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“For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because the thing which may be known of God is clearly revealed within them, for God revealed it to them” (Romans 1:18-19 MKJV).
“He who believes on the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides upon him” (John 3:36 MKJV).
“And they said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him sitting on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb’” (Revelation 6:16 MKJV).
Wrath a Real and Abiding Characteristic of God
While there are some who gladly preach God’s wrath, fire and brimstone to proselytize their hearers, few like to hear about it, because they have a nagging suspicion the preaching applies to them.
Many deny God is wrathful, preferring to present God as a sop – a passive, tolerant wimp who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Yet we see God’s wrath all around us, everyday and in many lives. To be sure, God is Love, but His Wrath is also there. While you may choose to deny it, you can nonetheless count on it.
God’s Wrath Ever Redemptive
One thing must be clear, however. God’s wrath is always redemptive in the long run, never otherwise, not for anyone. His vengeance is purely to balance the scales, never to destroy them. All evil that God works, He works for eventual good for all concerned. Still, it is never a pleasant thing to incur His wrath, not remotely.
A scenario of the kind that happens nearly every minute around the world:
A hospital patient says to his roommate: “We ought to be very thankful for doctors. Isn’t it wonderful how they’re able to fix so many things that ail us? I really love our family doctor. He has seen our family through many a trial over the years.”
Enter the doctor on his rounds. “Good morning, George.”
“Good morning, Doctor – good to see you! What do you have to tell me today?”
The doctor hesitates a few moments, then says, “We have investigated everything thoroughly. I’m afraid there’s nothing more we can do. I’m so sorry.”
The case of a doctor having to be the bearer of bad news to someone he had cared about for so long, someone he was able to help at former times, someone he had tried counseling concerning his lifestyle, to change and improve it, but his words had fallen on deaf ears.
So it was in the days of Noah. The Law of God and His warnings went unheeded. “God is love,” they said. “He would never destroy the people He created. Look what happened with Adam and Eve. They sinned. Did He kill them? No. In fact, in His love for them, He covered their nakedness with skins. Sure, they couldn’t stay in the garden anymore. No big deal. And then He gave Adam and Eve sons, Cain and Abel!”
Very true, God is a good God, a merciful and compassionate God.
“But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you, so that you may become sons of your Father in Heaven. For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:44-45 MKJV)
And He doesn’t change.
“For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6 ESV).
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 ESV).
We can depend on the fact that He will always be the way He is.
Cain and Abel
What about Cain, who killed his innocent and righteous brother Abel? Did God kill him for it? No, He talked to him, warning him that unless he repented (changed his attitude), there would be consequences; He even put a mark on Cain to protect him from the same thing happening to him that he did to his brother:
Genesis 4:3-17 ESV
(3) In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground,
(4) and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering,
(5) but for Cain and his offering He had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.
(6) The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?
(7) If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
(8) Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.
(9) Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”
(10) And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.
(11) And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
(12) When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”
(13) Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.
(14) Behold, You have driven me today away from the ground, and from Your Face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”
(15) Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.
(16) Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
(17) Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.
Not only did God protect Cain, He prospered him!
In light of these Biblical testimonies, if they’re to be believed, how can we ever presume to declare the reality of God’s wrath?
Noah Builds the Ark
One may have said, “This Noah fellow doesn’t recognize the grace and mercy of God. There he is, the damned fool, building a huge ship, and for what? He and his family expect a loving God to wipe out not just one or two people, but everybody and everything but them?! Who does he think he is – God’s special pet? How deluded can a guy get?!
“This guy thinks everything revolves around him. He thinks he hears from God. God = Noah, and Noah = God, right? What a laugh! The serpent hasn’t quit, has he? Working overtime on Noah. I think he’s bitter. And those poor kids of his! He has them deluded along with his wife. His wife seems nice enough. Doesn’t she see through his insanity? How hard is that?”
So what happened? Noah understood God’s ways and believed His Word:
Genesis 6:5-18 ESV
(5) The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
(6) And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart.
(7) So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
(8) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
(9) These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
(10) And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
(11) Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.
(12) And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
(13) And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
(14) Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.
(15) This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits.
(16) Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks.
(17) For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die.
(18) But I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.”
Noah expected God’s wrath to be manifest in the most terrible of ways.
But God Promised by a Rainbow
Genesis 9:8-17 MKJV
(8) And God spoke to Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
(9) “Behold! I, even I, establish My covenant with you, and with your seed after you;
(10) and with every living creature that is with you, of the birds, of the cattle, and of every animal of the earth with you; from all that go out from the Ark, to every animal of the earth.
(11) And I will establish My covenant with you. Neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood. Neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.”
(12) And God said, “This is the token of the covenant which I make between Me and you and every living creature with you, for everlasting generations:
(13) I set My rainbow in the cloud. And it shall be a token of a covenant between Me and the earth.
(14) And it shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud.
(15) And I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
(16) And the rainbow shall be in the cloud. And I will look upon it so I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”
(17) And God said to Noah, “This is the token of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”
Yes, God promised He would never again destroy the earth by water, and we can depend upon His Word. However, the Son, one with the Father, said: “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days that were before the Flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the Ark, and knew not until the Flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37-39).
The Earth Filled with Violence to Be Destroyed by Fire
We have these notions that it was much more vile and violent then, but the word “violence” in the Hebrew means “unjust gain.” Certainly, they had physical violence then, and don’t we? But speak of unjust gain! The earth is flooded with it today.
Look at the stock markets, the banking debacles, plunders, inflation, deflation, takeovers, and monopolies consuming the market. Look at the governmental and multinational corporate tyranny, the corrupt media, and deceptive news reports and advertising. Witness the medical tyranny, the injustices of the justice system, the unlearned educational system, the corrupt conventional food system heavily reliant on harmful inputs and genetic engineering, and the environmental pollution for profit, killing everything in sight. Perhaps worst of all, we have the religious works of men making merchandise of people, even as Peter foretold – “Through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you…” (2 Peter 2:3).
Just as a rotting apple gets much worse days from now, so today is worse than Noah’s day. In Leviticus were prescribed two cleansing agents, water and fire. Water cleansed the filth in Noah’s day, but now we need a stronger cleansing agent; water will not be effective today. The fire must come, because this last day is so vile.
Didn’t Peter say this Day of God would be such wherein “the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:10)? Because of the approaching wrath, Peter urged people of God to be in all holy conduct and godliness. Not long after Peter issued his warning, God’s wrath was poured out on Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple. Many years before this happened, Jesus declared God’s wrath would be the result of His people’s independent spirit and rebellion against God:
Luke 19:41-44 ESV
(41) And when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it,
(42) saying, "Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
(43) For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side
(44) and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation."
Luke 13:34-35 MKJV
(34) “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! the one killing the prophets, and stoning those having been sent to her; how often I desired to gather your children in the way a hen gathers her brood under the wings, and you did not desire it.
(35) Behold, your house is left to you desolate. And truly I say to you, You will not see Me until it come when you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.’”
But it’s amazing how sin blinds and deceives the self-righteous into thinking they are holy, and there’s no talking to them. It’s reported that even as the Temple was burning to the ground, some stood on its rooftop, expecting God to intervene and save them from His wrath. It didn’t happen.
The Judgment of Jerusalem – and of the World
“Was it His wrath that caused Jerusalem’s destruction,” you may ask, “or was it Rome’s wrath?” Assuredly, it was His. Rome could do nothing without His will. God promised Solomon great blessing with obedience, but warned Solomon when he first built the Temple:
1 Kings 9:6-9 ESV
(6) “But if you turn aside from following Me, you or your children, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them,
(7) then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for My Name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
(8) And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’
(9) Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the LORD their God Who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the LORD has brought all this disaster on them.’”
Centuries later, God spoke by Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 6:6-8 ESV
(6) For thus says the LORD of hosts: “Cut down her trees; cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem. This is the city that must be punished; there is nothing but oppression within her.
(7) As a well keeps its water fresh, so she keeps fresh her evil; violence and destruction are heard within her; sickness and wounds are ever before Me.
(8) Be warned, O Jerusalem, lest I turn from you in disgust, lest I make you a desolation, an uninhabited land.”
Babylon destroyed Israel, and centuries later, Rome did the same, as God purposed and foretold. We’re warned by Him through Peter, as well:
“For God did not spare sinning angels, but thrust them down into Tartarus, and delivered them into chains of darkness, being reserved to judgment. And He did not spare the old world, but saved Noah the eighth one, a preacher of righteousness, bringing the Flood upon the world of the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:4-5 MKJV).
And the Lord continues to warn the world by us, those sent of Him:
“And whoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Truly I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment than for that city” (Matthew 10:14-15 MKJV).
Centuries before Jesus appeared in history as a man, speaking the above words, Israel had been taken captive by Babylon. Only a remnant of Israel was spared – God often keeps a remnant, not the majority. And how small that remnant can be! In the day of Noah, He saved a mere eight souls out of the entire population of the earth. Jesus compared Noah’s day to how it would be in this last day, the day of His coming.
The Fate of Mockers
“But, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These are they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit” (Jude 1:17-19 KJV).
“God is love! God is love!” everyone cries. I see multitudes of lovers of pleasures holding hands, skip-dancing in circles, singing:
“God is stupid; God is a fool!
Look at Him smile; look at Him drool!
We’ll have pleasure; we’ll have fun;
He saved us all by giving His Son!
Naa naa naa naa!”
They finger their noses at God, truth, justice, righteousness, sobriety, holiness, and love – God’s love. They make a mockery of all that’s true, pure, right, honest, and good. What is good they call evil, and evil, good. They take to themselves preachers who will justify, console, and even encourage and indulge their congregations in their lusts. They worship other gods upon whom they attach the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, saying, “He is like so,” when He is nothing at all as they declare.
Being unrepentant, sinners must justify themselves. They read the Bible with blinders and render eloquent interpretations and commentaries to suit their evil consciences. But the Bible is permeated with the wrath of God against sin and sinners.
You’ve heard it said, “God loves the sinner and hates the sin.” If that were so, surely the Bible would only talk of His destroying sin, not sinners. But the Bible clearly speaks of His destroying sinners, not sin. Yes, He puts away sin by the blood atonement and did so from the foundation of the world, but He has destroyed sinners ever since, no matter how much grace they thought they had.
People in Noah’s day thought they could count on God’s grace. So it was with the children of Israel, whose false prophets prophesied to the people peace and prosperity, as in the immediate days before the Babylonian and Roman destructions.
“For everyone from the least of them even to the greatest of them cuts off a profit; and from the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely. They have also healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, nor could they blush; therefore they shall fall among those who fall. At the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, says the LORD” (Jeremiah 6:13-15 MKJV).
Grace is not as men suppose. The atonement is not as men suppose. The Law was never removed from God’s scheme of things (read Law and Grace). God expected the Law to always be honored and established (Romans 3:31).
The God of Yesterday
Now, if Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), let’s see how He was yesterday. By that, we can know how He is today and will forever remain. The Bible is a faithful witness to the Author of the Bible.
“And the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth…’” (Genesis 6:7).
“And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife” (Genesis 12:17).
“The Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord of Heaven; and He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground” (Genesis 19:24-25).
“But [Lot’s] wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26).
(This is Jesus Christ, Almighty God of Whom we speak now, the One few dare to imagine can be so severe.)
The wrath of God came down on Sodom and Gomorrah so dramatically and demonstrably that, to this day, we speak of how vile those cities must have been. Of course, the record declares they were vile. But have men changed? And has the Lord changed in His nature and ways of dealing with men from that time? In the days of His flesh, two millennia later, Jesus said it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment than for the cities that had heard His words, seen His works, and refused to believe.
“And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to the heaven, shall be brought down to hell. For if the mighty works which have been done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the Day of Judgment than for you” (Matthew 11:23-24 MKJV).
The Day of Wrath and Judgment for Capernaum came after Christ’s days in the flesh. That being so, how can people say God has changed in His nature, no longer wrathful in His judgment of evil? The fact is He was as He was and hasn’t changed.
Men have created God in an image palatable to them and conducive to their lifestyles, so as to justify and pacify themselves in their sins. Notice that what they were doing in Sodom wasn’t worse than rejecting the preaching of the Lord’s servants, and in fact, wasn’t as serious. I say to you, scoffers who don’t practice sodomy, but who despise the warnings of the Lord and His prophets and saints, beware. Again, I say, beware.
God is love, John says (1 John 4:8), and has always been love. Yet we have ever seen God’s wrath; He manifests Himself as He has been, is today, and will be forever.
“But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, ‘Behold, you are but a dead man, for the woman which you have taken; for she is a man’s wife’” (Genesis 20:3).
“And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord slew him” (Genesis 38:7).
“And the thing which Onan did displeased the Lord: wherefore He slew him also” (Genesis 38:9-10).
“And it came to pass… that the Lord sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, ‘Surely a bloody husband are you to me.’ So He let him go: then she said, ‘A bloody husband you are,’ because of the circumcision” (Exodus 4:24-26).
“And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, to the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle” (Exodus 12:29).
“I will send My fear before you, and will destroy all the people to whom you shall come. And I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you” (Exodus 23:27 MKJV).
Exodus 32:27-28 MKJV
(27) And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Each man put his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and kill each one his brother, and each one his neighbor, and each one his kindred.”
(28) And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
Exodus 34:6-7 MKJV
(6) And the LORD passed by before him and proclaimed, “The LORD! The LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
(7) keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and Who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the sons, and on the sons of sons, to the third and to the fourth generation [‘innocent’ children included?].”
“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. And there went out fire from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD” (Leviticus 10:1-2 MKJV).
“You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry. And My wrath shall become hot, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your sons fatherless” (Exodus 22:22-24 MKJV).
(I remind you once more, this is Jesus Christ speaking.)
“And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very great plague. And he called the name of that place Graves of Lust, because there they buried the people that lusted” (Numbers 11:33-34 MKJV).
“And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married…. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them…. And, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow…. And when Moses prayed for her, the Lord said, ‘If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? Let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again’” (Numbers 12).
This is that same Lord of Whom it was said, at that time yet, that He is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression.
Speaking to His people: “As truly as I live, says the Lord… your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness… and your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years and bear your whoredoms, until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness…. I the Lord have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against Me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die… and the men that brought up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord” (Numbers 14).
And the Lord caused the earth to open her mouth “and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained to Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, ‘Lest the earth swallow us up also.’ And there came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense” (Numbers 16).
“The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel….’ And those that died in the plague were twenty-four thousand” (Numbers 25).
On one hand, the Scriptures declare:
“When you are in trouble and when all these things have found you in the latter days, then you shall return to the LORD your God and shall be obedient to His voice. For the LORD your God is a merciful God; He will not forsake you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them” (Deuteronomy 4:30-31 MKJV).
On the other hand:
Deuteronomy 4:24-26 MKJV
(24) For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
(25) When you father sons and sons of sons, and when you shall have remained long in the land and have dealt corruptly by making a graven image, the likeness of anything, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD your God, to provoke Him to anger,
(26) I call Heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you shall soon utterly perish from off the land which you are crossing over Jordan to possess. You shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.
See how severe the Lord can be:
Deuteronomy 13:6-11 MKJV
(6) If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is like your own soul, lures you secretly, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods,” which you have not known, you nor your fathers,
(7) that is, of the gods of the people who are around you, near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth,
(8) you shall not consent to him nor listen to him. Nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare, nor shall you hide him.
(9) But you shall surely kill him. Your hand shall be first on him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
(10) And you shall stone him with stones so that he dies, because he has sought to drive you away from the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves.
(11) And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this among you.
Deuteronomy 29:24-28 MKJV
(24) Even all nations shall say, “Why has the LORD done this to this land? For what is the heat of this great anger?”
(25) Then men shall say, “Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them forth out of the land of Egypt.
(26) For they went and served other gods, and worshiped them, gods whom they did not know, and who had not given to them any portion.
(27) And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring on it all the curses that are written in this book.
(28) And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger and wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is today.”
The Twelve Curses of Moses, the Servant of Jesus Christ
Deuteronomy 27:11-26 MKJV
(11) And Moses charged the people the same day, saying,
(12) “These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people when you have come over Jordan: Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin.
(13) And these shall stand on Mount Ebal to curse: Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.
(14) And the Levites shall speak and say to all the men of Israel with a loud voice,
(15) ‘Cursed is the man that makes any graven or molten image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and puts it in a secret place.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’
(16) ‘Cursed is he who thinks lightly of his father or his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
(17) ‘Cursed is he who removes his neighbor’s landmark.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
(18) ‘Cursed is he who makes the blind to wander out of the way.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
(19) ‘Cursed is he who perverts the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
(20) ‘Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife, because he uncovers his father’s skirt.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
(21) ‘Cursed is he who lies with any kind of animal.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
(22) ‘Cursed is he who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
(23) ‘Cursed is he who lies with his mother-in-law.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
(24) ‘Cursed is he who strikes his neighbor secretly.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
(25) ‘Cursed is he who takes reward to kill an innocent person.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
(26) ‘Cursed is he who does not confirm all the words of this Law, to do them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’”
If one does well, God blesses; if not, God curses. Read Deuteronomy 28.
By some today, curses aren’t viewed or acknowledged as curses, but as trials of faith or strengthening measures, presuming the subject is righteous simply because that person is naming the Lord and praising Him with his lips. Most religious people suffer the curses of Deuteronomy 28, some thinking they suffer for the cause of Christ or according to His will, when it simply isn’t so. To see why they suffer so, read Counterfeit Christianity, The True Marks of a Cult, and Diabolical Doctrines.
To acknowledge the reality of God’s wrath and consequences would call for repentance and conversion whereby sinners would be healed. They instead insist they have been converted, that Christ lives in them, that they “accepted Christ when they were ten years old,” and that their christ is the ever-doting, unconditionally-forgiving god they have been taught to believe in. They refuse to acknowledge that the wrath of God applies to them, as it always has, even to His own people. More particularly, it applies to those who have been given more light, for more is required from them.
Is God loving? Yes. Is He forgiving? Yes. But not to the unrepentant and hypocritical.
Speaking of His people who go a whoring from Him: “For a fire is kindled in My anger, and shall burn to the lowest Hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend My arrows upon them… send the teeth of beasts upon them with the poison of serpents of the dust…. The sword without, and terrors within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs” (Deuteronomy 32:22-25).
At the command of the Lord, “[the Israelites] completely destroyed all in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword” (Joshua 6:21 MKJV).
What? “Innocent” children, too? Because Achan kept some gold and garments that God commanded were to be destroyed, he, his wife, his sons, and his daughters, his livestock, tent, and all possessions were destroyed:
“And Joshua said, ‘Why have you [Achan] troubled us? The Lord shall trouble you this day.’ And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones” (Joshua 7:25).
The Testimony of God’s Wrath Prevalent
In taking quotations out of the Bible to point to the side of God many would choose to be ignorant of, I have covered a sampling of only the first six books of sixty-six. Time and time again are mentioned the indignation (about 30 times), fury (nearly 60 times), wrath (about 100 times) and anger (about 200 times) of the Lord.
Let’s go on for those who are unfamiliar with the Bible and the God of the Bible:
Because Achan simply kept something for himself that was to be destroyed anyway, not only he and his family were destroyed, but also thirty-six men of Israel who hadn’t taken anything. God is not tolerant of evil at all. And companying with sinners brings upon you the wrath of God automatically, even if you aren’t directly involved in their sins.
In the Book of Judges, God delivered His people into the hands of their enemies many times, and when they cried out and repented, He delivered them. Yes, He is merciful and longsuffering, but we dare not presume upon His goodness or write off His wrath.
Ask yourself: Are you plagued by sickness and disease, creditors, hard employers, unfaithful employees, thieves and robbers, worries and fears, cruel husbands, bitter wives, and rebellious children? Why?
David’s Terrible Harvest
Hear, you adulterers and adulteresses! David took Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, made her pregnant, and killed Uriah (2 Samuel 11). When he tried to conceal his sin, a prophet was sent to him, and David confessed and repented (2 Samuel 12). Consider, however, the consequences that came as the fruit of his doings:
1) The child of the adultery wasn’t permitted to live (2 Samuel 12:14-18).
2) David’s son Amnon raped one of David’s daughters, Tamar (2 Samuel 13:1-20). She remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.
3) Absalom killed Amnon (2 Samuel 13:24-29), because he had raped Tamar.
4) David and Absalom, father and son, lived apart in bitterness while David longed for him (2 Samuel 13:38; 14:1-24).
5) Absalom, reputed for beauty very rare, plotted to murder his own father and usurp the throne. David had to flee in his old age (2 Samuel 15).
6) David was betrayed by a close friend, Ahithophel, who advised Absalom against David (2 Samuel 15:31).
7) David was publicly railed upon and cursed by a man, Shimei (2 Samuel 16:5–13).
8) Absalom violated David’s ten concubines before all Israel (2 Samuel 16:20-22). Just as the seed planted is covered in the earth, but the fruit produced is manifest for all to see, so David’s sin was done in secret, but the fruit was public.
9) At least twenty thousand men died in battle over the affair (2 Samuel 18:6–8).
10) Absalom, still beloved to David, was killed, to David’s great sorrow (2 Samuel 18:9-17).
11) The concubines spent the rest of their lives shut up in celibacy and widowhood (2 Samuel 20:3).
12) Joab treacherously killed Amasa, David’s general (2 Samuel 20:10).
13) Israel and Judah were temporarily divided from each other when Sheba, a Benjamite, revolted against David. Sheba was killed (2 Samuel 20).
14) Joab became a bloody man who troubled David. More consequences of Joab’s troubling were to follow in the day of Solomon, David’s son and successor.
As David was treacherous with Uriah, his faithful servant, so treachery was multiplied in David’s house.
David had committed adultery and murder. He repented, but the seeds he sowed reaped a terrible harvest of incest, treachery, murder, and adultery, though it took years. Sinner, do you not discern the fruits of your own ways? Do you think the evils in your life are without cause?
Is there unconfessed, unrepented-of sin in your life? You need to deal with it or continue sowing and reaping the consequences.
“As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse without cause shall not come” (Proverbs 26:2 MKJV).
Everything has a reason, a cause. God is not out of control, and neither is any circumstance. Is it the wrath of God you are experiencing, or the wages of sin? It is both. They are one and the same.
Those Called but Not Gathering with God Are also Subject to His Wrath
Jonathan was a close friend of David’s, but because he didn’t identify with David in the sufferings and persecution he endured as God’s anointed, remaining instead with his father and family who pursued David, Jonathan was destroyed with them by the sword, which the Lord sent. It wasn’t what Jonathan did that brought this judgment, so much as what he failed to do, even though there was no express command given to him from God that we know of. As a believer he stayed with the one who opposed God and suffered his fate. Read Commitment.
Shall Spiritual Adultery Go without Wrath?
James, in his epistle, addressed spiritual adulterers and adulteresses. He wasn’t addressing those who had committed the physical sin of adultery and intent, as addressed by Jesus in Matthew 5:28, although such could be included. James was addressing those who were taking God’s Name upon themselves (calling themselves Christians), professing to believe in Him and to obey Him, but who walked in lawlessness, treachery, and hypocrisy – the love of this world.
He was speaking to those who talk but don’t walk, saying one thing but doing quite another, professing to worship Him but worshipping other gods… committing adultery on God by giving heed to their preferences and interests rather than to Him. These are liars who promise and vow and swear to do, but refuse to do what is required because it isn’t convenient for them. They betray the One Who laid down His life for them.
When the chips are down, spiritual adulterers’ own interests always come first. The cross is abhorrent to them. They prefer their religious and social pleasures over God. They choose fellowship with man over the fellowship with God and think it righteous to do so, deceiving themselves into thinking they seek, and have fellowship with, God by having it with other adulterers and adulteresses doing the same. These are whores – reveling, laughing, smiling; light persons who will not face reality.
Do you who name the Name of Christ, but prefer the praise and companionship of people, think you’ll escape? Did David escape the consequence of his sin? Did Jonathan? I tell you, even if you repent at this point as David did, still there will be consequences. Why then will you delay your repentance and add sin to sin and consequence to consequence? Don’t you know God’s wrath grows greater hour by hour and could even come to the point where there will no longer be an open door for you?
1 Corinthians 10:5-12 MKJV
(5) But with many of them God was not well pleased, for they were scattered in the wilderness.
(6) And these things were our examples, that we should not be lusters after evil, as they also lusted.
(7) Nor should we be idolaters, even as some of them, as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”
(8) Nor let us commit fornication, as some of them fornicated, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
(9) Nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted Him and were destroyed by serpents.
(10) Nor murmur as some of them also murmured and were destroyed by the destroyer.
(11) And all these things happened to them as examples; and it is written for our warning on whom the ends of the world have come.
(12) So let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
Nathan told David of his sins of adultery and murder. And even though David repented, he, his family, and his nation suffered great losses. If David had ignored the warning, what do you think would have happened? I’ll tell you. David would have lost everything… everything, including his life. Repent, people; I warn you – repent. Those who don’t heed are destroyed.
“Be not deceived; God is no mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
Pride also Incurs God’s Wrath
The Lord gets angry for many and apparently peculiar reasons throughout the entire Bible. How about for taking a census, for counting numbers, for taking pride in how many people are in your congregation (many churches post the attendance numbers of every “worship service” on the front wall):
2 Samuel 24:1-4 MKJV
(1) And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, “Go count Israel and Judah.”
(2) For the king said to Joab the commander of the army, who was with him, “Go around through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and count the people so that I may know the number of the people.”
(3) And Joab said to the king, “And may the LORD your God add to the people however many they be, a hundred times as many, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king delight in this thing?”
(4) But the king’s word prevailed against Joab, and against the commanders of the army. And Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to number the people of Israel.
2 Samuel 24:10-16 MKJV
(10) And David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. And now, I beseech You, O LORD, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”
(11) And David rose up in the morning. And the Word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying,
(12) “Go and say to David, ‘So says the LORD, I offer you three things. Choose one of them, so that I may do it to you.’”
(13) And Gad came to David, and told him, and said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come upon you and on your land? Or will you flee three months before your enemies while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ plague in your land? And advise, and see what answer I shall return to Him Who sent me.”
(14) And David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall now into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are great. And do not let me fall into the hand of man.”
(15) And the LORD sent a plague upon Israel from the morning even till the time appointed. And there died from the people, from Dan to Beersheba, seventy thousand men.
(16) And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD turned from the evil, and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “Enough! And stay your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing-place of Araunah the Jebusite.
The Wrath of the Lamb of God
People get upset with us for telling them their sins and rebuking them for their lawlessness. Is it bad for us to do so? Are we really so hard on them? How rough can God get with the unrepentant who refuse to give ear to reproof and rebuke? And do they think they’ll escape the consequences for their sins if no one tells them?
In a siege of Israel conducted by the king of Syria, the “people of God” were boiling their own children and eating them because of hunger. You think God (Jesus Christ) didn’t bring that upon them? He’s the One Who sends the sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beast.
2 Kings 6:25-30 MKJV
(25) And there was a great famine in Samaria. And, behold, they besieged it until an ass’s head was sold for eighty pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung for five silver pieces.
(26) And as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!”
(27) And he said, “If the LORD does not help you, from where shall I help you? Out of the barn-floor, or out of the winepress?”
(28) And the king said to her, “What ails you?” And she said, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son so that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’
(29) And we boiled my son and ate him. And I said to her on the other day, ‘Give your son so that we may eat him.’ And she has hidden her son.”
(30) And it happened when the king heard the words of the woman, he tore his clothes. And he passed by on the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth inside on his flesh.
As Scripture had declared: “But it shall come to pass, if you will not hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you this day; than all these curses shall come upon you, and overtake you…. The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, and toward her young one that comes out from between her feet, and toward her sons whom she shall bear. For she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and anguish, with which your enemy shall distress you in your gates. If you will not observe to do all the words of this Law that are written in this book [the Bible], that you may fear this glorious and fearful Name, the LORD YOUR GOD, then the LORD will make your plagues remarkable, and the plagues of your seed great and persistent plagues; with evil and long-lasting sicknesses” (Deuteronomy 28:15, 56-59).
“Jesus Christ the Same Yesterday and Today and Forever.”
God laughs at the wicked in His anger. Does your Jesus do so? In Psalm 2, it says, “He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them [those who speak against Him and against His anointed] in derision. Then shall He speak to them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure…. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little….”
Proverbs 1:24-33 MKJV
(24) Because I called, and you refused; I stretched out My hand, and no one paid attention;
(25) but you have despised all My advice, and would have none of My warning.
(26) I also will laugh at your trouble; I will mock when your fear comes;
(27) when your fear comes as a wasting away, and your ruin comes like a tempest when trouble and pain come upon you.
(28) Then they shall call upon Me, and I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me;
(29) instead they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD.
(30) They would have none of My counsel; they despised all My correction,
(31) and they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own desires.
(32) For the turning away of the simple kills them, and the ease of fools destroys them.
(33) But whoever listens to Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
He also weeps because of the torment of His people choosing their own destructive ways.
Luke 19:41-44 MKJV
(41) And as He drew near, He beheld the city and wept over it,
(42) saying, “If you had known, even you, even at least in this day of yours, the things for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
(43) For the days will come on you that your enemies will raise up a rampart to you, and will surround you, and will keep you in on every side.
(44) And they will tear you down, and your children within you, and will not leave a stone on a stone because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
He hurts for His people (He told me so), and they make Him very angry. He suffers when they suffer, and they suffer because they refuse to listen and obey.
Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, whom God referred to as His servant, was sent in by God to destroy the land with its people, those who would not comply with him. Men, women, and children were slain, though a remnant was spared. Because the king of Judah didn’t submit to Babylon, his sons were slain before his eyes, and then his eyes were put out, and he was carried away to Babylon in fetters. The Lord had sent Jeremiah to plead with the people and the rulers to obey Him, to no avail. By Jeremiah, God commanded Israel to submit to His chastisement by Nebuchadnezzar, obeying his rulership, thereby sparing them from slaughter, but they wouldn’t listen.
Is the Jesus you believe in capable of such things today? If not, you are a worshipper of a false god, another Jesus, and are therefore an idolater, as were all those He destroyed for idolatry.
Prophets Not Popular Pronouncing Punishment
Yes, God’s prophets speak hard things by His will, and in His Name.
The Lord had said to Jeremiah, “I ordained you a prophet to the nations…” and Jeremiah recoiled. Why? Perhaps he knew the Lord wasn’t sending him to whisper sweet things? And why did the Lord say to him, “Don’t be afraid of their faces: for I am with you to deliver you”? Perhaps because Jeremiah wasn’t going to receive the “Citizen of the Year” award for what he was commanded to speak?
I can tell you why Jeremiah would need the Lord’s deliverance, by experience, by knowledge of the Scriptures, and by knowledge of the Lord and His ways. Jeremiah was going to speak the truth, the very best thing his audience could have, though he would be hated for it. Man isn’t interested in what’s good. To him, good is evil.
The Lord said to Jeremiah, “See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). God’s message isn’t popular with those who think they know better and resist change.
Ironically, that’s why God sent prophets to them. They thought they knew better – after all, they thought they were the Lord’s – and they were, but not as they should be.
To the Lord’s people, Jeremiah had this to say:
Jeremiah 16:3-4 ESV
(3) For thus says the LORD concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning the mothers who bore them and the fathers who fathered them in this land:
(4) They shall die of deadly diseases. They shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried. They shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. They shall perish by the sword and by famine, and their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth.
In speaking these things to the people, the people would respond, “Why has the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?” (Jeremiah 16:10).
They thought they were living righteous, innocent lives. Then came the answer Jeremiah needed to deliver:
“Because your fathers have forsaken Me, says the Lord, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken Me, and have not kept My Law; and you have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, you walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken to Me…” (Jeremiah 16:11-13).
Many to whom we speak claim to be clean, denying any wrong, but they walk after the imagination of their own heart as to what is right and wrong, good and evil, and will not listen to a man of God to correct their thinking. “Who does he think he is?!” they protest. “God alone will be our judge,” they cry. “There are no prophets today, except false ones!”
Time and again, Jeremiah warned the Jews of their wickedness and of impending judgments. And even after his words were confirmed with judgments, with captivity to Babylon, they still wouldn’t believe.
Then the Lord spoke by Jeremiah, saying, “You have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Judah. And, behold, today they are a ruin, and no one lives there because of their wickedness they have committed to provoke Me to anger…. But I sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending, saying, ‘Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.’ But they did not listen… wherefore My fury and My anger was poured forth…. And now so says the LORD, Why do evil now?… Have you forgotten your wickedness…? They are not humbled even to this day, neither have they feared, nor walked in My Law…. Behold, I will set My face against you for evil… and they shall all be consumed…. They shall die, from the least even to the greatest, by the sword and by the famine, and they shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach…” (Jeremiah 44:2-14).
What did the people reply?! “As for the word that you have spoken to us in the Name of the Lord, we will not hearken to you. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goes forth out of our own mouth…” (Jeremiah 44:17-18).
Therefore the Lord said they would perish – only a small number would be spared – and so it was.
Isaiah and Ezekiel spoke unpleasant words to the people. The message from the prophets was always the same – “Repent!” The reactions were always the same – “Go to Hell! In our hearts, we hate you, but with our tongues we say we love you, as is the Christian custom. Thus, we prove you wrong by our righteousness.”
When the Lord told Habakkuk He was going to judge His people by the bitter, terrible, and dreaded Chaldeans, Habakkuk thought it should be the Chaldeans who should be judged: “O Lord, You have ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, You have established them for correction…. How can You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours the man that is more righteous than he?” meaning, “We are better, so how can you let them do this to us?” (Habakkuk 1)
Those of you who name the Name of the Lord, don’t think that those who don’t name His Name won’t prevail over you, because they will. They will prevail because you won’t repent of your self-righteousnesses, of your own imaginations as to how God ought to be worshipped and served; you won’t repent of how you think God ought to deal with you in manifest loving-kindness.
Malachi wrote that the Lord’s Day was a great and dreadful one. Do those who name His Name think to escape, living as they do in their hypocrisy? The Lord said if things didn’t change, He would smite the earth with a curse (Malachi 4:6). Malachi had the last recorded Word of God in the Canon of Holy Scripture before Christ was to come. Must Malachi be wrong?
The Son of God
Have you ever heard of the wrath of the Lamb?
“And they said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him sitting on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath has come, and who will be able to stand?’” (Revelation 6:16-17 MKJV)
What about the Lord Jesus Christ during His day on earth? What was He like then? Not at all as they teach in the churches today.
God’s requirements weren’t lowered in Jesus’ day, but raised. Whereas the Law had been given as a temporary tutor until His day, now He would say, “You have heard that it was said by them of old time, ‘You shall not commit adultery’: but I say to you that whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
Was wrath indeed removed? Did God change in nature, thoughts, and ways after the cross? What happened to Israel, to Jerusalem, and to the Temple of God about forty years after the cross? All was given to the fires and scattered to the wind.
Many tens of thousands died by the Romans who served as God’s chastening hand. The Jews perished – man, woman and child – by sword, famine, pestilence, and crucifixion. The nation was no more, the capital city was destroyed, and the glorious Temple of God was turned to rubble. This was after Christ in the flesh, after the “loving” Gospels, after many of the apostles had finished their work of preaching grace (and judgment) on earth.
Jesus pronounced these things upon His people, because they wouldn’t listen. They knew better. They “had God for their father” (John 8:41). And for the next 1900 years, there would be no Israel. And how were the Jews treated in the dispersion? History well records the sufferings of unbelieving people at the hands of unbelieving people. It has been the terrible wrath of God.
You think that the Jews were worse than you? You think that the Law was harsher than “grace”? What does the writer in Hebrews say years after the crucifixion, which crucifixion you think requires nothing of you but to “believe in your heart”?
“He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, do you suppose, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know Him Who said, ‘Vengeance belongs to Me, I will recompense, says the Lord.’ And again, ‘The Lord shall judge His people.’ It is [not was] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:28-31).
“See that you refuse not Him Who speaks. For if they escaped not who refused him who spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him Who speaks from Heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also Heaven….’ Wherefore we receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:25-29).
What Is Grace?
There are those who presume on God’s grace (unmerited favor), disregarding genuine repentance and radical change in lifestyle, outlook, attitude, and beliefs. They think the Law of God is made null and void because of grace. They ignore the words of Jesus, Who said that Heaven and earth would be done away before one jot or tittle of the Law would pass.
Have Heaven and earth passed away? Why do you pick and choose Jesus’ sayings according to what suits you? Don’t you know that in so doing, “God will take away your part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things written in this book” (Revelation 22:19)?
While you take from the book, you also add to it, because you change and twist things to suit your fancy. Therefore, “God shall add to you the plagues that are written in this book” (not only the Book of Revelation, but the entire Bible).
What is grace? It is the power of Christ granted us to obey Him, to keep His Law, to live lives unto Him and not unto men, that is, in holiness, separation from the world in attitude, conduct, word, and thought. It isn’t a matter of appearance or outward show, but of the heart; not as eye-pleasing, but as God-pleasing; a walk not of works, but of faith; a life not of sacrifice, but of obedience.
It is a life not of the harlot church, but of the Church made without hands. It is not a talk of God, but a walk with God. The religious all talk of God and think they fulfill their duty and don’t realize they’re actually bringing on themselves wrath because of hypocrisy. Their notion of grace is a disgrace. Better to have said nothing. Read Counterfeit Christianity, Law and Grace, and Grace – The Reality.
The False God Preached Stumbles Many
Decades ago, Charles Templeton, a once-prominent associate evangelist with Billy Graham, said he couldn’t find the loving God he and others preached to be consistent with the complete Bible testimony of God. He spoke of the Bible as utterly contradicting itself on the nature of God.
His problem was that he looked in the Bible for the distorted god they were preaching, couldn’t find him, and wrote him off, which he should have done. But he also wrote off the Bible and the God of the Bible, Jesus Christ. Mr. Templeton couldn’t see or acknowledge God as He is – a God of wrath and destruction, a God of justice and judgment, the God Who is truly love in all wisdom and righteousness.
Charles went in with preconceived notions and, not wanting truth, went away a confounded man, deeming himself to be enlightened quite above many intelligent, sincere people who lived “good lives” and worshiped God in their naïvety. Though Charles is accountable for his conclusions, he has been a victim of the preaching by carnal men like Billy Graham and thousands of others who don’t know the Lord and aren’t saved, as they claim to be. They serve an erroneous fabrication in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ; they don’t serve the God of the Scriptures.
God Calls All to Repent
To the wicked who will not listen, God is a God of wrath, though they prefer to see Him only as a God of Love. They refuse to consider otherwise, for it would require somewhat more of them than they care to accept. Jesus warned of more judgments to come after His death, which disproves the popular belief today that His work on the cross “did it all.”
Said Jesus, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered Pilate’s mingling their blood with their sacrifices? I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, do you think that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-5).
“Truly, then, God overlooking the times of ignorance, now He strictly commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by a Man Whom He appointed, having given proof to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31 MKJV).
Did He not warn that those who refused to render the fruit of the vineyard to God would be destroyed? Why would He use such a parable if He were not the kind of person who would do it? Were they destroyed for murdering Him? Yes. For robbery, in that they did not pay their dues? Yes.
“Christian,” Soberly Consider Where You Stand
Are you who name the Name of the Lord Jesus not guilty of the same when He sends messengers to you and you refuse to listen and obey, but instead kill them by evil speech, ostracism, mockery, derision, cold shoulder, or by being embarrassed at their presence and words? Do you think you aren’t capable of killing a messenger of God? If others about you were so bold as to do such evil, would you stand aside and look the other way (which is also evil), or would you join them in words, or even in the very act?
I know that many religious, those who call themselves born-again evangelical believers, quoting Scripture, would certainly slay the prophets. I know so by their present fruits.
Do you think you can ignore what I say and walk away, as though you have other options? Not if God is speaking by me. How do you know I am sent of God? If you did the will of God, you would know, but you don’t know because you do your own thing. So you, as Jerusalem, don’t know your hour of visitation.
God’s Severe Rebuke in the Infant Church
God’s wrath was dramatically manifested to believers not long after the resurrection. See what took place:
Acts 4:32-35 MKJV
(32) And the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul. And not one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own. But they had all things common.
(33) And the apostles gave witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power. And great grace was on them all.
(34) For neither was anyone needy among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
(35) and they laid them down at the apostles’ feet. And distribution was made to every man according as he had need.
Acts 5:1-11 MKJV
(1) And a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.
(2) And he kept back part of the price, his wife also knowing, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
(3) But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart for you to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
(4) While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own authority? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God.”
(5) And hearing these words, Ananias fell down and expired. And great fear came on all those who heard these things.
(6) And the younger ones arose, wound him up, and carrying him out, they buried him.
(7) And it was about the space of three hours afterward, when his wife (not knowing what was done) came in.
(8) And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” And she said, “Yes, for so much.”
(9) Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door and they will carry you out.”
(10) Then at once she fell down at his feet and expired. And the younger ones found her dead, and, carrying her out, buried her beside her husband.
(11) And great fear came on all the church and on as many as heard these things.
Ananias and Sapphira weren’t even given opportunity to reconsider or repent. Were they believers? Yes. Were they “church-goers”? Yes. Did they give to the Church? Yes. Were they willing to sacrifice for the poor? Yes. Were they acknowledging and submitting to the Lord’s ministers? Yes, or so it appeared. Did they have a right to keep back what they did? Yes. Did they have to sell their land? No. Yet for deceit to the Lord’s servants and therefore to Him, they were slain.
One lie was all it took, not murder, adultery, blasphemy, theft, or vile acts; nothing but a lie. Tell me, believer, have you measured up to Ananias and Sapphira? In your opinion, is Jesus still that wimpish, loving, gentle softy who overlooks deceit, hypocrisy, or any other sin?
Is Not Jesus Christ a God of Wrath?
He certainly is and will not overlook your sins.
Here Paul speaks of rulers God set up over saints and sinners:
Romans 13:3-5 MKJV
(3) For the rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the bad. And do you desire to be not afraid of the authority? Do the good, and you shall have praise from it.
(4) For it is a servant of God to you for good. For if you practice evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword in vain; for it is a servant of God, a revenger for wrath on him who does evil.
(5) Therefore you must be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.
What does Paul say to the Corinthians? “He that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s Body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep” (1 Corinthians 11:29-30). Is there illness and premature death in your midst? Why? Could it be because of wrath?
We speak to people constantly who profess to believe, yet think they can take considerable liberties. What does Peter have to say? “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1Peter 4:17-18)
Tell me, you who think you’re saved, do you really think you’re one of those whose life measures up well within the safety limits of those scarcely saved? Why do you lie? Why do you pretend? Who do you think you’re fooling? Why do you deceive yourselves?
Why do you mingle with the world? Did Noah mingle with the world? How many made it in his day? I tell you, unless you believe what I’m given to say, you’ll not make it in this Day of the Lord, the Day of Vengeance, the Day of Wrath, the Day of Making an End to Evil Once and For All. So you think you’ll not only make it, but reign with the Lord?! I tell you, it doesn’t matter how saved you think you are. Consider that the Pharisees also thought they were saved.
Hypocrites grievously contradict themselves. On the one hand, they live like devils, supposing gain is godliness, having no use for truth, despising the cross, and having a form of godliness. They claim to have the love and grace of God, saying that God is a loving God and ever merciful.
On the other hand, they teach that this same loving, doting, merciful, compassionate, long-suffering, forgiving God will send the vast majority of mankind into a most horrible and fiery never-ending torment. According to these deceived professors of God’s grace, many of these damned won’t even have had a chance to have heard Who Jesus Christ is. Read how this is so wrong: The Reconciliation of All Things and The State and Fate of Hell.
In the days of His flesh, the religious were His enemies, and so it is today. The religious think they are the ones to be honored by God, but it’s the religious who will be, and already are, condemned. They’re in for a shock.
Deceivers could never see how a lamb could be wrathful; a lion, yes, but a lamb? “Go your way, false prophet… a wrathful lamb! Who do you think you’re kidding?! Get out of here; go deceive the simple-minded, the loners, the losers, the social misfits. You know nothing about Jesus Christ at all, and you presume to warn us? Ha! We laugh in your face!”
Enoch prophesied of the Day of the Lord, saying that He would come… with ice cream and balloons for the religious? With harps and robes for the hypocrites? With crowns for loose-living and big-talking churchgoers? No, He comes to “execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaks great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage” (Jude 1:14-16).
Jude said there would be “mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts” (verse 18). He went on to say, “These be they who separate themselves [denominations], sensual [going by the carnal senses and lusts, judging after the appearance], having not the Spirit.”
The last book of the Bible, Revelation, is full of references to the Day of the Lord and His wrath. Yes, His wrath is corrective and not forever damning, but it is painful and fearful, nonetheless. Shocked indeed will be those who look forward to His coming as though they were among the chosen. Such will say to Him, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name? And in Your Name have cast out devils? And in Your Name done many wonderful works?” (Matthew 7:22)
(Just think: Most professing believers have never gotten so far spiritually as to have prophesied, cast out devils, or done any great works, not having received the Spirit, as they think to have.)
“And then will I [the Lord] profess to them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity [lawlessness, doing your own thing, having fun, church socializing, building relationships, loving, every man doing that which is right in his own eyes]” (Matthew 7:23).
He, the King of Wrath, will say to those same ones: “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry, and you gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink: I was a stranger, and you took Me not in: naked, and you clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit Me” (Matthew 25:41-43).
They will stand, mouths gaping, incredulous, perhaps indignant, saying, “You’re mad; You have a devil; You’re the anti-Christ; You were born out of fornication; we know where You’re from; You’re an outsider, a glutton, winebibber, deceiver, dreamer, and blasphemer, claiming equality with God by claiming to be His Son.” They’re saying it even now.
And Jesus will say to them, “Remember so-and so? I sent him to speak, and you threw him out; you refused to treat him in your office, doctor; you overcharged him on what he bought from you, seller; you called him a false prophet because he didn’t belong to your church or any other. While he pleaded with you, you pushed him away. You preferred your sins and your social pleasures; you claimed to love Me, but you hated him when I sent him and you didn’t believe, you didn’t believe, you didn’t believe.”
The Wrath of God is in my whole being. I feel the wrath of God against the show, the hypocrisy, the lawlessness, the wickedness of all, but especially of the religious, the ones claiming to be the Lord’s own. I came away from all their assemblies and congregations, being warned of God to flee from the wrath to come upon those spots in the love feasts of the saints.
With Jeremiah, I declare, “I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of Your hand: for You have filled me with indignation” (Jeremiah 15:17).
With the Psalmist, I say, “Concerning the works of men, by the Word of Your lips, I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalms 17:4).
There are those who say I’m hurting and angry. Yes, I see why they say this; it’s how I feel. It’s how the Lord Jesus Christ feels! He’s hurting and angry. He’ll not forgive the unrepentant and hypocritical. He’s angry about their form of godliness.
I remember, when He spoke to me in March of 1976, over two decades ago, feeling the pain of His words, when He said, “I’m hurting, I’m hurting! My people are suffering!” (Read Particle.)
He was speaking of His people suffering, not for His sake, but because of their sins and idolatries, they being in ignorance, not knowing right from wrong, right hand from left hand.
Little did I know at the time I was one of those, but He commanded me to come out from all the ways, words, and works of the religious. He would heal, cleanse, and deliver me; He would reveal many things to me and prepare me to speak to others, so that He might deliver them as well.
With Jeremiah, I can say:
Jeremiah 6:10-14 ESV
(10) To whom shall I speak and give warning that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen; behold, the Word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.
(11) Therefore I am full of the wrath of the LORD; I am weary of holding it in. “Pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon the gatherings of young men, also; both husband and wife shall be taken, the elderly and the very aged.
(12) Their houses shall be turned over to others, their fields and wives together, for I will stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land,” declares the LORD.
(13) “For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.
(14) They have healed the wound of My people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.”
For those who have ears to hear, repent, quickly. The time is at hand. For many it’s too late; that invisible fine line has been crossed when they were unaware. When God called, they wouldn’t answer, and now He won’t answer when they call in their calamity. Others who are defiled will be saved with fear, pulled out of the fire and shown mercy at the last moment.
“I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Romans 9:15 MKJV).
We are all in great need of His mercy and can depend only on His mercy, but we dare not presume He will show it without our total repentance and obedience to Him.
“The hand of our God is on all those who seek Him for good, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him” (Ezra 8:22 MKJV).
I say to you, “Behold, both the goodness and the severity of God” (Romans 11:22). The God Who is Love is the God Who is also Wrath.