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REVELATION - THE END OF THE AGE OF MAN
(A Synopsis of the Revelation of Jesus Christ)

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

The Lamb with the 144,000
Babylon is fallen
The Ninth Revelation of Jesus Christ
The Great Reaper
The Winepress of the Wrath of God



The Lamb and the 144,000

Revelation 14:1-5

(1)  Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads. (2)  And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. (3)  They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. (4)  These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being first-fruits to God and to the Lamb. (5)  And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.
(NKJV)


The Voice of Victory

One of the themes that link Revelation chapters 14-16 together is expressed by the word "voice", which is used eleven times. In the events recorded, God speaks
to His people
to the lost world
to His creatures (who also speak out in praise of the Lord)
in warning to the world.

As the world moves into the last half of the Tribulation period, heaven is not silent.
The voice of the 144,000,  this special group of Jewish men, was sealed by God before the seventh seal was opened (Revelation chapter 7), and now they are seen on Mount Zion with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Contrast this picture to the one described in Revelation 13: the followers of ‘the beast’ whose mark is on their foreheads (Revelation 13:16).
God always has His faithful people, no matter how wicked the world may become.

The Heavenly Mount Zion

The 144,000 are standing with Jesus on Mount Zion but, which Mount Zion?
The heavenly one?

(Hebrews 12:22 "you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God")

Or to the earthly one?
This is the heavenly Mount Zion, and that the scene anticipates Jesus' coronation and the establishment of His kingdom when He returns to earth

(Zechariah 14:4   "On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west").

Jesus today is enthroned in the heavenly Zion (Psalms 2:6), and we are enthroned with Him according to

(Ephesians 2:6  "And God raised [past tense] us up with Christ and seated [past tense] us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus").


Not only are the 144,000 standing, but they are also singing.

They have a song which is peculiarly and exclusively their own. Though not connected with the throne, as the Living Ones, nor crowned and seated as the Elders, they have a ground and subject of joy and praise which neither the Living Ones nor the Elders have; nor is any one able to enter into that song except the 144,000. None ever fulfills just such a mission, as none others are ever sealed with the seal of the living God in the same way in which they were sealed. They have a distinction and glory, a joy and blessedness, after all, in which none but themselves can ever share.
(from The Biblical Illustrator Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 Ages Software, Inc. and Biblesoft, Inc.)

The First-Fruit To God And The Lamb
1. They are ‘a first-fruit to God and to the Lamb,’ not the first-fruit of all the saved, for the living ones and the elders are in heavenly place and glory above and before them.
2. They are a first-fruit of another and particular harvest, the first-fruit from the Jewish field, in the new beginning with the Israelite people for their father’s sakes.
3. Which is to follow the ending of the present ‘times of the Gentiles.’ Jews who accept Jesus as their Messiah in our present dispensation.
4. What the living ones and elders are to the Church of Jesus Christ universal, these 144,000 are to the recovered, restored and redeemed children of Abraham.
5. During this time those of their blood-kin who are covenanting with and honoring the Antichrist as Messiah and have taken his mark, are lost and will end up in the lake of fire.
6. They are the particular witnesses for the Father and Son during those darkest days of Jacob’s trouble.
7. And they take the first rank with Jesus Christ in His special relations and administrations in the final redemption of the Hebrew race.

REFLECTION
We have seen the coming of the antichrist in all the frowning blackness of Satan's angry malice, and have shuddered at the awful shadow, distress, and darkness which he casts upon the world.
We have seen what havoc he makes with human peace.
We have seen the base humiliation he brings upon the proud oaks and lofty cedars of the mountains of human conceit and self-will.
We have felt the sickening shock of horror at the contemplation of his hellish power, his blasphemies, and his unparalleled tyranny.
We have gazed upon the progress of the most disastrous storm hell's malignant wisdom can devise, or that is ever allowed to afflict our race.
We have watched the thickening blackness of darkness amid which the indignation of God is poured upon the intoxicated nations which WILL NOT have Christ to rule over them.
BUT NOW THE SCENE BEGINS TO CHANGE
The reign of terror cannot last. God's merciful goodness cannot allow it long.
The earth would dissolve under it if those days were not shortened, but for the elect's sake they are shortened. Three and a half years is the fullness of their duration. (Revelation 13:5)
In heaven's count the tempest holds but for an "hour." (Revelation 17:12)
(from The Apocalypse: Exposition of the Book of Revelation, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1998, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Remember we are not talking about one thing happening and then another happening, but many different things are happening at the same time throughout this last 3 1/2 years before Jesus Christ sets up His Kingdom here on earth.

Revelation 14:6-13

(6)  Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth — to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people —  (7)  saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water."

(8)  And another angel followed, saying, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."

(9)  Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, (10)  he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  (11)  And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

(12)  Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

(13)  Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'"  "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."
(NKJV)


The Proclamation Of Three Angels  
The First Angel verses 6 & 7 The Everlasting Gospel Proclaimed
Fear God
Give Glory to God
Worship God
The Second Angel verse 8 Babylon, that great city, is fallen
Because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication
The Third Angel verses 9-11 The warning of receiving the mark of the beast
They shall drink the full wrath of God
They shall be tormented with fire and brimstone
There is no end to their torment

The Outlook Of The Believers
1. The early church looked on themselves as being ‘dead in Jesus Christ’

Acts 20:24
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself.      (NKJV)

Colossians 3:2-4
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.     (NKJV)

2. The disciples of Jesus realized that heaven was their home, and like Abraham they also were pilgrims traveling through this world.

Hebrews 11:8-10
And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country ... for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.    (NKJV)

3. Their hope was to be with Jesus in heaven, and so they ‘loved not their lives unto death’

Revelation 12:11
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.    (NIV)


Revelation 14:14-20

(14)  Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.  (15)  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe."  (16)  So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

(17)  Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

(18)  And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe."  (19)  So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  (20)  And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.
(NKJV)

The Revelation of Jesus Christ as The Great Reaper

The Person pictured here on the white cloud is undoubtedly our Lord Jesus Christ

Daniel 7:13
I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven!    (NKJV)

See also Revelation 1:13. We have had the image of the cup (vs. 10), and now we have the image of the harvest, both of the grain (Revelation 14:14-16) and of the grape (Revelation 14:17-20). Again, this anticipates the final judgment of the world.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

(4) ‘Having on his head a crown of gold.’ Daniel ‘saw in the night visions, and behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the ancient of days, and there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom.’ (Daniel 7:13-14).

Daniel 7:13-14
"I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.     (NKJV)

It was:
1. The same Son of man
2. In the same cloud
3. Settled in all the regal prerogatives of the same supreme dominion
4. Manifested for the same purpose of dispossessing and destroying the Beast

The seating of Jesus on the throne of His glory is for the judgment of the nations
Matthew 25:31-32
"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.    (NKJV)
and the taking to Him of His great power as
1. The King is to destroy them that corrupted the earth, that He may set up in their place His own glorious dominion (Revelation 11:17, 19; 19:16).
2. The heaven-crowned King holds ‘in his hand a sharp sickle.’ The earth is to be cleared of its ill products now, therefore only a cutting implement is in hand and displayed.
The work is one of vengeance and sore judgment; therefore it is ‘sharp.’

And as the cry is, the answer comes. ‘He that sat on the cloud cast his sickle on (the Greek word for "on" here is epi (N.T. 1909)) on, or against, the earth, AND THE EARTH WAS REAPED.’ Tremendous words! What an experience, for the race of man is bound up in their awful brevity! What plagues descend with that sharp sickle! What a crash comes with its alighting upon a world now dead ripe for final judgment!

The great Winepress of the Wrath of God

The grape harvest is often a picture of judgment (see Joel 3:13 ff, which anticipates the Day of the Lord). In actuality, Scripture portrays three different "vines."
1. Israel was God's vine, planted in the land to bear fruit for God's glory; but the nation failed God and had to be cut down (Psalms 80:8-16; Isaiah 5:1-7; see also Matthew 21:33-46).
2. Today, Christ is the Vine and believers are branches in Him (John 15).
3. But the world system is also a vine, "the vine' of the earth" in contrast to Christ, the heavenly Vine; and it is ripening for judgment.
The wicked system - Babylon - that intoxicates people and controls them, will one day be cut down and destroyed in "the winepress of the wrath of God."

Some see in this image an anticipation of the "battle of Armageddon," when the armies of the world will gather against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:1-4; Revelation 16:16).

Today, God is speaking to the world in grace, and men may not listen. One day hence, He must speak in wrath. The bitter cup will be drunk, the harvest of sin reaped, and the vine of the earth cut down and cast into the winepress.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Two voices call for harvest.
1. (14:14-16) One calls upon the Son of man to reap the earth as a giant wheat harvest
2. (14:17-20) The last voice likens the reaping of the earth to a grape harvest, for the coming of the Lord will mean the treading of the winepress of the fierce wrath of God the Almighty




 

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