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:
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.
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.
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 for ever 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.
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 labours; and their works do follow them.
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.
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.
The Revelation (Greek ἀποκάλυψις apocalypse) continuously brings a change of scenery – away from the earthly and towards the heavenly – as a divine contrast programme to all evil. I love it when the little lamb (Greek ἀρνίον arnion) again and again is put into the centre.
So John sees in the 14th chapter the lamb standing together with the 144,000 redeemed from the earth on Mount Zion. Coincidence or not, similarly the number 14 can be found in context with the deliverance and salvation bringing lamb in the exodus out of Egypt. For thousands of years God’s commandment passed on the Feast of Passover in the butchering of a lamb before the evening of the 14th Nissan.
“What on earth do I have to do with it?” one or the other non-Jew will ask himself. For the moment it looks like that from the innocent lamb originates no bloodshed, until is revealed the on the clouds coming Son of Man – with a golden sickle in his hand and the crown on the head. The eternal kingdom promised to David seems to be far away, but right now the reader gets from John a view of Zion. A tremendous praise breaks out in front of the throne of God in a new song. First, the new song reminds me of Psalm 149:
Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song and his praise in the congregation of saints. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him, let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise his name in the dance, let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people, he crowns the humble with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a twoedged sword in their hand. To execute vengeance upon the heathen and punishments upon the people, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. To execute upon them the judgment written, this honour have all his saints. Praise the Lord!
Taking a closer look on Psalm 149 and the unveiling of Jesus Christ, inevitably each person must deal with the judgment of God without necessarily falling into it. The firstfruits redeemed from the earth have a higher revelation in front of the heavenly throne, let it be understood, only those can learn the new song in heaven. First fruits in the house of the Lord are specifically required as offerings of animals and fruit in the Tanach. The from priest-king David conquered Mount Zion together with a lot of sacrifice and harp praise, is also found again on earth in Jerusalem at the entry of the Ark of the Covenant in its new tent destination for God’s presence. Through 150 psalms is addressed Israel’s deliverance and salvation. Almost half of the inspired prophetic praise and thanksgiving songs come from the former shepherd boy David. The connected hymns were played for 40 years on Mount Zion, and that 12 hours a day and 12 hours at night, in the times when the Ark of the Covenant was placed in a simple tent and not in the magnificent temple of Solomon.
For the full-time service in the tabernacle of David, which is to glorify and honour God, some 3000 years ago were divided 24 departments consisting of 12 singers and musicians. In the whole were summed up 2 times 144 praising people. There my favourite Passover number 14 can also be found again in the 14 brothers of the 2nd order who were determined in 1 Chronicles 15, 18 as harpists.
However, there is still a further form of connection to the 144,000 in the Old Covenant:
When the people of Israel wandered for 40 years in the wilderness, the Ark was put in the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle, in the very centre of the camp. There was a special plan according to the four cardinal directions, after which the twelve tribes were erecting their tents. In Numbers Chapter 2 the detailed order can be traced by all interested readers, whereby resourceful Messianic Bible Students even see a pre-shadowed cross: http://www.delusionresistance.org/christian/tabercross.html
The message of the cross is the centre of the New Testament. Those, who go back further in diligently fighting through the five books of Moses, will often stumble over names and numbers and can ask doubtfully whether they are true or whether they have any meaning for us today. Now, in God’s Word every person – listed or not mentioned in the Bible – is so important for the Creator that even every hair on our head is numbered (Matthew 10, 30).
There is no respect of persons in relation to their descent in the righteous judgment of God (Romans 2, 11), also in heaven there is no preference or betterment of one of the twelve tribes. Therefore Revelation 7 lists Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin equally represented with the number 12,000.
Are the 144,000 redeemed from the earth with the name of their father written on the foreheads only Jews?
In chapter 14 the firstfruits without guile and fault, who do not unite sexually with other people, but follow the lamb wherever he goes, are not listed by name. Is it not true that many martyrs are quickly forgotten and true heroes of faith initially receive not a great name on the earth? Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 7 about marriage that believers can serve God better in preserving their virgin, for they are not so concerned with the things of the world and how they might please their partner. In the second letter to the Corinthians the writer then gets excited to present the faithful ones as a pure virgin to Christ. The unity of all of the saved shall be as the white bride of Christ pure and spotless. They will be not impure through other idols and no guile is found in their mouth. According to the words of Jesus, the resurrected are like angels in heaven and will not marry. I find it extremely interesting that the angels occurring in Revelation get no name. Repeatedly the angel rejects with the same, certain words to receive himself worship (chapter 19, 10 and 22, 9: You must not do that! … worship God).
Twice rebuked, John internalised and passed down this commandment for all eternity. According to his temper of a ‘Father in Heaven’ worshipper, he would have liked to remain endlessly before the throne of God, to sing together with the stadium filling crowd. Focusing the lamb, the 12 x 12 x 1000 certainly reflect more a symbolic claim of government and rule, since John surely didn’t count every praising harpist or couldn’t knew each person by name.
In our world the idolatrous worship of certain singers and individual musicians takes place completely different. In stark contrast to the divine worship were held huge music festivals, as 1969 in Woodstock, where 400,000 intoxicated hippies devastated the corn fields of Bethel (Hebrew for House of God), of course only to make peace, until the nature protection successor ‘Live Earth’ – initiated from the Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore – blew up all attendance records sprinkled on the climate protection crisis continents.
Hosanna – save the brave old world + the money of the new world = …
The result of the humanistic attempts to always put people in the centre (instead of God, without deceit in our mouths), can be seen in the well-meaning lyrics of ‘We are the World’ from the early days of the global Live Aid Concert: In addition to the chorus “We are the world … we’re saving our own lives” (cf. John 17, 14-16 and John 3, 19), in one verse is even propagated: “As God has shown us by turning stone to bread.” The Gospel of the gift of God Matthew starting with chapter 4 verse 3 leads to the right but false track of the haughty tempter, who continuously offers all the kingdoms of the world, to receive in his beauty obsession adoration. The plans of the music directing, fallen to earth archangel Lucifer, namely to obtain all worship for himself, instead of giving the glory to God, should at least got around Christians.
All the more I got annoyed to hear in the Gospel Forum the very same lyrics of the backwards dancing god, which star according to his funeral will never go down; I mean Michael – not archangel, but Jackson. Since History: Past, Present and Future (was, is, and is to come?), every King of Pop idolising Walk of Fame fan should fall into place for the image of an oversized statue has / gets a lot of problems (the must see promotional video from the Music-Messiah): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQHBx1T-oy4
The golden statue of Nebuchadnezzar, which Daniel’s friends didn’t want to worship to save their lives, should be known from elsewhere or Sunday school church times. Unfortunately, in unsuspecting Christian circles, the especially anointed of the Lord are lifted up in an identical manner on stage, eg when pristine white Benny Hinn arrived lately at the platform in my hometown Stuttgart to receive the loudest applause from the audience. In charismatic churches we are as much accustomed to the show that it is easy to instruct through the wireless microphone the unleash of a common cheer for the recently deceased pastor. On what grounds? So that we humans might honour him again.
Whereas Psalm 115 starts like this: “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’ sake.”
Harping on the same theme of chapter 13, I recall that the stupid Antichrist Emperor Nero (600+60+6) was thousands of times self decorated as musician, actor, and athlete.
On the contrary the apostles tore their clothes when the crowd in Lystra started to worship them, even intending to offer animal sacrifices (Acts 14, 14).
Watch out! It’s getting mega-loud. The eternal gospel is preached:
“Fear God and give him the glory,”
anther angel cries out in the midst of heaven,
“For the hour of his judgment is come.”
The wise will fear the Lord but the fool says in his heart that there is no God. Foolish believers think the coming of the Lord is delayed, so they are not prepared (five virgins who don’t have oil in their lamps in Matthew 25). A doubting Thomas may wait to meet the preaching angel himself in heaven, but then it could be too late (verse 10). Today, more than 1,900 years have passed since John completed the sixty-sixth and last book of the Bible. Woe to him who adds anything to his visions. I fully trust in the report of the Apocalypse and see nothing new. Therefore I call chapter 1 to remembrance:
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants which shortly must come to pass…
Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Peter argues that the coming of the Lord is not delayed, because with him one thousand years are like a day (2 Peter 3, 8). Thus, is Rabbi Jesus lying in claiming: “Behold I come quickly!?”
The time is near, but for which generation? The simplest answer is that the time is near for each existing generation. With the hour of our death we will stand before the Lord in eternity, and then it turns out if everything was just an imagination.
I am personally not reminiscent of a visual encounter with a preaching angel. But I still remember when I drove by as a teenager at a warning written road sign. ‘Jesus is coming soon’ commanded great respect in me. To be honest, at this time I didn’t want Jesus to return. Rather I wanted to have a girlfriend, a car, or success in sports. So please, not now, Jesus.
Death can reach each of us – straight on the road – very quickly and unexpectedly, like a flash lightens from one end of heaven to the other. As you know young people are planning more at the weekend party time, fewer worship service, and never their own funeral.
As a wise preparation for the grave it is subject to our free will, here and now, to worship the creator of heaven and earth, who has also made the sea and springs of water. We owe him everything!
Why on earth is it so difficult? Let us forget for the nonce all atheists who rather hear a big bang than the voice of God’s messengers. Why do Christians have problems to give all glory to God? Dead honest, the visit of the football stadium or of a rock concert is often preferred from us, for there we have more joy and show greater emotions than in the divine service. Thus, big games are broadcasted today in the fellowship meeting places, or movies are shown on the big church screen, such as Narnia. In extreme cases even the bells of AC/DC ‘s Hell’s Bells sounded in an evangelistic Christian attempt. Where? http://www.alittleleaven.com/2007/08/acdcs-hells-bel.html
Is there anything wrong with the Gospel, or is it up to us and our meetings? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Surely, a crucial point is that we do not receive the message through our personal reading. More fond we are of being exposed to a constant stream of music. That brings more relaxation to compose one’s thoughts in the constant struggle to obtain money.
Before the mysterious whore of Babylon is stripped or even an entire city falls, I would like to describe myself how I was deceived 20 years ago on the pretended way to heaven. Back then listening and singing my favourite song I would never have thought to be lured by a kind of Pied Piper of Hamelin into hell. Yet, I had no idea what the song text of Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin really meant. Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings, so it really should make you wonder what the two paths and the May-queen are all about. Your head is humming and it won’t go, since the piper’s calling to join him. What sweet or sad Satan might get the idea to let play music backwards? <666< The Beast Aleister Crowley, whose Boleskine cottage guitarist Jimmy Page has bought. Imagine, the Great Beast was even a role model of John Lennon and the Beatles.
If I assert now that way back this kind of music draw me away from God like a blanket that was taken over my spiritual eyes, the double horn finger showing heavy metal diehards will mock me and the sex and drugs consuming rock’n rollers may pity me. More uncomfortable feel many pop and rap fans who get increasingly flashed more one eye and triangle messages from their Illuminati idols in music videos. That’s just a coincidence or hard luck of the artists, many refuse to believe the symbolic meaning of the fantastic album covers. Unless the disappointed, not that stupid uninitiated inform themselves about the diabolical philosophies of their teachers (Pike, Blavatsky, Crowley, LaVey).
Save yourself if you can! It’s high time to change over to the right camp.
“Babylon is fallen, is fallen,”
another angel is calling together with the great prophets Isaiah (21, 9) and Jeremiah (51, 8). To understand the angel phenomena you must deal with the writings of the Old Testament, which repeatedly prophesied the downfall of Israel’s enemies. The first time the great city Babylon was taken in Daniel 5 at Belshazzar’s feast. The dazed king of Babylon ordered as descendant of Nebuchadnezzar the desecrating of the golden cups which were captured out of the destroyed temple in Jerusalem. From the beginning deported Daniel refused to get drunk with wine from the king’s table and to eat things sacrificed to idols. Nevertheless, the wise, from the chief official as Belteshazzar renamed Jew, was called to the doomsday festival of Belshazzar (without te), since only Daniel could interpret the writing on the wall. Weighed and found wanting! The Babylonian Empire fell. King Cyrus invaded victoriously. His clever Medo-Persian soldiers had easily bypassed the once as wonder of the world respected, invincible city walls. The flowing through Euphrates River had only been diverted.
“The great city is fallen, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,”
who wants to listen today to the warning of the second angel?
The drinking doctrine couldn’t be more clear for the invited guests from distant countries: Do not give the sacred into secular (profane) hands, otherwise terror and judgment is waiting for you in Babylon.
The following figurative wisdoms will not be contradicted by any judge: He, who gets intoxicated with wine is easily loosing control and his face. The hangover may pass off, but the infidelity at the company party still embarrassing bits on your side. Any kind of drug leads to the professional and personal self-destruction if you don’t get loose.
Anyway, my old traditional ideas about sexual immorality are no longer legally recognized at court. Until before 50 years, premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality was also called from the state fornication. In the last days the term fornication was wiped out of the Criminal Codes. Instead, the late modern age brought new concepts of homophobia (sexual intolerance) and anti-discrimination laws for the equal treatment of sexes (Gender Mainstreaming). Thus, an increasing number of parliaments and courts around the world decree same-sex marriages (in Old High German ‘ewa’ means law and eternity).
From Genesis to Revelation, from Adam and Eve up to the spirit and the bride, who say: “Come,” “Surely I come quickly,” “Amen, even so come, Lord Jesus,” God’s covenant is fulfilled in the copulation of bride and bridegroom. After the Psalms, the Song of Solomon comes to life, which describes very romantic and poetic the searching and finding of man and woman.
It is the message of the “Song of Songs” that we should listen carefully to.
This brings us back to the the theme of music. For in performing arts developed something like the temptation to spiritual fornication in connection with the blasphemy of everything pure and holy. The perfunctory motto on the way to the unholy city sounds according to the Whore of Babylon as follows: “Let’s get the temple vessels and completely freak out.”
Madonna, not the image of Mary, but the stripping songstress, drove such a provocation on the stage cross of her Confessions Tour 2006 to the peak. Already 1989 the Kaballah Witch gave me a really bad conscience as a young man with the catchy song ‘Like a Prayer’. I felt that the music video is blasphemous. Despite condemnation feelings, like a junkie, I couldn’t resist to watch: Madonna stands in front of burning crosses. She brings a black man on the cross with a kiss to life. She has sex on the altar. She gets in the church stigmata on hands and feet. She caught me and a bunch of other people in order to earn a lot of money.
Sure, this is what matters in music business and with high-class hookers. The new number one, Stefani Germanotta, is in love as Mary Magdalene with Judas. Total Gaga, the lady spreads without shame her occult ceremonies and messages into the world: http://beginningandend.com/lady-gaga-judas-spreading-occult-gospel/
Since the beginning of my adolescence another disgusting bride has made acceptable naked, bloody monsters on the record cover to embrace death and the devil, and to carry the worshippers of the 666 (the number of the beast) along into the depths of hell. Starting with Iron Maiden, no abysmal blasphemy is impossible, what Slayer later proved with their accursed cult-icon 666 text and image interpretation of Jesus Christ. Cause many feel oh-so-funny about it, and anyhow lambs do not defend themselves, all of Europe has voted horrible zombies and abominable monsters in a top act as main attraction. Reminder: The obscure Finnish men Lordi won in the year 06 the Euro Vision Song Contest with http://www.songtexte.com/songtext/lordi/hard-rock-hallelujah-3bdb60c4.html.
“If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 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: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever 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.”
The third of the six angels pronounced the worst possible warning I know. God is not mocked. Now, nothing at all occurs to me in that connection. Still a stark positive contrast is the flower-shaped, golden head plate of the high priest with the sealed engraving ‘Holiness to the Lord’. My reaction to the diabolical worship is and was to spare no effort not to get this mark (χάραγμα charagma) on my my forehead (thinking) or my hand (action), as long as I catch it. Wicked, how easy you can be tempted at the bear festival to yell “hell, hell, hell, hell.” Wolfgang Petri starts the vocal audition and thousands holler out like crazy. This terrific time goes on, until suddenly the Salvation Army with their uniforms arrives on the field day. These joy robbing teetotallers rotate in remonstrant rounds through the beer tents of the Cannstatter Wasen while they collect money in their donation cans.
Hence, the change from music to mammon is almost done. But somehow nowadays both hang together. Who of the first disciples would have thought that once praise and worship comes not from their own heart, but is available for purchase as music raised from the retort.
Of course, in the world today also musically talented Christian artists need to earn one’s living. The most successful talents land together with Elvis Aaron Presley, the King, in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. They get Grammys and become through their golden records multimillionaires like Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith.
A revolutionary way dared to pursue some other monument – Keith Green. He sent his self-produced albums based on donations and required no entrance fee for his concerts. 1982 Keith Green died with 28 years too early in a plane crash, for the Cessna was overloaded or anyone else helped otherwise. His songs remain until now a legacy to reach people with the Gospel. One of his uncompromising sermons went like this: “Why do we idolize Christian singers and speakers? We go from glorifying musicians in the world, to glorifying Christian musicians. It’s all idolatry! … Satan is getting a great victory as we seem to worship these ministers on tapes and records.”
Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me: Write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.
Paul of Tarsus has become a pillar in the temple of God, he established many local churches in the word of God. The zealous evangelist and diligent apostle does not exaggerate when he writes to Timothy: “For I am ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Paul had to suffer a lot for the sake of the name of Jesus. Last of all, Nero commanded to cut off the head, to put him to silence. At the end of the Acts of the Apostles, Paul has been immortalized in the book of Romans. The epistles of Paul, I mean fourteen in number, are preserved up to the present day and still find all over the globe numerous readers from many languages, peoples, and nations.
Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, however, took his leave in disgrace, with his own dagger in the throat, in the believe a great artist would have been lost with him. Nowadays, nobody in the world misses his tearful songs and dramatic performances, also his image can be unearthed on ancient coins and his profile is sighted at white marble busts in European museums.
Beside the labour that is resting and the works that follow, the encounter of both famous men illustrates indeed the difference between Babylon and the New Jerusalem. Whoever pours out the cup of the wrath of fornication on earth will get to suffer the cup of the wrath of God in the realm of the dead.
“Compassionate and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abundant in goodness and faithfulness,” the Eternal proclaimed to Moses on Mt. Sinai, descending from the cloud. The same statement of the Lord of lords, who doesn’t change, is repeated as praise from the prophets and in the worship of the psalms. Then the finding is fulfilled in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. But even the master could get one or two immense outbursts of anger, in fact when he denounced the profiteering in the temple. With the whip the true King of the Jews drove out the money changers and merchants from the house of his father.
Jesus, the Messiah, said: “He who has seen me has seen the Father.”
A divine flash of anger of the creator of the heavens and the earth can be well compared with the eruption of a volcano. Therefore I would not make fun of hell, as if it is only an invention and crude threat of the Middle Ages. Since Sodom and Gomorrah fire and brimstone have no expiry date. Moreover, the remains of ashes at the lowest land point on earth, the with salt concentrated + preserved Dead Sea, can still be scientifically proved and examined: http://arkdiscovery.com/sodom_&_gomorrah.htm
The with Babylon matching lesson that can be drawn from the destruction of the cities is once again an attempt to defile and profane all that is pure and holy. Trampling oriental hospitality with their feet, the men of Sodom mobbed Lot’s house in order to rape the two accommodated, saving angel guests. Stricken with blindness and doomed, they made in this world and hereafter acquaintance with fire and brimstone (according to Jude 1, 7 they suffer the vengeance of eternal fire, for they gave themselves over to fornication).
Isn’t it amazing reading the parallel of Revelation 14 verse 10, where in such a state of damnation it is still possible to perceive the lamb and the angels and to distinguish between day and night. Maybe this makes everything worse. In any case it is a pictorial description of the underworld, similar to the deceased rich man who asks Abraham to send Lazarus to cool the tormented tongue (Luke 16, 24). The final judgment – the separation from God – with the second death in the lake of fire is apparently not yet executed (Revelation 20, 14 &15). Thus, the stupid souls that gave God not the honour, but worshipped other idols, for the nonce experience the restlessness of a lost familiar spirit.
Sorry! Some readers have no understanding how I can speak so disrespectfully of the dead. Therefore as a review:
To the same extent as Babylon, the wicked system of this world, which gave the nations to drink of the cup of its fornication, God will pour out the cup of his wrath.
Thereby my comparison of the erupting wrath of God, which explodes like a volcano, is too small, if I calculate the amount of blood that flows into the winepress of God’s wrath. 1600 stadiums are nearly 300 kilometres wide, and even to the height of a horse’s bridle. That could be the blood of all sacrificed animals in the Old Covenant, up to the blood of the entire mankind.
But one after the other, first viewing verse 14 of chapter 14:
After the three successive angels the Son of man appears on the clouds, proverbially freezing with respect my blood in the veins (Daniel 7,13 – Mt. 24,30 & 26,64 – Mk. 13,26 & 14,62). Dear people, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge; it is hight time to look up the scriptures and to reflect them. Nobody should unaware perceive the sign of the Son of man in heaven, without having previously acknowledged his sovereignty. The impact of the revelation of God’s glory and power is the reaping of the over-ripe harvest of the earth. The First and the Last, who was dead and is alive again, will come with a sickle in his hand and a golden crown on his head in the clouds of heaven. For this claim he was condemned to death from the high priest and the Sanhedrin. The day of the Lord is fulfilled not only in the future, but Jesus prophesied to all members of the Sanhedrin (Jewish court in the temple), that they will see him sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven.
One after the other of the addressed priests, scribes, and elders died without having seen on earth the Apocalypse as the collective end of the world. Since then, the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth, let it rain countless times. The natural water cycle runs and runs and runs and keeps alive all flesh on earth. As a sign of the covenant with Noah, which God has established forever, we can rejoice over the rainbow in the clouds.
Now, when does finally the end come?
Quite simply, when our flesh dies and the blood stops circulating through our veins. In eternity it does not matter when our heart has ceased to beat. In the world to be, many that are last shall be first, and the first will be last (Mark 10, 31). No man is conceiving such a logic. In our human thinking we are subject to the solar system in measuring here the time in hours, days, months, and years.
“If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how will you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” the master asked Pharisee Nicodemus, who in his dying flesh initially doesn’t understand the new spiritual birth and the kingdom of God, “and no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”
But there is still hope for Nicodemus, because as one of the few in the high council he believed in Jesus. He even hold on to Jesus after his death, since he supplied his corpse with fragrant oils before the entombment.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3, 14 & 15
The ugly story of the brazen serpent can be found first in Numbers 21 and the scriptures above are the introduction to the most quoted Bible verse, namely John 3, 16: For God so loved the world that …
How has God loved the world? Just as Moses had to lift up the snake.
The fiery serpents killed the people because of their sin of unbelief.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already … (John 3, 18).
Jesus, who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5, 21).
Unfortunately, the most quoted ‘Gospel in the Gospel’ verse is almost always mentioned out of the context, with the focus on God’s unconditional love, not noticing sin and judgment. A crossword puzzle searching Origen as result ends in the doctrine of Universal Reconciliation (God is so full of love that finally all of creation and all things are blessed in harmony). As conclusion of this pretty bloodcurdling theory the knowledge of sin and the fear of God are eliminated. Up to the present day the transgressors of divine commandments appease their consciences with this poison of the old serpent:
“Did God really say? … You will not surely die!”
Whether we like it or not, the Eternal Gospel is exactly proclaimed like this:
“Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come!”
The fourth angel messenger comes out of the heavenly temple and cries with a loud voice to the Son of man:
“Thrust in thy sickle and reap, for the time is come for you to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
First of all, I wonder why Jesus needed the advice of an angel to determine the right time for the harvest. The fifth angel who holds a sickle in his hand at least shows a joint action. A sixth angel with the power over the fire appears from the altar, and also prompts to thrust in the sickle. The Son of man was so humble on earth to ask in everything first for the will of the Father in order to do his work. In heaven it is not different, since the command comes from the temple of God.
But of that day an hour knows no man, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only (Matthew 24, 36).
It is not for you to know the times and the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power (Acts 1, 7).
False prophets repeatedly have specified wrong days and bogus dates. This is no reason to ridicule or to worry about. Not for nothing, the Messiah has warned before of such men. Nevertheless, it is possible to deal fruitful with God’s time table and to find insightful connections to the finale in Revelation 14. One of the three great pilgrimage festivals takes place in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar (15th-21st of Tishri), right at the end of the grape harvest in the fall. The Hebrew name of the joyous harvest festival is Sukkot. The seven-day Feast of Tabernacles commemorates the exodus from Egypt and the impermanence of human existence. It has a final prophetic significance which has not yet been fulfilled:
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men.” (Rev. 21, 3)
The late harvest and the pressing of wine may be a joyful occasion for Sukkot on earth, but the corresponding description of the harvest of the earth throught the Son of man and the angels is terrifying. Since they are known to thrust in their sharp sickle (vine knife in Luther’s translation) on the earth, to throw the grapes into the great winepress of God’s wrath,
“Who can stand before his indignation, and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him,” describes Nahum 1 verse 6 in like manner.
The entry to the tree of life in Paradise is protected by the cherubim with flaming swords. We can not see the face of God in our sinful flesh and stay alive (Exodus 33, 20). The glory of God appeared to Moses in the cloud. The same happened to Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration.
A sixth angel comes from the altar. He has power over the fire. In the earthly sanctuary oodles of blood flowed from a large altar of burnt offering. The task of the priest was to slaughter the sacrificial animals and to stoke the fire.
The heading to the last section reads as follow in the Schlachter Bible:
‘The harvest and the vintage of judgment’.
The final judgment at the great white throne is found again in chapter 20. For this reason, I think here is mentioned the judgment of our sinful flesh that needs to die, similarly to the flood in Genesis chapter 9. Our own blood flows likewise outside the gates of the city, just as Jesus died on Calvary. According to Galatians 5 verse 24, those that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Also after Romans 6 verse 6, we no longer serve sin, because our old man is crucified with Jesus. Then Paul exhorts us in chapter 12 of the same letter to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service.
Anybody who denies himself, takes up daily his cross, and follows Jesus, for those who already have lost their earthly lives will find eternal life. (2 Corinthians 5, 17)
The fear of death is gone, “Oh death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.” (1 Corinthians 15, 55 and 56)
As born-again believers we need not to be afraid of the grape harvest, if we have actually given our red flesh / old life to death.
True relatives of Jesus are not water sprinkled babies who are in this way included in a church, but followers who listen to his word and do it. Those who repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, to the forgiveness of sins, will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit according to Peter’s sermon in Acts 2, 38. The Father testified at the baptism of Jesus: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” and his voice confirmed everything a second time out of the clouds on the mountain with the add-on: “Listen to him!”
Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
Who takes part in the harvest and the vintage of his judgment, and who not? My remarks suggest all flesh, one way or the other all of us have to die. Where the dead body is, there the vultures will gather (Luke 17, 37). Addressed are all who dwell on the earth, every nation, every tribe, every tongue, all people! Against it, the promoters of the rapture doctrine are convinced that we must not suffer tribulation, and categorically exclude all negative occurrences from chapter 6 to 19 for themselves. Nowadays, a large part of the Christians hope never to experience the plagues, because we have deserved as children of God to live in prosperity. Thus, the terrible announcements can only take place in the future (after their death?). The doctrine of positive thinking has spread so far in our religious circles, that whole passages were simply pulled out of the Bible, or unpopular books are no longer treated. Undoubtedly, Jesus said in the parable of the tares of the field, that the reapers will wait with the collecting and burning until harvest, in order not to damage the wheat. After all the visions and parables in the word of God can quickly occur a tohubohu with various interpretations, especially over time sequences.
Now, you can’t see the coming of the kingdom of God, and the revelation of the Son of man will come unexpectedly. In the unveiling one vision is lined up after the other. Noticeable is the coincidence of sevens (angels, churches, seals, trumpets, thunder, plagues, bowls). If the Apocalypse reflects the great day of the Lord on the whole, I recommend not to interpret the sequences strictly chronological, and not to view the symbolism of the events in the exact literal manner, how we necessarily experience them on earth.
Let us consider for example the blood that came out of the winepress of the wrath of God, flowing 1,600 stadia up to the horse bridles. Will the blood flow exactly in the same way on earth? Yes and no. We will not see the coming of the kingdom of God with our natural eyes, for spiritual things have to be discerned spiritually. John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, when the risen Lord appeared to him, but we will not see one angel after the other ourselves, unless the Lord opens the eyes of his servants (2 Kings 6, 17).
So you better meditate why horse bridles are mentioned. What are they used for? You bridle a tamed riding animal and advise the desired direction. At the height of the bridle the blood stops to flow. Obedient children of God will not offend the Father.
Finally some Bible Mathematics:
4 x 10 x 4 x 10 = 1,600 stadia, representing a huge measure of quantity.
Forty is the period of a test or trial (temptation, wilderness wanderings). Four is the number of the earth and ten of the Law. There are those who keep the commandments, and some do not. There are those, who fear God, others not. There are those, Jesus prepares mansions in the New Jerusalem, others will perish with Babylon. There are those, praising God for all eternity, others worship the beast or his image.
To be or not to be? Who or what determines our thoughts and actions?