Wrath of God

Wrath refers to the final judicial sentence of God on His enemies. Tribulation is what the church endures

The “wrath of God” is NOT synonymous with “tribulation,” and it is identical with the “plagues” unleashed by the three series of “seals,” “trumpets,” and “bowls of fury.” And despite the devastation of these plagues, impenitent men do not repent. “Wrath” refers to the sentence of God on His enemies.

The term “wrath” or orgé occurs six times in the book, and always in reference to God’s final judgment.

The calamities unleashed by the “seals,” “trumpets,” and "bowls of fury" are never labeled “wrath,” although “wrath” is manifested at the end of each of the sevenfold series.

Lightning over city - by Dominik QN on Unsplash
[Photo by Dominik QN on Unsplash]

For example, after the “
seventh trumpet” is sounded, the “wrath came, the time for the dead to be judged” - (Revelation 6:16-17, 11:15-19).

The effect of His “wrath” is everlasting, not temporary. Its ultimate expression is the “lake of fire, the second death” that rebellious men experience at the “Great White Throne of Judgment.” On that day, there will be no escape or reprieve.

In contrast, the righteous receive everlasting life in the city of “New Jerusalem.” What determines whether one receives “wrath” or life is how he or she responds to the “Lamb” - (Revelation 7:9-17, 22:15).

THE SIXTH SEAL


The “fifth seal” reveals the souls of martyrs “underneath the altar.” They cry for vindication against their persecutors, the “inhabitants of the earth.”

The “sixth seal” is the divine response to their plea. It unleashes the final “wrath” on the “inhabitants of the earth,” the “day of the wrath of the Lamb and of Him who sits on the Throne” - (Revelation 6:9-17).

The “sixth seal” is nothing less than the “day of the Lord,” and it is accompanied by terrestrial and celestial upheaval, and there is no escape from the “wrath” of God and the “Lamb” (“Who shall be able to stand?”).

SEVENTH TRUMPET


The sounding of the “seventh trumpet” causes the overthrow of the “kingdom of the world.” All powers hostile to the "Lamb" are defeated, the kingdom of God is consummated, and the faithful from every rank of society receive their rewards - (Revelation 11:15-19).

This final “trumpet” means the arrival of the day of the “wrath” of God - His orgé - the time to “destroy them who were destroying the earth.”

It is also when He rewards His saints. Both the righteous and the unrighteous receive their just desserts on that day. Thus, the “day of the Lord” means the vindication of the righteous and the everlasting destruction of the unrighteous.

EVERLASTING GOSPEL


  • And a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice: If anyone renders homage to the beast and his image, and receives the mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger” – (Revelation 14:6-11).

In this passage, the angel announces the time for the final judgment of God - for His “wrath.” Everlasting condemnation is declared on every man and woman who gives allegiance to the “Beast.

Every man and woman who takes the mark of the “Beast” and swears allegiance to its image will partake of the undiluted “wrath,” and His sentence is everlasting in its effects.

Condemned men will “have no rest day or night.” What the angel describes is the "lake of fire," the “second death,” and from it there is no escape - (Revelation 20:11-15).

Another angel then announces that the time has come for “Babylon” to drink of the “cup of the wine of the fury of God’s wrath.” Just as the men and women who take the "mark of the Beast" drink of this cup, so "Babylon" must drink of His “wrath” - (Revelation 14:10).

SEVENTH BOWL OF FURY


The seven “bowls of fury” are also called the “seven last plagues.” When unleashed, the “fury of God is made complete.”

The bowls are “full of the fury (thumos) of God.” “Fury” translates the Greek noun thumos, a different Greek word than the noun orgé used elsewhere for “wrath.” In the Greek text, these are the seven bowls of “fury” or thumos, not the seven bowls of wrath - (Revelation 15:1-8, 16:17-21).

The seventh and last “bowl” produces “flashes of lightning, and voices, and claps of thunder, and a great earthquake...and great hail as talents” - The same phenomena that accompany the sounding of the “seventh trumpet.”

The verbal parallels are deliberate and demonstrate that the same final event is in view - the time of God’s “wrath” unleashed on the “day of the Lord” - (Revelation 11:19).

And “every island fled, and mountains were not found.” This clause parallels the “day of the Lord” unveiled by the “sixth seal” when “every mountain and island was shaken out of its place.” Again, the same final event is in view in both passages.

Stormy Sky Photo by Cédric Frixon on Unsplash
[Photo by Cédric Frixon on Unsplash]


FINAL BATTLE

  • And he is treading the winepress of the wrath of the fury of God the Almighty” - (Revelation 19:15-16).

In chapter 19, the "rider on a white horse" arrives to judge the nations and to “tread the winepress of the wrath of God.” This is the same “winepress” seen previously when the angel announced the “everlasting gospel” - (Revelation 19:15-21).

In chapter 14, the “winepress” is “trodden outside the city,” and “trodden” translates the Greek verb pateō, the same one now applied to the “rider on a white horse” who “treads” the “winepress of the wrath of God.”

This figure does not unleash another in a series of plagues, but instead, he ushers in the final “war” between the "Lamb" and the “Beast,” and it is followed by the judgment and “wrath of God.” And this is substantiated by the fact that the “Beast” and the “False Prophet” are cast alive into the “lake of fire” at the end of the battle.

Thus, in Revelation, “wrath” does not refer to punitive and temporary judgments and plagues. It points to nothing less than the final judgment and punishment of the enemies of God.

Consistently, God’s judicial sentence issued on the “day of the Lord” is called “wrath,” not the plagues and catastrophes that precede it.

The "saints" are present before the "Lamb" on that day, but they do not “drink” from this “cup.” Instead, they are vindicated and rewarded for their faithfulness with everlasting life in “New Jerusalem.”

But all men who render homage to the “Beast” are not only excluded from life in the holy city, but they also will reap the “wrath” of God when they are judged and “cast into the lake of fire.”



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