, Anne Elizabeth, whom he loved very much for her virtue, energy, and lovely character. One day, when she was around 10 years old, she became very ill, and the medical doctors did not give much hope for her recovery. Charles Darwin prayed earnestly to God, asking for healing and salvation for his lovely daughter. However, day by day the condition of Anne Elizabeth became worse, and she passed away. Charles was  so  devastated,  so  disappointed, and so angry with God that he did not attend his daughter’s funeral. Years later, the grieving father remembered her and wrote: “Our poor child, Annie, was born in Gower St on March 2d, 1841, & expired at Malvern at Midday on  the  23d  of April  1851.  Her  dear face now rises before me, as she used sometimes to come running down stairs with a stolen pinch of snuff for me, her whole form radiant with the pleasure of giving pleasure.”

His  faithful,  believing  wife tried  everything  she  could  to  help her grieving husband, but not much could be done. Some of those who knew Charles Darwin stated that the theory of evolution was his revenge against God because He did not heal his beloved daughter. When we give up hope, we lose our connection to the light. Our purpose in life dissolves into doubt and becomes disoriented. The suffering of our soul can be incredible. Let  us  never  give  up  hope,  because God is unchangeable yesterday, today, and forever. His love is unconditional; His power, almighty; His knowledge, omniscient. God is omnipresent, and He loves humanity so much “that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.



In the Greek language, the word “endurance” is hupomeno, which means to endure patiently, to abide, to suffer. When endurance and patience are connected with love, faith, and hope, the true character of the divine gift is demonstrated. The gift given by the Spirit is not a temporary emotion but is a continually working power that accompanies the converted soul from the beginning to the end of his life. Endurance and patience are especially necessary and part of the characters of God’s people, the 144,000. Revelation 14:12 says: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

Endurance   was   demonstrated in the life and work of our Lord Jesus Christ every single day of His ministry. After His baptism, He was led by the Spirit to the desert, where His spiritual endurance was tested. The Scriptures say that after He faithfully resisted the temptation of the enemy, the devil left Him. If we endure patiently in our battle against the “rulers of the darkness” (Ephesians 6:12), the evil one will flee from us as well.

When we receive the Spirit of God and are refreshed, blessed by the gifts and qualities of His divine nature, we enjoy the presence of His holy angels  and  His  protection.  However, if we do not endure and persevere, cooperating with the Lord’s gift, He may  leave  us  and  stay  outside  the door, as described in the condition of the Laodicean church, where Christ is portrayed as standing at the door and knocking. Revelation 3:20. In one parable, Jesus warned the believers that if they did not persevere in faith and obedience and if they did not connect themselves   to   God’s   saving   grace, the evil spirit would return from the desert, bringing with him seven more, and possess the empty heart that was once cleansed and purified by God’s Spirit. Matthew12:43-45. The Spirit of prophecy relates this parable to those who “… rejoiced in the love of God; but, like the stony-ground hearers of the parable, they did not abide in His love. They did not surrender themselves to God  daily,  that  Christ  might  dwell in the heart; and when the evil spirit returned, with ‘seven other spirits more wicked than himself,’ they were wholly dominated by the power of evil.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 323. How sad will be the condition of that erring soul when the judgment takes place. We thank God that we are still living in the time of grace. Repentance is available. God is stretching His loving hand toward every erring sinner, offering forgiveness, grace, and salvation.

To  be  faithful  unto  death  is a basic condition for salvation and participation in the heavenly kingdom. Revelation  2:10.  However,  patience and endurance are not qualities that come from human nature; rather they are a gift given through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Divine love is demonstrated    by    patience,    hope, faith, and bearing all things. “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly,  seeketh  not  her  own,  is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the  gift  of  prophecy,  and  understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 8. Divine love is the perfect reflec- tion  of  God’s  character.  Having  the gift of love in our lives means to have God in our hearts, to be a temple of His Holy Spirit, to be daughters and sons of His heavenly family, to be part of His divine kingdom, to be the light of the world!

Let us repeat with the prophet: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17. Amen