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Rev 14:1  And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty and four thousand, having his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads.

Until today I had always thought this was the Lamb returning for those who were sealed.  However this is NOT Olivet.  He is coming to get them.  This goes to show us all that anyone no matter how long they have walked in the Faith can learn. This scene is in heaven…  the key to the understanding is the word Zion or Sion in the Greek.  The Greek word used for mount or mountain is Oros… Strongs # 3735 oros Probably a from an obsolete word ὄρω orō (to rise or “rear”; perhaps akin to (Strongs# 142 airo a primary verb to lift to, by implication, take up or away; figuratively, to raise as in one’s voice.); compare (Strongs #3733 ornis Probably from a prolonged form of the base of Strongs #3735(oros); a bird (as rising in the air), that is, (specifically) a hen (or female domestic fowl): – hen.); a mountain (as lifting itself above the plain): – hill, mount (-ain).

Ironically this word is being used for mountains all through the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.  John the apostle who wrote this had a habit of writing in koine Greek or common tongue Greek hence the word choices.  But the mountain that splits is Olivet … and the Temple stands on “Zion”.  But this Zion is different.  This mount is spoken of by Paul in

Heb 12:22  but ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels,

Heb 12:23  to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Heb 12:24  and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better than that of Abel.

Heb 12:25  See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not when they refused him that warned them on earth, much more shall not we escape who turn away from him that warneth from heaven:

Therefore, these have not been picked up by The Lamb for He hasn’t come yet….  This is not a picture of the Rapture but of celebration in Heaven.  In this understanding now the rest of the text makes sense.

Rev 14:2  And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and the voice which I heard was as the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

The voice of a massive choir….

Rev 14:3  and they sing as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders: and no man could learn the song save the hundred and forty and four thousand, even they that had been purchased out of the earth.

If you have been following along, each group we see individually celebrating in heaven, sings a completely different and unique song. Noone else seems to be able to learn their song because it is unique to the group.  So far we have seen the martyrs in white robes, the witnesses three, and now these. These are purchased or REDEEMED.  The Greek word Agorazo means, redeemed but in the terminology of going to market and purchasing.  We in the church like to think of ourselves as the First Fruits…  and then there are the dead who were raised when Jesus arose… and some people see them as “first fruits”  but they are not.  These 144000 virgins from the twelve tribes are the “Bikkarim” or First Fruits.  This in a  way fulfills Hag ha Bikkurim, or Feast of First fruits.  This feast occurs on the third day after the Passover, Pesach which is not the feast of unleavened bread, Hag Matza,.  The problem for most people is that the whole feast time blurs into one.  But it starts with the Passover Seder and the observation of unleavened bread for eight days, but on the second day after Seder it is the THIRD DAY.  On this day not only is there a Resurrection but in Biblical Festive cycle it is also the day when the priests go to the fields and there is a ceremony for the first reaping of the First Fruits.  Lest we forget Jesus is the FIRST BORN of the dead.(Col 1:18)  Interestingly enough if you do a search you will find Jesus is the FIRST BORN not the FIRST FRUIT.  We have the first fruits of the Spirit…(Rom 8:23) but we are also not first fruits. In fact of the Mount Zion scripture we are the “church of the First Born…”(Heb 12:22)  Hence these are His First Fruits…

Rev 14:4  These are they that were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were purchased from among men, to be the firstfruits unto God and unto the Lamb.

Rev 14:5  And in their mouth was found no lie: they are without blemish.

For whatever reasons and however this has happened, such a complete and thorough work of the Spirit has happened that the above description can be said of these…

Rev 14:6  And I saw another angel flying in mid heaven, having eternal good tidings to proclaim unto them that dwell on the earth, and unto every nation and tribe and tongue and people;

Midheaven or the sky….  Just so that a certain scripture is literally fulfilled this angel is literally giving the Gospel to every place on Earth.  The Scripture has to do with Jesus second coming…  Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come.   

Does this by the way mean that we are not to be instant in season and out to give a reply to any man who asks of us for the hope we have within?  Certainly not.  We are tasked with a commission to BE THE WITNESS as we go out and about or in their case as from the place of the birth of the Church (Jerusalem) concentrically out into Judea and from their (Israel as a land mass) to the uttermost parts of the earth. In fact it was to be preached to everything not just the people.  The nations were to be disciples of The Lord and be taught His ways by the example of our lives and the Gospel we preach.  However in the end God, never to be outdone will always perform the spectacular finish.

Rev 14:7  and he saith with a great voice, Fear God, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made the heaven and the earth and sea and fountains of waters.

In this ENDING we see Judgment…  for it is the Ending of the Dispensation of Grace.  God has had grace on His own but now He is dispensing His wrath and judgment on the Earth.

Remember also who is now ON THE EARTH…. Two Beasts… Both working for the Dragon who was cast down by Michael and his hosts.  By the way….  For the general Church there still does not seem to be a Rapture…

One last thing about the Gospel… IT is the Power of God unto Salvation and it is also the statement of judgment.

Joh 3:17  For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him.

Joh 3:18  He that believeth on him is not judged: he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Joh 3:19  And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil.

There is the possible method of preaching the First Angel uses.   Judgment Number One

Rev 14:8  And another, a second angel, followed, saying, Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, that hath made all the nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Judgment Number Two…

Now what is the deal with Babylon?  Babylon has fallen at least twice before.  The first Babylon of the Sumerians founded according to Wikipedia around 2000 bc and was ruled by Sumero- Akkadian peoples. It apparently started as a little town and under the auspices of an Amorite dynasty claiming its lineage from the Sumero- Akkadians. (This may explain God’s reaction to the Amorite and ….  Why when the people came into the land of Canaan they are to utterly destroy the Amorite. ) The city became big in its day eclipsing some of the earlier major cities of the region, like Nippur.  But after the death of this king and the fall of his dynasty Babylon fell from its heights and lay under the dominions of the Assyrians Kassites and Elamites.  Then in 608 bc Nebuchadnezzar came and won a victory as an Assyrian wresting the little territory out of its Elamite owners hands and the NeoBabylonian culture was born.  This is the same Nebuchadnezzar Daniel dealt with.  Babylon or Bab el means in the Hebrew “gate of the gods”. In its second heyday it was a major economic player in the world, its hanging garden were one the seven wonders of the world.  This gives you some idea of the prestige and importance of the place called Babylon.  However in this book that name takes on a whole new role and meaning.  As  MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. This will be discussed in greater detail in its chapter. Suffice to say that Babylon has always seemed to have a spiritual significance and its culture and a certain spiritual presence in the Earth.

Rev 14:9  And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a great voice, If any man worshippeth the beast and his image, and receiveth a mark on his forehead, or upon his hand,

Rev 14:10  he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

Rev 14:11  and the smoke of their torment goeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, they that worship the beast and his image, and whoso receiveth the mark of his name.

Rev 14:12  Here is the patience of the saints, they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

This is what the third angel says as he goes about.  One has to both worship the beast AND receive the mark.  Notice the order here.  If you worshipped the beast and had the mark you were condemned.  What if you’re marked against you will? (Can that happen?)  More likely those who are marked will also be those who worship and perhaps see the beast as God.  Who would not want the mark of the Living God on them?  To bad this is NOT the Living God.

Rev 14:13  And I heard the voice from heaven saying, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow with them.

Rev 14:14  And I saw, and behold, a white cloud; and on the cloud I saw one sitting like unto a son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand sharp sickle.

Rev 14:15  And another angel came out from the temple, crying with a great voice to him that sat on the cloud, Send forth thy sickle, and reap: for the hour to reap is come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

Rev 14:16  And he that sat on the cloud cast his sickle upon the earth; and the earth was reaped.

The harvest of the Earth… who is this character who is obviously NOT an angel?  What is this harvest?  Where in the New Testament do we find other reference to this harvest?  One clue is the description “like unto a son of man” or The Son of Man. But we do find this in the New Testament which may tell us more about this individual. Mat 9:35  And Jesus went about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness.

Mat 9:36  But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and scattered, as sheep not having a shepherd.

Mat 9:37  Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the laborers are few.

Mat 9:38  Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest.

Is Jesus the Lord of the Harvest?  Possibly as this fits the description and the title by which He called Himself.

But is this the vine’s harvest or the wheat or barley or grain harvest, because He does not reap the Vine.  This is the Earth’s harvest and it is here that a form of the Rapture MIGHT be seen.  In the Gospels we have the parable of the wheat and the tare. (Matt 13:24-30) (In fact read the whole chapter as all three parables intertwine as simile and metaphor for the Church or rather the Invisible Church of The Holy Elect.) Jesus speaks about where the harvest would go… Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Rev 14:17  Another angel came out from the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

Rev 14:18  And another angel came out from the altar, he that hath power over fire; and he called with a great voice to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Send forth thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

Now we might perceive this to be the Rapture.  But look at the Old Testament passage which talks about this very event. Joe 3:9  Proclaim ye this among the nations; prepare war; stir up the mighty men; let all the men of war draw near, let them come up.

Joe 3:10  Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.

Joe 3:11  Haste ye, and come, all ye nations round about, and gather yourselves together: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Jehovah.

Joe 3:12  Let the nations bestir themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about.

Joe 3:13  Put ye in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe: come, tread ye; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.

Joe 3:14  Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! for the day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision.

Joe 3:15  The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.

Joe 3:16  And Jehovah will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but Jehovah will be a refuge unto his people, and a stronghold to the children of Israel.

Joe 3:17  So shall ye know that I am Jehovah your God, dwelling in Zion my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.

One might have thought that Joel’s reference to the Harvest was a grain harvest, but the word harvest is non specific and is qualified by the treading out of a winepress, which means this reaping is of a vineyard.  One last thought here…. He is the Vine and we are the branches….  The Body of Christ has long been thought of a Vine.  …in a Vineyard.

Rev 14:19  And the angel cast his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vintage of the earth, and cast it into the winepress, the great winepress, of the wrath of God.

Rev 14:20  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and there came out blood from the winepress, even unto the bridles of the horses, as far as a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

SO then this vine…. Becomes the vintage of God’s wrath….  The Body of Christ?  The religious institution of the church? So it would seem.  But who is treading this out?  Trod out, outside the city….  There are a lot of images here.  This is what Isaiah had to say on the subject:

Isa 63:1  Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.

Isa 63:2  Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winevat?

Isa 63:3  I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the peoples there was no man with me: yea, I trod them in mine anger, and trampled them in my wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my raiment.

Isa 63:4  For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.

Isa 63:5  And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my wrath, it upheld me.

Isa 63:6  And I trod down the peoples in mine anger, and made them drunk in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.

Isa 63:7  I will make mention of the lovingkindnesses of Jehovah, and the praises of Jehovah, according to all that Jehovah hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.

Isa 63:8  For he said, Surely, they are my people, children that will not deal falsely: so he was their Saviour.

Isa 63:9  In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

Isa 63:10  But they rebelled, and grieved his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them.

This would be the LAMB the Lord of the Harvest, who avenges the Holy Spirit…???  Who is that is God dwelling in man and who is it that we are the Temple of?  The Holy Spirit.  Blasphemy against the father or the son is forgivable but not against the Holy Spirit.  “Mat 12:31  Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.”

How on Earth does this add up?  Well we have been warned to not be deceived and that God Himself would pour a strong delusion that a lie would be believed.  “2 Thess 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

2 Thess 2:12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

But the vine or its branches thereof, refers to the Body of Christ…  yes and Jude had a lot to say about those who proposed to be of that Body but were not…  these are the apostate and ultimately those who worship the FIRST BEAST.  The fruit refers possibly to the fruit of the Spirit.  Remember dear reader we are dealing in events, yes, but also in symbols, simile and metaphor.  There is one more group who are spoken of a The Vineyard… and that is Israel.  They turned apostate who approved of and those who actually facilitated the original crucifixion of their Messiah.  However, given that this book is not written to them but to Believers it appears very unlikely that these are included.  That the Vine reaped is of the apostate church is agreed upon by Jaimeson, Faucett and Brown in their commentary on the New Testament.  According to them these are the grapes which should have yielded good vintage and did not…

Isa 5:1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
Isa 5:2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
Isa 5:3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
Isa 5:4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
Isa 5:5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
Isa 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
Isa 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

However lest we forget that we are the spiritual Israel.