Nazarene Apocalypse ©2000

CHAPTER FOURTEEN:
A SAINTLY HARVEST AND THE FALL OF BABYLON

[“Harvest Time”]
Key Word: Harvest
Theme Verse: 8

#348. Chapter fourteen of the Apocalypse summarizes the outcome to all of this using a harvest motif. This theme of the harvest is something the Nazarene used in his parables. (Matthew 13:30, 39; John 4:35) The fact that the first vision is one of the victorious 144,000-Saints on Mount Zion is proof enough that the 144,000 are those “saints” of Revelation 13:7, 10 who endure during the Great Oppression.

#349. This first vision of the 144,000 finds them, indeed, victorious and standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion (Revelation 14:1-5):

Revelation 14:1-5 – Firstfruits of Zion’s Harvest

RV14:1 And I saw677 and look! the Lamb standing upon the mountain of Zion.678 And with him 144,000,679 having the name of the Lamb680 and the name of his Father681 written upon their foreheads.682
677 I saw: This chapter break may give an incorrect view. If Revelation 14:1 is really a continuation of chapter 13 then what we see is the victorious Large Crowd having been “rescued” (Daniel 12:1 JPS) from the Great Oppression of three and a half years and is now in heaven. (Revelation 7:9-17; 15:2) Revelation 14:1-5 seem out of context until one considers Revelation 13:10 and Revelation 15:2. In other words, this takes up at that moment back to Revelation 11:12. When viewed from this standpoint it becomes apparent that Revelation 14:1-5 is a victorious scene regarding those Saints who have endured the Great Oppression.
678 The mountain of Zion: This is the only occurrence in Revelation. Compare Psalm 2:6 and Psalm 110:2. Note Peter’s application of Psalm 2:1, 2 to the events surrounding Messiah’s execution in 33 CE at Acts 4:24-27; and, Paul’s application of Psalm 2:7 to Christ’s resurrection at Acts 13:33. This would place Psalm 2:6 (“I have installed my king on my holy mount Zion.”) at this moment in 33 CE. (Romans 1:4) But, according to 1 Corinthians 15:23-25 Christ ‘rules’ alone until his Return (Acts 3:20, 21; Hebrews 9:27) or arrival (parousia) and then he gathers (Matthew 24:31) his Saints by resurrection and rapture. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) This gathering occurs after the three and a half years of Great Oppression judging from Daniel 7:18-27 and Matthew 24:29-31. Thus anyone seen with the Lamb on Mount Zion must be after this period. The Greek of Revelation 14:1 here is TO OPOS ZION. At Psalm 2:6 (LXX) it is ZION OPOS TO HAGION AUTOU (Zion His holy mountain).
679 144,000: The number occurs only 3x in Revelation but the group appears in nearly every chapter from 7 through 17. The number 144,000 has been discussed under those notes in chapter 7. 144 is 12 or 12x12, that is the number of Israel. But, it may be noted that there were 144 cherubs on the inner walls and ceilings of the Mosaic tabernacle. This is a priestly class, but it does not represent all of that class, for they are described as “firstfruits” in verse 4. Therefore, the 144,000 are only part of this harvest.
680 Name of the Lamb: Curiously, this occurs first and, indeed, it is the name of the Lamb which receives emphasis in the Christian Scriptures when contrasted with the Hebrew Bible. Whether this is the name “Jesus” as in Philippians 2:10 is not explained. The “name” is the Word of God in Revelation 19:13 and is a “new name” in Revelation 3:12.
681 Name of his Father: Here is a clear opportunity to make use of YHWH but such is not the case. In the Nazarene’s prayer in John chapter 17 the word “name” is used 4 times but not once is the Divine Name YHWH used. Jesus’ prefers the designation “Father.” (See publication Nazarene Principles in the Nazarene Commentary© CD-ROM.) Here in Revelation 14:1 “name” may mean authority, character, or reputation, rather than a specific name.
682 Written upon their foreheads: This may be the “seal” of Revelation 7:3 indicating a Master(s) ownership of slaves. In Revelation 9:4 there are only two groups during the period of the Fifth Trumpet: those unsealed and harmed and those sealed and unharmed. Revelation 9:4 may indicate all 144,000 are sealed during or by the end of the Great Oppression.
RV14:2 And I heard a sound out of the Celestialum, as the sound of many waters and as a sound of great thunder, and the sound I heard was like harpists on their harps.683
683 Like harpists on their harps: This is the parallel in Revelation 15:2.
RV14:3 And they are singing as a new song684 in sight of the Throne,685 and in sight of the 4 living creatures, and the elders. And no one was able to learn the song but the 144,000,686 those having been bought from the earth.687
684 New song: This is the Greek LXX at Psalm 33:3; 96:1; 98:1. Compare the new song at Revelation 5:9.
685 In sight of the Throne: Again it is ENOPION here: “in sight of the Throne.” A throne has no “sight,” so it is within the view of the 144,000 even as it is in the case of the Large Crowd in Revelation 7:9 and the celestial beings in Revelation 7:11.
686 No one was able to learn the song but the 144,000: Or, master. KJ: no man can learn; inferring it is only a heavenly privilege.
687 Those having been bought from the earth: Is there anything here that means the 144,000 are the only ones who actually go to heaven? According to verse 4 they are only the “firstfruits” of the heavenly harvest.
RV14:4 These were not polluted by women688 for they are virgins.689 These follow the Lamb wherever he goes.690 These were bought from mankind as firstfruits to The God and to the Lamb,691
688 Not polluted by women: If this is all taken literally, then the 144,000 are all men. If the “women” here are symbolic, then the number must also be symbolic. Israelite priests who had proper sexual intercourse with their wives prior to their service “in the temple” (Revelation 7:15) were considered ceremonially “unclean.” (Compare Zephaniah 3:1; Isaiah 65:4) The “women” may also be the “harlots” of Revelation 17:5. Irrespective, the idea is one of purity. [2 Corinthians 7:1]
689 They are virgins: Compare 2 Corinthians 11:2.
690 These follow the Lamb wherever he goes: There is something of Jeremiah 2:2, 3 here: ‘I remember the love of thine espousals in following the Lord and the firstfruits of his increase.’ The Greek word groups EXAKOLOUTHESAI (Jeremiah), AKOLOUTHOUNTES (Revelation); and, ARCHE (Jeremiah), APARCHE (Revelation). These have strictly observed Matthew 16:24, 25.
691 Firstfruits to The God and to the Lamb: This begins the motif of harvest which continues throughout the chapter. As Jesus is the “firstfruits” of a certain heavenly type (1 Corinthians 15:23, 48, 49) these “firstfruits” are not the only ones of their class or type. The 144,000 are only a part of the twelve tribes of Israel. [Revelation 7:3, 4] There are others of this heavenly kind. If the 144,000 are a symbol of the Large Crowd who come out of the Great Oppression, then, having been “sealed” they are the “firstfruits” of all those judged worthy of immortality in the heavens. It is true “the dead” will be raised “first” as Paul has it in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, but these must first stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 John 2:28; 4.17; Daniel 12:2; John 5:29) Evidently, the 144,000 have their judgment in the flesh in order to be raptured out of the Great Oppression.
RV14:5 and no lie was found in their mouth. They are unblemished.692
692 No lie was found in their mouth. They are unblemished: The strongest argument that the 144,000 are the same as the Large Crowd of Revelation 7:9 lies in this strong allusion to Zephaniah 3:13 in the LXX, EN TO STOMATI AUTON; exactly the same as Revelation 14:5: EN TO STOMATI AUTON. Zephaniah 3:13 reads in full, ‘and the remnant of Israel shall fear the name of the Lord and shall do no iniquity, neither shall they speak vanity; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth.’ (LXX) This makes the allusion to a “remnant,” not to a total of Israel. The 144,000 are much more consistently the same as the Large Crowd rather than a total of Israel, or the complete number of the Saints.

#350. As discussed earlier, the 144,000 are very likely “those who come out of the Great Oppression” in Revelation 7:14. These 144,000 are the same ones described in Revelation 15:2: ‘And I saw a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those coming out of their conquest of the Wild (Sea) Beast, and the Image of the Wild (Sea) Beast, and the number of (the Sea Beast’s) name. (These conquerors) stood upon the sea of glass, having harps of The God. And they are singing the song of Moses the slave of The God, and the song of the Lamb.’ Here are the same harpists of Revelation 14:2, likely singing a similar salvation hymn of Revelation 5:9 and Revelation 7:10.

#351. For details on the subject of the 144,000-Saints see the notes on Revelation 7:1-17. There facts are giving which confirm the identity of the 144,000 and the Large Crowd as the “remnant of Israel.” (Revelation 14:4, 5; Zephaniah 3:13) These are the ones alive at this historical moment. As pointed out before these are the same as what Paul calls “we the living at the Arrival of our Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; Daniel 12:1, 2; John 11:25, 26) The 144,000 are the “firstfruits” of the general heavenly harvest because they are judged while in the flesh in order to share in the Rapture.

#352. Now, in chapter fourteen, a series of angels make their appearance, each with a different assignment. The first angel announces “the hour of judgment has come, so fear The God the Creator.” This injunction to fear God at this moment may indicate that there is opportunity to survive the coming Day of Wrath with all of its plagues.

Revelation 14:6-7 – Global Good News

RV14:6 And I saw another angel flying in the atmosphere having everlasting good news693 to declare as glad news to those sitting upon the earth and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people694 [Daniel 7:14]
693 Good news: Or, Gospel. It should be noted that this “good news” focuses on judgment. Paul does something similar in Romans 2:16. These angels seem sequential. Though the 144,000 have been seen in heaven it does not necessarily mean these events follow that vision. Revelation 14:1-5 may well belong to chapter 13 and with verse 6 is where the new chapter ought to begin. The new chapter starts with a whole new series of angelic activities. This angelic evangel is a global announcement which evidently precedes the harvesting of the wheat-like Saints in Revelation 14:15 and there is a warning to the martyred Saints in Revelation 14:12 which would indicate this precedes the Great Oppression and the Rapture.
694 Every nation and tribe and tongue and people: Compare this phrase to Daniel 7:14 and Revelation 13:7; 15:4.
RV14:7 saying in a great voice: “Fear The God and give to Him glory695 because the hour696 of the judgment has arrived697 and so worship The One698 who made the heaven and the earth and the sea [Exodus 20:11] and fountains of waters.”
695 Fear The God and give to Him glory: Some have already been shown to glorify God at the moment of the Rapture. (Revelation 11:13; Revelation 15:4) Note that the Lamb is not mentioned in this call for fear, glory and worship. Earth’s inhabitants are asked only to fear God and worship Him.
696 Hour: Compare Revelation 18:10, 17, 19.
697 The judgment has arrived: It has arrived and there is still time to “fear God and give Him glory.” Though in general all humans must die and then be judged [Acts 17:31; Romans 2:7-15; Hebrews 9:27] judgment upon Babylon the Great [the corrupt and apostate Christian Church] requires the judging of such pseudo-christians on earth in the flesh. They meet their end with the destruction of Babylon. The Saints are raptured to heaven as proof of their being judged favorably, while the weed-like Christians are left or abandoned to the plagues coming upon Babylon. [Matthew 13:40-43; Luke 17:34-37; Revelation 11:12; compare notes on Revelation 18:4]
698 Worship The One: This may infer those who have not been worshipping God do so now. Because the Lamb is not mentioned it may suggest that people of all nations who are not Christians are called on to manifest their worship of one God. This could include persons of many religions. It will be during the Thousand Years that such non-Jewish nations will be educated. [Isaiah 26:9; Revelation 20:3]

#353. The second angel announces the collapse of Babylon the Great. This subject is greatly expanded in chapters 17 and 18 where the details are given.

Revelation 14:8 – Babylon Is Fallen!

RV14:8 And another angel, a second, followed,699 saying: “She fell, she fell, Babylon the Great!700 [Isaiah 21:9] She made all nations to drink out of the angry wine of her fornication.”701 [Jeremiah 51:7]
699 Another angel, a second, followed: Sequential events.
700 She fell, Babylon the Great: This source may be Isaiah 21:9 but compare Daniel 4:30. (Revelation 17:1-7, 16-18; 18:1-24) Some hold Babylon is that religious network or empire beginning with Nimrod and developing its doctrinal and ceremonial tentacles throughout the millenniums. Others would limit her to the Roman Church. It is likely that “kingdom” which has religious and political power over the kings and nations. This power and control has likely been drying up particularly since the French and American revolutions and the Great War. The Great City, here called Babylon the Great, has been compared to Sodom [for its morality], Egypt [for its doctrines of the trinity, hell-fire, soul immorality, clerical hierarchies] and Jerusalem [as apostate spiritual Jews]. This would suggest that Babylon the Great – where the end-time Saints find themselves [Revelation 11:7-12; 18:4] – is the entire body of the Christian Church with its weed-like and goat-like Christians.
701 She made all nations to drink out of the angry wine of her fornication: Compare Jeremiah 51:7.

#354. A third angel announces the outcome to those who would worship the wild Sea Beast and its Image, by accepting the engraving on their forehead or hand. These all suffer “torment” before the celestial angels and the Lamb. Those who receive this economic mark will end up in what is later called the Second Death. Would it be fair to give this warning, if, in fact, all had already done so? Does it seem fair to say that these announcements are made at the critical moment when mankind is about to be forced into this kind of worship. Here they are warned and given an opportunity to refuse and “fear God and give him glory.”

Revelation 14:9-12 – Worship and Saintly Endurance

RV14:9 And another angel, a third, followed the first two,702saying in a great voice: “If anyone worships the wild Sea Beast and its Image703 and accepts an engraving704 upon his forehead or hand
702 Another angel, a third, followed the first two: Clearly sequential.
703 If anyone worships the wild Sea Beast and its Image: Or, “those who are thinking about.” The warning is useless if everyone has already begun to worship the Beast. It is possible the warning comes at this moment when the danger first exists.
704 Engraving: See Revelation chapter 13 for details.
RV14:10 he also will drink out of the cup of the undiluted wine of God’s anger, the cup of His wrath.705 [Isaiah 51:17] Such ones will be tormented in fire and sulfur706 [Genesis 19:24] in sight of holy angels and in sight of the Lamb.707
705 He also will drink out of the cup of the undiluted wine of God’s anger, the cup of His wrath: This appears to be a warning, not the actual execution of judgment. Compare Revelation 6:12-17.
706 Tormented in fire and sulfur: Or, “punishment.” See word studies on BASANISTHESETAI and compare use in the LXX at Ezekiel 32:18-30 where the word is rendered “punishment” without any inference to the English “torment.” The word was used of jailers and imprisonment. (Matthew 4:24; 8:6, 29; 14:24; Mark 5:7; 6:48; Luke 8:28; 16.23, 28; 2 Peter 2:8; Revelation 9:5; 11:10; 12:2; 14:10, 11; 18:7, 10, 15; 20:10) This is defined as the Second Death at Revelation 20:10, 14.
707 In sight of holy angels and in sight of the Lamb: This punishment takes place in sight of or before the angels and the Lamb.
RV14:11 And the smoke of their torment708 is ascending throughout al future periods of time. [Isaiah 34:10] Those who worship the wild Sea Beast and its Image have no rest day and night, [Isaiah 34:10] anyone who accepts the engraving of the Name of the wild Sea Beast.
708 The smoke of their torment: Compare the source for this thought at Isaiah 34:9, 10 in the case of Edom (likely the sandstone carved city of Petra). There is no eternal “smoke” rising in that desert; but, that Edom is no more.
RV14:12 Here is the endurance of the Saints709 those who observe the commandments of The God710 and keep the Faith of Jesus.”
709 The endurance of the Saints: They are still on earth facing this test in the Great Oppression.
710 Observe the commandments of The God: Compare 1 John 3:23. In general God’s commandments focus on two things: conviction and charity.

#355. Verse 12 again cautions the 144,000-Saints regarding their endurance in observing God’s commandments and the faith of Jesus. This may be a parenthetical warning much like Revelation 16:15; or, the whole angelic warnings and announcements may be contemporary with that moment just before the Rapture. This is indicated by verse 13 which is still in the context of this third angel. Some of the Saints will be executed during the period of the Great Oppression (Revelation 6:11; 13:10) and here is assurance for those who endure (verse 12) to the death. (Revelation 2:10) They will rest in death until that moment of the resurrection foretold at 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.

Revelation 14:13 – Happiness of the Dead

RV14:13 And I heard a voice out of the Celestialum, saying: “Write:711 Happy712 those who die in union with the Master,713 [1 Thessalonians 4:15] those dying from right now. Yes, the Pneuma is saying that they will rest from their labors,714 for their works follow them.”
711 Write: John must take dictation.
712 Happy: Or, blessed, divinely favored. The Second Apocalyptic Beatitude.
713 Those who die in union with the Master: Compare 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and Revelation 6:9-11. The “endurance” may require a martyr’s death. Saints are still going to die so this is all before the resurrection and rapture.
714 They will rest from their labors: Rest is sleep in death. Compare Revelation 6:11; Daniel 12:13; John 11:13.

#356. The Nazarene draws on Daniel 12:1, 2 twice in his teachings about the resurrection. (John 5:28, 29; 11:25, 26) We may summarize the teachings of Jesus as: a) the resurrection is future during what he calls “the last day” (John 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24; Daniel 12:13); b) there will be two groups: 1] dead believers who will rise; and, 2] living believers who will not die; 3) the dead will be judged upon their resurrection with two outcomes: 1] everlasting life for the good; and, 2] judgment and thus reproach to the vile.

#357. It is Paul who draws from these teachings at 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and outlines the same scenario: a group of dead Saints who are raised at the Arrival of the Lord; and, a living group who are snatched from the earth in what can be called a Rapture. He makes it clear both of these, the resurrection and the Rapture, all occur “at the same time.” Writing some time after his epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul includes thoughts from a special revelation in a “mystery” in which he again discusses these two groups: the living Saints and the dead Saints. (1 Corinthians 15:23, 50-53) Here he describes a “change” and teaches “all will be changed . . . in an (atomic) moment, or blink of the eye.” (See notes in Nazarene Principles and Where Are the Dead? in Nazarene Commentary© CD-ROM.)

#358. So, as explained by Paul above, the Christian dead can hope to rise only when the Lord returns. “In his Presence,” Paul puts it, even as does John. (1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 John 2:28) That is, “at his Arrival.” None of the Christian dead are raised, resurrected or wakened from their sleep before this Parousia, or the Second Coming. Verse 13 above is one of the Seven Apocalyptic Beatitudes which encourage the faithful Saints forward in their endurance as they face the Great Oppression. That this encouragement is given before Christ returns (verse 14) is shown in the context.

#359. Still part of the third angel’s announcements, there is a vision of Daniel 7:13 in reverse. That is, having once ascended to heaven in clouds in the year 33 AD, the Son of man now returns in that “same manner” as the Apostles had seen him vanish into heaven. (Acts 1:9-11) Consider:

Revelation 14:14 – Son of Humankind as Harvester

RV14:14 And I saw and look! a white cloud715 and upon the cloud sat someone like a Son of Humankind716 [Daniel 7:13] having a golden crown upon his head717 and in his hand a sharp sickle.718
715 A white cloud: The image is from Daniel 7:13 and Acts 1:9-11.
716 Son of Humankind: The HUION ANTHROPOU is the same as Daniel 7:13. Compare Matthew 24:30; 25:31.
717 A golden crown upon his head: Compare Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:9; Revelation 6:1, 2.
718 A sharp sickle: Inferred by Matthew 13:39.

#360. The first harvest is of the Christian “wheat” and the second the grape harvest thrown into the angry winepress of God Almighty. (Matthew 13:39; 24:31) The “firstfruits” of the harvest are the sealed and confirmed 144,000-Saints who come out of the Great Oppression having faithfully endured the program of the wild Sea Beast and Image worship. Before they are raptured, however, the Christian dead rise first, as Paul wrote. They then must undergo their judgment before the Judge, Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 25:31) After this the “righteous” inherit the Kingdom and stand ready to receive that special group called the “firstfruits,” the 144,000-Saints, as they rise in the Rapture to a general assembly with their celestial Lord, Jesus Christ the Nazarene. This “harvest” continues:

Revelation 14:15-16 – A Wheat Harvest

RV14:15 And another angel went forth out of the Divine Habitat719 crying out in a great voice to the One sitting upon the cloud: “Send your sickle and harvest720 for the hour to harvest has arrived721 [Matthew 13:39] for the harvest of the earth has dried up.”722
719 Divine Habitat: The NAOU from which angels come and go. The word group (NAO, NAOS, NAON) occurs in Revelation 3:12; 7:15; 11:1, 2, 19; 14:15, 17; 15:5, 6, 8; 16:1, 17; 21:22. It is always heaven.
720 Send your sickle and harvest: An unnamed angel commands the Son of Humankind to begin the harvest.
721 The hour to harvest has arrived: Compare Matthew 13:39. There is something of Revelation 7:1-4 here.
722 The harvest of the earth has dried up: The word rendered “dried up” is EXERANTHE (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #3583 = mature, ripe; dry) and is variously translated: ripe. It may infer wheat consistent with Matthew 13:39.
RV14:16 And the One sitting upon the cloud threw his sickle upon the earth and the earth was harvested.723
723 The earth was harvested: The dead Saints raised and the living Saints raptured. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; Matthew 24:30 31)

#361. The final “harvest” is one unto death! It is likened to gathering grapes for the winepress, only this one is that of “the anger of the wrath of God Almighty.” Consider:

Revelation 14:17 – Another Temple Angel

RV14:17 And another angel went forth out of the Divine Habitat.724 This heavenly one also had a sharp sickle.
724 Divine Habitat: Or, temple; NAOU.

Revelation 14:18-20 – A Grape Harvest

RV14:18 And another angel went forth out of the Altar725 (this one with authority over the fire)726 and he cried with a great voice to the One having the sharp sickle,727 saying: “Send your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the earth’s vine because the grapes are ripe.728
725 Altar: As in the altar within the tabernacle of Moses. (Hebrews 7:13; 13:10; Revelation 6:9; 8:3, 5; 9:13; 11:1; 14:18; 16:7) The word “altar” occurs 398 times in the Bible.
726 Fire: From the censor. (Hebrews 9:4)
727 The One having the sharp sickle: Compare the whole phrase with Joel 3:13 (LXX) and Mark 4:29.
728 The grapes are ripe: A rough paraphrase of Joel 3:13 LXX.
RV14:19 And the angel threw his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth and threw the vine into the Press of the Great Anger of The God. RV14:20 And the Winepress was trampled729 [Joel 3:13] outside of the [Holy] City730 and the blood came out of the Winepress731 up to the horses’ bridles for 1,600 stadia.”732
729 The Winepress was trampled: Compare the source at Isaiah 63:2, 6 and Joel 3:13. (Revelation 14:10; 19:15)
730 City: Likely the Holy City of New Jerusalem. (Revelation 3:12; 11:2; 20:9; 21:2, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23; 22:3, 14, 19) Is it possible the Holy City has already descended to accept its new inhabitants, the Saints?
731 Blood came out of the Winepress: Compare Isaiah 63:1-6 and Revelation 19:11, 14. This is Armageddon, a battle the Saints share in. (Revelation 17:14)
732 1,600 stadia: Or, 200 miles. (NEB, TCN)

#362. This trampling of the winepress is described as “outside the (Holy) City” of New Jerusalem. This idea of “outside” the New Jerusalem also occurs at Revelation 22:15. When exactly this City descends to the earth will be discussed later, but it is possible that the City has already descended with its glorious inhabitants, including God Almighty, the Lamb, the holy angels, and the glorified Church. (Hebrews 12:23, 24) Let us propose that after the Saints have ascended to meet their Lord, and the marriage of the Lamb has occurred, with the Church safely inside the Holy City, the great Cubic City, glistening like gold, begins to return to the earth. Imagine this enormous “extra-terrestrial” cube approaching the earth, passing the moon and entering the atmosphere. When would earth’s nations with their defensive radar and satellite communications first pick up the blip of this approaching phenomenon? How will earth’s inhabitants react to this vision, this visit by true aliens?

#363. This winepress is the same as the unleashing of the “four winds” mentioned earlier. (Revelation 7:1-3) It will result in Armageddon (Revelation 16:14, 16) and the death of one-third of earth’s inhabitants. (Revelation 9:15, 16) Much of the images of this winepress are taken from the apocalyptic Book of Joel:

‘For the day of Jehovah is coming, for it is near! It is a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick gloom, like light of dawn spread out upon the mountains. ... Before it [the] land has become agitated, [the] heavens have rocked. Sun and moon themselves have become dark, and the very stars have withdrawn their brightness. And Jehovah himself will certainly give forth his voice before his military force, for his camp is very numerous. For he who is carrying out his word is mighty; for the day of Jehovah is great and very fear-inspiring, and who can hold up under it?" ... And rip apart your hearts, and not your garments; and come back to Jehovah your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness, and he will certainly feel regret on account of the calamity. Who is there knowing whether he will turn back and actually feel regret and let remain after it a blessing, a grain offering and a drink offering for Jehovah your God? ... "And I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun itself will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah. And it must occur that everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will get away safe; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will prove to be the escaped ones, just as Jehovah has said, and in among the survivors, whom Jehovah is calling." ... "Thrust in a sickle, for harvest has grown ripe. Come, descend, for [the] winepress has become full. The press vats actually overflow; for their badness has become abundant. Crowds, crowds are in the low plain of the decision, for the day of Jehovah is near in the low plain of the decision. Sun and moon themselves will certainly become dark, and the very stars will actually withdraw their brightness. And out of Zion Jehovah himself will roar, and out of Jerusalem he will give forth his voice. And heaven and earth certainly will rock; but Jehovah will be a refuge for his people, and a fortress for the sons of Israel. And you people will have to know that I am Jehovah your God, residing in Zion my holy mountain. And Jerusalem must become a holy place; and as regards strangers, they will no more pass through her.’ (Joel 2:2-3.17 NWT)

#364. What follows now in the Apocalypse are details of this winepress period with the pouring out of various plagues upon the earth. The time has come to “ruin those who ruined the earth.” (Revelation 11:18) This all occurs after the 144,000-Saints have been raptured off this earth to begin their around the clock service in the Celestial Temple before the Throne of God Almighty. (Revelation 7:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17)

#365. Chapters 15 through 19 recount the horrors of this period on earth absent of all true Christians. What is to happen?

Nazarene Commentary 2000

Mark Heber Miller

2000 All Rights Reserved