" ... the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation óRevelation 14:10
Godís judgments will be visited upon those seeking to oppress and destroy His people. He will vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law. The severity of the retribution awaiting the transgressor may be judged by the Lordís reluctance to execute justice. The nation with which He bears long, and which He will not smite until it has filled up the measure of its iniquity in Godís account, will finally drink the cup of wrath unmixed with mercy.
When Christ ceases His intercession in the sanctuary, the unmingled wrath threatened against those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark (see Revelation 14:9, 10), will be poured out. The plagues upon Egypt when God was about to deliver Israel were similar in character to those more terrible and extensive judgments which are to fall upon the world just before the final deliverance of Godís people. Says the revelator, in describing those terrific scourges: "There fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image." The sea "became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea." And "the rivers and fountains of waters ... became blood." Terrible as these inflictions are, Godís justice stands fully vindicated. The angel of God declares: "Thou art righteous, 0 Lord,... because Thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy" (Revelation 16:2-6). By condemning the people of God to death, they have as truly incurred the guilt of their blood as if it had been shed by their hands.
In the plague that follows, power is given to the sun "to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat" (verses 8, 9). The prophets describe the condition of the earth at this fearful time (see Joel 1:10-12, 17-20; Amos 8:3).
These plagues are not universal, or the inhabitants of the earth would be wholly cut off. Yet they will be the most awful scourges that have ever been known to mortals. All the judgments upon men, prior to the close of probation, have been mingled with mercy. The pleading blood of Christ has shielded the sinner from receiving the full measure of his guilt; but in the final judgment, wrath is poured out unmixed with mercy (see James 2:13).
In that day, multitudes will desire the shelter of Godís mercy which they have so long despised. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it" (Amos 8:11, 12).
The people of God will not be free from suffering; but while persecuted and distressed, they will not be left to perish. While the wicked are dying from hunger and pestilence, angels will shield the righteous and supply their wants. To him that "walketh righteously" is the promise: "Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure." "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them" (Isaiah 33:15, 16; 41:17; see also Habakkuk 3:17, 18). "The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul" (Psalm 121:5-7, cf. 91:3-10).