Sunday, July 8, 2012

Understanding the Book of Revelation: The Three Reapings

                 Chapter 14 discusses the three reapings and some of the events that will take place during the Great Tribulation, including the fall of religious Babylon. In the first verse, this Mount Zion is the heavenly one. The 144,000 is the 144,000 mentioned in Chapter 7, the 12,000 Jews from each tribe of Israel. The name “His Father” on their foreheads signifies that they are one with Him.  The voice is tumultuous yet solemn and pleasant. No one can learn the new song because they don’t have the same experiences of Christ as these first overcomers. When verse 3 says “from the earth” it proves that they’ve been raptured at this point. They were “purchased” by God when He sealed them and they will be raptured before everyone else. 

The Three Angels

                Now we see three more angels, each with a different message to those still on earth. The first angel proclaims the eternal gospel. It tells man to return to worship God and not be deceived by the Antichrist. He will begin the eternal judgment on the world. The second angel brings forth the message that Babylon has fallen. “Who has made all the nations drinkindicates that the Babylon being mentioned here is Rome, which is again mentioned in Chapter 17 and 18. Babylon the Great is a reference to Dan 4:30 when Nebuchadnezzar congratulates himself on his achievement: 'Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?' Immediately he became a beast and was driven from men. Rome has always influenced the rest of the world. The fury refers to her fury when the saints do not consent her fornication. The third angel brings forth the message of what the punishment will be if man does not heed these warnings. “Mixed undiluted” in verse 10 means that God won’t be light in His judgment and wrath. He’ll give to each what they deserve. Torment will not cease to exist in the lake of fire. The endurance to suffer the Antichrist’s persecution will be needed by the saints who remain on earth. There are two peoples who make up the saints at this time: the Jews who keep the commandments and the believers who keep the faith of Jesus.

The Harvest of the Earth 


                The dead in verse 13 are those who are martyred under the persecution of Antichrist during the great tribulation. At this point, Christ is no longer clothed by a cloud but now He is on the cloud. The Lord’s coming is now in the open and everyone will know. He is still the Son of Man, therefore He is qualified to execute God’s judgment on everyone (John 5:27). The golden crown is His crown of glory and the sickle indicates that He is the one who will reap God’s people. All believers, who since Christ’s coming have received His seed of life, make up God’s harvest. They are made ripe through their sufferings in the great tribulation so therefore they will be reaped and raptured. In verse 16, the sickle represents the angels sent by the Lord to reap the harvest (Matthew 13:39).

                This next angel in verse 17 has a sickle to reap the ones who chose not to follow Christ and chose to worship the Antichrist. In the bible, the Jews are likened to the fig tree (Matthew 24:32), the believers are likened to wheat (Matthew 13:25, 30), and now the wicked are likened to grapes, which is a counterfeit of the true vine made of Christ and His followers (John 15:1-6). The grapes, being composed mostly of water, indicates that these wicked are ripe because they are filled to the brim with sin. The great winepress in verse 19 is the war at Armageddon in Chapter 16, which is the valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:9-16). All the Gentile worldly forces will be gathered there, and the Lord, with His overcoming saints, will destroy them there (Isaiah 63:1-6). The city that is mentioned in verse 20 where the winepress was trodden is Jerusalem. one thousand and six hundred stadia is one hundred and eighty-two miles, which is the distance from Bozrah (Isaiah 63:1) to Armageddon. 

No comments:

Post a Comment