Biblical Eschatology

A Biblical study of eschatology and the pre-tribulational & post-tribulational rapture views of the end times.

We are not Appointed to Wrath

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 NASB
9For God has not ἔθετο (tithemi) destined us εἰς for ὀργὴν (orge) wrath, but εἰς for obtaining σωτηρίας (soteria) salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:9 it says that "God has not destined us for ὀργὴν (orge) wrath." Instead, we receive σωτηρίας (soteria) salvation (i.e., eternal life). The context of 5:9 is 5:2, which explains what will occur on the Day of the Lord.

Probably the number one objection used to try to refute the post-trib rapture, is that Christians are not appointed to wrath. On the surface, many Christians find this argument to be very persuasive.

The central problem with the pre-trib wrath argument is that it is made based on English. The argument made in this article is based on the Greek word ὀργὴ (orge). When we ask if something is God's wrath, we are thinking in terms of how wrath is defined in English.

Webster's defines wrath as:

1. Strong vengeful anger or indignation
2. Retributory punishment for an offense or a crime; divine chastisement.
Hebrews 12:6 says, "the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives" (ESV). Webster's defines wrath as "divine chastisement." So in terms of how we think of wrath in English, according to Webster's, God currently pours out His wrath (i.e., hands out a punishment for disobedience)! And God currently pours out his "wrath" on believers (as defined by Webster's)!

Obviously, the New Testament was written in Greek, not English. So it doesn't matter if we believe that part or all of the tribulation is the wrath of God, in terms of how we view wrath. Instead, we must view these verses based on how they are spelled out in the Bible and based on the Greek word orge. If you don't read this based on the Greek, then the rest of scripture makes no sense. In terms of English and how we perceive wrath, does God pour out His wrath during the tribulation? Yes, of course, if we are viewing "wrath" in English terms. But by this same gauge, God is currently pouring out His wrath.

Orge can mean fierce anger when used as a reference to feelings or a state of mind. However, when it refers to God's judgment, it's a reference to the destruction of the wicked, which occurs on the Day of the Lord and is contrasted with the salvation of the righteous. On that litteral 24 hour day, for one hour (i.e., 60 minutes), God pours out his orge wrath and destroys the wicked. This day is referred to as the Day of Judgment as well as the Day of Wrath.

Thayer defines orge as "anger, wrath, indignation"; "anger exhibited in punishing, hence used for the punishment itself"; "of the punishment inflicted by magistrates"; "vessels into which wrath will be poured (at the last day)"; "the day on which the wrath of God will be made manifest in the punishment of the wicked"; "the wrath of God cometh upon one in the infliction of penalty"; and "is attributed to Christ also when he comes as Messianic judge."
Matthew 3:6-8 NASB (Also Cf. Luke 3:7)
6and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins. 7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the ὀργῆς (orge) wrath to come? 8"Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;
Basically, John the Baptist is telling the Pharisees and Sadducees a little water is not going to save you from the orge wrath of eternal destruction! All would concede that John was performing these baptisms before the establishment of the Church, and under the Old Covenant. Jews who were approaching him were repenting and believing. The point John was making to the Jewish Pharisees and Sadducees was that a little water is not going to save you from the orge wrath of eternal destruction, which is poured out on the Day of the Lord. John did not need to explain further. The Jews of his day would have clearly understood John's point because the coming orge wrath and the Day of (orge) Wrath were clearly taught in the Old Testament.

Proverbs 11:4 ESV
4Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.
This verse in Proverbs is similar to what Jesus said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal" (Matthew 6:19 NASB). Paul, with similar language, stresses this coming judgment.
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 HCSB
13each one's work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one's work. 14If anyone's work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone's work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire.
Riches do not profit on the Day of wrath, because as Paul points out, our works, cars, houses, and worldly possessions that make up our wealth are burned up on that Day. The only works that survive are those eternal works we performed for the benefit of the kingdom. The book of Job, which was probably the first book written in the Old Testament, speaks clearly of this future Day of Wrath.
Job 20:26-29 NET
26Total darkness waits to receive his treasures; a fire that has not been kindled will consume him and devour what is left in his tent. 27The heavens reveal his iniquity; the earth rises up against him. 28A flood will carry off his house, rushing waters on the day of God's wrath. 29Such is the lot God allots the wicked, and the heritage of his appointment from God."
Job stated that the Day of God's (orge) Wrath is a judgment given the wicked, not the righteous. So to say that any righteous are appointed to God's orge wrath, would be contrary to what Job states here. In Job 20:28 the LXX contains the Greek phrase ἡμέρα ὀργῆς which would be translated "the day of (orge) wrath."
Job 21:30 Brenton LXX
30For the wicked hastens to the day of ὀργῆς (orge) destruction: they shall be led away for the day of his vengeance.
The Greek phrase here ἡμέραν ὀργῆς αὐτοῦ which Brenton translated "the day of his vengeance," if translated consistently, would be "the day of His (orge) wrath." The Greek ἡμέραν ἀπωλείας here, Brenton translated, "the day of destruction."

Psalms 110 covers many of the New Testament themes, that Jesus is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (v. 4), He is at the right hand (v. 1, 5), He will judge (v. 5 & 6), there will be mass deaths (v. 6), and Jesus will rule (v. 2). In Psalm 110:5 (LXX Ref. Psalm 109:5), the Greek phrase ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ὀργῆς αὐτοῦ, would be translated "on the Day of His (orge) Wrath."
Isaiah 13:3-13 NASB
3I have commanded My consecrated ones, I have even called My mighty warriors, My proudly exulting ones, To execute My anger. 4A sound of tumult on the mountains, Like that of many people! A sound of the uproar of kingdoms, Of nations gathered together! The LORD of hosts is mustering the army for battle. 5They are coming from a far country, From the farthest horizons, The LORD and His instruments of indignation, To destroy the whole land. 6Wail, for the day of the LORD is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. 7Therefore all hands will fall limp, And every man's heart will melt. 8They will be terrified, Pains and anguish will take hold of them; They will writhe like a woman in labor, They will look at one another in astonishment, Their faces aflame. 9Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it. 10For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises And the moon will not shed its light. 11Thus I will punish the world for its evil And the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless. 12I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold And mankind than the gold of Ophir. 13Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, And the earth will be shaken from its place At the fury of the LORD of hosts In the day of His burning anger.
The Greek LXX breakdown of these verses in Isaiah include, 13:3 τὸν θυμόν μου translated "my (thymos) anger", 13:9 θυμοῦ καὶ ὀργῆς translated "(thymos) anger and (orge) wrath", and 13:13 θυμὸν ὀργῆς κυρίου translated "The (thymos) fierce (orge) wrath of the Lord." Isaiah is clearly identifying the Day of Orge Wrath and the Day of the Lord as the same exact day. He also clearly outlined that all unbelievers will be killed and utterly destroyed, and there will be no survivors (verses 5, 6, 9, 11, 12).

Ezekiel 22:24 NIV
24"Son of man, say to the land, 'You are a land that has not been cleansed or rained on in the day of wrath.' 25There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her. 26Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. 28Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says'—when the Lord has not spoken. 29The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice. 30"I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. 31So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord."
In Ezekiel 22:24 the Greek is ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ὀργῆς, "on the day of wrath." Also, more accurately, the ESV in Ezekiel 22:31 states, "I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath." That is similar to the Greek in the LXX ἐν πυρὶ ὀργῆς μου translated "in the fire of My (orge) wrath." In this discourse, Ezekiel was focusing on the deeds of Jews, and speaking of those who are unrighteous who will be destroyed on the Day of Wrath. This is similar to the statements by John the Baptist.

Zephaniah 1:7-18 ESV
7Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near; the LORD has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests. 8And on the day of the LORD's sacrifice- "I will punish the officials and the king's sons and all who array themselves in foreign attire. 9On that day I will punish everyone who leaps over the threshold, and those who fill their master's house with violence and fraud. 10"On that day," declares the LORD, "a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate, a wail from the Second Quarter, a loud crash from the hills. 11Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar! For all the traders are no more; all who weigh out silver are cut off. 12At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, 'The LORD will not do good, nor will he do ill.' 13Their goods shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them." 14The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there. 15A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, 16a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements. 17I will bring distress on mankind, so that they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung. 18Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the LORD. In the fire of his jealousy, all the earth shall be consumed; for a full and sudden end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.
The key Greek phrases in the LXX include Zephaniah 1:15 δυνατὴ ἡμέρα ὀργῆς "the mighty Day of (orge) Wrath" and 1:18 ἡμέρᾳ ὀργῆς κυρίου "the Day of the Lord's (orge) Wrath." The Day of the Lord is also mentioned 3 times. Verse 7 ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ κυρίου "the day of the Lord", Verse 14 ἡ ἡμέρα κυρίου ἡ μεγάλη "the great day of the Lord", and ἡμέρας κυρίου "the day of the Lord". Verse 15 also says that the day of the Lord is a day of tribulation, ἡμέρα θλίψεως.

Like Isaiah, Zephaniah, in the clearest of terms, states that all inhabitants of the earth will be killed and destroyed. The righteous will not be killed because they will have been raptured earlier that same day, at the start of the Day of the Lord. Nowhere in these verses does it say that the righteous will take part in this orge wrath and are destroyed. Nor does it say anything similar anywhere in the New Testament. So the idea that "tribulation saints" will have God's orge wrath poured out on them has no Biblical support, and that concept is found nowhere in scripture.
Zephaniah 2:1-15 NASB

1Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation without shame, 2Before the decree takes effect— The day passes like the chaff— Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD'S anger comes upon you. 3Seek the LORD, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the LORD'S anger. 4For Gaza will be abandoned And Ashkelon a desolation; Ashdod will be driven out at noon And Ekron will be uprooted. 5Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast, The nation of the Cherethites! The word of the LORD is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines; And I will destroy you So that there will be no inhabitant. 6So the seacoast will be pastures, With caves for shepherds and folds for flocks. 7And the coast will be For the remnant of the house of Judah, They will pasture on it. In the houses of Ashkelon they will lie down at evening; For the LORD their God will care for them And restore their fortune. 8"I have heard the taunting of Moab And the revilings of the sons of Ammon, With which they have taunted My people And become arrogant against their territory. 9"Therefore, as I live," declares the LORD of hosts, The God of Israel, "Surely Moab will be like Sodom And the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah— A place possessed by nettles and salt pits, And a perpetual desolation. The remnant of My people will plunder them And the remainder of My nation will inherit them." 10This they will have in return for their pride, because they have taunted and become arrogant against the people of the LORD of hosts. 11The LORD will be terrifying to them, for He will starve all the gods of the earth; and all the coastlands of the nations will bow down to Him, everyone from his own place. 12"You also, O Ethiopians, will be slain by My sword." 13And He will stretch out His hand against the north And destroy Assyria, And He will make Nineveh a desolation, Parched like the wilderness. 14Flocks will lie down in her midst, All beasts which range in herds; Both the pelican and the hedgehog Will lodge in the tops of her pillars; Birds will sing in the window, Desolation will be on the threshold; For He has laid bare the cedar work. 15This is the exultant city Which dwells securely, Who says in her heart, "I am, and there is no one besides me." How she has become a desolation, A resting place for beasts! Everyone who passes by her will hiss And wave his hand in contempt.

In the LXX, in Zephaniah 2:2 the key Greek phrases with translation are ὀργὴν κυρίου "the (orge) wrath of the Lord" and ἡμέραν θυμοῦ κυρίου "the day of the Lord's anger." In 2:3 the Greek is ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ὀργῆς κυρίου "on the Day of (orge) Wrath of the Lord."

Zephaniah, in 2:3 alludes to the righteous being hidden on the Day of (orge) Wrath. This is similar to statements made by Job in 14:13, who asked God to hide him in Sheol until His ὀργὴ (orge) wrath passes. This is not to say that believers are hidden in Sheol during the Day of (orge) Wrath, but instead, that Job realized the brevity of the situation and was wishing to avoid that gruesome day. We are hidden because while God is pouring out His orge wrath on the wicked, the righteous will be hidden in New Jerusalem until the (orge) wrath passes.

These Old Testament passages make it clear that the Jews of the first century clearly knew that the Day of (orge) Wrath would be an event that they would want to avoid. On that day all the wicked would be killed and destroyed. Flavius Josephus actually spoke of this destruction by fire in Antiquities of the Jews (1.67), where he states, "upon Adam's prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and at another time by the violence and quantity of water."1

Revisiting 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, it should be noted that it states that God has not destined ἡμᾶς "us" to ὀργὴν (orge) wrath, instead, we are ἔθετο (tithemi) "destined" to receive σωτηρίας (soteria) "salvation". The first person plural pronoun ἡμᾶς (us), would refer to the group of people that include Paul and the first century congregation of Thessalonica. It is argued that this statement applies to the Church because all members of the group were all members of the Church. First, this would assume that all members of the congregation at Thessalonica were saved. I find this doubtful. If you say it applied to Thessalonian believers, in which I would agree, then the statement by implication would be applicable to all believers, not just the Church. Therefore, this statement would also have to be applied to "tribulation saints" as well, since they are also believers. Additionally, Paul was also an Israelite, so in this same thinking, then believing Israelites would have to be exempted from this wrath as well. The bottom line is that all believers are not appointed to wrath, because the wrath is a reference to the destruction of the wicked on the Day of the Lord.

Pretribulationists argue that since the tribulation is a time that God pours out his wrath, then the Church can't be present. The problem with this theology, however, is that no matter what your eschatology, all believe that there are elect saints that are converted during the tribulation.
Revelation 7:9, 13-14 NASB
9After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;
13Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?" 14I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
In the past, present or future, no saint who is a believer in Jesus is ever appointed to a destiny of orge wrath. On the other hand, believers are not (tithemi) destined to receive the orge wrath of God, instead, we receive eternal life, which is (soteria) salvation. This is what we are (tithemi) destined for.

Further, the Greek verb tithemi, translated as destined in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, has been used in other passages denoting the appointment of the wicked to eternal destruction. Jesus stated, "The master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and θήσει (tithemi) assign him a place with the unbelievers" (Luke 12:46 NASB); "and will cut him in pieces and ἔθηκεν (tithemi) assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 24:51 NASB).
Ephesians 2:3 ESV
among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of ὀργῆς (orge) wrath, like the rest of mankind.
Dallas Theological Seminary is one of the biggest champions of the pre-trib view. A Greek professor there, Dr. Daniel Wallace, wrote the book Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. In his book, as an example, Wallace states that ὀργῆς (orge) in Ephesians 2:3 is a "Genitive of Destination."2 In his video series that follows his book, Wallace comments further on Ephesians 2:3 and states, "When he [Paul] uses wrath, he frequently uses it in terms of a genitive of destination, or even when it is not a genitive in terms of a goal or final terminus for some people."3 He then goes on to explain that Ephesians 2:3 should be understood as saying, "We were children who were destined for wrath, just as were the rest."4 He summarizes Paul's words, and states, "At least in a theological sense, that was our destiny until we put our faith in Jesus Christ."5

So Dr. Wallace an expert in Koine (Biblical) Greek at one of the most pre-trib seminaries in the world, is saying that when Paul uses the Greek word ὀργὴ (orge), Wallace asserts that Paul is generally referring to the final destination or destiny of that person (i.e., eternal destruction), which they will receive unless they believe and are saved.

Soteriology is the doctrine of salvation, and its name is derived from the Greek noun σωτηρία (soteria). So it shouldn't be surprising that 89% of the time, the Greek word soteria clearly means salvation in terms of eternal life, making it essentially a technical term in the New Testament. Therefore, a proper hermeneutic would be to have a default understanding that soteria in the New Testament refers to eternal salvation. Only if valid evidence is shown to the contrary in the context of the passage, should this be understood otherwise. All exceptions clearly show that eternal salvation is not the focus. A list of all occurrences of the Greek noun soteria can be found here.

Therefore, the (soteria) salvation Paul spoke of in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 should be understood as the realization of our salvation on the last day, the Day of the Lord. This concept, the already not yet concept of the realization of our salvation, is clearly taught in scripture. Yes, Jesus procured our salvation on the cross, but the realization of that salvation does not occur until the Resurrection of the Just on the Day of the Lord. Additionally, the realization of this salvation is contrasted with unbelievers receiving the orge wrath of God. This occurs on the Day of Judgment when God separates the goats from the sheep. This is exactly what Jesus stated in John 5:24 "I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life" (HCSB). On that day, unbelievers receive death and destruction versus believers who receive eternal life. In the same way, Jesus states in John 3:16 "that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life" (HCSB). Paul in Philippians 1:28 stated, "and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their ἀπωλείας destruction, but of your σωτηρίας (soteria) salvation, and that from God" (ESV).

Paul in Romans 13:11 stated that our salvation is "nearer" now than when we first believed, and Hebrews 1:14 says that we will inherit salvation. "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the σωτηρίας (soteria) salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Timothy 2:10 KJV). The clearest example is 1 Peter 1:5, which ties it all together; "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto σωτηρίαν (soteria) salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (KJV).

On the other hand, the already aspect of our salvation is also clear in scripture. "For in this hope we were ἐσώθημεν (sozo) saved" (Romans 8:24a ESV); "he ἔσωσεν (sozo) saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness" (Titus 3:5 ESV); and "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be σωθησόμεθα (sozo) saved by his life" (Romans 5:10 KJV).

In Romans 8:24 and Titus 3:5 the verb sozo, which is translated as "saved", is aorist indicative, which means it is past tense (i.e., your salvation is a current reality). In Romans 5:10 sozo is future indicative, indicating that although we are currently saved and have eternal life (the already), the realization of our salvation is yet future (the not yet)!

As Wallace pointed out, it is clear that Paul talks about the orge wrath as being a judgment from God and speaks of unbeliever's final destination. "Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the ὀργῇ (orge) wrath of God, for it is written, 'VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,' says the Lord" (Romans 12:19 NASB). But as believers, we are "to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the ὀργῆς (orge) wrath to come" (1 Thessalonians 1:10 NASB). Jude 1:5 again shows this clear contrast; "Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after σώσας (sozo) saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe" (NASB). "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23 NASB).

Speaking of the Day of Judgment, in 1 Corinthians 3:15 Paul states, "If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be σωθήσεται (sozo) saved, but only as through fire" (ESV). The verb σωθήσεται (sozo) is Future Indicative, indicating that the realization of salvation is still yet future. As 1 Corinthians 5:5 outlines, the realization of our salvation is that our spirit is saved on the Day of the Lord, "you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord" (ESV).

This theme is repeated over and over in the New Testament: "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the ἡ ὀργὴ (orge) wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36 NASB); "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be σωθησόμεθα (sozo) saved from the τῆς ὀργῆς (orge) wrath of God through Him" (Romans 5:9 NASB); "For the ὀργὴ (orge) wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18 NASB); "for the Law brings about ὀργήν (orge) wrath" (Romans 4:15 NASB); "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the ὀργὴ (orge) wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 5:6 NASB); "For it is because of these things that the ὀργὴ (orge) wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience" (Colossians 3:6 NASB); "they always fill up the measure of their sins. But ὀργὴ (orge) wrath has come upon them to the utmost" (1 Thessalonians 2:16 NASB).

The clearest example of what Dr. Wallace stated, and shows that the orge wrath is what occurs on the Day of Judgment is in Romans.
Romans 2:5-8 NASB
5But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up ὀργὴν (orge) wrath for yourself in the day of ὀργῆς (orge) wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, ὀργὴ (orge) wrath and θυμός (thymos) indignation.
Romans 9:22 NASB
22What if God, although willing to demonstrate His τὴν ὀργὴν (orge) wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of ὀργῆς (orge) wrath prepared for destruction?
Romans 3:5-6 NET
5But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts τὴν ὀργήν (orge) wrath is not unrighteous, is he? (I am speaking in human terms.) 6Absolutely not! For otherwise how could God judge the world?
Some Bibles add an "us" in verse 5, which is not in the Greek. This verse is not talking about pouring out orge wrath on saints. It is speaking of pouring out orge wrath on the wicked on the Day of Judgment.

Jesus stated, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved" (Matthew 10:22 KJV). Jesus also stated something similar in Matthew 24:13 as well, "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved" (KJV). In Matthew 10:22, 24:13; and Mark 13:13 it says that those who endure to the end will be σωθήσεται (sozo) saved. The verb σωθήσεται is future indicative. Essentially this is saying that after enduring hardships, there is light at the end of the tunnel because on the last day, your eternal salvation will be realized.

Similarly, in Revelation, the theme to the congregations of believers is that those who overcome will escape the final judgment. He who overcomes "I will give authority over the nations" (Revelation 2:26 NASB), and they "will not be hurt by the second death." (cf. Revelation 2:11 NASB & Revelation 21:7-8, 14). This mantra is repeated in Revelation 2:7, 17; 3:5, 12, 21. And then later in Revelation, we see that "they overcame" (Revelation 12:11) and were "victorious over the beast and his image" (Revelation 15:2 NASB).

The book of Revelation is not chronological but instead contains several narrative timelines. These timelines are somewhat chronological, but at times are not. Looking at the times the book of Revelation talks about orge wrath, it is clear that each occurrence is at the end of each timeline (i.e., at the end of the tribulation), and therefore occurs on the last day.

Revelation 6:12-15 describes what Jesus described as events that proceed the Day of the Lord as well as the starting point. Verses 16-17 are references to the actual ὀργή orge wrath being poured out on the Day of the Lord.

Revelation 6:16-17 NASB
16and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the ὀργῆς (orge) wrath of the Lamb; 17for the great day of their ὀργῆς (orge) wrath has ἦλθεν come, and who is δύναται able to stand?"
Here ἦλθεν is an aorist indicative, and δύναται is present indicative. The idea is that the day had arrived.

Chapter 7 actually goes back in time and further describes the symbolic sealing of the elect. Note, 7:3 states, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads." (ESV) in Revelation 6:12-15 we see the earth being harmed, therefore it is warranted to say that chapter 7 is rewinding the narrative. Revelation 7:9-17 describes those who had been raptured. Revelation 8:1 describes the end of this timeline with, "there was silence in heaven for about half an hour" (ESV).

Revelation 11:18 NASB
"And the nations were enraged ὠργίσθησαν, and Your ὀργή (orge) wrath ἦλθεν came, and the time came for the dead to be κριθῆναι judged, and the time to δοῦναι reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth."
It appears that Revelation 11:11-12 is symbolic of the rapture occurring. It closely precedes the seventh trumpet, which is the close of another timeline. In Revelation 11:15 the seventh trumpet is blown, and it states that the kingdom is set up on earth. The Greek verb used here, Ἐγένετο is an aorist indicative, which means the verse is basically saying that the kingdom was established on this earth (i.e., the kingdom had been established and is now a present reality). This is more evidence that Revelation is not chrological because this would mean that the tribulation has ended, and the age has come to an end. But yet, in the verses that follow it shows things that occur in our present age.

Revelation 11:18 is simply summarizing what had already happened in the preceding verses. The NASB does a good job translating the verbs ὠργίσθησαν and ἦλθεν in Revelation 11:18. Both are Aorist Indicative, which denotes a past action. Therefore, this passage is saying, the nations had been enraged, and God's orge wrath has passed. Although aorist does not mean once, for all time, it can have that meaning when allowed by the context. So although God's orge Wrath had passed it doesn't mean it couldn't come again. But based on context, it makes it clear that it is both passed and completed never to be poured out again. Because John stresses that the time for rewards and punishment was present or had passed. Since the verbs δοῦναι and διαφθεῖραι are aorist infinitives, no dogmatic statement can be made in regard to the aspect of time, since in Koine Greek the indicative is the only mood in which the time aspect is portrayed.

Daniel 12:2 KJV
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
What is interesting about Revelation 11:18, which seems to be overlooked, is that it says that the dead would be judged or had been judged at this point in the chronology. It speaks of both the dead who are unrighteous and righteous. But how can the righteous and wicked dead be judged unless the resurrections of both the just and unjust had already taken place? Many teach that the resurrection of the unjust occurs at the completion of the millennial kingdom, but this is not what John says at all.

Jesus stated that believers would be rewarded "at the resurrection of the righteous" ( Luke 14:14 NASB). What John is describing is the separating of the sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31-33), but not just of the living, but of the dead as well. Jesus explained that when he comes, judgment will take place, "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" (Matthew 25:46). Paul stated the same concept in Acts 24:15, "that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked" (NASB).

Jesus states that "an hour ὥρα is coming" (i.e., in 60 minutes), "which ALL who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28-29 NASB). Jesus also stated, "So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 13:49-50 NASB). The wicked and the just are both resurrected within an hour of each other. The Bible couldn't be any clearer.

Revelation 14:10-11 NASB
10he also will drink of the wine of the τῆς ὀργῆς (orge) wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His θυμοῦ (thymos) anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11"And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
The bowls are yet another timeline, and Jesus returns at the 6th bowl, which is described in Revelation 16:15. After the seventh bowl is poured out, we see in verse 17 a voice say, "It is done!"

In Revelation 16:19 Babylon the great drinks "of the wine of the fury of his (orge) wrath." If this was a continuous timeline, it would be odd because in Revelation 14:8 it states, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great." And in 14:10 those that take the mark, like Babylon also "drink the wine of God's wrath." Then again in Revelation 18:2, you see once again "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!" In Revelation 18:10 it says, "in a single hour your [Babylon's] judgment has come."

Once again, Revelation 19:6-9 pictures the ressurection of believers. And in Revelation 19:11 the coming of Jesus in judgment. In 19:14 it says, "the armies of heaven...were following him." This Judgment that is coming is to "tread the winepress of the fury of the [orge] wrath of God the Almighty."

It says in 19:21, "the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse." All unbelievers are destroyed by this final judgment.

 Thymos θυμὸς

Other confusion exists, because in addition to ὀργὴ (orge), most Bibles also translate another Greek noun θυμὸς (thymos) as wrath. However, even if both are translated into English in similar ways, it does not mean they have the same meaning or take on the same meaning in the Bible.

The difference can be easily seen since some verses use both words. For instance, Colossians 3:8 says we should put off orge [ὀργήν] and thymos [θυμόν], in addition to "malice, blasphemy, and foul language."

There is a difference between the words thymos and orge. Primarily orge is anger or wrath that leads to punishment. In the New Testament orge is used to denote the final punishment when God pours out his orge wrath on mankind on the day of the Lord. This occurs in one literal hour. Orge is the wrath that we are not appointed to.

Some think that the wrath of God comes before the Day of the Lord since some Bible translations have thymos (θυμὸς) translated as wrath. This can be confusing when reading the Bible in English. However, since the Bible wasn't written in English, we must base our doctrine off the language it was written in, Greek.
Revelation 15:1 NET
1Then I saw another great and astounding sign in heaven: seven angels who have seven final plagues (they are final because in them God's (thymos) anger [θυμὸς] is completed).
Revelation 15:1 GNT
1Then I heard a loud voice speaking from the temple to the seven angels: "Go and pour out the seven bowls of God's (thymos) anger [θυμοῦ] on the earth!"
Revelation 15:1 and 16:1 in most versions translated thymos as wrath, which creates confusion. Interestingly of note, in 15:1 and 16:1 the Darby translation translates thymos as fury. Thymos (θυμὸς) in the New Testament generally means indignation, fury or anger. Even if it should be translated as wrath, it is obvious from the uses of thymos and orge, that there is a big difference between the two. A full list of verses which contain either thymos and orge can be found here.

(1) Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 1.67.
(2) Wallace, Greek Grammar, 101.
(3) Wallace, Video Lectures, Genitive of Destination.
(4) Wallace, Video Lectures, Genitive of Destination.
(5) Wallace, Video Lectures, Genitive of Destination.

Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews. Translated by William Whiston in 1737.
Wallace, Daniel B., Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.
Wallace, Daniel B., Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics Video Lectures. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017.

We Are Not Appointed to Wrath

The Timing of the Rapture

The Testimony and Parables of Jesus

Does apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 refer to the rapture?

The Church Not Found In Revelation

The Resurrection

1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11, New Doctrine or Just a Clarification?

Who Escapes What in Revelation 3:10?

Imminence Refuted

John 14 - In My Fathers House

Harpazo the Greek Word for Rapture

Behold! I tell you what mystery means

The Dead in Christ & Tribulation Saints

Andy Woods

Revelation is NOT Chronological

Is the Holy Spirit the Restrainer?

What I believe - Day of the Lord Timeline

Understanding Zechariah 14

Blasted Hope or Blessed Hope?

Understanding Greek Pronouns and Their Importance

The Comfort Given by Paul

The Rapture in Revelation 7, Part 1

The Rapture in Revelation 7, Part 2

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