“The Faithful and the Wicked” – Revelation 6:9-17, Continued
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And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
* Sovereign Lord (NIV) - "Despotes" (Gk.) designating the divine sovereign rule over all things.
"...holy and true..."
* He who is transcendent above all things, Who cannot tolerate evil.
* Especially evil perpetrated on His faithful martyrs.
* He is also "true," "faithful" to fulfill His promises of judgment and punishment on those who harm His children.
And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? (Lk. 18:7)
"Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the LORD.
"...judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
* Is often repeated in Revelation and designates mankind in rebellion and hostility to God. (Rev. 3:10, 11:10, 13:2, 8, 14, 14:6, 17:8)
* Contrast this with Romans 12:19-20:
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
“Then a white robe was given each of them;…”
* A reward for the most righteous acts of the saints. (Rev. 7:9-10, 19:14)
“…rest…until…the number of their fellow servants and their brethren…”
* “Fellow servants of God, brethren” who had been martyred:
“…who would be killed as they were, was completed.”
* “Fellow servants of God, brethren” who will be martyred:
How can this be if there are no Christians present during the tribulation period?
There will be Christians present, new believers led to Christ through the preaching and witness of the elect, the church.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
The Apostle John writes that the end is not yet, and the church will experience further martyrdom.
The Sixth Seal
I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.
"...a great earthquake..."
* "Great earthquake" - This signifies that the earthquakes during the tribulation (three in total) will not be ordinary as have been in the past. Notice what accompanies the earthquake:
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
"...the sun became black...the moon became as blood..."
* Atmospheric conditions? As a result of nuclear detonations?
* A prolonged lunar and solar eclipse? A supernatural realignment of the sun and moon?
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.
"...the stars of heaven fell to earth..."
* As in meteors?
* Scripture says that Christ made the heavens (celestial) and the earth, and they remain in place by His will. (Col. 1:16-17)
* It appears that God has decided to release heavenly bodies to strike earth as part of His righteous judgment and wrath.
Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
"...the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place."
* Old Testament prophecy of God's judgment on earth and its inhabitants for their unrepentance. At the "great and terrible day of the Lord." (Isa. 13:10, 34:4, Jer. 4:23-28, Joel 2:31, 3:15, Hag. 2:6)
This same language is found in the Olivet Discourse, spoken by Christ Jesus after the tribulation, immediately prior to His second coming for "the elect."
John's writing is so similar to Christ's words, I can't believe he wasn't present when they were spoken. Because he was. (Mk. 13:3-4)
The Old Testament continually speaks of God's divine visitations accompanied with signs that attest to His majesty, power and glory so great that the physical world is shaken and the heavens moved.
Remember Mt. Sinai?
This is not simply poetic or symbolic of God's power when He returns the second time, but a real cosmic catastrophe, where the world and its people will suffer His judgment and wrath unless they're protected and covered by the blood of the Lamb.
And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains,
"...every...man hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks..."
* Did they think they could hide from God??
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
...and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!
"...and said to the mountains and rocks..."
* Instead of beseeching God for mercy and forgiveness, they pray to the physical earth (mountains and rocks).
"...fall on us and hide us from...Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!"
* Every man now realizes that God's final judgment has come, instead of falling at His feet, and the foot of the cross. They still hope to hide from Him on earth!
Isaiah 2:12, 17, 19
"That day" is "the great and terrible day of the Lord" (Joel 2:31) when the books are opened, and all are judged 'according to their works." (Rev. 20:11-15)
"For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
"That day" will be a day of judgment for the wicked - a day of wrath:
But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
But a day of redemption for the righteous:
"...that you may be called blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ..."
(1 Cor. 1:8)
"...you are sealed for the day of redemption."
So, who can stand in the great day of His wrath??
You, if you believe on Christ Jesus for salvation.
Because if you don't, you are already condemned.
Introduction to Part II Chapter thirteen continues the interlude between the sounding of the seven trumpets and the outpouring of the seven bowl judgments of God's wrath on unrepentant mankind. In chapter fourteen John's vision will show us the time of the end, where...
Introduction Chapter thirteen continues the interlude between the sounding of the seven trumpets and the outpouring of the seven bowl judgments of God's wrath on unrepentant mankind. In chapter fourteen John's vision will show us the time of the end, where God pours...