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The Winepress and Wrath of God    Listen to .mp3 propecy podcasts.

Lyn Mize

L. The Reaping of the Earth and the Winepress of the Wrath of God (Chap. 14)  

(Rev 14 KJV)  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. {2} And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: {3} And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. {4} These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. {5} And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. {6} And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, {7} Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. {8} And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. {9} And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, {10} The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: {11} And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. {12} Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. {13} And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. {14} And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. {15} And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. {16} And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. {17} And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. {18} And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. {19} And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. {20} And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.  

Chapter 14 goes back to the middle of the tribulation period to give some more details of the 144,000 Jews who were saved at the beginning of the tribulation period.  They are not members of the Church as some have thought.  They are firstfruits, but they are firstfruits of a different order or class of the redeemed.  They are the Firstfruits of the Jews who will be redeemed during the tribulation period.  The Main Harvest of the Jews will not take place until the Day of Atonement at the end of the tribulation period, but the Firstfruits are totally redeemed (i.e., body, soul and spirit) at the mid-point of the tribulation period.  Their spirits were redeemed at the beginning of the tribulation period, and they saved their souls by their obedience during the first half of the tribulation period.  At the midpoint of the tribulation period, they receive complete redemption of their souls and their new bodies of flesh and blood.  Since they are God's earthly people, they are not in heaven around the throne, but they are physically present in Jerusalem, standing on Mount Zion with Jesus.  

1.  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.  

a.  John uses the statement "And I looked (or "saw" or "beheld"), and, lo (behold)" ten times in Revelation, and each time serves as the introduction to something spectacular (Rev. 4:1; 5:6; 6:2; 6:5, 8; 7:9; 14:1, 14; 15:5; 19:11).  It would be something unbelievable had John not seen it with his own eyes.  

b.  John sees Jesus Christ standing on "the" mount Sion, and the 144,000 Jewish firstfruits are standing with Him.  When used in the literal sense, mount Sion always means the hill on which Jerusalem was built.  When the context warrants its use in the figurative sense, such as in Hebrews 12:22-24, it means the heavenly or the New Jerusalem.  Unless the context clearly indicates the figurative sense is meant, as is stated in Hebrews 12:22-24, the literal Jerusalem is meant.  The context of this verse clearly establishes the literal Jerusalem is meant in this verse, and this will be shown as the verses are explained.  The use of the definite article "the" is the first indication that the literal mount Sion is meant.  

c.  The fact that the 144,000 are standing confirms that they have received their redeemed bodies, although they are bodies of flesh and blood designed for habitation on the earth.  They are bodies that will never die, and man or beast cannot harm them.  This is the result of their sealing in Chapter 7.  

d.  They have the name of the Father on their foreheads, and this is the Jewish mark.  Their place on "the mount Sion" connects with the seat of the palace and throne of David and Solomon.  It demonstrates their inheritance in the earthly aspect of the kingdom of God.  They are expressly differentiated from the four living creatures, the 24 elders, and the harpers described in the following verse.  

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

a. John hears "a voice from heaven," and this is further confirmation that he is referring to the earthly Jerusalem, and not the New or heavenly Jerusalem.  This voice is clearly the voice of God, since it "as the voice of many waters."  This demonstrates that the voice totally engulfs and overwhelms the listener, a primary characteristic of the voice of God.  An earthly analogy would be a close-up of Niagara Falls where the sound of the falls overwhelms the senses.  The sound of the voice as that "of a great thunder" identifies the time that this action is taking place as the time of judgment, or the time of the great Day of the Lord, which is the middle of the tribulation period.  

b. In addition to the voice of God coming from heaven, John also hears the voice or sound of harpers harping with their harps coming from heaven.  The Greek word for harpers means people who sing as they accompany themselves on the lyre or harp.  These harpers are completely redeemed individuals who are now in heaven singing the song of redemption.  The following verse further identifies these harpers.  

3.  And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.  

a. It is important to remember that the four living creatures and the 24 elders each had a harp and sang the "new song" in Rev. 5:8-9.  They sang this new song, a song of total and complete redemption, at the beginning of the tribulation period.  We now have a new group of harpers singing the new song of total and complete redemption in heaven, and the time is the middle of the tribulation period at the time of the Day of the Lord.  It is important to note that this sound is coming from heaven at the same time that the 144,000 are standing on mount Sion completely and totally redeemed.  The 144,000 are able to learn this new song because they have now been redeemed in spirit, soul and body.  They no longer have their old flesh natures, and this is confirmed by the phrase "were redeemed from the earth."  They are no longer subject to, influenced by, or have a part in the worldly system.  The following verses further confirms this state of being or existence.  Their earthly inheritance is set, and they can no longer be tempted into losing it.  Their complete redemption is in the past tense (i.e., "were redeemed from the earth).

b.  Just as the Firstfruits of the Church are kept out of the hour of trial during the first half of the tribulation period, the firstfruits of the Jews will be supernaturally sealed and protected during the last half of the tribulation period, when the main body of the Jewish remnant will be severely persecuted.  In both cases there is a reward for faithfulness. The Firstfruits of the Church were “kept from the hour of trial” for the Church, but the Jewish Firstfruits were protected during the “time of Jacob’s trouble”.  

4.  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.  

a.  The clause "These were redeemed from among men" means that they were separated entirely from the common course of this world.  They have been removed from the ordinary fellowship of men.  They have been severed from the world in heart and life, yet they still remain standing upon the earth in the earthly Jerusalem.  They are still in the world, but they have been completely redeemed from their old flesh natures.  Their salvation is complete in body, soul and spirit.  This is why they were able to learn the New Song, which is a song of redemption.  

b.  The first sentence of this verse is not necessarily referring to their celibacy, or to their gender, but to their purity of life.  Therefore, we do not have to suppose that they are all males, or that they have never been married in the literal sense.  The figurative sense of the words is meant.  For example, they did not literally walk behind Jesus following him physically, but they followed Him in the sense of being His disciples, and obeying His commandments.  

c.  "They are virgins" is not referring to their physical condition, but their spiritual condition before the Lord.  The meaning is the same as the ten virgins in the parable by that name in Matthew 25.  The phrase "not defiled with women" would have special reference to the false religious system described as the "Great Harlot of Babylon."  Spiritual unfaithfulness is figuratively referred to in the Bible as adultery with women.  

d.  The phrase "the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb" has no reference to the Church, but signifies the first ones to ripen or mature from the remnant of Israel.  This remnant will receive their atonement at the end of the tribulation period at the time that Jesus Christ returns to the Mount of Olives.  The 144,000 firstfruits of Israel serve as a promise of that which is to come in Israel's Day of Atonement.  The prepositional phrase "unto God" shows the Jewishness of these firstfruits.  The Jews have a special relationship with God the Father, while the Church has a special relationship to God the Son.  

5.  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.  

a.  The first clause in this verse confirms that the figurative sense of the words is meant, since no one is literally opening up their mouths to look for guile.  "And in their mouth was found no guile” simply means that a primary quality of the 144,000 will be truthfulness.  Anyone who fails to live his profession or show by his works what he speaks with his lips is a liar.  It is important for believers to be careful about their conversation and guard the things that they say.  It is a devilish thing to speak falsehood, and to exercise a deceitful and untrustworthy tongue.  Satan is a liar and the father of lies.  The 144,000 will hold the true faith with a true heart, and they will exemplify it by a true manner of life.  They will be the children of truth in a world of untruth during the first half of the tribulation period.  It will be because of this that they will be completely redeemed 3 1/2 years earlier than the main body of the Jewish remnant, who will receive their atonement at the end of the seven years of tribulation.  

b.  The phrase "before the throne of God" is not in the best manuscripts, and the phrase is dropped by common consent of the greatest of Bible scholars.  The KJV is the only translation that incorrectly includes this phrase.  The words make no difference in the sense of the verse since the blamelessness of these people must also be blamelessness before the throne.  The phrase is misleading though, since some take it to mean that these 144,000 are in heaven "before the throne of God," which is not the case.  It would also suggest a connection with the heavenly throne that does not exist.  

6.  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,  

a.  The fact that an angel is preaching unto them on the earth is proof positive that the Church period has ended completely, and all members of the Church have been removed from the earth.  In the current age the charge of preaching and witnessing for God, and the teaching of his Word is the peculiar office of the Church.  The gospel being preached by this angel is that of the kingdom age.  This verse is the fulfillment of the following verse of Scripture:  

(Mat 24:14 KJV)  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.  

This angel begins his preaching at the beginning of the Day of the Lord in the middle of the tribulation period, so the message is not that of Grace and reconciliation to God, but of obedience to God or else judgment, as is stated by this first angel in the following verse.  

b.  Antichrist may be successful in hushing up or burying in caves, mountains and wildernesses man's testimony for God, but the truth of God and his claims must be spoken.  Just as Jesus stated in his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, if men are silenced, then the rocks will cry out.  

7.  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.  

a.  This angel preaching the age-lasting good news is warning all nations on the earth to fear God and to give him glory, for the time of his judgment has come.  This angel starts his preaching at the middle of the tribulation period at the time that the Day of the Lord commences.  The proclamation to fear God and worship him is accompanied by the pronouncement that this same God is the Creator of all things.  This gives him the right and authority to judge all things.  There is no meek and entreating message to come to God and receive forgiveness, but a commandment to fear God and give him glory "for the hour of his judgment is come."  This is further confirmation that the Day of the Lord does not occur until the middle of the tribulation period.  

8.  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.  

a.  Another angel follows the first angel, and this one is warning about the fall of Babylon the Great.  This is not a confirmation of something that has already occurred, but a warning of something that was yet future.  The certainty of the coming fall of Great Babylon is emphasized by the proclamation in the past tense just as if it had already happened.  This method of proclaiming a future event in the past tense is frequent in the Old Testament prophecies.  The prophets actually saw the events happen in their visions, and they prophesied the events just as if they had already happened, even though the reality of the events were still in the future.  

b.  This Babylon the Great will be destroyed at the end of the tribulation period (Rev. 16:19).  This Babylon is that great city, so it is the political Babylon described in Chapter 18 of Revelation.  The numerous prophecies about this endtime nation confirm it to be the United States of America, the home and first domain of the Antichrist.  After the "resurrection" of Antichrist, he expands his kingdom to include the Ten-Horned Beast, and his authority is exerted over the whole earth.  This is confirmed in the following Scripture:  

(Hab 2:5 KJV)  Yea also, because he (i.e., Antichrist) transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but  gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:  

c.  In contrast to what is stated above and what has been taught by some of the greatest theologians, it is possible that the statement that Babylon is fallen, fallen has reference to its moral and spiritual fall that has already occurred at the time that the angel is making this proclamation.  If this is true, then the word fallen simply means that Babylon has acted or behaved in such a way that she is now ready for God's judgment, which will occur at the end of the tribulation period. It is expressly stated that the Great City Babylon is destroyed during the seventh bowl judgment.  

9.  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,  

a.  The third warning concerns the worshipping of the Antichrist, and the taking of his mark.  The dire consequences of worshipping the Antichrist and taking his mark are enumerated in the following verses.  

b.  The worship of Antichrist and the taking of the mark are linked, so a person can only take the mark if he submits to the worshipping of Antichrist.  

c.  The mark is a miniature transponder the size of a large grain of rice that has a number encoded into a bar code.  Every bar code has 666 as part of its design, so that a scanner can read it attached to a computer.  This verse confirms that the mark will not become mandatory worldwide until the middle of the tribulation period.  It may be implemented earlier in the "Great City Babylon" or the Ten Horned Beast, so it could become an issue for the main body of the Church during the first half of the tribulation period, but this is only conjecture.  

10.  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  

a.  This is the most solemn warning in all of Scripture.  The person who worships the Antichrist and takes his mark will suffer the wrath of God, which will be poured out without any mixture of grace and mercy.  He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the angels and the Lamb.   

b.  The first half of this verse is a picture of the judgments of God during the last half of the tribulation period, and the second half of the verse is in reference to the torment of Gehenna or the Lake of Fire, which is the Second Death.  The duration of this torment is given in the following verse.  

11.  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.  

a.  The use of the Greek word aion twice shows that the duration of this torment is unto the ages of ages.  This is how the idea of eternity is expressed in the Greek.  The use of the Greek word aion (age) or aiones (age-lasting) signifies that the action pertains to one age, which varies anywhere from one thousand to two thousand years, or even longer.  

b.  Since the punishment for taking the mark is unto the ages of ages, it seems certain that no believer will actually take the mark.  The fact that an angel has warned the whole earth about not taking the mark precludes any believer from taking the mark out of ignorance of God's requirement.  

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

a.  This has reference to the believers who are on the earth during the last half of the tribulation period.  The word saints is a generic term for all of God's people, and it can refer to Christians (i.e., Church members) as well as Old Testament saints and tribulation saints.  The context has to determine the people in view.  It is generally used when two or more classes of God's people are meant such as Christians and elect Jews, or elect Jews and elect Gentiles.  

b.  It will require great patience in order to keep God's commandments during this last half of the tribulation period.  Martyrdom will often be the consequence of keeping God's commandments, and maintaining faith in Jesus.  This faith implies continued obedience, and not just the one-time belief that Jesus died for this person's sins.  There will be reward for this kind of faith, as is stated in the following verse.  

13.  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.  

a.  Every believer who is martyred during the last half of the tribulation period will receive a reward in the earthly aspect of the kingdom, since all members of the Church have been raptured at this point.  The martyrs' work will be over, but their works will merit a reward in the earthly aspect of the kingdom.  

b.  It is important to note that John is still on the earth in this verse since he hears "a voice from heaven."  The scope of the action started out in verse 1 with the 144,000 standing on the earthly mount Sion, and the action continues to be on the earth.  

14.  And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.  

a.  John looks and sees a white cloud with Jesus Christ sitting on it.  The white cloud is reminiscent of the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven, and it also portrays his return to the earth in power and glory (Matt. 24:30; Luke 21:27).  

b.  The golden crown shows his authority over the earth, and the sharp sickle points to his purpose of judging the Gentiles upon the earth.  The following Scripture depicts this time of judgment:  

(Joel 3:12-13 KJV)  Let the heathen (i.e., Gentiles) be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat:  for there will I sit to judge all the heathen (i.e., Gentiles) round about. {13} Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.  

This is the sheep and goat judgment described in Matthew 25:31-46.  

15.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.  

a.  This is the fifth angel in this series of seven angels, and he comes out of the temple that appears to be the earthly temple.  He cries out to the angel on the cloud, which is clearly Jesus Christ.  The cry must be seen as a plea rather than a command since the angel on the cloud is Jesus Christ.  

b.  The "reaping of the earth" is different from the "gathering the vine of the earth."  Although scholars disagree on this point, this reaping appears to be a reaping of the sheep as opposed to the vintage, which is the goats in the sheep and goat judgment.  

c.  The clause "for the harvest of the earth is ripe" is the picture of a harvest where that which is being harvested has mostly been taken, and what is left is dried up and overripe.  That which is left is a good product, but it is not equal to that which was taken in the firstfruits or in the main harvest.  That which is left is the gleaning.  This verse is still referring to the harvest of grain, and not the vintage.  The grain is harvested and threshed.  The vintage is next, and it is "gathering the vine of the earth."  The vintage is the judgment on the goats.  

d.  The Greek word for ripe in this verse is xeraino and it means fully ripe but not in its prime.  It is dried up or overripe.  It is the result of being in the field too long before it finally became mature.  It is ripe or mature, but it is not Class 1 or Grade A in quality.  This is different from the word for ripe in verse 19 below.  

16.  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.  

a.  Jesus is the harvester in this, and those that are harvested are saved Gentiles who were saved at some point in the tribulation period.  This completes the gleaning which pertains to saved people.  

17.  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.  

a.  This sixth angel comes out of the temple in heaven.  He has the       "sharp sickle" that will harvest the vintage.  This is a judgment on the unsaved.  This judgment on the unsaved proceeds from the temple in heaven and not from the one on the earth.  

18.  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.  

a.  This seventh angel comes out from the altar or the place of sacrifice.  This would be the brazen altar of sacrifice, which typifies the cross of Jesus Christ.  He tells the sixth angel that the time has come to "gather the clusters of the earth."  

b.  This angel has power over fire, which is the symbol of judgment upon a sin sick world that has rejected the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary.  This is the grape or vintage harvest, and it typifies the harvest of the unsaved.  The unsaved have produced fruit, but it is the fruit of the world.  This is seen in the clause "gather the clusters of the vine of the earth."  That which comes from the vine of the earth is evil.  Good fruit can only come from the vine from heaven, which is Jesus Christ.  

c.  The Greek word for ripe in this verse is akmazo.  The word means to be completely ripe and in its prime.  It is referring to the fruit of evil that has reached its peak.  It is at the best time for being harvested.  This is in contrast to the word for ripe in verse 15, which pertained to fruit that had been in the field too long.  

19.  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  

a.  It is significant that not only the clusters of the vine of the earth are gathered, but also the whole vine is gathered and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  All of the people and the whole world system will be brought to an end at this point in the tribulation.  

20. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.  

a.  The winepress will apparently be the valley outside of Jerusalem that will be created when Jesus Christ sets his feet down upon the mount of Olives and the mountain will split.  

b.  All of the unsaved of the earth will be supernaturally cast into this valley, where Jesus Christ will physically destroy them.  Jesus Christ himself treads this winepress alone.  His robes will be stained from the blood of his enemies, and the blood will flow out of this valley so deep that it will be up to the horses' bridles.  There is no indication that this statement is to be understood figuratively.  The description of the trampling in the winepress is given in the following Scripture:  

(Isa 63:1-3 KJV)  Who is this that cometh from Edom, with  dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. {2} Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? {3} I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and  their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.  

It is difficult for Christians to picture Jesus in this role as Judge and Executioner, but it must be remembered that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate, and He has the same characteristics as God.  God is Love and Mercy, but He is also Justice and Divine Wrath.  The end of the tribulation period is a time of judgment unmixed with grace and mercy.