The Coming of the Wrath of God
It has been a couple of weeks since we left off our study of Revelation, but at that point we were summarizing the breaking of the seven seals of a book given to the Lamb of God to open, seals that bring about great disasters on the earth with the breaking of each of them.
In the first four seals, the four horsemen of the apocalypse were demonic in their nature. During this time given to the antichrist to act, the tribulation will have been a period of great persecution against Christians. This was made evident by the martyrs that John saw with the opening of the fifth seal, who we were told had been slain because they upheld the testimony of God and who cried out “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You avenge our blood and judge those who dwell upon the earth?” (Revelation 6:10).
We should note that the martyrs shown to us in that passage may not be those of the tribulation period only, but perhaps they also include those who had been slain because of the Word of God throughout the ages. Nevertheless, I think that we are not assuming too much when we say that a great number of these were slain as a result of the persecutions of the early days of the tribulation.
We did, after all, hear them asking the Lord how long it would be until he would avenge their blood and judge those “who dwell on the earth?” The petition of these slain ones concerning the avenging of their blood seems to be against those who were on the earth at the time when the four horsemen wrought their devastation.
But with the sixth seal, we saw that there was something different about the source of the disasters that it brings. With the sixth seal, the people of the earth recognize that the catastrophes that are coming upon the earth are unlike the previous ones of the first four seals.