I hope by now that I have at least gotten you to consider the possibility that God does not bring wrath down on the world so that those who survive might repent and that my answer to the title of this post is “No.”
(in case you haven’t read them, here are my previous posts:
In my last post (Are the 7 Seals God’s Wrath? #4), I responded to the popular view that the Seven Seals of Rev 6:1-17, and 8:1 represent God’s wrath.
I argued that the view that God inflicts suffering on the world in order to get everyone else to repent makes God no better than any other dictator. After all, the use of power, force, suffering, and other such means to get people to “fall in line” with the program is what the nations do!
In my last post, I suggested that “the first four Seals (Rev 6:1-8) describe the inevitable consequences of what happens when humanity rules apart from God. The tragic result of human rule is violence, famine, death, and destruction.”
This raises another significant problem for those who believe that what happens in the Seven Seals and the Seven Trumpets are the result of God inflicting wrath. Namely, that this view makes God responsible for what humanity has done.
This is why I would go so far as to make the claim that this view is potentially blasphemous.
NB: Now I am not saying that everyone who believes this is blaspheming, or that they are going to hell. I am simply saying that any view that makes God no different from a dictator is fundamentally blasphemous.
And this is why I have been writing these posts. Consider it this way:
The biblical story begins in Eden. The problem was that humanity decided that we didn’t need the wisdom from God, instead, we chose to rule on our own terms (See my post: Did Adam and Eve fall or did they fail?). As the last line in the book of Judges says, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judg 21:25).
This, of course, is contrasted with the message of the book of Proverbs, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov 1:7).
The fundamental question becomes, “Who makes the rules”—God or humanity? What I mean by this is, “Who decides what is good and what is bad?”
The problem with humanity making such decisions—and they can at times make good decisions—is that those who have the power to make such decisions most often decide what is good or bad for themselves. This, after all, is fundamental to human nature. We instinctively look out for ourselves first. In fact, this is not necessarily bad. Survival is basic to human existence.
The problem becomes when what is in the best interest of those in power is actually to the detriment of others. This is one of the primary characteristics of power. Those in power rule for their own well-being or survival as a matter of first importance. That is, they aim to remain in power in order that they may continue to reap the benefits of power. This is true even if those in power aim to do good.
This is what the Seven Seals describe.
Is God the source of injustice?
The order of events for those in power often corresponds to the first four Seals.
First, they spread the necessary propaganda to encourage others to support or submit to their power. This is what the First Seal (Rev 6:1-2) and the rider on the white horse represents.
NB: The determinetruth podcast, which will be released next week (June 26, 2023), will discuss the Roman Empire’s propaganda and how it was used to coerce submission among the people.
Then, if necessary, those in power engage in wars in order to either defend or expand their power. This is what the Second Seal (Rev 6:3-4) and the rider on the red horse represents.
War, of course, results in economic upheaval that impacts the poor and the marginalized on a far greater scale than the wealthy. This is what the Third Seal (Rev 6:5-6) and the rider on the black horse represents.
War and famine lead to various other adverse effects such as pestilence and death. This is what the Fourth Seal (Rev 6:7-8) and the rider on the pale horse represents.
Thus, as Warren Carter observes, “The violent destruction does not come about because God intervenes. Conquest, war, economic exploitation, and famine are expressions and consequences of empire.”
NB: this has also led to the aversion toward justice, which is widely popular within Christian circles—especially evangelical ones. After all, if we believe that human rule creates injustice, then we should naturally aim to do something about it. But, if we suppose that God creates injustices, then we may remain on the sidelines. After all, injustice is what you get for not following Jesus!
I wrote a number of blogs on the Kingdom of God that address this issue. Here is the link to the first post of seven: or search “Kingdom” at determinetruth.com. In addition, I wrote a series on justice. Here is the link to the first post of eleven: or search “justice” at determinetruth.com.
The people of God also suffer from the effects in the Seals narrative
It is also widely believed that since the Seven Seals are God’s wrath on the world, Christians do not suffer from the effects of the Seals.
There are numerous problems with this view. I will simply note here that the fact that the people of God suffer from the effects that follow each of the first four Seals is why in the Fifth Seal they are crying out, “How long, O Lord?” (6:10)! They too are suffering and they want to know when God will bring them relief.
This brings me to my last point on this topic: those who are most impacted by the destructive forces unleashed by human rulers and their lust for power are the poor and the marginalized.
Justo Gonzalez affirms this point: “The geopolitical order is not just a matter of world politics, of empires and kingdoms; it is also a matter of people going hungry, of families not being able to sustain themselves, and of the rich and the powerful making sure that the system continues working for the benefit of those in power, even if it means hunger and starvation for others.”
What about the Seven Trumpets?
What if I were to say global warming is legitimate and that it corresponds to what the Seven Trumpets depict? I’ll discuss this in my next post.
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 Carter, Roman Empire, 125.
 Gonzalez, “Revelation,” In David Rhoads ed., From Every People and Nation: The Book of Revelation in Intercultural Perspectives, Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005, Kindle, loc 914-16.