His Anger and His Mercy

Dear T____,

We were discussing the function of God’s laws in the life of a Christian. That subject fits into your first question:

A) Eze 18:18 – The answer to this verse is contained in the preceding verses of chapter 18. Up to this time, God had “visited the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation…” (Exo 20:5). From this point in Ezekiel on, each man will give an account for his own sins, and rewarded according to Christ’s work in him. The whole 18th chapter is an old covenant (and therefore physical) type of a new covenant (and therefore spiritual) reality. The chapter is simply foretelling the spiritual truth that, in Christ, whose death and resurrection caused the veil of the most holy place in the temple to be torn open from top to bottom, we each now have equal access to the Father; and will each give account for our own deeds.

This was a new concept which essentially taught a one-on-one personal relationship with the Father, independent of an earthly priesthood. Notice verse 4 and 20 teach the exact opposite of today’s preachers and priests: “the soul that sins, it shall die,” not live forever in hell.

Death is the fruit of sin (Rom 6:23). It is also a product of the purifying fire of the fury of God’s wrath (Isa 9:18). It is our wickedness that fuels this fire, and it will burn until the wickedness is completely consumed. Some of God’s people say:

Isa 65:5 … Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These [are] a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

God is, and we should also be, furious over rebellion and evil because His whole purpose in its existence to begin with is to use it as a foil to display His love and mercy. There is no other way. If the creature isn’t first lost in sin, then it would not need a savior. God is so sovereign, he has to create His own enemies and opposition.

Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen.

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].

B) Mat 24:30-51 – This concerns the period of the time of the second coming of Christ. This is referred to in Mat 13:30 as “the time of harvest.” While verse 31 of Matthew 24 does mention sending his angels “to gather his elect” (The harvest), it doesn’t change the fact that Mat 13:30 says the tares are to be “gathered… first.”

This is borne out in Matthew 24.

Mat 24:39 And knew not (the people of Noah’s day) until the flood came, and took them (the wicked) all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken (the flood took the wicked), and the other left (the righteous).

How do we know it was the wicked and not the righteous who were taken away?

Pro 10:30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

The ‘watching’ to be done in verse 43 of Matthew 24 has more to do with our garments (Rev 16:15) by living a loving, righteous life, than by watching world events.

C) Mat 25:1-31 – The parable of the 10 virgins is not justification for polygamy, but an exhortation to stay in constant touch with God through His word. (Joh 6:63)

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The “oil in their vessels with their lamps” of Mat 25:4 is an adequate supply of God’s spirit in our lives and minds to withstand the lies (darkness) of the night that blots out the light of the sun (Christ and His truth – Rev. 9:2 and 10 compared with Isa 9:15).

Mat 25:14 – The parable of the talents demonstrates the truth of Eze 14:7-9 and Psa 18:26. Ezekiel 14 says if a prophet (a preacher) is deceived by what Ezekiel calls an “idol of the heart” (a false doctrine one clings to, contrary to the word of God, such as an immortal soul in eternal hell fire doctrine), if a preacher is thus deceived, it is God (Eze 14:9) who has him so deceived, “according to the idols of his heart” (vs 4).

Eze 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

Eze 14:4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;

Psa 18:26 says the same thing “with the pure (those who increased their talents) you will show yourself pure; and with the froward (the lazy bum who thought of God as an unfair and hard man) you will show yourself froward.” In the end, we reap what we sow (Gal 6:7).

D) Mat 26:64 – After the “tares are gathered first” (Mat 13:30), Christ will return (vs 39), send forth his angels, and they shall gather (first) out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity. (vs 40) And shall cast them into the furnace of fire…” (Which is a time of trial as shown by Deu 4:20).

E) Job 34:11 – Same as Gal 6:7 – what we sow (how we live our lives, for God or for ourselves) is what we reap.

F) Mat 22:30-31 – I know it sounds terrible now, but there is no physical marriage in the resurrected life. I can also remember though, a time when I couldn’t conceive of not wanting to ride my bicycle. Now I’ve grown past that! We will grow past the physical desires of the marriage relationship also.

2] Mat 25:41-46 – The ‘everlasting’ here of course, is “aionian” meaning simply a period of time. An aion (English eon) is not necessarily a long period of time, though it can be.

The ‘fire’ of course, is a purifying experience these “angels of the devil” will experience. Even now are our works being tried with ‘fire’

1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

Notice what is burned up here. It is not the person, but his/her WORKS! Godly works (gold, silver, precious stones) can survive, but wood, hay and stubble (our works) are fuel for the fire.

1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

But the main message of these verses is “Inasmuch as you have done (or not done) it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (vs 45). What Christ is saying here in verses 40 and 45 of Matthew 25 is that how I treat you is how I treat Him. As far as I am to be concerned, every time I meet anyone, I am to regard them as Christ Himself! This is not an easy thing to do, but it is what Christ requires of us all.

3] Job 34:11 This was answered in question 1E.

4] Eze 14:6,8,9 and Rev 12:1-2, 10:8-11

A) Eze 14:6 – These “idols and abominations” spoken of here are false teachings, “idols of the heart.” These are church doctrines or maybe even understanding of scripture that we might come up with on our own. However we come by them, it wasn’t via the “sum of thy thoughts…” (Psa 139:17). Whenever we attach ourselves, our pride to anything other than the “sum of (God’s) thoughts” we have an “idol of the heart”. It is “idols of the heart” that deceive us. Another scriptural phrase for idols of the heart is “a lying spirit”…”from the Lord…” (1Ki 22:22-23 and 2Ch 18:21-22)

Notice it is the Lord who deceives the prophet in Eze 14:9, and it is the Lord who put the lying spirit in the mouths of all 400 of Ahab’s prophets.(1Ki 22:23).

B) Rev 12:1-2 – The answer to these two verses are contained in the article Rightly Dividing The Word/a>. If you can grasp what’s in the article, which demonstrates how the writers of the new testament understood the scriptures, you will grasp something most ministers do not.

C) Rev 10:8-11 – I went to four years of bible college and have a degree in theology, but I was never told what I’m now telling you. The entire book of Revelation is interpreted by the Old Testament. The interpretation of any man is worthless, but when the Bible interprets the Bible, “the scriptures cannot be broken…” (Joh 10:35). Any time Paul was asked a question, his answer was “what saith the scripture?” (Rom 4:3; 11:2 and Gal 4:30)

So, the interpretation to this reference in Revelation 10 is given in Ezekiel 2 and 3. The ‘little book’ is full of curses upon God’s backsliding, lustful, materialistic children (Rev 10:10). Learning and knowing the word of God is like “honey in our mouths”, but when we are required to warn others of God’s coming judgments, something we strangely hear little about these days (2Ti 4:3), then the word of God becomes “bitter in our belly.” In Jer 15:16, Jeremiah says “Thy words were found and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart;…”

After he had delivered the word he had found to the people, look at how it made him feel: “for since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil (Eze 2:9); because the word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.” (Jer 20:7-9)

Notice the scriptural interpretation of the fire proceeding from the mouth of the two witnesses (Rev 11:5).

Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

As little as God’s people want to hear it, “judgment must begin at the house of God” (1Pe 4:17).

The two witnesses of Revelation 11 fulfill verse 11 of Rev 10.

5] Rom 2:17-24 – There are many people today who claim to be teachers of the word of God, who say “God’s law is done away”.

The Bible doesn’t say that, but they do. A bible teacher in a group recently advised his readers to use profanity in their prayers to God. “If you can’t be honest with God, who can you be honest with” was his observation.

This is what Jdg 4 calls “turning the grace of God into lasciviousness.”

Jdg 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

6] Mar 1:14 – The gospel of the kingdom of God is what Christ and all the apostles preached, including Paul (Act 28:31).

One misconception about that kingdom is that it is totally future. In truth, it certainly is to come later, but the emphasis in all of the parables of Christ concerning the kingdom is on the period of time between Christ’s death and His return to earth in power. The parable of the sower (Mat 13:24), the mustard seed (Mat 13:31) and the leaven (Mat 13:33) all concern sowing the word in the present world according to Christ’s own interpretation. (Mat 13:38)

As usual with prophecy, the emphasis is on the here-and-now more than the future. Get right with God now, and the future will take care of itself, or as Christ put it; “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Mat 6:34).

A) Pro 29:15 – This verse reminds me of 1Co 11:32; “When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord…” and Heb 12:6 “Whom the Lord loves, he chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” If we are not receiving discipline from God, we are “bastards” and not God’s sons at all. (Heb 12:7)

B) Luk 27:46 – “… Father into thy hand I commend my spirit: (Psa 31:5) and having said thus he gave up the ghost” (Greek: pneuma which is spirit). The answer to this is in Ecc 3:18-20. The word breath in verse 19 is the Hebrew word ‘ruach’ meaning spirit. Man and beast “have one spirit”, and both “go unto one place” (vs 20). That’s why Paul says that if there is no resurrection, we are of all men most miserable (1Co 15:19). If there is no resurrection, then the dead have “perished” (1Co 15:18). Christ died a physical death. He was “in the heart of the earth” for three days. Then he was resurrected from the dead. If this isn’t so, then we have not been redeemed, and we have no savior.

We are not, as is taught generally today, ‘a spirit being having a physical experience’. We are physical beings (Gen 2:7 and 3:19) having a spiritual experience, and at the resurrection we will be given spiritual bodies, which we do not possess at the present time.

A ‘soul’ (Hebrew – nephesh) can and does die (Eze 18:4 and 20).

Look up these scriptures, and I think you’ll see that man has a spirit, but man is ‘dust’.

  • Job 34:14-15
  • Job 32:8
  • Psa 104:30
  • Ecc 8:8
  • Ecc 12:7

These scriptures make it clear that man ‘has a spirit’ which can be “gathered back to God” which he ‘cannot retain’ and which at death “returns to God who gave it.”

Christ did die for “all [ who are] in Adam” and they will all be raised and given glorious, powerful, spiritual bodies (1Co 15:42) at the resurrection.

I do hope I’ve answered your questions. If not, let me know, and we’ll try again.

Your brother in Christ,

Mike

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