The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Atonement - God's Wrath upon the wicked

Actually I remembered the transmillennial guy (Kevin Beck) 's book was talked about a bit here:

The site is undergoing a reconstruction but the blog is here:

I think it’s basically hyper preterism plus universalism

I was attempting to make a (rather crude) joke about the (human) southern justice system. I don’t believe it is a reflection of how God deals with humans at all. Any animal will conform to external wills and pressures in order to obtain relief from pain or detention (if it has the intelligence to do so). Beating someone (as a prison guard would do) will not produce a new creature - only a subjected creature. The main point I would like to make is that spiritual rebirth and spiritual enlightenment is what releases humans from spiritual death and spiritual darkness (prison).

It’s too ambiguous James. It’s like shooting in the dark - praying against things God is doing. I know you must feel you have no choice as you are left in the dark as to who’s doing what and why (God/Satan/nature) but that model just doesn’t work AISI.

That’s beautiful James and I’m SO GLAD you understand that (UR). Again though, the concept of an educational purpose falls apart because in your model we’re just left wondering what the heck is going on and who’s doing it and why. The only comfort is we’ll eventually know and it will be okay in the end

Personally it is good to know that God and I are a team working through this process of going from death to life and that He is not personally po’d at me (or others), ever at all. Now, when I (or others) come up against principles and violate them (like gravity) there’s a price to pay for sure but as I pointed out to Jason that’s WAY different concept than God pouring out vials of wrath and disease and earthquakes ect.

You said “the death of Jesus was a covenantal sacrifice that appeases justice for the moral debt of humans” and before that you said “A natural disaster might or might not be a punishment from God” and here you say " In some cases, God goes out of his way to inflict an illness". My response was “If that’s right we should see a significant drop in natural disasters after the crucifixion, that is, unless the “A natural disaster might” is actually a very rare occurrence”.

You also added “In some cases, God goes out of his way to inflict an illness” so I’ll add that if that’s right there should be a significant drop in illness after the crucifixion as well. Unless the "“In some cases” means “almost never”.

Having worked around healing ministries and working with some of the most sincere Christian folks on earth for decadesI can’t say that time and chance don’t happen to all and I can’t say that God’s blessings (rain/sunshine) are withheld from evil people either. Definitely someone with strong faith reacts differently to adversity and I’m SURE (Christianity lead) clean living DOES produce better health.

I pulled that out of context because I’m seeing that it gets SO complex that it leaves us clueless as to what’s really going on. Personally I believe we are “saved, getting saved, and will be saved” from ignorance about God and His core nature (I’m pointing that statement toward all of us).

I’m a bit confused. The thread asked about “atonement.” But Jason, your first post treated “atonement” and “reconciliation” as synonyms. The passages you listed all talk about ‘katallage’ (‘reconciliation’). Did the other terms for ‘atone’ (lutrosis; ranson & redeem) and especially ‘atoning sacrifice’ in Rm. 3.25. What’s being said with these terms that isn’t said by ‘reconcile’? Do you see them as equivalent?


Hi Roofus,

I’m not sure what you’re getting at while I see more complexity to this. For example, the New Testament affirms the role of civil government including police and military (Romans 13:1-7). And Christians such as Cornelius the Centurion worked for the Roman government with no rebuke from the Jerusalem Council (Acts 10-15). Likewise, Christians may participate in a reasonable civil government that punishes convicted criminals while all Christians must let go of grudges. (This doesn’t mean that Christians could obey God while carrying out orders from Nero to persecute Christians or other similar scenarios.) And Paul said that Christians will help to judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3). And the Old Testament taught against vigilantism by insisting that all judgments of crimes must include at least two witnesses (Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15). And the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:8-14) and teaching of loving enemies (Matthew 5:43-48) in the Sermon on the Mount is in the context of emulating the perfection of the Father (Matthew 5:48). And the Father offered the Son for the forgiveness of all people (John 3:16, Romans 3:25-26). And Evangelical Universalists believe that God will eventually forgive everybody.

What I basically see in this thread is a lot of ambiguity and a belief that there is and must be some kind of wrath going on (even though no one can quite put their finger on what specifically is being done to people by God’s anger).

The OP was answered in one way but really, virtually ALL the answers are ‘could be’ and ‘maybe’ and pointing out that more knowledge = more responsibility (and therefore more punishment) etc.

So what ARE the specifics of God’s wrath? Do you think?

One does not need to know the specifics of the act of wrath in order to know that God does act to punish those whom he loves. In the same manner, what specific blessing can you say is from God and what is not? God must not bless either now?

I think Pratt, Goetz and I all answer the same when you say…
*even though no one can quite put their finger on what specifically is being done to people by God’s anger). *

What is being done is the breaking of their arrogance. It happens in modes we’re not always sure of but we can rest assured that NO ONE DESTROYS HIS OWN PRIDE and PRIDE IS ONLY DESTROYED BY BEING HUMBLED. Not all require the same action and God knows exactly how to discipline each in his own way.

If one cannot put his finger on what specifically is being done to people by God’s anger can anyone specifically put their finger on what God’s kindness is being done to people today? I’ll assume you don’t believe God blesses people either?

I can’t argue that bad events don’t sometimes serve as a ‘wake up call’ to very stubborn people. It can be a bridge to humility and can aid in bringing things into focus. As in:

As far as God ‘blessing’ people, the ONLY blessing which exists is the peace of mind which springs from living in God’s presence (agape love). All true blessings stem from this one blessing.

Once knowing this it is ‘sin’ to return to the beggarly elements (right belief/good behavior etc) in an effort to obtain God’s ‘blessings’ and avoid God’s ‘wrath’.

**To live in a state of separation from God’s conscious presence = wrath. **

This metaphorically relates to the expulsion from paradise which (along with expulsionary companions death and sheol) was the penalty (ie: punishment/wrath) for sin. Speaking for all of Adam the Son of Man prophetically says “All Your billows and Your waves (AKA:wrath) passed over me.”

 This refers to returning to God's presence.   

This refers to the alone-ness and isolation sensed outside of God’s conscious presence.

  This refers to the resulting mental anguish which all of us have experienced and many still experience to some degree because of the sense of separation (ie: lack of the knowledge of the TRUTH).

This is analogous to being trapped in an egoic, Godless mindset.

This is analogous to spiritual resurrection/new birth.

This backs up your claim aug, that built into the punishment (banishment) there is the practical wake up call :wink:

Our voice (spirit) enters the temple (God’s presence).

No comment :mrgreen:

The only sacrifice left is to thank God for what He has done.

That’s why no one here is able to differentiate what is God’s wrath and what isn’t and (generally) most Christians don’t do a great job discerning what are and are not God’s blessings either.

A resurrected new Creature in Christ does not need to be beaten into subjection. The flesh (egoic nature) always has the wrath of God abiding on ‘him’. As much as you identify yourself with a fallen spiritually dead creature - that’s your present wrath level. When you REJECT that the old man is your part of your essence then you will refuse it’s commands (which is effectively the ‘beating into submission’ Paul spoke of).

In God’s presence there is no wrath against you. If you are in Christ, the you that is in Christ has no wrath. Zero. Nada.

I’m going to have to ask for clarification. It seems that the issue has altered a bit? At first it seems Unltra Universalists hold that there is no wrath for anyone, because God has poured out his wrath for everyone already.

Are you saying firstborn as a Ultra Universalist that God does and will pour out his wrath upon those who are not new creatures (unsaved) in order to save them (break them of their arrogance)?

If not then I’m confused

If so then I think we agree on the how God is dealing with the world.

The wrath is the expulsion from paradise. So EVERYTHING we humans experience which seems to be separate from our Creator is a manifestation of wrath. We need to leave behind all the superstition and ambiguity involved with “it might be, or might not be” and “sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t” concerning God’s anger or blessing. That was fine for small children but it’s time to grow up.

Earlier in this thread someone stated that much human suffering is ‘innocent’ suffering. When I read that my thoughts immediately went to starving children and such. So then, under an orthodox paradigm there is great confusion. Shouldn’t God be blessing innocent children? Always? Of course He should! That’s when most just throw up their hands and say “Well - we’ll understand it all in the bye-n-bye” OR they turn to agnosticism or atheism.

When we realize how the system is set up then we can understand that we are simply returning to our Father from a state of expulsion. We are received with open arms with absolutely no condemnation whatsoever after we “come to ourselves”. This is a form of ultra-universalism: “God is not holding anything against anyone”. We are born into wrath (AKA: made subject to evil, separation from God, corruption etc), we are saved from wrath upon the destruction of that which holds us in a state of wrath, which is a darkened understanding which manifests as evil imaginations and alienates us in our minds. Simple as that.

I will agree with you that the tribulation and anguish caused by the sense of separation can be greatly humbling in a very practical way, but to follow all the way through with that thinking - wrath is the answer! But then, wrath is failing as it seems most STILL don’t find salvation even as the anguish and tribulation produces broken or depressed individuals (I deal with those everyday).

I don’t think anyone here that I know of would say “Wrath is the answer”. Rather I would hold (and I think many might agree) that Wrath often is what breaks us of our arrogance and it’s his kindness that leads us to repentance. However we are in a world of confusion and ambiguity, so his kindness is hard to see in scripture (they’ll be cut to pieces).

You are saying something that is not all that different from the EU position. We don’t claim to know exactly how wrath is manifested in every instance. But we do have scripture that says God even punishes his own children because that’s what a good father does in order to produce righteoussness.

Now I realize the Ultra Universalist position holds that everyone is punished in this life so everyone gets salvation when they die. I don’t mean to mis-represent the view if I just did (forgive me). But if this is right then one would have to ask why God continues to produce righteoussness in those who already are made righteouss. Similarly why do we WAIT for our salvation when we’re already saved.

As I see it, it’s PERFECTLY right to speak as the apostles did in ways which we understand God. If his Wrath is here and it is coming then I have no problem with saying “God has wrath upon the wicked” for a specific purpose of, like neb. who lost his mind to be humbled, or pharoah who lost his son, humbling the person.

So I don’t think we have much of a disagreement on this. Now if anyoen says 911 was God’s wrath on america. First I’ll have to ask for his other prophecies cause I gotz my dodtz he’s a prophet.

With all that said, I see no reason not to and every reason to say God does indeed punish the wicked because he seeks to turn them from their sin.


And it will STAY a world of confusion and ambiguity until we can see things more clearly.

I don’t deny that on one level that is what is happening. But there is an end goal in mind. I’m trying to bring us across the finish line while orthodoxy wants to keep folks stuck in the same mire of ambiguity and mystery. AISI.

I don’t study theology much so honestly I don’t know what ultra’s believe exactly. I don’t think you’re hearing the point that the consequence/punishment/wrath was applied to the entire human race in Adam and that the law of sin and death (the consequence) in done away in Jesus - through the death (baptism into Christ’s death) of the egoic self (in a way I hate to use that word as it has a ‘new agey’ spin - but it’s really just a way of saying ‘carnal mind’). The minding of the flesh is a state of death which destroys itself through death.

Perfectly logical - makes sense and I LOVE those stories. We learn from them BUT is it the story of the human race for all eternity? How will the next stage ever come about? Definitely not by clinging to yesterday’s understanding.

But do you see that NONE of this would be happening if not for the expulsion from paradise. So the wrath isn’t 911 but 911 is the result of wrath, no doubt.

Well… it’s not working too well, is it? If that’s how it worked then the law would have been fine as it was. Only the bringing in of a better hope could bring perfection (full growth/maturation). The better hope was a gift of righteousness which frees us from all wrath (once we really understand what it all means!)

The obvious is agreed. Indeed when things become more clearly for anyone, anyone will see more clearly :slight_smile:

This seems incompatible though with the fact that people still sin? I realize you want to tell them your perfect but Paul seems to have different ideas. Do I have to quote him?

The adamic story is difficult indeed. This one we’ll have to expand on a bit.

Yes, I think it is. God taking us from evil to righteouss is the exact story we all need to know and experience.

Of course FB, yes all death is a result of sin.

Fallacy alarm going off here. Jesus was not very good at turning pharisees and saducees from their positions…What ever he was preaching was not working too well. -
Simply because our message is not effective at any time in history does not mean it is not correct nore true.


When will they stop? Tell me what (or who) brings about that perfection.

Yes, and when we do it will become clear that there are only two men involved in the entire storyline.

How does God take is all the way from evilness to righteousness? “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 No longer will they have need to teach their friends and kinsmen how to know the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more”.

The Calvinists have some things very right - and one is that making a human (or humankind) righteous is a sovereign act of God.

Cataclysmic shift happens. Count on it!

I’m trying to show the context and consistency of wrath. What has been mostly displayed here are ambiguous wonder-ings and “maybes” and little is understood about wrath except that “somehow it’s love” and “somehow it’ll work out for the best in the end” and that it’s humbling and educational. We need to understand that wrath is universal, just like salvation.

You and I both know that Jesus purposely hid the message lest they should be converted and healed. That shows a time for non-restoration and non-universal salvation. That time though is not ‘forever’.

I don’t suppose you think the Sanhedrin had hard hearts do you? LOL!

We’ve been quite clear on this. You seem to deny that God punishes his sons in order to produce righteousness. If that is such a lie or OLD hat then you’ll have to explain with more than the following arguments.

  1. no one can name what God’s wrath is
  2. it’s all ambigious
  3. maybe it’s God’s wrath, maybe it’s not.

If God’s turning people from sin and bringing down their pride is so elementary and foolish to you then you’ll have to explain how it is God humbles the proud. You have yet to explain how these Ideas we hold are false or trivial.


I also said on one level some of these ideas which orthodoxy holds make perfect sense. So in one sense I’m on that page too - and I don’t want to trivialize as it is not trivial (the suffering and humbling) but on the other hand I’m trying to turn the page and show the simple foundational whys and hows behind the complex whys or hows. It’s a logical progression and and solves much of the rampant confusion in Christianity. It is spelled out in scripture that just as all were made sinners by one man all were be made righteous by one man. A big key is here: “I will dwell in them and I will walk in them and I will be their God and they shall be to Me a people”.

Yes, and when we do it will become clear that there are only two men involved in the entire storyline.

The reason we hold to the wrath of God in it’s redemptive purpose is because that is the topic which seperates traditional christians from universal salvation. They think God’s wrath has a sense of hatred upon the person. We obviously see it as redemptive. This is hard enough for them.

As for the Adamic, We’ll have to go over that someday. I’m looking very foward to that conversation, I think theres lot’s to talk about.

Bless you bud,



FB, I made it sound as if that the reason why we hold that view is to reach them but that is not what I meant. I simply meant it’s a MAJOR difference between Evangelical Universalism and Eternal Conscience torment.

Sorry if I made it sound like we hold this view to be different from Ultra Universalists and Traditional Christians.


There’s some good Adamic stuff over at

A brief note (I’ve only just now gone back to try to catch up on this and some topically related threads):

I eventually composed a word study series on all known NT uses both of {katallos-} cognates here and the use of {hilast-} cognates here. While I don’t see them as exactly equivalent, they are certainly related several ways topically.

Ditto for lutrosis (and cognates), which I haven’t posted a word-study commentary on yet. But put shortly: ransom/redemption involved someone in authority acting to free someone under their authority. While the term could be used in the sense of rescuing a dependent who has gotten into trouble (and probably functions that way sometimes in the NT, too), the main cultural analogy seems to have been the head of a family conferring inheritance privileges and family authority on someone under his authority. The one being raised from servanthood status to mature family status might be a child or a non-relative; but the non-relative metaphor doesn’t work very well for God (unless supernaturalistic theism is false!–in which case there might be persons whose existence and personhood aren’t originated and kept continually in existence by God. This is hardly the position of any NT authors, though.)

Ransoming someone would be obviously an act of at-one-ment by God in relation to the ransomed person, of course, whether or not it involved rescuing them from sin too.

I’ll let the rest of the subsequent discussion between FB and Auggy & Jim (mostly Auggy) go without further comment on my part, as I think I’ve addressed many of those issues elsewhere.