When Eve and Adam were tempted the snake tried to make God out to be the Devil! By removing the absoluteness of the commandment he was trying impress Eve with the idea that he was more liberal and loving that their Creator. When the snake said, “Surely ye shall not die,” he was saying that God was being unreasonably demanding and legalistic.
This is the same false gospel liberal neo-fundamentalism is preaching today. They tell their people over and over again that they preach the true gospel assuring their people that God is a God of love and not a God of judgment avoiding any explanation of those scriptures that speak to the contrary.
But what they fail to understand is that God is both! To the wicked He is the God of judgment. He even chastises his own children because he loves them. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Hebrews 12:6) Behold the goodness and the severity of God. (Romans 11:22) To those who disobey, He is severe. But to those who obey proving their love for God, He is good.
Over and over Jesus made this point very clear; If you love Me, keep My commandments. John 14:15.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. (John 15:10)
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)
So, is God really a God of love as they imply? That, according to what they teach, that he winks at sin so long as you believe in Jesus. Does have a high tolerance for worldliness and anti-doctrine materialistic teaching? He will give us time to return and repent but if we don’t we will self destruct in time.
God was good to Balaam for He was a Prophet of the Lord and had a reputation if Balak sought him out to do his bidding. He had a good relationship with the Lord and apparently a good reputation as prophet of God until He was tempted with the house of gold and gaining status in the courts of the powerful Median kings.
But, the same God that was good to him became a God of chastisement and finally judgment. There are many men in the Bible, characters whom God was very good to and then He also chastised and brought severe judgment upon them. David, son Solomon, Manasseh are only a few. God blessed Israel, but later judged them severely.
If he is a God of love, which He most certainly is! Did God change? Is He temperamental? Is that why His goodness was turned to wrath? Of course not! The people changed from being good and obedient to disobedience and evil. God didn’t change the people changed! They went to whoring after the gods of their enemies rebelling against God and divine government. It is then that a good God becomes angry and chastises and brings judgment. Our attitudes toward the moral principles of divine order revealed to us in His commandments determine whether God is a God of love or a God who rewards sin and error by vindicating His moral law.
If I want to walk with a good God then we must be good by aligning with His moral standards. If you are born again and a new creature, the signature of that experience is that God the Holy Ghost has transformed you morally giving me a nature that puts me back in harmony with God’s moral standards as revealed in the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. They exist for my good and originate in His heart of love for me and my welfare. Under the law of Moses there was no divine enablement to help the natural man live joyfully with the commandments. In those 1400 years under Moses law the moral standards of God were put to man to prove that unaided by divine power his nature cannot live harmoniously with kingdom moral standards. BUT, Jesus death not only forgives us of the past sinful condition but he secured for us the divine power to live a holy life after His example. He changed our very nature through a new birth in the Spirit putting a new our new divine nature within us that is in harmony with His divine nature and the moral standards of the kingdom.
This is why John writes these words given to him by the word of prophecy for the posterity of the church; For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1 John 5:3) This word, grievous in the Greek text is βαρύς, barus meaning, cruel, unsparing, stern, severe. We who are born into the new nature that is compatible with God’s moral standard experience none of these effects. But those who have not received the spirit of Christ within resent the moral law even after they are “saved.” The proof of being born again is that I become compatible with every one of the over 1000 moral commandments of the New Testament – yes, the New Testament! I love God’s law when I am born again and that love He poured into my heart is a morally powerful love and now I am twice and delighted to align with God’s commandments than law requires. Let us read this powerful word again and let it find a place in our heart! For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:3. If God’s moral law offends you then you are not born into the Kingdom God. Don’t be alarmed but get to an altar and humble yourself and pray and week over the fact that He suffered in your place paying for your sins and then when you have emptied your soul of all guilt of sin read your Bible and find a good church where they preach the Word of God and live a holy life!
Remember what Charles Finney said about the commandments; That God’s commandments are not good because they are God’s commandments, but they are God’s commandments because they are good. That word, good, simply means that when His commandments are complied with out of a pure heart that desires to please Him that it will produce a peaceful arrangement for our good.
If we rebel against God’s moral law we are creating hardship for ourselves. Not because God steps in and makes your life hard, but because disobedience to the moral commandments creates a dysfunctional condition around you that works against us without God having a thing to do with it. We make our own lives miserable simply by trying to live against the way God has shown us to live.
To have harmony and peace in our lives is called cosmic order. It is the same cosmic principle that governs planets and atoms by the laws He endowed them with to sustain them and allowing them to roam peaceably in space. Everything God created is governed by laws to preserve the thing created. The atom and every insect and animal, every tree and herb under the heavens that lives, lives by the laws God instilled in them for the ultimate purpose of the good of man. Sun and rain – all of that order under the control of millions of cosmic laws for the good of man – everything you know in the real world by the senses, all enabled by the laws set within them and man is no exception. Everything God has created from the distant stars and galaxies in their orbits to the animal kingdom all are governed by cosmic laws of God including man. The moral law is given to the spiritual man to live harmoniously with the Lord. Then He gave us of HIS Spirit to love and live by those principles of order for our own peace and happiness.
The Ten Commandments are given to man for the same reason He installed myriads of laws in the human body – to sustain the highest possible order of things that in turn produces the highest happiness for man. When any man disregards God’s moral law, things get rough – sometimes mighty rough! For those who regard the moral commandments and respect them, find He is a God of love. Psalm 19:7-11.