The Day Of His Wrath
Because God is long suffering, He gives men time to repent. ” The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men court slackness, but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” ( 2Pet.3:9).
God is a person, and has emotions. Wrath is one of God’s emotions. But because God is patient and longsuffering, He waits, and holds back His judgment. But He cannot wait for eternity. Time is coming when His patience and long suffering will run out, then His wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness shall be revealed. ” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” ( Rom.1:18). Ungodliness means wrong thoughts towards God, and unrighteousness is wrong acts towards God. When men think wrongly of God, they also act wrongly towards Him; for its is the wrong mental attitude of men about God that leads them to wrong acts towards Him. God’s wrath is His expression of hatred and abhorrence of ungodliness and unrighteousness.
God’s wrath towards ungodliness and unrighteousness is evident and revealed from time to time, but time cometh when God shall summarily deal with man’s intransigence. This is what is called the final wrath of God. This time period, in eschatological terms, is referred to as The Day Of The Lord. WHEN THIS TIME ARRIVES, God’s longsuffering would have run its full course. God’s wrath will no long be held back, but rather will be fully manifested in His judgment of the impenitent and godless earth-dwellers who worship the image of their fellow man as God.
That there is a time when God’s wrath will be poured out upon the living wicked earth-dwellers is not arguable at all, but generally accepted by biblical scholars of prophecy across the board. What is controvertible, what is debated amongst scholars of Bible prophecy is the timing of the manifestation of the wrath of God. Pretribulationists start it at the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel. Midtribulationists start at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel. Posttribulationists start it at or near the end of the 70th week of Daniel. It should not be a controversial issue though; for the Scriptures are pretty clear, concise and precise as the commencement of the wrath of God. It is stated unambiguously that the wrath of God will begin after the breaking of the sixth seal of Rev.6, and not before ( Rev.6:12-14). It therefore follows that locating the timing of the breaking of the sixth seal in the eschatological timeline will enable us to locate the start of the wrath of God.
The revelator, John the Apostle tells us that immediately following the breaking of the sixth seal, ” And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in then dens and the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the Great Day Of His Wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” ( Rev.6:15-17).
Today the atheists tell us there is no God, and the humanistic evolutionists tell us man was not created. But with the cosmic disturbances associated with the breaking of the sixth seal, God will serve notice to all men that He is, that is He is the sovereign Lord of the heaven and the earth, and that He is about to punish all men for their evils. Then shall men of all stations in life, those who have done evil, all the wicked dwellers of the earth, the kings, the great men, the rich men, the chief captains, the mighty men, every bond man, and every free man, shall flee to the caves of the rocks and the mountains for protection. This will be the end of all arguments about the existence of God. At that time all the tons of books on evolution, as well as the idols of gold, silver, , precious stones, and wood that men have made for themselves, shall be consigned to the refuse dump, as they flee for cover and protection from the wrath of Him that sitteth upon the Throne of the Universe, and from the wrath of the Lamb. ” For the Great Day Of His Wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” ( Rev.6:17).
The clear teaching of the Scriptures is that God’s wrath is about to begin following the breaking of the sixth seal in anticipation of the breaking of the seventh seal. The historic Pretribulation position is that The Day Of The Lord starts at the beginning of the 70th Week of Daniel. If it starts at the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel, how can it be associated with the breaking of the sixth seal and its attendant cosmic disturbances? To try to negate this problem, some Bible teachers of the Pretribulation persuasion argue that the phrase ” For the day of His wrath is come ” is in the aorist tense, and as such should be made retroactive to include the events of the first five preceding seals which have already occurred. In other words, the phrase, “His wrath is come” covers the events of substantially more than three and one-half years beginning from the start of the 70th week of Daniel, including all the events of the week that have transpired up to that point in time. In other words, the events of the previous six seals are “grandfather clause” in the statement, ” the great day of His wrath is come.”
Admittedly, the verb is come is in the aorist tense, but such exegesis and hermeneutics are strained and biblically unjustified and inaccurate. Does the fact the verb is come is in the aorist tense, make it retroactive to include the events of the entire 70th week?
The Abused Aorist
Let us now examine the aorist tense in the Greek language. It is often thought to refer to a once-and-for-all past action. But that is not always the case. According to John Sproule, if the verb is taken as a constative, then it speaks of a past action and includes the preceding seals. If it is a dramatic aorist, the tense of the verb is indicisive. In other word, it can refer to a past action or an event still future. According Paul Feinberg, in his interaction with Robert Gundry on the rapture question, ” the verb wrath in Rev.6:17 can be an ingressive aorist expressing a condition ‘just entered’ or a dramatic aorist which functions like a future tense- that the wrath is about to begin.”
D. A. Carson, commenting on the aorist tense in his book Grammatical Fallacies, wrote,
” More than a decade ago, Frank Stagg wrote an article about ‘ The Abused Aorist.’ The problem as he saw it was that competent scholars were deducing from the presence of an aorist verb that the action in question was ” once for all” or ” completed.” The problem arises in part because the aorist is often described as the punctiliar tense. Careful grammarians, of course, understand and explain that this does not mean the aorist could be used only for point actions. The aorist, after all, is well-named: it is a-orist ( that is , without a place, undefined). It simply refers to an action itself without specifying whether the action is unique, repeated, ingressive, instantaneous, past, or accomplished.”
What these scholars are trying to say is that the aorist tense can be used to describe either a past action or an event that is about to occur. Gary Cohen, a Greek scholar and a staunch pretribulationist, commenting on a parallel passage in the Scroll of Revelation wrote,
” The announcement……. ” for the marriage of the Lamb is come” ( Rev.19:7), is made after the Great Harlot is said to have been judged, and shows that the marriage is now imminent. The fact that the verb translated ‘is come’ is in the aorist tense cannot be allowed to push the marriage itself into the past. The expression elthen ho gamos…, ” the marriage….is come” ( v.7) is parallel to elthen he hora, ” the hour is come” ( Mark 14:41). This latter saying is made by Christ speaking at Gethsemane of His impending future crucifixion. Thus the aorist tense of the verb erchomai, lit. ” has come,” is sometimes used in the third person to tell of an overhanging event about to occur. Its significance is precisely this here in Revelation 19:7 and it conveys the thought that the time of the marriage has now at last arrived.”
The phrase ” the hour is come” in Mark 14:41, spoken by the Lord in the garden of Gethsamane is in the aorist tense. That it was referring to His impending crucifixion is not contested, it was about to happen, but has not yet occurred. The parallel phrase, ” the marriage of the Lamb is come ” in Revelation 19:7 is in the aorist tense, and refers to the impending wedding of the Lamb. It is about to happen, but has not yet occurred. Similarly in Rev.6:17, the parallel phrase ” for the great day of the Lord is come, is in the aorist tense, and can only refer to the impending day of the Lord wrath. It is about to happen; it has not yet occurred. It is rather preposterous to make the phrase, ” the great day of the Lord is come” in Rev.6:17 retroactive to include the previous six seals.
Since the verb is come in Rev.6:17 is aorist, that is stationless, it tells us of an action without telling us the time of that action. It therefore follows that we must appeal to the context of the verb in order to determine the time of the action. There is substantial and compelling evidence that the phrase, ” the great day of His wrath is come” refers to an event that is about to occur. If the day of the Lord begins at the commencement of the 70th week, how does one account for the fact that God’s wrath does not begin until after the breaking of the seventh seal, a considerable period of time from the starting point of the 70th seven?
We shall now examine the contextual evidence that demonstrate that the phrase ” the great day of His wrath is come” refers not to past event, but one that is about to occur.
(1) The Sequential Chronology Of Revelation 6
Revelation 6 gives us a progressive sequential chronology of events in the 70th seven of Daniel. The first seal is broken, a rider upon a white horse emerges which is the antiChrist ( vv.1-2). The second seal is broken, a rider upon a red horse emerges which is war ( vv.3-4). The third seal is broken, a rider upon a black horse emerges which is associated with famine, pestilences and earthquakes ( vv.5,6). The fourth seal is broken, and the great tribulation begins ( vv.7,8). The breaking of the fifth seal reveals martyrs under the altar in heaven ( vv.9-11). The sixth seal is broken, there begins cosmic disturbance. ( vv.12-17). Besides, the living wicked earth-dwellers recognize that the wrath of God and of the Lamb is about to begin. They are seen scurrying for cover in the dens, and rocks of the mountains; for the great day of His wrath is come ( v.17). The aorist tense does not render the statement, ” for the great day of His is come”, a reference to past events: neither does the context. A normative reading of Rev.6, shows a logical sequential, and chronological progression of events. A seal is broken and certain events unfold. It cannot be demonstrated from the text, that all the seals are broken at the same time. It is only after the sixth seal is broken that the revelator John declares that ” the day of His wrath is come.” It cannot be demonstrated either from the text or context that there is any exegetical basis for making the sixth seal retroactive to include and encompass all the events of the previous five seals.
(2) Cosmic Disturbance Prelude To Seventh Seal
At the breaking of the sixth seal, there is cosmic disturbance.
” And I beheld when He had broken the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places” ( Rev.6:12-14).
According to the OT prophets, the cosmic disturbance associated with the breaking of the sixth seal is the event which signals the approach of the outpouring of His wrath in The Day Of The Lord. The prophet Joel proclaimed,
” And I will show wonders in the heaven and in the earth: blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible Day Of The Lord. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the Day Of The Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars will withdraw their shining”( Joel 2:30,31; 3:14,15).
As we can see, the prophet Joel foretold cosmic disturbances before the great and terrible Day Of The Lord. And this is precisely what happens at the breaking of the sixth seal. The prophet Isaiah spoke about the same thing.
” Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He shall destroy the sinners out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in it’s going forth, and the moon shall not cause it’s light to shine” ( Is.13:9,10).
The warning of cosmic disturbances as a precursor to the Day Of The Lord, repeatedly given by the OT prophets, is also given by Apostle John the revelator in the Scroll of Revelation. The sixth seal is broken, and cosmic disturbances occur. This is the heavenly signal and indicator that the wrath of God is about to occur. The word of God could not be more precise.
(3) Attempt To Escape
In Rev.6:15-17, John the revelator makes an allusion to the OT Day Of The Lord Scripture in Isaiah.
” And the Kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” ( Rev.6:15-17).
” And they shall go into the caves of the rocks, and into the holes of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day, a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they have made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into, the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory,of His majesty; when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth” ( Is.2:19-21).
In both passages above, men are said to flee to the dens, and caves of the rocks of the mountains. The reason for their fleeing is that God’s wrath is about to poured out on the living wicked earth-dwellers. John said that in that day, men would cry out to the mountains and the rocks, ” Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of His wrath is come” ( Rev.6:16,17). The prophet Isaiah said, ” And they shall go into the caves of the rocks, and into the holes of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth” ( Is.2:19).
It is very clear from both passages in Isaiah and Revelation, that men flee from the wrath of God only and after the sixth seal is broken. The question then that lingers in ones mind is, if the wrath of God begins with the breaking of the first seal at the commencement of the 70th Seven, as our brethren of the Pretribulation persuasion assert, why do men not flee from the wrath of God until after the sixth seal is broken, which is a considerable period of time of over three and one-half years in duration from the breaking of the first seal and the commencement of the 70th week? The suggestion that God’s wrath started with the breaking of the first seal at the beginning of the 70th week, but men did not recognize it until the breaking of the sixth seal is fallacious; it not only stretches credulity but also begs the question. It is a strained exegesis and unsubstantiated. It should not be entertained at all. A cursory look at the Day Of The LORD texts indicate that when the Day Of The LORD begins, every man on earth will know. There will be no question about it. The foundations of the earth and the heaven themselves shall be shaken. It shall be very awesome. The Scriptures are very clear, only after the breaking of the sixth seal will there be cosmic disturbances, and then and only then will men flee to the mountains in an attempt to escape the wrath of God. That is precisely what both the OT and the NT say will happen immediately prior to the outpouring of the wrath of God in the Day Of His wrath.
(4). The Day Of His Coming
In the phrase, ” the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand., John alluded to Malachi 3:2. ” But who is able to abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth?” It is undeniably true that “the great day of His wrath” is the same as the “day of His coming, and when He appeareth.” These phrases are used interchangeably in anticipation of the breaking of the seventh seal. Inasmuch as His coming is intimately associated with the Day Of The lord, the Day Of The LORD cannot occur within the 70th week while His coming for the Church at the rapture occurs pretribulationally.
(5) The Sealing Of The 144,000
Immediately after the announcement of ” the great day of His wrath is come,” and the question ” who shall be able to stand?” (Rev.6:17), the four avenging angels sent to hurt the earth had to hold action until the servants of God are sealed in their forehead.
” After these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four Angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the wrath, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads” ( Rev.7:1-3).
As we have pointed out severally, seals are for authenticity and protection. They also indicate ownership, possession and security. The reason why the 144,000 are sealed with the seal of the living God is to indicate they belong to God, and to guarantee their protection in the outpouring of the wrath of God which is imminent. The purpose of their sealing is to exempt them from the wrath of God which has just been announced, and then delayed until they have been sealed. It is obvious therefore that since their sealing occurs after the breaking of the sixth seal, they could not possibly have been protected from the wrath of God if it began at the breaking of the first seal, and is inclusive of the five previous seals. The conclusion therefore, from contextual evidence, is that the wrath of God could not have started with the breaking of the first seal at the beginning of the 70th week, and could not have included the five previous seals before the sixth seal.
(6) Silence In Heaven
At the breaking of the seventh seal, there is silence in heaven for about half an hour. ” And when He had broken the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour” ( Rev.8:1). This silence is associated with seven avenging angelic beings who stood before God, to whom were given seven trumpets containing the wrath of God ( Rev.8:2). Why is there silence in heaven immediately prior to the outpouring of the seven trumpet judgments? There is a command for silence associated with the outpouring of the wrath of God during the Day Of The Lord. The prophet Zephaniah proclaimed, ” Hold thy peace at the presence of the LORD GOD; for the Day Of The LORD is at hand; for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, He hath bid His guests” ( Zeph.1:7). The heavens and the earth have to be silent, hold their breath as it were, because the wrath of God is about to be poured out on the living wicked earth-dwellers. It is going to be awesome.
(7) The Use Of Wrath In Revelation
The major topic of the Scroll of Revelation is the wrath of God. Of the 22 chapters of Revelation, the wrath of God covers 15 chapters, from 6-20. The word wrath itself is used no less than eight times in the Scroll of Revelation. It is used first in Rev.6:16,17 in anticipation of the breaking of the seventh seal. It is only with the breaking of the seventh seal and beyond is the word wrath used in the entire Scroll of Revelation. It is restricted to the events of the seven trumpets and seven bowls. It does not involve the first six seals at all. The first six seals constitute more than half of the entire length of the 70th week. The fourth seal begins the Great Tribulation. God’s wrath is restricted to the latter part of the second half of the 70th week referred to as The Day Of The Lord or The End. Below is a presentation of the wrath passages in the Scroll of Revelation in chronological order.
” And to the mountains and rocks, fall on us , and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great Day Of His wrath is come, and who shall able to stand?” ( Rev.6:16,17).
” And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants, the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small, and great,and shouldest destroy those who destroy the earth” ( Rev.11:18).
” The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God , which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb” ( Rev.14:10).
” And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for I them is filled up the wrath of God” ( Rev.15:1).
” And one of the four living creatures gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who, liveth the for ever and ever” ( Rev.15:7).
” And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth” ( Rev.16:1).
” And the great city was divided in three parts, and the cities of the nations fell; and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath” ( Rev.16:19).
The word wrath is not used in the Scroll of Revelation until The Day Of The LORD wrath begins ( Rev.6:17). It is not used at the beginning of the 70th week. The reason why it is not used at the beginning of the 70th week is because God’s wrath does not start with the beginning of the 70th week. It is used at the start of the breaking of the seventh seal because God’s wrath begins at the commencement of the breaking of the seventh seal.
(8) Cosmic Disturbances
The concept of cosmic disturbances followed by the wrath of God is exactly what Christ referred to in His Olivet Discourse.
” Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son Of Man in the heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son Of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to another” ( Matt.24:29-31).
After the cosmic disturbances, the tribes of the earth shall mourn in anticipation of His wrath which is to follow.
” And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s heart failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” ( Luk.21:25,26). Men’s heart are failing them in expectation of the wrath which is to follow not what has already occurred.
(9) Angelic Execution
None of the six previous seals are executed by the angels of God. When the seventh seal is broken, the wrath of God begins. Each of the seven trumpets and seven bowls are executed by the angels of God. “The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are the angels” ( Matt.13.39). The reason why the angels of God are not involved in the execution of the first six seal is because they are not the wrath of God. The harvest occurs at the end of the ages, which is preceded by the cosmic disturbances. At the end of the ages, the 144,000 are sealed for protection and security from the wrath of God, the church is raptured, gathered into heaven, and the wicked are gathered to be burned in the wrath of God which begins with the breaking of the seventh seal.
The Imagery Of A Woman In Labour
In the Olivet Discourse, our Lord Jesus The Christ described the first three and one-half years of the 70th week of Daniel as the beginning of sorrows or more literally the beginning birth pangs. ” All these are the beginning of sorrows” ( Matt.24:8). In other words He likened the first three and one-half years to a woman in the early stages of labour. On the other hand, Paul described the period immediately prior to the Day Of The LORD with the imagery of a woman in hard labour about to deliver. ” For you yourselves know perfectly that the Day Of The LORD so cometh as a their in the night. For when they shall say, peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape” ( 1Thess.5:2,3). The prophet Isaiah also compared the inescapable wrath of God as the hard labour of an expectant mother.
” Howl ye; for The Day Of The LORD is at hand; it shall come as destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: and they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; and they shall be in pain as of a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames” ( Is.13:6-8).
We can see here that the first half of the 70th week is likened to the beginning birth pangs, and the period immediately prior to the Day Of The LORD as a woman in travail. The inescapable conclusion therefore is if The Day Of The LORD starts at the commencement of the 70th week, the indisputable fact is that the hard labour must preceded the beginning birth pangs. This is impossible. So also is the proposition that The Day Of The LORD starts at the beginning of the 70th week.
The Delusion Of Peace
In addition to the imagery of hard labour, Apostle Paul also described the period immediately prior to The Day Of The LORD as a time when men shall harbor a delusion of peace. ” For when they shall say, peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape” ( 1Thess.5:3). If the call for peace and safety is placed inside the 70th week, then The Day Of The LORD cannot begin at the start of the 70th week. If The Day Of The LORD begins at the start of the 70th week, then the call for peace must occur outside of the 70th week. This clearly means that a prophesied event must occur before the beginning of the 70th. Once again, like the proverbial hill of beans, the the pretribulationist doctrine of imminence crumbles.
The proper placement of the time for the call for peace in the eschatological timeline is within the second half of the 70th seven not outside the 70th week. The first three and one-half years of the 70th week signal the emergence of the antiChrist, wars and rumors of wars, and famine, pestilences and earthquakes ( Rev.6:1-6). Precisely at the midpoint of the 70th week, there is war in the heavenlies ( Rev.12:7-9). Satan is cast down to the earth ( Rev.12:10). He possesses the antiMessiah ( Rev.13:2), who relocates his headquarters to Jerusalem( Dan.11:42-45), makes his debut at the rebuilt Jewish temple on out Moriah which he desecrates with the image of himself ( Dan.9:27), declares himself God, demands worship of all mortal, and begins the persecution of Jews, Christians, and all nonconformists, the so called Great Tribulation ( Rev.6:8). Because Jerusalem is his capital city, the Jews shall suffer most. The prophet Jeremiah dubs it ” the time of Jacob’s trouble” ( Jer.30:7). The prophet Daniel names it ” a time of distress” ( Dan.12:1). Our Lord Jesus The Christ said, ” And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” ( Matt.24:22). God will cut those days short with cosmic disturbances. Therefore cosmic disturbance will signal the approach of The Day Of The LORD.
Jews who are being severely persecuted, especially in the land of Israel, shall view the cosmic disturbances as a sign of divine intervention on their behalf in the nick of time. Then, they shall proclaim “peace and safety.” But their proclamation shall be premature for they are not exempt from the wrath of God. ” For when they shall say peace and safety sudden destruction cometh upon them” ( 1Thess.5:3). The sudden destruction will be The Day Of His Wrath which shall be unleashed at the breaking of the seventh seal. The Jewish people would think that The Day Of The LORD will bring deliverance, not knowing that it will be a time of darkness and gloominess for them as well.
” Woe unto you that desire The Day Of The LORD! To what end is it unto you? The Day Of The LORD is darkness and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent but him. Shall not The Day Of The LORD be darkness and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it?” ( Amos 5:18-20).
At the time of the prophet Amos, the children of Israel longed for The Day Of The LORD. He reminded them that there is no deliverance for them in The Day Of The LORD; for it is darkness and not light, a day of gloominess. Like the other prophets of old, he used the situation at that time to project an image of the situation of the children of Israel in the latter days when they shall be in distress due to the persecution at the hand of the antiMessiah. The cosmic disturbances announcing the approach of The Day Of The LORD, shall give them a false sense of relief. They shall cry “peace and safety, ” not knowing that The Day Of The LORD is a day of darkness and gloominess upon all earth-dwellers. The only exceptions are the 144,000 who have the seal of the living God on their foreheads, who shall be taken into protective custody to Azal ( Zech.14:5).
Israel’s expectation of peace and safety will not occur during The Day Of The LORD. The Day Of The LORD shall be a period of chastening, purging, cleansing and purification for the remnant of Israel, but it will be utter destruction for the Gentile nation that know not God. Unlike the children of Israel, the believers are exempt from Day Of The Lord. ” Ye brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all children of light, children of the day; we are not of night, nor of darkness” ( 1Thess.5:4-5). Because we believers are of the day and light, that day cannot come upon unawares, like a thief in the night. Candidly speaking, we are exempt from it. The believer shall be raptured shortly before the wrath of God is poured out on the living wicked earth-dwellers. If the rapture is pretribulational, imminent and signless, can occur at any moment without any prophesied event preceding it, then that day will overtake believers as a thief in the night. The cosmic disturbances and the Shekinah in the heavens are the back-to-back sign that shall be given in the sun, moon, and stars by God to His children, in order that they may not be caught off guard. It is the promise of deliverance from His wrath, The Day Of The LORD.
(1) In Rev.6, the seals are broken in sequential chronological order. The phrase, “the great day of His wrath is come” occurs after the breaking of the sixth seal. It is not justifiable to make it retroactive to include the first six seals
(2) The aorist tense is a stationless verb. And the phrase, the great day of his wrath is come is in the aorist tense. The aorist does not tell us the time the action occurs. But since it follows the breaking of the sixth seal, a normative reading of the scripture would lead us to understand that is when the action occurs.
(3) At the breaking of the sixth seal, men flee to the caves, dens, and rocks of the mountains in anticipation of the wrath of God. The prophet Isaiah also foretold that men will flee to the mountains immediately prior to The Day Of The LORD.
(4) In His Olivet Discourse, Christ foretold that men’s heart will faint for fear as a result of the expectation of those things that shall come upon the earth after the cosmic disturbances initiated by the breaking of the sixth seal ( Luk.21:26).
(5) The 144,000 Jews, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed for protection from The Day Of His Wrath after the breaking of the sixth seal, immediately prior to the breaking of the seventh seal. They could not possibly have been protected from the wrath of God if it began with the breaking of the first seal at the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel.
(6)According to the prophet Zephaniah, there is silence in heaven at the commencement of The Day Of The LORD ( Zeph.1:7). Silence occurs in heaven at the breaking of the seventh seal.
(7) The word wrath is used eight times in the Scroll of Revelation. All of them occur after the breaking of the sixth seal of Rev.6
(8) whereas angels are employed in the execution of the trumpet and bowl judgements, no angels are involved in the execution of the seals. This is simply because the seals are not part of the wrath of God.
Author: Avraham Shallom.