THE HARVEST OF THE WICKED
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to understand the book of Revelation is they try to take each event mentioned and apply it to some specific event either in the modern past or still yet in the future.
What we need to understand about this book is instead of trying to apply each vision or event to a specific occurrence, what we must do is simply look at the obvious.
It really is not hard to understand what the theme is of this book and that is true here in this chapter.
Now, when you come to chapter 14 we need to keep in mind that this is all a part of a vision that John is seeing…so we cannot take all he says here as being literal…or that it is going to be literally fulfilled.
At the same time, this chapter is intended to reassure the faithful who are perhaps wondering if their faith in God and His Son has been in vain.
So, let’s look at chapter 14.
And the beast of chapter 13 was a great, terrifying beast that mocked God and persecuted His people.
And now what you are going to see in chapter 14 is the One who really is Lord.
So, let’s look at this, and once again, simply try to grasp the obvious message of what is said.
Vs. 1 And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.
And notice the Lamb was standing on “Mt. Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand.”
And notice in the last phrase of the verse is something that we all had better have stamped on our foreheads…and that is His name and the name of His Father.
Now, verse 2: And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.
Vs. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth.
Vs. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.
So these first 5 verses are encouraging words to these Christians…because it reminds them that the Lamb is still alive…that He meets with heavens approval….and so to do those who are remained faithful to Him.
Now verse 6:
And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel (good news) to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people;
Vs. 7 …and he(the angel) said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”
Vs. 8 And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.”
And notice that Rome is looked at from a seductive view point.
And notice the angel says: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.”
Vs. 9: And another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
Those who follow the beast have benefited from the beasts power, influence, and economic prowess.
“And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” 12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”
For those who die in the Lord…death is a closed door that Satan cannot open.
Now, we are going to see the harvest of those who follow the beast.
14 And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown (stephanos: victors crown) on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, because the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 And He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth; and the earth was reaped.
17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” 19 And the angel swung his sickle to the earth, and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.
And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.
The vision of the wine press is symbolic of the horror of God’s judgment.
The message of this chapter is not hard to understand.
But those who have the name of the Lord on their foreheads…those who die in the Lord…will be blessed…from now on.
This whole chapter is written here to warn us to come to the Lamb…or to remain faithful to Him even unto death.