The Day of Vengeance
Luke, chapters 3 and 4 tell the beginning of Yahshua's ministry. "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered to Him the book of the Prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of Yahweh is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of Yahweh." And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And He began to say unto them, "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears."
It is not noticed here that Yahshua purposely stopped in the middle of a verse to His quotation from Isaiah 61:1‑2; the latter verse reads "to proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh, And the day of vengeance of our Elohim: to comfort all that mourn." This illustrates the extreme accuracy of the Bible. Yahshua was announcing His purpose at the beginning of His ministry, which was just the first part, "To proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh," the offer of salvation and redemption. There was to be a gap of 19 centuries before commencement of the second part, "The Day of Vengeance of our EL" Both of these were "to comfort all that mourn."
This one verse of Isaiah included both the beginning and completion of Yahshua's work, redemption and vengeance; they cannot be separated except in time. For many centuries before "the day of vengeance of our El" the churches have preached the certainty of judgment of the wicked. Now, in the generation which will see the execution of that judgment, most churches have discarded that idea, and they preach only the idea of an Almighty who is too kind to do anything harsh. They have stressed only the love of Yahshua, and ignored or denied His wrath.
But the goodness of Yahweh could not take the form of rewarding the wicked, while allowing the sufferings of the good to go unavenged. While our Elohim is patient and long suffering, to offer men full opportunity for repentance, there must be a limit to this.
We are given one clue in 2nd Esdras 4:33‑37, And I answered and said, "How long and when shall this be? and why are our years few and evil?" And he answered me and said, "You cannot hurry faster than the Most High: for you hurry for your own self but He who is above hurries for many Did not the souls of the upright ask about these things in their rooms, saying 'How long must I hope thus? And when will the harvest of our reward come?' And Jeremiel the archangel answered them and said, When the number of those who are like you is complete: for He has weighed the world in the balance, and has measured the times with a measure, and carefully counted the hours: and He will not move or disturb them until the prescribed measure is reached." So the reward of the good and the punishment of the wicked are only reserved to the Great Day of Yahweh Almighty, which we know to be rapidly approaching.
Both the Old and New Testaments clearly prophecy this Day of Wrath and Vengeance. For example, Jeremiah 10:10, "But Yahweh is the true El, and an everlasting king: at His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His Judgment."
Micah 5:15, "And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard."
Nahum 1:2,6, "Yahweh is jealous, and Yahweh revengeth; Yahweh revengeth and is furious: Yahweh will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies. Who can stand before His indignation? And who can abide the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him."
Isaiah 13:9‑11, "Behold the Day of Yahweh cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. 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. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible."
Some people will try to laugh this off by saying, "But that is all in the Old Testament, when they thought of Yahweh as cruel. But now we know that the gentle Yahshua will not take revenge for wickedness." They only show that they don't know their New Testament, either. Consider these passages from the New Testament: Revelation 19:11,16, "And I saw heaven opened, and behold! a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True: And in righteousness He doth judge and make War. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and upon His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of Yahweh. And the armies which were in Heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty Yahweh. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a new name written: King of kings and Ruler of rulers."
Again, 2nd Thessalonians 1:7‑8, "And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when Yahshua shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not Yahweh, and that obey not the gospel of our Saviour Yahshua."
Remember that Yahshua is called "the Lamb of Yahweh": but this Lamb has all the power and authority of Yahweh Almighty: And it is this Lamb of Yahweh who returns to judge and punish the wicked in the Great Day of Yahweh Almighty.
In John 5:22‑27 we read: "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son. And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also."
2nd Corinthians 5:10 tells us "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Yahshua, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." See also Acts 10:40‑42; 17:31; 2nd Timothy 4:8; Romans 14:10.
We must not forget that unpunished wickedness grows always greater until it threatens the total destruction of all who are comparatively good. Look about you today. Not only in the field of international relations, where the Communist nations are rapidly bringing the rest of the world into the most degrading slavery known to history, with the murder of scores of millions of people because they are Christians, and this with the corrupt and evil connivance of many of the rulers of the Free World; but look also into the streets of your own city, where your life is no longer safe from the criminals who grow daily more vicious as the courts coddle and protect them.
This was prophesied long ago. Habakkuk 1:4 says, "Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked surround the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth." The situation has gone beyond the power of men to deal with it: men cannot agree upon the remedy, and politics is usually the substitution of one scoundrel for another.
So the wrath of Yahweh is the only hope for salvation of the good. Psalm 76:7‑9 says, "Thou, even Thou art to be feared: and who may stand in Thy sight when once Thou art angry? Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from Heaven; the earth feared, and was still. When Yahweh arose to judgment to save all the meek of the earth."
So it is the Lamb of Yahweh who comes with the most terrible judgment, to save us. Revelation 6:15‑17 tells it, "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"'
For those of us who are suffering from these evils which always grow worse, there can be only one prayer: the last prayer written in the Bible, "Even so, come, Yahshua." (Revelation 22:20) (Taken, in part, from a study entitled “The Day of Vengeance,” By Bertrand L. Comparet)