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PAGE  14
                         CHAPTER  FOURTEEN

As I mentioned previously Chapters 12 thru 14:4, take us back to the time before the Rapture. This is important as it fills in the details previously omitted.  In the midst of all the horrific scenes, John provides us with reason to continue placing our trust and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 1-2
Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2) And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of mighty ocean waves or the rolling of loud thunder. It was like the sound of many harpists playing together.

The Lamb is Jesus Christ, and Mt. Zion according to the Greek is a hill in Jerusalem and figuratively the church militant or triumphant.

During the Tribulation, these 144,000 Redeemed Jew’s are anointed to go about the world as Evangelists sharing the Gospel. Having our Fathers name written on our foreheads may be the Shekinah glory shining through our countenance.  The sound of many waters is symbolic for many people and the music is the melodious praises of God’s creations. What a glorious sound that must be.

Verse 3-5
This great choir sang a wonderful new song in front of the throne of God and before the four living beings and the twenty-four elders. No one could learn this song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4) They have kept themselves as pure as virgins, following the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been purchased from among the people on the earth as a special offering to God and to the Lamb. 5) They have told no lies; they are without blame.

These are spiritual "virgins" having kept themselves undefiled from the sin and false doctrines of the world.  Being free from spiritual adultery, they are pure and clean through the Blood of the Lamb.  The "new song" is one of salvation through the redeeming Blood of Jesus Christ. You will notice these 144,000 are Redeemed from the Earth. 

Col 1:20-23       KJV
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:  23) If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

This is a beautiful passage, I love it in the King James.

1 Cor 15:20-28
But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. 21) So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22) Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23) But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.

24) After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. 25) For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. 26) And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27) For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) 28) Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.

The power of the blood through Jesus name is
Unaccusable. As we live for the Lord Jesus we are indeed safe under the Blood.

Verse 6-7
And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world—to every nation, tribe, language, and people. 7) “Fear God,” he shouted. “Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water.”

This could be Satellite T.V. being used to get the message out to those around the world. The Lord is still trying to get man's attention. 

Verse  8
Then another angel followed him through the sky, shouting, “Babylon is fallen—that great city is fallen—because she made all the nations of the world drink the wine of her passionate immorality.”

In the Greek Babylon in this context means: A type of tyranny, which is oppressive power, a rigorous condition imposed by some outside agency or force.

Babylon is our World System. Not only the worship of money but lust of the flesh as well.

The church today is a major part of this world system. She has learned to demand wealth from a god she is deluded into believing, is Jehovah from the Bible. She puts the major part of her thoughts on money, demanding she has the best the world has to offer.  I ask you, what will happen when the dollar no more?

Our Christians family not only looks down upon and chastises us if we are ill or under any hardships, especially financial but we are actually condemned for what the Lord says is natural for His children to experience in order to mature.  That is tyranny my friends. When I was fighting LUPUS, I was told many times I was not healed due to lack of faith or even hidden sins. There is not only gross error in this but arrogance as well.  I wonder how many dear people have been driven from the church due to this condemnation.  If we would only read and study the Bible, we would see the fallacy of this doctrine.  We might begin by studying the book of James.

Verse  9-11
Then a third angel followed them, shouting, “Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand 10) must drink the wine of God’s anger. It has been poured full strength into God’s cup of wrath. And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. 11) The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name.”

The cup of undiluted wine is symbolic for the wrath of God about to come upon those taking the mark of the beast. In the days of the Bible, good wine was watered down. For anyone to take this "mark" will mean condemnation with no chance of salvation. I am sorry I cannot recall the name of the man responsible for creating the piece to go under the skin they are using now on animals. However, I recall years ago reading his statement that there was a tendency for leakage which was responsible for terrible burns.

Verse 12-13
This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus. 13) And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down:
Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!”

There will be many saints of God being martyred at this time, but rather suffer for a short time then see glory, then out of fear deny the Lord and suffer for all eternity.

Verse 14-16
I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one "like a son of man" with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15)Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, "Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe." 16)So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

This is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, ready to wield the sickle  For the Rapture, we are going HOME!

Matt 24:27-31
For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. 28) Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near. 29) “Immediately after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened,   the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 30) And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31) And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.

What a marvelous day that will be!  We must keep the faith and continue to study and stay as close to the Lord as possible as well as encourage each other.  We are going home!

Verse 17-18
After that, another angel came from the Temple in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. 18) Then another angel, who had power to destroy with fire, came from the altar. He shouted to the angel with the sharp sickle, “Swing your sickle now to gather the clusters of grapes from the vines of the earth, for they are ripe for judgment.”

Matt 13:18-22
“Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19) The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20) The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21) But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22) The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.

We must never give up, study the word until you understand what you've been reading, pray and do  not take the mark of the beast no matter what happens!  These in the passage above are the ones being left here on earth, do not be one of them.

Matt 13:24-30
Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25) But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. 26) When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. 27) “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’   28) “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. 29) “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. 30) Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds

Matt 13:36-43
Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.”   37) Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. 38) The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. 39) The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels. 40) “Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. 41) The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42) And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43) Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

It's our choice which we will be, the wheat or the weeds.  When we ask Jesus to forgive us our sins, we must make Him our Lord, turning our lives over to Him. The Bible tells to die to self daily. We need to live for Him not for ourselves.  

Verse 19
So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and loaded the grapes into the great winepress of God’s wrath.

Treading on the "grapes" is symbolic of judgment and the juice is the blood of man. At the end of the tribulation when Christ returns, all the unbelievers will be gathered  together and judged.  This takes place in the valley of Jehoshaphat.

Joel 3:2
I will gather all nations and will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and there will I deal with and execute judgment upon them for [their treatment of] My people and of My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and [because] they have divided My land.

The meaning of  "Valley of Jehoshaphat" is valley where the LORD judges; also valley of decision.

Joel 3:9-14
Say to the nations far and wide: “Get ready for war! Call out your best warriors. Let all your fighting men advance for the attack. 10) Hammer your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Train even your weaklings to be warriors. 11) Come quickly, all you nations everywhere. Gather together in the valley.” And now, O Lord, call out your warriors! 12) “Let the nations be called to arms. Let them march to the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I, the Lord, will sit to pronounce judgment on them all. 13) Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread the grapes, for the winepress is full. The storage vats are overflowing with the wickedness of these people.” 14) Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

This is the Battle of Armageddon where millions will die.

Verse 20
And [the grapes in] the winepress were trodden outside the city, and blood poured from the winepress, [reaching] as high as horses' bridles, for a distance of 1,600 stadia (about 200 miles).

This is the Battle of Armageddon, with two-hundred miles of blood. God is going to tread upon the grapes [men] and the juice coming forth is their blood.

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