THE DAYS OF VENGEANCE
(Vengeance on the persecutors and Victory for the persecuted.)
I. In the book of Luke chapter 21:1-32 Jesus was predicted the destruction of the Jewish Temple and city of Jerusalem which was to occur during the “generation” who lived when He was on earth which occurred in A.D. 70. He said:
Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. (Lk. 21:32).
II. Among the things He said would happen are the following:
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Lk. 21:20-24).
III. In my judgment the book of Revelation describes in detail these “days of vengeance” and “wrath” on the Jewish Nation because of their rejection of Jesus and persecution of the “apostles and prophets” (See Matt. 23:32-37; 1 Thess. 2:14-16). According to the Bible they were the primary persecutors of saints in the first century Church whose end had come (1 Thess. 2:16). The book of Revelation is about “avenging the blood” of those “slain for the word of God and the testimony they held” by the Jews in the first century (Rev. 6:9)…which was to “shortly take place” (Rev. 1:1; 22:6) and was “near” (Rev. 1:3; 22:10) when John saw the vision.
A. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were,was completed. (Rev. 6:9-11).
B. For the great day of His wrathhas come, and who is able to stand? (Rev. 6:17).
C. Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. (Rev. 11:1-2).
D. Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostlesand prophets, for God has avenged you on her! (Rev. 18:20).
E. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth. (Rev. 18:24).
F. For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” (Rev. 19:2).
G. The book of Revelation deals primarily with the victory of Christ and the Church over all the forces of evil and the vengeance of God on the Jewish Nation—the ones that Satan was using at that time to persecute and kill the “apostles and saints” in the first century. It was written to encourage those to whom it was first written (Rev. 1:11) and dealt primarily with some things that were to “shortly take place” (Rev. 1:1: 22:6) and were “near” at that time (Rev. 1:3; 22:10). For one to believe that “the entire” book of Revelation has been fulfilled is a mistake in my judgment, but to think that “none” of it has been fulfilled is equally wrong.
IV. REVELATION FOR TODAY
I believe that primary message (first application of the principles) in the book of Revelation applied to the “avenging the blood” of the apostles and prophets against the Jewish Nation. (Compare Matt. 23:34-38 with Rev. 18:20 & 24). However I also believe that the ultimate message is for every age and every Christian at all times. This means that no matter what group (or individual for that matter) it is that persecutes Christians, the judgment of God is coming on the persecutors at some point. When they fill up the measure of their sins to the point that God will not tolerate any more from them they become “ripe” for judgment and He then pours out His wrath on them. (See Genesis 15:16; Matthew 23:32; 1 Thessalonians 2:16; and Revelation 18:5). The judgment of God is coming on every nation that persecutes Christians and no amount of persecution is going to keep believers out of Heaven (or away from God presence) and this is the message of the book. The principles taught in the book are meant for all time and in all cases. The wrath of God will be poured out on any nation, group or individual who persecute and/or kill His people. “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” says the Lord (Deut. 32:35; Rom. 12:19) is a principle that God has always applied and will always do so. In my judgment the book of Revelation verifies and describes that “vengeance” in detail. The wrath described in the book was first poured out on Jewish Nation (Jewish religious system/Judaism) who were the primary group of persecutors who were at that time persecuting the Church, but the principle taught (that God avenges the blood of His people) was later applied to Rome, and then to countless other countries and/or groups who have persecuted His people over the centuries since the book was written. Like Jerusalem (and later Rome), numerous countries and movements have fallen because of their mistreatment of the people of God. The “vengeance” of God will be poured out on any group or country (including the U.S./Russia, China, ISIS or any others) if they persecute/mistreat Christians. This is the teaching of Jesus in the book. The message of Revelation is vengeance and victory. It is vengeance against those who persecute believers and victory for those Christians who are persecuted. This will be ultimately be fulfilled for the last time when Jesus comes in person to take vengeance on those who reject His sacrifice and on those who “trouble” believers at His second coming (2 Thess. 1:3-10) at which time Satan himself (the instigator of all persecution) will be destroyed and all tribulation and persecution will be over!