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Discipleship 101

On Wrath and Rainbows: The Truth about Protecting You and Your Family from God’s Righteous Anger

“For  the  coming of the Son of Man will be  just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking,  marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that  Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39)

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An Angry God?

As someone raised in 90’s American culture, the first thought I have about God’s wrath is that I don’t like to think about it. There is something about the wrath of God that is repulsive to me. It’s cringe-y. It’s annoying. I’d rather talk about God as a God of love and acceptance (which He is!), and I don’t want to be lumped into the same box as those miserable people who talk about something as unpleasant as wrath. It seems more in keeping with old TV preachers or movies with stereotype hellfire-and-brimstone preachers scaring people into good deeds and shaming them into guilt-driven repentance?

For us, these days, a wrathful God seems so old-fashioned, doesn’t it? It’s just the passé sentiment of crazy people on Wall Street who preach in sandwich-boards painted with doomsday salutations like, “Repent! God is coming soon!” But what if it’s true?

While I was attending a Christian college, we experienced 9/11. I remember a preacher coming in and saying it was the wrath of God. The students’ general response? Immediate disbelief and offense. “Our God is a God of love…he would never do that to us!” Dangerous words from a prideful generation in a depraved nation, considering we serve a God who has never changed. Now, I’m not saying that 9/11 was ordained by God. It was a wicked, demonic scheme. All I am asking is what happens when a nation does not heed God’s warnings to turn back to Him? God unleashes evil nations and people against them for their destruction. But that is so offensive to us. Isn’t it? That God would pour out wrath?

I am personally reminded of a movie from my childhood, Polyanna, which had the effect of making me laugh at this preacher, who was portrayed in the movie as grouchy and in need of a little optimism, when actually, looking at it now, the man was preaching…well…truth.

We might say “it’s all so unfortunate that Christianity has this stream of unpalatable, offensive, loud people who just can’t lay off the idea that God will one day pour out His wrath on the earth and its people. And even if we know it will happen one day, we have too much to worry right about now for that to be an issue on our plate for today. There is so much pain. So much racism. So much just getting food on the table and paying our bills and making sure our kids are in one piece. There are wars. There are rumors of wars. Nations are rising against nations, for heaven’s sake. I don’t have time to think about the wrath of God. It’s all so cliche, right?”

Well, I would say, as obnoxious as the stereotype seems, you probably don’t have time NOT to worry about the wrath of God if you have not yet. Here’s why. God’s wrath will actually be poured out on the earth, whether or not we think it shall be or should be.

God’s wrath will actually be poured out on the earth, whether or not we think it shall be or should be.

God is love, and He loves to heal, but He also stands up for the victims of the world. While many came to know Yeshua (Jesus) by being healed, He never ignored sin. He preached repentance, or return, to the righteousness of God. And this is very important for us to understand. The flood happened as a response to violence and constant evil inclination of the hearts (Genesis 6:11-12). Egypt’s and the Amorites demise happened as a result of filling up the cup of God’s wrath against their sins of incest and wickedness (described in Leviticus 18, Genesis 15:16). The wiping out of Sodom and Gomorrah was due to pride, neglect of the poor, and homosexual sin (Genesis 19, Jude 1:7, Ezekiel 16:49-50). The Babylonian exile happened because of Israel’s sin against God and people (evil schemes, idolatry/adultery against God, and ignoring the poor and needy Isaiah 32).

I saw a gloriously sobering post in social media today about the life-size Ark museum in Kentucky, where they are projecting a huge rainbow across the ark at night permanently, not for Pride month, but to remind people that “God will never again judge the wickedness of the world with a flood–next time the world will be judged with fire.”

Wow…thanks for that…um, encouragement?

But there you go. It’s not about Christians “taking back the rainbow” as much as really understanding it. The ark was created as a means of salvation from the wrath of God. The rainbow covenant was about the closing off one means of wrath. But it has an unspoken word of warning for us in it. Wrath will be poured out again, this time in bowls of wrath as described in Revelation.

For Noah: Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. Genesis 6: 17-18

For Us: But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10

The ark had one way in and it was sealed shut, not to keep people out, but to protect the people of the covenant living inside it. One truth. One way to live through the wrath. Likewise, we only have one way into covenant, faith in Messiah, one truth, Yeshua, one way to the Father, by entering into the covenant of life He had with the Jewish people. He has extended this offer to all the people of the earth. We come into covenant with God through the door of Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, and we join the family of God. It has to be God’s way because He is the one who designed it. Like Noah, if you want to live, if you want to be spared from the wrath of God on the earth, you must make a decision. For Noah, he had to start cutting down trees, for us, there are certain changes of the mind and body you will be able to experience as you enter this ark of the New Covenant.

1. You can be healed from sin wounds against you, and forgiven for the sins wounds you have committed against God and others.

There’s only one way to stay safe from God, and that is to come into His protection (otherwise known as His Kingdom). It actually changes your citizenship, your priorities, your decisions, your morals, and you come into life as you were meant to live–out of fear, and into love. But you might say, “If God is a good father, why would I need to think of Him as wrathful and needing to protect myself from His wrath? Isn’t anger sinful?”

“If God is a good father, why would I need to think of Him as wrathful and needing to protect myself from His wrath? Isn’t anger sinful?”

Well, human anger is sinful because it is usually based on judgement, self-vindication, or just plain cruelty. But God’s wrath comes from vengeance on our behalf and on behalf of those wronged. It is response to a crying out for vengeance. God’s vengeance on offenders comes from His mercy that He has for hurt people. What fills up the wrath of God? The wrongful wounding of people.

Now, there is a healthy wounding. The full gospel of Messiah wounds, even cuts sharply, in a way, with the truth of sin and comforts with the balm of the Spirit through forgiveness in Messiah. There is a gentle, corrective wounding that breaks pride and convicts of sin. But, while we do encourage one another in obeying the Lord, we are told not to judge one another, that is, to make a final judgement of their value (because we do not see through to the heart and the motivational level). Yeshua teaches us to forgive as the completion of God’s law of love because we are leaving the vindication of wrongs against us to the Lord (turning the other cheek). In addition, many wounded people, including those in the homosexual community, have been pushed away by well-meaning believers preaching a partial gospel of condemnation (pronouncing judgement on sin) rather than the full true gospel, which always has an invitation to life through repentance, the cross of Yeshua and the filling of His Spirit.

Acknowledging the sin in your life is about acknowledging our wounds. Those that have been committed against us, and those that we have committed against others. The truth is, hurt people hurt people.

Hurt people hurt people.

I am talking about a selfish, reactive wounding that comes from fear and the need to take vengeance for yourself to make things even, equal, safer or right. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. But God has the responsibility of the judge. He mediates for the victim. And He is he only one worthy to do that because He makes the law AND keeps it perfectly. His wrath is a result of the sin committed against victims. And everyone is a victim and a perpetrator of harm to others hearts and to God’s heart. We have all sinned and been sinned against.

We have both been wounded and wounded others. We have wounded people by lying, taking what is not ours, unfaithfulness, jealousy, by hurting them with our words or actions. We have wounded God’s heart with our idolatry, worship of other things, misuse of His name, bad-mouthing Him, ignoring Him and rejecting His invitation to rest and be committed to Him and His ways faithfully. Can you acknowledge that you have done these things? Whether you have done them intentionally or not, we have all done at least some if not all of those things, and that is called sin. These are actions that have missed the mark of God-defined goodness, causing wounds by which others have broken you and wounds that you have caused to break others, including God’s heart. It is not about your definition of sin, but His. Why? Because He is God. And He is the one who will actually be pouring out wrath on the earth regardless of what we think about it. That means, we need to align with His definition of sin so we can know what measuring rod we are being measured by…it’s His law.

2. You can accept mercy for yourself and give it to others.

Now, this is a very important step. You MUST receive mercy. This is not just a change in philosophy or worldview, but it is an experience of His love being poured into all the broken places of your heart in His presence and when mercy touches a place where someone else has wounded you, you need to forgive. This is the way of Yeshua.

Not only must you forgive for past offenses, but you must forgive for all future offenses too. The reason is not that God is blind to your suffering, but when you enter into His rest, He becomes your vindication. Let me give you an example.

Yeshua taught, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:38-42

We have raised our children to obey these commands of Jesus, not to hit back or resist an evil person, but if injured, to turn aside and get a grown up and tell them what is happening and we will provide the punishment. When they turn the other cheek and tell me about it, I am able to “pour wrath out” on their behalf and they can move on with their life. It makes the victim free and the person committing the violent act now has an argument with a parent, not a sibling.

This way, we are their defender and we take care of it quickly, usually talking through the issues and helping the offender apologize and make amends, but sometimes by physical punishment in keeping with what they did to the other person. Physical injury (hitting, kicking, biting, usually was met with physical punishment). We very much believe it is the parents’ role to protect/defend their children and not the child’s job to defend themselves. If, on the other hand, they take vengeance for themselves, I do not discipline the one who hit them because they already took an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. Sometimes in a case of self-defense this quick action is just instinct to them. It is fair, justice was accomplished, but they lost their peace. On the other hand, if they forgive one another, with the victim showing true forgiveness and the person committing the violent act showing true repentance and making amends, I do not pour out wrath at all.

Mercy and forgiveness is at the center of this. Their protection is my presence and confidence that I will take action on their behalf. Their peace is in their forgiveness and asking forgiveness. Seeking peace and promoting it. Do we have a perfect household of peace? Not by a long shot. Actually I would say we argue more than most families. But we do the hard work of training ourselves and our children to trust us to take care of them. Note what I said about telling people if you are being abused.

Consider if I did not punish a child immediately but planned to dispense all their punishment at a certain time, giving them time to apologize, as God seems to do with people and nations. If they worked it out with one another, repented, and been forgiven by the victim, I would not need to pour out their punishment on them, the victim would intercede for them out of mercy. But say the person was unrepentant, cruel, and only increasing in evil. I would not be good, merciful, or just if I did NOT pour out wrath. So here is the truth, God is storing up wrath, NOT pouring it out yet, in hopes that people repent and make amends with one another and with Him. But He is just and will vindicate all victims that put their trust in Him. More than this, He tells us to forgive our enemies and persecutors and bless them. This frees the victim to walk with an easy and light load, whether or not the person apologizes or not!

3. Because of the cross, you can enter into a relationship of covenant with God and His people who live “set apart” for Him.

Accepting the healing and mercy that is being offered to you in Messiah, you can enter the door to life at the cross of Messiah by confessing with your mouth that Yeshua is Messiah and King and be sealed in by the Holy Spirit. Here’s the beautiful truth. Anyone in the whole world can avoid the wrath of God and be made holy, or set apart for His purposes.

Anyone in the whole world can avoid the wrath of God.

1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9, Ezekiel 18:23

The Bible says that it is God’s will that all come to repentance. That’s why He is waiting to pour out His wrath. He is waiting for more to repent and come into the ark of covenant with Him. The safety of His love and mercy.

The cross is the greatest offense and the greatest joy of a person. Here, when we receive the sacrifice of God’s only son for our sins (John 1:29), we are gloriously confronted with our own inadequacy to meet the requirements of a righteous God. We are finally free to be honest with ourselves and others because mercy does not depend on our own goodness, but His. And we gain His righteousness for ourselves simply by receiving it as a gift.

Do you receive it? It’s simply a “yes” or “no.” No special prayer or ceremony needed.

That means that when God looks at you, He sees the righteousness of His son. there is no authority here in this place of safety for sin to hold you captive. There is no place for accusation against you or rebellion against Him. Your heart is free to unfold here and find mercy and healing in repentance, rest, quietness and trust (Isaiah 30:15).

4. You can be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit, who will fill you, teach you, and move you to live mercifully.

Many followers of Yeshua are not living with the fullness of the joy and power offered them because they have not activated the relational authority given them by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is your inheritance, the seal around the door of the ark of covenant. It says, “no going in and out of this covenant.” You’re set apart for me.

God, Himself, sealed Noah in the ark (Genesis 6:16). In the same way, God seals us into covenant with Himself by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13, John 6:27, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, 1 Peter 1:5). The Holy Spirit will come and fill you as much as you give Him space…without question. God gives the Holy spirit to all who ask (Luke 11:13). He is given in order to fill your life with the presence and power of God for healing, for godliness, against temptation, against rebellion. As a house divided against itself cannot stand, a life filled with the Holy Spirit will not be easily filled with any other power or dominion. God will work in you to have total dominion over your heart. He will not share His glory with another. But you will need to cooperate with Him. He does not force obedience, so when He offers to move into your life, you must empty out and renounce every other devotion. And you do not need to fear this full surrender, because He is a GOOD king. And He is so full of love for you, that submitting to Him will be delightful. He never takes advantage of us. His love never abuses. He always will give you the love you long for. His love always protects, perseveres and triumphs.

He will invite you into new places, new relationships, give you new gifts and renew some of your old ones too. But everything must be surrendered first. With Him, you have authority over every sickness and disease, over every demon of hell, and over every single temptation and false doctrine known to you, now or in the future. Your battle is not against people, but against Satan, who is the ancient serpent of old, the father of lies, the eternal accuser of the brethren, the thief, murderer, and destroyer of all God loves. But by the Blood of the Lamb (Yeshua), and by your testimony, you will love God more than your own life, even unto death, and be victorious over Satan. So you must endure at all costs.

5. You can warn others by talking about Yeshua as the door of salvation from the wrath of God.

Noah was a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5). And we have a greater gospel than His! We have a gospel that secures our righteousness by faith. Noah taught the morality of God’s code of love, even before the law was given to Moses. The problem then was…no one listened. You might blame bad tactics, and the reality is, no one wanted to change. Noah probably did seem a little crazy, building a ginormous boat where a flood had never happened. So people were not surprised by their own wickedness, they didn’t believe Noah’s message. Because of their disbelief, they were not included in the covenant of mercy. The Bible says in the last days, the world will have increased in wickedness so much that they are undisturbed by the preaching of righteousness. They will have false teachers to preach what they want to hear. It is up to you to get yourself and your family into the boat. Many will be deceived in the last days. Do you need to study the end times? Do you need to learn about what is coming so you are ready? I had to study this stuff like it really mattered.

Remember how we researched covid? Why did we do that? Because regardless of your stance, you spent time looking into this because you heard it was life-threatening. How much more do we need to study the end times and teach our kids. Why? The wrath of God is life-threatening! We can and should have the right and strong position on this, so we can stay safe in times of great confusion and tribulation.

The solution for Noah is not to try different “culturally sensitive” ways to seem less crazy, but to simply keep preaching truth, obeying God, and make sure to get on the boat when it’s time. Listen to me, there have been many MANY godly people lost to “strategizing” the Kingdom of God, most of them lost to greed, lust, or burnout. Here’s the thing. The strategy has BEEN GIVEN. Talk about Yeshua. Gossip about Him. Testify to His healing in your life. Gently but boldly explain what sin is to the ignorant and naive who have been deceived by the philosophy of our times or have never had training in the true spiritual things of God. Don’t worry about numbers. Just stay connected to Yeshua every day and disciple everyone as the Holy Spirit moves you.

We see in scripture that the earth will be utterly devastated by fire and plague (Read Revelation). After all, do we think millions of Jewish lives will not scream out for vengeance after the Holocaust. Do we think God will ignore the murdering of Christian martyrs around the world? Do we think He will ignore the atrocities of the church-supported violence and racism against the Jewish and Muslim people. Do we think He will ignore the church-organized dehumanizing and venomous verbal shaming and hate-crimes against homosexuals and mothers committing abortions. Do we really think that the lynchings, rapings, land-theft, and horrendous treatment of native and Africa-descended people in the United States will go unpunished? Oh no, my friends.

Our God will not allow the wicked to go unpunished; he will not hesitate to cut off the unjust and cruel (Psalm 37:9). Why? Because He is just. He would even cut off His own people for a time, regardless of our “birthright” or “destiny” in God’s plan. Why? He is training His people (the Jewish and Gentile body/congregation of Messiah) to rule and reign with Him and He will not allow us to to rule and reign if we have not learned servanthood, love, honor, justice, and mercy.

Truth be told, some of the most entitled, arrogant, love-less, lawless, and merciless people I’ve ever met have called themselves “Christians!” These charlatans see themselves as immune from God’s wrath (taking advantage of God’s mercy and slowness to anger). They sin, inviting others into it, sitting in judgement of others, while they themselves are enslaved by the same sins they preach against! Sounds a lot like the Israel of old to me. Where is the fear of God? No, I don’t mean reverence…I mean actual fear because He is JUST and He is going to pour out wrath on those not in covenant with Him.

One day, once the cup of God’s wrath is full, it will be poured out. It is His timing, like it was in the days of Noah. One day, it just started raining. And just like Noah knew it was time, those who are in covenant with God will know, it is happening.

“For  the  coming of the Son of Man will be  just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking,  marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that  Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39)

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