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Chapter 13=    =Chapter 15


:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Si'on, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads.

:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

:3 And they sang as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beast, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea and the fountains of water.

:8 And 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.

:9 And a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receives his mark in his forehead, or in his right hand,

:10 the 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:

:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Je'sus.

:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.

:14 And 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.

:15 And 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.

:16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

:17 And 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, 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.

:19 And 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.

:20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and the blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of one thousand and six hundred furlongs.


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Statement of Faith

Revelation of Jesus Christ


Verse 1-3

"...an hundred forty and four thousand..."

In opening this chapter, we see the 144,000 of the twelve tribes of Israel, who were sealed, with the Seal of God, in chapter 7. Recall also, that in chapter 12 we learned that these most likely represent the "man child" which was caught up to heaven.

After our introduction to the Antichrist and his system of control in chapter 13: it now appears that we are regressing to a point just prior to the implementation of that system, and the catching up of these saints.

Here we are given more details about the reasons for this event taking place. As we go through the first part of this chapter, we shall also see additional details which tend to confirm the identify of these saints, as the man child of chapter 12.

The first thing we see here is the Lamb (Jesus) standing together, on Mount Sion, with this group of saints. So we have a group of people, identified as coming from the twelve tribes of Israel {Rev. 7:4} and standing on Mount Sion, in Jerusalem (the city which we reckon to be the mother of the man child of chapter 12.

In recapping chapter 12, we saw the woman (Jerusalem) about to give birth to the man child (144,000 saints). It appears that at that time, Jesus will come down, with the army of Michael the archangel, to Jerusalem to receive these from the woman: and take them up to heaven to present them to God the Father, as firstfruits (i.e. the beginning of the redemption of the whole house of Israel - {Romans 11:26-27}.

"...a voice from heaven..."

After seeing the Lamb standing on Mount Sion with the 144,000, John hears a loud voice or sound, coming out of heaven, as of rushing waters or thunder, which seems to transition into the sound of harpers playing their harps.

Those playing the harps are standing before the throne of God, and singing a song which only the 144,000 can learn. In that the 144,000 are said to be "...redeemed from the earth", may be suggesting that they too are standing before the throne of God at this point. Scripture states that these are they which follow the Lamb wherever He goes (verse 4).

In chapter 19, Jesus (the Lamb) is revealed from heaven. If these follow the Lamb wherever He goes, then they too will appear from heaven with Him at his revelation.

Verse 4-5

"...firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb..."

In verse 4, we learn that these "...are the ones who were not defiled with women,...", indicating that they are male saints. This is further amplified in that these, "... were redeemed from among men..." They were not redeemed from among men in general, but only from the twelve tribes of Israel. They are also redeemed at Jerusalem, "...on Mount Sion...".

In verse 5, we see that, "...in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God." In this, it can be understood that the 144,000 are viewed as though they were an innocent new born child, just as the man child caught up to heaven in chapter 12.

Putting it all together, presents the picture of a new born male child whose Father's name has been imprinted in his forehead, and who is caught up to heaven from Jerusalem; representing the "...firstfruits unto God and to Lamb."

These were standing on Mount Sion in Jerusalem with the Lamb Himself, and then follow Him (wherever He goes) up to God's throne under the escort of Michael and his army of angels.

Scripture indicates that those sealed (the 144,000) will be present in the earth during at least some of the judgments which are release against the wicked of the world {Rev. 7:2-3 ; Rev. 9:3-4}.

The travail of childbirth which the woman experienced in chapter 12 appears to be the results of the sealing of the 144,000 within her. Satan is standing before the woman waiting for this child to come out of her (be caught up) and taken up to heaven.

Verses 6-7

"...another angel...having the everlasting gospel..."

Many believe that these 144,000 will evangelize Israel and the world during the tribulation period. Whatever the case may be with regard to that, it appears here that they are caught up to heaven.

This will be followed by a period whereby the Gospel will indeed be proclaimed to the nations of the earth (verse 6).

The "great multitude" described in chapter 7 appear to be martyred saints, who are among those who receive the Gospel message, which these faithful believers deliver to them. There are also those who believe that a satellite, in space, may represent the angel which delivers the Gospel to the nations. As stated in chapter 1, an angel can be anything, or anyone, who conveys a message from one party to another.

 
 
 


Verse 8

"...Babylon is fallen, is fallen,..."

Here is the first mention in the Book of Revelation of the Great City of Babylon. In ruins for centuries, few believe that it will rise again to become the most powerful and influential city on earth. Saddam Hussein however, believed in its resurrection, and spent more than one billion dollars in reconstruction on parts of it prior to his capture and execution. It's also no coincidence, due to the oil reserves of the region, that the wealth of the world is now being poured into the Middle East.

Many believe that the judgments of God against Babylon, as revealed in the Bible, have already been fulfilled. Scripture however, makes it abundantly clear that Babylon's final demise will be one of extreme violence; and not of natural decay which resulted in it laying in ruins for centuries in the past.

The dual "is fallen", indicates that the destruction of Babylon will occur in two steps. This repetitive phrase is comparable to the, "Woe, woe, woe..." of chapter {Rev. 8:13}, which speaks of three seperate events, that will be unleashed by the sounding of three trumpets.

Babylon's destruction will be covered in more detail in chapters 17 and 18, but a preview of a likely scenario concerning this event appears to be along this line: First, the Antichrist and his army will attack Babylon, strip her of her wealth; and then burn the city before withdrawing to Megiddo, north of Jerusalem, in preparation for the infamous battle of Armageddon.

It will then come into some people's hearts to rebuild Babylon again {Jer. 51:8-9}; and for those who are determined to do so, God will rain down fire and brimstone, as with Sodom and Gomorrah, creating an inferno which cannot be escaped or extinguished.

The great City of Babylon will then sink like a rock into this lake of fire and brimstone {Jer. 51:63-64 ; Rev. 18:21}. This hugh fiery place is likely to become the receptacle into which all the wicked (fallen angels, demonic spirits and ungodly people) are to be cast, as recorded in chapter 20.

Verses 9 - 11

"...if any man worship the beast..."

These three verses bring Matt. 24:22 into clear focus:

:22 "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."

After the Antichrist has destroyed Babylon, and regrouped his forces at Megiddo, the Kings of the earth will join him. He will then have but one remaining obstacle standing between himself, and full control of the earth: the rebels of Judah and Jerusalem!

The Prophet Zechariah helps us to understand that when Jesus returns from heaven to the Mount of Olives {Zech. 14:4}; it will be the believing Jews who will have control of the city, not the Antichrist.

The re-taking of the City of Jerusalem, by the saints, may possibly occur when the Antichrist and his army temporarily leave Israel to attack Babylon (chap.17). Jeremiah 50:44 states the he will come against Babylon, "... like a lion from the swelling (floodplain) of Jordan."; possible indicating that the attack of the Antichrist on Babylon will be launched from the land of Israel, although the actual assault on Babylon appears to come from the north.

Possession of the city by the faithful, will surely lead to the cleansing of the temple, and the removal of the image of the Beast set in it by the Antichrist. A historical parallel, comparable to the cleansing of the temple by the Maccabeans about 165 B.C., may come into play here.

At that time, the Jews removed the abomination from the temple, placed there by the Syrian, Antiochus Epiphanes IV, who is regarded by many as a type of the Antichrist who is revealed in the Book of Revelation.

It is noteworthy, that in the Book of Revelation, we are told of the fate of Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet; but nothing is said concerning the removal of the image of the Beast, from the temple in Jerusalem.

Removal and destruction of the image of the beast, will surely bring the full wrath of the Antichrist to bear against these believers. They however, will be totally fearless in the face of the overwhelming armies under the control of the Antichrist.

Zech. 12:8 declares,

"In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Je-ru'sa-lem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as Da'vid, and the house of Da'vid shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them."

As previously stated, following his successful campaign against Babylon, the Antichrist will regroups his forces at Megiddo {Rev. 16:16} for the final push to retake the city, exterminate the Jews and establish his proposed eternal kingdom with Jerusalem as it capital. With that goal attained, Global imposition of the "mark of the beast" system, with full enslavement of its population, can be fully implemented.

"...in the presence of the holy angels, and...the Lamb"

Here, Scripture makes it clear that those who receive the mark cannot be saved. If the Antichrist's system is fully realized, everyone living on earth would either bear his mark, or be killed. So, if not stopped in time, he would succeed in killing all of the righteous who refuse the mark. When Jesus returns to execute judgment, all of those who had taken the mark (the remaining inhabitants of the earth) would be destroyed, thus preventing God from saving any flesh alive. Hence it is said that, for the elect's sake, the time of the great tribulation shall be shortened.

If Jesus did not to intervene, at this point, the promises of God, made to Abraham, would be rendered void. There would be no righteous mortals left to populate the kingdom of God on earth; rendering the judgment of nations, in Matt. 25, useless. The imprisonment of Satan for a thousand years, as stated in chapter 20, would also be pointless. At the battle of Armageddon, Jesus will fully thwart the plan of Satan and the Antichrist, to carry out a scheme which would require Jesus to anilhilate the human race, for which He died.

With the Antichrist on the brink of realizing that plan, Jesus will appear from heaven, halt his effort to annihilate the Jewish believers, and thwart his effort to fully impose his control system in the earth. Though the armies of the Antichrist shall push into Jerusalem itself, Scripture states that his advance shall be halted (Zech. 14:2-4) ; and that he, along with the False Prophet, shall be captured and then thrown in the Lake of Fire (the same inferno which is to engulf mighty Babylon).

The tormenting with fire and brimstone, of those who receive the mark of the beast, is in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb, and points to several verses of Scripture including, {II Thess. 2:7-8} and {Matt. 13:49-50}. This pinpoints the timing of these events, as occuring at the conclusion of the great tribulation rather than after the millennial reign of Jesus and the saints, in chapter 20.

 
 
 


Verse 12-13

"...Here is the patience of the saints..."

A picture is seen here which portrays an opposite future for the saints who remain faithful. Those who persevere in the great tribulation, even to death, will find a rest for their souls, which those who submit to the Beast will never know. These are a group of individuals who labor for their Lord under very adverse conditions. These conditions, along with persecutions, make their lives extremely difficult to remain faithful to God; but that is exactly what they do.

Verse 14-15

"...One like unto the Son of man..."

This phrase is used frequently in both the Old and New Testaments and was previously used in Rev. 1:13, in connection with the appearance of Jesus in the first vision of the book.

It is also used in Dan. 7:13, in connection with the "Ancient of days" (God, the Father) bestowing power, authority and kingship, upon His Son. In the New Testament, Jesus frequently referred to Himself as, "the Son of Man", an obvious reference that He was the one to which the prophets pointed, when alluding to this title.

Throughout chapter 14, we see the phrase, "... another angel..." used repeatedly. When we get to the one sitting upon the cloud however, the phrase, "One like unto the Son of man..." is used, distinguishing Him from all others in this chapter.

In the parable of the sower (Matt. 13) the angels are identified as the reapers, or those which gather the crops. Here in chapter 14, the "one like unto the Son of Man", having the sickle, represents the other part of that process.

Once the wheat has fully ripened, and is no longer is dependant upon the earth for its developement, the one with the sickle severs it from the earth, and His angels go forth and gather together the sheafs of grain, to bring them into the harvester's storehouse.

The harvesting of the righteous is accomplished by the Son of God and His holy angels. The harvesting of the wicked, on the other hand, is accomplished by another angel, who cuts off the wicked in the fullness of their sin.

"...her grapes are fully ripe..."

The harvest spoken of here, is the direct results of the gospel being proclaimed to every nation and people, as stated in verse 6. It is also in full agreement with Matt. 24:14 which states,

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all the nations, and then shall the end come."

When the preaching of the gospel to all nations has been accomplished, then the Judgment of the same nations {Matt. 25:31} will be initiated.

Biblically speaking, in the land of Israel, there are three times of harvest: twice in the Spring, celebrated by the "Feast of Firstfruits" {Lev. 23:10-11}, and the "Feast of In-gatherings, or Weeks" {Lev. 23:16}. The final, great harvest, occurs during the months of the Fall season, after the summer growth is completed.

On the Jewish calendar, this period of final harvest begins with the 1st day of Tishri (usually in September or October). This day, is also the day of the feast, or Festival of Trumpets, in which it is also believed that the {last trumpet} will sound, and the resurrection and judgment of the dead will take place.

In the Christians understanding, the Feast of Firstfruits was fulfilled with the resurrection of Jesus. The Feast of In-gatherings, or Weeks, is identical with the Day of Pentacost (fifty days after firstfruits), which day resulted in the ingathering of 3,000 of the children of Israel {Acts 2:40-41}.

This day is also regarded, among many jewish people, as the anniversary of the day when Moses brought down the law from Mount Sinai, after which 3,000 were killed for worshipping the golden calf. As it has been aptly stated: "the law kills, but grace brings life".

The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanna), opening the Fall season, is reckoned to be identical to the sounding of the last trumpet, when the deceased saints will be resurrected and caught up together (raptured) with the living Church to heaven. This will be the actual beginning of the final harvesting of the earth, and is believed by many to be the event which initiates the seven years of tribulation in th earth.

The reaping of Chapter 14 appears to deal with the final days of the Fall harvest. The phrase, "...the harvest of the earth is ripe..." speaks to a two part gathering of the produce of the earth. The first harvesting (verses 14-16) is of the righteous, and seems to point to both Matt. 24:30-31 and Matt. 25:31-32. The second harvesting, of the wicked, can be identified as occuring in Matt. 25:41-46. Both events appear to be associated with the Judgment of the Nations, after the Revelation of Jesus.

At the Judgment of Nations, it's clear that the righteous receive the kingdom prepared for them first; then the wicked are removed from their presence. This is also the order set forth here in chapter 14.

Verses 17-20

In Matt. 13:24-30, Jesus told His disciples, the parable of the sower. In opening His explanation (in verses 37-43), He identified Himself as the Son of Man, and as the sower. He further stated that, "...the reapers are the angels..." and that they shall gather out of His kingdom, "...all things that offend..."

This parable is in full agreement with what we see in Rev. 14:17-20, where after the righteous are given the kingdom (verses 14-16), the wicked are then removed from it. It is evident, from the context of Scripture, that the wicked shall see the righteous take possession of the kingdom, before they are removed from it.

"...the wine press was trodden without the city..."

Verse 20 points to the immense slaughter of those who, have been judged as wicked at the Judgment of Nations. The Lord will show no mercy at all to those who have set their faces to fight against Him. Their death sentences however, will not be enacted within the city redeemed by the Prince of Peace, but rather outside of its borders, and more properly, at the lake of fire which will be covered in chapter 20. A horrendous day to behold!

 


CHAPTER SUMMARY

In this chapter, we again see the 144,000 of the twelve tribes of Israel who were sealed with the seal of God in chapter 7. These, as we understood in chapter 12, appear to represent the "man child" who was caught up to heaven, prior to Satan going forth to in his attempt to destroy the woman (the remaining inhabitants of Jerusalem).

These are seen standing on Mount Zion, with the Lamb of God, just before being caught up to heaven {Rev. 12:5}. A new song is sung here, which only the 144,000 can learn. They are then taken up to heaven as the "...firstfruits to God and unto the Lamb..." It is written here that these "...follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth..." There are several things in this chapter which tend to confirm the identity of these as the man child of chapter 12.

Next we see another angel, in the heavens, proclaiming the gospel to every nation. This is followed by yet another who makes it known that Babylon the great is fallen; and if any man will receive the mark of the beast and worship his image, that person shall be forever tormented with fire and brimstone (i.e. the lake of fire).

The chapter ends with the reaping of the harvest. The Gospel has been proclaimed to every nation {Matt. 24:14}. The Son of Man goes forth to gather in the crop (the righteous); pointing to His revelation. He is followed by another angel which gathers the vines and clusters of grapes (the wicked) that judgment may be passed on them.

The chapter ends with verse 20 stating that the "...winepress was trodden without the city,..." Chapter 19:15 tells us that it is Jesus Himself, who shall tread the winepress.

 

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