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Rescue from the coming indignation

14-03-2017 - Posted by Andre Piet

And to be waiting for His Son out of the heavens, Whom He rouses from among the dead, Jesus, our Rescuer out of the coming indignation.

To the Thessalonians who just had become acquainted with the Evangel, Paul writes here that they should be awaiting the Son out of the heavens. When that time comes He will rescue them out of the coming indignation. This blog deals especially about the last part of this sentence. Two questions are dealt with. First: What is “the coming indignation”? Second: What does it mean that Jesus will rescue us out of this?

Gods indignation?

So the first question is: what is “the coming indignation”? Usually one thinks of the indignation of God which will be revealed to the world at the return of Christ on the Mount of Olives. That is “the day of indignation” (Rev. 6:17) that will begin when Christ will appear after the great tribulation and when the sun and moon will be darkened. Matthew 24:29 reads that this will be “After the affliction of those days” while Revelation 6 reads that it is then when “the day of indignation” begins.

The indignation of Gods adversary?

But in my opinion there is a much better explanation which points in a totally different direction. In Revelation 12 we read about the birth of a Son and his snatching away (12:5). An event that occurs under the acute threat of the dragon which wants to devour the child. After the birth and immediate snatching away of the baby, the  mother flees to the desert where she finds a safe haven during 1260 days. The dragon which in the meantime has been cast to earth and is going after the woman in great fury and anger. It is in this period of 1260 days that, the indignation of the dragon (Satan), which will be cast on the earth, will be felt.

With this description we have gone deep into the details of the events in the end times. The question now is: Did the Thessalonians expect to be rescued out of the day of Gods indignation or out of the indignation of the adversary which will be cast onto the earth? When the snatching away of the male Son is the same as the snatching away Paul talks about in 1 Thess. 4 (like I argued elsewhere) then it must be that “the coming indignation” refers to the fury of Gods adversary. Because the day of Gods indignation erupt three and a half year later.

From the coming indignation

The rescue from the coming indignation points us to the acute necessity. Like the words ‘snatching away’ (Gr. harpazo) also evoke the idea of immediate urgency and an abrupt intervention. Older Bible translations (which are based on the Textus Receptus) don’t read ‘out of’ (Gr. ek) here, but ‘from’ (Gr. apo). Probably wrongly because the great old manuscripts unanimously read ‘out of’ (Gr. ek) here.

Finally take note that is not a rescue out of indignation, but out of the coming indignation. I.e. out of the indignation that is coming, one is saved. It is therefore in the atmosphere of immediate threat. As the Son would be swallowed immediately after birth (Rev. 12:4) and therefore needs to be evacuated suddenly and at the last minute “to God and his throne”. Under such circumstances the snatching away will take place.