Question: Please explain the book of Revelation beginning with chapter one and going through chapter 22.
Answer: Chapter 14 explained: As we studied the story of Revelation in chapter 13, we were left with the impressive picture of the three enemies of the Church — the dragon (Satan), the sea beast (civil governments), and the land beast (counterfeit religion from the heart and mind of man). This in turn raised the question; can the Lamb of God match this horrible trio? Is Christ really going to be victorious? Is it actually worth all the troubles and suffering to stand faithful in the gospel to the end? With all this weighing heavily on our minds it is time for some good news! And that is exactly what we find in chapter fourteen: the story headline is Encouragement! Assurance! and the Ingathering. So, once again, let’s let John, continue to unfold the story and see!
In verses 1-5 we again see the 144,000 that was introduce to us in chapter seven as the “sealed” of God or His Church on earth. This time they are wearing the name of Christ, and what a name that is!
Verse one shows us these 144,000 Christians were standing on Mount Zion with Christ. Wow, what a position of honor that is; to be able to stand with Christ in a place that furnishes salvation of the soul. Listen to David as he speaks of Mount Zion and Israel in Psalms 14:7 “Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.”
Verses two and three tell us they were joined by a heavenly host in singing a “new song.” A song that only the redeemed from earth could truly sing. It is a victory song patterned after the victory song of Moses as seen in Revelation 15:3-4: “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”
In verses four and five we are inspired to live this earthly life in a distinguished manner—and this we ought to reach for as the challenge is set before us as to what we can do, or be, or become, in Christ. Peter speaks of this in 1 Peter 2:21-22 “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:”
Moving on, in verses 6-20 we hear a message from six different angels.
Verses six and seven we hear the first angel of heaven preaching the eternal gospel—good news; Satan is using the nations and deceiving us by the governments and the power of the people, but Satan is not unbeatable! Yes, the time has come for Satan to be stopped — judged by God! Jesus plainly tells us this in Luke 10:18 “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”
In verse eight we hear the second angle tell us God’s judgment is carried out on Rome (Babylon) as well as all unrighteousness. This is seen in 1 Peter 4:18 “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
In verses nine through 13 the third angel informs us, in a clear understandable language, that anyone that worships the beast and receives his mark, the same shall be judged by God as unworthy. On the other hand, if we are faithful and patient, we’ll be blessed by God. We saw this in Revelation 2:10: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
In verse 14 we are shown Christ the reaper. This was taught us by Jesus in Matthew 25:31-33 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.”
In verses 15 and 16 we hear the fourth angel tell us that it is Jesus that will reap the harvest. This also was taught us by Jesus in Matthew 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.”
Verse 17 shows us yet another angel (number five) and this angel also had a sickle like Christ. While we are not told anything by this angel it is understandable that his mission is one of justice for the Lord, we just don’t know what exactly. This angel could very well be God’s guardian angel for the Church in this last dispensation of law as is seen in Matthew 19:28: “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Verses 18-20 and the message of the sixth angel gives us some insight into the fifth angel with the sickle. It becomes clear that the fifth angel is an angel executing the judgment of God against Rome, all ungodly nations, and all oppressors of God’s people on earth — the Church. The wheat is gathered in and the grapes are trampled! This is also taught by Jesus in Matthew 12:20: “A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.”
Yes, the enemies of the Church are going to pay and Christians are going to be blessed. Think about it.
Do you have a Bible question or comment you would like to have answered? Please call Marshall Stubblefield at 423-272-2404.