Verse 1 – Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.
The 144,000 will have the name of Jesus and the Father on their foreheads. The followers of the Antichrist will have the name of their father on their right hand or forehead.
Mount Zion of old, was captured by King David. He then built a city called the city of David, also called Jerusalem.
Verse 2 – And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpist playing their harps.
Verse 3 – And they sang as it were a new song before the throne before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.
Notice what takes place between verse 1 and verse 3. These 144,000 have been on the earth since the “Sixth Seal.” They have gone unharmed from the Antichrist or the False Prophet. Then they are gathered with Jesus on Mount Zion and suddenly John hears a roaring voice from heaven. These 144,000 are then in haven before the throne of God singing a song only they know. They survived the trials and testings of the Tribulation Period.
Verse 4 – These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed form among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.
These men did not stray from Christ’s will or teachings. They were purchased among men, bought with the blood of Jesus. Offered as firstfruits, were the first Jews saved during the Tribulation. Being virgins, both physically and spiritually makes sense.
Verse 5 – And in their mouths was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God.
They will have nothing to do with the lies of the Antichrist, or the counterfeit doctrine of the False Prophet. They remain faithful and true to the righteousness of Christ.
The Three Angels’ Announcements
Verse 6 – Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth – to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people –
Verse 7 – saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
This is the first time an angel is commissioned to preach the Gospel. But it will not be the Gospel of the “Grace of God,” nor the “Gospel of the Kingdom,” but a new Gospel, called “Everlasting Gospel.” The burden is “Judgment” not “Salvation,” and it will be “Good News’ to all those passing through the “fiery trials” of those days, for it will be the announcement that the “Hour of Judgment” is come for all those who do wickedly.
“Fear God;” Satan would have us believe that we are to be afraid of God, but this is incorrect to believers. To fear God means to have a holy respect for Him, believe He exists, and believe He reigns and will judge all mankind. This kind of fear is the beginning of wisdom and it pleases God.
Verse 8 – And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
Babylon is known as the city of Satan because of its long history of idolatry, astrology, witchcraft, and other occult practices. It is the very place of false doctrines and religions.
Wine in the book of Acts is referred to as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. In this verse “the wine of wrath” is a reference to demonic possession.
This ancient city died out centuries ago., but during the Tribulation Period, this city will be rebuilt. The False Prophet will locate the headquarters of his false religion there. (Exactly where it will be located is not known.)
The word fallen is repeated twice to mean two separate falls or judgments. The false religious system will fall first when the Antichrist turns on it just after the mid-point of the Tribulation. The rebuilt city of Babylon will fall when it is burned to the ground in one hour near the end of the Tribulation Period.
Verse 9 – Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand,
Verse 10 – “he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength 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.
So many people mock the belief of an eternal hell. Are they going to believe what the “world” says or are they going to believe the Word of God. Following the Antichrist and receiving his mark, will condemn all those who do, to an eternal fire and brimstone.
Verse 11 – “And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness become totally meaningless if there is no retribution for rebellion and sin. If there is eternal life for the believer then there is also eternal punishment for the unbeliever.
Verse 12 – Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
Verse 13 – Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
A time will come during the Tribulation Period when it will be better for the saved to die than to live. They will leave their pain and grief and rest in the presence of God and their works will follow them!
The Harvest Judgment
Verse 14 – And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.
Don’t get confused, this is not he “harvest of the Church.” This is the Harvest of the Gentile Nations. It begins with the pouring out of “Vials” and ends with the battle of Armageddon.
Jesus is seated on a cloud. He has a gold crown on His head, signifying He is King of Kings! But there is a sickle in His hand which is never a good thing for harvesting good grain.
Verse 15 – And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
Verse 16 – So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
Verse 17 – Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
Verse 18 – And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.”
And yet another angel comes forth – from the altar in the heavenly temple. In Revelation 8:3, we read that this is where the martyred saints were crying out, asking God when they would be avenged.
Since Jesus is the True Vine, it is likely the “earth’s vine” is reference to the Antichrist. This cluster of grapes is the fruit of those nations that followed the Antichrist.
Verse 19 – So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
Verse 20 – And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.
When farmers go into their vineyards to harvest the grapes, they cast them into a winepress and squeeze the juice out of them. The same thing will happen to the wicked when this angel harvests the earth. They will be like grapes being squashed in a winepress.
This is really a war, a gathering of armies, bringing the whole world together to do battle. They will be assembled on the battlefield of Megiddo. This is called the battle of Armageddon.
Since the blood will rise to the horse bridles, we know that millions will be killed. This blood will expand 180 miles.
What is it that stops people from believing? The Bible says they loved darkness more than light. By the time this all takes place, the inhabitants will be so corrupt, that it will bring out the most ferocious wrath of God that the earth has ever seen.
We all have to ask ourselves; “Wouldn’t we rather avoid this Tribulation Period altogether and believe now before it’s too late?