Added Details: The Judgment of Israel
Revelation 12 – 14
Revelation 12 – 14
Events that take place in the Middle of the Week. The middle of Daniel’s seventieth week is an important milestone in prophecy. It is referred to as “the midst of the week” in Daniel 9:27.
- War in heaven, and Satan cast down to the earth (Rev. 12:9)
- False Church demolished by Roman Empire (Rev. 17:16)
- Transfer of Roman government to the Beast (Rev. 13:3)
- Tremendous upheaval in the West (Rev. 6:12-17)
- He will subdue three of the horns (Dan. 7:8, 20, 24-25)
- Then the others will capitulate (Rev. 17:13)
- The Antichrist is revealed (Rev. 13:11; 2 Thess. 2:3; Rev. 9:1)
- Jewish sacrifices forced to stop (Dan. 9:27)
- Abomination of desolation set up (Dan. 12:11; Matt. 24:15)
- Part of the faithful remnant flees to the mountains (Matt. 24:16)
- Intense persecution begins (Matt. 24:21)
- Two witnesses begin to prophesy (Rev. 11:3-6)
- Half hour silence, then first trumpet blown (Rev. 8)
- The Believing Jewish Remnant under Satan’s Persecution (Rev. 12)
- The two beasts: a political beast and a religious beast (Rev. 13)
- THE SATANIC REVIVAL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (VV.1-3)
- THE CHARACTER OF THE PERSONAL BEAST’S CAREER (VV.4-8)
- A SPECIAL WORD FOR THE REMNANT TO HEAR (vv.9-10)
- THE Character of the SECOND BEAST, OR ANTICHRIST (V.11)
- Antichrist’s Deception & FORCED WORSHIP OF THE Image (VV.12-15)
- THE FORCED IMPLEMENTATION THE MARK (VV.16-18)
- A Seven-fold vision of God’s Intervention (Rev. 14)
- (#1) THE JEWISH REMNANT PRESERVED (VV.1-5)
- (#2) THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IS PREACHED (VV.6-7)
- (#3) THE FALL OF RELIGIOUS BABLYON (HER DEATH-KNELL) (V.8)
- (#4) FINAL WARNING FOR THE FOLLOWERS OF THE BEAST (VV.9-12)
- (#5) TRIBULATION MARTYRS ABOUT TO BE RAISED (V.13)
- (#6) THE HARVEST JUDGMENT (DISCRIMINATE) (VV.14-16)
- (#7) THE VINTAGE JUDGMENT (INDISCRIMINATE) (VV.17-20)
The Believing Jewish Remnant under Satan’s Persecution (Rev. 12)
¶ 19 And the temple of God in the heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen in his temple: and there were (1) lightnings, and (2) voices, and (3) thunders, and (4) an earthquake, and (5) great hail. v.19 All expositors agree that v.19 belongs with ch.12. The temple of God in the heaven being opened marks a division in the book, Rev. 6-11 are judgments from the throne connected with creation, Rev. 12-16 are from the temple connected with the holy Character of god. The ark is the divine link with His ancient people Israel, now being resumed again, on the basis of God’s faithfulness. Five symbols of judgment that prepare us to receive greater details than we have had before (Rev. 4:5, Rev. 8:5).
Historical: Satan’s Personal War Against Christ (vv.1-5)
¶ And a great sign was seen in the heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars; v.1 The mention of signs (v.3) tells us we are on Jewish ground (Matt. 16:1). The “woman clothed with the sun” is The nation of Israel (Genesis 37:9-11) in the purpose of God as a supreme governing authority (what she will be under Messiah, Isa. 60:1-3), (e.g. Num. 23:25). The “moon” or subordinate powers (nations) under her feet. The crown of twelve stars speak of all 12 tribes seen… completeness of administration. NOTE: there are two types of crowns in Revelation: (1) “crowns” – speak of honor. “diadems” – speak of victory.
2 and being with child she cried, being in travail, and in pain to bring forth. v.2 Israel’s low moral condition and their suffering under Roman rule at the time of Christ’s birth while the remnant were waiting for His advent (had intelligence in the prophecy OF 70 weeks). “Cried” see Matt. 2:18.
¶ 3 And another sign was seen in the heaven: and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems; v.3 He is only called “great” until he is cast down… then “great” is no longer used. Red is the color of bloodshet, but it is also the color of Rule (Scarlet – rule, PURPLE – royalty). Satan acting in a political capacity. “Dragon” is Satan’s character in exertion of his power. Characteristics (anticipative):
- seven heads – spiritual completeness of evil.
- ten horns – incompleteness in administration (Dan. 7:7 – Satan controlled Old Rome)
- seven diadems – the spiritual evil is crowned (contrast Rev.13:1 where the horns -political aspect- are crowned).
Things with ten horns:
- the Old Roman Empire (Dan. 7:7)
- the Revived Roman Empire (Rev. 17:7)
- the Now Satanic Revived Roman Empire (Rev. 13:1)
- the Dragon, power behind Roman Empire (Rev. 12:3)
Whenever you get 7 heads and 10 horns combined it is connected with the revived roman empire.
4 and his tail draws the third part of the stars of the heaven; and he cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bring forth, in order that when she brought forth he might devour her child. v.4 The leaders of the Roman Empire were brought under Satan’s control, apostatized, and mobilized to thwart God’s purpose. Satan, using Herod the Great, tried to kill the Lord (Matt. 2). Satan’s controversy is really with Christ… thus a proxy war with the saints.
5 And she brought forth a male son, who shall shepherd all the nations with an iron rod; and her child was caught up to God and to his throne. v.5 The woman bore the child – Christ came to Israel (Rom. 9:5). his dominion will go far beyond. He will shepherd them (Psa. 72:11, Matt.25:32)… contrast iron rod with iron teeth (Dan. 7:19). The account jumps from Christ’s birth to his ascension. This word “caught up” is only elsewhere used for the Church, and for Paul. V.5 may include the rapture of the Church. currently, christ is seated on His Father’s throne. soon he will take his own throne… in the millennium (distinhuished in Rev. 3:19). It will have an earthly and a heaveny extension.
Mid-trib war in heaven and its results (vv.6-12)
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has there a place prepared of God, that they should nourish her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days. v.6 Jumping over 2000 + 3.5 years because the Church period is a parenthesis in God’s dealings with Israel. V.6 is the same event as v.14, but between is the reason why she fled. The Majority flee at the Lord’s direction (Mat. 24:15) and stay until Song. 8:5. A remnant of the nations will shelter the fleeing Jews (Isa. 16:4, Ezek. 11:16). The “THEY” might include the Maskilim, who teach the remannt and ‘feed’ them (Dan. 12:3). The 1260 days is the last 3.5 years, every day of their care noticed (Mat. 25:34-40).
¶ 7 And there was war in the heaven: Michael and his angels went to war with the dragon. And the dragon fought, and his angels; v.7 He must cleanse the heavens (Job 15:15, Heb. 9:23) first, then the earth. Michael is the only archangel ever mentioned, always connected with Israel (Dan. 10:21). This time (v.7) corresponds to when micheal stands up (dan. 12:1).
8 and he prevailed not, nor was their place found any more in the heaven. v.8 Satan’s influence will be restricted to earth (Job 1:6)… this was foreseen by the Lord on earth, Luke 10:18.
Satan’s Fall. We read about Satan’s fall in Ezek. 28:14-15.
“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
Satan’s Downward Progression. It is striking that we always see Satan moving down, down, down…
- Fell Spiritually (Ezek. 28:14-16)
- Cursed in the Garden (Genesis 3:15)
—– 4000 Years ——
- Bound in the Wilderness (Mat. 12:29, Luke 4:13)
- Defeated at the Cross (Heb. 2:14)
—– 2000 Years ——
- Cast to the earth (Rev. 12:9)
- Cast into the abyss (Rev. 20:3)
—– 1000 Years ——
- Cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10)
9a And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent, he who is called Devil and Satan, he who deceives the whole habitable world, v.9a Four names of Satan…
- Dragon – cruel power – Rev. 12:3 marked by persecution, Rev. 12:4 tail draws stars
- Serpent – the deceiver – Gen. 3:1 deceiving or beguiling the woman
- Devil – the slanderer or tempter – Luke 4, the three temptations
- Satan – the adversary or opposer – Zech. 3:1, I Chron. 21:1, same word as “Abaddon” or “Apollyon”, Rev. 9:11
9b he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. v.9b this is the last time in scripture that the Dragon is called ‘great’. after v.9 he is simply ‘the dragon’. The demons also will be restricted to earth.
¶ 10 And I heard a great voice in the heaven saying, Now is come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren has been cast out, who accused them before our God day and night: v.10 An anticipatory statement. These ones have seen the opening motion (“kickoff”) of the Lord’s work to set up His Kingdom. Satan always accuses the object of God’s delight (e.g. Job) so in context “our brethren” would be the faithful remnant.
11 and “they” have overcome him by reason of the blood of the Lamb, and by reason of the word of their testimony, and have not loved their life even unto death. v.11 This must be talking about the martyred portion of the faithful Jewish remnant, although we can apply it to ourselves. We can overcome Satan, who wants to control us by accusations, because the blood has given us a purged conscience.
12a Therefore be full of delight, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. v.12a In contrast to earth-dwellers, these are heaven-dwellers… rejoicing because God is in the final stages of victory.
12b Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great rage, knowing he has a short time. v.12b Woe to everything below – stable or unstable – it doesn’t matter, the Devil is going into overdrive. “a short time” = 3.5 years, Job 20:5
WAR ON EARTH, PERSECUTION OF the REMNANT (VV.13-17)
¶ 13 And when the dragon saw that he had been cast out into the earth, he persecuted the woman which bore the male child. V.13 Satan’s fall will spark intense persecution of “the woman” – who is made up of those of faith who stand in the place of Israel (although not all twelve tribes will be there).
14 And there were given to the woman the two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the desert into her place, where she is nourished there a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. v.14 The two wings of the great eagle – providential help (rapid motion and guaranteed protection) from God (see Ex. 19:4). In v.6 the sheep-gentiles of Matt. 25 are in view under the pronoun “they”, and so there each day (1260) of their kindness is noticed. In v.14 God’s protection is in view, and 3.5 times (3.5 years, see Dan.7:25) are mentioned.
PHASE I – CORRUPTION
15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth behind the woman water as a river, that he might make her be as one carried away by a river. v.15 satan unleashes a river – the movements of people under the influence of special motive and guidance – to overwhelm the woman and bring her under Satan’s power. This river of apostasy will be escaped by those who flee to mountains (Matt. 24:21-26).
16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river which the dragon cast out of his mouth. v.16 The earth – the organised system in which men live – providentially absorbs the attack and it fizzles out. See II SaM 18:8, “the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.”
PHASE II – VIOLENCE
17a And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, v.17a Satan unleashes a war of intense physical persecution, to be endured by those who remain. There is no providential help for these… they are martyred or hurt badly.
17b who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus. v.17b “Testimony of Jesus” – Apart from the Maskilim (a special class of intelligent teachers, see Dan. 11:33) the Jewish remnant will believe the testimony of Jesus… but will not yet have connected that He is “Christ” the Messiah. The testimony “of Jesus” is his personal testimony… it is a prophetic testimony.
The two beasts: a political beast and a religious beast (Rev. 13)
Subject of Ch.13 is the two chief instruments Satan will use to carry out his purpose to expunge the faithful from the earth and cause the apostasy of the Christianized world.
THE SATANIC REVIVAL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (VV.1-3)
¶ And I stood upon the sand of the sea; and I saw a beast rising out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and upon its horns ten diadems, and upon its heads names of blasphemy. v.1 “Standing on the sand of the sea” – Reoriented to see the troubled state of the Gentile world. “Rising out of the sea” – the origin of the revival of the Roman empire from the masses of mankind. A “beast” has no God-conscious intelligence. For the heads and horns, see notes on Rev. 17:9-11. The horns aren’t crowned in Dan. 7:7, or even in Rev. 17:7, because it is not yet the middle of the week, when it takes on it’s diabolical form. Names of blasphemy – This form will be set in direct opposition to God and that which represents Him.
2 And the beast which I saw was like to a leopardess, and its feet as of a bear, and its mouth as a lion’s mouth; and the dragon gave to it his power, and his throne, and great authority; v.2 This monster will embody the leading characteristics of the empires that have run before it (Dan 7:4-6): swiftness of Greece, power of Persia, boldness of Babylon. The Beast will derive all His power from Satan:
- his power – death, physical and moral (Heb. 2:14)
- his throne – the kingdoms of world (Rev. 2:13, John 12:31, Matt. 4:8)
- great authority – the air, this darkness (Eph. 2:2)
3 and one of his heads was as slain to death, and his wound of death had been healed: a|b and the whole earth wondered after the beast. v.3 A tremendous shift in the government of the revived Roman empire… the seventh head (government in first 3.5 years) is slain so the eighth (diabolical form under a special man) can rise. “the earth wondered” – amazed that the entire Roman empire is so firmly controlled by this man. they wonder after the beast in ch. 17, but there it is the historical revival… amazement that the Roman empire is back again after 1600 years. See entry for more details on the personal Beast.
THE CHARACTER OF THE PERSONAL BEAST’S CAREER (VV.4-8)
4 And they did homage to the dragon, because he gave the authority to the beast; and they did homage to the beast, saying, Who is like to the beast? and who can make war with it? v.4 Empowered by Satan. In glorying in the power of Rome, people will actually be worshiping Satan. Man needs an object to worship… and Satan will give them one. Antichrist will enforce this worship.
5 And there was given to it a mouth, speaking great things and blasphemies; and there was given to it authority to pursue its career forty-two months. 6 And it opened its mouth for blasphemies against God, to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle, and those who have their tabernacle in the heaven. vv.5-6 Blasphemous. See also Daniel 7:8. Contrast “great words” with “gracious words” Luke 4:22. The beast continues from the middle of the week on to the end. Blasphemies are words of spiritual injury (Dan 7:25):
- against God himself
- that which is identified with God and enjoys His protection on earth (the remnant)
- those who are in heaven, and beyond this man’s reach.
7 And there was given to it to make war with the saints, and to overcome them; and there was given to it authority over every tribe, and people, and tongue, and nation; v.7 Persecution of the faithful. He will “overcome” by martyring some of them. you can see this same thing in Daniel 7:21. Authority over every tribe, etc. within his domain, which is the western world. It will be a unified government, but only in the west.
8 and all that dwell on the earth shall do it homage, every one whose name had not been written from the founding of the world in the book of life of the slain Lamb. v.8 Self-exaltation. The earth-dwellers without exception succumb to worship; e.g. Nebuchadnezzar’s image, Dan. 3:7. Darby & Kelly disagree on earth-dwellers here being a moral class. Sovereign election is the only hope of any saint, in any dispensation. When speaking of the church, it says we were “chosen in christ Before the foundation of the world,” the farthest back in the purposes of god, but last to be revealed.
A SPECIAL WORD FOR THE REMNANT TO HEAR (vv.9-10)
9 If any one has an ear, let him hear. v.9 A call to the remnant to “listen up”. (Contrast with Rev. 2:7… the Church is gone!)…
10 If any one leads into captivity, he goes into captivity. If any one shall kill with the sword, he must with the sword be killed. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints. v.10 Two Principles:
- Divine judgement will fall on the beast (see Psalm 137:8). he is aresting the remnant, but Christ will arest him at his coming.
- Don’t try to avenge yourself with the sword. meekly endure the fiery trial, leave it in the Lord’s hands.
These principles are good for Christians too. Zwingli killed with the sword, and he perished on the battlefield… see Matt. 26:52. By these two principles the remnant will make it through with God’s approval.
THE Character of the SECOND BEAST, OR ANTICHRIST (V.11)
¶ 11 And I saw another beast rising out of the earth; and it had two horns like to a lamb, and spake as a dragon; v.11 Antichrist rises from the stable nations… the most stable and wealthy of all will be Israel…. until the middle of the week. “Two horns like a lamb” – A Pretense of being the true Messiah… but his words betray him (Matt. 12:34). Two horns – a pretension of power, c.p. Rev. 5:6 perfection of power. Antichrist is both king and prophet/priest (Absalom & Ahithophel, Ahaz & Urijah). In opposition to him will be the Lord’s two witnesses of Rev. 11. After antichrist flees from the king of the north, he loses one horn, and is thereafter simply called, the “false prophet”. See entry for more details on Antichrist.
Antichrist’s Deception & FORCED WORSHIP OF THE Image (VV.12-15)
12a and it exercises all the authority of the first beast before it, v.12a The Antichrist has the Beast’s power at his disposal, carte blanche.
12b and causes the earth and those that dwell in it to do homage to the first beast, whose wound of death was healed. v.12b The primary role of the Antichrist will be to direct the religious affairs in the empire (Dan. 11:38). Rationalists and ritualists alike will be swept up.
13 And it works great signs, that it should cause even fire to come down from heaven to the earth before men. v.13 The Jews desire to see signs (I Cor. 1:22). He will appear to even have heaven’s approval (I Kings 18:38). Given permission, Satan has the power to do this (Job 1:16). does the same miracle as elijah, but Turns the people’s hearts in the opposite direction (I Kings 18:37).
14 And it deceives those that dwell upon the earth by reason of the signs which it was given to it to work before the beast, saying to those that dwell upon the earth to make an image to the beast, which has the wound of the sword, and lived. v.14 This image is what is spoken of as “the abomination (idol) that makes desolate” (Matt. 24:15, Dan. 12:11) foreshadowed by Nebuchadnezzar’s image in Dan. 3. The delusion (II Thess. 2:11) is so strong that that the earth-dwellers themselves willingly make the image. The gentile powers have had a history of forcing relgion on their subjects (Dan. 3 and Dan. 6 give us the principle). The last form of babylon will be no different. The image is “to the beast“, that is, For his glory… not “of the beast“. This is the moment when the “mystery of iniquity” becomes full (II Thess. 2:7).
15 And it was given to it to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should also speak, and should cause that as many as should not do homage to the image of the beast should be killed. v.15 Not give “life” but “breath”. It is only the appearance of life. Antichrist (or Satan) can’t give life. Perhaps robotics or AI combined with Satanic power? It appears to be satanic possession of an inanimate object… unprecedented.
THE FORCED IMPLEMENTATION THE MARK (VV.16-18)
16 And it causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bondmen, that they should give them a mark upon their right hand or upon their forehead; v.16 Antichrist will be the financial leader of the empire as well as religious leader. The mark is a personal pass required to buy groceries, get gasoline, or do any type of business – no exceptions. But there is a deeper sense to it, see v.17. The Antichrist will put intense pressure on the remnant to give in and take the mark. C.p. Rev. 22:4, Gal. 6:17. Two places for the mark: (1) right hand – the agents of the Beast, and (2) forehead – his public supporters. Another view is, once you take the mark, all (1) actions and (2) thoughts are under his control. This is a clear contrast to the the Old Testament command to place the words of God on oneself; “And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes” (Deut 6:8).
17 and that no one should be able to buy or sell save he that had the mark, the name of the beast, or the number of its name. v.17 Attached to the mark (gives access to the economy) are one of two things: (1) the name of the beast – a sign of ownership or slavery, or (2) the number of its name – complete departure from what is divine.
18 Here is wisdom. He that has understanding let him count the number of the beast: for it is a man’s number; and its number is six hundred and sixty-six. v.18 There will be those (Maskilim) that will see the application of this prophecy to a particular man. But, the number is representative… three sixes… the beast will be the full manifestation of man in the flesh fallen short of God’s glory. The remnant will NOT be sucked in.
A Seven-fold vision of God’s Intervention (Rev. 14)
God’s Intervention. In ch. 12 we saw Satan’s purpose was to destroy faith from the earth (Luke 18:8). In ch. 13 we see the two human instruments that he raises up to accomplish that. In ch. 14 we see God’s intervention.
δ The western earth will become divided into two companies: followers of the Beast, and followers of the Lamb.
(#1) THE JEWISH REMNANT PRESERVED (VV.1-5)
Preserved: on Earth
¶ And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing upon mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his name and the name of his Father written upon their foreheads. v.1 (This is an ANTICIPATORY VISION, looking on to the end). Standing symbolically, not literally. (His literal coming is in v.14.) Zion speaks of God’s movements toward the city in grace (e.g. Ps. 48:2). “With Him” in the sense of identification. This 144,000 is not the same as Rev. 7; these are from the tribe of Judah only. The numeral 144,000 (administrative perfection) is used because these form the nucleus of the nation in the MILLENNIUM. Like the woman at the well, the remnant will come to the realization that Jesus is Messiah in steps… not fully (except the Maskilim) until they look upon Him whom they have pierced. The Name in their Forehead is in contrast with the mark of the beast (see δ). They are seen on the other side of the fire trial (Zech. 13:8, 9). “His Father” instead of “their Father” because these are not Christians.
Martyred: in Heaven
2 And I heard a voice out of the heaven as a voice of many waters, and as a voice of great thunder. And the voice which I heard was as of harp-singers harping with their harps; v.2 This is a DIFFERENT company from v.1. Those on earth are “listening in” to the praises of those who have already been martyred and are in heaven (same group as Rev. 15:2), because they are passing through the same Persecution. Harps have to do with a state of worship (Psa. 43:4).
3 and they sing a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one could learn that song save the hundred and forty-four thousand who were bought from the earth. v.3 The theme of the new song is redemption (Rev. 5:9). The martyred remnant teaches the preserved remnant. This verse shows that only the redeemed can sing of redemption. Not “a new song” but “as a new song” – it is not exactly the same heavenly redemption as in ch.5. Here emphasis is on practical Redemption from the evil world.
Preserved: on Earth
4a These are they who have not been defiled with women, for they are virgins: v.4a They were preserved from the corruptions that surrounded them; moral and spiritual (worship of the beast). Perhaps not literal because some of them may be married.
4b these are they who follow the Lamb wheresoever it goes. v.4b They are attached to Him… a result produced by wooing and weening (process traced in the Song of Solomon).
4c These have been bought from men as first-fruits to God and to the Lamb: v.4c These are first-fruits – a sample of the Lord’s earthly people in the millennium! A devoted, undefiled, but yet earthly people – in fellowship with heaven – as a testimony for Jehovah.
5 and in their mouths was no lie found; for they are blameless. v.5 Has to do with not believing and spreading the lie of the Antichrist. “Without fault, blameless” – same as Heb. 9:14 and 1 Peter 1:19.
(#2) THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IS PREACHED (VV.6-7)
¶ 6 And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having the everlasting glad tidings to announce to those settled on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people, v.6-7 “Those settled on the earth” are not earth-dwellers… it speaks of men everywhere. The everlasting Gospel doesn’t speak of redemption, but it testifies to the majesty of God as a creator. See Psa. 19:1-3, Psa. 96, Rom. 1:19-20. The word of God is required for new birth… but not necessarily the WRITTEN word; it may be through theophenies (like cornelius, Acts 10:3, or this angel, Rev. 14:6), or possibly even the witness of creation. the everlasting gospel is in Gen. 3:15 – the promised seed will some day intervene in judgement. Noah and enoch preached it as well. the scope is very broad (see acts 10:34-35).
7 saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and do homage to him who has made the heaven and the earth and the sea and fountains of waters. v.7 The “him” is in contrast with the beast. There are three gospels in scripture:
- The Everlasting gospel – of coming judgement based on god’s power as creator. god will at last intervene to deliver a world fallen by sin into satan’s hands. dEMANS THAT MEN RECOGNIZE AND GLORIFY gOD AS CREATOR.
- The Kingdom Gospel – based on Christ’s glory as king… repent because the Messiah is coming to set up his kingdom, everyone get ready.
- the Christian gospel – based on THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF cHIRST, AND God’s heart of love… brings you into relationship with God as Father. pRESENTS THE GLORIOUS PERSON OF cHRIST AS THE OBJECT FOR FAITH.
(#3) THE FALL OF RELIGIOUS BABLYON (HER DEATH-KNELL) (V.8)
¶ 8 And another, a second, angel followed, saying, Great Babylon has fallen, has fallen, which of the wine of the fury of her fornication has made all nations drink. v.8 The false church – religious Babylon – is judged (falls, loses control) in the middle of the week by the beast (Rev. 17:15-18). political babylon continues to the end of the week (Rev. 16:15-21, rev. 18:21-24) This verse Shows that the fall of religious Babylon precedes the three and a half years of beast worship. “the wine of the fury of her fornication” – see Rev. 17:2 and Rev. 18:3. The kings and merchants are unaware that they have drunk a fatal dose, and will perish with final babylon at the appearing, see notes on Rev. 19:19.
(#4) FINAL WARNING FOR THE FOLLOWERS OF THE BEAST (VV.9-12)
¶ 9 And another, a third, angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any one do homage to the beast and its image, and receive a mark upon his forehead or upon his hand, V.9-10 The end of the path for those who follow and worship the beast is eternal punishment in the lake of fire.
10a he also shall drink of the wine of the fury of God prepared unmixed in the cup of his wrath, v.10a There are no palliative ingredients (Ps. 75:8); it will be direct from God. The greatest judgement God has is for those who have had the greatest light.
10b and he shall be tormented in fire and brimstone before the holy angels and before the Lamb. v.10b Terrible punishment that is unmistakably individual. “Before the Lamb” as a judge witnessing an execution.
11a And the smoke of their torment goes up to ages of ages, V.11a the “ages of ages” refers to a future eternity. while the torment will never end, will the smoke stop be allowed to cloud the air of the new creation (eternal state)? It says “to it”, not “into it”.
11b and they have no respite day and night who do homage to the beast and to its image, and if any one receive the mark of its name. v.11b There will be no cessation, no alleviation. See Mark 9:44.
12 Here is the endurance of the saints, who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. v.12 A word to the remnant, hang on. Better to be killed by the Beast than to be tormented with the Beast. Things will be set right. See also Rev. 13:10.
(#5) TRIBULATION MARTYRS ABOUT TO BE RAISED (V.13)
¶ 13 And I heard a voice out of the heaven saying, Write, Blessed the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; for their works follow with them. v.13 Kelly says it means: (1) from this time nobody that belongs to the Lord is going to die and (2) all those who have died in the Lord are about to be blessed; i.e. in the first resurrection. (Comma before “from”… it could read “blessed from henceforth are…”).
The Harvest & Vintage are “the judgment of the quick” (Acts 10:42; 2 Tim. 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5) or living, which is when the Lord will deal with the living persons on earth, at the START of the Millennium. The judgment of the quick also includes the sessional judgment (Matt. 25:31-46). It is in contrast to the “judgment of the dead” which occurs at the END of the Millennium (Rev. 20: 11-15), when those who have died without faith will be raised to stand before the great white throne, and then be cast into the lake of fire (read more…). Two great differences between the harvest and vintage are: (1) the harvest is discriminating while the vintage is indiscriminating, and (2) the harvest immediately follows the appearing while the vintage takes place after Israel is restored in their land.
The Harvest Judgment (Rev. 14:14-16; Isaiah 21 – 24). At the time of the appearing, the angels will go forth over the Beast’s empire and “reap” those who have refused the gospel of the kingdom. This is called the harvest judgment. The Harvest Judgment is a discriminating judgment, pictured in Matt. 13 by the harvestmen removing the tares from the field. The Lord will send out His angels into “the whole world” to cleanse “the kingdom of the Son of man”, which is the prophetic earth (Matt. 13:37-42). It is discriminating because only the impostors (who have made a false profession of Christianity) will be taken by the angels. Those taken will be cast directly into the lake of fire. The Lord was marked out as the One who would baptize with fire (Matt.3:11). This is what Christ as the “Son of man sitting on the cloud” will do with the Christian testimony at the harvest judgment. The harvest judgment will take place between the appearing of Christ and 1290 days measured from the middle of Daniel’s seventieth week. It will only involve the prophetic earth (Israel and Europe). If it was the entire world then Gog and Magog wouldn’t be able to come down against them after the harvest. read more…
¶ 14 And I saw, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud one sitting like the Son of man, having upon his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. v.14 “a white cloud” – the presence of the Lord in judicial purity. Son of man is the Lord’s title upon rejection Dan. 7:13, John 5:27. The man child caught up in ch.12 now returns in judgment. “on the clouds” (Matt. 24:30) a publicly display. the “coming of the son of man” always is the appearing. “a golden crown” – His royal dignity and also of the glory of His divine righteousness. “a sharp sickle” – showing that judgment is the purpose of His coming.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Send thy sickle and reap; for the hour of reaping is come, for the harvest of the earth is dried. v.15 As with the vintage judgement (v.18), an angelic messenger is the trigger. Here, out of the temple (direct presence of God), showing that this judgment is required because of a direct insult to His name. see jer. 7:14. The harvest is a discriminating judgment (winnowing)… separating, taking the wicked and leaving the just, Matt. 24:38-43. A reference to the Parable of the TARES…. v.16 is the completion of the age. The vintage judgment is indiscriminate.
16 And he that sat on the cloud put his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. V.16 The Lord will do this by sending out his holy angels, Matt. 13:41. These ones “taken” will be cast into the “furnace” Lake of fire.
¶ 17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in the heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. v.17 This angel also is the Lord Jesus, who will tread the wine-press alone (Isa. 63:1-6). Perhaps an angel because this is something the lord does personally… so he appears as a warrior angel. The “temple” because this judgment arises from the glory of God’s presence.
18 And another angel came out of the altar, having power over fire, and called with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Send thy sharp sickle, and gather the bunches of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripened. v.18 This is the brazen altar, speaks of judgment against sin. The wine-press is the unmingled fury of God. “power over fire” – an executer of His Judgment. The vine of the earth – in contrast with “the true vine”, this is apostate religion (the corruption of what should have been fruit-bearing). CH.12-14 are looking at the judgment of Israel so the vine is specifically apostate Isreal, the “rebels” are all that are left. Fully ripened… ready for judgment. Apostate israel at the center, but gentiles mixed in (not mentioned here).
- gather the vine: speaks of the return of the ten tiribes (Dan. 12:1-2)
- cast it into the winepress – rebels of the ten tribes get sifted at border
- tread the winepress – actual judgment by the Lord personally
19 And the angel put his sickle to the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast the bunches into the great wine-press of the fury of God; 20 and the wine-press was trodden without the city, and blood went out of the wine-press to the bits of the horses for a thousand six hundred stadia. vv.19-20 The Vintage (Winepress) Judgment (Rev. 14:17-20; Isaiah 26:20 – 27:5; Isaiah 63:1-6) will take place at 1335 days measured from the middle of Daniel’s seventieth week. Those destroyed are Russia (Ezek. 38-39), many confederate nations (Micah 4:11-12, Joel 3:2), and the rebels of the ten tribes (Ezek. 20:35-38). The winepress judgment is referred to a “Jehovah’s sacrifice in Bozrah and slaughter in Edom” because Bozrah was the capital of Edom (Isa. 34:2-6). The nations will come up in vast hordes, Russia in the lead, coming up “like a cloud to cover the land.” The land of Edom is where the proud (Zeph. 3:11) and the rebellious (Ezek. 20:38) of the ten tribes will be trapped, at the “border” (Ezek. 11:10). The Lord will personally “plead” with them “face to face” (Ezek. 20:35)… but they will be “stubborn and rebellious” (Deut. 21:18-23). The border land to the south of Israel (Edom) is referred to as the Lord’s “threshing floor” (Micah 4:11-12). There the Lord will “sift” the ten tribes “like as corn is sifted in a sieve” (Amos 9:9-10). Ninety percent of the returning ten tribes will be destroyed (Isa. 6:13). “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion” (Joel 3:16) and destroy Russia specifically “upon the mountains of Israel” (Ezek. 39:2). The “valley of Jehoshaphat” (Joel 3:1, 12-13), also called “without the city” (Rev. 14:20), is where the winepress begins. It continues 1600 stadia (or 200 miles), which is approximately the distance from the valley of Jehoshaphat to the south of Edom. The “vine of the earth”, who are the rebels of the ten tribes, will be caught up in the vortex of judgment. The carnage will be so tremendous that the blood will run out “to the horses bits”. Horses speak of human agencies, all are in vain against the Lord. As He stamps personally upon His enemies, it will be His “fury”, not His love, that will sustain Him (Isa. 63:1-6) while “He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Rev. 19:15). read more…