Before we delve directly into the specific biblical passages that define the term “the wrath of God,” we need to put this biblical idiom into the perspective of the war—the polemic (a strong verbal or written attack on someone or something) battle that has been going on between God and Satan for the last six thousand years here on earth.
Through the reading of the Scriptures we know that the human race is in the middle of a spiritual war—the war which Lucifer has been waging against God’s moral law of agape love. This is and has always been a war between God’s principles—righteousness—and Satan’s principles—iniquity. (Please see our first two books, The Demonization of God Unmasked and God on Trial: Have We Been Lied To? Is God a Killer? for in-depth biblical explanations of these two principles.)
The Bible teaches us that there are two spiritual kingdoms, or two jurisdictions at play in our world—God’s kingdom and Satan’s kingdom. These two kingdoms are respectively symbolized by the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Notice some of the verses in the Bible that talk about God’s kingdom:
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom (Psalm 45:6, emphasis added).
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations (Psalm 145:13, emphasis added).
How great are His signs, And how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation (Daniel 4:3, emphasis added).
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:7, emphasis added).
And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever (Daniel 2:44, emphasis added).
From these few verses we learn first of all, and extremely important, that God’s kingdom is characterized by “righteousness.” His kingdom is an “everlasting” kingdom. In His kingdom there will be unending “peace” because His kingdom will be established with righteous “judgment” and true “justice.” We also learn that God’s kingdom will never be destroyed.
Jesus explained in Matthew chapter twelve that “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25, emphasis added). Thus, we can deduce that since God’s kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. it therefore cannot be a divided kingdom—it will never “be brought to desolation.” God’s kingdom, therefore, is not a “divided kingdom.” This means that if God is for us, He cannot also be against us. It means that God cannot act in contrary ways toward us. He cannot be both our Savior and our Destroyer at the same time.
From the beginning of His Creation, God’s kingdom—and more specifically the principles of righteousness of His kingdom—were supposed to reign here on earth. That was the original intent of the Creator for His entire creation. But because the principles of His kingdom provide complete and absolute freedom, a usurper was able to come in with a different set of principles, and thus he managed to take God’s creation captive.
From the moment Adam and Eve ate of the serpent’s Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they began living by the principles of another kingdom—the kingdom of “that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).
Thus, because we are living by Satan’s principles, the kingdoms of the world are in effect his kingdoms. We are all being ruled by the principles of Satan—the principles that are represented by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That the Devil claimed the entire world as his very own is clear by the way he offered “all the kingdoms of the world” to Jesus during the wilderness temptations:
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8-9, emphasis added).
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours” (Luke 4:5-7)
Satan claimed to have all authority here on earth by his words “all this authority I will give You, and their glory.” And then he goes on to show us how he came about being the ruler of this world: “for this [AUTHORITY] has been delivered to me.” Who delivered the authority over this world to Satan? It was Adam and Eve, of course, to whom God had said:
Then God said, “Let Us make man [MANKIND] in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:26-28).
Adam and Eve gave Satan authority over the earth by eating the fruit of his Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Jesus also acknowledged Satan as “the ruler of this world”:
Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out (John 12:31, emphasis added).
I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me (John 14:30, emphasis added).
And the apostle Paul explains how Satan and his angels are rulers of “darkness”:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12, emphasis added).
Paul goes as far as to call Satan the “god of this age,” lower case “g”:
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
When Jesus came onto the scene two thousand years ago, He came to teach humanity things we had never fully heard or known before. He came to teach us what the Father is like and what the principles of His kingdom are. The good news of God’s grace had been kept a mystery since the world began, because it was overshadowed by the lies of Satan.
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began (Romans 16:25).
Thus, as a precursor of the One sent from God to lead us into the kingdom of God, John the Baptist proclaimed:
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! (Matthew 3:2, emphasis added).
Jesus Himself said that the time had come for us to understand what God’s kingdom, “the kingdom of heaven,” is like. Thus, just like John the Baptist, He also said:
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17, emphasis added).
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people (Matthew 4:23, emphasis added).
On the Sermon on the Mount, and then throughout His entire ministry, Jesus was bringing “the kingdom of heaven” to our attention:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3, emphasis added).
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:10, emphasis added).
Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:19, emphasis added).
For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20, emphasis added).
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33, emphasis added).
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven (Matthew 7:21, emphasis added).
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people (Matthew 9:35, emphasis added).
And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’ (Matthew 10:7, emphasis added).
Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he (Matthew 11:11, emphasis added).
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12, emphasis added).
The kingdom of God is characterized by “righteousness,” which refers to God’s way of being, His mode of operation, His moral compass, His moral law of agape love. Righteousness means that God is impartially and unconditionally kind, generous, fair, just, honest, loving, nonviolent, freedom-giving, and especially merciful. It means that He has an unswerving integrity that will never cause harm to anyone—not even those who see Him as an enemy—even if this means losing out in some way, as He did by coming to earth and dying on the cross. The kingdom of heaven is about goodness and healing for everyone, no exceptions.
The kingdom of the ruler of this world, however, operates by another set of principles altogether. His principles are called “iniquity” in the Bible. The Bible is very clear that “iniquity” began in Lucifer:
You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you (Ezekiel 28:15, emphasis added).
Iniquity is another way of being, a way that is different and opposed to God’s way of righteousness. Iniquity is Satan’s way, Satan’s mode of operation, his moral compass. Iniquity is the way of Good and Evil, the principle represented by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden.
Iniquity is a principle which arbitrarily picks and chooses who deserves our kindness, generosity, fairness, justice, honesty, love, etc. It is a merit and demerit system of morality. Therefore, iniquity is a conditional, partial and arbitrary principle that rewards those it sees as worthy of reward, and punishes those it deems worthy of punishment. Iniquity heals some and harms others. This moral law of Good and Evil is embedded in every fiber of our being. This is our flesh, our carnal nature, our fallen human nature.
Iniquity is filled with punitive justice, but this kind of justice is entirely different from God’s justice, as we have shown in our book, God on Trial: Have We Been Lied To? Is God a Killer?
We must realize that it is specifically over these two principles—righteousness and iniquity—that the war between Jesus and Satan is centered (Revelation 12:7).
When Lucifer rebelled against God and His law, he sought to exercise authority over the “stars of God”—over the angels of God—with this law of Good and Evil. He sought to “exalt” his throne of iniquity over them, meaning that he wanted to reign over them with his iniquitous principle of reward and punishment. His supreme desire was for them to adopt his principle of iniquity as their moral law:
How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God (Isaiah 14:12-13, emphasis added).
Lucifer’s rejection of God’s law of unconditional and impartial agape love prompted him to devise another moral law that was conditional and partial, and which, as a consequence, was devoid of God’s mercy (see our booklet, A Tale of Two Kingdoms for confirmation regarding Satan’s moral law of reward and punishment). This is the moral law which the Bible calls iniquity:
Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law, have fellowship with You? (Psalm 94: 20, emphasis added).
Satan’s “throne of iniquity” codifies evil into law, and “devises”—frames—evil into the confines of a law—a moral law written in our hearts. God’s throne on the other hand, is the throne of righteousness:
Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with
justice (Isaiah 32:1, emphasis added).
But to the Son He says:
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom (Hebrews 1:8, emphasis added).
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33, emphasis added).
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war (Revelation 19:11, emphasis added).
When Jesus reigns on the New Earth, He will reign with the law of righteousness, which is His law of agape love. Peter was looking forward to Jesus’ reign of righteousness when he wrote:
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13, emphasis added).
The scepter of Jesus’ throne, meaning the law by which His kingdom operates, is the law of righteousness, which is the moral law of agape love. Therefore, everything Jesus and the Father do is done “in righteousness.” This means that when they exercise justice, or judgment—and even when they “make war”—they do it all “in righteousness”—within the parameters of righteousness. God never steps outside of righteousness! He never crosses the line into iniquity, which is entirely Satan’s domain and jurisdiction.
The Scriptures are very clear that the war between Christ and the Satan is being fought over these two principles, righteousness and iniquity. In the Book of Hebrews, these two principles are named side by side, placed as it were, on an equal footing, indicating that the entire issue between Christ and the Devil is centered on these two moral laws:
But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions” (Hebrews 1:8, emphasis added).
Quoting the Psalms (Psalm 45:6-7), Paul states that Jesus “loved righteousness” but “hated iniquity.” We must ask ourselves the question: why did Jesus hate iniquity? Hopefully by the end of this book this question will be answered satisfactorily. These two moral laws—righteousness and iniquity—are the laws of two distinct jurisdictions: God’s jurisdiction operates by the moral law of agape love, righteousness, and Satan’s jurisdiction functions through iniquity—the moral law represented by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil—a reward and punishment system.
The time is coming when each and every one of us will belong to either one of these two jurisdictions, depending on what we choose to believe about God. This choice will also affect how we act towards each other, since actions are a result of our beliefs. The whole world has been deceived until now by Satan (Revelation 12:9) regarding God and the principles of His kingdom. But in our times—in these last days—God is giving us a revelation of His true character so that we may be able to make an informed decision as to what jurisdiction we want to belong to. This revelation is coming to us through His Son:
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:1-3).
All of us have the right to choose which jurisdiction we want to be under. Of course, God would rather we choose His jurisdiction, because His is the only safe place for us to be, since His is the jurisdiction of life:
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life (TREE OF LIFE) and death (TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL), blessing (TREE OF LIFE) and cursing (TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL); therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live (Deuteronomy 30:19, emphasis added).
God’s jurisdiction is the jurisdiction of life, but God will never use force to make us choose Him and thus life. Satan, on the other hand, will use force and deception in order to keep us in his jurisdiction of death.
The greatest deception Satan has used is to make us believe that God is involved in death. But death is a by-product of Satan’s jurisdiction. Death is a direct consequence of living by Satan’s principles. Thus, the realm of death belongs entirely to Satan and Satan only, as stated in Hebrews chapter two:
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he [JESUS CHRIST] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Hebrews 2:14-15, emphasis added).
Notice that even as He destroyed the devil, Jesus did so in “righteousness.” Jesus did not kill the devil. He did not destroy, malign, or harm him personally in any way. It was through his own death on the cross that Jesus destroyed “him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” By becoming a victim of Satan’s violence, Jesus destroyed Satan’s power of deception which had told us that God is a violent God. When He was being arrested, Jesus told Peter—who used his sword to resist the mob—that He could have called upon legions of angels to protect Him. But He explained to Pilate why He did not do so:
My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36).
Jesus’ principles are not the same as the principles of this world, which operates by Satan’s kingdom principles. God has and will always remain true to His own principles of agape love—righteousness. This is as unchangeable and immovable as a solid rock. There is no compromise here. Jesus, who is God, “is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” (Hebrews 13:8).
As we shall soon see, jurisdiction plays a great role in the issue of “the wrath of God,” as well as the freedom we have in choosing which side we want to belong to.