Revelation
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 Revelation Chapter 14

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Rev 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

These are the company of people who were sealed before the judgments of God were poured out. These are all Jewish (Israeli) believers who were saved after the rapture of the church assuming of course that the church has already been raptured. It appears that these 144 thousand were raptured and not killed perhaps that same seal protected them from death. A lot of people that believe in the mid-tribulation rapture think that this is where it occurs but we see only Jewish believers here indicating either more than one rapture of believers or else it could mean that the bible just doesn't mention the church at this point. For some reason God wants to keep the rapture of the church a mystery so that we stay spiritual alert and not sleep. We know it will happen and I personally lean toward the pre-tribulation rapture for the church. Who knows but what God planned it that way so that we are always ready. But here we see the 144 thousand believers standing before the lamb (Jesus Christ). They are literal Israel, not spiritual Israel or Gentiles grafted in for this was the reason for the tribulation to bring Israel to their Messiah whom their ancestors rejected.

Rev 14:2 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:

Rev 14:3 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.

They were saved, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, washed and clean by faith and obedience to Him. No one but these 144,000 can sing this song.

Here were the first converts to Christ from among Israel as a nation. This couldn't mean Gentile believers for their number would be far above 144,000. My own opinion here is that this number does not include today's Messianic believers who are Jewish because they would have been taken out to be with the Lord when the Gentile believers were taken away in what we call the rapture. If this is the present day Messianic Jews, then what happens if the number exceeds 144,000. I conclude then that these people are Jews that were saved just after the rapture but before the judgments of God were poured out. They did not die as martyrs like the ones mentioned in chapter 6 and 7 which may have been both Jews and Gentile believers. The 144 thousand are probably those that live in Israel or will live in Israel that are not yet believers now. Not everyone comes to Christ at the same time. Some accept Christ the very first time they hear of Him while others take much longer to realize that Jesus truly is the savior that came to save us from our sins.

Notice also that in heaven there will be singing as well as musical instruments. If these things are okay in heaven, why not in church gatherings? Also there will be praising, shouting, bowing and much worship so if itís okay there, why not in our assemblies?

If we see people praying out loud in heaven, why not pray out loud in our assemblies? I notice that in heaven there are periods of silence but there is also spontaneous praise continually. If we don't like noisy praise and worship services here, we are not going to like heaven. Remember Jesus saying to the people who wanted to silence those that were shouting praises to Him:

Luke 19:40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Rev 14:4 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 first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.

It would seem that these were all men at the first glance but virgins are women and it is clear that these are not all women so I will boldly assume that these were a company of both men and women of Israel who were saved after the rapture of the church.

The fact that they were called virgins was probably because they had nothing to do with the great whore false religion that will be discussed in later chapters.

To be faithful to the Lord and be pure is to avoid all false teaching or doctrine that causes us to defile our flesh by fornication, idolatry and many other works of the flesh condemned in the word of God but also spiritual fornication which involves worshipping other things or beings that are not God or His Son, Jesus Christ. These were faithful until the time Jesus took them from the earth to be with Him. This may be the man-child spoken of in previous chapters that is caught up to heaven causing the armies of the anti-christ to be more fervently angry toward the rest of Israel.

Satan was ready to devour both Jesus Christ and these 144,000 of Israel the moment they were born. In the case of Christ, he tried to have Herod kill him the moment He was born. In the case of the 144,000, he caused the anti-christ to try to destroy them when they were born again, but I believe the seal of God protected them. They most likely were the ones that preached the gospel to the rest of Israel.

Here is a message for today's church.  Fornication and sexual impurity is a sin.  It can take us to hell.  We can be forgiven of these things and made clean by the blood of Jesus Christ but we can't expect to enter heaven if we do not confess and forsake this sin before we die.  We live in a world where we think the gospel is a social gospel of caring for the poor and feeding the hungry.  It is not.  That is not the gospel that saves the soul. The gospel is turning from sin and being born again by the spirit. While there is a place for caring for the poor and we should do that. It is a sin to neglect that if we have it to give but that alone is not the gospel.  The true gospel will cause the conditions of the poor to improve.  It will affect the society around us but that alone is not the gospel.  The gospel saves individual souls from an eternity in hell.  The gospel changes individual lives and makes one from a vile sinner to a born again believer.  Notice the 144000 were not defiled with false religion which compromises with sin.  They were pure, washed in the blood of Jesus and were living in holiness. 

Those that sin including all sexual perversion (fornication, men with men, women with women, man and beast, adultery), murder, blasphemy, thefts, covetness, idolatry and many others can be saved but they must forsake that lifestyle.  We are not to hate them but we are to tell them the truth.  Those that have abortions can be saved but they must forsake the thinking that it is okay to kill their unborn babies just because it wasn't convenient to have them.  All of us can be saved if we forsake and confess our sins allowing Jesus Christ to enter our lives through the person of the Holy Spirit but we must repent or turn from sin to have that salvation.  To find out what sin is, we must read the word of God. Sin is transgression of the law of God. 

Rev 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

Once the blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin, we are without fault if we remain faithful to the end and do not return to the filth we were saved out of. These were faithful and did not believe the great lie that those of the earth believed after the anti-christ gained power. They might have had to choose between having possessions, houses and lands or lose those things to follow Christ. We see from this scene in heaven that they made the right choice.

Rev 14:6 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,

Rev 14:7 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.

After the 144 thousands were taken into heaven, God sends Three messengers to preach the gospel, announce the fall of Babylon and warn of the doom of Beast worshippers. First the two witnesses preached, they were killed, the 144 thousand preached while they were on the earth, and now God sends His angels.

This angel that preaches the gospel is not TBN or any satellite tv program that claims to preach the gospel to the whole world. It is a literal angel. If it was TBN, why are they not warning of the fall of Babylon and against worshipping the beast?

Rev 14:8 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.

We will get into more study on Babylon in chapters 17 and 18. Here we see an angel foretelling of the literal destruction of Babylon. This could not be the Babylon of long ago because that would be confusing to take something that happened in history and bring it forth into the future. It is clear that Revelation is a vision of the future. Babylon was not in existence in John's day unless there was a city called Babylon that was small and insignificant. Babylon may have been the deadly wound that was healed. In other words perhaps Babylon will be rebuilt and become more wicked and perverse than it had ever been in the past.

Whatever it is, it is a great city that controls the world under the anti-christ and influences them first by an apostate religious system that kills those that dissent and it seems to control trade and commerce. The religious whore of Babylon is destroyed by the kings of the earth but God destroys the commercial Babylon.

Some say this Babylon is the United States that God will destroy in one hour. We do seem to have the most power and control a lot of trade and commerce so that is not a farfetched idea. However, our nation could be destroyed or made weak in one hour so that a literal kingdom of Babylon could arise. At this point we are not sure. I am open to many different theories which I will get into later. However, Mystery Babylon seems to be a religious system.  It use to be the thinking that it was the Roman Catholic Church.  More modern teachers are leaning toward it being Islam. Then a few others believe it is a new religion yet in the future that uses idols, perhaps some kind of witchcraft, sorcery or New Age.  Who knows but what it could be a combination of all religion that is not of Jesus Christ or is apostate from the Jesus Christ they use to teach. 
We will discuss this more in chapter 17. 

One trait that is present in both the religious system of Babylon and the commercial system is that they kill God's true believers. So far the United States has never done that so we couldn't be this Babylon yet. I know that can change. The United States may have been a mystery in John's day but it is no mystery now. Also the United States is not and never was in the vicinity of the Old Roman Empire. We are not in the Middle East so I can't really see how we could be this Babylon in that respect but I am open to change my opinion if God reveals it to me.

Rev 14:9 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,

Rev 14:10 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:

Rev 14:11 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.

Here is where we find out that those that take the image or mark of the beast can never be saved but are lost for eternity. This is why I can't see the mark as a chip or something that is put on us unknowingly. I don't want any chips under my skin and will refuse anyone from putting one in me even if it is used like a credit card but if this occurs, I can't see us being condemned to hell for that type of thing unless we knowingly took it in allegiance to the beast and knowingly denied Christ by allowing it to be done to us. The way I see it, those that take this mark are pledging allegiance to that beast and giving over their souls to him. It has to be a decision that we know what we are doing and by doing this thing we are denying God's authority to rule over our lives and accepting the authority of the anti-christ.

If we are willing to vote in a wicked president, congress or local politicians that promise to send us checks and improve the economy even if they stand for evil, then how would we be able to refuse any mark of the beast?

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

The true saints of God are reminded over and over that the power of this beast is temporary. He his power is limited to 3 and one half years and for sure no longer than seven years.

Rev 14:13 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.

I don't know if it is meant that blessed are those from this point in prophecy that die in the Lord or from the time that John was receiving this message. At any rate those that die for the cause of Christ is blessed. It appears that there are more martyrs after the 144 are raptured.

Rev 14:14 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.

Rev 14:15 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.

Rev 14:16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

Rev 14:17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

Rev 14:18 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.

Rev 14:19 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.

Rev 14:20 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 harvest is speaking of the severest judgment of God, not the gathering of saints. This is a harvest of judgment symbolized by the sickle. Here we see the armies of the anti-christ receiving the severest judgment of all time. I believe this is judgment by Jesus Christ Himself. God sees that these representatives of the anti-christ has tormented, killed and tried to get God's people to deny Christ by the use of torture, taking away their property, lives and much more. God probably has taken all He can stand and allows the Son to bring forth this judgment which falls upon those that shed the blood of the martyrs and in return have their own bloodshed so that flowed everywhere and was deep.

Joel tells of this also:

Joel 3:9 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:

Joe 3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.

Joe 3:11 Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.

Joe 3:12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.

Joe 3:13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.

Joe 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

Joe 3:15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

Joe 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

Now is the time to come to Christ if we have not done so previously. Our only safety is to deny our sins and turn to Christ for cleansing and to be filled with the gift of His spirit. There is only one way to be saved.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 3:16 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.

Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

We never have to go it alone and be lost. God has made a way out.

Revelation 15

 

 

 
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