By Ken Blue ~ September 15th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.
“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.” (Revelation 14:8).
This is a preview of chapter 17 and 18 and will be dealt with when we come to those chapters.
The Third Angel’s Warning Of God’s Wrath And Of Hell
“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, 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.” (Revelation 14:9-11).
This third angel, like the one with the everlasting Gospel, no doubt flies through the heavens with a message of warning. All who accept the Antichrist and his religion will suffer God’s wrath in hell. The Bible has far more to say about hell than it does about heaven. Hell is a real place with real fire and suffering, which lasts forever. It took the death of God’s only beloved Son to keep you out.
The Blessed Who Die in the Lord
“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: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” (Revelation 14:12-13).
You have heard of the patience of Job. Like Job, these will find themselves in the midst of Great Tribulation and suffering. God will be silent, and from all outward appearances, indifferent to the suffering of His people. However, those who know Him and His Word know that is not the case. God is a longsuffering God. He is not willing that any should perish. He will wait as long as His patience allows.
His saints are called upon to trust Him even unto death. God will keep His Word and show Himself faithful! These show their faith by keeping His commandments and having faith in Jesus, their Messiah.
Death by execution will possibly be a daily event within the kingdom of the Beast. God encourages His saints by assuring them that death would end their suffering and that their works will be rewarded accordingly. Notice that those who worship the beast die and spend eternity in the sufferings of hell, while those who worship God and die under the Beast, spend an eternity of blessings with a loving God.
The Second Advent and the Gentiles Nations at Armageddon
“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. 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. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.” (Revelation 14:14-16).\
This section ends with the Second Advent of Christ and the battle of Armageddon. In verses 14-16 the Lord Jesus reaps the “harvest of the earth.”
The Gentile nations are going to be “drawn” together to the battle at Armageddon where they will be destroyed as they fight against Israel. In Zechariah 14 God said He would accomplish this. (See Ezekiel 38, 39; Joel 3; Revelation 16:13-16; 19:11-21.)
We believe the harvest and the vintage are in the same battle. “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land” (Joel 3:2).
This is the judgment of the nations in Matt. 25:31-46. God said in Joel 3:2 that He would plead with the Gentile nations concerning Israel. No doubt, some nations will listen to God and defend Israel. He will also plead with Israel, and a remnant of the righteous will repent and fight the wicked. “In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them” (Zechariah 12:8). The weakest among the nation will become as King David and fight for the cause of Christ. This, we believe is the battle spoken of in the above text.
The Second Advent and Israel at Armageddon
“And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 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. 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. 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.” (Revelation 14:17-20).
We believe the harvest here is of the wicked within the nation of Israel because of the reference to the vine of the earth. Israel is repeatedly called a vine. See Isa. 5:1-5; Jer. 2:21; Psa. 80:9; Hosea 10:1; Deut. 32:32. God gathers the nation of Israel to the battle for its destruction. Only one-third will remain when this battle is over. “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God” (Zechariah 13:8,9). (See Zechariah 14:14; Romans 11:25-29.)
The Lord Jesus will be involved in this battle. This assures us that these events are at the Second Advent. “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth” (Isaiah 63:1-6). (See Revelation 19:11-21.)
It is obvious that chapters 15 and 16 culminate the wrath of God just prior to the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. There were three other accounts of His second coming within the book:
Chapter 6:12-17 Chapter 11:13-16 Chapter 14:18, 20
These plagues began under the seals and the trumpets. However, under the form of vials, they are greatly intensified. These events may take place just months or days before the Second Advent.