By understanding these examples of God’s speech, thoughts and actions, are you able to understand God’s righteous disposition, a disposition that will not tolerate being offended by man? In short, regardless of how much man can understand of it, this is an aspect of the disposition of God Himself, and it is unique to Him. God’s intolerance of offense is His unique substance; God’s wrath is His unique disposition; God’s majesty is His unique substance. The principle behind God’s anger is the demonstration of His identity and status, which only He possesses. It goes without saying that this principle is also a symbol of the substance of the unique God Himself. God’s disposition is His own inherent substance, which is not changed at all by the passage of time, and nor is it altered by changes of geographical location. His inherent disposition is His intrinsic substance. Regardless of whom He carries out His work upon, His substance does not change, and neither does His righteous disposition. When one angers God, that which God sends forth is His inherent disposition; at this time the principle behind His anger does not change, nor do His unique identity and status. He does not grow angry because of a change in His substance or because different elements arise from His disposition, but because man’s opposition against Him offends His disposition. Man’s flagrant provocation of God is a severe challenge to God’s own identity and status. In God’s view, when man challenges Him, man is contesting Him and testing His anger. When man opposes God, when man contests God, when man continuously tests God’s anger—and it is at such times when sin runs rampant—God’s wrath will naturally reveal and present itself. Therefore, God’s expression of His wrath is a symbol that all evil forces will cease to exist, and it is a symbol that all hostile forces will be destroyed. This is the uniqueness of God’s righteous disposition, and of God’s wrath. When God’s dignity and holiness are challenged, when the forces of justice are obstructed and unseen by man, then God will send forth His wrath. Because of God’s substance, all those forces on earth which contest God, oppose Him and contend with Him, are evil, corrupt and unjust; they come from and belong to Satan. Because God is just and is of the light and flawlessly holy, thus all things evil, corrupt and belonging to Satan will vanish when God’s wrath is unleashed.
Although the outpouring of God’s wrath is one aspect of the expression of His righteous disposition, God’s anger is by no means indiscriminate regarding its target, and nor is it without principle. On the contrary, God is not at all quick to anger, and nor does He reveal His wrath and majesty lightly. Moreover, God’s wrath is quite controlled and measured; it is not at all comparable to how man is wont to flare into a rage or vent his anger. Many conversations between man and God are recorded in the Bible. The words of some of the individual people involved in the conversations were shallow, ignorant and infantile, but God did not strike them down, and nor did He condemn them. In particular, during Job’s trial, how did Jehovah God treat Job’s three friends and the others after He heard the words that they spoke to Job? Did He condemn them? Did He rage at them? He did nothing of the sort! Instead He told Job to make entreaties on their behalf and to pray for them, and God Himself did not take their faults to heart. These instances all represent the primary attitude with which God treats humanity, corrupt and ignorant as it is. Therefore, the unleashing of God’s wrath is by no means an expression of His mood, nor is it a way for Him to give vent to His feelings. Contrary to man’s misunderstanding, God’s wrath is not a full-blown eruption of rage. God does not unleash His wrath because He is unable to control His own mood or because His anger has reached its boiling point and must be vented. On the contrary, His wrath is a display and a genuine expression of His righteous disposition, and it is a symbolic revelation of His holy substance. God is wrath, and He does not tolerate being offended—this is not to say that God’s anger does not distinguish among causes or is unprincipled; it is corrupt humanity that has an exclusive claim on unprincipled, random outbursts of rage, rage of a kind that does not distinguish between causes. Once a man has status, he will often find it difficult to control his mood, and so he will enjoy seizing upon opportunities to express his dissatisfaction and vent his emotions; he will often flare up in rage for no apparent reason, so as to reveal his ability and let others know that his status and identity are different from those of ordinary people. Of course, corrupt people without any status also often lose control. Their anger is frequently caused by damage to their private interests. In order to protect their own status and dignity, corrupt mankind will frequently vent their emotions and reveal their arrogant nature. Man will flare up in anger and vent his emotions in order to defend and uphold the existence of sin, and these actions are the ways in which man expresses his dissatisfaction; they brim with impurities, with schemes and intrigues, with man’s corruption and evil, and more than anything else, they brim with man’s wild ambitions and desires. When justice clashes with wickedness, man’s anger will not flare up in the defense of the existence of justice or to uphold it; on the contrary, when the forces of justice are threatened, persecuted and attacked, man’s attitude is one of overlooking, evading or flinching away. However, when facing the forces of evil, man’s attitude is one of accommodating, of bowing and scraping. Therefore, man’s venting is an escape for evil forces, an expression of the rampant and unstoppable evil conduct of the fleshly man. When God sends forth His wrath, however, all evil forces will be stopped, all sins that harm man will be curbed, all hostile forces that obstruct God’s work will be made apparent, separated and cursed, while all of Satan’s accomplices who oppose God will be punished and rooted out. In their place, God’s work will proceed free of any obstacles, God’s management plan will continue to develop step by step according to schedule, and God’s chosen people will be free of Satan’s disturbance and deceit, while those who follow God will enjoy God’s leadership and provision among tranquil and peaceful surroundings. God’s wrath is a safeguard preventing all evil forces from multiplying and running rampant, and it is also a safeguard that protects the existence and propagation of all things that are just and positive, and eternally guards them from suppression and subversion.
Can you see the substance of God’s wrath in His destruction of Sodom? Is there anything else mingled within His rage? Is God’s rage pure? To use the words of man, is God’s wrath unadulterated? Is there any deception behind His wrath? Is there any conspiracy? Are there any unspeakable secrets? I can tell you sternly and solemnly: There is no part of God’s wrath that can lead one to doubt. His anger is a pure, unadulterated anger that harbors no other intentions or goals. The reasons behind His anger are pure, blameless and above criticism. It is a natural revelation and display of His holy substance; it is something that nothing in all of creation possesses. This is a part of God’s unique righteous disposition, and it is also a striking difference between the respective substances of the Creator and His creation.
Regardless of whether one becomes angry in the sight of others or behind their backs, everyone has a different intention and purpose to their anger. Perhaps they are building up their prestige, or maybe they are defending their own interests, maintaining their image or keeping face. Some exercise restraint in their anger, while others are more rash and allow their rage to flare up whenever they wish without the least bit of restraint. In short, man’s anger derives from his corrupt disposition. No matter what its purpose, it is of the flesh and of nature; it has nothing to do with justice or injustice because nothing in man’s nature and substance corresponds to the truth. Therefore, corrupt humanity’s temper and God’s wrath should not be mentioned in the same breath. Without exception, the behavior of a man corrupted by Satan begins with the desire to safeguard corruption, and indeed it is based on corruption; this is why man’s anger cannot be mentioned in the same breath as God’s wrath, no matter how proper a man’s anger may seem in theory. When God sends forth His rage, evil forces are checked and evil things are destroyed, while just and positive things come to enjoy God’s care and protection and are allowed to continue. God sends forth His wrath because unjust, negative and evil things obstruct, disturb or destroy the normal activity and development of just and positive things. The goal of God’s anger is not to safeguard His own status and identity, but to safeguard the existence of just, positive, beautiful and good things, to safeguard the laws and order of humanity’s normal survival. This is the root cause of God’s wrath. God’s rage is a very proper, natural and true revelation of His disposition. There are no ulterior motives in His rage, and nor is there deceit or plotting, let alone the desires, craftiness, malice, violence, evil or any of corrupt humanity’s other shared traits. Before God sends forth His rage, He has already perceived the substance of every matter quite clearly and completely, and He has already formulated accurate, clear definitions and conclusions. Thus, God’s objective in everything He does is crystal-clear, as is His attitude. He is not muddle-headed, blind, impulsive, or careless, and He is certainly not unprincipled. This is the practical aspect of God’s wrath, and it is because of this practical aspect of God’s wrath that humanity has attained its normal existence. Without God’s wrath, humanity would descend into abnormal living conditions and all things just, beautiful and good would be destroyed and cease to exist. Without God’s wrath, the laws and rules of existence for created beings would be broken or even utterly subverted. Since the creation of man, God has continuously used His righteous disposition to safeguard and sustain humanity’s normal existence. Because His righteous disposition contains wrath and majesty, all evil people, things and objects, and all things that disturb and damage humanity’s normal existence, are punished, controlled and destroyed as a result of His wrath. Over the past several millennia, God has continuously used His righteous disposition to strike down and destroy all kinds of unclean and evil spirits which oppose God and act as Satan’s accomplices and lackeys in God’s work of managing humanity. Thus, God’s work of the salvation of man has always advanced according to His plan. This is to say that because of the existence of God’s wrath, the most righteous causes of men have never been destroyed.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh