QB41 The Wrath of God

We’ve reached an important milestone in our studies which all centre around the Day of the Lord. There are numerous things which will all happen on that day, the subject of which could fill many books, so my challenge is to present as best I can the nuggets of truth found in scripture to help piece together the end-time puzzle from a Bridal perspective in this Quick Bite format.

Last time I asked the question, if the Elect are gathered immediately after the great tribulation, how is it they escape the wrath of God? As incredible as it may seem, is it possible the wrath of God begins on the Day of the Lord when the Elect are Gathered and not before? That during the tribulation of the Elect, which will last 1260 days, the wrath of God has not yet been unleashed. I realise this may be a bit of a wrecking ball to many currently held opinions, but it highlights the importance to tenaciously separate our own thoughts from what scripture actually says. At any point it’s so easy to allow our preconceptions to taint and blemish the Biblical narrative. So let’s look to see what the scripture does say, and perhaps even more importantly what it doesn’t say.

Here’s what Zephaniah says about the day of the Lord. Zep 1:14-15 NKJV – 14 The great day of the LORD [is] near; [It is] near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out. 15 That day [is] a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness,

From this passage and many others, the Day of the Lord is associated with wrath. We know from Rev 6:12 that this day begins on the opening of the sixth seal when everyone tries to hide Rev 6:17 “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” And furthermore, we’ve established that the Day of the Lord is when the Elect are gathered, and in Quick Bite 36 to 38 I’ve explained the Elect as the chosen Bride, the One New Man. So the difficulty we have is trying to reconcile if the Elect are not gathered until after the tribulation, how is it they escape God’s wrath because surely the tribulation is a demonstration, an outpouring of God’s wrath. Where do we place the sequences of the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven bowls on the eschatological timeline? If these sequences relate to God’s wrath it creates a conundrum, because as Paul writes in 1 Thess 5:9 “God has not appointed us to wrath”. There’s a real dilemma here. That’s one reason why the pre-trib view arose; to be able to answer the question, ‘how can the Elect go through the tribulation and not be appointed unto wrath?’ Its answer was to separate the church from Israel. 

To resolve this issue, we need to be precise about how the Bible connects wrath with the sequence of seals, trumpets and bowls. This is a crucial point in the discussion, because the supposition is that the seals, trumpets and bowls are about the wrath of God. So let’s check that supposition to make sure it’s correct before we go any further. In the New Testament there are two Greek words used for ‘wrath’. The first is the word ‘orge’ (ar-gay) and means ‘anger, vengeance, indignation, and punishment’. The second is the word ‘thymos’ (thoo-maas) and means ‘passion, heat, boiling up anger soon subsiding’, there are derivatives, but these are the two root words for ‘wrath’.  Interestingly, by the simple use of a good concordance, you’ll find the first mention of either ‘orge’ (ar-gay) or ‘thymos’ (thoo-maas) wrath in the book of Revelation is not found until Rev 6:16,17 16 and [they] said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath (orge) of the Lamb! 17 “For the great day of His wrath (orge) has come, and who is able to stand?”. Then the second occurrence of either ‘orge’ (ar-gay) or ‘thymos’ (thoo-maas) wrath is found after the blowing of the seventh trumpet in Rev 11:18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”

Remember, we’re leaving out our preconceptions of what we think the God’s wrath is, and simply letting the scriptures speak to us. By doing that, neither ‘orge’ (ar-gay) or ‘thymos’ (thoo-maas) wrath appear in Revelation until the sixth seal which we already know is the Day of the Lord after the tribulation of the Elect, but now we also see the trumpet sequence isn’t connected with ‘wrath’ either until the seventh trumpet in Rev 11:18 says ‘The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come’. Regarding the sixth seal I believe it’s clear the wrath of God had not come until this point, because otherwise, why hadn’t everyone tried to hide before, there is a direct cause and effect here, the wrath of the Lamb has come and therefore everyone is terrified and try to escape. Regarding the seventh trumpet, the timing of wrath could be seen as earlier, as some translations put it “your wrath came”, and therefore the text on its own is ambiguous. But when going to the original ancient Greek construction and verb tense of ‘your wrath has come’, found in both the seventh trumpet and the sixth seal, we find an exact match. In other words just as with the sixth seal the wrath of God had only come at that point, so also the seventh trumpet marks the coming of God’s wrath. Now in no way do I mean to lessen the dreadful and horrific things that will take place during the seals and trumpets, that’s not my point. The issue is being really careful to understand the application of God’s wrath in the context of the tribulation, and keep clearly within the Biblical narrative. We’ll carry on with this next time.