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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The TTUF STUDY on The REVELATION of JESUS CHRIST – Chapter FOURTEEN

~ by James Fire

Introduction: Before we get into this chapter, let’s take a closer look at what we saw previously in Chapter Thirteen, using the book of DANIEL as our lens:

DANIEL 9:25-27 states the following:
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

What we learn here is that the Beast is the one who “confirms the covenant” – and since this deals with the temple, sacrifices and oblations, this can be none other than the Mosaic covenant. This is for “one week (shavuim)” or seven years. It’s three and a half years in, that he stops the whole thing and commits “the abomination of desolation” (MATT 24:15; DAN 12:11).
So, what does “confirm” mean here? The Hebrew word used is gabar and it’s defined as follows: “to prevail, have strength, be strong, be powerful, be mighty, be great; to confirm, give strength to confirm (a covenant); to show oneself mighty; to act proudly (toward God)”
I think that this phrase of confirming the covenant could be viewed in two different, but equally valid ways: the fact that it’s the Beast doing this, the veritable son of perdition, he is acting proudly, defiantly before GOD, Whose temple, he will eventually pollute.

At the same time, I’m certain that there will be a lot of protests against this favoring of the Jews, particularly by the Muslim nations; but the Beast will prevail against all protests, and for all intents and purposes, show himself to be indeed the ‘Messiah’ of Israel, thus lending to the deception and “strong delusion” (1 THESS 2:11) as he proclaims himself ‘God’.

“The consummation” is the Hebrew word kalah, and refers to “completion, complete destruction, consumption, annihilation” and in almost all references this action is by GOD (by men in a few select cases such as JER 5:10 and DAN 11:16; the latter reference here is to Antiochus Epiphanes, who was certainly of the spirit of anti-Christ and is himself, a type for the Beast, who would desecrate the Temple as Antiochus did previously, that incited the Maccabean Revolt and restoration of the Temple, memorialized in Hanukkah).

The consummation therefore must refer to GOD’s own complete destruction and annihilation of these things, that is, the Beast himself, the image of the Beast, the desecrated temple, and those who worship the image of the Beast and receive his mark, as seen previously in REVELATION 13.

Let’s consider a few more things in DANIEL 12 before moving on to REVELATION 14, shall we?

DANIEL 12:1
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book
.

This time of trouble corresponds to “the time of Jacob’s Trouble” as mentioned in JER 30:7; the intensity of the trouble is incomparable to any other time that the Jews have, or ever will face; the LORD Jesus Christ confirms this in:

MATTHEW 24:21
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Israel’s deliverance will happen when the Messiah returns and destroys the Beast (2 THESS 2:8).

Angelic beings dialogue about the last days with Daniel in audience and express these revelatory prophecies:

DANIEL 12:11-12
11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days
.

In my opinion, these numbers of days are indicative of when the LORD Jesus Christ shall return once the Beast desecrates the temple (1,290 days), and the time duration when all of these things are “consummated” and the Millennial reign finally, officially begins (1,335 days; a difference of 45 days)!

So with those things said, let us move on to the next chapter in REVELATION. Here we have a sort of synopsis or outline of what’s going to transpire in the remaining pages of this revelation.

The LORD standing in glory with the righteous in Zion (this is a new found reality in which heaven becomes united with a world ruled by Christ! See DAN 2:34-35, 44), the Gospel sent out one final time before the end and the terrible harvest of the damned, but also the precious reaping of the righteous who have endured this time of tribulation. The woeful (as far as the world is concerned) destruction of Babylon is seen, which causes rejoicing in the saints of GOD. Finally, the dire warning of the wrath of GOD that is soon to culminate upon this Christ-rejecting, Gospel-denying world!

REVELATION 14:1-2
1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, 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
:

We have seen these virgin Jewish men (REV 14:4) before, these evangelist/apostle types that are going forth throughout the world and preaching the Gospel, which resulted in a multitude beyond number getting saved (REV 7:2-9,14). In the vision seen by John here in Chapter 14, these Jews are with the LORD on Mount Zion. 

Is this literally Mount Zion in Israel, or is this a typology referring to heaven, or the kingdom of heaven coming to Earth (i.e., the Davidic kingdom that believing Israel awaits for (ACTS 1:6). I don’t see why both can’t be true, for the stone “cut without hands” comes out of heaven and destroys the statue in DANIEL 2, and becomes a mountain (typified as a kingdom; ISAIAH 2:3; 11:9; EZZEK 20:40; MICAH 4:1-2; ZECH 8:3). The stone, Who is Christ the King of heaven will, essentially bring heaven to Earth when He arrives to establish His Millennial reign.

REVELATION 14:3-5
3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, 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 the 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
.

Notice where these are singing this new song – “before the throne, and before the four beasts and the elders” – that sure looks like heaven as previously seen, to me! These have been redeemed “from among men”, and the first fruits unto GOD and to the Lamb. All saints are redeemed “from” the world, humanity, sin, condemnation, and judgment. The very act of redemption is to “buy back” and restore to proper ownership. We saints have been purchased by the blood of the LAMB and are no longer our own but have surrendered all that we are to the LORD (1 COR 6:19-20). Let the redeemed of the LORD say so (PSALM 107:2)!

Remembering that these are Jews, 12,000 in number from each of the tribes of Israel, that these are just the beginning of GOD’s work in Israel – they are “the first fruits” which indicates the latter harvest, that being “all Israel” which shall come to salvation once the Messiah returns (ROM 11:25-27).

Singing saints is a standard among the saved: singing from our hearts in worship of the LORD is both a blessing and a ministry in which we serve the LORD, magnifying His Holy name. Certainly, we are blessed to do so, and He is blessed by our loving devotion, worshiping Him in spirit and in truth (JOHN 4:23). 

PSALM 96:1
O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth.

PSALM 149:1
Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

PSALM 98:1
O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

ISAIAH 42:10
Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof
.

New songs are a blessing, because we are not reciting them from memory, but have to listen attentively to learn what the song is expressing, and so with such freshness, our worship becomes that much more efficacious. Obviously, this is not to say we can’t revisit older, more familiar, and beloved songs, but merely to show the advantage of singing new songs to the LORD.
It’s going to be an overwhelming joy to experience “all the earth” being “filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as waters cover the seas” (ISAIAH 11:9; HAB 2:14) and singing our praises and adoration to the LORD of Glory, Who is utterly worthy to receive such!

REVELATION 14:6-8
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 glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 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
.

There is the Gospel of GOD (ROM 15:16); the Gospel of the kingdom of GOD (MARK 1:14); the gospel of the Kingdom (MATT 4:23); the Gospel of Jesus Christ (MARK 1:1) and here, the everlasting Gospel (REV 14:6). These are the same Gospel, but rendered to different people, to the Jews, to the Gentiles, to the church, and also to these who are living in this time of tribulation, where the Gospel will inundate the Earth, just as the LORD said (MATT 24:14). Note: here it is called, “the gospel of the kingdom” that is to say, the coming kingdom of Israel where the Messiah will reign in Israel, after the tribulation period, during the Millennial Reign.

By no means is there salvation in any other than the LORD Jesus Christ and His propitiatory atonement by the shedding of His righteous and sinless blood and by faith (alone!) in His sacrificial death, burial and resurrection.

For the Jew, this gospel entails not just the salvation of their souls, but also the promises by covenant that GOD made with Abraham and David in establishing the kingdom of Israel. For the Gentile, this salvation entails the saving the soul as well as the reception into the body of Christ, the church comprised both of Jews (for those saved during the dispensation of the church) and Gentiles that become the bride of Christ (REV 21:9). For those who are saved during the tribulation period, the saving of the soul as well as being in the number of martyrs who comprise what we call ‘tribulation saints’ (REV 7:14). These shall have a special place of serving the Messiah and sing a song that no one else can learn (REV 14:3).

This everlasting Gospel is that which is declared by this messenger, this angel to all people, regardless of nationality and language (curious – is this angel multi-lingual or has the ability to be understood by all people in their own tongue? It happened at Pentecost with the disciples, why not an angel?); it’s the Gospel to fear GOD and give Him glory – the Creator of all things. The angel also warns of the coming imminent judgment which no longer lingers.

Today we understand that judgment is coming upon this rebellious world, and coming soon, seeing the signs that are all around us, indicative of the Second Coming; however with the signs coming into fruition and judgment being executed by the opening of the seals and sounding of the trumpets, those hearing the words of this angel will understand that this isn’t some indeterminant time unknown (as it is with us, knowing only the times and the seasons), but is at the door and ready to be revealed!
2 THESSALONIANS 1:7-9
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
There is a second angel that is declaring the fall of Babylon – “that great city” (note: this is not describing a nation, or a kingdom, but specifically a city); the angel speaks of how this city made the “nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication”. A city on seven hills “on which the woman sits” (REV 17:9). The description given of Babylon in REVELATION 17 suits perfectly Vatican hill and the Roman Catholic religion. For an excellent and classic treatment of this, I heartily recommend the late Dave Hunt’s (The BEREAN CALL) video: 




Fornication in this sense has to do with inappropriate religious affiliation with that which is against GOD; that is, the false religious system that is described in REVELATION 17:5, “the mother of harlots”. Contrast this with the virgin Jews previously described. 

This false religious system is declared fallen, while back in REVELATION 11:15 we read: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” 

REVELATION 14:9-11

9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his 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 forever 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.

Read carefully what this third angel is saying: If anyone worships the beast, his image and receives his mark (666) then they will suffer the judgment of GOD’s wrath. Note what it doesn’t say: “unless they repent”. 

It seems that any who commit such a transgression has sealed their fate, that once they pledge their allegiance to the man of sin, that it’s a done deal, no turning back, no remedial action is possible, they are condemned. 

As the 144,000 have the seal of GOD upon them (on their foreheads) likewise the dwellers of the Earth will have this mark, this ‘seal’ as it were upon them (We also are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (EPH 1:13), Who Himself is the earnest – the down payment, as a pledge that we shall be redeemed entirely upon the LORD’s return (ROM 8:23)), which is irrevocable.

Without the mark of the beast, no one will be able to buy or sell; even the necessary essentials of life: food, water, shelter – none will be acquired without the mark of the beast. On the other hand, if allegiance to the beast is refused, then those who refuse to pledge their allegiance will be beheaded, martyred for the witness of Jesus Christ, out of allegiance to the LAMB of GOD (REV 20:4). 

Punishment for worshiping the Beast is eternal (“forever and ever”) torment in the lake of fire (REV 20:10,14). But the wrath of GOD begins even upon the Earth, only to continue in eternal perdition, “without mixture”. GOD’s undiluted, pure, and potent punishment of such ferocity because it is the wrath of GOD Himself!

This is why it’s crucial that the Gospel goes out at this late hour, just before the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel, the time of Jacob’s Trouble because once the church is raptured out of his fallen world, people will be faced with just two choices and not a third in sight: worship the Beast, buy whatever needs you have and live – only to be condemned for all eternity; or refuse to worship the Beast and find yourself beheaded for Christ’s sake.

Even so, people will witness these angels who will deliver these ardent warnings; so that while the choice will be dreadful, at least they will end this life with the right decision made for all eternity.

What is so utterly tragic is that these that refuse this final offer of the Gospel and salvation will utterly refuse it, and rebel against the One that offers it. So, they will drink of the cup of the wrath of GOD, that the LORD Jesus already took for them (MATT 26:39; HEB 2:9), and if only they had received salvation through Christ, they would not only be spared going through this nightmarish time of great tribulation, but never even smell the smoke of hellfire!

‘Progressive’ Christianity (read that, Bible-denying, dead-works, pseudo-faith anti-Christianity) denies the existence of hell, meaning the lake of fire, suggesting that a loving GOD would never send people to hell.

GOD is love, of course – such powerful, Almighty love, that He did the following:
JOHN 3:16-17
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Yet also, because GOD is holy (LEV 19:2; 1 SAM 2:2), and He is the embodiment of truth (DEUT 32:4; PSALM 31:5), He cannot leave sin unjudged (GEN 18:25). So He sent His Son to take our place, and bear not only our sin, but also GOD’s holy wrath upon sin – onto Himself (JOHN 18:11; MATT 26:42; HEB 2:9)! He then, by releasing His Spirit (LUKE 23:46), the very Spirit of GOD (ROM 8:9) would indwell all who express faith in Jesus (ACTS 16:31) and His work of salvation (JOHN 19:30; ROM 1:16-17) on our behalf, on the cross. We not only become the children of GOD (JOHN 1:12) but also the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 COR 6:19), Who will no longer dwell in temples made of stone (HEB 9:8-15)! 

For an in-depth teaching on this, and related matters, see this Three Part Series:

CHRIST’s COURT – SOON IN SESSION: Part 1  Part 2 Part 3  

REVELATION 14:12-13

12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 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 labors; and their works do follow them.

For the duration of this demonic time, under the Beast’s unholy dominion, the saints will be slaughtered; the woman that rides the beast (REV 17 & 18) is drunk with the blood of the saints. These will be lambs to the slaughter indeed, without any defense or retribution in sight throughout this period.

Here however, we see the destiny foretold of all who will not only accept the mark of the Beast, but who will hate and martyr the saints of GOD, the children of light (MATT 5:44; JOHN 15:18; EPH 5:8; 1 THESS 5:5). The rank injustice, the pure and unadulterated lust for the ruin of the righteous will finally be answered, and because we saints, who keep the commandments of GOD and the faith of Jesus, know that Judgment Day is coming; the LORD will render justice and judicial vengeance:
ROMANS 12:18-21
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good.
Note also that faith in Jesus and keeping the commandments of GOD are mentioned in the same literary breath here. Obedience is not a replacement for believing faith; salvation is always by faith. Obedience is the outward working from the heart that believes (PHIL 2:12). Those who genuinely believe will truly endure to the end of this terrible time of tribulation (MATT 10:22); faith believes all things (1 COR 13:7) that are declared in the pages of Scripture, which is the singular source of our blessed hope. 

Evil is parenthetical and temporary and will not exist in eternity. The dark time ahead will have a terminus and then the day will spring and always shine with all the brilliance of the grace and glory of GOD! Let us therefore wage warfare against these wicked forces in control of this world and stand for truth! 
ROMANS 13:12
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armour of light.
REVELATION 14:14-16
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.

Now begins the harvesting of rebellious souls that denounce the Holy King of all creation, who ridicule the Righteous and Holy One of Israel and sought to ruin the nation of Israel as well. The time wherein the Righteous Judge, that the Father has given this right to (JOHN 5:22, 26-27), to render His dreadful verdict upon the damned, who don’t believe on the LORD Jesus Christ and believe not the Gospel:
2 THESSALONIANS 1:4-10
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
This is the gathering of what’s been called “the grapes of wrath” (as seen in the following verses); the first harvest however is the gathering of the righteous, the fruit of salvation wrought by Christ alone; the righteous and redeemed, being gathered by the LORD before He proceeds in His judgment upon the rebellious. The first harvest is of those righteous who endure and are saved (MATT 10:22; 24:13); the second harvest consists of those who are reserved unto judgment (2 PET 2:9).

REVELATION 14:17-20

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 blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

This is an astounding, unprecedented slaughter never seen before on any battlefield in all the history of the Human race: a 200 miles long river of blood, as high as “a horses bridle” (which can range from 4 to 6 feet, so let’s say 5 feet high as a mean average) about the distance from NYC to Syracuse, NY, or from Prescott to Tucson!

The great winepress here correlates with what’s spoken of in ISAIAH:
ISAIAH 63:1-7
Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. 4 For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. 5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. 6 And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.
This isn’t even what’s considered Judgment Day, or at least not in its fullness, but from the start, at the opening of the seals, beginning of judgment certainly. What’s happening here is the slaughter of the enemies of Israel who will seek her destruction at the leading of the Beast, but will be destroyed by the LORD (2 THESS 2:8) along with all of his satanically empowered military forces (REV 19:11-21, note vs. 15,17-18,21).
7 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses

After this terrible slaughter, the LORD Jesus, the Messiah of Israel will establish His rightful reign in Jerusalem, the soon-to-be world capital over all the Earth! The LAMB of GOD will finally establish His Kingdom on Earth as the LION of JUDAH!
There is then the judgment of nations as described in MATTHEW 25, specifically MATT 25:31-45; the basis of this judgment will be on how the nations treated Israel, the LORD’s “brethren” during the time of Jacob’s Trouble (JER 30:7).

There is the time of judgment at the end of the Millennial Reign, once Satan is loosed from the abyss, where he leads one final rebellion against the LORD Jesus and His Messianic reign; fire rains down from heaven and destroys his forces and then Satan is FINALLY cast into the lake of fire (Gehenna) REV 20:7-10

This is followed by the destruction of the old heavens and earth and the Great White Throne Judgment, where all the souls that ever lived, but were not saved by faith in GOD’s Holy Word will be judged based on their works, recorded in heaven and examined by the Holy eyes of the Judge of all the Earth (GEN 18:25), Who is GOD the Son (JOHN 5:22; REV 20:11-15).

In the next short chapter we see the preparation of the last seven plagues – these vial judgments that increase what’s happened before in the seals and trumpets and “dialed to eleven” to fully expiate the last few drops of the cup of wrath in GOD’s judgment upon this Rebel Planet. Chapter 16 follows quickly after, and we witness the horrific events that fall upon “the earth dwellers” who still insist on “blaspheming the name of GOD” (REV 16:9).

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