The book of Revelation opens with the words, “The revelation of Jesus Christ.” This is the divine title of the book. It is not the “Revelation of St. John the Divine.” It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Revelation in Greek is apokalupsis which means unveiling. It can be used as in the taking away of a veil to reveal the face behind it. Or as the drawing back of curtains to reveal what is hidden behind them.
Thus in this context both ideas are true. For in verse 7 of this first chapter we are informed:
“Look , he is coming with the clouds,
And every eye will see him,
Even those who pierced him.”
So in this future time, everyone will see the face of Jesus Christ as he will be revealed from heaven. This book also provides us with the prophecies of what will befall the earth and its people in the near future. So it is revealing the hidden secrets that are known by very few people today. Even most Christians are oblivious to the truths revealed to us in this exciting book.
Verse 3 says “Blessed are those who read the words of this prophecy.” But judging by the response of most Christians to this book, one would suppose it says, “Blessed are those who do NOT read the words of this prophecy,” so openly is this blessing rejected.
“ I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day and I heard behind me a voice like a trumpet saying, “Write on a scroll what you see” (Revelation 1:10).
“The Lord’s day” has nothing to do with a day of the week. Referring to Sunday as the Lord’s day only came into vogue many centuries later. No, the Lord’s day is the same as the “day of the Lord” and is one of the phrases used when talking of the Tribulation period or the time of the Last Days.
This time is also called, the day of Jacob’s Trouble, the day of Wrath, the day of Christ, the Great Tribulation, the day of Judgment.
So when John says he was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, he means that he was spiritually taken into the future and shown certain happenings pertaining to the End Times and he was to write these events in a scroll. The day of the Lord is the day coming when God will do the judging. Today, man does the judging (according to 1 Corinthians 4:1). But there is a time fast approaching when God will do the judging and that is the day of the Lord also called the day of Wrath.
As was already pointed out, the book of Daniel parallels many of the prophecies in the Apocalypse. That is, they both talk of many of the same events and can be cross checked one with the other. In order to establish that the day of Wrath is indeed speaking of the end times, and to assuage any who might argue otherwise, we go to Daniel chapter 8:19. Here we quote the man, Gabriel, who is speaking to Daniel:
“He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the TIME OF WRATH, because the vision concerns the appointed TIME OF THE END.”
This leaves us in no doubt that the time of wrath is equal to the time of the end or End Times. We point this out because some contest that when the Bible speaks of the coming Tribulation or day of Wrath, it is not talking of the time of the Apocalypse but of some other unspecified era.
But this cannot be the case for Christians have suffered terrible times of torture and death by fire and sword from the earliest of days right up to the present. Nero used have Christians covered in pitch and tied to stakes and set on fire to provide light at his drunken orgies. Unspeakable acts of torture were perpetrated by the Church of Rome on believing Christians because of their faith in the infamous Inquisitions. Even today, believers are dying at the hands of evil men in places such as Nigeria, Sudan and Indonesia.
So when the Scripture speaks of a coming day of wrath or of a Great Tribulation that is to befall the earth, it is speaking of a specific time, so terrible are the events, that no other time has ever been like this on the earth or ever will be.
Speaking of wrath, there are 3 distinct wraths spoken of in Revelation. In chapter 6:16 we read:
“Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne (God) and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of THEIR wrath is come (God and the Lamb), and who can stand?”
“He (Jesus) treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God almighty.”
“Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea. For the Devil is come down unto you having great wrath, because he knows he has but a short time.”
These are some of the examples of wrath mentioned in Revelation. We have the wrath of God; the wrath of the Lamb (Jesus), and the wrath of the devil.
In the very first article written in this series, I pointed out how accurate the word of God is. I showed that if Jesus had gone beyond a single comma, and read the next phrase, your Bible would fall apart as it would have contradicted itself. We read in Hebrews 4 that “the Word is sharper than any two-edged sword.” Time and again the Word refers to itself as being the truth of God.
So the Word cannot contradict itself. The world will pass away but not one jot or tittle will fail until all the Word is fulfilled. Bearing this in mind and remembering that the time of the end is also the time of wrath or the day of Wrath, we read what the apostle Paul wrote concerning this time. Romans 5:9:
“Since we know have been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him.” (NIV)
Paul reiterates this again in 1 Thessalonians 1:10
“And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead-Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”
Should some say that Paul spoke of his own volition and we should not pay much attention to him, let me remind you of what he wrote in another Epistle:
“I want you to know brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it: rather, I received it BY REVELATION FROM JESUS CHRIST” (Galatians 1:11, 12).
It is patently evident from reading through the book of Revelation, that the Christians in that time will suffer terribly. They will be hunted down and beheaded and murdered because of their refusal to take the mark of the Beast and because of their faith in Jesus. Countless multitudes are spoken of that will suffer in this way.
But the church of God is not involved in the Tribulation. We are saved from the coming wrath because we are assured by Paul that the church will be gathered together and caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the day of the Lord begins. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
The Word cannot contradict itself. When Paul says we are saved from the wrath to come, or Jesus rescues us from the coming wrath, he is speaking on behalf of Jesus. For he wrote the Church Epistles by revelation from Jesus Himself.
So when we read, “we are saved from God’s wrath,” it is as if Jesus himself is giving us this promise. And I can only surmise that for those of you who doubt these words, Jesus may have used a modern day phrase to emphasise what he is saying, namely;
“READ MY LIPS…YOU ARE SAVED FROM THE COMING WRATH.”
As we have seen, there are 3 wraths coming in the Apocalypse. God’s wrath, the Lamb’s wrath and the wrath of the devil. So take your pick. One way or another, we are saved from the coming wrath. Jesus either spoke the truth or he lied. This is plain to read and easy to understand with a cursory reading of Thessalonians.
Some in Thessalonica were teaching that the day of the Lord had already begun. They did this because of the ferocious persecutions against the Christians at that time by the Romans and the Jewish hierarchy. Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians 2 to allay their fears and assure them that the day of the Lord could not come until there first came a “falling away” and only then would the man of sin be revealed.
Having explained to the saints in Thessalonica that the church would be gathered together and be taken to be with Jesus in heaven, Paul goes on in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 to tell the brethren:
“But of the times and the seasons brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.”
Why “no need?” Because Paul had just told them in the previous chapter that they would be caught away to meet the Lord in the air.
“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.”
It is the “day of the Lord” or the Apocalypse, which is going to come as a thief in the night. But watch the sudden change of pronouns in the latter verses.
“For when THEY shall say, “peace and safety,” then sudden destruction cometh upon THEM…and THEY shall not escape.”
“But YE brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake YOU as a thief.”
We know what is coming for we have been repeatedly told so in the church Epistles which are addressed to us. We know what the signs of the coming Apocalypse are because they have been revealed to those of us who have the Spirit of God in us. We are not in darkness because we have the light of Jesus.
But THEY… those who are not born from above and who are in darkness, THEY shall not escape. We, the believers or saved of God, we shall escape because we are rescued from the wrath to come.
Therefore the day of the Lord or the day of Wrath will come upon those who do not believe, like a thief in the night.
Here, our point is distinctly, emphatically and categorically stated, with a precision and explicitness which leaves nothing to be added. Can anything be more clear than the fact that the church of God is not the subject of the Apocalypse?
Patrick Heron is best-selling author of Apocalypse Soon and The Nephilim and the Pyramid of the Apocalypse.