How Does God Define His “Wrath”?
Lorraine Day, M.D.
“Romans is dominated by three great doctrines: Justification, Conciliation and Sovereignty. God’s own righteousness, which He shares with the sinner, His own peace, which He imparts to the believers, and His own indomitable will, which forms the immovable basis of all blessing, are the bulk and burden of this epistle.” Concordant Commentary, p 229
The first seven verses of Romans, Chapter 1, are the salutation; the next eight verses are regarding personal matters concerning the apostle and the brethren in Rome, and the fifteenth verse is the link that unites the introduction to the directly doctrinal portion of the epistle.
Vs 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Not ashamed of the Gospel
Many people are ashamed of the gospel. They often keep hidden the fact that they are followers of Christ. What is the cause of this shame? It is that they do not know what the gospel is. No man or woman who really knows Christ will be ashamed of the gospel.
If one is ashamed of the gospel of Christ, which is the power of God, it is evidence that the man or woman who feels ashamed really thinks himself or herself superior to God, and that it is a lowering of his or her dignity to be associated with the Lord.
What is the Gospel (evangel in Greek)?
The evangel is God’s power for salvation - - nothing else can take its place. There is no other power in the universe that can turn men to God. All the modern substitutes and expedients, impassioned oratory or emotional excitement, cannot save or make men right before God. The evangel alone, without any additions or apologies, is able to justify anyone who believes.
What does it mean to believe?
“. . . it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth”
The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be SAVED.” Acts 16:31 “Belief” appears to be the ONLY thing necessary for a person to gain eternal life! If “belief” is ALL that is necessary to have eternal life, does one just have to “think” or “utter” the words, “I believe” and they are automatically saved? Is it that easy? What does it mean to “Believe”?
Jesus used the word believe, or a form of that word, eighty times. Obviously, it is/was very important to Him.
Some Christian denominations teach that all one has to do is say a short recitation acknowledging that he or she is a sinner, that Jesus is the Son of God, that He was born of a virgin, died on the cross for our sins, was resurrected from the dead and now lives forever, in order for a person to be saved. That is considered the “belief” that is necessary in order to be saved.
Apparently, if one just says those words, then eternal life is guaranteed to that person.
But what will heaven or the new earth be like if all who are there have only had to recite those words, then they have gone on living pretty much the way they were before. It is true that the denominations preach that God is against blatant alcoholism, adultery, overt stealing, obvious lying, and murder of an individual (apparently corporate murder - as in war - is acceptable), but with those few exceptions, life goes on pretty much as it did before. However, there IS one mandatory rule - one MUST attend church regularly and be “involved” in the “church” in order to be considered a “good” Christian!
This is MAN’S version of the word “Believe.”
Let’s look at GOD’S definition of the word “Believe!”
The Bible says that Faith - WITHOUT works - is Dead! The word translated “faith” in the Bible is exactly same word as “belief.”
This means that Belief (faith) - - WITHOUT the actions that correspond - - - is Dead!
If one says he “believes” - but his life does NOT correspond to what he says he “believes,” then he does NOT believe, no matter how much he argues to the contrary.
Let’s look at the different areas of a person’s life that MUST change when he or she becomes a Christian in order to manifest his or her “BELIEF!”
Do we BELIEVE that God is in charge of our Safety?
If a Christian says he believes in God, but at the same time, believes in self-defense, he demonstrates that he does NOT believe in God.
God says, “Fear not,” numerous times in the Bible, (Ps 34:7, Isa 41:10, Ps 34:15) and if we believe that WE must defend OURSELVES, then we DON’T believe in God. We DON’T believe that God WILL do what He has ALREADY PROMISED He will do - and that is to watch over us. However, that does NOT mean that God will keep us from all harm. We know that martyrs have - and again will - die for Christ. If God allows harm to come to us, then He will accomplish something positive in our lives through that experience.
We MUST learn to trust Him and NOT try to take our safety into our own hands. If we do that, we CANNOT claim that we “trust God!” If we take our safety into our own hands, where does God come into play? HE is the one who promises to protect us. But he CAN’T do that if we take our protection into our own hands.
We must believe in “God-defense” and NOT self-defense!
Do we BELIEVE that God is our Plan-maker?
J. N. Andrews, the first missionary of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church, and the person for whom the SDA Theological Seminary is named, said:
“Find a field of labor, ask God to help, take off your coat, and go to work!”
That’s the sequence that virtually ALL Christians believe in. That’s the sequence that virtually ALL Christian organizations and denominations believe in. But, unfortunately, that’s the WRONG sequence!
Christians wrongfully “decide” what work God wants - or needs - done. Then they proceed to decide exactly HOW that work should be done. THEN they ask God to bless THEIR plans THEIR process to complete THEIR plans! - - - as if God doesn’t have the ability to formulate His OWN plans or the PROCESS by which they should be carried out.
The more of US we have in any deal, the LESS God can accomplish.
Whenever GOD makes the plans and designs the process to complete the plans HE has made, things turn out perfectly. When we do things OUR way, disaster is always the result - - even when we THINK things have turned out pretty well - at least temporarily.
Let’s look at some Biblical examples demonstrating the results when GOD makes the plans AND the process - versus MAN taking over God’s job!
GOD makes the PLAN and the PROCESS. (Man just follows God’s orders and carries out GOD’S plans.)
1) Noah and the flood - building the boat. God told Noah He would save Him from the flood. How did God save Noah? Answer: God told Noah to build a boat. Notice that God did NOT leave the PLAN up to Noah. God made the Plan.
Then God told Noah EXACTLY how to build the boat, down to the last detail. God did NOT leave the PROCESS up to Noah, either. God decided the process.
Noah’s job was to carry out, in EVERY detail, the Plan AND the Process that God had given him. When Noah allowed God to make the plans and the process by which the plans were to be carried out, there was great ultimate success.
2) Joshua and the battle of Jericho: God was the Plan-maker for the Battle of Jericho - - NOT Joshua. God made the Plans - - NOT Joshua, and God designated the Process. Joshua’s job was to do EXACTLY what God told Him to do. When Joshua did that, he had great success.
3) The original Passover in Egypt: God told the Israelites to put the blood on the doorpost. That was NOT the Israelites idea, nor was it Moses’ idea. It was God’s PLAN to save the First Born of the Israelites, and God designated the Process by which it was to be done. The Israelites did NOT make the Plans, nor did they design the Process. It was ALL of God. The ONLY job of the Israelites was to do EXACTLY as God had told them. THEN the First-born of the Israelites were spared.
When MAN makes the PLAN and/or the PROCESS the ultimate outcome is ALWAYS failure.
1) Jonah: God told Jonah to go to Nineveh to warn the people to repent. Jonah had a different plan - his OWN plan, which almost cost him his life.
2) Joshua and the battle of Ai (Joshua 7:1-12): Joshua, flush with victory over Jericho, forgot Who his Plan-maker was. Joshua decided to make his OWN plans and design his OWN process to carry out the plans for the battle of Ai, instead of letting God make the plans and process. Joshua’s plans resulted in a disaster for the Israelites with significant loss of life.
3) Israelites deciding to fight for themselves instead of letting God fight for them: When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, they had NO weapons! They had only pieces of gold, silver and yard goods. It was God’s plan that the Israelites do NO fighting.
When the Israelites were hedged in by mountains on one side and the Red Sea on another side, and the Egyptians in hot pursuit, God NEVER wanted the Israelites to take charge of their own safety.
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you today; for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever.
“The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall be quiet.” Exodus 14:13,14
God opened the Red Sea and saved the Israelites.
However, a short time later, we see that the Israelites acquired their own weapons (probably by picking up the weapons of the Egyptians drowned in the Red Sea) and defending themselves against the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-13).
From then on, Israel tried to fight their OWN battles which resulted in much loss of life, and many failures.
4) Peter picking the replacement for the 12th apostle (Acts 1:15-26): Jesus, Himself, picked ALL the twelve apostles. After Judas had betrayed Christ and committed suicide, Peter decided that HE should choose the next disciple. Jesus had NEVER given Peter the authority to do that.
Jesus had ascended to heaven but He still had the authority, the obligation and the ability to pick His OWN disciples. Peter assumed that since Jesus was no longer visible on earth that He could not - or would not - still be in charge of His group.
Peter and the other disciples picked Mathias. After that occurrence, Mathias is never again mentioned in the Bible. Jesus ignored the choice of Peter and the other disciples. When the time came for the twelfth disciple to be chosen, Jesus, HIMSELF, chose Paul!
It was to Paul that God revealed His plan of Universal Restoration. Paul evangelized most of the then-known world. And Paul became the author of the majority of the New Testament.
5) Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden: God had a Plan and a Process. “Eat of every tree of the Garden, EXCEPT the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
Adam and Eve chose to make their OWN plans. And HERE we all are, drowning in sin!
In fact, the Bible is just one long historical record of MAN refusing to do things God’s way and instead insisting on doing things MAN’S way --- and the disastrous outcomes that followed!
Do you believe that God WILL:
Save EVERYONE? Acts 3:21; 1 Tim 4:10; 1 Tim 2:1-6; Rev 21:4,5; John 3:35 and John 6:37-39; Phil 2:10,11, 1 John 3:8; Romans 8:19-23
Make EVERYONE perfect? Matthew 5:48 (literal translation)
Heal EVERYONE who believes? Acts 16:31 (Check on the meaning of the Greek word “sozo.” It means to heal PHYSICALLY and to heal SPIRITUALLY.)
Heal ALL our diseases? Ps 103:3; Jeremiah 30:17; Exodus 23:25; Exodus 15:26
Keep us FREE from EVERY disease? Deut 7:11-15
Sustain us financially? Phil 4:19; Luke 12:24; Ps 84:11; Matthew 6:32; Luke 12:28-30; Deut 29:9; 2 Chron 26:5
Provide our food and water? Luke 12:24; Phil 4:19; Luke 12:20
Save our children? Isaiah 49:25
Teach us DIRECTLY? 1 John 2:26,27; Isa 54:13; John 6:45;
Lead us into ALL truth? John 16:13
Never forsake us or ANYONE else? Heb 13:5
Direct EVERY moment of our lives and tell us exactly what HE wants us to do? Phil 2:13; Jer 10:23; Prov 3:6; Isa 45:13
Answer ALL our prayers? Ps 34:17; Jer 33:3; Psalm 55:17; Isa 65:24; Psalm 91:15; 2 Chron 7:14; Matthew 21:22; Luke 11:10; 1 John 5:14
Give us peace so we can “be anxious for NOTHING”? Phil 4:7; John 14:27; Prov 3:24;
Give us understanding of His end-time prophecies? 1 Thess 5:1-9; Rev 1:3; John 13:19
Sustain us through terrible torture and possible death? Hebrews 11:32-40; Heb 13:5
Sustain us through terrible torture and possible death of our children? Heb 11:32-40; Heb 13:5
Be able to save the most wicked, wretched individual who has ever lived on this earth? Hebrews 7:25; Romans 5:20; Psalm 103:3
“Without faith (belief) it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God; for he that comes to God MUST BELIEVE that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
“Anything is possible if you have faith (belief).” Mark 9:23
“Now the just (righteous) shall live by faith (belief). And if ANY man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in Him.” Hebrews 10:38
“Faith (belief) comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17
To the “Jew” First, and also to the Greek
Jews and Gentiles: What do the terms mean?
Let's stop right here and discuss the terms "Jew" and "Gentile." I'm sure you will be astonished to learn that NEITHER of these terms is EVER used in the Bible, in the original Scriptures. These are actually propaganda words placed there by the translators to support their own preconceived theological ideas.
Let me give you the documentation for this statement.
Look in a Concordance, Strong's Concordance is a popular, commonly used one. The word "Jew" (#2453 in the Greek) is actually short for the word Judean, or more accurately Ioudas, pronounced ee-oo-dah-yos. The letter "J" is not present in the New Testament Greek alphabet. The English alphabet had no "J" prior to the 14th century, and it wasn't predominantly used until the 17th century.
The word "Jew" is an English concoction that did not exist at the time of the writing of the New Testament. The word is actually Judean.
The King James Bible in 1611, for example, used the word Iudea, not our present Judea, and it was pronounced you-dee-a.
So the word "Jew" is short for the word "Judean", meaning a resident of a particular area - Judea, the southern part of Canaan, later known as Palestine. Jerusalem was in Judea, and the temple was in Jerusalem. The word "Jew" did not mean an ethnic background, it meant, at most, a location.
The English word Jew evolved phonetically from the prefix 'Iou, from the Greek word 'Ioudas which mean Judean.
Judea is the same as Judah, and Judah was the tribe of Israel that inhabited that geographical area when the twelve tribes conquered the inhabitants of Canaan about 1400 B.C. The Tribe of Judah was the largest of the twelve and the most influential. God said that the Messiah would come through that Tribe.
In addition, study of the Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament, makes it clear that the designation "Judean" or "Ioudas" refers to those who had a knowledge of the God of heaven, as opposed to those who had NO knowledge of the God of heaven, those who worshiped pagan gods, referred to as the "Nations."
Now look up the word "Nations" in the Greek (#1484) and the Hebrew (#1471). Now look up the word "Gentiles." You will see that the number is identical to the word "Nations" both in the Greek (#1484) and in the Hebrew (#1471).
This shows that the Bible translators used the word "Gentiles" at their own discretion, when it would have a theological or sociological impact, rather than using the word "Nations" in every instance, as unbiased interpretation would dictate. There is NO instance in the Bible, where the use of the word "Gentiles" is appropriate. The word should ALWAYS be "Nations."
The Hebrew word (#1471) translated "Nations" or sometimes "Gentiles", is the word "goy" or "goyim", a present-day derogatory term used by Jews to describe non-Jews, and means, in present day Jewish interpretation, a troop of lowly animals, such as cattle, or a heathen people.
Isa 37:12 "Have the gods of the nations delivered them..."
Ps 96:5 "For all the gods of the nations are idols..."
Isa 9:1 "...Galilee of the nations."
Again: The Scriptural meanings of the two terms are the following:
Judeans (mistranslated "Jews" in the Bible): Those who were aware of, or who even worshiped, the God of heaven, who lived primarily in the region of Judea (Often they had wandered far from the God of heaven they were supposed to know.)
Nations (mistranslated "Gentiles" in the Bible): Those who did NOT know, nor worship, the God of heaven, but instead worshiped pagan idols and lived generally in areas other than Judea.
Neither term was a designation of ethnicity or blood line. They were defined in relation to their religion - their worship, which, in general, correlated with their geographical location. The center of the worship of the God of heaven in the entire inhabited world, was Jerusalem which was in the region of Judea. Everywhere else was referred to as "the Nations."
The meaning of the term “Greek”
But in this case, in Romans 1:16, The “Greek” must not be confounded with the so-called “gentile” or man of the nations. The Greek is the cultured, refined person, sometimes in contrast with the Jew (Judean), the religious man, but here in contrast with the uncultured or “barbarian”.
The taking of the gospel, the evangel, the Good News of Universal Restoration, was to go first to those whose hearts had already been drawn, by God, to Jesus Christ. This was being done by the apostles. It was the “common people” who heard Jesus “gladly.” That’s why Jesus spent so much time in Galilee, where the common people, who were often uneducated, lived. They did not have built-in prejudices against the truth.
But the educated and sophisticated were not to be left out. They were to hear the Good News as well.
At His ascension, Jesus said, “Ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8. It was most natural that they should begin to preach the gospel in the place and to the people nearest them. This is the secret of all missionary work. He who does not labor in the gospel in his home and among his close friends and acquaintances, will not do any gospel work, although he goes to a foreign country.
Vs 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
This evangel imparts God’s own righteousness to those who accept it. This is unspeakably more than the pardon or forgiveness proclaimed at Pentecost by the twelve apostles.
Law vs Gospel
The majority of Christian theologians believe that there is a difference between “Law” and “Gospel.” Simply stated, “the Law was given by God but no one can keep it perfectly, THEREFORE, the “Gospel” the Good News is that Jesus died on the Cross for our sins and thus, His death makes up the difference. So, we are saved by His death even though we are unable to keep the law perfectly.
This is certainly a “Gospel” for “itching ears.” This is a light-weight, superficial “Gospel” to please the unregenerate heart. This is NOT the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus says that He will put His mind, His disposition, His character in us and we WILL be like Him. If Jesus is making every decision in our life, we eventually WILL be perfect. He promises that in Matthew 5:48.
“You SHALL be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Literal translation)
The LIE of the “church” is that Jesus is incapable of making good on His promise, therefore, He will somehow wave a magic wand and make up the deficit in character that we have. This, according to the theologians, apparently occurs at the time of death, according to Christian dogma.
But character can only be developed while we are alive. When we die, our character is NOT changed. We will have the same character when we are resurrected as we had when we died.
Righteousness of God
“Hearken unto Me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law.” Isa 51:7
“My tongue shall speak of thy work; for all thy commandments are righteousness.” Ps 119:172
“The righteousness of God” therefore, is His law. Let this not be forgotten. The term “righteousness of God” occurs frequently in the book of Romans, and much confusion has resulted from giving it arbitrary and varying definitions. If we accept the definition given in the Bible, and do not abandon it in any instance, it will simplify matters very much. The righteousness of God IS His perfect law.
Righteousness and Life. “But the Ten Commandments, whether engraved on tables of stone or written in a book, are only the statement of the righteousness of God. Righteousness means right doing. It is active. The righteousness of God is God’s right doing, His way. And since all His ways are right, it follows that the righteousness of God is nothing less than the life of God. The written law is not action, but is only a description of the action. It is a picture of the character of God.
“The very life and character of God are seen in Jesus Christ, in whose heart was the law of God. There can be no righteousness without action. And as there is none good but God, it follows that there is no righteousness except in the life of God. Righteousness and the life of God are one and the same thing.
Righteousness in the Gospel. “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed.” Wherein? In the gospel. Bear in mind that the righteousness of God is His perfect law, a statement of which is found in the Ten Commandments. There is no such thing as a conflict between the law and the gospel. Indeed there are not in reality two such things as the law and the gospel. The true law of God is the gospel; for the law is the life of God, and we are ‘saved by His life.’ The gospel reveals the righteous law of God, because the gospel has the law in itself. There can be no gospel without law. Whoever ignores or rejects the law of God, has no knowledge whatever of the gospel.
Faith to Faith
“The righteousness of God” is “revealed from faith to faith;’ as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
“Just as we live naturally by breathing, so we are to live spiritually by faith, and our whole life is to be spiritual. Faith is the breath of life to the Christian. So just as we naturally live from breath to breath, we are to live spiritually from faith to faith.
We can live but one breath at a time; so we can not live spiritually except by present faith. If we live a life of conscious dependence upon God, His righteousness will be ours, for we shall breathe it in continually.” Waggoner on Romans, Ellett J. Waggoner, p 1.26
The Just shall live by Faith
As stated above, the word Faith is the same word as Belief. What does it mean to “Believe”? We must trust God (and NOT “man”) for everything, in every aspect, of our life.
The “Wrath” of God and the Conduct of Mankind
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteous-ness.
19 Because that which may be known of God is evident in them; for God has showed it unto them
20 For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and divine nature; so that they are without excuse.
Enough of the law of God is known in all the world to deprive all people of any excuse for sin. God is no respecter of persons. No person in the world is so great that he can sin with impunity, and no person is so insignificant that his sin will be overlooked. There is strict impartiality with God.
Restraining the Truth
The statement is that men “hold down” or suppress the truth in unrighteousness. We might note the fact that when Jesus went into His own country “He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Matt 13:58. People by their perverseness restrain the working of the truth of God in their own souls. But for their resistance of the truth, it would sanctify them.
No matter how blindly men may sin, the fact remains that they are sinning against great light, “because that which may be known of God is manifest in them.”
The Gospel in Creation and the Stars as Preachers
The Invisible things are known by the things that are made.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” Ps 19:1
“He spake, and it was.” Psalm 33:
He is “the firstborn of all creation.” Col 1:15
He is the source, or beginning, of the creation of God. Rev. 3:14
“That is to say, all creation springs from Christ Jesus, who is the power of God. He spoke the worlds into existence from His own being. Therefore the external power and divinity of God are impressed upon everything that has been made. We can not open our eyes, we can not even feel the breeze upon our face, without having a clear revelation to us of the power of God.
“Every movement of men, and every breath, is the working of the external power of God. Thus the eternal power and divinity of God are manifest to every man. This does not mean that man is in any sense divine, or that he has any power in himself. Quite the contrary. Man is like the grass. “Every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” Ps 39:5. The fact that man is nothing in himself, and even “less than nothing, and vanity,” is evidence of the power of God manifests in him.
“The power which is manifested in the things which God has made is the same power that works in the hearts of men to save them from sin and death. Therefore, we may be assured that God has constituted every portion of His universe a preacher of the gospel. So then men may not only know the fact of God’s existence from the things that He has made, but they may know His eternal power to save them. Ibid. p 30,31
21 Because that, when they knew God they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
23 And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man - - - - - - - - - and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
God’s glory changed into an image like corruptible man
The theologians in the church are no better than the philosophers of the world. Both the “churched” and the “un-churched” have changed the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man.
The “church” has done this by “creating” a “God” in the image of man. The “church” believes that God is NOT able to save a person if that person does not want to be saved. In that way, the human being has elevated himself above God. That human being has decided that HE controls God. God CANNOT do anything for him unless HE allows it. “Man” has made himself into “god.”
This is the second LIE in the Garden of Eden
‘If you eat of this tree. . . you shall become as gods. . .” said Satan to Eve
In addition, “man” assumes that God’s “wrath” is manifested in the same way as “man’s” wrath, “man’s” anger.
But God says, “I’m not like you. My ways are HIGHER than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)
As we progress, we will see how God manifests His wrath.
God’s glory changed into an image of birds, beasts and creeping things.
There is one thing that God has given as the seal and sign of His divinity, and that is the Sabbath. The Sabbath is the memorial of Creation (Gen. 2:1-4).
Speaking of men, He says,
“Moreover also I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” Ezekiel 20:12
This is in keeping with what we have learned in Romans; for our text tells us that God’s power and divinity are perceived by thoughtful people through the things that He has made; and the Sabbath is the great memorial of creation
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the Seventh Day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work. . . for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the Seventh Day; wherefore the Lord BLESSED the Sabbath Day, and made it HOLY.” Ex. 20:8-11
In Deuteronomy, Chapter 5, the Ten Commandments are repeated, with one exception. The Sabbath is now stated as a memorial of RE-Creation, of Salvation and regeneration, of becoming a “New Creature in Christ.”
“Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. . . And remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt (symbolic, in the Bible, for sin) and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm; therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath Day.”
Because “Egypt” is used, in the Bible, to symbolize sin, when God brought the Israelites “Out of Egypt,” through the wilderness and into the Promised Land, that whole journey symbolized God bringing every sinner out of sin, through the trials and tribulations of life, and into the Promised Land of becoming like Him, becoming a “New Creature in Christ.”
The Sabbath is a memorial of Creation AND RE-creation, being “born again.”
If people had always kept the Sabbath as it was given, there would never have been any idolatry; for the Sabbath reveals the power of the word of the Lord to create and to work righteousness.
The Definition of God’s “Wrath”
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who exchanged the truth of God for a LIE, and worshipped and served the creature (creation) rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever; Amen.
“There is no surer road to degradation then to degrade the object of our worship.” Concordant Commentary, p 230
Man has exchanged the “truth of God for a LIE.”
Marcus Aurelius, who is thought to be among the best of the heathen philosophers, said: “Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if you will ever dig.” That expresses the spirit of all heathenism. Self was the supreme thing. But that spirit is also present in New Age and even in the ”Church.” Man looks to “Man” and NOT to God. Man looks to the “Experts,” theological “experts,” medical “experts,” scientific “experts,” and political “experts” rather than looking to God.
When man looks within man, what is the only thing that they can see? “Evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: Mark 6:21,22 Even the apostle Paul said, “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.” Rom 7:18
Now, when a man looks at all this evil that is in him, and thinks that it is good, and that he can get good out of himself, the result can be plainly seen; the vilest wickedness must be the result. He virtually says, “Evil, be thou my god.”
26 Wherefore God also gave them up unto vile affections; for even their women did exchange the natural use for that which is against nature
27 And likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men, working that which is debased and receiving in themselves (in their OWN body) that recompense of their error which was fitting.
“The prevailing immorality in ancient times was largely attributable to the character of the gods they worshiped. The younger race of gods who held sway on Olympus were usurpers who had murdered the older gods, and were guilty of innumerable deeds of violence and full of sensuality and injustice. If their gods behaved so, it was not difficult for men to emulate their example and endorse such actions in others as well.
The failure of Christendom is largely due to the fact that God is unknown, and His place filled by a fierce, vindictive caricature, who is restrained from his thirst for vengeance by the intervention of an effeminate mediator who takes the place of the Christ of God.” Concordant Commentary, p 231.
In the Last Days
Read the last verses of the first chapter of Romans if you wish to have a picture of the world in the last days. The one who believes in a millennium of peace and righteousness before the coming of the Lord will doubtless be shocked; but he needs to be.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting.
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, selfishness, whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents
31 Without understanding, breakers of agreements, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful
32 Who knowing the righteousness of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but approve of them that do them.
Read that list of sins above, carefully, and then see how exactly it tallies with the following:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness (these people profess to be “Christians”), but denying the power thereof.: 2 Tim 3:1-5
This all springs from self, the very source of evil with which Paul charged the heathen. Those things are the works of the flesh. See Galatians 5:19-21. They are the natural result of trusting in self. They are the natural result of looking “within” as the New Age religion teaches.
In spite of the declaration of the apostle Paul, there are very few who will believe that this state of things will ever be general, and especially among those who profess godliness. But the seed that produces such a crop is already sown in our society and throughout the world.
“That man of sin, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped.” (2 Thess 2:3,4)
This is the strongest overt religious force in the world today, and its power is daily increasing. It has placed itself above God in thinking to change His law, Dan. 7:25.
The Catholic Church boldly adopted the heathen sun festival day, Sunday, in the place of the Lord’s Seventh-day Sabbath, the memorial of creation, and defiantly points to it as its badge of authority. And the majority of Protestants now follow in its train, accepting a custom that stands for the exaltation of man above God, the symbol of justification by works instead of by faith.
When professed Christians cling to a human ordinance in spite of the express command of the Lord, and support their custom by appeals to the church fathers, men who were learned in the philosophy of heathenism, the road to any evil that their hearts may choose is but a downward spiral.
© Lorraine Day, M.D. 2006. All Rights Reserved.
This document cannot be reproduced in any form
except for downloading for personal use.