No serious study of the Apocalypse can be undertaken without addressing exactly who is going to be involved in these horrendous events. The Day of Wrath is one of the main names given to the time of tribulation also called the Day of the Lord. To nail down this concept so as we are in no doubt as to what this term means, we use one of the main means of Scripture interpretation, prior usage. That is, we examine where phrases or words are used before in order to establish what the exact meaning is.
In this regard, let us listen to what is said by the prophets of old concerning the Day of Wrath. Joel 2:30-31 says:
“And I shall show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fires 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 come.”
Isaiah gives it thus:
“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 thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause their light to shine.
And I shall punish the world for their evil and the wicked for their iniquity and I will cause the arrogancy of the wicked to cease and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Therefore I will shake the heavens and the earth shall remove out of her place in the WRATH of the Lord of hosts and in the day his fierce anger” (Isaiah 13:9-13).
In an earlier installment we saw how that when the Bottomless Pit was opened, black smoke ushered forth from it and caused the light from the sun to become darkened. The Abyss now opened meant that the Fallen Angels who were incarcerated there are to be released into the earth once again to wreak their havoc. Now consider how this ties in with a similar prophecy yet to come as recalled by the seer in Revelation 6:12-17:
“And behold when he 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. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casting her untimely figs when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
And the heavens departed as a scroll when it rolled together: and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
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 freeman 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 sits 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?’”
We surmised earlier that the smoke from the pit of the Abyss is a literal smoke that may indeed blot out the sun and be the precursor for the emergence of the Antichrist from his hiatus in Tartarus. And in the opening of the sixth seal we are told that the sun will become black and the moon will turn blood red. It would appear that these verses concur with the Joel and Isaiah who foretold of the coming of the Day of Wrath in a similar fashion.
A cataclysmic shaking of the earth will result in what sounds like a volcanic eruption, the smoke of which blots out the light of the sun and causes the moon to become red. Thus the angels who are locked up in the Abyss are released and these evil spirit men are free to go to their destruction. But wait. Could this same event herald another celestial incident resulting in the expulsion of the remainder of the rebel angels from the heavenly domain? For we note from this last passage in Revelation 6:12 that:
“The stars of heaven fell unto the earth even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs.”
“Stars,” as already noted, are a figure of speech meaning angels. Regular stars do not fall to earth. They burn up in the stratosphere and vanish. But these “stars” fall from heaven to earth as figs falling from a fig tree, shaken by a mighty wind. What could cause these angels to fall to earth. We look to chapter 12:7-9 for more clues as to what may well be the case.
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he ( the dragon) was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.
The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the Devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth and his angels with him.” (NIV)
This is not a battle but a war. And it is between two sets of warring spirit men who are here called angels. Michael is the arch angel who is responsible for military action in the spiritual realm. He and his good angels war against the one third of the evil angels that rebelled with and are under the control of the ancient serpent, Satan.
We know the number of rebel angels is one third because verse 4 tells us; “His tail swept a third of the stars (angels) out of the sky and flung them to the earth.” These are the same stars that fall to the earth like figs falling from a fig tree.
Most commentators teach that Satan and his band of evil spirits were expelled from heaven eons ago after his unsuccessful coup to usurp the Throne of God. But verse 10 contradicts this doctrine for it utters; “For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” Accuses here is in the present tense. Apparently Satan has access to heaven and to God and he spends a lot of his time rehearsing the sins of Christians before the face of God 24/7.
So what occurs that might cause a seismic shift in power and authority that might result in defeat in this future war in heaven for the serpent and his hordes occasioning them to fall to earth? Could it be what is called the marriage feast of the Lamb?
There is to be a future wedding to take place in heaven. The bride is the Church of God who are the born from above spirit filled believers who are a part of the Body of Christ. The Messiah promised his disciples that one day he would return from heaven and take them to the place he was going to. John records this vow in chapter 41:1-3 which states:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms: if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that YOU ALSO MAY BE WHERE I AM.”
Please note that Jesus here begins this pledge with, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” Later in the first epistle to the Thessalonians, when Paul is explaining that the Lord would meet the saints in the air, he concludes by saying, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” The reason that we can comfort one another is because Jesus said he would come back and take us to be with him in heaven. Then in chapter 4 of 1 Thessalonians we have the account of just how that is going to happen.
So this is why our hearts do not need to be troubled. Because the bridegroom is returning to receive hid bride and take her to the marriage feast which is to take place in heaven. So we have no need to fear the Day of Wrath or the coming Apocalypse.
At present, because we are human and frail, we sin. All men are liars and fall short of the glory of God. So the serpent has plenty of ammunition when it comes to accusing the believers before God day and night. But when the Messiah returns briefly to catch away his church, then we become immortal and receive a new spiritual body like unto his immortal body. With the putting on of this new body, the old impurities of the flesh and blood sinner is no more. We become the pure and chaste bride of the Messiah and will be without sin.
As such, now Satan cannot accuse us anymore before God. And with the arrival of all the Christians who are the saved of God from Pentecost down through the ages to this time, space will become scarcer in heaven. God and His son will not put up with his bride being blasphemed in their presence anymore. So the dragon and his entourage must go. War ensues and Satan and one third of the angels of heaven who sided with him, are ejected. They fall to earth like figs falling from a fig tree. The wrath of the devil will be soon coming after his demise. Thus is filled the prophetic utterance of Jesus in Luke 17 when he said, “I beheld Satan as lightening falling to earth.”
We conclude this part with a warning from John the Revelator in this same chapter 12 and verse 12:
“But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you. He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
Patrick Heron is bestselling author of Apocalypse Soon and The Nephilim and the Pyramid of the Apocalypse.