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A. Last week we took a little time to discuss the "name and number" of the beast!
1. We concluded that this system is already in place and some of it has been for a long, long, time!
2. Most of us are carrying money with the "New World Order" written right on the back!
3. "Womb to tomb" identification chips are already being implanted in human beings, and pets.
4. And the world economic system is quickly heading toward a common currency and a one world government!
5. J.R. told me that he duplicated over 50 tapes from last week. This is something that affects us all!!
B. When we left off with chapter 13, the scene was the earth and the "deluge" of satan, the beast, and the false prophet!
1. This morning we turn to chapter 14, and the scene is much different!
a) It is a vision of heavenly announcements and heavenly beings!
b) Chapter 14 can be summed up with Psa_37:35 ; Psa_37:39-40 I have seen the wicked in great power, And spreading himself like a native green tree.. . . .
39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble.
40 And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him. (NKJV)
c) Let’s take a look!
A. Rev_14:1 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. (NKJV)
1. If you will remember in Rev 7 - 144,000 "chosen ones" out of the tribes of Israel had received a protective seal on their foreheads.
2. In Rev 13 - the beastly system had commanded that everyone without his mark, the mark of the beast, must die!
3. As John sees this 144,000, even he probably can’t believe that they are still alive after all the persecution from the beastly trinity!!!
a) Satan with all his destruction, had not been able to touch these protected by the Lord!
b) As the tribulation is nearing an end, John sees them as an assembly in all their glory - congregating on Mt. Zion itself.
c) It is finally revealed to us that the mark on their foreheads is nothing less than the name of the Father!
(1) Notice also that Jesus (the Lamb) is with them!
(2) It is important to remember that Jesus is our only defense also!
B. Rev_14:2-3 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. (NKJV)
1. This "voice" that John hears is "multiple"!
2. It is the voice of "thunder and of many waters" as he hears the harpists playing their harps, and the multitude singing a "new song" before the throne and the four "living creatures and elders"! (Niagara Falls or a concert!)
a) Notice also that they were singing a song that only the 144,00 could sing because only they knew the words!
(1) Perhaps it contains words about the persecution and "costs" of the tribulation!
(a) The Greek word for "learn" means to "experimentally understand".
(b) Others might be able to sing the song or hum the tune, but only the 144,000 would "understand" the real meaning of the song!
(i) Each one of us has a "song" of sorts that only you know the "real meaning" of!
(ii) You see each life has its own specific hurts and pains that others don’t seem to understand.
(iii) But, we need to keep in mind that Jesus wrote the song!
(iv) He was there, He understands the words!
C. Rev_14:4-5 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 firstfruits 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)
1. Many cults say that they are the 144,000, but the scriptures are very plain!
a) They are all male Israelites and 12,000 from each tribe!
b) There are some other distinguishing characteristics:
(1) They are virgins, they have never had sex!
(a) Many speculate that their ministry during the tribulation will be so demanding that marriage would have made it almost impossible!
(b) Perhaps by then the world will be so despotic that it will be almost imposible to have a "normal" relationship.
(c) But, it is important to point out that they would also have had to have a commitment to personal purity since their youth!
(2) They "follow Jesus wherever he goes."
(3) They are the "firstfruits" of the tribulation period!
(a) And also the "firstfruits" of God’s own people, the Jews, living for the Messiah!
(4) 1Pe_2:22 tells us that Jesus ". . . committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth"; (NKJV)
(a) It is the same with the 144,000!
(b) No wonder only they can understand the song!
(c) But through Jesus and the cross, we have the same hope: Jud_1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, (NKJV)
D. Rev_14:6-8 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." (NKJV)
1. There are six additional angels that appear on the scene and all of them have urgent messages and ministries to those on the earth!
2. The first appears with an extraordinary mission!
3. Prior to this, preaching was entrusted to men.
a) Jesus commanded his followers to "preach the gospel" in Mar_16:15
b) Paul said "woe unto me if I preach no the gospel" in 1Co_9:16 .
c) The conditions are so harsh upon the earth that a new method is needed.
(1) You see the 144,000 will not have access to TV or radio and people will be deathly afraid to attend any kind of Christian meeting!
(2) With only 144,00 witness that would add up to only 1 preacher for every 10,000 people left on the earth!
(a) Thus the need for the angelic preacher flying back and forth across the sky telling the message of the gospel in every language known to man!
(b) Notice he has a very specific message for the evolutionists!
(i) GOD created it all!
4. The way verse 8 is worded and placed indicates that the second of the six angels follows the first one wherever he goes.
a) As the first "peaches" the gospel, the other reminds people that the beastly system of Babylon had failed!
b) The thought is picked up from Jer_51:7 Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD's hand, That made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; Therefore the nations are deranged. (NKJV)
E. Rev_14:9-11 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." (NKJV)
1. This 3rd angel follows the first 2 with yet another warning.
a) The pressure to submit to the beastly system will be immense but this angle wants to remind people that the penalty for submitting to satan is even worse!
(1) Mat_10:28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (NKJV)
2. God’s wrath is tempered by the cross!
a) These people will have rejected both God and the cross therefore there is nothing to "buffer" his anger against them!
b) They therefore must suffer the full force of His anger and it will be in front of the Messiah they rejected and the angels.
(1) Their suffering is "forever" and continual. There will be no rest!
F. Rev_14:12-13 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)
1. The Lord always knows when the scene is getting two intense, then He pauses to give His people hope!
2. Such is the case here. John says, "Here it is folks!" "Here is the fulfillment of all those promises that the Lord would avenge His people!"
3. The Lord through John gives a particular promise to the martyrs. The "now on" that John is talking about is from that time of the tribulation forward!
a) The same promise is of course ours also. Death is rest from our labors! And we can be sure that our works follow us on into Heaven!
(1) For our labor here is the basis of our service there Mat_25:21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' (NKJV)
(2) There is an opposite affect. Those of us seeking ease and comfort here will be barren there: 1Co_3:14-15 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (NKJV)
(3) Our works follow us! and the rewards thereof!
(a) It is important for us to remember as Christians, that we will be "serving" in heaven. We will not be simply sitting on a rock meditating eternally!
G. Rev_14:14-16 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. (NKJV)
1. John now sees Jesus as He will be forever as the Glorified Son of Man!
a) The crown indicates His reign, and the sickle is for judgment!
b) The whole idea in verse15 is taken from Joe_3:13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, The vats overflow -- For their wickedness is great." (NKJV)
(1) These verses speak of Armageddon, the ultimate battle between good and evil, the Lord and satan!
(2) This is the harvesting of the "grapes of wrath". It is the harvesting of the wicked!
H. Rev_14:17-20 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)
1. This is the 5th and 6th angel.
a) The 6th commans the 5th to "thrust his sickle into the earth for the harvest of wickedness is full".
b) The "vine of the earth" in verse 18is a direct contrast to the the "vine of heaven".
(1) Jesus said, "I am the true vine." in Joh_15:1
(2) The fruit of that True Vine is you and I and every other Christian in the world.
(3) The fruit of the "vine of the earth" however yeilds imitation fruit. Mock oranges if you will!
2. The picture here is a gruesome one:
a) As satan, and the beast, and the false prophet pulls all of his people together in one last ditch effort to fight against God and His people.
b) It is estimated that there will be approximately 200 million people in his army!
c) The 1,600 "furlongs" equal about 180 miles!
(1) That means there will be blood that runs for 180 miles and at its peak will come up to the horses bridles!
(2) It will literally be s "sea of blood"!!!
(3) Scripture calles this place "ARMAGEDDON" or "the mount of Megiddo" = the place where it will occur!
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Brown, John. "Commentary on Revelation 14". Brown's Commentary on Selected Books of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13