Doesn't God's wrath take place throughout the entire Tribulation or 70th Week period?


Email Received:

In the 7 seal judgments, the Lamb opens the seals and they are horrific. War, famine, economic disaster, and death to the point that in Revelation 6:15-17 (the 6th seal, before your timing of the Rapture) it states that it was so bad that men wanted the rocks to fall on them, and who could stand against the WRATH of the Lamb? This is the wrath of Jesus, the Lamb, happening before your Pre-wrath Rapture.

Doesn't the wrath of the Lamb start with Him opening the 1st seal in Revelation chapter 6 and extend throughout the Tribulation or 70th Week period? As scripture states, we are not appointed unto wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9). The seal judgments look like wrath to me, and it is the Lamb who opens the seals!


Ted’s Response:

I used to share the same view, although I no longer do. Actually, Revelation 6:17 ("For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?") is one of the verses that always puzzled me when I embraced the Pre-trib view. It always had sounded to me then, as it does now, that God's wrath will be imminent at that point, not that it already has taken place. It is not because of the events of Seals 1-5 that people will so terrified of God that they will seek to hide from Him after the opening of Seal 6.

If God's wrath had been being poured out upon the earth before that point, the people of the earth would have run and hid long before then. It is not until after the opening of the Sixth Seal, with the onset of the clear and distinct signs caused by God in the sky above (Revelation 6:12b,13), and with the appearance of God on His throne (6:16)—viewable, I believe, by everyone on earth—that people will have no doubt that God is exceedingly angry and is ready to dispense His wrath upon the earth. This wrath will not have yet occurred; it will be about to occur.

Here is an analogy. A couple plans to get married, so many preparations take place—sending out of invitations, buying the wedding dress and the tuxedo, choosing the wedding participants, decorating for the reception, etc. A friend of the couple observes everything that is going on; however, it is not until the actual wedding day, walking into the church, that he says to himself, "The day of their wedding has come." The wedding has not been taking place prior to that day; rather, all of the preparations are about to culminate in a marriage ceremony. The guest knows that he will be (not already has been) a witness of the wedding about to happen.

Similarly, once everyone observes the distinct signs in the sky, different from anything that ever has taken place in human history, and including the observation of Jesus in earth's atmosphere, they will know that the wrath of God is about to be doled out upon them. It is only then that they will run and hide in utter terror.

Something else that never made sense to me was how Jesus, being "lambish" as He is opening the seals, could at the same time be in a state of rage, dispensing His wrath upon the earth. That always seemed completely incongruous to me—and, of course, it still does, because I do not believe He will be being actively wrathful while He passively is opening the seals of the scroll (until He opens the Seventh Seal).

The events described after the openings of Seals 1-5 will be, primarily, a result of Satan's increasing intervention into world affairs, with governments fighting, changing, and collapsing relatively quickly, along with an escalating persecution and killing of Christians and Jews. With everything in such chaos, it will be very difficult or impossible to curb great famines and plagues, which will get completely out of control. During this period, I believe that God gradually will remove His protective hand from the earth, and natural disasters, such as great earthquakes, will become more and more commonplace.

Here is one more point (although I have others). Those people who will be slain and their blood shed after the opening of the 5th Seal are saved believers (who have not yet been raptured), and they will cry out to God to judge the inhabitants of the earth and to avenge their blood:

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" (Revelation 6:9,10)
They will have been slain "because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God" (20:4b). Subsequently, God will emerge from His dwelling place in heaven to punish the people of the earth, via His wrath, and it will be principally to avenge the blood of those slain upon the earth:
See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer. (Isaiah 26:21)

[He has sent me] to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.... (Isaiah 61:2)

For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion's cause. (Isaiah 34:8)

For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come. (Isaiah 63:4)

God's judgment of the earth will not already have taken place, nor even yet have begun, during the events of Seals 1-5. It will be imminent with the opening of the Sixth Seal, and it will commence after the opening of the Seventh Seal. The souls of saints, killed during the Great Tribulation, will cry out for God to avenge their blood by judging the inhabitants of the earth.

Consequently, when God hears this cry, He will respond with vengeance (which has the same root as avenge), on behalf of the saints and of Israel (which will devastated throughout the Great Tribulation period). This vengeance will take place during the subsequent "day of vengeance" or "day of His wrath" (Isaiah 34:8, 61:2, 63:4; Revelation 6:17).

This "day of vengeance" will encompass the Trumpet Judgments, which will be the initial wave of God's wrath and probably will last for a year: the seventh year of the final seven years—that is, the last "day" of the 70th Week. Then the Bowl Judgments will be the final wave of His wrath, lasting for 30 days, and culminating in the Battle of Armageddon. The "day of vengeance" will be the initial, year-long portion of the Day of the Lord period, which then will continue, throughout the Millennium, as the most glorious time on earth.


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