THE LAMB VICTORIOUS WITH HIS FAITHFUL FOLLOWERS
REVELATION -- CHAPTER 14
AIM: To teach the pupils some of the things that will occur in the closing days of the tribulation period.
POINT OF CONTROL: What do you know about the Battle of Armageddon? Could the Viet Nam war be it? If we fought with Russia, would that be it? Today, we are going to learn about it.
INTRODUCTION: This chapter concludes the parenthetical section of Chapters 11-14. Chapter 12 dealt with the important characters of the period, and Chapter 14 deals with the ultimate triumph of Christ. The material in this section is not chronological but helps us understand much of what will occur during the tribulation. Chapter 14 shows us what will occur in the closing days of the tribulation.
I. Christ and the 144,000 on Mount Zion - Vs. 1
Mount Zion is where Jerusalem is. Ps. 2; II Sam. 5:6,7. This is the same 144,000 that were sealed in Chapter 7. They have been protected and delivered safely through the tribulation & now near the end of the tribulation Jesus descends to Mt. Zion and gathers this group around Him.
The seal mentioned in 7:3 is apparently "The father's name written in their foreheads." They have not been ashamed of God's name. We should not be ashamed to be called Christians.
II. The 144,000 in Heaven - Vs. 2-5
There is apparently a rapture of these 144,00 between Vs. 1 & 2. In Vs. 3, they are mentioned as "redeemed from the earth." CF. Rom. 8:23.
In Verse 2, they are harping and in Verse 3 they are singing. They are a happy group. They have gone through their trials and now they are in heaven and the trials are over. Note: We will be happy in heaven. What a glorious day that will be!
The song they sing will be a song that only they can sing. Not even those previously raptured can sing this song. It will have a special meaning to them. Notice that they sing it before the throne and the four beasts and the raptured saints.
Vs. 4 -- "Are virgins." Virgin means chaste or pure. These had not become defiled by the love of the world or by compromising with evil. CF. I John 2:15-17; Eph. 6:14; I Sam. 4:9. Their walk is important. They followed and walked with the Lamb. The world followed the Beast but they walked in the opposite direction. Note: If we walk with Christ we will be going in a different direction than the world.
Vs. 5 -- Their mouths were pure. How wonderful to see a person who sins not with their mouth. James 3:2-13. "They are without fault." In other words, "blameless" before God. What a testimony they will give the world! We should be giving forth a similar testimony today and showing people that what we have in Christ, they need.
III. The Angel Preacher - Vs. 6 & 7
During this period, the great majority of earth's inhabitants will be worshiping the Beast. But God still will be concerned for the spiritual well-being of people. So, He will send an angel who will fly over the earth urging people:
To be saved
To worship Him that is the Creator and not the creature
To fear God
The everlasting gospel is the same gospel that we now preach. The Grace of God is marvelous! Even after all of earth's rebellion against light, God still calls on them to repent and be saved. But there is an end to the Grace of God and so the angel preaches "the hour of His judgement is come."
IV. The Fall of Babylon - Vs. 8
This is a message that John gets that Babylon is fallen. This will occur at (or near) the end of the tribulation.
Religious Babylon, with headquarters in Rome, and headed by the False Prophet, will fall.
Political Babylon, headed by the Anti-Christ, will fall.
"That great city" refers no doubt to Rome. Rome through her religious and political leadership will cause all nations to be Anti-God and therefore be guilty of spiritual fornication or unfaithfulness to God.
Note: The world and the anti-God forces are having their day now but God's day is coming. Whose side will you be on then?
V. The Doom of the Beast Worshiper - Vs. 9-12
People won't be able to buy or sell without the mark of the Beast (13:16-17). But to receive the mark will mean they would rather have physical life than to have spiritual life and they will know this. In receiving the mark they will be rejecting Christ and sealing their doom.
Vs. 12 -- Those that patiently put their trust in God and accept Jesus by faith will keep God's commandments during this period. Many will be martyred but they will be eternally saved. The age of suffering for Jesus is not over but will get worse and worse until the end of the tribulation. How much do you suffer for Him?
VI. The Blessedness of the Martyrs - Vs. 13
Blessed or Happy are they that die who are saved in this period. They will then rest from their labors and their works (their service record) will follow them and God will amply reward them in heaven for all thy did and suffered on earth. Note: Those that live for the Devil and themselves on earth have nothing to look forward to. But we who are saved, though many trials and sufferings we endure, we know that God has better days ahead for us in heaven. CF. Rom. 8:18.
VIII. The Vision of the Battle of Armageddon - Vs. 14-20
Vs. 14 & 15 -- It is Jesus sitting on a cloud. This refers to His second coming at the close of the tribulation. Acts 1:11. "A golden crown" He is wearing. When He died, He was forced to wear a crown of thorns as the suffering Savior, but now He's the conquering King. This will be more detailed when we study Chapter 19.
The word ripe means that the world is ready for the harvest. God does everything at the right time.
Vs. 16 -- The earth is reaped at the Battle of Armageddon when the armies of the Kinds of the east (16:12 -- China, India, Japan, etc.), the armies of the King of the North (Russia, Ezek. 38:15,16), the armies of the West (Ezek.38:6 -- Gomer which refers to Europe), and the armies of the South (Ezek. 38:5 -- Ethiopia & Libya or Egypt) will come to Palestine to defeat God.
CF. Zech. 14:1-5; Rev. 19:19; 16:14, 16. The saved that are living will be gathered to God and the living unsaved will suffer the pangs of the Battle of Armageddon and other judgements.
CF. Mt. 13:24-30; 36-43. Note some things about this battle:
It is a literal battle.
It is not a battle between nations.
It must occur after the Rapture.
It is between Jesus and the nations of the world.
It occurs at the end of the tribulation.
It ushers in the Millennium.
Vs. 17 & 18 -- Here we find another sickle and another thrusting. This one is not the harvest of the earth but the harvest of vine of the earth. Just as Christ is the True Vine (John 15), the Anti-Christ is the vine of the earth. And just as we Christians are on the True Vine, even so, unbelievers will be on the false vine (Anti-Christ).
Vs. 19 -- The grapes on the vine will be cast into the great wine press. A wine press is a big trough or vat for the treading and smashing of grapes in order for the juice to be made into wine. The wicked shall be put in God's wine press and trampled upon with the result found in Verse 20.
Vs. 20 -- When the wicked have been trampled upon in God's wine press, the blood will come out and will form a river of blood 200 miles long. This will be the result of the Battle of Armageddon.
The world has rejected the Blood of God's Son as an atonement for their sin. Now, their blood will run like a river.
CONCLUSION: Today is a day of Grace. The Tribulation Period will be a day primarily of judgement. We must face the fact that God will judge all men. Before the awful day of judgement comes, God calls all men to repent and be saved.
1. Is Chapter 14 part of the parenthetical section of the book?
2. Is the 144,000 of Chapter 14 the same as in Chapter 7?
3. Where is Mount Zion?
4. What is unusual about the song the 144,000 sing?
5. What was unusual about the walk of the 144,000?
6. What was unusual about the talk of the 144,000?
7. What will the angel preacher preach?
8. What does the fall of Babylon refer to?
9. What city does the phrase "that great city" refer to?
10. What will happen to the people who receive the Mark of the Beast?
11. Why will the martyred saints of this period be happy?
12. What will follow them?
13. What is significant about Jesus wearing a "Golden Crown"?
14. When will the earth be reaped?
15. State 6 things about the Battle of Armageddon?
16. Who is the vine of the earth?
17. Who is the True Vine?
18. How long will the river of Blood be from the Battle of Armageddon?