THEMES & PROPHETIC SEQUENCE - Rev. 14
Part 61 - The Wonderful Numbers of Sacred Canon
By Doug Krieger
The Book of Revelation – the Apocalypse – is THEMATIC in its presentation. Its prophetic sequence is presented in a repetitious manner with reoccurring flashbacks – e.g., we see the two prophets in Revelation 11 enduring the persecution of the Beast, only to be triumphant over him when they hear after 3.5 days (i.e. 42-months of trampling asunder of the Holy City by the Court of the Gentiles in Rev. 11:2) the loud voice: COME UP HERE! (Revelation 11:2, 7-8, 11-12). They are resurrected and/or raptured (i.e. "snatched away"). The chronologies (prophetic sequence) are dependent upon the reoccurring themes – the themes are not dependent upon the chronologies but amplify the grand prophetic sequence.
We see that same THEME of open persecution and ultimate victory/resurrection sequentially played out in Revelation 13 where the Beast “was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months (i.e., 3.5 days)…It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them … but then it “flashes back” to Revelation 12 which rehearses the theme previously discussed in Revelation 11. Revelation 12 has embedded within it several of its own flashbacks. Likewise, Revelation 12 to Revelation 13 repeats the theme of the saints suffering persecution but of their endurance wherein we read: “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus” but then we read beforehand: “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down…And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death” (Revelation 12:17, 10-11); thus, persecution, perserverance and ultimate victory of the saints is repeated.
These are reoccurring themes wherein the saints are at war with the Beast who seemingly “overcomes them” only to be “overcome” himself by the saints – and that is precisely what we see in Revelation 15:
And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb….Revelation 15:2-3.
Again, that same THEME is played out in the lead up to the Marriage of the Lamb where we see those “beheaded” (via open persecution) during the Great Tribulation who shall “rule and reign” with Christ a thousand years; to wit:
“…Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years....Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection…over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4, 6).
Such is the nature of the transcription of John the Beloved of his Revelation of Jesus Christ wherein the saints are in contestation with the Beast, Court of the Gentiles or the Image and Mark of the Beast…but the saints overcome, gain the victory and/or are resurrected, even raptured/snatched away!
If a Western mind attempts to think in terms of a “linear chronology” – it is there – but not there as you might anticipate (e.g., a start and ultimate conclusion – although the overall Revelation commences with the churches and ends with the New Jerusalem; but everything “in between” is a bit jumbled) – it literally “skips around” throwing the reader into a dizzying intellectual turmoil where the reader may see persecution in one instance and then victory over the forces of darkness the next and then it flashes back to another scene of open persecution, perseverence, preservation, prophesying and then resurrection, all over again...and, yes, it can be a bit bewildering…like your dear husband or wife who exclaims: “Don’t clean up my stuff (since it’s an “organized mess”) because I know where everything is!” John seems to be perfectly fine with jumping around all over the place – his “mess” is perfectly arranged for effect…not your effect nor mine…somehow we’re supposed to get the point – that’s the fun of it! After all, those of us who viewed the movie Ground Hog Day, where the same daily scenario plays itself out over and over again in the life of a reporter with slight alteration in the various themes of the day - but nothing really changes, for each day his alarm goes off after a sound sleep, the "pattern" reappears; even if he tries to change it, it still happens somehow.
On the one hand we’ve got the Sixth Seal and foreboding cosmic phenomenon (e.g., the sun becomes black as “sackcloth of hair” – and the “moon became like blood” (i.e., a “blood moon”)… “and the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up” (Revelation 6:12-14) and we are told that “the great day of His wrath has come” (Revelation 6:16) – but immediately afterwards we have this strange “sealing of the 144,000 - 12,000 from each of the Tribes of Israel” – when did that happen? We’re suppose to figure it out. Did it happen before or after the “great day of His wrath” or are we still anticipating the “great day of His wrath” with these “cosmic disturbances”? When are the Twelve Tribes of Israel being sealed on the earth? Answer: After the fact of the Sixth Seal phenomena announcing the Wrath of God with the opening of the Seventh Seal in Chapter 8.
Then we have in chapter 7, following the 144,000 being sealed on the earth, the scene of the “great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation” (Rev. 7:9, 14) – so, when did that happen? Before or after the “great day of His wrath has come?” And, since they are in heaven before the throne, what of the 144,000 sealed upon the Earth - are they with the Great Multitude or are they going to join the Great Multitude in Revelation 14:1-5 as some suggest or are these two separate representative groups of 144,000?
Ah, here’s a dogmatic answer: The 144,000 in Revelation 7:1-8 have undoubtedly been sealed before the “great day of His wrath!” so they won’t have to endure the wrath of God and the Lamb on the earth.
I know, it sounds equivocating – but then by the time we get to Revelation 8, there’s silence in heaven for about half an hour and the Seventh Seal is broken (coming after the announcement of the “great day of His wrath has come” – i.e., the Sixth Seal) and putting 2 + 2 together as “4” we conclude that these Seven Trumpets or this “Seven-fold Trumpet” has gone off (somewhere immediately after the Sixth Seal). The 144,000 of the 12 Tribes of Israel have been sealed upon the earth. Now, during the entire Seventh Seal - which comes AFTER the sealing of these 144,000 the “great day of His wrath has” not only come, it’s happening!
Thus, it would abundantly appear, that the Great Multitude which came out of the Great Tribulation in Revelation 7 is not involved in this “great day of His wrath has come.” Furthermore, that this Seven-Fold Trumpet that commenced blowing, does so for the entire time known as the “great day of His wrath” and that during the Seventh Trumpet which goes off in Revelation 11:15 announcing: “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” has apparently some CONFLATED association with the “Seven Bowls/Vials of the Wrath of God” (Revelation 15:7) which are poured out in Revelation 16 and that the “Wrath of God” (Revelation 15:7) is the same “great day of His wrath has come” found in Revelation 6:17; 8:5; 10:7; 11:13-15; 12:10-11; 14:17-20; 15:1, 6-8; 16:1-16; 17-19 (the wrath of God and the Lamb upon Great Babylon); 20:4.
Sorry to skip around like this – but that’s the way it goes. We’re NOT dealing here with a disturbed mind (John, the Beloved) but with an intensely prophetic mind for the original announcement why John was on the Isle of Patmos had everything to do with the “Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus” Who is described as the “First and the Last…the Beginning and the End…the Alpha and the Omega” – in other words, He encompasses all of time and, for that matter, space; therefore, skipping around time has little impact on Him in that all time is within His immediate jurisdiction…the “time accounts” of these themes simply reinforce the general theme being illustrated.
The great themes of the Revelation develop its chronology – within the themes the chronologies become easily recognizable; notwithstanding, all the 7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 vials, 3 woes, and angels flying all over the place! Don’t touch my mess, I know where everything is and it’s all organized!
The major themes include:
- The Revelation of Jesus Christ and His relationship to both the Churches, to Israel and to Judgment
- The “Tale of Two Cities” – Babylon the Great vs. Jerusalem, the Holy - Israel and the Church vs. Sodom and Gomorrah – the Holy City vs. the Great City.
- The Throne Room of God and the Lamb and the associated “clientele” of the angels, the 24 Elders and the 4 Living Creatures and eventually, the Great Multitude that no man can number
- Revelation as a “Cosmic Courtroom” or TRIAL – wherein the Antichrist-Beast, False Prophet, Image and Mark, along with their Great City, tripartite Babylon (apostate, commercial and military-political) is the defendant and the plaintiff is both Israel and the Church – the Two Witnesses, Two Prophets.
- The Apostate-Religious Babylon/Court of the Gentiles vs. the Saints, the Virgins, the Overcomers who persevere and gain the victory over apostasy, compromise and fornication/adultery.
- The Wrath of the Devil vs. the Wrath of God and the Lamb
- The “earth dwellers” – they that dwell upon the earth – i.e., the “earthlings” vs. “they who dwell in heaven” – earthly-minded vs. heavenly-minded.
- The 12 Patriarchs/12 Apostles vs. the 11th Horn or the 10 kings/horns vs. the 12.
- The “Woman” of both Revelation 12 and Revelation 21 vs. the Harlot of Revelation 17.
- Worship of the Image of the Beast vs. the worship from the saints, from the Bride of Messiah, for she is the Image of Christ.
- The Judgment of Tripartite Babylon in response to the suffering, prayers and perseverance of the saints.
- The Antichrist-Beast vs. the Messiah-Son of Man – Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
- Witness and Testimony/End-Time Harvest/Multitude that no man can number, Michael the Archangel vs. the Court of the Gentiles, apostates, hybrids, demonic forces, the Dragon, the Devil, the Serpent
- The Lamb vs. the Dragon
- Overcomers vs. those who do not overcome
- Resurrection of the Just vs. the Resurrection of the Unjust
- The Judgment Seat of Christ vs. the Great White Throne Judgment
- The Lake of Fire vs. the Heavenly Reward
- The Millennial Reign of the Son of David vs. the Reign of the Beast
- The Kingdoms of this World vs. the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ
- The False Prophet vs. the Holy Spirit, the "Seven Spirits"
- God Almighty vs. the Dragon, the Serpent, called the Devil
There are other juxtapositions, parallels – but these are the most important distinctions. Remember, these themes repeat themselves throughout the Revelation. There are a number of ways they can be expressed. I like to consider them the "Twelve P's" of Revelation revolving around...
- purifying (of the saints);
- persevering (of the saints);
- preservation (of the Woman in the Wilderness and of the Resurrection/Rapture and "those that are alive and remain");
- persecution (of the Two Witnesses - of "those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus");
- prevailing (victory of the brethren over the Accuser of the Brethern, Beast, Image and Mark by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony),
- prophesying against that Great City by bearing the Testimony of Jesus
- proclamation (of the gospel) and the great end-time harvest
- pronouncement (of judgment by the Judge of all the Earth upon Babylon the Great),
- prayer (of the martyrs and responsive vindication from the Almighty),
- praise (worship of those who sing the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb, the elders, the four living creatures, the great multitude, the angelic hosts),
- the prize (as Paul reached for the prize, the overcomers and His rewards to them) and ultimately ...
- paradise (the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Messiah).
Again, the above is a simple catalogue of some of the more prominent themes - but I think we're getting the idea.
Thus, themes revolving around purifying (of the saints), persevering (of the saints), preservation (of Israel and "those that remain"), persecution (of the Two Witnesses - of "those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus"), prevailing (victory over the Beast, Image and Mark), prophesying, proclamation (of the gospel), pronouncement (of judgment), prayer (of the martyrs), praise (worship of those who sing the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb) and ultimate paradise.
There are other juxtapositions, parallels – but these are the most important distinctions. Remember, these themes are reoccurring throughout the Revelation.
Revelation 14 – “The Sequence of Events”
Now, after all that, I have the chutzpah to suggest that there is a sequence of events found in Revelation 14 – well, sort of. First of all we see the resurrected-raptured (if I can use that word “raptured” in place of harpazo or “snatched away”) saints from Adam to the terminus of the Seventieth Week of Daniel … for at the end of 3.5 days or 42 months or 1,260 days or 3.5 years or time, times and half a time, the devil’s wrath is finished and they hear: COME UP HERE (Rev. 11:12); therefore, there is this “Heavenly Mt. Zion” scene akin to what we read in Hebrews:
But you have come to Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect. Hebrews 12:12-13
Even so in Revelation 14:1-5 is a similar heavenly scene which most definitely is the representative 144,000 of the Church in the heavens:
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 … 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 … These were redeemed from among men, being Firstfruits to God and to the Lamb … they are without fault before the throne of God (excerpts).
What is in view in Rev. 14:1-5 is the heavenly Mount Zion – not the earthly Mount Zion (which there is but not here). These 144,000 are NOT on the Earth as are the 144,000 sealed in Revelation 7:
…four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree … to the angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads’… those who were sealed … One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed”(Revelation 7:1-3).
It never ceases to amaze me that well-meaning brethren can possibly interpret these two groups found in Revelation 7 and Revelation 14 as either entirely Israel (Jews, Diaspora Jews, National Israel, ethnic Israel – flesh and blood Jews) in both Revelation 7 and Revelation 14 or entirely the Church (made up of Jew and Gentile or “neither” as Paul would say of being in Christ… “where there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, etc.” - totally the Church, no distinction whatsoever, there is no Jew nor Greek (i.e., Gentile) and, therefore, it is the Church found in both Revelation 7 and Revelation 14 - the same group.
Ray Stedman in his text, God's Final Word, Understanding Revelation says both groups are the Jews ...
"The fifth thing we learn about them (the second group of 144,000 in Revelation 14 - my parenthesis) is that they are transformed men. They are born again. They have been cleansed and changed by God's grace in a miraculous way ... These redeemed Jews recognize their crucified Messiah, and they have committed their lives to Him." (p. 263)
Kevin DeYoung of the Reformed Church says the first group of 144,000 in Revelation 7 is the entire "redeemed community" from Adam until the coming of the Lord...
"The 144,000 are not an ethnic Jewish remnant, and certainly not an Anointed Class of saints who became Jehovah’s Witnesses before 1935. The 144,000 represent the entire community of the redeemed."
At random, Gotquestions?org states:
So the answer to the question “who are the 144,000?” will depend on which interpretive approach you take to the book of Revelation. With the exception of the futurist approach, all of the other approaches interpret the 144,000 symbolically, as representative of the church and the number 144,000 being symbolic of the totality—i.e., the complete number—of the church. Yet when taken at face value: “Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel” (Revelation 7:4), nothing in the passage leads to interpreting the 144,000 as anything but a literal number of Jews—12,000 taken from every tribe of the “sons of Israel.” The New Testament offers no clear cut text replacing Israel with the church.
This “either/or” approach is a take it or leave hermeneutic (i.e., both Rev. 7 and Rev. 14 are either both Israel or both the Church) – forbid that it could actually be Israel of the flesh – the would-be servants of God set aside and/or preserved from the Wrath of the Lamb for the earthly rule and reign of Messiah as the Son of David who shall yet take His throne upon the Earth in Rev. 7 AND in Rev. 14, the second group of 144,000 are representative of the Church! They (Israel) are the first group of 144,000 found in Revelation 7 - sealed/preserved upon the Earth from the Wrath of the Lamb. What is it about 12,000 from each of the 12 Tribes of Israel wherein we are determined to incorporate some semblance, metaphor or deep spiritual meaning which somehow includes the Church? Some even claim that the 144,000 in Revelation 7 include "Messianic Jews" and the "Believing Church taken out from among the Gentiles" - a "twofer!" Cramming square pegs into round holes simply doesn't fit. The second group of 144,000 are representative of the Church newly arrived on the heavenly Mount Zion, fresh from Revelation 11-13 wherein we read:
Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time … When they finish their testimony, the Beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them … Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? … and he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue (i.e., “make war”) for forty-two months … it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them … and the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus … Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them … Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of the brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death (Revelation 12:12; 11:7; 13:4-5, 7; 12:17; 11:11-12; 12:10-11).
Sorry to intentionally “jump around” Revelation 11 through 13 as a precursor to Revelation 14:1-5 but we’ll never know how this second group found atop the heavenly Mount Zion with the Lamb before the throne, surrounded by the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders, got there without knowing what they went through to get there in the first place! We hear them singing a New Song with harps and only these 144,000 know the tune … “these were redeemed (M adds “by Jesus”) from among men, being Firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. Yes, they are there as a result of the FIRST-BEST-SUPERIOR in time and space resurrection (i.e., "Firstfruits) of the just wherein in Revelation 20 we read of them:
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the FIRST RESURRECTION. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the FIRST RESURRECTION. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6
Tell me, if these are the FIRSTFRUITS participating in the FIRST RESURRECTION, then who are these who have followed in the train of Christ, Who is called the very FIRSTFRUIT?
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the FIRSTFRUITS of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the FIRSTFRUITS, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. I Corinthians 15:20-23
Are these not “Christ’s at His coming?” Are they not the “FIRSTFRUITS unto God and to the Lamb?” Absolutely – therefore, are they not partakers of the FIRST RESURRECTION? It does not say they are the firstfruits among the sealed of Israel. No, absolutely not!
In Revelation 7:1-8 Israel is sealed upon the Earth - but immediately following we witness the Resurrection of the Great Multitude - the same Great Multitude is seen represented in the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 14:1-5 - "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb...therefore they are before the throne of God" (Rev. 7:14-15). - Yes, and that throne of God is the heavenly Mount Zion! Again, what is it about being sealed on the Earth and standing upon the heavenly Mount Zion that we cannot differentiate? One is on the earth (Israel) and the other is in the heavens (the resurrected saints from Adam until the end of the Seventieth Week inclusive of all saints is the scene in Revelation 14:1-5. All those before Messiah the Prince and those after Messiah the Prince but BOTH redeemed from among men - the one looking toward the Cross (Old Testament saints) and the other looking back to the Cross - the Church of the Living God - New Testament saints).
Brethren, I plead with you – do NOT complicate the FIRST RESURRECTION for at the terminus of the Seventieth Week the loud voice, the final seven-fold trumpet shall sound:
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed … For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. I Corinthians 15:51-52; I Thess. 4:14-17
Question: How many resurrections of the just are there? Answer, plain and simple: ONE – it is called the FIRST, which in Greek also means BEST, as in “first love” of the Church in Ephesus and this BEST also means SUPERIOR as in degree, order and quality.
Do not think for one moment that these 144,000 so described as “These were redeemed (M “by Jesus”) from among men, being Firstfruits to God and to the Lamb” are somehow different from those resurrected and remain who are found in both I Corinthians 15:51-52 and I Thess. 4:14-17? No, they are the same ...
...voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder – harpists playing their harps – sang as it were a new song before the throne – a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice … These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb … they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and loved not their lives unto the death … the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands … THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION … and I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God…they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb (Revelation 14:2-3; 7:9, 14; 12:11; 20:4-5; 15:2-3).
There are NOT multiple resurrections of the just – there is but the FIRST, the one, the ONLY, the superior and the best resurrection ever! How can there be a secret resurrection of the just prior to the commencement of Daniel’s Seventieth Week which must, therefore, have absolutely NO CLASSIFICATION? – Because it is altogether obvious which resurrection is the BEST, FIRST, SUPERIOR and that belongs to those who have fallen asleep or remain and are caught up to meet the Lord in the air together … and just in case we’re not clear as to their true identity and from whence they came – they “came out of Great Tribulation” and furthermore, they’ve gotten “the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name” and, finally, if you’re still trying to take the one and only resurrection away from them, get clear:
I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands…THEY lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4).
So – you want to “live and reign with Christ a thousand years?” Guaranteed; lose your head for Jesus during the Great Tribulation and you’ve got a first row, standing room only, placement on the sea of glass! What is it about FIRST in time – BEST in show – SUPERIOR in quality – that we don’t get? Is it that we don’t get it because we don’t want to get it? The truth is staring us straight in the face, yet we are in abject denial of the pure, unadulterated Word of God – yet we claim such fidelity thereto! O great deception which grips us and keeps us from the Testimony of Jesus and from the faith worth dying for is worth living for.
Yes, our hope is in the resurrection – O Death where is your sting? O Hades where is your victory: (Hosea 13:14; I Corinthians 15:55) – but to “endure unto the end” – oh, perhaps that’s not optional, is it?
Revelation 14 – 144,000 Resurrected Firstfruits – Three Angels – 2 Final Harvests…preaching repentance, while forecasting judgment!
Revelation 14 includes a panoply of apocalyptic themes rehearsed elsewhere throughout the Revelation. The overcoming ones are seen as resurrected-raptured atop the heavenly Mount Zion, redeemed from the Earth…for they have responded to the Everlasting Gospel…consider:
- Revelation 14:1-5 – The Heavenly scene of the representative 144,000 resurrected and/or raptured saints, Overcomers – those who did NOT worship the Beast, his Image, nor take his Mark…all “saints” from Adam until the close of the Seventieth Week of Daniel yet future.
- Revelation 14:6-7 – The First Angel: The Preaching of the Everlasting Gospel and WARNING of pending Judgment – BOTH Repentance and Judgment during the Seventieth Week.
- Revelation 14:8 – The Second Angel: The Judgment of Babylon the Great
- Revelation 14:9-11 – The Third Angel: The Judgment upon all them who worshiped the Beast and his image, and received the mark of his name.
- Revelation 14:12-13 – Reflection upon the Overcomers who did NOT worship the Beast, his Image nor received the mark of his name – those who “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” – Redeemed Israel and the Church throughout the ages up through the end of the Seventieth Week.
- Revelation 14:14-16 - Reaping of Earth's Ripened Harvest by the Son of Man upon the Cloud - this is the Resurrection and more so, the souls of them that believed the Everlasting Gospel - the focus is upon the final week of Daniel's prophecy.
- Revelation 14:17-20 - The Judgment of the Earth - Gathering the "vine of the earth" - throwing it into the great winepress of the wrath of God - after the conclusion of the Seventieth Week of Daniel - during the days between the 1,260th and the 1,290th Day (Daniel 12:11; Rev. 8-9; 11:13)
The First Angel – THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL
We have discussed the identity of the 144,000 in Revelation 14:1-5 – now let us consider the messages of the Three Angels “flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth….”
The three angelic beings are released with the first announcing the Everlasting Gospel preached for the final time to the “earth dwellers” – to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people while combining the good news with the pending judgment (something that today’s evangelists like Billy Graham (at 95 years of age!), Franklin Graham, Greg Laurie, Reinhard Bonnke, Chuck Smith (Calvary Chapel) and Jonathan Cahn (Harbinger) are coming to terms with…knowing that America’s sins, as Nineveh’s, have reached to the heavens).
They are simultaneously calling America to repentance while preaching pending judgment (especially, Jonathan Cahn) – even so, as the Everlasting Gospel is preached to the “earthlings” (again, as Ray Stedman contends – those “dwelling on the earth” are really those utterly obsessed with earth’s allure wherein they grapple in her dirt desiring her material “things” – they are juxtaposed to those who “dwell in heaven” (Revelation 12:12; 13:6) – those “destined for the heavenly Mount Zion”) a great multitude will respond, but those who do not ….
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. (Revelation 14:7) …
… will face the message of the Second Angel:
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. (Revelation 14:8)
Please carefully note that immediately after the Everlasting Gospel is preached – and please, that gospel is the very Grace found in Messiah Jesus…it is NOT the so-called “Gospel of the Kingdom” – of future SOCIAL JUSTICE to all and to all a good night! That will happen when King Jesus returns – ANYTHING before that divine intervention upon this Earth is known as the GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD wherein one is redeemed from the Earth by the Blood of the Lamb and overcomes the Beast, his Image and his Mark by that same Blood and confesses through the “word of their testimony!” It is the same gospel announced by the Paul, the Apostles to the Gentiles – to wit:
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven (Note: “an angel from heaven” – and that is a warning that the First Angel of Revelation 14:6 is NOT preaching another gospel), preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed…But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ…but when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood. (Please See: Galatians 1:7-24 but virtually the entire book of Galatians).
Please see our article entitled ANOTHER GOSPEL – Israel and the Church in Covenantal Confusion.
In other words – the Gospel given to Paul did NOT spring forth out of Judaism – it did not have its roots in Judaism – it came DIRECTLY FROM THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST to Paul and to compound the utter distinction of this gospel Paul utterly was separated for some 14 years:
Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus…then after three years I went up to Jerusalem … then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me … and I went up by revelation, and communicated to them THAT GOSPEL WHICH I PREACH AMONG THE GENTILES … Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you … For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures … but by the GRACE OF GOD I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain … but the GRACE OF GOD was with me … so we preach and so you believed. (Galatians 1:17-18; 2:1-2; I Corinthians 15:1, 3-4, 10-11)
The Everlasting Gospel – this GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD - is intrinsically bound to the BLOOD OF THE EVERLASTING COVENANT and it is centered in the revelation of Jesus Christ:
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the BLOOD OF THE EVERLASTING COVENANT, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
How Are Jews and Gentiles – Earthlings – Saved Prior to the Wrath of the Lamb?
The question arises: How are Jews and Gentiles saved during the Seventieth Week of Daniel – the time of “tribulation” and, in particular, during the “Wrath of the Devil?” (Revelation 12:12) Answer: Through the preaching of the Everlasting Gospel – the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant – through the Blood of the Lamb by which they overcome the Beast, his Image, and his Mark! That’s how – and if another so-called prophet or angelic being preach unto you any other gospel, as Paul declares: LET HIM BE ACCURSED – ANATHAMA! (Galatians 1:8-9)
And those who so cleverly package their “social gospel of justice” (their “seeker-friendly emergent relevance” of baloney – their pre-millenarian hype of the “Kingdom to Come” to Gentiles and to the Church – LET THEM BE ACCURSED – that is NOT the Everlasting Gospel of the Grace of God – it’s a phony, and those who have bought into the deception of “that gospel” are under perilous and pending judgment from the Almighty – ALL SALVATION – ALL HOPE – UP THROUGH THE RESURRECTION AND FINAL RAPTURE OF THE SAINTS IS THROUGH THE BLOOD OF THE EVERLASTING COVENANT wrought in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again, that we, through Him alone, might receive remission of sins and the free gift of Eternal Life! We are enjoined to call those who dwell upon the earth to REPENT of their sins; accept the Blood of the Lamb for eternal forgiveness and receive the “unspeakable gift” of the indwelling Christ Who alone gives the power to overcome the Accuser of the Brethren and Who alone refuses – IN US – to worship the Beast, his Image and his Mark!
The work of REGENERATION by the Holy Spirit – for a man cannot be “born anew” except by the power of the Holy Spirit – will persist via the EVERLASTING GOSPEL which shall be resoundingly proclaimed to all the earth…THEN SHALL THE END COME! (Matthew 24:29-31)
Listen – the so-called “tribulation saints” who have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14) are the same brethren that we see walking around today at the latest prophecy conference! They’re going to get saved the same way we have been saved: THROUGH THE BLOOD OF THE EVERLASTING COVENANT – via the Gospel of the Grace of God. Our “Christian roots” are derived DIRECT from the Throne – NOT from Mount Sinai – but direct from the Lord Jesus Christ upon His heavenly throne…that doesn’t mean we "boast against the branches...remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you" (Romans 11:18) – rather, to “provoke the Jew to jealousy” and affirm them in the Grace of God through the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant!
The Second Angel: “Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen” – Rev. 14:8
Make no mistake about it – JUDGMENT IS COMING – Jonathan Cahn has hit the mark on this one – BOTH: Repentance and coming Judgment. And, judgment upon whom, one would inquire? The Bible makes no qualms about it: BABYLON THE GREAT IS FALLEN, IS FALLEN!
Our first book, written by Doug Krieger, Dene McGriff and Doug Woodward – THE FINAL BABYLON – specifically designates, through biblical research and immediate geo-political reality, that America is that final Mystery Babylon – the New Atlantis envisioned by Sir Francis Bacon and founded by scores of Masonic and Luciferian “free thinkers” who were more than pleased to place their Greco-Roman gods and goddesses upon its Capital architecture AND to corrupt her sanctuary with the mystical religions of the Sumerians-Canaanite-Phoenicians-Punic peoples, as well as the ancient Chaldean-Babylonian occultists and their ancient Egyptian co-religionists-enchanters-magicians.
AMERICA – THE FINAL BABYLON – I will ASCEND! THE VON-BRAUN-CROWLEY-PARSONS-HUBBARD Nexus
What the Modern Era is remiss in determining, and then exclaiming, is the final resting place of Babylon the Great wherein these Canaanite inceptions and their relationships to the “high ones on high” await their final judgment; to wit:
It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones (“the high ones on high”) and on the earth the kings of the earth. They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; after many days they will be punished…Then the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed; for the LORD of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously (Isaiah 24:21-23).
That finality of judgment will allow their temporary release from the pit under the Fifth Trumpet via the Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Apollyon (Revelation 9:1-12), only to become “My Sacrificial Meal” – the “Supper of the Great God” (Ezekiel 39:17; Revelation 19:17) … meanwhile their “disembodied spirits” (aka “the watchers” – aka “the bulls of Bashan” who mocked Jesus upon the cross – Psalm 22:12-13) collaborate with the Prince of Darkness in the building of his “Golden Age” and the final manifestation of his adulterous enterprise: Babylon the Great…and you’d be shocked to find out how that revival of destruction insinuated itself in earnest in America, the once beautiful:
“One of the American scientists to work closely with Von Braun was the American occultist Jack Parsons. Jack Parsons was one of the founders of the experimental rocket research group at Cal Tech [Pasadena, CA]. This group’s seven acre Arroyo Seco testing facility would eventually become the headquarters of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory [in sight of Mt. Palomar Observatory at Altadena, CA], (JPL) and the U.S. military’s rocket program which evolved into NASA. Parsons was an initiate in the mystery schools. He was chosen by Aleister Crowley to lead the US branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis, the Southern California-based Agape Lodge. Crowley, the mystery school adept, held the office of 33-degree Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Scottish Rite, among others. Jack Parsons, founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and chief of the organization which became NASA, had as his mentor, Aleister Crowley, advocate of ritual magic and blood sacrifice, a man who had been in contact with disembodied entities he recognized as angels. Crowley has been called ‘The Father of Modern Satanism.’ (Charles Donefer, Wernher von Braun: National Hero or Enemy of the World? 1996 – from The David Flynn Collection, Cydonia, pp. 453-464)
WE ARE THE WITCHCRAFT - Jack Parsons, Founder of NASA and JPL
In 1950 this same Jack Parsons – founder of America’s modern space program (energized by incorporating Nazi scientists and, as well, occultists under Operation Paper Clip) wrote in prose the following entitled We Are the Witchcraft:
"We are the oldest organization in the world…All organizations have known us, no organization is of us; when there is too much organization we depart. We are on the side of man, of life, and of the individual. Therefore we are against religion, morality and government. Therefore our name is Lucifer. We are on the side of freedom, of love, of joy and laughter and divine drunkenness. There our name is Babalon (sic)…And when that vermin of Hell that is called the Christian Church held all the West in a slavery of sin and death and terror, we, and we alone, brought hope to the heart of man, despite the dungeon and the stake.” (John Whiteside Parsons, excerpt from Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword, Falcon Press/OTO 1989)
David Flynn’s insightful commentary on America’s origins and baptism into the mystery religion of Babylon via the likes of Crowley-Parsons-Hubbard and the Nazis inducted into NASA’s Hall of Shame … continues in his Collection (pp. 460-4, Defense Publishing, Crane, MO – See here) ...
"Jack Parsons worked closely with Herman (Wernher) Von Braun, the rocket scientist responsible for the V2 weapons program in Germany during the war. Parsons and Von Braun created the first rockets with the ability to escape the earth’s gravity.
“Parsons wrote concerning this magic [viz. that espoused by occultist Dr. John Dee, ‘spiritual advisor’ to Queen Elizabeth I]:
‘The present age is under the influence of the force called, in magical terminology, Horus [i.e., Horus being a pseudonym for Antichrist]…This force is completely blind, depending upon the men and women in whom it manifests and who guide it. Obviously, its guidance now tends towards catastrophe….This impasse is broken by the incarnation of another sort of force, called BABALON (sic). The nature of this force relates to love, understanding, and dionysian (i.e., “sexual”) freedom, and is the necessary counterbalance or correspondence to the manifestation of Horus…A more basic matter, however, is the indication that this force is incarnate in all men and women, and needs only to be invoked to free the spirit from the debris of the old aeon.’ (The Collected Writings of Jack Parsons, Part One, The Book of Babalon, introduction, “Conception.”)
Now – if this doesn’t blow your mind – nothing will:
“On February 28, 1946, Jack Parsons went out into the Mojave Desert in order to invoke the beginning of the ‘AGE OF THE ANTICHRIST.’ (my emphasis) Parsons performed the ritual with the help of another participant [you guessed it] La Fayette Ron Hubbard (aka L. Ron Hubbard – 1911-1986) the science fiction writer from Helena Montana who would eventually found the mystery school called the Church of Scientology [space travel anyone?]. Through a series of magical incantations based on the Enochian language devised by Dr. John Dee, Parsons apparently channeled 77 clauses of what came to be known as his Book of Babalon. The purpose of the ritual was to produce a magical childe [child?]—Horus or the antichrist—who would be ‘mightier than all the kings of the earth.’ Parsons, the founder of the JPL and (the) American space program, wrote the following concering (sic) the Babalon working:
‘And thus was I Antichrist loosed in the world; and to this I am pledged, that the work of the Beast 666 shall be fulfilled, and the way for the coming of BABALON be made open and I shall not cease or rest until these things are accomplished. (Part Two: The Book of Antichrist – the Collected Writings of Jack Parson).
What is even more bizarre is how Parson’s, according to David Flynn, secured the animations of one, Walt Disney, to move the America psyche towards space travel, in particular, to Mars (yes, I know it sounds phantasmagoric, but it is blatantly true – see David Flynn’s Collection, pp. 462-463)…Flynn’s conclusions regarding the Von Braun-Parsons-Hubbard-Disney confab are staggering; especially, in light of NASA’s predilection toward extensive exploration via Curiosity:
“Parsons was dedicated to research in two fields that were not mutually exclusive, ritual magic, and space travel. Both occupations were towards the same end—to bring about the new age under a superhuman called ‘antichrist.’ It would seem that acknowledged genius Jack Parsons knew the space program of JPL and NASA would be [a] means to accomplish the same goal as magic. Both activities would result in communication with the former ‘gods.’” (Ibid. p. 464)
Now, are we clear as to why we entitled our book: THE FINAL BABYLON – America and the Coming of Antichrist….?
The judgment of the Final Babylon – and, yes…she “has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!” (Revelation 18:2) – in point of biblical fact, Babylon the Great is clearly mentioned as “Babylon” in Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2, 10, 21 and as that “Great City” in Revelation 11:8; 14:8; 16:19; 17:18; 18:16, 18-19 and as the “Great Harlot” in Revelation 17:1; 19:2. Her first mention by name is found in Revelation 14 as Babylon, not just as that "great city" (Rev. 11:8), but her proper name is mentioned in reference to judgment, first and foremost!
The INIQUITY OF THE AMORITES IS NOT YET COMPLETE
How she got that way follows a serpentine (pun intended) trail commencing in Lucifer’s rebellion through the Garden – and onwards to her hideous culmination in that “her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” – and I hasten to add, “her iniquities” ingloriously include the INIQUITY OF THE AMORITIES which shall be complete at the end of FOUR GENERATIONS – a prophetic outburst given by the Almighty directly to Abram in Genesis 15:16 wherein we read:
But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.
Og, King of Bashan – that giant of a Nephilim – King of the Amorites, whose name (Amorites) means HIGH ONES or HIGHLANDERS from whence the “high ones on high” shall on that day be punished … for as we have previously stated that from Isaac, son of promise, unto Messiah the Prince there were four epics (viz., "fourth generation"), each bearing 490 years (from Isaac unto the Exodus; from the Exodus unto Solomon’s Temple dedication; from Solomon’s Temple unto the Persian King’s Decree; from this Decree unto Messiah the Prince or 4 X 490 years is equal to 1,960 years plus the first 490 years (generation) from Shem’s birth unto Isaac’s birth, giving us a total of 2,450 years with the first 1,558 years from Adam to Shem’s birth for a total of 1,558 years plus 2,450 years is equal to 4,008 years unto Messiah the Prince with the final 7/8 years extended unto the 70th Week of Daniel yet future – WHEN, AFTER THEY SHALL RETURN HERE (i.e., the descendants of Abraham through Isaac) to Eretz Israel (the modern State of Israel), then, and only then, will the iniquity of the Amorites be complete.
Herein lies a most sordid “double fulfillment” – if one is to take these “generations” to, as we have pointed out in previous articles, to be 490-year epics of time (or 5 sets of 490 years is equal to 2,450 years divided by 50 Years (a Jubilee Cycle) is equal to 49 Jubilee Cycles), then the final 7/8 years of the final 490 years unto Messiah the Prince, shall witness the INIQUITY OF THE AMORITIES (aka, THE HIGH ONES) shall be complete – their dastardly return in fullness in accordance, I believe, to what APOLLYON RISING has suggested (Horn and Putnam) – using Revelation 9 to validate that INIQUTIY – an “iniquity” which resembles that iniquitous happening “as in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man.”
America, as Babylon’s bastion of putridity seems altogether plausible, given her current spiral into the toilet bowl of pornography, trafficking in the bodies and souls of men wherein family structures and proclivity toward apostasy are at full throttle. Doug Shearer clearly documents in his latest piece: The American Church Confronts Hostility (not too well) – O HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN! Yes, FALLEN, FALLEN, Babylon the Great awaits her judgment – and what are we, the Church of the Living God doing about it? Hopefully, preaching the EVERLASTING GOSPEL to the ends of the earth before she goes up in smoke!
So, let’s say it’s the inability of some of the great “prophets” of our day in coming to terms with what Babylon’s ultimate destruction means to them and to their constituencies (aka “ministries”). Since America in their minds cannot be the Babylon of the Last Days – and, furthermore, since she doesn’t play even a bit part in end-time’s prophecy, for “America is not mentioned in the Bible” – a truly supercilious demonstration of geopolitical absurdity, ignorance and even arrogance – she, therefore, must be destroyed prior to any final impact upon the global marketplace…let along any further apostate or political-military impact … such demonstration of her prowess would, of course, be removed via cataclysmic and/or religious disintegration (e.g., through the rapture of millions of Christians who inhabit America).
What’s disturbing to many is this: What if this “American destruction” takes place while I’m still living in America? Horrid thought this, isn’t it? But that is precisely what some ardent followers of the Lamb are seriously considering – prior to any imminent, secret rapture before the Seventieth Week. Such a notion has driven many to consider the way of the “prepper” – preparing for the worst, while clinging on to what they call “The Blessed Hope” (i.e., the Rapture). Think about it, if America is not in Bible prophecy, and stalwart evangelical prophetic proponents are clearly preaching her imminent demise – then wouldn’t it be logical to suggest that preparing for America’s destruction is wise? Such are the vicissitudes of those who do not affirm Babylon’s ultimate demise transpires until deep into the time known as the Wrath of the Lamb has come or AFTER the Everlasting Gospel is preached as in Revelation 14:6-7 being the obvious case.
The Third Angel: Judgment Upon those Who've Succumbed to the Beast, his Image and his Mark - Rev. 14:9-11
The obvious has happened - with Babylon's demise, now all those affected by succumbing to the message of the False Prophet are destined for judgment...
If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 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...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 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. (Revelation 14:9-11)
Really difficult to think that hell is not real nor that eternal hell, fire and brimstone doesn't have biblical credibility. Why does the Bible go to such EXTREMES? Can't we all just get along - let's go Emergent, seeker-friendly...why do we have to couch such expression in such a prolonged and devastating fashion? Is it our job to scare the hell out of people bound for hell? Frankly, and as it blatantly appears, it is what it is! Personally, I know many a "Christian universalist" who believe that all souls shall be reconciled to God Almighty on that final day. They can't possibly bring themselves to embrace what is read in Revelation 14:9-11 and elsewhere in the Revelation as literal - they say: How could, why would, God allow such eternal damnation and what appears as an unmitigated and tortuous fate to befall those who have been "victimized" by the beast, his image and mark?
Friend, there are some things that are beyond our understanding - and this is one of them; notwithstanding, we try to second guess the Almighty. To "drink of the wine of the wrath of God...poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation" is an absolute, stark, terminal warning to all who embrace the Beast, his Image and his Mark on that day. This is no namby-pamby message to treat in a "God would never do such a thing" manner. Oh yeah - think again. Jesus is the lover of my soul, but when the Wrath of the Lamb comes down the stakes couldn't be more defined. The God of the Bible is all or nothing - you're either "all in" or you're out - there's no middle ground. This is when you really should consider being in Noah's Ark lest you find the door shut and the water rising ... the whole scene is one of cataclysmic judgment to the uttermost. You snicker and mock - but on that day, well, frankly, I wouldn't take my chances...finding oneself in the hands of an "Angry God" is no laughing matter - Richard Dawkins had better think twice, and for a long time, marching down his path to utter destruction...the day comes when he wakes up looking for the alien life forms which created man, only to find them in the lake burning with fire and brimstone...all the philosophizing in the universe will be purely academic then, Dawkins, purely academic.
Twice the phrase of the "worship the beast and his image, and his mark" are mentioned in Revelation 14:9-11 regarding those destined to such a hellish end. It is more than clear, humankind is made to worship. Forbid, say the secularist, that I worship anything ... all the while they "behold and reflect their own image." The word "worship" (Strong's 4352) is used 24 times in the Revelation - 11 times associated with the worship of devils (demons), the dragon, the beast, and the image of the beast (Revelation 9:20; 13:4 (2Xs), 8, 12, 15; 14:9, 11; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4). I find the number "11" once again depicting that insipid rebellion found in the 11 sons of Canaan, the 11th Horn (Antichrist) and the number of the disciples after Judas betrayed Jesus delimited to 11, an altogether fitting display of that Satanic effort to corrupt the worship of the One true God...juxtaposed, if you would, to the worship of the 24 Elders which is mentioned 5Xs in the Revelation (Revelation 4:10; 5:14; 7:11; 11:16; 19:4) or 5 X 24 (elders) = 120 or "12" vs. the "11" or God's 12 vs. Satan's 11 - interesting considerations these!
Reflections on the Perseverance of the Saints - Revelation 14:12-13
The patience or "perseverance" of the saints who resisted the worship of the Beast, the Image and the Mark deserve, at this momentous occasion of judgment, a glorious reflection: "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'" (Revelation 14:13). All those "who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" are so blessed. Again, the theme is repeatedly rehearsed - God's perspective is here in view: Israel ("who keep the commandments of God") and the Church ("the faith of Jesus"). These phrases are in substance repeated again in Revelation 12:17:
And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.
The "victory over the Beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name" (Revelation 15:2) - who, likewise, "sing the song of Moses, the servant of God (Israel), and the song of the Lamb (the Church) (Revelation 15:3) is the reoccuring theme in the Revelation. From Abraham on the Almighty has had His testimony through Israel and the Church - they who "looked for a city Whose Builder and Maker is God" (Hebrews 11:10) - until they become that for which they sought: the New Jerusalem...whose gates bear the names of the 12 Tribes (the Patriarchs of Israel) and whose foundations the names of the 12 Apostles of the Lamb, the Church - brethren: DO WE SEE IT?
Israel - A Testimony - Even in Unbelief!
But you say as a Christian: How is it that Israel can be a testimony, a witness during this time when the Beast makes war against them? Gentile World Powers are today incensed with Israel - she builds 1,200 apartments on their own plots of land (August 11, 2013) and the world freaks out! Her skyline is a stark rebuke to the nations of the earth that they have been uniquely "positioned" to be all that their Maker desires them to be and to declare His Own Great Name, fulfilling the ancient prophets who forecasted their return to the land - and YES, this is THE long-promised return and ingathering of the exiles from throughout the earth in the latter days...this is NOT the (forgive me to say) flimsy return under the King of Persia - this is a massive influx of an ancient people to their homeland and the revival of their ancient language, Hebrew - absolutely and utterly unprecedented in human history.
Ezekiel 37:21-22, in the context of the Valley of Dry Bones and prior to the Gog-Magog War found in Ezekiel 38-39 states:
And say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.’
Then in Leviticus 26:23-24 we read this peculiar verse:
And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
This verse in Leviticus (above) makes little sense aside from the fact that their contrary resistance to the Lord will surely issue in "complete" ("7") punishment for their sins - and that punishment most definitely would result in banishment from their inheritance. But if we attach Leviticus to the ingathering forecasted in Ezekiel 4:4-6:
Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.
So, class, the math is quite simple: 390 days + 40 days = 430 days which "430" equate to years or 430 years but the "captivity" in Neo-Babylonia lasted for 70 years according to Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10; therefore, 430 years less 70 years is equal to 360 years of "punishment" remaining, with the decree under King Cyrus to free the Jews to return to their homeland made in 536 B.C.
I don't think that we can look at these calculations/chronologies and dismiss them as happenstance - "there's just too much going on here!" Furthermore, could it be that in Ezekiel's peculiarity of the 390 years (the house of Israel) and 40 years (the house of Judah) that the "two sets of 144" as seen in the Revelation are in Ezekiel a foretaste of both Israel and the Church? How could that be? Well, isn't Jesus spoken of as the "Lion of the Tribe of Judah" - and just where is Judah? Is there such a thing as the "Tribe of Judah" - i.e., "Judah's Septer" wherein it could be said that "King Jesus" is not only "out from" the Tribe of Judah but that He is over the Tribe of Judah - their "Lion" - i.e., King? Obviously, separate from "Israel" in this instance...but consider this: 390 years X 360 days (one prophetic year) is equal to 140,400 days or, by dropping zero, "144" and 40 years X 360 days is equal to 14,400 or, again, dropping zero we arrive at "144" our second set of, if you would, 144,000. Why would the Almighty suggest 390 years and then 40 years and both equal to "144"? Is this 7-fold "punishment" simply for "punishment sake" - or is not the "chastisement of the Lord" for a greater purpose than purely punitive in its administration? Does the separation of Israel and Judah have something far more prophetic in view here such as the calling out "from among the Gentiles a people for His Name" and including them into "the commonwealth of Israel" thereby securing two groups of 144,000?
Incredible Calculations...2520 years - 1948 AD Rebirth of Israel - 2018 AD Commencement of Daniel's 70th Week - Note: 1948 + 70 years = 2018 AD.
Now, here's where Leviticus 26:23-24 comes into play: We take the remaining 360 years X 7 (as in "seven times") and find that it is equal to the Sacred Cubit's measurement of 2520 years (i.e. its fractal of 25.20"). This also means that 2520 years X 360 days in a Hebrew prophetic year is equal to: 907,200 days (which, incidentally, "9072" is the fractal/resemblance of the cubed Great Pyramid of Egypt whose base measurement is 756' X 12 (edges of any cube) equals 9,072') and is a perfect "Altar unto the LORD at the Giza/Border of Egypt" - Isaiah 19).
The Decree under King Cyrus was done several years after the conquest of Neo-Babylonia by the Medes and Persians under King Darius in 538 B.C. King Darius died in 536 B.C. and this is when the Decree came forth under King Cyrus: 536 B.C. If we take the 536 years between the Decree of Cyrus to return the Jews to their homeland unto the birth of Messiah that would be 536 years and then counting in Gregorian Calendar years from 34 A.D. (leaving out the 33 years of Messiah's earthly life as the 33 years committed to the "Tabernacle of David" as seen in both Acts 15:16-17; Amos 9:11-12; and I Chron. 3:4) unto the present, as we have previously calculated, would give us 1980 years (or 2013 A.D. less 33 years of Messiah's life = 1980 years). We now take the original 536 years + 1980 years - leaving out the 33 years of Messiah's earthly life (34 AD to the present 2013 AD inclusive) which will equal to 2,516 years. This brings us up short approximately 4 years shy of 2,520 years or 2,516 years plus 4 years will give us 2,520 years. We are now in the midst of 2013 (August, 2013) but calculating the entire year of 2013 would give us the 1980 years previously asserted or 2013 less 33 (Messiah's age as of the writing of this article) equals 1980 (inclusive); therefore, by starting with 536 years + 1980 years is equal to 2,516 years + the years 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 (4 years) would bring us to the "brink" of 2018 which is the year we have calculated for the commencement of the Seventieth Week of Daniel! (Please see our articles: From Adam to the Second Coming - 6,000 Years; Times Up - Passion Week, Seventieth Week - Blood Moon Part 2; Passion Week - Seventieth Week - Blood Moon, Part 3)
On the other hand, by using the 360-day prophetic year calendar of the Hebrews we discover the following - if indeed, the calculation for the decree under King Cyrus was in the year 536 B.C. - that if we convert to the 365.2524-day solar calendar, then the 2,520 years or 907,200 days will become 2,483.2332 years (or 5.2524 X 2520 years = 13,236.048 days; these days must be divided by 360 days (1 Hebrew calendar year) and will equal to 36.7668 years which are in turn subtracted from the original 2,520 years giving us the 2,483.2332 years). Therefore, when you subtract 536 years from the 2,483.2332 years it will equal to 1,947+ years; however, there is no year zero...therefore, instead of 1,947 years we would be viewing 1,948 years or the same year, and possibly the very month, of the rebirth of the State of Israel in that the 536 B.C. calculation was at the very end of the reign of King Darius, the Mede; King Cyrus actually taking the kingship at the very close of 536 B.C. when he gave the decree for the Jews to return to Eretz Israel. Thus, would be fulfilled the 7Xs of Leviticus 26:23-24 and the peculiar text in Ezekiel 4:4-6, subtracting out the 70 years of captivity spoken of by Jeremiah the Prophet in Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10. Please note, that in these calculations Messiah's 33-year "hiatus" is place back into the chronologies of the 2,483.2332 years so that from 536 B.C. through until 2018 A.C. (in "prophetic years") we calculate 2,483.2332 years precisely (which would be our 2,520 years in toto but in prophetic years of 360-days or a Hebrew prophetic year).
I apologize for the "chronological distraction" - however, these calculations are so incredibly precise, I simply could not pass up the opportunity to enflame our passion for "Israel and the Church" as the divine witnesses to His faithfulness to us all. Furthermore, have you ever noticed that the TWO PROPHETS - TWO WITNESSES in Revelation 11 (speaking, as we are concerning them who (a) "keep the commandments of God" (Israel) and (b) "have the faith of Jesus" (the Church) are referred to as TWO OLIVE TREES and TWO LAMPSTANDS (Revelation 11:4)? Well, of course, they give their testimony for 1,260 days (Revelation 11:3) and then they endure the persecution of the Beast for 3.5 days or 42 months or time, times and half a time or 1,260 days/3.5 years (Revelation 11:2, 7-11; 12:6, 13:5-7) - so, 1,260 days of testimony plus 1,260 days of persecution/perseverance/preservation is equal to 2,520 days - but there are TWO plus TWO equal FOUR. Why is it that each of the witnesses is really two? Naturally, because the number for witness in Scripture is "2." But here we have 2 + 2 is equal to 4.
If the cardinal number of the New Jerusalem is "18" in that her perimeter is 12,000 furlongs X 660' (length of one furlong) is equal to 7,920,000' X 12 edges of a cube is equal to 95,040,000' divided by 5,280' (one mile) is equal to 18,000 miles or "18" is the cardinal number of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:16)... therefore, when we see 2 Olive Trees and 2 Lampstands we must see "4" because 4 X 2,520 (the full 70th Week of their Testimony and Persecution/Perseverance) is equal to 10,800 or eliminating zero we have "18" - the Cardinal Number of the New Jerusalem!
I don't think that we can look at these calculations/chronologies and dismiss them as happenstance - "there's just too much going on here!"
THE TWO HARVESTS - Revelation 14:14-16 and 14:17-20
As overtly plain as these passages may appear - i.e., the first harvest is wrought by the Son of Man Who thrusts in His sickle to reap "the harvest of the earth" for it is ripe. It appears that this is the final revival producing the Multitude that no man can number who come out of Great Tribulation and are seen in Rev. 7:9-17. This is further enforced by the fact that Rev. 14:13 mentions "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on...that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them" - consequently, the subsequent harvest by the Son of Man in Revelation 14:14-16 substantiates that blessing, because we are witnessing the resurrection of those who have "died in the Lord" by the Son of Man in Revelation 14:14-16. However, some evangelical expositors, so enamored are they with Israel's full occupation of the Seventieth Week of Daniel (omitting the Church entirely via secret rapture prior to the commencement of the Seventieth Week), view these two harvests as wholly peculiar to Israel alone:
"We have seen that the 144,000 redeemed from the tribes of Israel are the 'firstfruits' of the harvest of the last days [referring to Revelation 14:1-5 as only Israel; also found in Revelation 7:1-8]. If they were the firstfruits, the rest of the harvest cannot be far behind ... but what is pictured for us in verses 17-20 is a harveest of grapes, not wheat. In Scripture the vine is frequently a symbol of Israel. Both Isaiah 5 and Psalm 80, for example, describe Israel as a vine brought out of Egypt and planted by God in a new land...What, then, does the harvest of grapes and the 'winepressing' in verses 17-20 signify? It is the judgment of the apostate (unbelieving) Israel--that part of the Jewish nation which (in contrast to the 144,000 redeemed of Israel) has rejected its own Messiah ... The 'winepressing' then is a judgment for this apostasy, a judgment which Jeremiah 30 calls 'the time of Jacob's trouble' and which is also described in Old Testament passages ... apostate Israel will be destroyed...." (God's Final Word, Understanding Revelation, Ray Stedman, pp. 267-9)
But this somewhat limited - shall we say, parochial view - neglects the "perseverance of the saints" in Revelation 14:12 "who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus" - i.e., that ultimate and vast multitude from "all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues" - the same ones that John, as a SIGN, was told to "prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings" (Revelation 7:9-17; 10:11)...and the same ones seen in Revelation 15:2-3 "who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name...they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and song of the Lamb."
No, Revelation 14:14-16 are those who have responded to the EVERLASTING GOSPEL of the First Angel found in Revelation 14:6 - a vast multitude that no man can number of all nations, tribes, peoples, kings reaped by the sickle of the Son of Man upon the cloud...the same cloud mentioned in Revelation 11:12: "'Come up here.' And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them." These are the same "enemies" who shall experience the "great winepress of the wrath of God" in that final harvest of judgment in Revelation 14:17-20 ...
And so great is the "winepress" that we read a most peculiar statement:
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.
First, please note - it is done "outside the city" - what city? Babylon the Great! Naturally, some attribute this to the 180-200 mile distance which approximates the length of today's Israel; therefore, this substantiates their claim that this "winepress" is peculiar to unbelieving Jews, apostate Israel:
"In Revelation 14, we see the ultimate in raw human slaughter, a slaughter so intense that all previous wars seem tame by comparison. There will be blood flowing out of the 'winepress,' splashing as high as a horse's bridle, covering the land for 180 miles, stretching the entire length of Israel. It is a terrible scene of judgment--and it is not a scene of nuclear devastation, but of epidemic madness of battlefield slaughter." (God's Final Word, p. 270)
I personally knew Ray Stedman - there wasn't an once of anti-Semitism in his body - yet, on the surface, a Jew reading these "evangelical pronouncements" would shutter at the thought that with "friends like this - who needs enemies?"
What is going on here? Simply this: The only other time "furlongs" are mentioned in the Revelation is the measurement of the New Jerusalem at 12,000 furlongs. What is under judgment in Revelation 14:17-20, in point of fact, is the only judgment which takes place in these portions of Scripture - Babylon is Fallen, is Fallen, Rev. 14:8 - it's in the very same chapter wherein the judgment of BABYLON THE GREAT is mentioned; therefore, JERUSALEM, THE HOLY is seen juxtaposed to BABYLON THE GREAT - two sets of furlongs in counter distinction, the one to the other.
When we subtract the judgment upon BABYLON THE GREAT from JERUSALEM, THE HOLY we discover this:
The 12,000 furlongs less 1,600 furlongs equals 10,400 furlongs X 660' (one furlong) is equal to: 6,864,000' or "6" and "864" wherein man (6) is under the Judgment of the Sun of Righteousness ("864" is the fractal of the Sun's diameter of 864,000 miles) - that is precisely what is going on here in Revelation 14:17-20 - it has NOTHING to do with several hundred miles of blood washing across the land of Israel up to the horse's bridle.
To literally demonstrate the volume of blood that would necessitate an area that is approximately 200 miles long and 90 miles wide (average), we would be talking about 18,000 sq. miles (which, incidentally, is the cardinal number of the 18,000-mile perimeter of the New Jerusalem) X 5' (average horse's bridle) equal to 2,509,056,000,000 cubic feet. The average person has 1.5 gallons of blood in them. One cubic feet of blood is equal to 7.5 US gallons; therefore 2,509,056,000,000 cubic feet X 7.5 US gallons is equal to 18,817,920,000,000 US Gallons.
Since the Earth contains 7 billion people (every man, woman and child) and each person averages 1.5 gallons of blood in them, that would mean we would be looking at 7Bn X 1.5 gallons is equal to 10.5Bn US Gallons of blood vs. 18,817,920,000,000 US gallons or approximately 19 trillion gallons (the cubic area in the State of Israel) vs. 10.5 billion gallons or the length and width of modern Israel up to the horses bridle could literally contain 1793Xs more blood than all of Earth's current population - so much for the 200,000,000-man army being slain in Israel proper!
Somehow I just don't think that this type of literalism holds a candle to the math that can and should be performed on such a scale - why? To show how absurd it is! And to reveal the true meaning of the numbers in these portions of Scripture found in Revelation 14:17-20.
These, again, are the reoccurring themes of the Revelation - of prophesying, persecution, perseverance, proclamation, parousia (resurrection/rapture). They flash back and forth to excite the reader to keep up with the prophetic writer. In Revelation 14 we saw the representative 144,000 of the Church inclusive standing on the heavenly Mount Zion as full-blown overcomers - great start of a chapter. Then we see how it all happened - how they got to the top of Mount Zion in their resurrected state - through the preaching of the EVERLASTING GOSPEL - the same Gospel which saves sinners today - the emphasis being upon the final week of Daniel's prophecy insofar as the final harvest concerns.
Then, after the Son of Man harvests this wheat from the Earth, the judgment of Babylon the Great takes place and those that have worshipped the Beast, his Image and taken his Mark are likewise judged - and always this judgment has as its backdrop the perseverance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. The final harvests bear this out all over again wherein those who've responded to the Everlasting Gospel are caught up in the Great End-Time Revivals through the preaching of the Everlasting Gospel and when that happens and you see them atop Mount Zion, then shall the judgment of Babylon the Great take place and all those who have worshiped the Beast, his Image and taken his Mark are cast into the winepress of the wrath of God!
Brethren - DO WE SEE IT? Amen, even so, come Lord Jesus!