Revelation 14-1-20 Part 5


1)    Then I looked and, lo, a Lamb having been standing upon the mount – Zion; and with Him a hundred and forty-four thousands having had His Name and His Father’s Name written on their foreheads.

2)    Then I heard sound from the heaven as sound from many waters and as sound from great thunder; then the sound that I heard as harpers harping in their harps;

3)    and they sing a new song before the throne and in the presence of the four creatures and the twenty four elders, and no one is enabled to understand the song except the hundred and forty-four thousands of the land who have been bought.

4)    These are the ones not defiled with women, for they are chaste; these are the ones following the Lamb wherever He leads; these firstfruit were bought from the men to God and to the Lamb,

5)    and falsehood was not found in their mouth; they are blameless.

6)    Then I saw a messenger flying in mid-heaven having age-enduring proclamation to proclaim against those dwelling on the land, and upon the nations and tribes and tongues and people

7)    declaring in a great sound ‘Fear ye The God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and do homage to The One having made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.’

8)    Then another, a second, followed saying ‘Fallen!  Babylon the great, from whom the wine of the passion of her fornication all the nations have drunk, is fallen!’

9)    Then another messenger, a third, followed them saying in a great sound ‘If anyone adores the beast and the image of it and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,

10) he will also drink from the wine, having been previously prepared unmixed, of the wrath of God in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented in fire and brimstone in the presence of holy messengers and in the presence of the Lamb,

11) and the smoke of their torment rises into ages of ages, and they have no rest day or night.’  These are the ones who adore the beast and its image and anyone taking the mark of its name;

12) whereas the perseverance of the saints is in this:  they are keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

13) Then I heard sound from the heaven telling me, write ‘Blessed the dead who die henceforth in Kurios; the Spirit says that they will receive rest from their travails for their works follow together with them.’

14) Then I looked and, lo, a white cloud; and on the cloud the seated likeness of Son of Man having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.

15) And another messenger came out from the Holy Place crying out in a great sound to the One seated upon the cloud, ‘Send in Your sickle and reap for the hour is come to reap, for the harvest of the land is ripened.’

16) And the One sitting upon the cloud thrust His sickle upon the land and the land was reaped.

17) Then another messenger came forth from the Holy Place in the heaven, it also having a sharp sickle.

18) Then another messenger came forth from the altar having authority over the fire, and it called out with a great sound saying to the one with the sharp sickle, ‘Thrust your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the land, for her clusters have ripened.’

19) And the messenger thrust its sickle into the land and gathered the vine of the land and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

20) And the winepress was trodden outside the city; and blood came forth from the winepress as high as the horses’ bridles for a thousand six hundred stadia.


The apostle is shown the twelve thousands from each of the twelve tribes of Jacob.  They are standing with the Lamb of God on the new Mount Zion – the mountain over all the mountains of the earth.

It is the Rock, cut without hands from the old Mount Zion; the old Mount Zion to be thrown burning into the sea.

The perfect number of God’s elect from Jacob is the firstfruit of the resurrection, bought with a great price.  Jacob is Israel; and what John is shown here is the fullness of God’s promise to save Israel.

Once again, it is a perfect number; and they all stand with the Lamb on the new Zion, which will grow to cover the earth.  And thus (as the apostle Paul had said) all Israel shall be saved.

And at the sight of all those of Jacob who God had kept for Himself, John now sees and hears the great sights and sounds of the tabernacle of God in the cloud of glory; for the events both seen and prophesied in the older Scripture are now coming to pass here in the last days.

The rushing sound of the wings of the cherubim; the thundering sound of the voice of the Lord of Hosts; and the cosmic hymn of joy filling all of God’s created realm.  Salvation; victory!  God’s promised Messiah had completed His work of atonement!  He had overcome!  And He would rule the nations with a rod of iron; and His Kingdom would fill the earth.

John then sees the great creatures from the mercy seat in the tabernacle as they proceed to speak the will of the Father; one proclaiming the fear of God for the whole earth, for the hour of judgment had arrived.  For His Own glory His paradise on earth would become a wilderness, and the wilderness nations of the earth would see “springs of water” (as prophesied in Isaiah).

The second then proclaiming (as prophesied in Jeremiah) that Babylon the Great is fallen; for she – by the “heat” of her passions – had caused all the nations to drink of the wine of her fornication.

And now, as we pick up at verse nine, John is shown the third great creature from the tabernacle.  It follows the first one and the second one as it fills the mid-heaven with the great sound of its wings and speaks these thundering words of Almighty God:


“Then another messenger, a third, followed them saying in a great sound ‘If anyone adores the beast and the image of it and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand

“he will also drink from the wine, having been previously prepared unmixed, of the wrath of God in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented in fire and brimstone in the presence of holy messengers and in the presence of the Lamb,

“and the smoke of their torment rises into ages of ages, and they have no rest day or night’.  These are the ones who adore the beast and its image and anyone taking the mark of its name;

“whereas the perseverance of the saints is in this: they are keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”


Now, with a passage as “full” as this one, it was very difficult for me to decide just how to approach it.  But this is God’s perception, isn’t it?  And He has shown it to John and caused him to hear these proclamations; and John was to write them to the Churches for their comfort and assurance in the last days when the whole world seemed to be in chaos.

And as with the firstfruit, it is also shown to us.

And first (and foremost), what is shown to John is the Lamb of God (verse one) who is standing on the mount with His Father’s elect from the house of Jacob, having made atonement for them; and that atonement is sufficient for all of God’s elect people in all the nations – into the ages.  Here we see the firstfruit of God’s sacrifice to Himself.

Since it is the Lamb that is shown to John, then it is the sacrifice that must be the center of the whole passage.  Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, the Lamb of God, was the sacrifice of God to Himself to atone for the sin of His people, (a sacrifice) which satisfies the wrath of God (which is toward all cursed mankind).

Therefore that’s where we have to concentrate as we approach these four verses.  And although there are allusions to a number of important things here (God’s mind and perception is infinite – which is rather daunting), we have to begin with the “cup”  “the wrath of God in the cup of His anger.”

And let me say this in advance (and this is the reason that I sometimes heap scorn and ridicule upon preachers and teachers of a false gospel in our Lord’s Churches), there was a very early heresy that arose in the Churches in Rome (about 144AD); it is now called “marcionism”, for it was preached in the Churches in Rome by one “Marcion”; and it is still being preached from pulpits today; and it’s still being taught in Sunday school classes all around.

Marcion (although he came along much later than the apostles) was one of those who the apostle Peter had earlier called a “pseudoteacher”, and Peter had warned the Churches to “beware the pseudoteachers”.

I won’t read all of that from the apostle now; but Marcion taught that Jesus was the Savior sent by God; but this false teacher rejected the older Scripture and its Hebrew text, saying that Yahveh was a tyrant who was a “lower entity” than the “all-forgiving god” of the newer Scriptures!  The god of the new testament, according to Marcion, is a loving and merciful god “unlike” the one who came before him.

Therefore the god of the law, and justice, and righteousness, and wrath in the judaistic Hebrew text (that’s what he called it) has been replaced with the coming of Jesus, because that god was “incompatible” (he said) with new testament religion.

So, you see, there were many pseudoprophets and pseudoteachers (Marcion being only one) in the early Churches of Jesus Christ.  The apostles were constantly dealing with them in their preaching and in their letters – even before John was shown the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

And today, as we all know, there are numbers of these false teachers in our Lord’s Churches who are even embarrassed by the fact that the “Lamb of God” here in chapter fourteen would, at all, be associated with the wrath of God and the “cup” of His anger (verse ten); for He is not-at-all like Yahveh of old; rather He is loving to all, and forgiving and merciful.

Present-day arminians (those who completely reject God’s predestinating and electing and preserving grace toward all who belong to Him) fit very well into the ancient pseudoteaching of Marcion.

Dispensationalism (a very modern descendant of marcionism) is taught by preachers and teachers in many of our Lord’s Churches, for that heresy imposes a dichotomy of law and grace upon the older and newer Scripture just as Marcion did.

Pentecostalism (similar in many ways to the pseudoteaching of Marcion) practices a dualism in the Person of God; for Holy Spirit of the new testament is not at all like Yahveh of old.

We could go on; but you get the point.  False prophets and teachers were present and active in the Churches of Jesus Christ during the forty years following the resurrection; they were present in the early Churches throughout the nations; and they were present throughout the last two thousand years of Church history, and they are still present.

And remember, our Lord has been given all authority in the heavens and on the earth.  And that, naturally, includes His Church.  And there is a purpose for these pseudoteachers and pseudoprophets and pseudoelders and pseudopastors…; for as John was shown from the heaven, and as the apostle Peter warned in his two letters, these “pseudos” make themselves known by their teaching and by their conduct; and they serve to “prove” those who are “in Christ”.  They cause His rebirthed little ones to be manifest; for the ones who belong to the Lamb, having been bought with a great price, keep His Commandments and hold the faith of Jesus.

And no matter whether this passage is “embarrassing” to false teachers, it is written “post-crucifixion”, “post-resurrection” and “post-ascension”; our Lord had redeemed and rescued every last one of the Father’s elect from the twelve tribes of Jacob; His Church - already established in the nations; and He is shown to John standing on His new Mount Zion (His Kingdom) with all hundred and forty four thousands of His bondservants who were bought from the land; and they are “firstfruit”.

THEN – after all of that – John hears the great sounds from the tabernacle of Almighty God (in response to the Lambs overcoming); and John sees and hears the cherubs proclaiming the Words of Yahveh Lord of Hosts to the entire creation.

And, lo-and-behold!  Right here in the New Testament!  The proclamation of the wrath of God (shortly to come) upon all those dwelling in the land….

How embarrassing to the false teachers that Yahveh of old is the same yesterday, today, and into the ages of ages.  How embarrassing that He is “infinite and eternal in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth” (Westminster Shorter Catechism).

How embarrassing it must be to them that our God requires men to “fear” Him!  And that word is NOT to be translated “awe” (as some would deem it to be).  The word is “fear”.

How chagrined and discomfited they must be that our God commands obedience of them!

And how “vexed” they are; and how much “outrage” they vent when it is shown to them that our God “hates all workers of iniquity”.

Our text is as clear as it can be….  Here in this generation (Jesus said); here in the last days; all those who follow the “land beast” (the false prophets of Israel) and adore the image of the fourth great beast of God’s history and receive its mark, will suffer the “cup” of the wine of His wrath.

To what does this proclamation from the cherub refer… the cup?

Our “Covenantal continuity” hermeneutic immediately sends us back to the older Scripture, doesn’t it?  And then to the words of Jesus just before His crucifixion.

And we’ll see right away that there are two “intents” in the mind and revelation of God for this very specific language.  The perception of God is that there are two different “uses” for the cup, or the chalice in the heavenly tabernacle; and the earthly tabernacle mirrored that.

The written record in Exodus and Leviticus and Numbers is too voluminous for us to read here; but that cup (in the earthy tabernacle) and its ceremonial uses are described there.

But it’s when we come to the Psalms and the prophets that we begin to think with the mind of God regarding this tabernacle item.

Listen to King David as He writes some one thousand years before his Son and Master was born.  This is from Psalm eleven:


3)    if the foundations are destroyed what can the righteous do?"

4)    4Yahveh is in his holy temple; Yahveh’s throne is in the heaven; His eyes see, His eyelids test the children of man.

5)    Yahveh proves the righteous, but He hates the wicked and the lover of violence.

6)    Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.

7)    For Yahveh is righteous; He loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.


And listen to Psalm seventy-five as we hear the mind of God for two different uses for the “cup”:


7)    But God is Judge; this one He makes low - and this one He lifts up.

8)    For a cup is in the hand of Yahveh; and the wine has foamed.  It is full of mixture, and He pours out of it.  Only the wicked of the earth wring out its dregs and drink….


And David, in Psalm one sixteen, speaking with the very words of the coming Christ of God, says this:


12) What shall I render unto Yahveh for all his benefits toward me?

13) I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of Yahveh.


And who could ever forget Psalm twenty-three as David writes words as if they come right out of the mouth of the coming Lamb of God?  (Hint… they do!)  Here it is:


5)    You arrange a table before Me over-against my adversaries. You have anointed My head with oil. My cup runs over!


We’ll hear much more about our Lord’s “cup” shortly.  But first let’s hear from the prophets.  Here’s Isaiah chapter fifty-one, written about seven hundred years before the appearance of the Lamb of God:


17) Stir yourself, stir yourself; arise, Jerusalem who has drunk the cup of His fury from the hand of Yahveh.  The chalice….you have drunk and have wrung out the cup of staggering.


And here is the lamenting prophet Jeremiah as he writes (about six hundred years before the appearance of God’s Lamb); and he is told to take the cup to those in Jerusalem and all the tribes of Israel and the surrounding areas.  This is chapter twenty-five:


27) And you shall say to them, ‘thus says Yahveh of Hosts, the God of Israel: drink!  And be drunk, and vomit, and fall; and rise no more because of the sword which I will send among you.

28) And it shall be if they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then shall you say to them, thus says Yahveh of Hosts: You shall surely drink.

29) For, lo, I begin to work evil at the city which is called by My name; and should you go utterly unpunished?  You shall not go unpunished, for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the land, says Yahveh of hosts.

30) Therefore prophesy against them all these words and say unto them, Yahveh will roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy tabernacle; he will roar mightily against His fold; He will give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the land.

31) A noise shall come even to the end of the earth; for Yahveh has a controversy with the nations; He will enter into judgment with all flesh: as for the wicked, he will give them to the sword, says Yahveh.

32) Thus says Yahveh of Hosts: Lo, evil shall go forth from the nations to the nations, and a great tempest shall be raised up from the uttermost parts of the earth.

33) And the slain of Yahveh at that day shall be from one end of the land even unto the other end of the land; they shall not be lamented; neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the face of the ground.

34) Wail, you shepherds, and cry; and wallow in ashes, you honorable of the flock; for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are fully come, and ye shall fall like a goodly vessel.

35) And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the honorable of the flock to escape.

36) A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and the wailing of the honorable of the flock!  For Jehovah lays waste their pasture.

37) And the peaceable folds are brought to silence because of the fierce anger of Yahveh.

38) He has left his covered place as the lion; for their land is become a desolation because of the fierceness of the oppressing sword, and because of his fierce anger.


And, lastly, from the prophet Jeremiah comes the passage in chapter fifty-one to which God refers, and which John writes to the Churches, here in verse eight of our text.  This is verse seven of Jeremiah fifty one:


7)    Babylon is a golden cup in Yahveh’s hand that makes all the earth drunk; the nations drink of her wine; therefore the nations are mad (or “boast themselves” [as the Hebrew reads] because they’re drunk).


 Now we come to the New Testament where we see the infinite and eternal mind of Almighty God in the use and relevance and value and worth of the “cup” as it appears in His tabernacle in the cloud of glory; for throughout His revealed Word the vital nature of the cup in the tabernacle manifests two distinct dispositions of our God toward His creation and its creatures.  (And remember, this is the way He perceives all of these things.)

And what I want you to hear is a conversation between Jesus and two of His disciples after having been approached by their mother!  Listen at Matthew chapter twenty:


“Lo, we are going into Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to the high priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death,

and they shall deliver Him to the nations to mock and to scourge and to crucify, and the third day He will be raised up.”

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Him, with her sons, doing obeisance and asking something of Him.

And He says to her, “What do you want?”  She says to Him, “Say that these my two sons may sit one at Your right and one at Your left in Your kingdom.”

But answering Jesus says, “You don’t know what you’re asking; are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”  They say to Him, “We are able.”

He says to them, “This My cup you shall drink, but to sit at My right and left is not mine to give, but to whom it has been made ready by My Father.”


Salome, the mother of the brothers James and John, believing Jesus to be from God (and that He is David’s great Son, and the promised Messiah/King of Israel), prostrates herself before Him in the way that is acceptable to an oriental emperor, and proceeds to honor Him by demonstrating that she knows He is capable of giving her whatever she desires when Jesus becomes king in Israel.

The false and unfaithful expectation of a personal-rule-by-Messiah-from David’s-seat-in-Jerusalem was an ill-conceived and wretched aberration of the Truth.  And we grieve today for the Church, for, in most circles, it is saturated with this same deadly dogma from pseudo-preachers and teachers.  It’s not just in judaistic circles (as it was then), but also in the Church (now)!

But regardless of the unfaithful expectations of Salome, and her sons, and the rest of the disciples, and the entire leadership and people of Israel, and the whole Gentile world, Jesus Christ was delivered into the hands of the high priests and scribes; and He was condemned to death.  And regardless of all those expectations of a judaistic king, He was delivered up to the nations to mock and to scourge and to crucify, the third day to be raised – according to the Scriptures!  And He ascended to the right of the Father, where He was given a Kingdom and all power in Heaven and Earth!  All through Scripture this Kingship is prophesied.

And His Kingdom is not from this earth, but from Heaven where He shall reign until all powers and principalities that raise themselves up against Him in all the creation are put down.

Jesus turns then to His disciples and speaks directly to them (ignoring their mother); and He says “You don’t know what you’re asking!”  “Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”

Now, it’s obvious that James and John (both future apostles) did not yet know what Jesus meant by “the cup”!  They didn’t yet make the connection to the prophecies in the Scripture!  After the resurrection and Pentecost their eyes and ears would be open, and they would know; but they didn’t know yet.

The cup; the cup from the tabernacle of the Lord of Hosts in the heaven.  It is filled to the brim with “unmixed” wrath… perfect hatred; hatred of sin, hatred of mankind cursed from the beginning; loathing everything unclean.

The cup is filled with hostility because God is holy and just and righteous; the cup is retribution.

Jesus, the Lamb of God, drank that cup.  He was isolated to catastrophic curse… reviled and abandoned.  And He willingly participated in His Own isolation in order that He might receive…all…the vengeance in His cup.

“Are you able to drink the cup that I’m about to drink?”  If James and John had only known….

“This My cup you shall drink….”

The cup in the dwelling place of Almighty God in the cloud of glory is also for communion with God in Christ – the Lamb of God.  We drink the wine of His cup, for the retributive wrath of God is satisfied in His Own sacrifice.  And all who belong to Him are no longer objects of The Father’s anger, for it was “spent” upon Jesus.

Even though those in Christ will never suffer wrath from our Father, there is another aspect to our drinking of His cup (as Jesus told James and John).  Listen to the apostles:


“Rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s suffering….”  (first Peter four at verse thirteen).  Paul, writing his second letter to Corinth, chapter four, says, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus.”  And to the Galatians in chapter six, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”


The cup which James and John will drink subsequently indicates the suffering of Christ that they will, indeed, share.  King Herod, according to Acts twelve, at verse two, killed James with the sword.  John was a “companion in tribulation”, according to chapter one verse nine in this Revelation.  He was imprisoned, scourged and put in grave danger, according to Acts chapters four and five.  And he was exiled from his Ephesus pastorate to the island of Patmos according to the Revelation chapter one.

The other apostles were always in great danger; and, according to the history books, a number of them died martyrs’ deaths for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom.  And Paul exceeded them all in suffering, as we see in Second Corinthians eleven, verses twenty-two and twenty-three – finally dying in a Roman prison as a prisoner for the Gospel of Christ.

So James and John falsely affirmed that they were able to drink the cup of the wrath of God upon Jesus Christ the Messiah.  But Jesus has said that they would, indeed, participate in His cup; and it would include His cup of suffering!  And we need to quickly discriminate between the two types of suffering being spoken of here, because “the cup”, as a term, doesn’t include the distinction that exists between the suffering of Jesus and that of His people.

Jesus’ suffering and death was the wrath of God poured out upon a Substitute for the atonement of His people.  Therefore it was expiatory (covering of sin) and propitiatory (satisfaction of the wrath).  But the suffering of His people doesn’t atone for anything; because it is participatory.  And therein lies the difference.  Being reborn in Him, we now share His suffering – which James and John both did, and in great measure.  And we all must now understand that our suffering for the Name of Christ still comes from the hand of God; and it is confirmation that we have been incorporated into the body of Christ… it is “proving”.  And, therefore, the confirming marks of the body of Christ ought to be received with joy that we have been made “able” to share and participate in His suffering with Him.

As Paul once said, “No, in all these things we are more than overcomers through Him Who loved us.”  We are co-heirs with Christ and co-sufferers with Him!  Therefore, even under the most severe persecution, we are to “rejoice with exceeding joy.”

It is common to all who are reborn into Christ that we are conformed to His image.  We suffer in Him and for Him and with Him – sharing that which He endured for us.  Who are we not to receive that?  We are participants….

And that is a major aspect of “the cup’s” significance.  It is the sign of the blood of Christ which was shed for many for the remission of sin.  And to us, with James and John – our apostles and brothers in Christ – Jesus says, “this My cup you shall drink.”

You are not able to drink the cup which I drink, but this My cup you shall drink, for you will rest secure in communion with The Father; and you will participate with Me in My persecution and tribulation – just as you participate in My inheritance and My glory.

Our text is, indeed, clear.  Here in this generation (Jesus said); here in the last days; all those who follow the “land beast” (the false prophets of Israel) and adore the image of the fourth great beast of God’s history and receive its mark, will suffer the “cup” of the wine of His wrath.

And the wine from His cup will be “unmixed”… pure wrath; no mercy.  All those hearing the land beast, and adoring the fourth beast and receiving its mark, will be abandoned in the wrath of the Lord of Hosts and consigned to the lake of fire and brimstone beneath the mercy seat in God’s holy tabernacle… in the presence of all the creatures, and in the presence of the Lamb.

These are the “proclamations” of the three cherubs – speaking the thunderous voice of Yahveh from above the firmament of His creation.

And now may our Triune God – Father, Son and Spirit – silence the voices of all the preachers and teachers in our Lord’s Church who have dispensed with the “fear” of Almighty God.