In the last letter of the Bible, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, God sends a last message of warning to a dying planet – Revelation 14:6-12. This message is given by three angels to “those who dwell on the earth;” people who hate God and hate those who love God. It’s a serious message – the consequences are life and death – but it’s a message given in great love because God is willing to go to the uttermost to reach even his most aggressive enemies.
Consider Revelation 14:10 where the Bible says:
“…he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.”
As soon as you read the word “wrath” a number of pictures probably came to your mind. You may have already determined what wrath means and looks like and we haven’t even dug into it.
It’s important to note that when we read the Bible, ideally we would be utterly surrendered to the Word and Will of God; we would hear only his voice, we would set aside who we are and where we’ve been and just read the word and let it speak to us. That rarely happens because we are product of our upbringing, culture, and experiences. To that, add in the this perspective shared by one of my favourite authors:
“Satan sought to intercept every ray of light from the throne of God. He sought to cast his shadow across the earth, that men might lose the true views of God’s character, and that the knowledge of God might become extinct in the earth. He had caused truth of vital importance to be so mingled with error that it had lost its significance. The law of Jehovah was burdened with needless exactions and traditions, and God was represented as severe, exacting, revengeful, and arbitrary. He was pictured as one who could take pleasure in the sufferings of his creatures. The very attributes that belonged to the character of Satan, the evil one represented as belonging to the character of God.” (White, God Made Manifest in Christ)
Everything we are and everything the enemy of life has done to break our trust in God all impact what we think when we read, “wrath of God.” We will need to tread carefully as we consider this next part of the message of the three.