Thursday, September 25, 2014

End Of Antichrist’s Reign.

Revelation 14:1-20

“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.  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: 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.  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.  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Revelation 14:1-5)

Next John saw the hundred forty four thousand standing on mount Zion with the Lord.  Each one has the identifying seal or mark of the name of God written in their forehead.  These are the ones described in Revelation 7.  There is a multitude of musicians playing a song in heaven on harps but the only humans who can learn it are the hundred forty four thousand who have been faithful to God during the antichrist’s reign.  They are Jewish young men who have not surrendered to natural desires, but have chosen to follow Christ in every situation, even at the risk of their own lives.   They have had their sins forgiven and stand before God without fault, just as every Christian will, but these are the first fruits, the first ones harvested.    

“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, 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.” (Revelation 14:6-7)

In this vision, and angel spreads the gospel to every people on earth, warning them of the judgment to come and the need to worship and obey God.  In Revelation 11, we saw the two witnesses who will be heard around the world, and this appears to reference the preaching.   Romans 1:18-20 says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”  Mankind has never had an excuse for not knowing God, but he will make an extra effort to be sure they don’t in that day. 

“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)

The first record of Babel declares it part of Nimrod’s kingdom in Genesis 10.  It became known as Babel after God confounded the languages to stop their building the tower and rejecting his command.  A king Named Belus claimed Babel in 2284 BC.   Later, the Akkadian king Sargon claimed Babel.  It was occupied by many groups before Nebuchadnezzar became emperor, about 605 BC.  It was subsequently conquered by the Persians, and by the Greeks in 331 BC.

After Alexander the Great’s death in 323 BC, the Greek Empire was split between his generals, with Babylon going to the Seleucid dynasty.   In 275 the Seleucid Empire moved its capitol to Seleucia and Babylon was left with ony a very small population.  Peter spoke of the church at Babylon in I Peter 5:13.  “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.”  It remained an important center of Christianity until after 650 AD, when the Moslem religion largely took over the region. In the 1800’s a village still occupied the site when archaeologists began excavation.

In 1983, Saddam Hussein commenced reconstruction of the city of Babylon, but was forced to stop in 2003 by the gulf war.  In 2006, the UN committed themselves to restoring the city, and it was opened for tourism in 2009.  This is in accord with the passage in Zechariah 5:5-15 which indicates the city will be rebuilt.  Near the end of the Antichrist’s reign, the angel announces the destruction of Babylon.  Another angel warns of the danger of worshiping the beast or accepting his mark. 

“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.  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:9-12)

God will pour out his wrath on those who have worshiped the Antichrist and his statue, receiving his mark as indicators of their worship.  They will experience the eternal flame and suffering Jesus foretold repeatedly.  The Christian faith is again said to rest on the belief that the wicked will be judged.

“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 14:13)

Right up to very end people will be dying for their faith in the Lord.  As the Holy spirit says, those who die are blessed because they no longer have to suffer and can rest.  They will not lose their rewards. 

“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)

The Lord had already reaped the first fruits, the hundred forty four thousand.  Now John saw him sitting on cloud waiting the signal to begin the harvest, with his sickle in his hand.  When another angel gave the signal, Jesus reaped his children immediately. 

“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)


An angel was then sent to reap the wicked for judgment.  He reaped them, and threw them into the winepress where they would be squeezed out, just outside the city.  The blood ran to the horse’s bridles, in places as much as thirty inches deep, for a distance of about two hundred miles.  

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