Scripture Reading: Revelation 14:1-20
“So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” (Revelation 14:19)
This chapter begins with a vision of the Lamb standing on Mount Zion (vs. 1-5). With him are the 144,000 who had the seal of the name of God written on their foreheads. Obviously, the Lamb is Jesus Christ and Mount Zion is heaven — “But you have come to Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22). The 144,000 are the redeemed of God. They are the same people who were sealed in chapter 7 where they are pictured surrounded by their enemies. In chapter 14, they are standing, enjoying the blessedness of heaven after the final judgment.
Then the vision shifts to three angels (vs. 6-13). The first scene in the chapter takes place in heaven after the final judgment — the Lamb and His people standing on Mount Zion. Now we return to earth and to the events that will take place just before the second coming of Jesus. These three angels are sent to warn mankind with respect to the coming judgment in order that they may turn to God in faith.
The first angel appears proclaiming the eternal gospel — “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea, and the springs of water” (v. 7). The second angel declares the fate of Babylon — “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink of the wine of the passion of her sexual immortally” (v. 8). Babylon represents the whole world of the present age which is united in opposition to Jesus Christ and His people. The third angel appears announcing judgment — “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives the mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath” (vs. 9,10).
The final scene is the judgment at the end of history (vs. 14-20). Jesus comes as King, having a golden crown on His head, and as Judge, having a sharp sickle in His hand. The Son of Man initiates this day of judgment and the angels carry it out. The unbelievers of the world are pictured are grapes being thrown into a winepress.
The message is clear — there are only two alternatives: those who put their faith in Christ are destined for glory and those who deny Christ are destined for hell. The questions we must answer are: to whom do you belong and what is your destiny?
Lord Jesus, I know that You are coming again to judge the world. It will be a terrifying day for many. I pray for those whom I love and care about who do not know You. I pray that they would come to faith and be spared from Your wrath on the last day. Thank You that You have marked me with Your seal and for bearing the judgment of God in my place. Thank You that I belong to You and that I am destined for glory!
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