Hold Back the Winds of JudgementMar 09, 2023
But what about “the wrath of God”? Wrath is strange and foreign when it describes God. God loves the good and hates the evil. His hate isn’t like ours; He’s not vindictive, but righteous and holy. He is strong and mighty in battle. The gospel message reveals God’s judgment, His wrath, against all unrighteousness.
Hi everyone, I’m Tammy Becker. Welcome to the Almighty God & Gospel Girl Podcast. This is week eleven into our series of Revelation and our podcast today is titled: Hold Back the Winds of Judgement. My podcast today will be based on the reading of Revelation 6:9-7:3. And if you would like to follow along with the notes or maybe you would like to find the links to anything mentioned in the podcast today, you can go to the link in the description or by visiting www.youministries.com and visiting the corresponding page. As we get started today, I would like to remind you of my disclaimer, that as always…do not take my word, or anyone’s word for what you read…get yourself in the Bible and let God discern His Word to you. I am only human and make many mistakes and do not claim to know or understand everything in the Bible…I just hope by bringing out this study that your interest is sparked enough to get into God’s Word and begin to deep dive on your own.
The winds of judgment are blowing on the earth as we’ve seen the four horsemen do their horrible work. But nothing happens outside of God’s purpose. So what is His purpose in all this mayhem?
God’s purpose in the Tribulation is as it’s always been—to save those in the human family who will turn to Him. He likely wouldn’t keep this world running if it wasn’t for people turning to Him. Even in this period, multitudes will turn to Him, and He’ll welcome them with open arms.
A great company is going to be saved as the Tribulation begins. These initial judgments are accomplishing God’s purposes. But for the many who turn to Him, even more will turn against Him. The judgments of God are like the sun’s effect on wax and clay—some will be hardened by it; others will melt. As believers, when trouble comes to our lives, it will either draw us to God or drive us from Him. He wants to draw us closer to Himself, and this is His way of doing it (see John 5:24).
OPENING OF THE FIFTH SEAL: PRAYER OF THE MARTYRED REMNANT (6:9-11)
Back in heaven, John next sees an altar where Jesus Christ offers His literal blood for the sins of the world (see Hebrews 9:23-26). Gathered around the altar are the souls of those who have been killed for their faith in God, both in the Old Testament and since the beginning of the Tribulation. (Those who were martyred during the church age are raptured and with the Lord, see Luke 11:50-51.) Both these groups are resting on solid Old Testament ground as they plead for justice on the basis of God’s holy law. They cry out in loud prayers, “How long, Strong God, holy and true? How long before you step in and avenge our murders?” (see 6:10).
Then each martyr is given a white robe, symbolizing salvation and eternal life. God tells them to be patient, to sit back and wait until the full number of martyrs are filled from among their friends in the faith. More people will experience martyrdom before it will be God’s time for Jesus Christ to return to the earth and to judge their living adversaries.
OPENING OF THE SIXTH SEAL: THE DAY OF WRATH HAS COME (6:12-17)
The scene now shifts back to earth and signals the beginning of the last half of the Great Tribulation. The great day of His wrath is before us. The Great Tribulation opens and closes with upheavals in nature: The beginning of the Tribulation (compare Joel 2:30-31 with Acts 2:20) and the end of the Tribulation (see Joel 3:9-17; Isaiah 13:9-13, 34:1-4; Matthew 24:29). God will first send a huge, planet-sized earthquake that will rock the whole world and cause mountains and islands to rise and fall. The sun will grow dark, the moon will redden “like blood,” and stars will appear to fall like a meteor shower. The fact that we are having an increase in earthquakes today is not a fulfillment of this but shows that it could happen as God’s Word says it will.
Evidently the sky will also appear to split and roll back like a scroll, in opposite directions like it’s coming apart. Those on earth will glimpse into the throne room of heaven. (See also Nahum 1:5 and Revelation 20:11.)
Everyone on earth will be overwhelmed with dread and terror, run to hide in caves, and call on the mountains to fall on them. They want to hide from the wrath of the Lamb. More than the physical catastrophes, they’re terrified by their perception of God. The martyrs cry, “Avenge us” (6:10); these unbelievers cry, “Hide us.” They don’t want to stand before a holy and righteous God.
WHAT IS “THE WRATH OF THE LAMB”?
“The wrath of the Lamb” (6:16) is a strange phrase that sounds contradictory, but a closer look reveals it’s true. The wrath of God is the Day of the Lord, talked about throughout the Old Testament prophets—a day of judgment coming on the earth, yet future.
The lamb is a familiar figure of Christ. A lamb is gentle and meek (Matthew 11:28-29). A lamb is harmless. You never see a sign, “Beware of the lamb.” From the days of Abel to those of John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus is described as a lamb. The apostle John calls Jesus “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).
Even before a lamb was created, these things describe who Jesus is. In other words, God did not choose the lamb because it was like Christ or because it was the animal people sacrificed. God created such a sacrifice to represent Christ. Christ is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, before any lamb was ever created. The lamb sets forth His sacrifice. Abraham said, “… God will provide for Himself the lamb …” (see Genesis 22:8), and God did provide Himself a Lamb.
Christ was all these things when He walked among us. Gentle, meek, humble; Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. His life was marked by winsomeness, like the perfume of a lovely and fragile flower. His coming was a doxology; His stay was a blessing; His departure was a benediction. Even the unbelieving world is fascinated by His life.
But what about “the wrath”? Wrath is strange and foreign when it describes God. God loves the good and hates the evil. His hate isn’t like ours; He’s not vindictive, but righteous and holy. He is strong and mighty in battle. The gospel message reveals God’s judgment, His wrath, against all unrighteousness (see Romans 1:18).
To say “the wrath of the Lamb” is like mixing fire and water, but all the fury of God’s wrath is revealed in the Lamb. God has declared war against sin. A day is coming when the wrath of the Lamb will be revealed. Listen to the Psalmist, “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. … When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him” (Psalm 2:11-12).
WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE TURNING TO GOD AND GETTING SAVED DURING THIS PERIOD?
Since you can’t turn to God without the work of the Holy Spirit, how does anybody get saved without the Holy Spirit on the earth? Didn’t the Holy Spirit leave the earth and take the church to present us to Jesus Christ? (See 2 Thessalonians 2:7.) Good question.
The Holy Spirit is present; He’s just changed roles. During our day when the gospel is going out, the Spirit restrains evil so the gospel can penetrate a Satan-controlled and Satan-blinded world. How could the Word go out unless the Spirit of God holds back evil? Even today, satanic forces work against the Word of God being heard and believed.
The Great Tribulation is the devil’s holiday. God will give him freedom to do as he pleases. This is part of God’s judgment on a world that rejects Jesus as Savior.
But a great company of people will be saved in the Tribulation—more than in any other seven-year period in the history of the world.
The Holy Spirit is in the world after the church is removed, just as He was in the world before Pentecost. Just read the Old Testament and you will find Him working in people’s hearts and lives. But in the Old Testament, the Spirit of God didn’t restrain evil in the world, and He wasn’t baptizing believers into the body of Christ like He is doing today. However, He will still be in the business of getting men and women to Christ. He has always been in the business of taking God’s creation and renovating it. Like the Spirit brooded on the face of the waters during creation, the Spirit broods over this earth today. He will have to have an unusual, special program during this period, and now John tells us what that will be.
Between the sixth and the seventh seal, we have a pause. Through John’s eyes, we’ve seen the riding of the four horsemen that gave us a bird’s eye view of the Tribulation, and now the details are going to be given to us, explaining how God would be merciful even in judgment. Revelation 7 answers the question asked at the end of chapter 6: “Who is able to stand?”
“After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth,” controlling the wind, John tells us (7:1; see also Psalm 148:8). Then a fifth angel, apparently of a higher rank than the other four, gives them orders. (The spiritual world of angels, both good and bad, are well organized in military ranks, as we learn in the book of Daniel and in Ephesians.) The angel cried with a great voice, literally a megaphone, getting the angels ready for a fearful judgment about to break on the earth. He says, “Hold everything! Hold back the winds of judgment, the winds of the Great Tribulation Period, because we have to seal these folk so they can make it through” (7:2-3). For the sake of these who have been sealed, this terrible time will be shortened. There will be two great companies sealed, one out of the nation Israel and the other out of the Gentiles.
We don’t know what sign the Lord uses on the forehead of His people to seal them, but it is some spiritual mark on their lives, in contrast to the mark of the beast, so they can make it through the Tribulation.
Next time we will be discussing Who are the 144,000 saved?
GET THE FREE DEVOTIONALS:
SIGN UP NOW AND GET 52 WEEKS OF CHRISTIAN DEVOTIONALS FOR ENTREPRENEURS SENT DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX.
Download a FREE digital Micro Bible Journaling Page
Share your design talents with the world.