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Chapter 7 THE WRATH OF GOD Chapter 7
Justice
Begins!
 
God's justice is poured out on the throne of Satan and Antichrist. It is the culmination of all transgression, heaped up by the compounding disobedience and perversion of every century, of a world that has abused its holy Creator from the beginning. Now the time appointed has come! It is called, variously –
 
 
"the day of vengeance of our God" (Isaiah 61:2)
"the great and awesome day of the Lord" (Joel 2:31)
"retribution to those who do not know God" (2 Thessalonians1:8)
"the day of wrath" (Rom.2:5) "the wrath of the Lamb" (Revelation 6:16)
"the great day of ...wrath" (Rev.6:17) "the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty" (Rev.19:15).
 
That God's responsibility for His creation involves a moral judgment has been generally accepted throughout history. From earliest times, as in ancient Egyptian texts, this has been understood as personal judgment. The Bible however, teaches a corporate responsibility also. Each individual is affected for good or ill by various factors outside of personal control. This calls for an accountability over the processes of history, a form of corporate judgment, a judgment that can only take place therefore within history itself rather than in eternity.
 
It was out of this that Jonah's message to Nineveh was issued. It predicted a judgment which by its nature is unjust to the innocent:
 
  "more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?" Jonah 4:11.
And God made plain to him (as Jonah had feared) that the prophecy of doom itself was an act of kindness to help precipitate a positive response, so as to give God moral ground to defer this judgment on the capital of a cruel empire for the sake of its innocent (4:1,2,11). This happened, as the last chapter makes happily plain.
 
In the book of Revelation there is repeated reference to the fact that the process of God's final judgment on this world does not produce any moral change in its inhabitants (Revelation 9:20,21; 16:9,11). Moral opportunity has now run its course. All those who would have responded to the gospel have already done so. All that remains now is a hardening of attitudes in the rest of the world, a frightening justification of judgment. God's witness brings no conversions in this time, it produces only greater persecutions toward His people.
 
Symbolically speaking:  
 
"they poured out the blood of saints and prophets,
and Thou hast given them blood to drink. They deserve it."
Revelation 16:6.
Therefore, God...  
 
"He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury"
Psalm 2:4-5.
After the Seventh Seal has been broken and the Scroll is now ready to be opened, an angel symbolically shows that the time has now come to answer the prayers of God's people with divine judgment upon the earth (Rev.8:3-5). This is the answer to the petition of the Fifth Seal. The opening of the Scroll of Christ's inheritance (the Kingdom) now produces the horrific judgments that follow in this book. The process of God's wrath has begun!
 
This is not a mindless judgment. It is a reaping what was humanity has sown. It is also the purposeful destruction of entrenched evil, in society, civilisation, and its environment. It is a destruction of every remnant of physical, social, psychological, and spiritual corruption, to make way for the direct and full rule of God from within human society - out of a Jerusalem renewed. Isaiah prophesied –
 
 
"So it will happen in that day,
that the Lord will punish the Host of Heaven, on High,
and the kings of the earth, on earth.
And they will be gathered together like prisoners in the dungeon, 
and will be confined in prison;
and after many days they will be punished.
Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed,
for the Lord of Hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and His glory will be before His elders."
Isaiah 24:21-23.
The book of Revelation makes strong use of the Ten Plagues on Egypt as a symbol of end-time judgment (Bowl-plagues and the Two Witnesses' judgment). Now remember, Israel was in Egypt during these plagues, and was affected by the first three. But they were protected by God's mercy, by mercy alone, from the rest: the mercy that belongs to the obedient, which is the whole Church in this end-time.
 
In stark contrast to the celebratory Supper of the Lamb with His Bride, God's judgment is portrayed as a horrific meal for the birds. This "great supper of God" makes a final end of all rebellion against His rule!
 
 
"And I saw an angel standing in the sun;
and he cried out with a loud voice,
saying to all the birds which fly in mid-heaven,
'Come, assemble for the great Supper of God;
in order that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders
and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of ...small and great"
Revelation 19:17,18.
2 Thess.1:3-10 – makes it plain that this retribution on the persecutors of His people is only when He comes to give His people their rest (see Fifth Seal of the Revelation):
 
  "when ...He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day" 2 Thessalonians 1:7,10.

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