The one verse that pre-tribulations rapturists use to back up their being whisked away before a 7 year pretrib is found in 1st Thessalonians 5:9. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath,”. This is where they stop almost everytime and this is how they claim that they are not appointed to Gods wrath. But if you read on you can see the whole verse in context, “but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,”. So it should be read like this, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” So you can see when read in context of the whole verse, no we arent appointed to wrath and this wrath is directly connected to obtaining salvation through Jesus. So is it safe to say that the wrath that some are appointed for may be due to rejecting the gift of salvation through Jesus? In one word…Yes!
Here is a great example of obtaining wrath and wrath (ὀργὴ) abiding in someone that is rejecting salvation from Jesus. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath (ὀργὴ) of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36) And we can see how wrath is revealed and to who the wrath of God is revealed in Romans 1:18, “For the wrath (ὀργὴ) of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;”. So its obvious that this wrath (orge) is something that every Christian is not appointed for as long as they have salvation through Jesus. Just like Paul says. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.”
I also want to point out the word ‘appointed’ in 1st Thessalonians 5:9. Lets look at the Greek of this verse first.
Stephanus Textus Receptus 1550
ὅτι οὐκ ἔθετο (etheto) ἡμᾶς ὁ θεὸς εἰς ὀργὴν (orgēn) ἀλλ’ εἰς περιποίησιν σωτηρίας διὰ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ
Etheto comes from ‘tithémi’ and literally means to fix or establish. Etheto is used seven times in scripture and it refers to something that was appointed through destiny. Its like when someone says that they were destined for greatness. They believe they were appointed for greatness and its a fixed appointment that can’t be removed because they were destined or ἔθετο (etheto) for it. So with that said…We were destined (etheto) to not obtain wrath (orgen) as long as we obtain salvation through Jesus. The ASV actually translated as the literal Greek did. “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,”.
So is this a free get out of great tribulation card? No it’s not and the reason being is because there are two different words used in Scripture for WRATH. Here they are: 1) orge (Strongs #3709) also translated anger and indignation; 2) thymos (Strongs #2372) – also translated indignation and fierceness. We can see these two different Greek words translated as wrath in English are used side by side, not only by Paul but by John in Revelation.
Romans 2:8 – But to them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation (thymos-θυμός), and wrath (orge-ὀργὴ). Notice that those who do not obey the truth obey both indignation (thymos-θυμός), and wrath (orge-ὀργὴ). And who or what is truth? Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6)
Colossians 3:8 – But now you also put off all these: anger (orgen-ὀργήν), wrath (thymon-θυμόν), malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. In Colossians this word wrath (thymon-θυμόν) is translated as rage in the Greek.
So Paul did use two different words that had two different meanings that were sometimes translated in the English as the word wrath. A great way to explain these two words that translate wrath in English is like this. Thumos is a sudden passionate anger. Like anger boiling up and subsiding again. It is a wrath that isn’t premeditated and is similiar to something done out of passion. This can be a type of furious rage when people “see red”. Orge on the other hand is a deliberate anger and a hostile vengeance. It is a wrath that is premeditated and was thought out. So you have a wrath that is premeditated (orge) and one that is not (thumos).
Paul not only used these two words together but in the book of Revelation John did to.
Revelation 14:10 – The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath (thymou-θυμοῦ) of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation (orges-ὀργῆς).
Revelation 16:19 – And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness (thymou-θυμοῦ) of his wrath (orges-ὀργῆς).
The same two words are used here when referring to the cup that is poured out into another cup and given to Mystery Babylon. Notice that the unpremeditated wrath is poured into the cup of the premeditated wrath. And the wine of the wrath (thymou-θυμοῦ) of God is poured into the cup of wrath orges-ὀργῆς for good reason.
Now the interesting thing about thumos wrath is the Greek root word of where thumos actually comes from. θύω (thuō) means something that is sacrificed or slaughtered. This same wrath is used for describing the devils short time he has. “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath (thymon, θυμὸν), because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12:12)
Another interesting time thumos is used is when taking about the 7 bowl judgements. “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath (thymos, θυμὸς) of God.” (Revelation 15:1)
I think the classical Greek view says it right. “Thumos, in the context of ancient Greece, refers to a sense of righteous anger, a need and desire to fight against the perceived injustice of the world. Thumos can refer to the rage, grief, horror or sorrow of any individual who is faced with insurmountable atrocities.
Thumos is our will to fight, our need to rebel against that which is intolerable. It is what makes us stand up and declare ‘I will not be silenced!’. It is what makes us dive headlong against the devastation of this world; what compels us to courageously fight the good fight. And if we are to fail, thumos is the thing within the human spirit that requires us to go down swinging, cursing our oppressors all the while.” (http://classicalwisdom.com/tradition-thumos/)
This is God’s cup of wrath mixed with both orge and thumos for those who reject His Son and those who are not sealed by the Spirit of God. Thumos is God’s last stand if I can say it that.
You see, I had always wondered if this cup of wrath orges-ὀργῆς had any meaning as far as Jesus goes. I personally see this orges wrath as the same wrath that started in the garden when Adam ate of the fruit. This was the wrath of God due to disobedience which led to sin and the need for the redemption of not only man but all of Creation.
Everyone speculates on what this fruit was that Adam ate. Most nonbelievers of scripture even think that this was an apple. It sounds good but I don’t think that this was it. They get an apple based off of two similar words in Latin. Yes once again, we have Jerome’s Latin Vulgate to bring plenty of confusion into the mix. Here is a very good explanation of how this fruit came to be an apple.
“In order to explain, we have to go all the way back to the fourth century A.D., when Pope Damasus ordered his leading scholar of scripture, Jerome, to translate the Hebrew Bible into Latin. Jerome’s path-breaking, 15-year project, which resulted in the canonical Vulgate, used the Latin spoken by the common man. As it turned out, the Latin words for evil and apple are the same: malus…When Jerome was translating the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,” the word malus snaked in. A brilliant but controversial theologian, Jerome was known for his hot temper, but he obviously also had a rather cool sense of humor.
“Jerome had several options,” says Appelbaum, a professor of English literature at Sweden’s Uppsala University. “But he hit upon the idea of translating peri as malus, which in Latin has two very different meanings. As an adjective, malus means bad or evil. As a noun it seems to mean an apple, in our own sense of the word, coming from the very common tree now known officially as the Malus pumila. So Jerome came up with a very good pun.”
The story doesn’t end there. “To complicate things even more,” says Appelbaum, “the word malus in Jerome’s time, and for a long time after, could refer to any fleshy seed-bearing fruit. A pear was a kind of malus. So was the fig, the peach, and so forth.”
Which explains why Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco features a serpent coiled around a fig tree. But the apple began to dominate Fall artworks in Europe after the German artist Albrecht Dürer’s famous 1504 engraving depicted the First Couple counterpoised beside an apple tree. It became a template for future artists such as Lucas Cranach the Elder, whose luminous Adam and Evepainting is hung with apples that glow like rubies.” (http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/04/30/526069512/paradise-lost-how-the-apple-became-the-forbidden-fruit)
As you can see, it definetly wasn’t an apple. Others believe it could’ve been a fig, being that the first thing Adam and Eve did was grab fig leaves to cover themselves. Some believe it was a pomegranate, grape or maybe even a wine (an intoxicating strong drink). All of these have enough water in them to make them float, especially in my opinion the fig or the strong drink. I will say that not only was the fig used as a covering by Adam and Eve but think about the fig tree that was cursed by Jesus on the Mount of Olives. And there is good reason to believe that what Jesus drank on the cross (His last drink before He gave up the ghost) might have been vinegar made of figs. I go over this in my book “The Temple, The Abomination and The Holy Place” and in my paper on Vinegar. Mount of Olives was not only known for Olive trees but was also known for fig trees. Matter of fact, Bethpage that is near His crucifixion site and where the Sanhedrin met actually means House of Figs.
I’m only speculating here but to me it makes sense as to why the fig was used to cover nakedness, why Jesus cursed it and died and it was the last tangible thing Jesus drank. So was this vinegar representing judgement? (Please read my paper on this vinegar that will give some insight as to why I feel the way I do on this topic.) Remember when Jesus was in the Garden (once again the Garden symbolism) and He asked the Father to take “this cup” from Him? What was this cup representing? I would speculate to say that it represented the orges wrath that was appointed for all of Creation including man prior to Jesus taking it.
“In Matthew 26:42 we read: “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” And John 18:11, “The cup that my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” These were the words which He spoke while in the Garden of Gethsemane hours before the cross. There in the Garden of Gethsemane He saw a cup that the Father had extended before Him, a cup that He must drink.
What was in that cup? In general, the idea is very clear. A cup is a vessel filled with liquid which one drinks. This was the cup given to Him of the Father. We read inPsalm 75:8, “For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.” We may say that the cup held before Jesus was the full measure of the suffering God had set out as the way of payment, or atonement, for the sins of His people. These sufferings had been assigned to Jesus, sufferings which would culminate in the cross.
The cup that the Father presented to His Son was filled with the lava of God’s holy wrath against our sins, the measure of suffering owed to us who have sinned against the God of heaven. And to receive that cup meant for Christ that He must assume our place before God’s justice, and answer in His own body upon the cross by enduring the burning and holy vengeance of the wrath of God owed against our sins. Christ knew of this cup.
That cup that He must drink is further described in Revelation 14:9, 10: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” It is the picture of the cup of God’s wrath unmixed with mercy or pity, poured out upon Him. It was this cup which was presented to Christ, the cup all the elect would have to drink personally if Christ did not drink it in their place. A cup composed of all the elements which the righteousness and justice of God demanded as He beheld the sins of God’s people. Those sins were imputed or reckoned or given over unto Christ, the Lamb of God, so that the cup that He must drink is the undiluted wrath of God against the sins of God’s people, the cup which began to be filled in Adam, his original sin, and is still being filled with every sin you and I commit, filled with the sins of all of God’s elect, the burning lava of God’s holiness against their sins.” (http://www.reformedwitnesshour.org/1999/1999mar07.html)
“In the Old Testament, the image of the cup can symbolize God’s blessing; however, in the majority of instances, the cup represents the Lord’s judgment and wrath on wickedness (Ps. 75:8; Isa. 51:22). Here in Mark 10:38, the cup has negative connotations, which means it represents the cup of divine wrath that Jesus would drink on behalf of His people to save them from their sin.” (http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/cup-jesus-drinks/)
“The disciples will drink a cup, too — a cup of suffering (Matthew 20:23). But Jesus’s cup of suffering is different from theirs because Jesus’s suffering is under God’s anger. Jesus drinks the cup of God’s wrath, a cup that has accumulated the fury of God against sins of all types. Heinous crimes, adultery, careless words, dishonoring thoughts, lies — all of it will be punished by God.
This is the cup Jesus drinks on the cross.
Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath for us so that he could extend the cup of God’s fellowship to us. It might include suffering, but not wrath. We don’t get wrath anymore — now we get God. We get the sweet, satisfying reality of his eternal fellowship in Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit.” (http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-cup-consumed-for-us)
Now knowing all of this should give us all a better understanding on what Paul was saying when he said, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.”
And what is the second cup which is for us? “Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” (Luke 22:20) and “Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (1st Corinthians 11:25,26)