Wednesday, June 25, 2008

God’s Wrath and the Mysterious Babylon: Part 1



Disclaimer: Many of you will likely disagree with the three upcoming articles. With that in mind, I encourage you now to decide to read them all in their entirety and ask the Lord to speak to you. As with anything, allow the Spirit to be your Guide and Teacher. My desire is to get you to confront and address what you believe and why. These next three pieces will do exactly that, so approach them with an open mind and spirit.

I’m going to dive right in head first into this, as it would take literally hours to catch everyone up. Let’s begin by first understanding that God has two “kinds” of wrath. The lost will be judged and so will His children. As any father, He will be much more concerned with His children and will therefore expect more from them. As we are grafted in, great responsibility comes with such great a gift. We must be inclined and completely enamored with becoming more and more like Jesus each and every day. His people must forsake the cares of this world and seek to see His Kingdom come onto this earth. What we must realize is that God’s wrath will be executed upon His children that are found in disobedience and we must now take the steps to be purified and make every effort to be found holy and blameless in His sight.

“Let no man deceive you with vain (empty, devoid of truth) words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience (obstinate and disobedient ones).“ Ephesians 5:6

“But the sons of the kingdom shall be cast into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 8:12

“And cast out the unprofitable (useless) servant into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 25:30

Would God really subject His people, ones of His kingdom, His servants to such wrath?

“’For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In a little wrath, I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you’, says the LORD your Redeemer.” Isaiah 54:7 & 8

“And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned away from him, so as not to destroy him completely.” 2 Chronicles 12:12

I can choose today to humble myself and go through the fiery purification process or I can go throughout my days obstinate and prideful and encounter Gods wrath in days to soon come. Either way, He will burn off every tie to this earth (Revelation 14:9 “vine of the earth”), every (false and prideful) tare will be thrown into the fire (Matthew 13:38-43) and every bad fish will be thrown out (Matthew 13:47-50). (Also look into Ezekiel 22:17)

Actions that we deem as “too harsh” for God to execute or confuse as unjust punishment is actually the greatest act of His love. He will not allow His children to continue on as they are. His desire is for us to be holy as He is holy. His goal is to purify us to the point of being conformed into the image of His Son. This is where our responsibility comes in. Salvation is a free gift, of course, but a servant, a son, an heir is responsible to tend to His Father’s business and mature! What a tragedy that we’ve been led to believe that all ends at salvation! Millions are duped to believe that a simple prayer seals the deal and life goes on – what a lie! Jesus Himself said, “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” Matthew 24:12 & 13. We tell people that all they have to do is repeat some “magic words” and poof, you’re “saved”. This is so contrary to the Word of God my friend. We must “endure to the end”. We must be faithful and be found producing good fruit throughout our lives (Matthew 12:23).

Isaiah 65 speaks of God’s patience and endurance with His people. “I have stretched forth My hands all day long to a rebellious people… a people who continually provoke Me to My face… these are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all day.” Yes my friend, He is speaking of His children, His beloved. We see churches set up on every corner that provoke God and do things their own way week in and week out. “Services” cater to the attendees every need and God is shouting “This is supposed to be all about Me!” Oh how we’ve angered the Lord. Let’s read on in verse 6. “I will not keep silent, but I will repay into their own bosom… so I will act on behalf of My servants.” On to verse 11, “But for you that forsake the Lord… who set up a table for Fortune (Gad –Babylonian god of Fortune) and who fill cups with mixed wine for Destiny (Meni - Babylonian god of Fate), I will destine you for the sword and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter because I called, but you did not answer; I spoke but you did not hear. And you did evil in My sight and chose that in which I did not delight.” (For more on this topic, read the previous article "Sword of the Lord" taken from Ezekiel 6-8.)

Is this not what we see in modern day Christianity? Church after church, ministry after ministry strive to please men – whether to elevate the leadership, satisfy the member or entice the non-believer, they continue to set up tables to false gods, forsaking what delights the Lord for what delights themselves. The cups filled with mixed wine represents years of man’s opinions and desires intermingled with God’s Word of Truth, spoiling the whole cup. This “mixed wine” in the “golden cup” Babylon causes the nations to “go mad” (Jeremiah 51:7). There are absolutely endless examples of this, but that’s a whole other issue (just take a look at worship services and align them with what God requires of worship in Scripture – they have little to nothing in common.) Lord, forgive us for our arrogance! Will we prepare now before the coming day of the Lord is upon us?

In the next article, I'll address to greater detail the mysterious Babylon. I'd encourage you to read Jeremiah 50 and 51 and see what the Lord reveals to you. Again, my purpose is not to only challenge what you believe, but, more importantly, why you believe it - it is imperative that we define truth for ourselves. Feel free to post your questions and comments.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a tough truth. I have, for almost all of my life, had a hard time understanding God's wrath and knowing what it means. I have no problems seeing the loving God, but seeing the God of Jeremiah makes me shudder.

One thing I'm learning is that the more we learn about God, the more we realize that we will never understand who He is fully. For all of eternity, we will be learning new facets to Him. That's amazing!

So am I to throw out one part because I just don't like it? Because it's not comfortable or I don't understand it? That's like saying, "Well, I don't believe in the crucifiction because I don't think that Jesus would suffer that much. Plus, it just doesn't make sense that He would go through all of that. It just seems too cruel. So I'm just not going to believe that He really went through the crucifiction." It seems ludricous to say that, but in the same breath, we say that we can't believe that God has wrath and jealousy in Him.

The biggest problem is that we try to "humanize" God. Thankfully God is not human in the sense that we are. We are fallen men who, when we have wrath and jealousy, it is generally sin and intended for harm.

God's wrath and jealousy is for His people and His people only. Does He care about "the world"? Yes. He hurts and aches for a dying world. He desires to know them. However, just as a father can be concerned about the neighbor's kids, he's not going to expect those kids to be just like his kids. His expectation of the neighbor's kids are completely different than his expectation of his own children.

That's our Father. That's my Abba Daddy. He loves me so much that He would discipline me, as my own father did, to have me walk closer to Him.

To grasp this truth is hard. But it's in the Word. And the Word is infallible truth. I either choose to look into why I disagree with it and pray that God would give me wisdom to know HIS truth... or I choose to completely disregard anything that I just "don't agree with" without seeking it out for myself. At some point, God will reveal HIS truth to this world... and EVERY eye will see. When that happens... we won't have a choice.

Thanks for sticking your neck out. I'm proud of you and look forward to the journey, even if it's a rough one.

Love you!

Anonymous said...

Yes!

Thank you Joel and perhaps you won't mind if I send others your way again:) Suzy

ali..God Will Keep Israel! said...

Thank You Brother....Look forward to reading more..As the word says..
"Few there be that find it"...
Telling the truth is like that old saying goes..The truth hurts..
It's time we line up to the true word of the Lord....A day of surprise is coming to many Christians as well as the rest of the Ungodly world, who were not looking for what you have spoke of here..Anytime you poke at Satan you better be dressed in the full armor of the Lord for you will face a battle..The Victory has already been won..Praise His Holy Name!
Praying for you...your sister..ali

Joel Spencer said...

anonymous 1: You make a good point. We've got to balance a loving and passionate God with one that is a holy and just One as well for He is all.

Suzy: Send all that you want - thanks!

ali..God Will Keep Israel!: I agree. We must be found seeking out the mysteries of God - we will absolutely be held accountable, especially those who claim to be His children.

Matt said...

Joel, this is a wake up call. I have had such a hard time looking at the world at people who are 'saved' but who forsake their good reputation, if they had one to begin with, for worldly things, maybe lust and alcohol, along with some other drug that make them 'feel good.' Although they claim to be saved, I have a hard time believing they can lay around in all that sin and still be able to sleep at night. Although I am not sinless and all sins are equal, I just feel like this level of hypocrisy is destroying the church when these same people are the ones leading worship.

Also, about the catering to what people need, and such, I am so tired of a certain church mentioning tithing somewhere in a message during every sermon. I know they are financially strapped, but God will provide. Heck, I am going to a college where I need $18,000 a year and just Tuesday I got a letter back from a scholarship that I sort of forgot about and I got it: $2,000 a year.

I guess I am just saying that right now in my life I am at a crossroads, seeing as I just finished the part of life where you are spoon-fed a mixture of truth and sugar, and am trying to sort out life and everything myself. I have been reading the book called 'The Shack,' and I encourage that if you have time that you read it as well.

Much Love,

Matt W.

By the way, I got a tattoo on my upper back, can't wait to show you.

Joel Spencer said...

Matt,

Well said. I believe with everything in me that 99% of what most of us have grown up to believe is Chrsitianity is not. We've been taught to be polite, quiet and reserved - we're mislead to believe that we're just "laity" - hogwash.

The truth is, when we truly encounter Jesus, everything in us will begin to change and ALL can minister! The ways of men MUST be left behind and only the reality of what the Word states Christianity is can remain.

You're growing up Matt. Don't be afraid to develop your own understanding of who God is to you personally. All else will soon be shaken. I'm glad to be beside you on this journey.