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Wrath of the Lamb

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The only mention of wrath that is directly attributable to Jesus Christ is in Revelation 6:16-17, shown in the FACT box. This contradicts the dominant belief that only God the Father will spew out His wrath at the end of time, while the Son will only stand by and wait with open arms to receive His believers. This is not even close to the truth.

FACT



16They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?" (Revelation 6:16-17)


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What is "the wrath of the Lamb"?

Remember the joy in Heaven when it was finally revealed that there was One Who was worthy to open the seven seals on the scroll? They sang a new song:

9And they sang a new song, saying:

        "You are worthy to take the scroll
                and to open its seals,
        because you were slain,
                and with your blood you purchased for God
        persons from every tribe and language
                and people and nation.
        10You have made them to be a kingdom and
                priests to serve our God,
        and they will reign on the earth."
(Revelation 5:9-10)

Everyone seems happy that Someone is worthy to open the seals.

But, then what happened? Once The Worthy One (the Lamb, Revelation 5:6
6Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

) began breaking the seals, did things become pleasant and happy on the earth? Nope. Immediately, He began to release "their wrath" (Revelation 6:17
17"For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?"

), beginning with the coming of the antichrist (conquering rider on the white horse), followed by war, famine, and death.

Who is on the earth during this time of the sixth seal?

There is a controversy over who is dwelling on the earth at this time of the breaking of the seals. Some say that right before the rider on the white horse comes forth, there is a rapture where Christ takes His chosen ones from the earth to Heaven. Others feel that everyone is still on the earth for the period the Bible calls the Tribulation, which includes the wrath of the Lamb unleashed by the seven seals. While I personally see nothing in the Bible about a pre-Trib rapture, this discussion does not depend on that determination. At that time, whether those in Christ are still on the earth (Biblical prophecy fact) or they were raptured (not Biblical fact), any true believers present on the earth will experience the events of the seals.

Believers in the earthquake

In the Left Behind book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, what they referred to as "the wrath of the Lamb" was an earthquake that leveled pretty much everything worldwide. This earthquake was a result of the opening of the sixth seal (Revelation 6:12
12I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red,

). But, this was not only the wrath of the Lamb. The wrath was of both the Father on the throne and the Lamb (Revelation 6:16
16They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!"

). I guess they attributed it to Jesus because He was the one who broke the seal. Think about this. If you are a believer working in a tall building, like the World Trade Center towers, when it comes down, how can you expect to live through that? If the Antichrist can kill believers, as is predicted, so can a collapsing building. A worldwide earthquake will kill people, even believers.

"The Father would never allow that!", you say?

It is this event that is covered by this discussion. It seems that most of today's churches attribute the "harshness" of the laws of God to the Father and the lovingkindness, patience, and forgiving attitude to Jesus alone. Supposedly, the Lamb would never do anything harsh like send anyone to Hell or allow believers to die. However, if that is the case, then what does this passage about the sixth seal mean? Jesus claims that His whole job is to glorify the Father and stay in His will. The end times and the tribulation that comes from the Antichrist actually causes the enactment of the will of the Father, expressed in His wrath, even to the point of believers dying. He will protect those true believers who are a necessary part of His plan (144,000), but I believe that some others will die as a result of His wrath (an example of this can be seen in Ezekiel 21:1-5
1The word of the Lord came to me: 2"Son of man, set your face against Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuary. Prophesy against the land of Israel 3and say to her: 'This is what the Lord says: I am against you. I will draw my sword from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. 4Because I am going to cut off the righteous and the wicked, my sword will be unsheathed against everyone from south to north. 5Then all people will know that I the Lord have drawn my sword from its sheath; it will not return again.'

).

"But, my pastor says..."

For those of you who think the pre-Trib version of the rapture must take place because of 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.

, you should read Ezekiel 21:1-5
1The word of the Lord came to me: 2"Son of man, set your face against Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuary. Prophesy against the land of Israel 3and say to her: 'This is what the Lord says: I am against you. I will draw my sword from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. 4Because I am going to cut off the righteous and the wicked, my sword will be unsheathed against everyone from south to north. 5Then all people will know that I the Lord have drawn my sword from its sheath; it will not return again.'

again. This is a clear example of how God's wrath will affect even His own people, including the righteous, when the bulk of those who call themselves "His people" do not follow His will and His commandments. This is a preview of the fate of those Gentiles of today who think they are righteous but continue to mix paganism in with their "Christianity" and disobey Him continually. They will die in their disobedience, with no second chance. Some righteous will die right along with the wicked because of the disobedience of the wicked. However, those who die in line with the will of the Father will still gain eternal life.

...then, your pastor doesn't preach the whole Bible

The Antichrist is identified in prophecy (Daniel 7:25
25He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.

) as the one who "goes to war" with the saints (true believers, not those who merely claim to know Him) and persecutes them. This must happen as prophesied. True believers will be here for that tribulation. And, yes, the Bible itself says, "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Those believers necessary to His plan have protection and will not be harmed by the wrath of God (the 144,000).

Protection from what?

But, if you read the pertinent passages, you will see that that protection is from the four angels that have the power to harm the land and the sea until the 144,000 have received the seal of God. Then further protection is from the locusts that cause pain but do not have the power to kill. That does not mean that Gentile true believers will not die in the earthquake and the rest of tribulation (remember the multitude in white robes who died in the tribulation (Revelation 7:13-14
13Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes - who are they, and where did they come from?"

14I answered, "Sir, you know."

And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

)).

Unlike what many pastors have claimed, the 1 Thessalonians 5:9 passage could also mean that God did not appoint His believers to wrath, so if they die, they will "escape" the condemnation of His wrath through death and pass into eternal life. God's wrath is not about death in this life, but about eternal damnation of the wicked. When the masses of people (one-third of the population of the earth) die, that will certainly add to the multitude in white robes. That is, if there are any true believers among them at the time of their deaths. And, everyone who dies in their sin without true faith in Christ will be eternally damned. That is the point of God's wrath.

Our salvation will be secure, if we are still in His will

Also, that Thessalonians passage above does not mean that the Antichrist will not persecute us or kill us by his wrath, which is started by the breaking of the seals. Living saints will experience his wrath, but it will not change their victory in eternal life. In fact, the next verse, in 1 Thessalonians 5:10, says of Jesus, "He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him."

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.

together mean that we will be protected from the wrath of God if we are in His will and if we have faith in Christ and remain in the will of the Father, no matter how we die.

Revelation 9:4
4They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

is evidently referring only to those 144,000 sealed, not to all believers. Yes, true believes are sealed for eternal life, but this is not the meaning of the protection of those 144,000 that were not to be harmed. Evidently, they have a job to do and the locusts were not to interfere with them. If you read through verse 5
5They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes.

, you will see that the 144,000 were protected from the pain inflicted by the locusts, not from a threat of death by the Antichrist.

For the rest of the true believers alive at the time, if they die at the hands of the Antichrist or from the consequences of the wrath of God, they will still have the salvation of Christ. In that way, they are protected from the wrath of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.

Not everyone will have the seal of God

Again, that verse is evidently referring only to those 144,000 sealed, not to all believers. For that reason, we must stay on guard and not lean on myths and un-Biblical magical events as the basis for our hope. Stay with what the Bible actually says and you will be closer to your salvation. If those things for which many hope do not happen as people expect, and their faith is based on them, how many will lose their faith at the very time it is most important?

God's wrath is coming

While much of this discussion contains conjecture, or possibly even disputable matters, at least it follows what the word of God says, rather than create contradictions by giving false hope. We must make our concepts of what is described in the word of God match everything else that is written. God's wrath is coming. It is intended to punish those who do not obey (Colossians 3:6
6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience.
(BSB, the version that more accurately reflects the Greek, as the NIV did not)



). Based on the words of Ezekiel, God's anger sometimes does also affect the righteous. This makes the time of the end all the more terrifying. However, we are secure if we stay with God and His Son.







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