Zephaniah 1:14-18, “The Day of the LORD- A Time of Wrath”
The prophet Zephaniah prophesied, “The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.” Zephaniah 1:14-18
The prophet Zephaniah further stated, “Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” Zephaniah 3:8
None, may I repeat none, of the prophecies of Zephaniah quoted above has taken place either literally, spiritually, allegorically, since Zephaniah penned these prophecies. All of these prophecies are still future and will commence at the opening of the First Seal in Revelation 6:1 and continue, concurrently, as the Seventh Seal is opened in Revelation 8:1. The continuation of the wrath of God in included in the 7 Trumpets, the 7 Thunders, the 7 Vials and the 3 woes.
Therefore, as previously stated, according to the prophets of the Old Testament, “the day of the Lord,” besides the complete 7 years in the Tribulation Period, includes the gathering of the Jews as spoken by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 24:29-31.
Introduction - The Old Testament Prophets
God gave us the prophets, and the nation of Israel, as an example to clearly show us how He brings His wrath upon men. 1 Corinthians 10:6 & 11, “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. … Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
Hosea 12:10, “I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.” God speaks through the prophets. If a person is going to learn the correct, and I emphasize the word correct, interpretation of the book of Revelation than it is of a necessity for that individual to learn the ministry, the visions, the similitudes, the dreams of the prophets of the Old Testament.
I will give three examples.
First example. In order to know the correct interpretation of Revelation 12:1-6, the woman clothed with the sun, we must go to the dreams of Joseph in Genesis 37:1-11.
Second Example. In order to know the correct interpretation of Revelation 6:1-12, the Seven Seals, and determine whether or not it is ‘the wrath of God’ and the ‘day of the Lord’ one must go to the prophets. In conjunction with Zephaniah, in this study we will look at Ezekiel and Isaiah.
Third Example. In the Six Seals we see the wrath of God poured out upon the entire world in order to punish the world in the following four judgments: The Sword – Revelation 6:1-4, Famine – Revelation 6:5-6, Pestilence, and the beasts of the earth – Revelation 6:7-8. God used all four of these judgments, clearly stated as His “wrath” on the Jews as in Revelation 6:1-8 as recorded in Jeremiah 15:1-4; 16:1-4 and 32:36-37 and Ezekiel 5:12-17 and 7:15
Zephaniah 1:14-18 and the & 7-Year Tribulation Period
“That day is a day of wrath...” The prophet Zephaniah clearly prophesies that the day of the Lord will be a day of wrath. All of the proceeding prophecies in Zephaniah 1:14-18 are clearly seen in the 6 Seals as recorded in Revelation 6 and in the opening of the Seventh Seal in Revelation 8:1 and following.
The prophet Jeremiah gave us an example of the “great wrath” of God upon the Jews and as an example to us what God is going to do on a world-wide scale in Revelation 6. “And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely.” Jeremiah 32:36-37
The “great wrath” of God on the nations of the world will commence at the First Seal as recorded in Revelation 6:1-4
Zephaniah further prophesied, “… a day of trouble and distress ...” All of the 6 Seals; the Seventh Seal includes the 7 Trumpets, the 7 Thunders, the 7 Vials, and the three woes, are, “a day of trouble and distress” upon the whole earth. The Lord Jesus emphasized the prophecy of Zephaniah when Zephaniah said, “a day of trouble and distress. “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” Luke 21:26
Zephaniah further prophesied, “… a day of wasteness and desolation ...” All of the 6 Seals, including the Seventh Seal that includes the 7 Trumpets, the 7 Thunders, the 7 Vials, and the three woes, are, “a day of trouble and distress” upon the whole earth.
Zephaniah further prophesied, “… and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness ...”
This coincides with the prophecy of Isaiah 9:19, “Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel to the fire: no man shall spare his brother.” The wrath of darkness and the killing of one’s own family members will be on a world-wide scale in the Second Seal, the Red Horse. Isaiah and Zephaniah clearly state that this is “wrath” from the Lord.
Isaiah is also clear in Isaiah 13:6-13, that I previously brought out, the wrath of the day of the Lord is to “punish the world.” Included in Isaiah’s prophecy is, “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 her light to shine.” Isaiah 13:10
The Second Seal coincides, and concurrently, with the Fourth Angel sounding the Fourth Trumpet in Revelation 8:12, “And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.” Therefore this is conclusive evidence that the 7 Seals and the 7 Trumpets are both a part of the wrath of God, both are a part of the ‘day of the Lord’ and both are in fulfillment of the prophet Zephaniah in Zephaniah 1:14-18
The Second Seal also coincides with the Fifth angel pouring out the Fifth Vial upon the kingdom of the Beast in Revelation 16:10, “And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues with pain.”
So, the Second Seal is part of, and runs concurrently of, the ‘vials of the wrath of God upon the earth’ Revelation 16:1
Therefore, the ‘gloominess, a day of clouds, and thick darkness,’ on a world-wide scale is a part of the wrath of God that will take place in the Second Seal, the Fourth Trumpet, and the Fifth Vial.
Zephaniah further prophesied, “A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.” This is a clear prophesy of the First Seal, the Second Seal, and one of the Thunder Judgments; not revealed according to Revelation 10:3-4. The sounding of the trumpet as prophesied by Zephaniah is clearly a sound of war; the anti-Christ, by warfare, starts his conquest of the entire world.
Revelation 6:1-4 states, “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.”
So, the prophesy of Zephaniah, concerning the ‘wrath of God,’ starts at the First Seal in Revelation 6:1 and continues throughout the entire 7 years. According to the Lord Jesus, the wrath of God is so intense that unless God shortened the days, in order to save the ‘elect’ sons the Jacob, the Jewish race, than the entire human race would be destroyed by the end of the Seals, the Trumpets, the Thunders, the Vials, and the woes. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:22
The Lord Jesus plainly stated that all of the prophecies of the prophets, Zephaniah as this lesson’s example, will be fulfilled. “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” Luke 21:22
Pastor Anderson Disbelief of the prophecy of Zephaniah, Isaiah & Ezekiel
Concerning the first Four Seals, Pastor Anderson is in denial that they have anything to do with the wrath of God. Anderson states, “So that shows that the events of the first four seals are NOT THE WRATH of God. And obviously the fifth seal is not the wrath of God, it's Christians being killed for the cause of Christ, that's not God doing that.”i
Anderson is in error. According to the prophet Zephaniah, and by example Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, the first Five Seals are the wrath of God poured out on the entire world. The saints in Revelation 6 are saints in the Tribulation Period and not saints in the Body of Christ: Christians.
Concerning the world-wide destruction within the first 4 Seals in Revelation 6:1-8, Anderson states, “And by the way, I believe that all of these things are man-made, they’re clearly not the wrath of God, and I’ve proved that in other sermons. These are engineered in order to put the antichrist in power because it takes a crisis in order to put a world government like that in power, and the crisis is created with those first four seals.”ii
Anderson offers no substantial scriptural proof that the seal judgments are not the wrath of God. The proof that Anderson offers, “in other sermons,” that the Seal Judgments are “man-made” and “engineered in order to put the antichrist is power” are messages against the United States, messages against the Jewish race, and numerous ‘conspiracy theories.’
According to the prophet Zephaniah, and the examples of the prophet Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, the 6 Seals, and the other concurrent judgments, are all part of the wrath of God, upon the entire world, as described in the 7-Year Tribulation period. The wrath of God, as prophesied by Zephaniah, is plainly evident in Revelation 6. It is only due to the mercy of God for His chosen people, the sons of Jacob, the Jewish race, that the entire world is not killed.
i Anderson, Steven Revelation 6 copied on April 30, 2019 <http://www.faithfulwordbaptist.org/revelation_6.html>
ii Anderson, Steven Revelation 12 copied on May 13, 2019 <http://www.faithfulwordbaptist.org/revelation_12.html>