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God's Holy Anger, 11/7/14

In our time in America there is much confusion in the church about whether God gets angry or judges sin but the scripture is very clear that he does. This is not inconsistent with the understanding that God is love and he is patient and kind and non-judgmental in his attitude. It is good that we understand that God is love and that he is not condemning. Of course we must hold onto that truth but in so doing it is vital that we not limit God in what we think he is capable of. The bible makes it clear that God is slow to become angry:

Nehemiah 9:17
They refused to obey, And they were not mindful of Your wonders That You did among them. But they hardened their necks, And in their rebellion They appointed a leader To return to their bondage. But You are God, Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them.

Psalm 103:8
The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

Psalm 145:8
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.

Proverbs 15:18
A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention.

Proverbs 16:32
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Proverbs 19:11
The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.

Joel 2:13
So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.

Jonah 4:2
So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.

Nahum 1:3
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked. The Lord has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet.

But implicit in saying that he is slow to anger, is that he also is in fact capable of becoming angry. It is of course holy anger against sin and evil:

Psalm 7:11
God is a just judge, And God is angry every day.

It is absolutely vital that we acknowledge this side of God as well. God does get angry and when he does he is terrifying as none can imagine:

Lamentations 2:1-5New King James Version (NKJV)
God’s Anger with Jerusalem
2 How the Lord has covered the daughter of Zion
With a cloud in His anger!
He cast down from heaven to the earth
The beauty of Israel,
And did not remember His footstool
In the day of His anger.
2 The Lord has swallowed up and has not pitied
All the dwelling places of Jacob.
He has thrown down in His wrath
The strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
He has brought them down to the ground;
He has profaned the kingdom and its princes.
3 He has cut off in fierce anger
Every horn of Israel;
He has drawn back His right hand
From before the enemy.
He has blazed against Jacob like a flaming fire
Devouring all around.
4 Standing like an enemy, He has bent His bow;
With His right hand, like an adversary,
He has slain all who were pleasing to His eye;
On the tent of the daughter of Zion,
He has poured out His fury like fire.
5 The Lord was like an enemy.
He has swallowed up Israel,
He has swallowed up all her palaces;
He has destroyed her strongholds,
And has increased mourning and lamentation
In the daughter of Judah.

This is a fearsome fearsome thing, one that should make us fill with Holy Fear of our awesome awesome God:

Psalm 18:7-15New King James Version (NKJV)
7 Then the earth shook and trembled;
The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken,
Because He was angry.
8 Smoke went up from His nostrils,
And devouring fire from His mouth;
Coals were kindled by it.
9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With darkness under His feet.
10 And He rode upon a cherub, and flew;
He flew upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness His secret place;
His canopy around Him was dark waters
And thick clouds of the skies.
12 From the brightness before Him,
His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.
13 The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice,
Hailstones and coals of fire.[a]
14 He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe,
Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered
At Your rebuke, O Lord,
At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.

So we see undeniably that God does get angry and is terrifying when is does. We cannot deny this. Many are deceived by popular religious lies that God only acted that way in the Old Testament and that now he does not do those things because we are in the age of grace. While it is true that we are in the age of grace that does not mean that God has changed his nature. Part of his nature is that he is HOLY and that includes a hatred of sin. Keep in mind that the 1 Pet. 4:17 word of judgment starting in the house of God is from the NEW Testament. This because God does not change:

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

He is constant and does not turn from the way he has always been:

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

In our accurate belief that he is loving and patient we cannot limit him to be incapable of getting angry when he, in his perfect righteousness, sees fit to become angry.  Jesus exemplified this for us when he rose up in righteous anger against the evil in the temple and he wove a whip and drove out the money changers:

John 2:14-17New King James Version (NKJV)
14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten[a] Me up.”[b]

He obviously made the whip for the humans more than for the animals: when it says "he drove them," it means the humans, we know this because it mentions the animals in addition to "them."  Notice that he was not doing this to the Romans who were the oppressors of the Jews, he was doing it to the Jews, the people of God. It shows his zeal for purity in the house of God (verse 17). When God judges, he starts with his own people, the ones who are called by his name:

1 Peter 4:17 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

We cannot argue with scripture so we know that God judges his people when he sees fit. So the question becomes: have we reached that stage of things in America where God is seeing fit to judge us? The answer is yes. Let me provide some evidence.

We have already seen that Jesus hates the money changing(making money off of the things of God) spirit in his house from the John 2 passage. That spirit has long been at work in the church of America with the prosperity doctrine that has been so rampant in recent decades. So there can be no doubt that Jesus will again weave a whip and cleanse it out of his temple, which is us:

1 Corinthians 6:19New King James Version (NKJV)
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

This is both individual and collective to the church and to the nation as a whole because our nation has a covenant with God where he treats us as his children.

Things like our betrayal of Israel, our murder of at least 60 million of our unborn children and the legal acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage are profound abominations to God.  Just because he has been SLOW TO ANGER up until now does not mean that it will continue. Remember, the scripture says God is not mocked:

Galatians 6:7
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

So if we know that we will eventually reap ill fruit from the bad seed we have sown, even though God is slow to anger, then we have to conclude that we will pay a price as a nation for our great sin.  We will real the whirlwind:

Hosea 8:7
“They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no bud; It shall never produce meal. If it should produce, Aliens would swallow it up.

In fact the reality is that we have pushed God beyond his ability to be patient and slow to anger and now he is in fact angry and is beginning to cleanse the temple. Before long there will be a civil war within the church and in the nation too and many pastors will die because they are so out of line with God and misleading the people. I have already spoken of many other things that will happen. It will be very good for us all if we can break free of the way we have been taught to think and start believing what the bible really says and the True Prophets Of God say.  It will be very dangerous for us if we do not.

-Steve Pursell 11/7/14