Hello and welcome to episode 73 of The Berean Manifesto brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes or so we’re going to take a glimpse at the nature of God.
Theologically we know that God doesn’t change. In Malachi 3:6 God said, “Because I, the Lord, do not change, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed.” Hebrews 13:8 reads, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” And James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” However we sometimes we take a shallow view of God using verses like 1 John 4:8, “The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” and 1 John 4:16, “We have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in Him.” We sometimes ignoring that God is infinitely greater and deeper than we could ever imagine.
When we consider Exodus 19:9-19, we see this altogether terrifying depiction of God, “The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear when I speak with you.” Moses reported the people’s words to the Lord, and the Lord told Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes and be prepared by the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Put boundaries for the people all around the mountain and say: Be careful that you don’t go up on the mountain or touch its base. Anyone who touches the mountain must be put to death. No hand may touch him: instead he will be stoned or shot with arrows and not live, whether animal or human. When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they may go up the mountain.” Then Moses came down from the mountain to the people and consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. He said to the people, “Be prepared by the third day. Do not have sexual relations with women.” On the third day, when morning came, there was thunder and lightning, a thick cloud on the mountain, and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people in the camp shuddered. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke because the Lord came down on it in fire. Its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him in the thunder.”
Paul references this event in contrast with our relationship with Christ in Hebrews 12:18-29, “For you have not come to what could be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, gloom, and storm, to the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of words. Those who heard it begged that not another word be spoken to them, for they could not bear what was commanded: if even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned. The appearance was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” Instead you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God (the heavenly Jerusalem), to myriads of angels, a festive gathering, to the assembly of firstborn whose names have been written in Heaven, to a judge, who is God of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which says better things than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not reject the one who speaks. For if they did not escape when they rejected him who warned them on Earth, even less will we if we turn away from Him who warns us from heaven. His voice shook the Earth at that time, but now He has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the Earth but also the Heavens. This expression, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what can be shaken – that is, created things – so that what is not shaken might remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God, acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”
Romans 1:18 tells us, “For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” The bible is full of examples of this; in Genesis chapters 6-8 God floods the entire Earth, killing everyone except Noah and his family, in Genesis 19 He incinerates an entire valley of cities filled with men, women, and children, in Exodus chapters 7–12 He turns all the water in Egypt into blood, He overwhelms the people of Egypt with frogs, gnats, flies, and locusts, He causes the livestock to get sick, gives the people boils, covers the land in hail and darkness, and causes the death of every firstborn from the Egyptian families, in Exodus 14 He drowns an entire army, in Numbers 16 He kills fourteen thousand and seven hundred Israelites with a plague, in Numbers 21 He sends poisonous snakes to kill many Israelites, in Numbers 25 He kills twenty-four thousand Israelites with another plague, in 1 Samuel 6 he kills fifty thousand and seventy men by striking them with lightning for looking into the Ark of the Covenant, in 2 Samuel 6 He kills a man by striking him with lightning for touching the Ark of the Covenant with his bare hands, in 2 Samuel 24 He kills seventy thousand men with yet another plague, In 2 Kings 2 Elisha curses forty-two children making fun of his bald head and God responds by having two female bears maul the children, in 2 Kings 17 He sends lions to eat a group of people who don’t fear Him. Now while all that happened in the Old Testament we can’t forget about God killing Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 for lying to the Holy Spirit about their gift to the church, and let’s not even start with all the stuff prophesied in the book of Revelation that God is going to do, before, according to 2 Peter 3 He will melt and dissolve the whole of physical reality as we know it; the heavens, the Earth, and everything in them will be destroyed with fire.
While all that may come across as completely terrifying, Romans 3 tells us that we “are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” and that “the righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Continuing, in Romans 5:8-10 we read, “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. How much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, will we be saved through Him from wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life.”
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”