Revelation 14, Part 3
OF THE END
While it is true that Satan causes most of the havoc on the earth during the tribulation, part of the great tribulation is brought on by Christ’s judgment upon the earth. No one can assume a neutral position during this period of time under rule of antichrist. “He shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God” – those who receive the mark will suffer the wrath of God. (see Psalm 75:8). “Tormented with fire and brimstone.” – literal? Sodom & Gomorrah was. I believe that this will be also. Will the church be able to see what is going on, on the earth? I don’t know, but Christ and the holy angels will. It says so right here. And look at their torment:
Rev. 14:11 “And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.”
What do God’s own do during this time? Patiently wait for the coming of Christ. Matthew 24:13 tells us ”But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”. Why and how will they endure? Because they have been sealed by the Spirit of God, and they are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. All they can do is wait.
v. 12:This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Then look at verse
13: Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes”, says the Spirit. “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
Some accept death rather than receive the mark. Anyone who dies for the cause of Christ from then on will be blessed – honored above all. It will be better to die than to live. “For their works follow with them” indicates that they will be rewarded for their faithfulness, patience, and works.
J. Vernon McGee, one of my favorite authors, says that our works good or bad are like tin cans tied to a dog’s tail, we cannot get away from them. They will follow us to the seat of Christ. I like that. Our works don’t get us to heaven, they follow us to heaven.
Verse 14 begins the vision of Armageddon.
Rev 14:14-16 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one “like a son of man” with a crown of gold on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.
15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to Him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
16 So He who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
This is the same harvest as is in Matthew 13:36-43 (READ THIS NOW, IT IS IMPORTANT.)
Now, go back to verse 14 and let’s digest this fully. In verse 14, “I looked, and behold” means that John is still a spectator. “a white cloud”, this is the mark of identification of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Matt 24:30 we find the following:
--Golden crown – He is seen as King. The office as King is always connected with His return to the earth.
--A sharp sickle – speaks of the judgment of the wicked. Christ superintends the harvest Himself. Christ is careful that no believer is judged with unbelievers. Only Christ knows the heart.
--Believers are the wheat, Unbelievers are the tares (or weeds)
The Day of Grace is ended. No more can be saved.
17Another angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. The angels join Jesus in the harvest. They are the cheering squad. Look at how Isaiah describes this scene in chapter 63:1-6 Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments-stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of His strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.”
2. Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?”
3. “I have trodden the winepress alone: from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger; and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments and I stained all my clothing.
4. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the wear of any redemption has come.
5. I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me.
6. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.”
You see, a wine press was where they threw in the grapes and then people (mostly women) would stomp on the grapes with their feet and the juice would run out the side of the press, Here, He is seen treading the winepress alone. This gentle Jesus we hear so much about is not the Jesus that we read about here. This Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, He is the Judge of the world. If you do not accept He blood, shed lovingly and willingly for you, then it will be your blood that will be shed by Him.
This is Armageddon – God’s army meets antichrist’s army. v. 20 – most unbelievable
Rev. 14:20 And the grapes were trodden in the winepress outside the city, and flood flowed from the winepress in a stream about 180 miles long and as high as a horse’s bridle. The KJV says the blood was up to the horse’s bridles for 1600 furlongs. That’s the same as 180 miles. That
Is the distance from Dan in the North to Beersheba in the south. The entire country of Israel is scene of this war. I have been to the Mount of Megaddo. I have stood on that mountain, overlooking the valley where this war will be fought. One can see the valley that runs from North to South, as far as one can see in both directions, and the valley lies below; a deep valley, so beautiful now, so green. You can also see across the valley to the mountains on the other side. They are smaller mountains but still they line the valley like a fence. I tried to picture the battle, the blood, running deep, filling the valley almost up to 6 feet deep. A river of blood. It boggled my mind, even to think of it. But it will happen, right there, when God’s time is right. Think about it.
2: on that day I will gather all the nations to fight against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses plundered, and the women raped. Half of the population will be taken away into captivity, and half will be left among the ruins of the city.
3. Then the LORD will go out to fight against those nations, as He has fought in times past.
This means all nations will be against Jerusalem. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Yet look at today. Who is friends with Israel today? Not many!!
Again, look at Zech 2:8 – anyone touches Israel, touches the apple of God’s eye,
Hebrews 2:3 – “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” Escape what? Escape judgment – the tribulation is judgment. The way out is to accept Christ. If God is just (and He is) there will be judgment. There is nothing that will straighten out your life like knowing that our God is a holy God, that the Lord Jesus Christ is righteous, and that He is not going to tolerate sin in your life.
The battle will develop like this:
Nation’s tire of antichrist
They want to dethrone him.
They make war with him and his army in this valley (Zechariah & Daniel outline this final conflict)
At this point Jesus returns to end the battle or else no one would be left alive. All the world’s nations – two opposing sides, see the returning Lord.
They forget their differences, join forces, and fight the returning hosts of God. This is how it will end. So much blood shed. So depressing.
But read Chapter 15 (FOR NEXT WEEK) This chapter shows us that
There is VICTORY IN JESUS
See you then, loved ones,