After looking at Satan and his earthly kingdoms and their opposition to Christ and His spiritual kingdom (Rev 12: & 13:), we now begin a new vision. Our review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth has been brought to completion now we look at the very next event that will take place in time… the second coming of Christ.
In this look at His second coming, we will see Christ being praised for the redemption of His people; the protection of His people; and His wrath that will destroy the kingdoms of Satan…
- The Redeemed of God singing a song of praise to their Redeemer, the Lamb (14:1-5)
- The Messages Of The Three Angels (14:6-13)
- The Two Reapings Of The Earth (14:14-20)
SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:
- Revelation 14:1-5 – The Song Of The 144,000
This vision opens with John seeing Christ, the Lamb of God, standing in heaven (Mt Sion) with the 144,000 who represent the Old Testament and New Testament servants of God. John hears these servants singing a wondrous song of praise before God, the One sitting on the throne.
This song was only able to be learned by the redeemed in heaven immediately before the second coming of Christ. It was a song that praised God for the coming deliverance of His people at His second coming. Although the redeemed of God understand the very basics about His second coming and the deliverance of His people from wrath to come, those in heaven have a much more clear understanding of the great event that was about to take place. This is why only those in heaven can come to a knowledge of this great song of praise.
The redeemed of God are described as virgins and followers of Christ, who are found without guile and fault, pointing us to their righteous standing and their faithfulness to Christ, their Lord and Savior. They are also described as the firstfruits unto God and Christ, helping us to understand they are taken out of this all mankind and sanctified for His use and glory.
- Revelation 14:6-13 – The Messages Of The Three Angels
John’s attention is now pointed towards three angels who deliver unique messages from the Lord:
The first angel declares the gospel message to the lost and dying world. They also emphasize the need for the lost to believe in Him by telling them to “fear God and give glory to Him and worship Him” as their Creator. This helps us to understand that prior to the second coming of Christ, we will see the gospel message permeate the world going to every nation on the globe.
The second angel announces the imminent fall of the kingdom of Satan. This includes the fall of both the religious and political aspects of the Devil’s kingdom. Although this message is presented prior to the second coming of Christ, it is presented in the current tense “Babylon IS fallen”. Emphasizing the certainty of the fall of the Satanic kingdom which was decreed as fallen before time began in the eternal counsels of God.
The third angel announces the coming judgment of anyone who is a member of this demonic kingdom. He pictures the deliverance of God’s wrath as a cup of wine that is poured out upon their heads. Along with this message, he emphasizes their eternal judgement which takes place in the presence of the Lord and His angles. It involves torment in everlasting fire and brimstone in the Lake of Fire.
Finally, we have explained that the saint’s patient service to Christ while on earth is based upon these three messages. They understand the need of the gospel message by the lost, the certainty of the defeat of Satan and his Kingdom, and the promised recompensing of the lost who have abused God’s people throughout time. They are also reminded of the wonderful eternal blessings awaiting them… eternal rest (“they may rest from their labors”) and rewards for their faithfulness (“their works do follow them”).
- Revelation 14: 14-20 – The Two Reapings Of The Earth
In the final section of this chapter, John sees the second coming of Christ pictured as two reapings of the earth. The first reaping represents the Lord’s taking home of His people prior to the falling of His wrath. The second reaping symbolizes the wrath of God falling upon lost mankind.
The first reaping which is called “the harvest of the earth” begins with a vision of Christ sitting upon a white cloud. This helps us to understand Christ is the sinless God. His authority over all is pictured by His crown, while the upcoming reaping of His people is shown by the sickle in His hand.
God, the One who has sovereignly decreed the time of the reaping, sends an angel to tell Christ that the time has come for His people to be reaped from the earth. Christ then proceeds to reap His people from the earth, glorifying the bodies of the redeemed, and taking them to security in His presence in heaven
The second reaping of the earth is described as gathering “the clusters of the vines of the earth”. It is symbolic of the Lord sending His wrath upon fallen mankind on earth following the taking of saved to heaven.
In this harvest, an angel that has control of fire from the altar, delivers the message to begin the sending of God’s wrath. This reminds us that it was the sacrifice of Christ that not only secured the salvation of His people, but also secured His role as judge of lost mankind. Also, the wrath of God that falls in the last days will consist of fire falling from heaven.
A different angel, one from the temple, is the one that actually sends the wrath upon the earth. Coming from the temple reminds us that he is an angel that is simply delivering God’s message and doing the work of God. It is God’s wrath that is falling, the angels will simply be used as instruments of delivery. They are not working under their own authority or power.
God’s wrath is shown coming upon the lost in stages. The initial stages begin with cutting, then gathering, and finally casting them into a “great winepress”. This pictures all of the “preliminary” judgment that falls prior to the Battle of Armageddon, which is the concluding stage of God’s wrath upon lost mankind. This final stage is symbolized by the treading of the winepress of God which releases blood that rises to 4 foot over a 150 mile area. This pictures the greatness of torment and death during this last phase of God’s wrath.
WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:
In our next section of Revelation, we will be looking at chapter 15. In this chapter, we find the contents of the seventh trumpet that was blown in 11:15-19.
Please keep in mind, we saw the contents of trumpet judgments 1-6 revealed in Revelation 8: and 9:. Then in Rev 11, we saw the seventh trumpet being blown. Following this, additional background information was given to us in Revelation 12:-14:. The background information explained in more detail what would be taking place during this 7th trumpet judgment.
Now, in Revelation 15:, the contents of trumpet 7 is being prepared. It will be presented to us in a series of 7 bowls (vials) of wrath being poured out upon lost mankind on the earth. Then in Revelation 16:, the 7 bowls will be poured out upon lost mankind and God’s wrath against the lost on earth will be brought to completion.
I. Revelation 15:1-8
A. Preparation For Seven Last Plagues (15:1-4)
B. The Seven Vials Of Wrath Revealed (15:5-8)
II. Revelation 16:1-21
A. Command To Pour Out Vials (16:1)
B. Vial One (16:2)
C. Vial Two (16:3)
D. Vial Three (16:4-7)
E. Vial Four (16:8-9)
F. Vial Five (16:10-11)
G. Vial Six (16:12-16)
H. Vial Seven (16:17-21)
May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.
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