“Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for there own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. And this is the message I proclaim — that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.” Romans 2:14-16
In the episodes leading up to this point, we have emphasized how it is not God who is the monster, but it is us. In the last episode we even showed a great deal of evidence that God has mercy for those who have never had a proper introduction to Christ, and prayed for such people when he prayed “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The above scripture (Rom. 2:14-16), is another scripture referencing such a people. We called these people the “Golden Rule People”, and presented evidence that they may inherit the earth, the New Earth! While the Bride of the Lamb enjoys the fullness of God’s Kingdom in New City Jerusalem. Such wonderful possibilities. All indicating God is not the monster some like to believe and teach.
Until now, all this has been the easy part. After much study I cannot deny there is a “Cup of Wrath” slowly filling for all those who are truly monsters. However, what I find so very interesting, is what fills the cup! What is the cup filled with that eventually pours out on the “filler”? Because I think it may not be what most of us envision. Who qualifies as a monster in the eyes of God? The monsters are actually filling their own cup! As we have said, our sin nature is self-destructive. But again, what does God consider to be so evil, that he allows it to fill the cup? What kind of darkness is filling the cup?
This Episode #5 also begins our attempt to understand God as revealed in the Old Testament. I do not consider this a small thing. Our journey will begin in the New Testament, but will eventually also enter the old. I might add on a personal note, I am still between jobs, waiting for the background check to clear, which seems to be moving extra slow for some odd reason; and I am still fighting a virus in my lungs that does not want to go away. All of this has contributed to my being locked away in my cave to ponder and write these things. You be the judge if you think God’s hand is in this, but I am looking forward to being healthy again. Soon! (I hope.)
In Isaiah 60:2a, the Bible reveals “darkness”, and also something called “gross darkness”. “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people:…”
I think we have proven hell is a place God has reserved for “monsters”, but what does God consider to be a monster? Certainly not the innocent. I believe Jesus revealed to us over and over again what God considers to be monstrous, and it is not only darkness, but a gross darkness so evil our minds can barely comprehend! Satan is very good at hiding his true image. No one in their “right mind” would ever want to be associated with a darkness so sick, unless they too are a monster.
God’s word even speaks of a “reprobate mind”, which these people are given over to because they do not want to recognize God is God. What is reprobate? Gross darkness! A darkness that would murder their own Creator in full knowledge of what they are doing. Such as what we might see rise up after the 1000 year reign of Christ. This army of attackers still want to murder God even after 1000 years of peace and beauty! Again we ask, what kind of monster are such people? And may we all pray we never do such a thing ourself, because that seed is in every one of us. Lord have mercy on each of us, and keep us in your grace.
This actually is our first snapshot of Jesus revealing what God considers so evil, that it is monstrous, and if taken far enough, becomes unredeemable. Did you ever notice how Jesus was very merciful to the poor and humble, but very hard to the Pharisees? How is it he could eat with sinners but always ended up in trouble in the Temples?
“Two men went to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector.” (Anybody remember how Jesus treated Zachaeus?)
This parable is contained in Luke 18, and Jesus spoke it to the Pharisees! About how the Pharisee prayed a prayer of self pride, but the tax collector recognized his own spiritual poverty (Beatitude #1), and cried out to God for mercy. Then Jesus said this: “I tell you this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Verse 14).
Immediately after this parable, probably on a different day, but Luke presents it at this time, Jesus speaks of children: “I tell you the truth, everyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
In an earlier episode we considered the wisdom of a little child and how they have a natural fear of monsters lurking in the dark, and therefore, also have a natural love for light! But as we outgrow our childhood, we have the potential to love gross darkness and hate the light! This is such an evil, and we could name different sins like pornography, adultery, hate, murder, stealing, lying, selfishness; but when you boil it all down, the plain evidence Jesus revealed about the Father over and over again, is that God is going to put down the PROUD and ARROGANT, and lift up the poor and humble. It appears this is what is filling the cup, filled by the sinner themself, and then poured out on himself, only multiplied, because a harvest is always multiplied. We reap the harvest we have sown with our own hands. Spiritual law 101, except for grace!
Back in Revelation again, we find this same analogy. The harlot has filled her cup! But with what?
“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:” (Rev. 17:4) (Full of what? Gross darkness!)
“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus:” (Rev. 17:6a)
“And then I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.” (Rev. 18: 4-6) (The cup which she has filled!)
From there the scriptures go on to describe what incredible pleasures and luxuries she had indulged herself in. Such pride and arrogance. So what is the measure of a monster? How much does the cup of wrath hold before it spills over? Because this is where it connects to the Old Testament, when God told Abraham he could not have the promised land yet, for at least another several hundred years! “Because the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” (Gen. 15:16)
Had the Amorites never filled that cup, it would not have poured out on them. But notice what our God judges so severely: Pride, arrogance, exalting yourself at the expense of others, rather than sacrificing yourself for the love of others. The Golden Rule. This is the sin God so hates. This is the sin Satan is so full of, even from his very beginning steps into a world of gross darkness. This is the monster. It is a form of self love over God and anyone else. Yes people, we really can love ourself too much. Think abut it.
So if we would judge God, we would have to say he is the lover and defender of all those who really care about others, even when it cost them a personal price. And he is the judge and enemy of all those who exalt themselves at the expense of others. We see it over and over again in scripture, even in the Old Testament.
In Revelation, when the martyrs are under the altar crying out to God, how long will you wait before you avenge our blood? These people were slain because they followed a lamb! What kind of evil is this?! But the cup of the dragon was not yet quite full. The day came when it was, and their own evil cup began pouring out on them, whereas the saints drank of the good wine, from the cup filled by their Lord as they followed the Lamb in his service.
Here’s an ending thought. The Pharisees asked Jesus: “Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended.” (Matt. 19:7-8)
I wonder how much of what we see in the Old Testament is actually because of OUR HARD HEARTS, not God’s? Did God really want a time span, or learning curve, of “AN EYE FOR AN EYE”? Or was it us? Jesus ate at the tables of sinners, and got in trouble at every temple. Judge not, lest ye be judged. Would you dare to judge God? We might be surprised to find out how much of our accusations against God is really because of a huge, I mean gigantic, beam in our own eye! Not to mention the condition of our heart. Do you think it might be possible, as the monsters we are, and the self-destructive nature we have, that it might actually be impossible for us to accurately judge the God of love? Are we really in any position to judge what pure love is? Or the rights of the one who created us?
I suspect if we take the Beatitudes and look at their exact opposites we will find what all the cups of wrath are being filled with. After all this, what I see is, God is the friend of the humble, and the enemy of the proud. But evil is really its own worse enemy, and everything that seems to poor out on them really comes from their own gross darkness. In heaven, there will finally be no monsters to be feared. God will be there. He will fill the place. But he is not the monster. And by his great love and grace, no longer are we.