I have been studying and teaching Bible doctrine for over 48 years and the shepherding teacher for home based Churches. Sola Scriptura
Houston (The Church), We Have a Problem!
The Forgotten (Overlooked?) Dark Side of God.
Actually, there two large problems. First, we have a problem with the word love. Greek is a very exact, static, scientific-like language, providing a perfect defining tool for Hebrew which is a dynamic language full of song, poetry and imagery. In Greek there are five words that could be translated as love, but the New Testament uses only three: agape, agapao and phileo. Sadly, no one seems to know the difference between the first two: thus, the preachers/teachers and the listeners use the same definition for both – unconditional, which only belongs to agape. An ever so clever lie created to support the doctrine that Jesus loves everyone…unconditionally. When Jesus said that we are to love (agapao) our enemies, He immediately gave us the definition of the word. If they are hungry, give them food, If they are thirsty, etc.; in other words, we are to do that which is right by another. I will demonstrate from a military point of view: the wicked torture, starve and mistreat their prisoners, whereas the righteous would feed, clothe, shelter, etc. This word has nothing to do with empathy, feeling sorry or trying to see their plight as your own. This is the word God uses of His love for those who hate Him; He causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust, etc. Concerning the passage when He asked Peter if he loved Him, Jesus used the word agapao. He did not use agape for He knew that no man this side of heaven is capable of unconditional love towards God; our flesh is too much for us to completely control. However, the Word stresses that we are to pursue agape towards our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we are to agapao our enemies. We are not to invite our enemies into our sacred assemblies as if they were our long lost relatives. Remember, bad company is not a positive influence, whereas giving people what they need is godly; specifically, the Truth. Which leads me to the second problem.
We seem to have overlooked or should I say, we have avoided preaching or teaching that which concerns the doctrines held by the Word concerning God’s anger, hatred and vengeance without mercy. The not-so-user-friendly doctrines of scripture, but desperately needed in this last days.
Why Does the World Picture an Angry God?
One Day Soon, the World Will Know What an Angry God is Like.
It appears the modern gospel is busy about down playing the anger aspect of a Holy and Sovereign God; the main side effect being, repentance is not an absolute requirement. Why repent, when you have an easy going god, that overlooks many of our foibles and miscues. Just start playing the role of a believer, become a steady church attender, join in the comradery, be sure to kiss up to the leadership and don’t forget to tithe. A true student of the Word knows this is a lie to avoid offending someone because of their sin issue. Sadly, many real believers have no idea how angry God can and will be. For example:
- Deuteronomy 32:22 – when His anger is kindled, it shall burn to the lowest hell.
- Psalm 6:1 – believers should be thankful we are not rebuked by God’s anger.
- Psalm 7:11 – God is angry with the wicked every day.
- Isaiah 13:9 – the day of the Lord will be cruel with wrath and fierce anger…to destroy sinners.
- Isaiah 66:5 – God will render His anger with fury.
- Zephaniah 3:8 – He will pour out His fierce anger upon the nations. (Day of the Lord) Note: the first two chapters of Zephaniah are doom and gloom for humanity.
Strange, there are so many more very descriptive passages concerning God’s anger; shouldn’t a believer wonder why they are absent from today’s sermons and teaching? Why isn’t the Church warning the world of the wrath to come? Of course, there are a few individuals who seem to make this aspect of God their sole mission in life and unfortunately, they neglect the whole of scripture because it is not as exciting or attention garnering. We are to live by every Word that precedes from God; we are not to pick and choose but to be wise in all aspects of Scripture.
God Doesn’t Hate Anyone, Does He?
The Avoided God Subject - Hate.
Let us begin with a caveat: God does not and will never hate a chosen vessel whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world. When we do the things that God hates, we are chastised in the here and now. Not so the unrepentant sinner: they may never appear to be chastised in this life, but hell is reserved for such as they. So, whom does God hate?
- Proverbs 6:16-19 – 7 things God hates: a proud look, a liar, those who shed innocent blood, those with wicked imaginations, those who are quick to do that which is evil, a false witness (1 of the 10 Commandments) and one who sows discord among the brethren. Seems to be kind of a cross-section of today’s churches. Notice one other thing: this is addressing the sinner not the sin.
- Malachi 1:3 – states that God hated Esau and Romans adds the comment – “before he was born”.
As James puts it – there is no shadow of turning with God (no gray areas) – one is either loved or hated by God. How many times have you heard a pastor or someone make the statement: “God hates the sin but loves the sinner”? This statement is not biblical; thankfully we do not know with certainty this side of heaven, who is hated or loved but with faithfulness share the Gospel with as many as we can. So, what is our relationship to hate? Ecclesiastes 3:8 – there is a time to hate and per Amos 5:15 – we are to hate evil. It is so incredibly difficult at times for a believer to separate the sins from the sinner. The bigger the sins, the more hell-bound they are. I know, bad grammar, and it could not be further from the Truth. All we need to do is go look in the mirror and remember from where and how far we have come. We do not determine who among the sinners of the world are loved or hated, that belongs solely to a sovereign God.
Remember: Proverbs 8:3 – those who hate God, love death. Imagine for a moment, a crowd listening to a preacher or teacher speaking on the doctrine of hate from God’s perspective. I wonder how many people would begin to squirm and anxiously desire an end to the torture? Definitely not part of the modern gospel.
Beware of What Appears to be the Silence of God Towards Evil.
God's Judgment is Laced with Vengeance.
Vengeance is a word that carries no connotation of restraint but one of predetermined purpose. We know that 2nd Peter tells us that judgment begins with the House of God and if that is difficult in itself, how can the lost withstand their judgment. Our judgment is to cleanse us and make us presentable to the Father; the judgment of the wicked is based solely upon vengeance. The flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the rise and fall of empires and 2,000 years of God’s wrath poured out on the House of Jacob: God does not overlook wickedness. Turn on the news, it is filled with the rise and fall of the wicked. We may cringe because of a perceived justice delayed but everything is working according to God’s time as He drives this world toward the Judgment Day.
Vengeance is found in 37 passages in the Bible and not one verse suggests it may be tempered with mercy. We know that vengeance belongs to God alone but at times it is so hard to constrain ourselves, as the martyrs of Revelation cried out - "...how long before You avenge us...?" When God executes vengeance, He will not withhold anything. In Jude, the Word uses Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of His vengeance.
- Psalm 58:10 – “…He shall wash His feet in the blood of the wicked.”
- Isaiah 63:4 – “…the day of vengeance is in mine heart…”
- Micah 5:15 – “…I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen…”
- Nahum 1:2 – “…God is jealous…and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries…”
- 2 Thessalonians 1:8 – “…in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God…”
For the "God is love" only crowd, I wonder how they equate Hebrews 12:29 - "For our God is a consuming fire."? Remember this, church goer or not, every one is without excuse.
David Campbell (author) from Winlock, Washington on June 04, 2018:
P.S. I forgot to add - I use Zodiates, Vine & Ungers, and disagree with all of them on some doctrines. At least we can agree the JESUS is LORD.
David Campbell (author) from Winlock, Washington on June 04, 2018:
Remember creation includes man and per Romans 8 - creation is looking forward to man's final redemption - creation will get a new birth also - a New heavens and earth. We are a package deal. You know, the more we do study and the more we think we know, in the end we actually know very little - I think that is where faith comes in - but I want to know NOW. Lord give me patience and I want it now. Have a great day.
Leland Johnson from Midland MI on June 04, 2018:
David- Thanks for your thoughtful response. I'll take a closer look at those texts and get back to you. I'm always blessed to hear from a fellow student. Blessings.
PS- Have you used the Theological Word Studies of the O.T. study aides? They are based on the Strong's and give more detailed definitions.
PPS- Off the top of my head John 3:16 says "God so loved the world..." and I believe that means the people in the world because Jesus didn't die for planet earth, but for the inhabitants of earth. As I'm sure you know that text goes on to say, "...that whosoever believes on him may have everlasting life."
David Campbell (author) from Winlock, Washington on June 04, 2018:
To Leland - thanks for the input and obviously not everyone holds a Calvinist stance, which is fine. I am not a Calvinist, I am a Biblicist who happens to agree with some of Calvin's tenets, definitely not all; he is just a man after all. Another kudos for bringing up the "loves less" comment which made me go back to the Hebrew of Malachi to make sure of my own stance. The word used in Malachi for hate is the Hebrew word "sane" (Strong's 8130) - which means "to hate people, to hate violently" and in the 1st person "to be odious, to be hateful". The Greek word in Romans 9:13 is "miseo" Strong's 3404 which means "to detest" and Strong add by extens. "to love less". The problem with the proper interpretation of an O.T. quote, is to carry the exact meaning of the original quote in Malachi. The word in Romans mean to hate, not love less. Also it is the root word of our word "misery". My challenge to you is find 1 (one) verse in Scripture that says that God loves everybody...in the present active. It is interesting that John 3:16 "for God so loved..." is in the aorist indicative, which at a single solitary point in the past, God loved the "kosmos" - the creation. This happened in the last verse of Genesis chapter 1. I use to believe as you do, but being a careful student of the languages, principles of translation and interpretation I could come to no other conclusion than where I currently stand. It was a hard transition for me but one that has been very freeing and comforting. I no longer try to "interpret" any passage by my belief, which would be a forbidden private interpretation (1 Peter), but allowing the scriptures to speak and mold my personal understanding. I will have been at this for 50 years this September and this past Sunday proved to me, I am so far from understanding it all...which actually was personally gratifying, because it meant I am still learning and a learner. This is a lot to chew, but you strike me as one who is very solid in what he believes which is rare these days. Good hunting.
Hxprof on June 03, 2018:
Good piece! We need to be reminded that God takes sin very seriously, and expects those that call themselves "his people" to take sin seriously ourselves. God hates sin, and without sanctification (cleansing) no man sees God.
Leland Johnson from Midland MI on June 03, 2018:
David- solid writing on a topic near and dear to me. I would mention that the text that reads God "hated Esau" should literally read, "loved less" than Jacob. God doesn't hate people, in fact I just finished Ezekiel 18 wherein God states, "I do not delight in the death of the wicked, but would rather they repent." I'm sure you know John 3:16 "God so loved the world..." and also Paul in Romans 5:8 "God loved us while we were yet sinners." I do not hold a Calvinist view of God, that is to say one that claims He chooses who will be saved and who will not. I find the key to understanding this issue is to find the balance of Scripture God intended and to listen for His voice to guide us. Thanks for posting.
David Campbell (author) from Winlock, Washington on June 02, 2018:
Revelationn 13:8 makes the statement that the Lamb (Rev. 5:6) was slain from the foundation of the world (kosmos). He is not the child (teknon) of God, Jesus is the Son (huois) of God by relatonship, He was begotten not born. He is eternal and the Creator (Colossians 1:16), equal with God the Father BUT made HIMSELF...took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of man. (Phil. 2:6-8).
This may be a point we have to differ upon for I believe the Scriptures teach that He is - Isaiah 9:6 "..the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace".
charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on June 02, 2018:
Overall a much needed and good article but I must take issue with the following. Please show me scripture that states it to be so. I know the apostate church system teaches that but scripture does not. There is not one scripture for this and it is not true, only Jesus writes the names in the (His book) Lamb's book of Life and He was not brought into the picture until around 2000 years ago when He was born. No one had their name written in the Lamb's Book of Life before He was born, He enters the names, it is HIS BOOK. No one else can.
"God does not and will never hate a chosen vessel whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world."