Dr. Roach is an evangelist, author, and Bible teacher.  His over forty years of ministry include being a college Professor of Theology and Bible, and many years as a Pastor.  His ministry focuses on spiritual growth and spiritual warfare through prayer.  We are pleased to share with you some of the articles he has written.

THE TRUTH ABOUT ANGELS

PART ONE

 

"AND SUDDENLY THERE WAS WITH THE ANGEL A MULTITUDE OF THE HEAVENLY HOST PRAISING GOD, AND SAYING, GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN." (Luke 2:13-14)

 

Along with a renewed interest in angels, both among Christians and non-Christians, has come a lot of misinformation about them. Throughout the last century (as odd as that phrase may still sound) and continuing today many Preachers and Bible teachers have been reluctant to study this Bible Doctrine as other than an odd curiosity. Those who do generally touch only the surface since any serious study of angels must include at least some research into the subject of evil angels (devils/demons). Few want to delve into that aspect of “Angelology” out of a mostly superstitious fear of it.

In this short study I will try to cover the most essential facts about angels as God has given them to us in His Word. I hope to provide enough Biblical information to cover most of the concerns believers have about them, and to clear away as many of the popular false ideas as I can without plunging in too deeply. In the process we will focus on some of the most revealing passages concerning them.

First I want to simply clear away some of the most common myths and misconceptions about what angels are and what they do. Without explaining them at this time, these are the most common of those FALSE ideas about angels

1. Good humans, especially children, become angels when they die and go to heaven.

2. Angels are beautiful females. (Sorry ladies)

3. All angels are good; or there are only two types of angels: good angels and demons.

4. We can or should pray to angels: particularly to our “guardian angel.”

5. Angels are disembodied spirits, or at least are spirits without bodies.

6. Angels, evil angels in particular, can read our thoughts.

7. Good angels only do “good” things on the earth.

8. The Bible really has very little to say about the angels.

9. Angels all look like humans with wings.

10. The Bible Doctrine of Spirit Beings (“angels”) is not really important or practical.

Other misconceptions will become apparent as we continue our study of the Holy Scriptures.

 

WHAT ARE “ANGELS”

Historically, the word “angel” itself came into the English language after being borrowed from Greek by the early German Goths. The word itself signifies “a messenger, or one who is sent in the work of another.”

In the Old Testament the original Hebrew word most often translated angel is “malek.” That word itself means “one sent as a deputy, messenger, or ambassador.” Therefore, as we find it in the King James Bible angel is unquestionably the correct translation into English.

In the New Testament the original Greek word most often translated angel is (naturally) “anggelo.” That word comes from the root “ago,” which signifies “bring or go forth, to carry.” Consequently the Greek word and the English word both refer to “a messenger.” Significantly, the word also translates as pastor. The words can be used of either terrestrial (earthly) or celestial (heavenly) Beings.

Interestingly, this is not actually a case of “transliteration”: simply rewriting the original Greek word as an English word without translating it. That is where the history—“etymology”—of the word is significant. The word “angel” had come into the German language through the Goths (nothing to do with the modern “goth” subculture). From them the word was passed down through the language of the Angles and the Saxons who were the Germanic tribes who settled in England. Therefore, “angel” was essentially the Anglicized (“English-ized”) form of the original word “anggelo” in the Greek New Testament.

That is important because it shows that angel really signifies more than just “messenger.” That it equally translates the Hebrew word “malek” provides us with a continuity of information and understanding concerning angels throughout both the Old and the New Testaments. God’s faithful servants whom He used to produce the King James Bible recognized this and so faithfully used that word to refer to the whole order of celestial Beings. The word marks them as the messengers and deputies who carry out the work of God in both the heavenly and the earthly realms.

The primary work of those Beings in relation to humans on earth involves representing God on the earth, especially in conveying messages from Him. We shall discover their work goes beyond that, and it will confirm why God’s servants used that English word throughout the King James Bible.

 

UNDERSTANDING THE CELESTIAL

In order for us to really comprehend who and what angels are we must understand some facts about the celestial realm or world. First, it is a “realm” and a “world” in the sense of being a real place having its own real natural laws governing its own real functions. We also often refer to the celestial realm as the “spiritual realm,” or most often “heaven” or the “heavenlies” in a generic sense.

For our purposes in these articles I will most often use the terms “celestial realm” and “spiritual realm” to mean the place God created and populated with Beings uniquely suited to live and function within it. We must take a minute to wrap our minds around the fact that the celestial realm is just as “real” and just as tangible to its inhabitants as our earthly realm. I have to say that because I have heard many Preachers speak of the spiritual realm as if it were some kind of spooky unreal place floating around somehow in outer space.

Second, we have to understand and accept that everything including the angels and the other Beings living in that realm are individuals with bodies that are just as tangible and functional there as we are here. The Holy Spirit’s revelation of that fact is recorded quite clearly in 1 Corinthians 15:39-41:

All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.”

Notice the term celestial bodies. Then notice the contrast with bodies terrestrial. The Lord God—who has given (not “inspired”) this scripture through Paul (2 Timothy 3:16), one of His holy men—tells us not only that the two bodiesdiffereth from each other, but that both are actual, genuine bodies. That means that the bodies living in the celestial world are just as much bodies as those living in the terrestrial world.

Angels are “spirit beings” only in the sense that they naturally live and function in the “spirit world,” the “spiritual realm.” They are not incorporeal: without bodies. They are not (as we shall see in more detail later) the disembodied spirits of dead believers: they are not ghosts. However, as celestial bodies living in the spirit realm they operate and carry out their Divinely ordained duties in ways according to natural laws that differ greatly from those of our terrestrial bodies. Simply, they can do things that we cannot do.

We can employ a useful analogy in helping us understand the nature of the celestial realm and its occupants. Think of it as a different “dimension” with, again, its own laws and occupants. In that dimension live all manner of different Beings who are all busy going about their own lives. We can call them “creatures” since they were all created by God, as we shall study later.

Since each of these creatures has its own distinct body we can reasonably surmise that each has its (or as we shall also see “his”) own separate identity, personality (or at least personhood), and functions within the celestial society. God created him with an appearance, limitations, abilities, and responsibilities unique to his class of beings, and unique to his own person.

 

WHY THEY HAVE WINGS

Consider, for example, this simple question: “why do (some) angels need wings to fly?” At least one class of Spirit Beings does according to Isaiah 6:2. Isaiah records for us what he saw after King Uzziah died and he saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up. Then he says, “Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.”

That is truly remarkable. The class of celestial Beings Uzziah saw each had six wings that functioned in pairs. Note that when he described the function of the separate pairs of wings that each seraphim had, Isaiah referred to that being as he and his. Then he says of one pair that with it he did fly. So, if “angels,” in this specific case seraphims, are “disembodied” or even simply “incorporeal spirits” why would they need wings to fly? That is not a silly or useless question. The answer is both reasonable and quite simple.

They need wings to fly because:

1) They have physical bodies.

2) The world in which they live is physical, with a physical atmosphere—air—against which the wings push to propel the seraphims across a physical space.

3) There must be some sort of gravitational pull that the use of wings allows them to overcome.

Notice also that the first two wings have a special function that differs from those of the other two pairs: with twain he covered his face. That could serve both to hide his face so other Beings could not see it, and—which is the most important—to block his eyes so he could not see the Face or Glory of God. We read in Exodus 33:20“And he (God) said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.That Divine Law must apply to celestial Beings just as it does to terrestrial beings.

In either case, the wings must be physical and opaque (cannot see through them). That clearly reveals the intrinsic nature of angels. They are, again, real individual creatures who have separate existence, opaque physical bodies, must obey the physical laws of their world, at least one order of these celestial Beings have and use wings to fly, and have identifiable functions for which God has uniquely created them. That is enough to chew on for now.

We will continue our study of what God’s Word reveals about angels in the next article.

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT ANGELS

PART TWO

 

"FOR BY HIM WERE ALL THINGS CREATED, THAT ARE IN HEAVEN, AND THAT ARE IN EARTH, VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE, WHETHER THEY BE THRONES, OR DOMINIONS, OR PRINCIPALITIES, OR POWERS: ALL THINGS WERE CREATED BY HIM, AND FOR HIM." (Colossians 1:16)

 

In Part One we established some important basic facts about angels. The word itself means “messenger, ambassador, or deputy.” It accurately translates the Hebrew “malek” and the Greek “anggelo” throughout the Bible. We also established that they are real individual creatures who have separate existence, opaque physical bodies, must obey the physical laws of their own world, at least one order of these Beings have and use wings to fly, and have identifiable functions for which God has uniquely created them.

Also important to the study of angels is the question of their origin: where did (or do) angels come from? One important fact about them is that they are neither eternal in the same way God is, nor are they self-existent. God created them at a specific time point in the history of eternity. They had a definite beginning.

Psalm 148:1-6 and Colossians 1:16 very clearly establish both the fact of their creation by the act of God and that once created they will continue to exist forever.

1Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. 2Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. 3Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. 4Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. 5Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. 6He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.”

 

"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:"

That God commanded, and they were created establishes that all His angels and all His hosts are not the disembodied spirits of the descendents of Adam—humans—who go to Heaven when they die.

As the products of the specific act of God’s speaking there was a “time” in eternity when they did not exist. The Scriptures do not reveal to us precisely when that time was, but it does offer us some definite clues, the first of which is Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

We have to consider, however, that God is Himself the eternal I AM THAT I AM. He IS eternally past, present, and future the one and the only I AM. He has always been and always will be always in the present. Time itself both IS He and flows from Him. He declares of Himself in Revelation John 1:8“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

The phrase in the beginning has meaning only as it describes an action executed by Him Who is before all things, and by [whom] all things consist (Colossians 1:17). Only God Himself knows what, if anything, besides He Himself existed around Him before the beginning when He created the heaven and the earth. What is certain is any beings who existed prior the Genesis 1:1 beginning also had a “beginning” since only the Lord God Who IS, only the indescribable I AM THAT I AM is eternal and absolutely self-existent.

We find another indication of the time when God created all His angels and all His hosts recorded in Job 38:4-7:

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

Although it is a separate but important subject in itself, based upon other Scripture passages these morning stars and sons of God were the angels and the hosts of Heaven. Quite likely God created them in the beginning when He created the heaven (the celestial realm). He must have created them before He created the earth (the terrestrial realm) since they were present when He created it.

This naturally leads us into considering another important fact concerning the angels. They are only one of the orders of Beings who have bodies celestial, and who live in the Spirit World. Some mistakenly believe, or at least seem to by the way they treat the subject, that the Bible has little to say about these mysterious Beings. Consequently, most church leaders allot little importance and effort to studying them. One common error arising from that negligence is treating angels as if they are the only non-human Beings besides God Himself who live in Heaven*, the celestial realm.

True, the word angels can be used as a general term to refer to all celestial Beings who live in the Spirit World in the same way that we use the word “man” to refer generically to both men and women. However, just as we must distinguish between men and women, as well as young and adults when we study humans, so we must distinguish the differences between one type of celestial Being and another.

The Bible clearly reveals that such a distinction exists between orders of Spirit Beings living in the spirit world. It does so 1) by implication in 1 Corinthians 15:39-41, 2) by revelation in Colossians 1:16, and 3) by identification throughout both Testaments.

Significant also is the virtually uncountable multitudes of the Beings who inhabit the celestial realm. Revelation 5:11-12 grants us a vision of just how many of them populate that other world. Do not just read, but try to see and feel the intensity and immensity of that world through these words by which John describes what he saw:

 

And I beheld, and I heard the voices of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing.”

This offers us just a small glimpse of the incomprehensible number of created Spirit Beings, the heavenly hosts, who inhabit the celestial world(s), the heavens of heavens.

In the next articles we will examine a few of these other Spirit Beings to help us understand the nature and work of the angels themselves.

 

*NOTE: “Heaven” is not the place with “streets of gold” and “pearly gates” where all the saints who have gone before us live. Heaven is a country (Hebrews 11:13-16), and a realm of existence having at least three distinct levels (2 Corinthians 12:2). The place with the street (not “streets”) of gold and the twelve gates each made of a single pearl is actually that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. John describes that great city—in part—in Revelation 21:21 in this way: And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. We will make Heaven and the facts related to it the subject of a future series.

 

"A Clear Choice"

In no way am I engaging in “hate speech,” “prejudice,” “bigotry,” or a “war” in what I have to say. I do not hate anyone. This is not in itself a political endorsement. I intend only to present a clear choice between two directions facing our nation within the context of the current election.

This choice between two directions in embodied in two vital “moral” issues. By its very nature a moral choice is “religious,” though not restricted to any one religion. However, as a Christian I will be presenting this choice through the paradigm of Christianity from its basis upon the Holy Scriptures. That is a fancy way of declaring this as a challenge to all those who claim to be Christians in any of its forms.

During their national conventions this year the two main political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, declared their official choices between the two directions on these moral issues.

The two moral issues are “same-sex marriage” (along with its whole homosexual agenda), and the continuation of virtually unlimited abortion. Quite simply, the Democrat Party declared its official SUPPORT for both of these IMMORAL practices; the Republican Party declared its NON-SUPPORT for both of these immoral (specifically UN-CHRISTIAN) practices. These two moral issues are so vital to the cultural health of our nation that they are actually more important than either of the two Presidential candidates!

The foundation of legitimate Christianity is not mere religious philosophy, nor is it simply the embodiment of various related moral beliefs. Its foundation is the Holy Bible and what it clearly says, especially when it speaks to moral issues. Anyone who claims to be a Christian, or to hold to Christian moral values, should certainly allow what the Bible says about those values to guide them in this special situation. When they exercise their beloved and precious right to vote for the candidates in this election they should make their choice based primarily (if not exclusively) upon the OFFICIAL POSITION of the candidate’s PARTY! The voter must do this even if the candidate seems to be the better choice as an individual.

At first this appears to be rather radical and simplistic. However, consider that those elected, along with the news media, consider the vote for any candidate—especially for the office of President—to be support for the candidate’s political Party! They generally construe—and rightly so—the election of the Party’s candidate as a mandate from the people to pursue the prevailing Party’s political agendas. In other words, voting for ANY DEMOCRAT is a vote of SUPPORT for, and agreement with, the homosexual political agenda (specifically for same-sex marriage), and for the continuation of unlimited abortion. A vote for ANY REPUBLICAN is a vote AGAINST both of those vital issues. That is the CLEAR CHOICE in this election!

What should anyone with Christian moral values believe concerning the issues of same-sex marriage and abortion? Specifically, what does the Bible say about them, regardless of what anyone claiming to be a Christian actually believes about them? Rather than interrupt the flow of this article by printing out all of the relevant Bible passages here, I am going to merely give the location of the chapters and verses. However, you can find all of these verses printed out at the end of the article. These passages are only representative and not exclusive.

  • Bible passages clearly revealing God’s Mind concerning homosexuality: Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13; 1 Kings 14:24, 15:12, 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7; Romans 1:24-27; 2 1 Corinthians 6:9; and 1 Timothy 1:10.
  • Bible passages clearly revealing God’s Mind concerning abortion (life in the womb): Genesis 25:23-24; Judges 13:7; Job 31:15 & 18; Psalms 127:3, 139:13; Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5.

What these Bible passages REVEAL about what God thinks absolutely transcends anything that any human being on earth BELIEVES. That fact alone should be enough to determine what every Christian believes, and consequently which political Party he or she supports by voting for their candidates. That choice should be made without any regard for which Party the voter or their families “have always voted for.” It should be made with any regard to the candidate’s “race.” It should be made with regard (except in the case of an outright criminal or immoral candidate, of course) only to what the candidate’s Party stands for. By being a Democrat candidate, that person embodies that Party’s official support of same-sex marriage and unlimited abortion. By being a Republican candidate, that person embodies that Party’s official opposition to same-sex marriage and the continuation of unlimited abortion. Which direction does this nation want to mandate its leaders to take it? THAT IS THE ULTIMATE CLEAR CHOICE EMBEDDED IN THIS ELECTION!

Carefully consider what God did to Israel when they persisted in shedding INNOCENT BLOOD!

Psalm 106:37-42 37Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, 38And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. 39Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. 40Therefore was the wrath OF THE LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. 41And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. 42Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.

May God bless and keep America, forgive us our sins, and protect us from our enemies both abroad and at home.

Your friend,
Dr. Duane Roach

FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION: As you make your choice consider these facts concerning abortion in the USA.

 

From 1973 to 2009 there have been 54,559,615 (that is over 54 MILLION) abortions in USA.
Of those, less than 1% involved any medical issue or rape for the mother.

 

That is:

1,560,000 avg. per year (35 yrs.)
4,274 avg. per day (365 days/yr.)
178 avg. per hour
3 avg. per minute

In 2011 the number was down to only about 1,200,000; which still averages only a little less than 3 per minute.
About 20% of abortion patients report using Medicaid to pay for abortions.


RELEVANT SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: KJV

HOMOSEXUALITY

Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Leviticus 18:22Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

1 Corinthians 6:9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Timothy 1:10For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Romans 1:24- 27 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

1 Kings 14:24And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations WHICH THE LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

1 Kings 15:12And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.

1 Kings 22:46And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.

2 Kings 23:7And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house OF THE LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.

ABORTION

Genesis 25:23-24AND THE LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

Judges 13:7  But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing : for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.

Job 31:15Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?

Job 31:18(For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother' womb;)

Psalms 127:3Lo, children are an heritage OF THE LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

Psalms 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother' womb.

Isaiah 49:1Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; THE LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

“STRAIGHT ANSWERS TO HARD QUESTIONS” 

By Dr. Duane Roach

[By God’s grace this will be the first of a series of straight answers from God’s Word. I have encountered many different kinds of hard questions over my years in the Lord’s ministry. In that time one thing He taught me is my opinion does not mean much, but His means everything. He really does know all the answers, and He is not the least bit put off by the “hardest” of questions.

All truly born again believers have unlimited access to His answers through His Word. According to Ps. 119:130 “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” God fulfills that wonderful promise especially through His words as He has given us access to them in the King James Bible. The entrance of those words through the guidance of the Holy Spirit will give us His Straight Answers to Hard Question.”]

First Hard Question: Part One

“How could a loving God allow disasters like those in Haiti and Japan?”

The straight answer to this question is: it is based upon wrong assumptions about God. Other questions like it such as, “If God is so loving why did He let so-and-so die,” or “…why didn’t He stop such-and-such terrible thing from happening,” etc. all arise from those wrong assumptions about God. We can divide these into three categories:

  1. Wrong assumptions about God’s Person.
  2. Wrong assumptions about God’s Perspective.
  3. Wrong assumptions about God’s Purposes.
     

The Lord reproves the wicked with these words in Ps. 50:21 “…thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself …” These questions presume God’s love operates like our love. I had a man tell me one time, “I love people and I wouldn’t do that to anyone, so I must be better than God.” Besides being blasphemous, such an idea, like our Hard Question, reveals a profound ignorance of Who God really is. The One True God Who Is offers this challenge to all mankind in Isa. 40:25, “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.” And again in Isa. 46:5, “To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?”

We can only find the answer to the Hard Question by first clearing away some of the relevant wrong assumptions about God’s Person. Because the One True God really is love (1 Jn. 4:8 & 16), He has revealed the absolute Truth about Himself in the Holy Bible. Consider for yourself this special revelation about What God is: Ex. 3:14 “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” 

The most profound and significant of all of God’s revelations is His five-word declaration to Moses, “I AM THAT I AM.” He is The God Who Is. The great preacher A. W. Tozer wrote, “He is the self-existent Self  back of Whom no man can think.” Note that God said His name is I AM THAT I AM. He did not say I AM WHO I AM, as nearly all the modern [mis]-translations of the Bible render it. This revelation far transcends a mere statement of identity. Rather, all God IS in His unique infinite Being can only be discovered through prayerful study and meditation upon exactly what God says about Himself, and exactly how He says it. [As the Lord God allows, I will consider this in more detail in answer to the Hard Question What is God Like?]

The Hard Question we are considering about a “loving God” and what has happened in Haiti and Japan arises from our wrong assumptions about What and Who God genuinely and uniquely Is. God is who He is, not what we think or believe He is. There is no other True God! That is one revelation about Himself that God makes clear throughout His supernaturally given Word (2 Tm. 3:16).

Consider just a few of His adamant declarations concerning Himself.

Is. 45:20-23 20Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.  21Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.  22Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.  23I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Ex. 34:5-7 “And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him [Moses] there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.  6And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children' children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”

Ex. 34:14 “For thou shalt worship no other god: For the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:”

Deut. 4:24 “For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.”

Deut. 6:15 “(For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger OF THE LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.”

 Yes, God is Love. He has quite clearly revealed that about Himself both in His Word and in the hearts and lives of His people throughout uncountable generations. Love is an inseparable part of the I AM THAT I AM. However, that is not all that God Is. He is also “a just God and a Savior.” He is also “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” We must not forget that the One True God Who Is also declares that His “name is Jealous.” He repeatedly describes Himself as “a jealous God”; and He says He “is a consuming fire” whose “anger” could very easily “destroy” the people He loves “from off the face of the earth.” Those are the same people (Israel) to whom He says, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”(Jer. 31:3). This same God Who is Love states without apology or hesitation that He “will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children' children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”

Just asking such a Hard Question as “How could a loving God allow disasters like those in Haiti and Japan?” reveals the most prevalent wrong assumption about God held by people all over the world. For example, no one asks, “How could a just, jealous, angry, God who is a consuming fire allow deadly disasters to happen?” Such a question is almost as silly as it sounds. A more appropriate question (and certainly not about only Haiti and Japan) would be, “How could such a God NOT clear the guilty and visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children through deadly disasters?” Only by answering a question like that can we with wonder, thanksgiving, and humble worship appreciate and begin to comprehend “what is the breadth and height” of this same God’s “Truth,” “mercy,” “compassion,” and (above all else) His LOVE.

[By God’s grace, next week we will consider the second wrong assumption about God: GOD’S PERSPECTIVE. Essentially, we do not see things the way God sees them. In it we will look more specifically how it relates to the disasters in Haiti and Japan.]