Revelation 14-1-20 Part 9


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.



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 that the hour of Yahveh’s judgment upon the land has arrived; the second follows, crying 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.

As we heard last Lord’s Day from the building of the tabernacle at Sinai, and the view of Yahveh over His tabernacle by Isaiah, and a similar vision of the tabernacle by Daniel, and then the one in more detail by Ezekiel, all of them reveal Yahveh Lord of Hosts above His tabernacle in the heaven.

Ezekiel’s detailed description of what was shown to him enhances considerably what mankind is to understand about our Creator and His creation.  The revelation of the vast and awesome firmament in which, and under which, the entire cosmos exists; and under which is the great “cloud” of creatures flashing forth at the will and command of God (ten thousands times ten thousands of them); and the mercy seat with its enormous and awesome many-sided creatures that fill the cosmos with the sounds of their wings; and the lake of fire with its eternally burning coals underneath the mercy seat.

That firmament in the likeness of crystal is OVER the cosmos and over the cloud of glory and the tabernacle in the heaven.  All created things are contained therein.

As the original tabernacle in the desert reflected, Yahveh Lord of Hosts is ABOVE it all.  Ezekiel, as we learned, is shown all of this clearly.  And it’s critical to our view of God the Son, the Son of Man in verse fourteen of our text, as is Daniel’s view of the SON OF MAN ascending to the Ancient of Days to receive His indestructible dominion over the creation.

The dominion is above His creation, you see; the dominion is above the tabernacle in the heaven; the dominion is above the brightness of the glory cloud.  The dominion is “over” it all – above the very firmament – the expanse – of the cosmos!  God isn’t contained or constrained by it; He has complete authority over IT!

The view of Almighty God has been revealed to Israel all along, throughout its history; and now the Church gets to read what the apostle John has been shown!  He was in the tabernacle as Moses was. And what is revealed to him (and sent to the Churches) is The Son of Man above the brilliant white cloud of glory (verse fourteen)!

The Person – God The Word – has taken the form of man and has completed His work of atonement; He has marked, sealed and rescued the “seed of the woman” (the Father’s elect from the house of Jacob); this “Son of Man” has ascended (as Daniel saw) to the glory cloud/tabernacle of the Father, and has been crowned King and Lord and given all authority over all creation.

And from what position does He exercise “all authority”?  The One with all authority in the heavens and on the earth sits ABOVE it all; for He is not contained by it.  And that’s what John is shown here!

It’s exactly the same as that revealed to Moses and the prophets sent to Israel.  It is “Son of Man” – bodily arisen out of death (putting death to death for all who are IN HIM), bodily ascended in the glory cloud of the tabernacle of Yahveh, bodily passing into the very Presence of God the Father above it all.

Now.  Do you remember our Lord Jesus Christ telling His disciples (including John) that this was going to occur?

Listen to what Jesus told them, as recorded by Matthew at the end of chapter sixteen:


27) For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His messengers, and then shall render to each according to his ways.

28) Amen I say to you, there are some standing here in this place who shall in no way experience death until they behold the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom.”


Well, regardless of what premillinialists and dispensationalists and amillenialists say about that, John was standing right there in that place when Jesus said it; and he (John) in no way experienced death until he beheld the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom!  It’s right here in our text (chapter fourteen).  And doubtless there were others standing in that place when Jesus said it, and who read this letter that John wrote!

John was there when He said it; and he sees now what Jesus said; it was revealed to him – shown to him – and he writes what he saw (as Jesus had told him so to do); and the Church remembers what Matthew wrote; and the Church receives it and hears it read and preached.  And their hearts and minds are made strong in the Faith of Jesus for the intense “proving” that was at hand; for a “Man” – a “Son of Man” – had proved “faithful” to The Father (the only One ever to do so), and had passed “through the veil” into His very Presence above the brilliant cloud of glory, and had received His inheritance… just like Jesus said He would do – as recorded in Matthew sixteen!

He had “overcome”; sin and death had been overcome; the curse had been overcome – by a Man – God-man.  And In Him humanity was redeemed from the curse and sin and death.

And this “Man”, the Son of Man, into Whom humanity has been rebirthed and admitted into the Presence of The Father, is seen by John as ruling over all things, having been crowned King of Kings, and enthroned above the cloud of glory… above all things created.

When Jesus said “there are some standing here in this place who shall in no way experience death until they behold the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom”, He wasn’t speaking to millenialists in 2010, He was speaking to those standing there with Him in 30AD!  And John, who was standing there with Him when He said it, saw it happen (it’s recorded right here).  He wrote it in this Revelation of Jesus Christ and sent it to the Churches.  And they made the connections with the prophetic Word through Daniel and Isaiah and Ezekiel.  And it was all shown to Israel in the tabernacle in the desert after the exodus.

Then John, having seen the Son of Man over the cloud of glory, is shown the three cherubim again; the first having proclaimed that the hour of judgment upon the land had arrived; the second followed, crying out that the greater Babylon had fallen; and the third proclaims the wine of the cup of Yahveh’s wrath is poured out on all remaining in the land; for they have adored the beast and its image, and they have received its mark.

The three cherubim now appear again to John; and it’s harvest time!  It’s harvest time for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and then it’s harvest time for those remaining in the land… those who adore the beast and received its mark.

And the Son of Man, the sovereign Ruler of all created things in the heaven and on the earth, has a sharp sickle in His hand; for the hour of judgment is come (as proclaimed by the first cherub), and therefore it is time for Jesus’ Own prophetic Word to be filled up.

And as far as His Own prophetic Word is concerned, listen to Jesus’ parable of the harvest as recorded by Matthew in chapter thirteen of his Gospel.


“The Kingdom of the Heavens is likened to a man sowing good seed in his field;

but while the men slept his adversary came and did over-sow zizanium throughout the wheat and went away.

But when the crop sprouted and bore fruit, then the zizanium was also made apparent.

And having come forward, the slaves of the housemaster said to him, ‘Lord, did you not sow good seed in your field?  How then does it have zizanium?’

And he affirmed to them, ‘A hostile man did this.’  And the slaves say to him, ‘Do you wish us to go and gather them?’

But he said, ‘No, lest, as the zizanium are being gathered you should uproot the wheat with them.

Let them both grow together until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the harvesters, ‘Gather first the zizanium and bind them in cords in order to burn them; but gather the wheat into my storehouse.’”


In this often cited kingdom parable, as recorded by Matthew in chapter thirteen of his Gospel, Jesus speaks of the “harvest”.  And what does the first cherubim say to Him here in our text?  “Send in Your sickle and reap for the hour is come to reap, for the harvest of the land is ripened”.

Our Lord’s parable (the so-called parable of the wheat and the tares) isn’t for the end of the world, you see (as millenialists would have you believe).  It’s for the end of the age when Jesus Christ ascended to the Father and was crowned sovereign Ruler of all things.

And John is shown Him with a sickle!  Sickles are for harvesting the fruit of the land.  So where does His sickle come from; and why a harvest?

Most would say that Jesus, in His parables and teaching, just used “common things” in order that common people could understand Him… examples from such things as agriculture and construction and weather.  They say that folks wouldn’t understand Him if He didn’t use every-day examples…!  If He had spoken in “theological” language, nobody would get it!

Don’t you believe them for one minute!

Our Lord is the Word of God made flesh!  It is The Word that is being brought to its fullness here in our text.  And there are specific reasons for the fact that He has a “sickle”, and that the harvest is ripened, and that the very hour to reap had come.

And please remember that when Moses was in the glory cloud on Mount Sinai receiving the Law-WORD, it included the law of the tabernacle and the law of the priesthood and the law of the sacrifices and the law of the ceremonies….  And it included the law of the feasts!  It was all God’s Word; and the Word was made flesh! 

All of it has to do with Him.  And since it is His Word, and it’s all about Him, it is all the Gospel of Jesus Christ – filled up here in the last days in John’s text!

Note also that the word “sickle” is written a perfect seven times by the apostle here in the last verses of our text; so it isn’t a “throw-away” word; and it is isn’t just a common agricultural word.  It’s extremely significant, or our newly crowned Son of Man/Lord of heaven and earth wouldn’t have one in His hand!

And where is the first place in The Word of God where that (very significant) word is used with regard to the harvest?  It’s in God’s Law that Moses received while in the glory cloud on Mount Sinai!

The Word of God made flesh (right there in Matthew thirteen) refers directly to the Word of God to Moses at Sinai and recorded by Moses in Deuteronomy sixteen!

Moses recorded the Law of God requiring Israel to observe seven (count them – seven) feasts during the year; and all seven of them are filled up in the Person and work of God the Word made flesh!  All seven of them foreshadowed and prophesied Him and His work; and Israel was to observe them, therefore anticipating Him.

Now, nothing appears in God’s Word by accident; and nothing is superfluous.  So when the sickle and the harvest appear in the law of the feast of weeks (there in Deuteronomy sixteen), it is with great purpose that it’s there!  And since it’s only one of two other times that it appears in the older Word of God, then it takes on monumental significance!

The feast of weeks was to take place at the end of seven weeks (that’s forty-nine days) after Passover, during which time the harvest ripened and was ready to be reaped.  The sickle (according to the law received by Moses) was to be taken to the ripened harvest, and the first-fruit of all the harvest brought as an offering to God on the fiftieth day – a holy day of “Shabbat” - rest and feasting!

And you’ll recognize immediately that that fiftieth day is the day of Pentecost.  Forty days after our Lord was crucified (the day of Passover) He ascended into the cloud of glory to be received by The Father and crowned King of Kings above the cloud of glory.  Ten days later Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost (the fiftieth day - the feast of weeks from God’s Law –word).  And the first-fruits of our Lord’s harvest were reaped that day as many of God’s elect were rebirthed into the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore since the Word of God here in the Revelation of Jesus Christ is the fullness of the Word of God in Deuteronomy sixteen, the sickle and the harvest will forever be linked to Pentecost 30AD.  And the harvest parable of Jesus quoted earlier from Matthew thirteen was spoken only a short time before Passover and Pentecost 30AD.  They, too, are forever linked to the law of God to Moses in Deuteronomy sixteen.

So, you see that the first of the three cherubim (as John is shown in verses fourteen, fifteen and sixteen) says to the sovereign Ruler of all creation that the harvest had “ripened”, and it was the last hour, and it was time to reap.  And Son of Man cast in His sickle; and the first-fruit of the feast of weeks were reaped.  It was God’s elect from the twelve tribes of Jacob.  It was mankind rebirthed in the body of Son of God/Son of Man.  The Kingdom of our Lord… the Church of Jesus Christ came to be on the first day of the week (Pentecost), just as God’s Law required!  And just as it foreshadowed and prophesied.

After he has been shown the harvest of the first-fruit, John then sees the second and third cherubim again.  The second one is the cherub that has the other sickle.  And it’s sharp!  And the third cherub comes forth from the Holy Place (that’s the place where the mercy seat is, remember).  It has authority from God over the fire; the “fire” being the lake of burning coals under the mercy seat.  As Jesus had said in the parable in Matthew thirteen, the zizanium in the field was to be harvested and bundled and thrown into the fire! 

So the third cherub is the one with the authority over that fire!  And it tells the second cherub, 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’.


Now.  Not only does John see the fullness of the Law-word to Moses regarding the feast of weeks, as the first-fruit of the atonement are added to the Church at Pentecost; but he also sees the filling up of another awesome prophecy running throughout the Word.

Listen to the Psalmist as he prays to God about the vine that was brought out of Egypt and planted in the promised land.  And as we read this from Psalm eighty, please note the prophesied appearance of Son of Man as the Savior of the true “vine” of Yahveh Lord of Hosts.  Listen from Psalm eighty:

8)    You brought a vine out of Egypt: You did drive out the nations and planted it.

9)    You prepared room before it, and it took deep root and filled the land.

10) The mountains were covered with the shadow of it; and the boughs thereof were like cedars of God.

11) It sent out its branches unto the sea, and its shoots unto the river.

12) Why have You broken down its walls so that all they that pass by the way pluck it?

13) The boar from the woods ravages it, and the wild beasts of the field feed on it.

14) Turn again, we beseech thee, O Yahveh of hosts; look down from heaven and behold, and visit this vine

15) and the stalk which Your right hand planted, and the branch that You made strong for Yourself.

16) It is burned with fire; it is cut down. They perish at the rebuke of Your countenance.

17) Let Your hand be upon the Man at Your right, upon the Son of Man Who You made strong for Yourself.

18) So (because of the Son of Man at His right) shall we not go back from You. Quicken us and we will call upon Your name.

19) Turn us again, O Yahveh Lord of Hosts; cause Your face to shine and we shall be saved.


And now listen to the prophecy of Joel (writing in about 800BC) in chapter three”:


12) Let the nations rouse themselves, and come up to the valley of Yahveh’s judgment; for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about.

13) Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; come, get you down, for the winepress is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.

14) Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of excision! For the day of Yahveh is at hand in the valley of excision (Gehenna).

15) The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

16) And Yahveh will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: and Yahveh will be a shelter for his people, and the refuge of the children of Israel.

17) And you shall know that I, Yahveh, [am] your God, dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain….


As you can hear (and there are more of these), Moses and the prophets of Yahveh prophesied a harvest of the land of Israel.  It was to be “at the appointed time” of the Son of Man (when the harvest had “ripened”).

And God’s Word through the prophet Joel (once again, eight hundred years before God the Son was born of Mary), God’s Word warned of the wrath to come; the sickle, and the ripened harvest, and the winepress, and the overflowing vats, and the shaking of heaven and earth (God’s paradise), and the extinguishing of all the lights of Israel… all of these being the things spoken by Jesus in His parables and in His Olivet Discourse to His disciples!

He is Word of God Made Flesh!  And John was to see, and remember, these words spoken of old; and the Churches were to hear them read and preached; and we, too, are to make all those connections as we hear them.

And as John looks on at what was shown to him (filling up the Word of God), the Son of Man thrust His sickle into the land and harvested (gathered) the first-fruit to Himself.

Then the vineyard and all the remaining fruit is gathered by the cherub with its sickle and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

And there’s no possibility that anyone seeing these things that have been written for the Churches could avoid the perfections of the Word of God and the covenantal continuity that runs from Genesis one through The Revelation of Jesus Christ chapter twenty-two.

Our Triune God protects and holds for Himself an elect “seed of the woman” while casting out the “seed of the serpent” (as John saw and recorded in chapter thirteen).  And we see that election and protection all through the older Scripture and filled up in the virgin birth of God the Son and His harvesting of all Who belong to His Father of the tribes of Jacob.

The apostle Paul clearly explains it in chapter four of his letter to the Churches of Galatia.  And he goes back to Genesis chapter twenty one to show that the covenant that Yahveh cut with Abraham recognized Isaac as the child of promise through the “freewoman”; and that the covenant required the “casting out” of the “bondwoman” – Hagar, and her son Ishmael”.

Here are his words from Galatians four:


“It is written that Abraham had two sons; one by the bondwoman and one by the freewoman.  But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the freewoman according to the promise!”


“What does the Scripture say”, Paul writes; “cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the freewoman”.


You see, all through God’s history He provided for the covenantal continuation of the “heirs of the promise”.  And here in our text John is shown exactly that!

Here at the end of the age when the heirs of the promise were being gathered by the Son of Man at the harvest, the excommunication from the covenant was taking place in all the rest of apostate, idolatrous Israel.  She was being harvested and cast outside (as the bondwoman and her son were), and thrown into the winepress of wrath.

The firstfruit of our Lord’s “gathering” of the legitimate heirs of promise is the Church of Jesus Christ – the blessing to all the pagan nations of the earth (as promised to Abraham).  This gathering (sunagoge, ecclesia) has been “preserved” by God from the Garden – all through His history and to the “capstone” of the Revelation of Jesus Christ!

From the stalk and the vine that was covenant Israel are those “seed of the woman” – the heirs of the promise kept by God for Himself; whereas the vine itself with its sour fruit, planted by Yahveh, is gathered and thrown into the great winepress of the wrath of God (verse nineteen).

As John the baptizer prophesied: “even now is the axe laid to the root of the tree”.

And as Isaiah had prophesied of the Son of Man in 700BC:


“I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples there was no man with Me.  I also trod them in My anger, and trampled them in My wrath; and their juice is splashed upon My garments, and all My raiment is stained.  For the Day of Vengeance was in My heart, and My year of redemption has come….

So My Own arm brought salvation to Me, and My wrath upheld Me.  And I trod down the peoples in My anger, and made them drunk in My wrath, and I spilled their juice on the land” (Isaiah 63).


“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 (verse 20 of our text).


It’s sad that some translations (such as the New American Standard Version) have “two hundred miles” in place of sixteen hundred stadia.  But dynamic equivalency rarely captures God’s perception and God’s language.

A thousand six hundred stadia computes to about a hundred and eighty-three miles, which is the distance from the north to the south of original Israel as described by God in His Word… from the river Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt.

In the wrath of Yahveh, the vats of the winepress would overflow and fill the entirety of Israel up to the bridles of the horses.  As we’ve seen so often through the preaching of the Revelation, there is, in God’s vivid perception, a strong relationship between the exodus from Egypt and the exodus from Israel.

And here the streams of running blood from God’s winepress of wrath form a “RED SEA” of all Israel, reaching up to the bridles of horses, similar to the flooding and overthrow of Pharaoh’s horses and chariots (Exodus chapters fourteen and fifteen).

Truly the land was filled with blood, since massive armies from all the surrounding nations, conscripted and led by Vespasian and Titus put all Israel to the sword (as Nero had decreed before his death).

And, in God’s perception, where was the winepress?  Where was the bloodletting and disposal of the sacrifices?  Outside the city.

Outside the city was the place of judgment; it was where executions took place; it was the place where the bodies of animals were disposed of (such as Gehenna) and where refuse was dumped.

It was the place of judgment where Christ’s blood was shed by the idolatrous harlot Israel.  Jesus suffered outside the city, disposed of as “refuse”, cursed and nailed to a tree.  And His blood flowed from the winepress of the wrath of The Father.

And all the Churches were to know that all Israel would be cast out –excommunicated from the covenant; and the blood of apostate Israel would be shed “outside the city”, the nation would become a sea of red, and the vine and all its fruit burned as refuse.

With the Churches receiving John’s letter, let’s all understand that if it’s not Christ’s blood shed on our behalf, then it will be ours – and with a vengeance.  It it’s not HIS body in Whom we live, then ours will be burned as refuse.