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Vengeance Is Mine – Part 2

Pro. Jeremiah Shepherd

Power In Blood

Romans 12:19
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

The statement made by the Lord, “I will repay” actually makes literal sense. By His righteousness, Jesus, alone earned the resources needed to pay for the loss and damages done to our soul and spirit. God is the only righteous judge, and only He has the capacity to lawfully restore perfect justice for the innocent and the guilty. So, if we are to expect any payout for injustice, it will come from He who has already earned it all.

We must recognize that the Lord’s judgment and reparations include an eternal reward for the innocent and an eternal payout for the guilty. These are penalties that we have never had the right or righteousness to pay, but they are the only ones that truly restore justice and alleviate pain and suffering. The innocent blood of Jesus earned Him the power to execute judgement. It is like spiritual currency that pays for both the wrath and reward of judgment. Then, when the blood of the righteous is shed, it is like fuel added to the vengeance of God’s fire.

Psalm 9
1{To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.} I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. 2I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. 3When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence. 4For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right. 5Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever. 6O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them*. 7But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. 8And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. 9The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. 10And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. 11Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings. 12When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble. 13Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death: 14That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation. 15The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. 16The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. 17The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. 18For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. 19Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. 20Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.*

David was well aware of God’s wrath and very familiar with being hated by his enemies. And because of his own sin, he knew he could never pay for his own redemption. So he, like many of us, longed for God’s hand of justice. He recognized that it could only come one way—at the hands of a just God who knows how to protect and secure His own. In psalm 9 David discusses the power of God’s wrath, and the significance of innocent blood.

The blood of the innocent, shed by the guilty for selfish gain, will be mixed with the wrath of God, and they will be made to drink (partake of) it in due season. From the unborn to the victims of genocide every drop is counted and stored up to deliver the maximum sentence. Notice, carefully, how the passages from Revelation are written.

Revelation 6:9-11 KJV
9And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?* 11And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.*

Consider this: the patience of God is not only for the maximum salvation of souls but also for the maximum penalty upon sin. People reap because they sow, and the more innocent blood is spilled, the more God’s judgment is poured out. The righteous are rewarded for their suffering, but the wicked are made to suffer for causing it.

Revelation 14:8-10
8And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 9And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10The 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:

When you observe carefully, Revelation 14 is actually describing how the blood shed at the hands of Babylon and other nations is mixed with God’s wrath and poured back upon them in judgment. Wine is almost always a prophetic symbol of blood, and the greatest example of this is the wine of the Lord’s supper which symbolized His blood. Again, it benefits the righteous but also seals the damnation of the wicked. (1 Corinthians 11:17-29). It was this wine and blood that determined the fate of all men—the 11 disciples who drank to their glory and the 1 named, Judas who drank to his own damnation.

1 Corinthians 11:20-22, 29
20When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. 21For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body

Remember, there are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination, and one of these are “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17).

To be drunk with wine is to know its purpose yet abuse it. It is to know Jesus and yet kill Him and His people.

This was the damnation spoken of by Paul in Corinthians and it is the damnation determined in the fate of Babylon.

Revelation 17:1-2, 6
1And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication ….. 6And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

When the innocent blood of Yahweh’s servants is shed, it fills the cup of God’s wrath and is poured out upon the guilty in due season.

This is why, as a prophetic type and shadow, God turned the waters of Egypt into blood. It was a sign that Egypt’s rulers would be made to “drink the blood they shed.” In other words, they would suffer for the pain they caused. This is why the firstborn of the land died by the angel of death while only those under the blood of the lamb survived.

Jesus Prophesies Woes of Destruction

Matthew 23:29-39
29Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 34Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

In he end, the Pharisees became victims of their own carnal judgment. They misjudged their own righteousness, and paid the ultimate cost for it. In fact, the words of Jesus appear to suggest that the abomination of desolation is Israel’s sentence for abusing the Savior of the world to their own advantage. The persecution they have faced for thousands of years is a result of the persecution they demonstrated towards Jesus.

For the most wicked of Jews, Jesus understood the power of blood as a significant spiritual seed sown to be reaped with great wrath. He knew exactly how to overcome His enemies—cause the unrighteous to spill more innocent blood.

Galatians 6:7-8
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

As more righteous blood is shed, the woeful punishment of the guilty accumulates in intensity. So God literally sends righteous prophets, servants and wise men for corrupt leaders to persecute and kill, understanding that the blood of all the righteous shed on the earth would fall upon them.

This is where believers and followers of Jesus must come to terms with our future. At some point, persecution will come at the hands of a sinful world, and they will rise to levels thought unimaginable, even by the most civilized of nations. The mark of the beast will, one day, set the guideline for those who live and die, and a wicked world will desire to kill all voice of conviction—the voice of the true church. There cannot be a price that we will take to forfeit the gospel and there cannot be a cause for us to walk in our own wrath and bitterness. If we take either bait, we will suffer with the fate of sin.

Revelation 16:4-7
4And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. 5And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. 6For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. 7And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

The Power In Forgiveness

What role does forgiveness play in all of this? Without it, your blood is no longer innocent. Those who take matters into their own hands are effectively in contempt of God’s court of law. But those who forgive trust that the sentence soon to come from the throne of the only righteous judge will be swift and perfect to deliver justice.

Recognizing the fate of His enemies and His security in the hands of His heavenly Father, Jesus forgave, and so should we.

Luke 23:33-34
33And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Forgiveness is a catalyst to the wrath poured out upon sin, and the strength of Jesus to forgive during the events of His death intensified the impending judgment upon those who would refuse to receive Him. By saying, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” , Jesus fully relinquished vengeance into the hands of His heavenly Father, thereby maximizing the effect of the innocent blood He shed. This explains why the following passage in Romans instructs us to bless those who persecute us and resist the temptation to pay evil for evil. This is why forgiveness is critical.

Romans 12:14-21
14Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

This is nothing to gloat or be excited about, but when we forgive, the payout for sin misses us and worsens for the guilty.

Forgiveness is a catalyst to the wrath of God.

Forgiveness is the power that heaps coals of fire upon those who abuse the innocent. As believers, this truth is is both consoling and sorrowful. On the one hand, we don’t have to worry about working for our own justice or reparations to recover loss. We will be rewarded greatly in Jesus, and our enemies will suffer. But the way and reason that our enemies will suffer is not pleasant to consider. This is why Abraham prayed for Sodom and Gomorrah. This is why we should not only forgive, but pray for our enemies.

Additional Reading

Matthew 5:43-45
43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Hebrews 12:14-15
14Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

Ephesians 4:26-32
26Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27Neither give place to the devil. 28Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

*Revelation 8:1-9
1And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. 2And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

3And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

The First Four Trumpets
6And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

7The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

8And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 9And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.*

*Revelation 14:14-20
The Harvest of the Earth

14And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. 16And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

17And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.*

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