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The Great Day of His Wrath

The Apocalypse – Chapter 6 – Part 2

Yesterday we covered the first part of Chapter 6 of the book of Revelation (or Apocalypse), today we continue with the rest of the Chapter – The Great Day of His Wrath

Coming Persecutions
 
Kingdoms and countries will fight 
  each other
So many; many will die
Strange and terrifying things
Will leap out from the sky
Yes, there will be wars and earthquakes
Famines and plagues of fear
But what it may not mean
Is that the end is very near.
 
Before any of
These things take place
The seemingly threatened destruction
Of the human race
You, My people will suffer
Of that there can be no mistake
You will be arrested and persecuted
Put into prison from My sake.
 
You will be brought before Kings 
   and rulers
There will be countless interviews
But this will be your chance
To speak of the Good News
And you need not worry how you will
Defend yourself beforehand
For I will give you words of wisdom that
Your enemies will be unable to withstand.
 
You will be handed over by relatives 
   and friends
Who will oppose you continually
You may even be put to death
Everyone will hate you because of Me
But you must stand firm to save 
   yourselves
Do not for a moment question the cost
Be assured that not a single hair
from your heads will be lost.
 
By the late Andrew Feakin
[passed away 16th March 2019]

Keys – The Great Day of His Wrath

  • God has provided a good place in the better world for those who are faithful to death.
  • It is the sacrifice of Christ, that gives them a reception into heaven and a reward there.
  • However a person may be, God is still willing to pardons and save persecutors.
  • The martyrs are not for avenging themselves, but leave all to God.
  • Their present happiness was an abundant compensation for their past sufferings.
  • To those that are troubled, they shall receive full and uninterrupted rest.
  • As men have their day of opportunity, and their seasons of grace, so God has His day of righteous wrath.
  • Christians are called to a decided course
  • We are to make a bold confession of Christ and His truth before our fellowmen. The short contempt of man is to be borne, rather than that shame which is everlasting.

The Great Day of His Wrath

‘And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. They cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them. It was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.  

Who shall be able to stand?

I beheld when He had opened 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. 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.

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 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 great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?’

Their souls will live

Henry says – In the remaining part of this chapter we have the opening of the fifth and the sixth seals. This opens a spring of support and consolation to those who had been and still were under great tribulation for the sake of Christ and the gospel. It was a very affecting sight (Rev. 6:9): I saw under the altar the souls of those that were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held. He saw the souls of the martyrs.

John saw them—under the altar; at the foot of the altar of incense, in the most holy place. He saw them in heaven, at the foot of Christ. Persecutors can only kill the body, and after that there is no more that they can do; their souls live. God has provided a good place in the better world for those who are faithful to death and are not allowed a place any longer on earth.

Washed in the blood of the Lamb

Holy martyrs are very near to Christ in heaven, they have the highest place there. It is not their own death, but the sacrifice of Christ, that gives them a reception into heaven and a reward there. They do not wash their robes in their own blood, but in the blood of the Lamb. They suffered for—the Word of God and the testimony which they held, for believing the Word of God, and attesting or confessing the truth of it. This profession of their faith they held fast without wavering, even though they died for it. A noble cause, the best that any man can lay down his life for—faith in God’s Word and a confession of that faith.

He heard a loud cry which contained a complaint about the long delay of avenging justice against their enemies. How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on those that dwell on the earthRev. 6:10. Even the spirits of just men made perfect retain a proper resentment of the wrong they have sustained by their cruel enemies. Though they die in well-doing, praying, as Christ did, that God would forgive them. Yet they are desirous that, for the honour of God, and for the conviction of others, God will take a just revenge upon the sin of persecution. Even though He pardons and saves the persecutors.

Leave it all to God

They commit their cause to Him to Whom vengeance belongeth, and leave it in His hand. They are not for avenging themselves, but leave all to God. There will be joy in heaven at the destruction of the enemies of Christ, as well as at the conversion of other sinners. When Babylon falls, it will be said, Rejoice over her, O thou heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God hath avenged you on herRev. 18:20.

In return to their cry (Rev. 6:11), white robes were given them. The robes of victory and of honour. Their present happiness was an abundant compensation of their past sufferings. They were told that they should rest for it would not be long until the number of their fellow-sufferers would be fulfilled. This is a language rather suited to the imperfect state of the saints in this world than to the perfection of their state in heaven.

When the number is filled

There is a number of Christians, known to God, who are appointed as sheep for the slaughter. They are set apart to be God’s witnesses. As the measure of the sin of persecutors is filling up, so is the number of the persecuted martyred servants of Christ. When this number is fulfilled, God will take a just and glorious revenge upon their cruel persecutors. To those that are troubled they shall receive full and uninterrupted rest.

The sixth seal was opened, Rev. 6:12. Some refer this to the empire at Constantine’s time others to the destruction of Jerusalem. But likely it is the emblem of the general judgment, and destruction at the end of the world. The events are so much the same with those signs mentioned by our Saviour. So much so that it leaves no room for doubting that the same thing is meant in both places.

It will astonish the world

See Matt. 24:29, 30. There are several occurrences that contribute to make that day very dreadful:—There was a great earthquakeThe sun became black as sackcloth of hair. This either naturally, by a total eclipse, or politically, by the fall of the chief rulers and governors of the land. The moon should become as blood. Either literally or their military men whould all be wallowing in their own blood. The stars of heaven shall fall to the earth (Rev. 6:13), and that as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty windThe heaven should depart as a scroll when it is rolled together. This may signify that their ecclesiastical state should perish and be laid aside for ever. Every mountain and island shall be moved out of its place.

The destruction of the Jewish nation should affect all the nations round about. It would be a judgment that should astonish all the world. This leads to the terror that would seize upon all sorts of men in that great and awful day, Rev. 6:15. No authority, nor riches, nor strength, would be able to support men at that time. In their terror and astonishment they would call to the mountains to fall upon them. They would be glad to be no more seen and to have no longer any being.

At the last day

There was a cause of their terror. It was due to the angry countenance of Him that sits on the throne, and the wrath of the Lamb. Christ and God are so entirely One that what pleases or displeases the one pleases or displeases the other. Though God be invisible, He can make the inhabitants of this world know of His awful frowns. Though Christ be a lamb. Yet He can be angry, even to wrath, and the wrath of the Lamb is exceedingly dreadful. It is the Redeemer, that appeases the wrath of God. If He be our wrathful enemy, where shall we have a friend to plead for us?

Those perish without remedy who perish by the wrath of the Redeemer. As men have their day of opportunity, and their seasons of grace, so God has His day of righteous wrath. When that day shall come, the most stout-hearted sinners will not be able to stand before Him. All these terrors actually fell upon the sinners in Judea and Jerusalem in the day of their destruction. They will all, in the utmost degree, fall upon impenitent sinners, at the general judgment of the last day.

Be on a decided course

The signs of the times show to those who believe in God’s Word, that the King of kings is approaching. Christians are called to a decided course, and to a bold confession of Christ and His truth before their fellowmen. Whatever they may have to endure. The short contempt of man is to be borne, rather than that shame which is everlasting.

Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary

Prayer for the Day

Prayer: Father, I come to You. Thank you that You assure us that You have provided a good place in the better world for those who are faithful to death. W declare that it is the sacrifice of Christ, that gives us a reception into heaven and a reward there. Thank You that in Your mercy you are willing to pardon the hardest of men. May we be as those who leave all in Your hands, trusting that You are working Your purposes out. Thank You that there is a happiness to come which will be an abundant compensation of our sufferings.

Thank You that to those that are troubled they shall receive full and uninterrupted rest. May we see that this is our day of opportunity, and our seasons of grace and seize all the opportunities that are presented to us. Let us be on a decided course toward heaven. May we be willing to make that bold confession of Christ and His truth before our fellowmen. May we be willing to bear the short contempt of man, rather than that shame which is everlasting. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

The Great Day of His Wrath

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