God’s Wrath Versus Satan’s Wrath—What’s the Difference?
January 25, 2024 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

In the book of Revelation, Jesus tells us the following:

Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time (12:12 NKJV, emphasis mine).

The Bible also speaks in many places of God’s wrath (Romans 1:18). This raises a variety of questions:

  • Is there a difference between Satan’s wrath and God’s wrath?
  • Do we understand wrath to be the same functionally regardless of who the agent of that wrath is?
  • Do we see God and Satan acting in similar ways, using similar powers, and causing similar outcomes?
  • Do we differentiate God’s wrath and Satan’s wrath only by motive—for instance, saying that God acts in justice whereas Satan acts in selfishness, but they both use power to inflict harm?

There is certainly one similarity, and that is the result when people are not shielded, protected, or delivered from either Satan’s or God’s wrath. The result of experiencing the full wrath of either being is bad, not good.

But does the result of experiencing unrestrained wrath from either God or Satan mean that Satan’s wrath and God’s wrath are manifestations of the same power, methods, and actions? Absolutely not! In fact, the wrath of God and that of Satan are exact opposites. God’s wrath functions exactly the opposite of how Satan’s wrath functions, and we can only understand this if we understand reality, which is to understand God’s design law.

A Creature’s Wrath

If we view the world through Satan’s system of government, that of a creature who cannot create reality so, instead, makes up rules that are enforced through external punishments, then we understand wrath to be the use of power to punish—to inflict harm upon those whom one is wrathful toward. This is Satan’s wrath, and it comes out as a result of satanic power.

Throughout human history, God has been shielding us from Satan’s wrath, his evil use of power. God has been holding back the four winds of strife (Revelation 7:1); He has been warring against Satan and the principalities of darkness (Revelation 12:7; Colossians 2:15); and He has been sending angel armies to shield us (2 Kings 6:17–20). We see this happening all throughout Scripture.

Satan’s wrath is the use of power to cause harm!

But God’s wrath is the opposite—it is when He stops using power to protect us. God is the Creator, the builder of reality whose laws are the template of health and life. Breaking His laws directly causes us harm, and God, in harmony with His character of love, must expend His power, His energy, His resources, to hold at bay the harm that results from breaking His design-laws and to impart the healing solution. While Satan uses power to injure, God uses power to heal, restore, recreate, renew, and rebuild.

God’s wrath occurs when He respects the choices of rebellious people and gives them what they have insisted upon—freedom from Him, His design laws for life, and His merciful healing power and presence.

So, while it is true that both God’s wrath and Satan’s wrath result in harm to us, only Satan’s wrath is the active use of energy and power to inflict harm, while God’s wrath is the cessation of the use of power that has been preventing the harm.

This is exactly what Paul describes in Romans:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse (1:18–20 NIV84).

Paul then goes on to explicitly state three times and describe with outcome-based evidence that God’s wrath is letting people go to reap what they have chosen when they break away from His protective care. In verses 24, 26, and 28, Paul says that God gave them up, or let them go, or handed them over to what they insisted upon—and the only outcome from breaking away from the Creator and Sustainer of life and health is ruin and death.

The scholarly commentary Hard Sayings of the Bible, published by Intervarsity Press, explains these verses beautifully:

In some sense, God’s wrath is built into the very structure of created reality. In rejecting God’s structure and establishing our own, in violating God’s intention for the creation and substituting our own intentions, we cause or own disintegration.

The human condition, which Paul describes in Romans 1:18–32, is not something caused by God. The phrase “revealed from heaven” (where “heaven” is a typical Jewish substitute word for “God”) does not depict some kind of divine intervention, but rather the inevitability of human debasement which results when God’s will, built into the created order, is violated. Since the created order has its origin in God, Paul can say that the wrath of God is now (constantly) being revealed “from heaven.” It is revealed in the fact that the rejection of God’s truth (Rom 1:18–20), that is, the truth about God’s nature and will, leads to futile thinking (Rom 1:21–22), idolatry (Rom 1:23), perversion of God-intended sexuality (Rom 1:24–27) and relational-moral brokenness (Rom 1:28–32).

The expression “God gave them over” (or “handed them over”), which appears three times in this passage (Rom 1:24, 26, 28), supports the idea that the sinful perversion of human existence, though resulting from human decisions, is to be understood ultimately as God’s punishment which we, in freedom, bring upon ourselves.

In light of these reflections, the common notion that God punishes or blesses in direct proportion to our sinful or good deeds cannot be maintained. … God loves us with an everlasting love. But the rejection of that love separates us from its life-giving power. The result is disintegration and death (p. 543).

God is the God of reality—and His wrath is the exact opposite of Satan’s; yet, sadly, billions believe that God’s wrath is functionally no different than Satan’s. Billions have been led to believe that God’s wrath is when He uses His power to inflict pain, suffering, and torture upon His children. This is a lie! And this lie is the fruit, the unavoidable result, of believing another lie—that God’s law functions like human law; that is, imposed rules. If one believes that any part of God’s law is like human law, made up rules, then one always believes that God must use power to inflict punishment for rule-breaking, for if there is no punishment in this artificial system, then there is no “justice.”

But God is calling people to reject this lie, to stop teaching others that He functions like a creature, and to return to worshiping Him as Creator—the One who speaks reality into existence and whose laws are design laws that all reality operates upon.

This is the message for this time in history. It is the final message that is to go to the world. If you haven’t read our magazine The Final Message of Mercy to the World: The Three Angels, I encourage you to do so. It details exactly what the eternal gospel is, differentiates the four judgments, describes God’s wrath, and places it all in actual reality, the setting of God’s design-law truths.

If we worship a creature instead of the Creator, which we do when we accept the lie that God’s law functions like human law, then via the law of worship, we become like that false god and mark ourselves beastly. If we refuse to leave the imperial-law systems of this world, represented by Babylon with its confused, satanic legal system, then we experience God’s wrath, which is Him setting us free to experience what we are insisting upon. And when God stops protecting, the result is a terrible, awful outcome that He doesn’t want anyone to experience. This is why God is giving this message—to call His people out of the fallen penal/legal Babylonian system of religion and back to worshiping Him as Creator!

What a message we have—the beautiful truth of God’s character, methods, principles, and design laws of love, truth, and freedom! When we understand these truths, we understand that God’s wrath is the exact opposite of Satan’s wrath and that pain, suffering, and death do not come out from God but from breaking away from the One who is the source of life and health.

I invite you to reject the penal/legal fraud, return to Creator worship, and share this end-time message with others!

If you are struggling with Bible stories in which God uses power that appear to be harmful—such as Sodom, the plagues of Egypt, the Flood etc., I encourage you to read our blogs The Flood and Questions of Whether God Kills Part 1 and Part 2.

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.
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