THE WRATH OF GOD
THE WRATH OF GOD
Extracts and comments from Revelation Chapters 8, 11, 14 & 15
Note: As mentioned in earlier Chapters some teachers are of the opinion that the following refers to Israel only, and that "Earth" refers to the land of Israel only. At the present time we do not hold that view, as there are two major happenings in Revelation, the wrath of God on the Nations, and "Jacob's Trouble" on Israel.
8:1 And when He opened the (a)7th seal, there came to be (b)silence in the Heaven about half an hour.
(a) The first 6 seals were opened in quick succession with brief descriptions. The descriptions fit what our Lord said to His disciples in Matt. 24, and parallel passages. In V.8 of Matt. 24 the Lord shows that the various calamities must happen as a prelude, and in V.9 that worldwide Jewry would be persecuted. This of course has happened many times, but never so badly as the second world war of 1939-1945, which was an accelerating impetus (together with the 1st world war); towards the "Final Solution", as proposed by Hitler to exterminate all Jews, which had he won would have been a worldwide effort. As it is, he killed more than 6 million in Europe. There is however worse to come. In Chp. 6:4, "the peace is taken from the Earth", which in the case of Israel had been established by agreement with the State of Israel and the Antichrist previously, (Dan. 9:27); but in the case of other Nations, will also probably be with the help of Antichrist. The world's Christendom leaders have been, and are, teaching that it is the Christian's duty to work for peace in the world so that the world will be a fitting place for Christ's return, (this is known as the Ecumenical Movement),(Ecumenical (The) Movement and the Bible:). This of course ignores what Scripture says will be the case, but this teaching will make Antichrist totally acceptable to the gullible, as he agrees with, endorses, and enables such teaching.
Since the mid. A.D. 1800s knowledge has accelerated, technology increased, with the consequent huge expansion of war, travel, communication etc., (Dan. 12:4). This expansion coincided with an event in 1858 of the publication of Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species", which led to conflict between theologians and scientists, called "The Great Debate". In the event the scientists won that debate, and the power (albeit corrupted) of the Church declined. Although there have been attempts to renew Bible teaching through various groupings, the influences of alternative activities and interests holds sway in the present day, and what Bible teaching there is, is corrupted in the main. The exhortations of the Apostle Paul "to know and work at Scripture", (paraphrased), in the present time is not accepted. Rather, the case is that of 2Tim. 3:1, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come". These verses from 1 to 5 certainly describe very accurately the present day developing conditions on Earth.
The foregoing is laid out in support of the timing possibility of a special event which must yet take place. Since the Lord's death on the Calvary cross, and at the moment in time that He gave up voluntarily His spirit of life to the Father (Matt. 27:50) and the Veil of the Temple was rent from top to bottom, a special condition has prevailed on Earth. The ripping of the Veil, which barred the way into the Holy of Holies in the Jewish Temple, signified that access to the presence of Jehovah was no longer barred, and that Christ's death as substitute sacrifice was acceptable to the Father for men and women of right heart (good will). This means (and the condition is still in place) that as the Apostle Paul and others describe, "faith (trust) in Christ's sacrifice and in Him only is all that is required for Salvation (Acts 4:12) (to be made whole before God)," (paraphrased). As well as this gift of Salvation, this grouping of people have a special destination and purpose, which will start with a special event, called the "Translation", or "Rapture", (1Cor. 15:51). This taking away from Earth has to take place prior to the "Wrath of God on Earth, in our view, and may well be simultaneous with the saving from destruction of the remnant of Israel". (See Chapter 3:11(b) (1Thess. 1:10) & (1Thess. 5:9). (This Tribulation of God on rebellious mankind, is probably partly simultaneous with the wrath which will be the worst tribulation visited on the Jews by the "Prince of this world", that has yet ever taken place, (Matt. 24:21-22).
(b) The "silence"; in Heaven, augers a prelude, an anticipation, prior to special and/ or main events. The fact that half an hour is mentioned must have a meaning. The Interlinear no.2256 confirms the text. Part of the root 2255 gives the idea of "partition", with the possible idea of a time space before the next and culminating events of the Wrath of Jehovah God! An idea on the timing, when considering 2Peter 3:8 could be 1000 divided by 48 = 20 years approx., or literally approx. half an hour. The descriptions of what are released in the following verses and Chapters are indeed terrible. The release of the 7th seal is also the last one for the Lamb of God. The Lamb is also Christ Jesus, and when He has released the 7th seal, He is free to continue the plan of Jehovah God. It is determined in the plan of God that Christ will descend from the right hand of the Father, "when His enemies are made His footstool", (paraphrased), (Matt. 22:44), (Mk. 12:36), (Lk. 20:43), (Acts 2:35), (Heb. 1:13), (Heb. 10:13) & (Psm. 110:1). The timing of the Rapture of Christians (1Cor. 15:51), (Christ's Body) has been the subject of much debate and speculation. Some say prior to the "70th week" of Daniel's prophecy, others at the same time as the saving of the "remnant", of Jews, and many other ideas abound. However, one overriding comment repeatedly seems to give the main clue, (Rom. 5:9) which speak of exclusion from "wrath", in fact wrath is reserved for those that "hold down", or suppress the Truth (Rom. 1:18). The most convincing and probably conclusive is 1Thess. 1:10 and 5:9, which shows not only exclusion from wrath, but also uses the word "rescued", from the wrath to come. As Christ in verse one has just been released from His seal releasing duties, and as the 7th seal (the last) is also the one that releases the wrath of God on rebellious humans, the "silence", or pause is opportune for Him to collect His Body, (1Thess. 4:13-17) and (1Cor. 15:51,52), which is one of the main views.
After that wondrous event, whatever its timing, there is time alone for the Body (True Church) with the Lord, which is a refining and reward time for individual Christians, who are now in a different body or state (Rom. 14:10), (1Cor. 3:10-15) & (2Cor. 5:10), but we are then with the Lord for ever (ALWAYS) (1Thess. 4:17). The "ALWAYS", here in the Greek, has the flavour of not just time but also at His side, (or in His presence).
The Lord must then arrive on Earth the second time (called the 2nd Advent), to rescue the remnant of His people Israel, (in their flesh), to subdue and defeat by force the Nations ranged against them, to Judge the Nations, and to set up and preside in the Millennial reign. As we are told by Paul that we (true Christ-ones) are "ever", with the Lord, it is the opinion of some teachers that we arrive on Earth with Christ (1Thess. 3:1) & (Jude 14).
11:17 Saying, We give thanks, Lord God the Almighty, which art, and wast; because thou hast (a)taken to thee Thy great power, and hast reigned.
11:18 And the Nations have been full of wrath, (b)now your wrath is come, and the time of the (c)dead to be judged, and to give the (d)recompense to Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to those that fear Thy name, small and great; and to (e)destroy those that destroy the Earth".
(a) Taken Thy great power to reign; this power has only been withheld because of timing on the main events, which progress toward the completion of the "mystery of God", (Rev. 10:7). (See notes, Rev. 5:13(b)).
(b) "Now your wrath is come"; this is the wrath of God against all evil force on Earth in human, demonic and Antichrist forms. It will vanquish all forms of anti-God and anti-Christ forces in whatever form. It has been long withheld to allow all events and methods of Satan to reach the maximum permissible within the scope of the Ages. Its ending, with the Almighty's contending Wrath against the Nations, coincides with the rescue of the remnant of Israel (Isa. 1), which redeems His promise that Israel will never cease to be a people on the Earth (Gen. 12:2), (Gen. 15:18), (Ex. 6:4-8), (Deut. 11:21), (Deut. 32:9), (Deut. 32:43), (Psm. 105), (Isa. 66:22) & (Jer. 31:35-37).
There are many commentators that say this "wrath" is aimed at Israel! When one takes into account Isa. 13, (which is related directly to Revelation in prophecy), and particularly verse 11," the world" is mentioned specifically! Also, verse 4 and 13 state "the Lord of Hosts", correctly translated "Jehovah Zebaoth", (God of all the World, and its peoples!), not just the God of Israel!
(c) "Dead to be Judged"; does this statement refer to all the dead who have ever lived? Almost certainly not. The culmination described above relates to timing linked to Israel and the Nations (Gentiles). The judgement is certainly that of the dead Jews (Ezk. 37), who have been resurrected (Dan. 12:2) & (Dan. 12:13), and probably the raising of "the just", (Luke 14:14), which probably includes Jew and Gentile, and would seem to accord with Rev. 20:4-6. This resurrection is the one to hope for by people not of the Body of Christ, as the blessings in Millennial are great, and the second death "has no power over them", (Rev. 20:6).
(d) "Recompense"; this word has the flavour of "reward", which is the word used by the Interlinear. Recompense has also "compensation", in its meaning. Those listed, the "prophets", "the saints", "those that fear (revere) Thy name, small and great", covers many peoples and the categories are known in truth only by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
(e) "Destroy those that destroy the Earth"; this, and many other hard and firm statements in Scripture are not easily accepted by Christendom in this time, because of the many false teachings around the world propagating the "gentle Jesus", myth. There is no doubt that our Lord is the most gentle Saviour, but Christ (The Anointed of Jehovah), has to deal with the evil of which most people are unaware, and in the timing of Jehovah (Rev. 6), that dealing leading to the ultimate conquering of Satan is underway. In that context, Satan expected the victory when Christ died on the accursed tree, but instead Christ gained victory over death, and became the first fruit of propitiation (the saved) to the Father, (Jehovah God). In this knowledge, Satan, who knows The Word, laid plans, and has the freedom to attempt to eliminate Israel. If this attempt succeeds he has the victory. Satan's strategy is:-
1) To obtain the knowledge of creation (Jer. 31:35-37), (this has been sought avidly by science since approx. AD 1850).
2) To destroy the Earth by degradation of all means. (This has accelerated since the start of the Industrial revolution).
3) To destroy Israel. (This has increased in intensity since the 2nd. world war).
4) To destroy faith in God/ Christ. (Satan has permit to do his best/worst, to kill or prevent belief, faith, or love in Christ)!
All of these are in progress at present, and in V.18 all the destroying agencies, people, demons and methods are destroyed, (Zech. 13:2). This must take place, together with Satan's binding, prior to the regeneration of the Earth by Jehovah Zebaoth, and the 1000 year reign of Jehovah / Christ.
14:19 And the angel thrust in his sickle to the Earth, and gathered the vine of the Earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the (a)wrath of God.
14:20 (b)And the winepress was trodden without the city, and the (c)blood came out of the winepress, even unto the (d)horses bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
(a) “The Wrath of God”, this is what Christ-ones, and the remnant of Israel are not destined for. (See earlier notes).
(b) “Trodden without the city”; “the city” being Jerusalem. Isa. Rev.16:16, Armageddon, or (mount of Meggido). (See Isa. 10:28-34 and others).
(c) This is not wine, but the blood of the above mentioned.
(d) The English translation “furlong” is in the Greek, “STADIA”, from stadium or race course (Str. 4712) equals approx. 202 English yards. Therefore; = approx. 144 English miles. The horses bridle is 4½ – 5½ feet high. So with an average of 5 feet; multiplied by 144 miles, there is much loss of life, as is to be expected by the descriptions given!
15:1 And I saw another sign in Heaven, great and marvelous, (a)seven angels having the (b)seven last plagues; (c)for (because) in them is filled up the wrath of God.
(a) “Seven”; the perfect number spiritually. The hall-mark of the Holy Spirit’s work. He is the author of God’s Word. He is the Author and Giver of life, (Comp. App. 10).
(b) “Seven last plagues”. (See 9:20). Seven again! Which occurs 54 times in Revelation. (Comp. App. 197).
(c) Dr. Bullinger comments; "this is the completion of the (covenant of marvels)", which Jehovah made with Israel in Exodus 34:10. The word "for" or because, gives the meaning last, or completion.
15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of (a)glass mingled with fire: and (b)them that had gotten the victory over the beast, over his image, (c)#and over his mark,# and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the (d)harps of God.
(a) (See 4:6) & (see Ezk. 10). This time however fire is also mentioned. This may be an ominous sign for Earth’s inhabitants, who are about to experience the wrath of Jehovah Zebaoth! (See 14:18).
(b) “Victory over the beast"; see earlier Chapters and “Overcomers”.
(c) #“And over his mark”;# this statement is not included in the best of the translations. The Church of England have translated it “and over his mark”, which assumes they have been marked! The inference is erroneous, misleading, and contradictory to The Word, i.e. Rev. 14:11. The correct inference is given by Interlinear, J.N. Darby, R.V.S., Moffat (Kiddle), Dr. Bullinger (Rev. Comp.) to name a few, who did not have Church/ state dogma to satisfy! The Authorised translators in A.D. 1611, may not have understood that their rendering showed their lack of understanding of Revelation. However, that lack of sincere effort to seek to understand prevails today!
(d) “Harps of God”; much ridiculed by mankind in the media! The “harps” are clearly unique and can produce the sound acceptable to God, with the “song of Moses”!
15:5 (a)And after that I looked and the Temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in Heaven was opened:
15:6 (b)And the seven angels came out of the Temple having the seven plagues, clothed with precious stones pure and bright, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.
15:7 (c)And one of the four Zoa gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, Who liveth for ever and ever.
15:8 (d)And the Temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and (e)no man was able to enter into the Temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
(a) This place clearly of special importance, and its contents “tabernacle of the testimony”. The “testimony”, (Str. No.3142, derived from 3144 Greek MARTUS which renders, “martyr”, “witness”, “record”. The Greek (3144) MARTURION, renders “something evidential”, “evidence”, “to be testified”, “testimony”, “witness”. All of this is easily seen as the record of martyred men and women of God through the Ages, whose testimony and evidence, together with that of the ultimate martyr, Christ Jesus, (see Matt. 21:33-34), triggers the seven last plagues of the Wrath of God on rebellious human kind!
(b) These the same angels as 15:1, 16:1 and 17:1. They already have the last seven plagues, but that is about to be augmented with the “wrath of God” (next verse). "The precious stones", is from the Ancient texts, and is consistent with the description of angel adornment in God's Word, (see Dan. 10:6 & Ezek. 28:13).
The adornment in Heavenly angelic terms, undoubtedly has special meaning in the service of the Almighty. The C. of E. translators again in error, they translate "clothed in pure and white linen", which gives the impression of connection to the "multitude" of Chp.7:9. The golden girdles speaks of Divine strength and purity, as do the vials (bowls) in the next verse.
(c) The Zoa (translated beast by C. of E. Authorised A.D. 1611), the text does not say which one.
(d) The imagery of this section indicated the intense event for Almighty Jehovah Zebaoth! The fact that it lasts until the seven plagues are fulfilled has an intensity and depth impossible for man to understand or fathom. The long suffering of Almighty God towards His creatures is unimaginable!
The word translated “power”, (Greek DUNAMIS), Str. No. 1411 translated; “force”, “miraculous ability”, "mighty worker of miracles", “power”, “strength”, "violence"!!
(e) The words “any man”, should be translated “no one”, (Int. Str. No. 3762) and translates, “not even one”, (man woman or thing), “none, nobody, nothing”, etc.
The fact that The Almighty remains alone, and that the Temple in Heaven is so affected can only give us a clue as to the emotions of Jehovah Zebaoth!
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