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Read Introduction to Revelation

 

“Then 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. 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.” So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. Then 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, 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.” 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. 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 furlong“
 
The remainder of this chapter presents the judgment of the Son of Man.
 
14:14
Then 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.
Man has been at bat but this judgment is the time when God comes to bat. Christ holds the right to all judgment (John 5:27).
The word “crown” is the victor’s crown. He has right to this harvest. Jesus is about to win the victory. He will win the victory by a sharp, severe sickle of judgment. He will harvest His fields thoroughly. This is a vision of the Lord Jesus coming in power and great glory.
14:15
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.”
The phrase “fully ripe” carries a bad connotation. Literally, it means to become dry, withered. This harvest is so ripe that it withered.
14:16
So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
The Son of Man’s judgment is swift and immediate.
14:17
Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
Another angel comes with another ominous announcement. This is the final harvest judgment.
14:18
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.”
This is not a repetition of the previous verses. This is yet another occasion for judgment, the judgment of “the clusters of the vine.” Scriptures often use the vine as a figure for Israel (Isaiah 5; Psalm 80). This is the judgment of apostate Israel. Israel is full of atheism today. They reject their own Scriptures.
14:19
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.
This judgment comes to fulfillment in chapter 19. This is the time when armies of the world swarm over Israel. True Israel will flee to the wilderness. Apostate Israel will enter Armageddon.
“Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Revelation 19:15).
14:20
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.
People in the first century tramped the grapes so that the juice would flow to a lower vat. In this way, they force the juice out. God will force out judgment in the battle of Armageddon. Six hundred furlongs is about 200 miles, the length of Palestine. There will be a blood bath in the suburbs of Jerusalem that flows throughout the length of Israel.
Principle:
Jesus will ultimately triumph over the forces of this world.
Application:
We have not seen the last war yet. Saddam Hussein said that he was fighting the war to end all wars in the Gulf conflict. However, the Battle of Armageddon is the war to end all wars. These are the plain, bald facts of prophecy.
Beyond these bloody scenes is a day of rejoicing, a day of victory.
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