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The Nobility of WRATH #2
The LOVE of God; The WRATH of God
by General James Green
"God is Love" (I John 4:8).
BELOVED, the humanistic Church in this hour preaches more sermons on "love" than one cares to count. Yet, by and large, the Church refuses to acknowledge the other side of God: WRATH! Not only this, but the Church refuses to see that all this talk about "love" is meaningless, for the Church actually provokes the Lord to anger because of her adamant refusal to really love Him and keep His Holy commandments and standards.
The so-called Christians in this present Church-age say that "God is Love and He will not condemn the sinners of our day (both sinning churchites and pagans) to eternal condemnation." Don't be deceived! You are making to yourselves a god of your own imagination, a god of only endless mercy and compassion without Holy jealousy and eternal righteousness. Such a god is not the Biblical God or the God of divine providence.
Dear sinning and rebellious churchites, have you not overlooked the repeated Scriptures displaying God's eternal WRATH? Yes, Scriptures abound, both in the Old and New Testament, with words of His gracious love, but also with words of His fiery severity. There are not only blessings, but cursings; there is not only light, but darkness.
Do I like to dwell on the negative? No, but Truth is Truth, and I speak of certain negative things for Truth's sake. There is not only the "happy home" but also the terrible chamber of suffering, oppression . . . and life is commonly strewn with broken homes and dead corpses.
Dear preacher/teacher, why defraud your congregations, your listeners, your sheep? This lopsided "love" god is not the God of the Bible! The Almighty indeed is love, but His love permeates and embraces all His Holy Attributes--not only His mercy but His righteous indignation likewise: "for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame" (Song of Solomon 8:6).
John the Baptist, upon seeing the religious Pharisees and Sadducees come to his place of baptism, cried, "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the (love?) WRATH to come?" Oh, this present generation is by far more wicked than the generation of John's day! As in his day, so in ours: the religious have outward form with NO inward Godliness of heart (see Matthew 23:25).
The religious men in John's day refused to see the gross depravity of their own sinful natures. They were hypocrites. They denied the core of their religious teachings themselves while demanding uncompromising obedience from others. Their lives were morally lax and very worldly, and that is why they became the arch-persecutors of Jesus and His followers. Did you hear me? By and large, religious men refused to hear and apply Jesus' teachings and would not follow the Spirit but clung to the dead letter (and as I said, they even "cut corners" in following the dead letter!). The same holds true for the religious men of today.
Was John's cry "Flee from the WRATH to come!" in vain? NO! Is Jesus' warning "If ye believe not that I Am He, ye shall die in your sins!" (John 8:24) a suitable warning to this lost generation of hypocrites? INDEED! Is not Peter's cutting, awakening question "What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" (I Peter 4:17) a perfect word for this lazy generation of sleeping, slumbering and slobbering churchgoers? IT SURE IS!
All these "no wrath" teachers and preachers of today say that Jesus' message, the message of His disciples/prophets, is not the same message of inflexible righteousness manifested under the Old Testament dispensation where we read about judgments against sin such as the Great Flood, the great plagues of Egypt, and so on. Everything, they say, has been "modified and codified by a 'milder' and 'more loving' Jesus; by a 'more pleasant' love gospel." Although they have forgotten (on purpose, of course) that the above cases of God's WRATH are adduced as pertinent examples to Christians in the New Testament (cf. Luke 17:34-37).
Sorry, dear deceived churchites, the ones taken (in Luke 17:34-37) were not whisked away in a fairytale Rapture, but they were taken by the way of DEATH under God's WRATH! The ones who were left were true believers, not, as we've been taught, people who missed the Rapture and had to face God's Great Tribulation. Was Noah taken away in a "rapture"? No! He endured in the midst of the Great Deluge of God's WRATH, and it was the unbelieving who were "taken away" by drowning. Noah was left but was protected by God. (See I Peter 3:20 and 2:5.) So do you want to be "taken" (by death, under WRATH!) or "left behind"? (See Romans 9:17-18.) Now we must remember that this scenario taught by Jesus in Luke, is not an Old Testament scenario but a New Testament one.
All this false stuff about God's (sinning!) people escaping the Great Tribulation and bypassing WRATH covers the entire Body of Christ like a vile cloak of evil. Jesus plainly explains and teaches that He will come unexpectedly, not in some wildly extravagant pre-Trib Rapture with lots of noise! And Jesus will be taking away the sinners (unto damnation), not the righteous. Read Matt 24:36-51. Verses 37-39 say, "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" (v. 39). The "they" of verse 38 are the same as "them" in verse 39. So the sinners were all "taken away"--in death, under WRATH. Verses 50-51 of Matthew 24 also plainly tell us who will be "taken": "The Lord of that (evil) servant shall come...in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him (the evil servant) asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." My dear churchites, do you really want to be "taken" by the Lord?
The Bible I am using has a footnote about Matthew 24:40 where it says "one shall be taken, and the other left." The authors state this: "Christ's statement that 'one shall be taken and the other left' comes before His exhortation to Church saints (vv. 42-44). Therefore, these words likely [Note the word "likely"!] refer to Church saints who are taken out from among the wicked when Christ calls the faithful to Himself at the rapture." This is totally contrary to the immediate context and the rest of Scripture. Verses 42-44 speak only of being ready for the Lord, and we should be ready, lest we be like those is Noah's day who were not ready and perished in the Flood. The men who wrote that footnote are promoting a BIG LIE!!! (Request my free teachings on the "Rapture" subject.)
First Corinthians 10, verses 6-11, tells us not to be ignorant about why Israel was "overthrown in the wilderness" (v. 5). Why was she overthrown? Because of evil conduct. Her evil conduct provoked the Almighty WRATH of God. Verse six tells us that "these things were our examples"--lust, idolatry, fornication, tempting God, murmuring against God. Verse 11 states again that "these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition." And verse 12 warns us, dear sinning Church, not to think we stand with Him if we commit sins, because we will fall!
God's warning is His love for us. The terrible judgment upon His own people serves as an example and warning for us Christians under the New Covenant to not SEEK and DO evil things. Yet even as I write, I know most readers will pay little attention to God's admonitions, especially here in the U.S.A.
SIN--idolatry and immorality--has taken the modern Church into damnation! If any of you or if I myself believe we can live securely in carnal/sinful gratification, we must immediately realize that the Lord's condemnation awaits us. Don't be deceived! The New Testament strongly witnesses of the immutable justice of Almighty God.
The Lord is patient, tenderly loving and longsuffering with the New Testament Church. However, if you DARE to look up the following Scriptures (in the section below entitled "Personal Apostasy"), I guarantee you that you will undoubtedly realize that His justice will prevail in every generation, even now.
I repeat this once again to my dear "God is Love" crowd: YOU MAY ONLY CONCEIVE A GOD OF TENDER "LOVE," BUT THE TRUE GOD HAS, DOES, AND SHALL EXECUTE HIS NOBLE WRATH WHEN NEEDED. In fact, you shall see His wrathful side manifest more and more upon the sinning sons of men. This you will see!
E. H. Bickersteth, in his book entitled The Trinity, penned these words: "The Bible represented us (sinful humans) as guilty, strengthless, and in darkness. Whatever moral excellences may adorn us in the sight of man; philanthropy, generosity, tenderness, integrity--still the penetrating law, the law of perfect love, reveals innumerable violations of our nearest and noblest duties. We are sinners; and as sinners, exposed to all this righteous wrath in the day of (His) wrath." How can sinful men be saved from His fierce WRATH? Romans 3:19-26 gives us the answer: "through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." So indeed God IS love, but He will not always strive with sinful men.
Emmanuel, God with us, is for us--Christ died for the ungodly, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to the loving Father (I Peter 3:18). Leviticus 17:11 tells us that "It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." This spoke directly of Old Testament sacrifices, and the New Testament says, "But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins" (Hebrews 10:3-4). The writer of Hebrews goes on to tell the readers that Christ (the Lamb of God) became our sacrifice for sin, and therefore we have (present tense) "boldness (confidence) to enter into the Holiest (place) by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way (Jesus is the way!), consecrated (and opened) for us, thru the vail (curtain), that is to say, His flesh (body); and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near (to God) with a true heart in full assurance of faith" (Hebrews 10:19-22). This is LOVE!
But I want to remind our sinning churchites of this one thing: "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, BUT ONLY A FEARFUL EXPECTATION OF JUDGMENT AND OF RAGING FIRE THAT WILL CONSUME THE ENEMIES OF GOD!" (Hebrews 10:26-27). Hebrews 10:26 speaks of the falling away from Christ, about which the Hebrews writer warned his readers in chapter 6: "It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift (salvation), who have shared in (received) the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God . . . if they FALL AWAY, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again" (vv. 4-6).
Don't even try! Don't even try to convince me that this does not speak of backsliding! I've heard it too many times from liberal and backslid churchites.
The phrase "if they fall away" (from the Greek word "parapipto") is an aorist participle and should be rendered in the past tense, literally, "having fallen away." Also, the word "if" does not appear in any Greek text! Thus the writer of Hebrews presents "FALLING AWAY" as a definite reality and a real possibility.
Hebrews 3:12 "See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the Living God."
Apostasy (Gk apostasia) appears twice in the NT as a noun (Ac 21:21; 2Th 2:3) and here in Heb 3:12 as a verb (Gk aphistemi, translated "turn away"). The Greek term is defined as a falling away, defection, rebellion, abandonment, withdrawal or turning from what one has formerly turned to.
(1) To apostatize means to sever one's saving relationship with Christ or to withdraw from vital union with and true faith in Him. Thus, individual apostasy is possible only for those who have first experienced salvation, regeneration and renewal through the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 8:13; Heb 6:4-5); it is not a mere denial of NT doctrine by the unsaved within the visible church. Apostasy may involve two separate, though related, aspects: (a) theological apostasy, i.e., a rejection of all or some of the original teachings of Christ and the Apostles (1Ti 4:1; 2Ti 4:3), and (b) moral apostasy, i.e., the former believer ceases to remain in Christ and instead becomes enslaved again to sin and immorality (Isa 29:13; Mt 23:25-28; Ro 6:15-23; 8:6-13).
(2) The Bible issues urgent warnings about apostasy, designed both to alert us to the deadly danger of abandoning our union with Christ and to motivate us to persevere in faith and obedience. The divine purpose of these warning passages must not be weakened by the view that states, "the warnings are real, but the possibility of actual apostasy is not." Rather, we must see these warnings as speaking to the reality of our probationary period, and we should regard them with alarm if we want to attain final salvation. A few of the many NT warning passages are: Mt 24:4-5,11-13; Jn 15:1-6; Ac 11:21-23; 14:21-22; 1Co 15:1-2; Col 1:21-23: 1Ti 4:1,16; 6:10-12; 2Ti 4:2-5; Heb 2:1-3; 3:6-8,12-14; 6:4-6; Jas 5:19-20; 2Pe 1:8-11; 1Jn 2:23-25.
(3) Examples of actual apostasy can be found in Isa 1:2-4; Jer 2:1-9; Ac 1:25; Gal 5:4; 1Ti 1:18-20; 2Pe 2:1,15,20-22; Jude 4,11-13.
(4) The steps that lead to apostasy are as follows:
(a) Believers, through unbelief, fail to take the truths, exhortations, warnings, promises and teachings of God's Word with UTMOST SERIOUSNESS (Mk 1:15; Lk 8:13; Jn 5:44,47; 8:46).
(b) As the realities of the world become greater than the realities of God's heavenly Kingdom, believers gradually cease to draw near to God through Christ (Heb 4:16; 7:19,25; 11:6).
(c) Through the deceitfulness of sin, they become increasingly tolerant of sin in their own lives (1Co 6:9-10; Eph 5:5; Heb 3:13). They no longer love righteousness and HATE wickedness (see Heb 1:9).
(d) Through hardness of heart (Heb 3:8,13) and rejecting God's way (3:10), they ignore the repeated voice and rebuke of the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30; 1Th 5:19-22).
(e) The Holy Spirit is grieved (Eph 4:30; cf. Heb 3:7-8), and His fire put out (1Th 5:19) and His temple violated (1Co 3:16). He eventually departs from the former believers (Jdg 16:20; Ps 51:11; Ro 8:13; 1Co 3:16-17; Heb 3:14).
(5) If apostasy continues on its course unchecked, individuals may eventually reach the point when no second beginning is possible. (a) Those who once had a saving experience with Christ but deliberately and continually harden their hearts to the Spirit's voice (Heb 3:7-19), continue to sin willfully (Heb 10:26), and refuse to repent and return to God may reach a point of no return where repentance and salvation is no longer possible (Heb 6:4-6). THERE IS A LIMIT TO GOD'S PATIENCE (see 1Sa 2:25; 3:14; Mt 12:31-32; 2Th 2:9-11; Heb 10:26-29, 31; 1Jn 5:16). (b) This point of no return cannot be defined in advance. Therefore, the only safeguard against the danger of ultimate apostasy is found in the admonition: "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts" (Heb 3:7-8,15; 4:7).
(6) It must be emphasized that while apostasy is a danger for all who drift from the faith (Heb 2:1-3) and fall away from God (6:6), it is not made complete without constant and willful sinning against the voice of the Holy Spirit (see Mt 12:31).
(7) Those who by unbelieving hearts depart from God (Heb 3:12) may think they are Christians but their indifference to the demands of Christ and the Spirit and the warnings of Scripture points otherwise. Because of this possibility of self-deception, Paul urges all those claiming salvation to "examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves" (2Co 13:5).
(8) Those who genuinely become concerned about their spiritual condition and find in their hearts the desire to return to God in repentance have sure evidence they have not committed unpardonable apostasy. Scripture clearly affirms that God does not want anyone to perish (2Pe 3:9; cf. Isa 1:18-19; 55:6-7) and declares that God will receive all who were once under saving grace if they repent and return to Him (compare Gal 5:4 with 4:19; 1Co 5:1-5 with 2Co 2:5-11; see also Lk 15:11-24; Ro 11:20-23; Jas 5:19-20; Rev 3:14-20; note the example of Peter, Mt 16:16; 26:74-75; Jn 21:15-22).
The ONLY way to avoid falling away from the Christian faith is to remain sincerely loyal and faithful to Christ Jesus the Lord (Hebrews 6:10-12). If we do this, our hope of eternal salvation is certain, because God cannot lie and His promises remain forever steadfast, BUT they are conditional on our keeping of our covenant.
God the Father sent Jesus the Son (not Muhammad or any other sinful man) to be the only Savior of the fallen race of man. He greatly loves us with everlasting love, but He expects us to live according to His divine laws, not according to man's.
How can a sinner receive this real love? Jesus promised, "When the Comforter (the Holy Spirit/Ghost) is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father . . . He shall testify of me . . . He will guide you into all truth . . . He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you" (John 15:26; 16:13-14). Here, dear sinner, is the power of entrance into the Kingdom: BE BORN AGAIN BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, for that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Newly born again, made a new creature in Christ, washed in the blood of Jesus, clothed in His glory, drawn by His quickening (life-giving) Spirit--we live, we can really love. The Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost are all dwelling in love in us when we are born again and abiding in Christ, for God is love (John 14:23).
Our dear "love" brothers and sisters point us to I Peter 4:8 for one of their proof texts. It says, "charity (love, RSV) shall cover the multitude of sins." True. But what does this mean? One scholar of the Bible stated, "I Peter 4:8, a simple saying that has puzzled the exegetes." It puzzles them because it is too obvious that the God of love is also the author of destruction and severe judgment. So we cannot glibly quote this Scripture as some kind of proof text for (humanistic) love.
"Love" is the cardinal Christian virtue, but there are several Greek words for "love." For example, there is "phileo," which denotes kindly affection, like one's "love" towards a close friend. "Agape" is the "love" which seeks not to possess but give. "Caring"--not merely by feeling but by duty--conveys something of its meaning. Do your own further study here.
In our day we want the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to "love" us in our sins! But James 5:20 still tells us, "He which converteth the sinner FROM the error of his way shall save a soul from (eternal) death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
Two passages will help us to understand I Peter 4:8 more clearly: 1. "Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins" (Proverbs 10:12); 2. "Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much" (Luke 7:47). You ask, "Well what does all this mean?" For one thing, we see in Jesus' statement that He was not blind to the woman's sin, neither was He ignoring the sin issue, and so we may immediately dismiss the popular cliche "Love is blind of all faults" and we may throw out the idea that when love "covers sins" it is ignoring them or refusing to deal with them.
Some say, "Love atones for other people's sins." This is certainly true (and only true in its fullest sense) concerning the work of Christ's love for the lost sinners. Still others claim, "Love atones for the manifold faults and sins of the lover." It is true, in the Jewish idea, that love (in a technical sense) means "to cover (atone)," and, as one Bible scholar stated, this idea "is consonant with Luke 7:47." Although we must remember that Christ was the object of the woman's love in Luke 7, and this is vitally important, for it is only through Christ--His death and resurrection, particularly--that we sinners are provided atonement for our sins.
Now we know that whatever meaning Peter had in mind in I Peter 4:8, he definitely was not denying that sin must be dealt with and not avoided or "cloaked." REPENTANCE is needed to get saved and REPENTANCE is needed to remain saved.
First Peter tells is that "Christ also hath ONCE suffered for sins...that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh (as a human), but quickened (made alive) by the Spirit." Think about this, dear sinning churchite: Christ's suffering and death, His once-for-all death--necessary because of the sins that we former (and current) sinners laid upon Him--is the WAY by which the Father seeks us for Himself (Romans 6:9; Hebrews 7:27; 9:12, 26, 28; 10:10). Jesus was sinless, yet He volunteered to die for the sinner; He assumed the consequences of and took upon Himself the involvement in unrighteousness (yet He Himself never sinned), and He suffered death FOR US! Such an act of love lays an irrevocable claim upon our personal lives, dear friends. Shall we now willfully sin in His face after He mercifully took our place as though He committed our sins? This is being done as I write: Christians are living with no respect for Him and no love for His sacrifice. And let it be known: If we sin (habitually) we will cause the WRATH of God to be brought against us, no matter who we are.
Peter teaches us that Christ, through His death on our behalf, enabled us to get through to God, to pass from dis-grace into grace. Shall we mock this incredibly noble act of God? One thing we can count on, the Lord Almighty "will render to every man according to his deeds"; and, as the Bible declares, "unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, INDIGNATION and WRATH, TRIBULATION and ANGUISH, upon EVERY soul of man that doeth evil" (Romans 2:6, 8, 9).
My dear friends, we have entered into the time when the Lord will execute His FIERY INDIGNATION, WRATH and TRIBULATION that will cause all sinners and this sinful world to suffer much anguish, even death. The world is reaping what it has sown, and none shall ultimately escape (cf. Romans 2:1-3, 6). But for those of us who "by patient continuance in well doing seek for [His] glory and [His] honor and immortality," as Romans 2:7 tells us, there awaits blessedness, for we will receive eternal life, not eternal death (separation from God forever). Romans 2:10 declares, "But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good." Take note, therefore, that in Romans, at the very beginning of Paul's treatise on salvation, Paul clarifies a very important Biblical truth concerning the Lord's just dealings with the entire human race: God punishes evildoers and rewards the righteous (cf. John 5:29 and Galatians 6:7-8).
The immutability (unchangeableness) of God's justice endures through all generations. Let us be among the righteous. The righteous, those who have been freely justified by saving faith (Romans 1:16-17, 3:24) and who steadily persevere in doing what is right according to God's Holy standards (Romans 2:7, 10; Matthew 24:13; Colossians 1:23; Hebrews 3:14; Revelation 2:10), are those who value God's perfect honor and glory (cf. Romans 1:23; 2:7; 5:2; 8:18), and they seek eternal life (Romans 8:23; I Corinthians 15:51-57; I Peter 1:4; Revelation 21:1-22:5).
In this present age, very few take salvation seriously. Church is supposed to be FUN! This is what they tell us! No fasting, only feasting. And that means no fasting for any reason or in any form. Besides not fasting from food, so-called Christians do not even practice other forms of Biblical fasting, such as abstaining from all worldliness.
My dear reader, where do you live today? In food, fun, and foolishness? or in sobriety with the Lord Jesus, making Him the absolute Lord of your life? Is the love of God intrinsic in you--naturally within you, on account of your abiding in Him--or merely extrinsic--not inherent or essential in you? The only way to eternal life, the only way to flee from the WRATH to come, is by letting Jesus Christ take FULL CONTROL of your life. Be born again and let Christ have full control over you!! Will you take the challenge?
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