Revelation 14-1-20 Part 7




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.


As we continue this morning in verse thirteen (we didn’t finish it last Lord’s Day), remember that John is to write what he saw and heard while in the tabernacle of the Lord of Hosts in His cloud of glory.

And here in thirteen he hears the words of comfort and assurance given him for the Churches:  “Write ‘blessed those who die henceforth in Kurios’”.

The Churches were being “proved” in affliction!  Persecution and torture and death were realities dealt with every day, and all who are in Him are being manifest in it all.

As a reminder, let’s review all of that history again.  We forget; we can’t keep it all in our minds; but it’s important.

Even after the tabernacle was built in the Sinai Desert (a tabernacle in the “likeness” of God’s tabernacle in the glory cloud), even after it was built and in the center of all the tribes, there was wide-spread harlotry, idolatry and unbelief throughout the tribes of Jacob.  The sacrifices and the ceremonies that foreshadowed the coming of the One sacrifice of God for the sin of the world became a “religion” in and of themselves.

Judaism was already well established by the time King David had the Ark of the Covenant placed on the dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (having begun immediately after the exodus from Egypt); and the very same revolt against the Revelation of Yavheh was continuously present all through the tribes.

And the same was true when Solomon built the great temple on the dome.  (However, God had sovereignly preserved the “seed of the woman” for Himself through it all - all the time warning Israel of the consequences of her rebellion).  The prophets sent from God all through Israel’s history were mocked, persecuted and killed for delivering God’s Words.

Then God brought the neighboring king of Assyria, Senacharib, against Israel; and in 701BC the northern tribes were defeated and taken into captivity and scattered abroad all over the middle East.  And once again Yahveh had sovereignly preserved the seed from whom would come Messiah – Savior of the world. 

However, the northern tribes of the sons of Jacob had been dispersed into the nations.  That was the first great dispersion of the tribes of Jacob.

Then, in 586BC God drew the first beast of world dominion out of the sea of humanity – drew them as with a ring in their noses against the southern tribes and the city of Jerusalem.  The armies of Babylon destroyed all the cities and towns, including Jerusalem, and including the temple of Solomon, and took everyone and everything of value into Babylon for seventy years. 

And when they were released from captivity, many didn’t go back.  Two generations of Jews had already assimilated into that culture; and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the other cities of Israel was no longer their interest or desire.

It was during this second great dispersion of the tribes into the nations that the synagogue system was set in motion; for there was no longer a temple.  So the folks who stayed had their places for judaistic worship and culture.

And even though Yahveh kept on sending prophet after prophet to call Israel to repentance – while she was in captivity and afterward, she would not repent and believe.  So she endured the reign and rule and captivity of three more beasts of world dominion (Persia, Greece and Rome), during which there were other (smaller) dispersions into the nations and islands of the inhabited earth.

The fourth beast raised up by God from the sea, as we’ve learned, was the Roman empire.  And we’ve heard through John’s Revelation, and from the Gospels, that Israel’s fornication with Rome was a satanic conspiracy to kill God’s Messiah and cut off the entire seed of the woman.

As we’ve also learned, Jesus had commanded His disciples to seek and to find the lost sheep of the house of Jacob.  They certainly had found many of them before the crucifixion, as is evidenced by the throngs of people who followed Jesus into Jerusalem for that final Passover.

But the apostles were to continue to seek them, and find them, after the crucifixion; for they were to be marked and sealed and emigrated into the nations.  And that hunt wasn’t complete until the last hour before the siege of Jerusalem.  And John was shown ALL of them right here in chapter fourteen; so we know that every last one of God’s elect from the house of Jacob were found and sent into the nations; and therefore not recipients of the wrath of God in the “last days”.

One of the primary functions of the Churches in and around Israel after Pentecost was getting all of these people out of Israel.  They were the ones that the wolves had preyed upon for generations; therefore they were the poor, the sick, the lame, the blind, and the deaf, and the dispossessed.  So the task for the Church was huge – requiring almost the entire forty years, and costing all that the Churches could raise.  And everybody sold all that they owned in order to complete what Jesus had commanded.

 At Pentecost (30AD) many of those from all those former dispersions had come to Jerusalem for Passover and Pentecost; and thousands had gone back to their families having been rebirthed into Christ; and they began worshipping Him in the nations.  These were Jews from all the tribes of Jacob; and they were the beginning of Christ’s Church in all seventy nations and peoples and tongues.

So the apostles and disciples had tribes and families and places to send the lost sheep of the house of Jacob… getting all of them out, by land and by sea, in as much secrecy as possible; for (as Jesus had warned) they would be pursued and persecuted by judaists.

And even when they were received by the Churches into their new locations, the judaists in all those “synagogues of satan” would still be persecuting them and informing on them, and witnessing against them, to the end that they also came under the persecution of the Roman judges.  The judaists, you see, were conspiring with the “beast” against Christ and His Church!

However, the “vengeance” of the dragon of old, vengeful against God for its having been humiliated and cast from the cloud of glory, (the dragon) turned the fourth beast of history against Israel (in a final attempt to cut off the entire seed of the woman).  And Nero issued the command for the complete destruction of Israel and Jerusalem, and Jews were to be slaughtered wherever they were found in all the realm.

Christians (for the most part) were Jews; so they were included (considered by the beast as just a “sect” of judaism).  And although Nero had died in 67AD, Titus obeyed the command of the deceased emperor and made the former “paradise” of God a complete wasteland filled with corpses for the beasts and birds of prey.  And the streets of the cities of the Roman empire ran with the blood of Jews.

This was the Parousia of Jesus Christ, the likes of which had never before happened and would never happen again.  The cities of Israel suffered an end worse than that of Sodom and Gomorrah; for Israel had rejected Yahveh’s command for obedience, and it had fornicated with the nations under which it was made captive; and it would not anticipate His Anointed One.

Then, when He came, Israel would not believe Him, and put Him to death.  Then the judaists pursued and persecuted and killed the very ones that our Lord came to seek and to save.  And they would suffer the blood of all the righteous in God’s history for doing so.

The fire and brimstone from under the mercy seat in God’s tabernacle would be poured out upon them from the cup of His wrath; and all who adored the fourth beast of world dominion would be cast into that lake of fire under the mercy seat, and their smoke would rise forever in the presence of the tabernacle creatures and in the presence of the Lamb.

God-man… now risen, ascended, and crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords had shed His blood once – for all His people and for His Father’s creation.  And He put a glorious end to death, having risen out of it.  A MAN had put death to death for all who are IN HIM.

And now, all who die IN KURIOS are blessed (verse thirteen); for they too are “dead” to death… death no longer being a fearful thing; for they are already alive in Kurios – Mighty God the Son, Who has all power and authority over everything in the creation – including death.

It is all one glorious event – from the birth of God-man to the culmination in His Parousia.  It is the Gospel of God concerning God the Son, Jesus The Christ; foreshadowed and prophesied from the beginning, and revealed here in the capstone of the written Word – The Revelation of Jesus Christ to the apostle John, and sent to the Churches for their comfort and assurance.

Those Churches would be proved in persecution and affliction and death.  And “The Spirit says (verse thirteen) that they will receive rest (Sabbath in Kurios) rest from their travails (the labor and birth of the daughter of Zion – all of the elect of the house of Jacob - the Church) for their works follow together with them”.

Here in the second part of verse thirteen we see the contrast once again between those adoring the beast and its image, and those who are keeping the Commandments and holding the testimony of Jesus.

In verse eleven the idolaters remaining in the land will have “no rest day or night”, for “the smoke of their torment rises into the ages”.  But here in thirteen, all those who have persevered in The Faith, even unto death, are “IN KURIOS”; and they will receive (Sabbath) rest from all their “travails”.

And here we see that same word that God had revealed all through the prophetic Scripture:  “travail”.  And every time it appears it has to do with the birth of the daughter of Zion – the Church; the NEW covenant people; the new paradise of God.  Our Lord had saved all His people from the wrath to come in a great “exodus” – one last “dispersion” from the paradise on earth that had become worse than Babylon.

In mockery of the dragon; and in mockery of the great dominion-beasts of history, God had preserved and saved His Own elect people.  And through all their persecution and affliction and death, their eternal rest is secured in Kurios – Mighty God the Son.

And their works (their obedience and perseverance) follow together with them (says The Spirit).

Holy Spirit, Who our Lord promised at His ascension, was sent at Pentecost; and His entire Church received that outpouring.  And it is He Who gifts His people with faith and rebirths His people and joins His people to the Body of The Christ of God and points us to Him and causes us to feed on His body and prays in us and for us and gifts us with the virtues of The Christ and motivates us to fear and adoration and thanksgiving and obedience and perseverance.

And John hears (and writes) that Holy Spirit says (for the comfort and assurance of the Churches) that there is “Shabbat” (rest) for those who die in Kurios; for death has been put to death in Him.  And all their works follow with them; for “faithfulness” has also been “given” to them!  All that Holy Spirit “gives” IN KURIOS follows together with them.  The “gifts” that God The Spirit has “given” to them to walk in obedience to Him and to hold the testimony of Jesus… “follow” together-with-them!

How comforting and assuring is that!!!

The “works” of God’s people are appointed for them to walk in them.  Holy Spirit “gifts” His people with obedience and faithfulness.  They’re GIVEN!   And even in great tribulation and persecution and torture and death, the works of those IN KURIOS follow TOGETHER with them in Shabbat!  Thus says Holy Spirit!

Just a note or two here before we’re finished with thirteen….  Biblical anticipation and comfort and assurance in Kurios certainly transcends “the battle” of the present in which we are all engaged.

But God’s Word plainly indicates that the present is never to be neglected.  And it never countenances a perspective (human perspective) that is only, or primarily, the present!  The Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ is “from” the heaven; it is not “in” the heaven.    And His “work” isn’t yet complete.

The Gospel of God concerning His Son Jesus reaches its “fullness” in the “finished” work of the Christ as His Kingdom is “recognized” in all the nations and peoples and tongues of the earth, and His work  “attributed” to Him.

And even then His work isn’t finished; for this creation will be returned to the Father cleansed of sin and the curse… The Father “satisfied” that God the Son has done all that was asked of Him.

So, you see, because of His ongoing work, the “present” is not to be neglected.  Not by any means.  Those who hold the testimony of Jesus don’t have their home “in heaven”.  They aren’t “wayfaring strangers” here - waiting to be taken “home”!

God’s Word says that we are to work for our Lord’s “dominion”, for the “acknowledgment” of the “present day” of His Lordship over all.  This creation, in this present day, belongs to Him.  And we who belong to Him are to work with all our might for men and governments and nations and peoples and families to acknowledge His Lordship… to bow before Him and confess that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords… the Savior of the world.

It’s our duty.

Those who may neglect that duty in favor of some “other-worldly” home have not yet come to a full realization of the Gospel of God and the Faith of Jesus.

On the other hand, for the ones who work solely in the present, the present is all that matters, for there’s no comfort and assurance from Holy Spirit in the completed work of Jesus Christ.

Outside the Person of Kurios – Mighty God the Son – life is a fearsome thing in which the present is all there is; death is terrifying.

And since they all know the glory and power of Almighty God from His creation, they also know that what awaits them is the eternity of torment.  But true to their “present-only” orientation, they just tuck that away in the background and continue on in complete rejection of the crucifixion and resurrection and ascension of the Christ of God, and the anticipation of eternal rest (Shabbat) in Him.

No obedience to the Commandments of God; no testimony of Jesus; no assurance; no hope; no anticipation of resurrection; no comfort in the defeat of death; no comfort in the “rest” In Kurios….

It’s insane to live only in the present.

It’s no wonder that a pseudo-equilibrium has to be sustained by drugs and alcohol; it’s no wonder that the greatest percentage of all prescriptions written are for psychotropic agents; it’s no wonder that men dream of new-world-orders and global governments and utopias on earth.  It’s all the hopelessness of living only in the present.

Those who live In Christ are assured that death has been put to death; and that there is eternal Shabbat in Him.  And that our works follow together with us; for they are “given” for us to walk in them.

And that work (the work that is given us, and in which we are to walk) is a work in the present for the dominion of Kurios and His Kingdom; for the entire creation is to be brought under His reign and rule… to the glory of the Father.

And… one more time (before we introduce the last seven verses of the chapter), one more time:  what are the works that are given us In Kurios that we should walk in them?  They are “keeping the Commandments of God”, and “holding the faith of Jesus”.

We’ll spend the last few minutes of our time this morning introducing the last seven verses of the chapter.  I hope to finish preaching it in the following two Lord’s Days – November 28th and December 5th (when we’ll celebrate the Lord’s Table together).

And then, since I haven’t had any time off during this year, if there’s no objection, I’m going to disappear for a couple of weeks into the warmth of the Caribbean for some badly needed rest and recuperation.

As usual, I will find a place to worship our Lord wherever I can locate some of His people gathered in His name, and I urge you to do the same while we’re away; for we are not to forsake the assembling – the “sunagogue” of Jesus Christ, the Ecclesia, The Church.  It is the congregating in public, on the first day of the week, of those called by His Name.

When I get back on the 19th or 20th of December, Lord willing, I’ll begin the fresh translation and all of the exegetical work on chapter fifteen; and when that’s ready we’ll begin our new year of preaching in The Revelation of Jesus Christ to the apostle John.  That will be the first Sunday in January – January 2nd,, 2011.

It’s hard for me to grasp that we began this venture on Sunday, December 31st, 2006!  And I’m thankful that God has given us this much time in this glorious capstone of His written Word.  Hopefully, by His grace, we’ll be able to finish it together.

Now.  Heretofore (beginning at verse six) John is shown three of the cherubim from the mercy seat.  They fly in mid-heaven with proclamations by the thunderous voice of The Lord of Hosts.

The first proclaims the hour of Yahveh’s judgment upon the land; the second cries out that the greater Babylon has fallen; and the third proclaims the wine of the cup of Yahveh’s wrath is to be poured out on all remaining in the land, for they have adored the beast and its image; and they have received its mark.

Then John is shown a view of the ascended and crowned Jesus Christ in all His glory.

And then we see the three cherubim again, performing their duties in God’s creation, all at the will of their Commander-in-chief.

So we see the three in proclamation over the land; then the view of the risen Christ; then the three again in carrying out that which has been proclaimed.  From the perspective of God in His tabernacle, that’s the “form” in which these things are shown to John.

He sees the perfection of three proclamations and the perfection of three activities of cherubim in human history; and in-between the two “threes” John sees the likeness of “Son of Man”.

And our minds ought immediately to be reminded of the perfections that are shown in sevens… especially the seven lampstands of the seven Churches – in the midst of which was standing the glorified Lord Jesus Christ (chapter one); and the seven lamps on one lampstand before the mercy seat in the tabernacle, revealing the perfect work of God the Spirit; and then, specifically, the seven bowls of the wrath of God about to be poured out upon the land (as we’ll see in chapter fifteen).

So, once again, we understand that this letter was written as it was shown to John, and it had no breaks in it.  It flows without breaks for chapters and verses.  And what we read here in the last seven verses of chapter fourteen just continues in the next verses that we know as chapter fifteen.

And what is shown to John here in verse fourteen is right out of the prophecy of Daniel, who was in captivity to the first world-dominion beast of God’s history… Babylon.

In that great vision (chapter seven of Daniel), he is shown the four world-dominion beasts of history.  And having completed a brief description of all four of them, Daniel then writes what he is shown in the midst of the fourth (which is the Roman empire).  Here is his vision – beginning at verse nine:


9)    I beheld till thrones were set, and one that was ancient of days did sit: his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire.

10) A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousands times ten thousands stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

11) I beheld at that time because of the sound of the great words which the horn spoke (that’s the dominion of the fourth beast); I beheld even till the beast was slain and its body destroyed; and it was given to be burned with fire.

12) And as for the former beasts, their dominion was taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

13) Then I saw in the night-visions and, lo, there came in the cloud of heaven one in the likeness of a son of man, and he came unto the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14) And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and tongues should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.


And here is what the apostle John is shown here in our text, verse fourteen:


“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.”


You see, the vision Daniel was shown foretold exactly what John has now been shown completed!  Daniel saw one like a son of man approaching the Ancient of Days seated over His cloud of glory.  And John now sees that Son of Man [Himself] crowned and seated over the cloud of glory.

In Daniel’s vision, the son of man approaches The Ancient of Days in order to receive His Kingdom and dominion (which endures into the ages); whereas John is shown the Son of Man having ascended to the cloud of glory, and already crowned and seated… and ready to reap the harvest.

That’s where we’ll pick up next Lord’s Day.

When the Churches receive this letter from John, The Son of Man, Kurios, Mighty God the Son has been crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords; He has assumed His dominion and authority over all that’s been created; and it’s a dominion that will never be defeated, but will put down all pretenders.  There will never be another – other than His.

The completed exodus of the lost sheep of the house of Jacob having been accomplished, the covenant law-suit (pronounced by Moses) against the apostate nation will now be adjudicated; and the world-wide dominion of the fourth beast of history will be splintered and shattered and scattered throughout the nations.

His Own rebirthed people would also be scattered among the nations.  It is His Church; and it proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the tongues of every nation and people and tribe. 

It will be “proved” in persecution and affliction and death; and in that affliction His Own will be manifest!  And they will all rest in the comfort and assurance that death is dead in the body of the resurrected Son of Man.