150 – THE CHILDREN OF WRATH
In the letter of Paul to the Ephesians, we read: “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest” (Eph.2:1-3).
In these three verses, Paul says six things:
- The Jews who kept the law of Jehovah were dead in trespasses and sins, but they could be vivified in Jesus Christ (Eph.2:1).
- The dead to whom Paul refers walk according the course of this world (Eph.2:2).
- The Jews lived according to the will of the prince of the powers of the air (Eph.2:2).
- The spirit that works in the sons of disobedience is the spirit of the prince of the powers of the air, which is not the devil, for if it were, Paul would say the word “devil,” such as in Eph. 4:27; 6:11 and2 Tim.2:26.
- Disobedience, is in them, connected to the will of the flesh, that is, to the appetites, and to the will of the thoughts, that is, to lust. These two sources of corruption are controlled by the prince of the powers of the air (Eph.2:3).
- And Paul ends by saying that the religious Jews were all “CHILDREN OF WRATH, EVEN AS THE REST” (Eph.2:3). What “rest,” if not the gentiles?
The powers of the air are a caste of rebellious angels who dominate the planet Earth, corrupting the souls to use them against Jesus, the Lord of lords. And they have a head: THE PRINCE OF THE POWERS OF THE AIR. Jesus created his Church to fight them and immobilize them. Paul says about this: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness” (Eph.6:12).
To bring to existence a child of wrath, three things are necessary:
- That the father of the children be angry, to give birth to children in his image.
- That the father of the children may establish laws that bring anger to their hearts.
- It is necessary to find within Scriptures unquestionable proofs that will reveal the identity of this dark prince.
In the first of these, we mentioned a few Bible verses: Jehovah is “a God who has indignation every day” (Ps.7:11). The same Hebrew word is used for wrath and rage. Jehovah is an enraged god. Jehovah is always angry against those who do not know him and have never heard of him. “Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations which do not know Thee, and upon the kingdoms which do not call upon Thy name” (Ps.79:6). Jeremiah said the same thing in Jer.10:2. And Micah: “And I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations which have not obeyed” (Mic.5:15). The fury of Jehovah is a fury that comes from hell, according to the words of Moses: “For a fire is kindled in My anger, and burns to the lowest part of Sheol” (Deut.32:22). Jehovah did not send the Messiah because of love, but because of wrath (Ps.2:1-5), differently from the Father, who gave his Son Jesus because of love (John 3:16). Jehovah said: “I gave you a king in My anger, and took him away in My wrath” (Hos.13:11). Well, a furious and angry god can only give birth to angry children.
In the second place, the father of the children of wrath created irreversible norms so that his children would become children of wrath. The children of wrath have two characteristics: they are angry and odious, rebellious and disobedient, and they are also rejected and hated by their own father who formed them as the potter forms the pot of clay.
Jehovah gave the Law, and the Law is his covenant with Israel. “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which Jehovah your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it” (Deut.6:1). The laws of Jehovah bring about in man the desires of the flesh. This is in Rom.7:7-8. The Law of Jehovah causes sin to abound, that is, it multiplies and increases sin (Rom.5:20). Paul then warns us: “For sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me” (Rom.7:11). The Law of Jehovah awakes in the Christian the sinful lusts of flesh, which results in death (Rom.7:5).Jehovah, then, kills and destroys men by murderous wrath of his nature, for Jehovah does not change(Mal.3:6). This wrath increases in proportion to men’s sins. As Christians believe that it is impossible not to sin, the wrath, fury and rage of Jehovah do not have any limitation (Deut.32:22-25). When Paul says that where sin abounded grace also abounded even more, he is revealing that, when sin increases, the fury of Jehovah also increases, and on the other side, the love and mercy of the Father also increase—and we know that from the same fountain it is impossible to draw both sweet and bitter water(Rom.5:20; James 3:10-11). And the great apostle to the gentiles closes the subject: “FOR THE LAW BRINGS ABOUT WRATH” (Rom.4:15). The law was given in wrath, and for this reason Ezekiel says: “And I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live” (Ezek.20:25). We conclude that the children of wrath are not children of the devil, but the children of Jehovah. Thus, the prince of the powers of the air is not the devil, but the very Jehovah, the god of murderous rage.
It is very easy to recognize the children of wrath. When you talk with any Christian who believes that Jehovah is the Father, this Christian is all politeness and love. If you deny that Jehovah is the Father, all love goes away from him, and the murderous anger shows up, for this Christian will begin to say that you are a heretic and a child of the devil; he will write letters to all the churches and pastors he knows telling them not to receive the heretic; they will speak evil about you, and dislike you until death, the poor Christian who does not believe in Jehovah. John, the apostle of love, declares that whoever hates his brother is a murderer (1 John 3:15). And this murderer risks going to the place he destined for the heretic, that is, hell, for every one who does not love, does not know God (1 John 4:7-8).
Closing, we must prove in the Bible that Jehovah makes the children of wrath, and our mission will be finished. Paul said: “Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles” (Rom.9:21-24). Who was Paul referring to? To Esau and Jacob, pictures of the two peoples (Rom.9:11-13). Paul referred to the Old Testament and to the predestination of Jehovah. Speaking of the Father of Jesus, Paul says: “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, whom desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim.2:3-4). The god who fashioned the vessels of wrath and destruction does not want the salvation of all men; therefore, he is not the Father of Jesus. And Paul states the following, yet: “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers” (1 Tim.4:10).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira