Not Appointed To Wrath

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Hi S____,
You refer to Mat 24:22:

Mat 24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Thank you  for pointing this out. You are so very right about God’s wrath subsiding as we take on and live by the mind of Christ. But don’t make the mistake some do as you word this: “God does and has ended those days of wrath for me…” If that were true, then the story of David’s experience with Uriah and then many years later numbering the people, would have no significance for us. And even more to the point the story of Judas as a “chosen you twelve” would have no application for God’s chosen. But these things are all for all of us, and I think that before you finish this letter you will agree that they are also happened and are written for your and my admonition.
If I gave the impression at Marshall that overcoming sin in our lives has no benefits, I am very sorry. It is forsaking sin that removes God’s wrath on our lives. I thought I had gone to great lengths to make that clear, but if I did not do so, then please know that I do not think that when we forsake ungodliness that God just continues to pour out his wrath on us for no reason.
Having said that, let me be quick to add that coming out of Babylon is not a ‘line in the sand’ which we can look back at and say “I crossed that line way back there and therefore God’s wrath will never visit me again.” That is a lie that many do believe, which makes the story of Judas and of King David and of all of the kings of Israel and the entire history of Israel to be of no significance to God’s elect.
King David was said to be “a man after God’s own heart.”  In spite of this  distinction given to King David, we are told that this typically elect ‘man after God’s own heart’ took another man’s wife while He himself had many wives. To make matters worse King David killed the man whose wife he had taken just to cover his sin. Now what does God do under such circumstances? Does He say ‘This is my elect, I would never pour out my wrath on my very elect.’ Is that God’s way of doing business? Or is this what God does under such circumstances:
Christ had just spoken a parable which described King David’s condition to a tee. King David had become too comfortable in his elect position. Just like Judas, who Christ tells us was elect and yet a “devil,” King David thought he was past having to worry about God’s wrath on his ungodliness. After telling His disciples:

Luk 12:35  Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
Luk 12:40  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Peter then asks Christ:

Luk 12:41  Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?

Here is a perfect opportunity for our Lord to tell Peter that once we come out of Babylon we do not need to concern ourselves with God’s wrath because “we are not appointed to wrath.” But is that what Christ did? No, not quite. Here is what Christ taught then and teaches today:

Luk 12:42  And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat [ the Truth of God’s Word] in due season?
Luk 12:43  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Luk 12:44  Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

That is the positive part of Christ’s message. But that is not all of it. Here is the rest of what Christ had to say to his elect also:

Luk 12:45  But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; [ Just as God’s typical elect, King David did “for our admonition-” 1 Cor. 10]
Luk 12:46  The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
Luk 12:47  And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes [ to whom is this addressed? We must ask ‘is this for someone else besides me?’].
Luk 12:48  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Does this verse sound like God goes easier on His elect? Anyone who believes that 1 Thess. 5:9 makes these verses inapplicable to themselves, has gotten nothing out of either this scripture here in Luk 12 or all of the Old Testament stories Paul refers to in 1 Cor. 10. Is all the wrath which God poured out on all of his “chosen and peculiar people” in the Old Testament now no longer admonition for us? Here is what Paul, just like Christ, taught:

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples [ Greek- tupos- types]: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Now just notice what Paul has to say to those who think that coming out of Babylon is some line in the sand which after crossing we can relax, let down our guard and have no fear of God’s wrath on any ungodliness we might then commit; or even worse think it impossible that God’s elect are capable of ungodliness. Here is the plain warning for those with eyes to see and ears to hear:

1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Is this for someone else and not each of us?

For us to think that we have crossed some ‘line in the sand’ which makes all of those admonitions a thing of the past, puts us right where King David and Judas were when they were ‘had for lunch’ by the Adversary. Here is how Christ concludes this parable: 

Luk 12:49  I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

There is but one formula for salvation. That formula is God’s chastening, scourging grace on “every son whom He receives”. The scourging decreases as He increases.
I have never taught otherwise.  Like yours my life has a peace and a self- control which is not of self but certainly is now in dominion over sin in my life. I do not submit to sin and do not experience God’s wrath now that I am in control of sin in my life. But am I now in a position to say, like king David, ‘I won’t even bother going to war this year. I’ll let someone else take care of that. I will just stay back and take it easy and find myself another man’s wife.’
Of course David never told Himself that any more than Judas told Himself that He was betraying the Son of God. Nevertheless both did what they did, and for those with the mind of Christ “these things happened to them and they are written for our admonition…”
I cannot force a person see anything in God’s Word. That is the work of God’s spirit. But I am instructed to share what I see with others who are instructed to “search the scriptures daily to see if these things are so.”
What one should do is to Read all of 1 Cor. 10. Then type ‘wrath’ into the e- sword (if one has that study option- which if you don’t can be downloaded free) and key on the Old Testament. Read the entries and let the spirit of God teach you what it will.
Then  read Rom 11. Notice how  Paul points us to Israel as a whole.

Rom 11:32  For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

For those with eyes to see, the high priest in Israel represents Christ. Aaron’s sons represent those who have descended from Christ.  The  Levities represent those who are called and do the work of the temple but will never be able to enter into the temple, much less go behind the veil. Only the priests, the sons of Aaron are allowed into the temple.  But only the high priest Himself is allowed past the second veil into the very presence of God. So what does the camp of Israel separated from the Levites and separated from the the temple by the temple court and the outer court represent?
It represents all of mankind who are cut off from God by the veil of their flesh and it’s sin. The camp of Israel represents all of Adam’s and all of Noah’s descendants who are all earlier covenant people who all at one time were told:  

Gen 9:8  And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
Gen 9:9  And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

With this understanding you need to read Rom 11 and then read 1 Thess. chapters 4 and 5. You will see that in both cases Paul is talking about the salvation of all mankind. What Paul is saying in both cases is that mankind as a “lump” as a whole is “not cast away… has not stumbled that they should fall” in the long view of God’s dealings with mankind. In the short view “the casting away of them is the riches of the Gentiles, and their fall is the riches of the world.”
When you go to 1 Thess. 4 you will see that Paul is dealing with the Thessalonians in the same way. The Thessalonians, like all of God’s people, had loved ones who were not in Christ as well as some few who were in Christ. What are Paul’s words of comfort to these saints who were concerned about their loved ones who had died?

1Th 4:13  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

But what of all of those who have died who are not “dead in Christ? What will become of those loved ones? Paul answers this question in the next chapter after he completes his thought about the differences between God’s elect and the many called but not chosen: Now look at how Paul continues his thoughts about God’s elect in chapter five:

1Th 5:1  But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Th 5:2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1 Thess5:3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1Th 5:4  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
1Th 5:7  For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
1Th 5:8  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

This “hope of salvation” is the same ‘hope’ which Paul referred to in chapter 4 where we were told:

1Th 4:13  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

“Others which have no hope” are unbelievers. It is mankind as a whole. Now what is Paul telling us when he continues here in chapter 5? Are we without hope for our loved ones who are not “dead in Christ?” Why are we not to “sorrow as others which have no hope? Here is what Paul tells us:

1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Who is not appointed to wrath? Who is appointed to obtain salvation? Is it just the firstfruit of Rom 11? Is it just the branches which have been “graffed in?” No, not at all. Here is what Paul is talking about when he says we are not appointed to wrath:

1Th 5:10  Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

“Whether we wake or sleep” means, according to the immediately preceding verses, whether we are elect or not we are not appointed to wrath which would rob us of our loved ones. Whether we wake or sleep, whether we are elect or broken off “we should live together with Him.
If verse nine is referring exclusively to God’s elect, then so is verse 10. But if verse ten is not referring exclusively to God’s elect, then neither is verse nine because the point being made in verse ten is that whether we are elect or not we will live together with Him because we are not appointed to wrath but to obtain salvation. Is salvation just for the elect? Paul is connecting “not appointed to wrath” to being appointed to salvation. And he is doing so in the context of dealing with dead loved ones who are “not of the day” and who are “not sober” and who “sleep in the night and are drunken in the night.” And He concludes this statement about not being appointed to wrath  with “whether we wake or sleep we should live together with Him.” And then he tells these worried Thessalonians, who are concerned about their “lost loved ones:”

1Th 5:11  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
I Thess. 5:9 has long been used to convince Christians that God’s wrath is not on their ungodliness.

Nevertheless the Word of God stands sure:

Rom 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all un godliness and un righteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

For any of us to declare ourselves as God’s elect and therefore past any fear of ever facing His wrath on our ungodliness, is to miss the very point of this admonition:

Mat 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Here is what Paul and Christ warn God’s elect:

Rom 11:19  Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.{[ I have come out of Babylon. only Babylon is under God’s wrath. Only Babylonians disobey their creator. I am well past ever doing that ever again.]
Rom 11:20  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
Rom 11:21  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
Rom 11:22  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in [ his] goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

 … those are not words which are written to Babylonians. They are written to me, to you, to any who claim elect status.

Here in Mat 24:24 we have our Lord warning us of just how insidious is the deception which we are to face, and what is the message which many are getting out of this warning? The message so many are taking from this stern warning is that ‘you are God’s very elect so you cannot possibly be deceived.’
But what are Christ’s very next words to all who are so careless with His word:

Mat 24:25  Behold, I have told you before.

Before you decide that 1Th 5:9, nullifies all which I have just shown you about Israel as a “chosen nation and a royal priesthood” and King David as a “man after God’s own heart,” consider what the these- things- are- written- for- our- admonition story of David’s ungodliness tells us.
Because of David’s ‘I am God’s elect who cannot sin or ever experience God’s wrath’ attitude, he had to endure “the sword shall never depart from your house” because of his treatment of Uriah, and many years later after numbering the people, he had to watch as 70.000 innocent people died because of  his sin. Now can anyone tell me that God’s wrath is not “revealed from heaven against the ungodliness” especially of His elect:

1Ch 21:13  And David said unto Gad (David’s seer), I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.
1Ch 21:14  So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.
1Ch 21:15  And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
1Ch 21:16  And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders [ of Israel, who were] clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.
1Ch 21:17  And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.

If this is not God’s wrath on David’s ungodliness for our admonition, then what is it?
Am I teaching that we must continue in sin? I think you know better than that. What I am doing is simply pointing to the verses of God’s Word to which no one else is willing to point. Here is what those who know to do His will and don’t do it prefer to hear:

Isa 30:9  That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
Isa 30:10  Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

David would rather have died himself than to have to watch what God had placed upon him. God was dealing with David in His “wrath… and hot displeasure:”

Psa 38:1 <A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.> O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
Psa 38:2  For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.

Tell me if there is some difference between God’s “scourging [ of] every son He receiveth” and His wrath on “all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness” what is that difference?
I know it seems that I overdo the subject God’s wrath. But in the ranks of those who believe in universal salvation, the tendency is to go to the other extreme and turn grace into lasciviousness. There are huge congregations who believe in the salvation of all, but who see no need to concern oneself with being in the “blessed and holy first resurrection.” Most universalists do not see or know what is the meaning or function of grace. And all of this composition is dealing with that reality.
God’s formula for salvation is one formula for all men of all time. It is grace through faith. It is not ‘grace through faith’ for those in the first resurrection, but grace through faith and wrath for those who are in the 2nd resurrection. God’s wrath is His scourging. And no, He does not scourge undeserving children. But the truth is “He scourges every son whom He receiveth.” There are no exceptions to who receives of the wrath of God. The only thing that stops God’s wrath is to “forsake ungodliness and to live godly lives in this present world.”
I for one can vouch for the fact that life is much easier when “sin no longer has dominion over you” (Rom 6:14). But I can also vouch for the fact that the flesh is always there and must be subdued day by day as we die daily. And I can also tell you that you have no scripture anywhere which guarantees that either you or me are God’s very elect and cannot possibly be deceived. Here are the only people who can say with certainty that that verse applies to them:

Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

1Co 10:11  Now all these things [ including the things which happened to King David] happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Rom 11:20  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
Rom 11:21  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
Rom 11:22  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

Do any of those verses lead you to believe that there is a line in the sand past which we need not concern ourselves with God’s wrath on our ungodliness.” There is no scripture for any such doctrine. Such a doctrine flies in the face of the verses which warn us “be not high minded but fear.” “Take heed lest ye fall,” and “you also will be cut off.” These admonitions are not for the deaf and blind, but for those who have “eyes to see and ears to hear… the things of the spirit.”
I hope this all helps to bring clarity to your understanding of what I teach and much more importantly, what God’s Word says about His wrath.


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