The Everlasting Gospel & Those Who Reject It

Revelation 14:6-20

6. Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people

7. saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.''

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

9. Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand,

10. "he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength 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 ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.''

12. Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

13. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: `Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' '' "Yes,'' says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.''

14. And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like 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 who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.''

16. So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

17. Then 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, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.''

19. So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

20. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs. NKJV


6. Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people

Observe,

1. The gospel is an everlasting gospel; it is so in its nature, and it will be so in its consequences. Though all flesh be grass, the word of the Lord endureth for ever.

2. It is a work fit for an angel to preach this everlasting gospel; such is the dignity, and such is the difficulty of that work! And yet we have this treasure in earthen vessels.

3. The everlasting gospel is of great concern to all the world; and, as it is the concern of all, it is very much to be desired that it should be made known to all, even to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.

4. The gospel is the great means whereby men are brought to fear God, and to give glory to him. Natural religion is not sufficient to keep up the fear of God, nor to secure to him glory from men; it is the gospel that revives the fear of God, and retrieves his glory in the world.

5. When idolatry creeps into the churches of God, it is by the preaching of the gospel, attended by the power of the Holy Spirit, that men are turned from idols to serve the living God, as the Creator of the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters, v. 7. To worship any God besides him who created the world is idolatry.

(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The first angel proclaims the everlasting gospel. This is probably the gospel announcing the glad tidings of the everlasting kingdom of Christ, which is to come to power immediately after the "judgment" of the Antichrist (cf. 14:7). The proclamations of the three angels who proclaim the gospel comprise a summary of events that is amplified in the remaining chapters of Revelation. These include the fall of Babylon (14:8), the judgment on the creature worshipers (14:9-11), the voice from heaven regarding the martyrs (14:13), the vision of the Son of man on a cloud (14:14), the harvest (14:15), and the vintage (14:18). These verses reveal the triumph of the Lamb as being so sure that the angel announces victory even before the battle begins. New Commentary on the Whole Bible; Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Electronic Edition

It is the gospel which we are to preach, which believers in all ages were commanded to preach, and which the angel will preach. The gospel is everlasting. It is good news from God, and is exceedingly broad in scope. Many descriptions cannot exhaust its meaning, even though they can give us many insights to its nature. It is the glorious gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4); the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15), the gospel of the kingdom (Mark 1:14), the gospel of God (1 Peter 4:17), the gospel of Christ (Romans 15:19), the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24), the gospel of salvation (Ephesians 1:13), and a gospel of many other facets. But there is only one true gospel and that gospel is everlasting. The Revelation Record; Henry M. Morris; Electronic Edition

7. saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.''

What does it mean to fear God? Satan would have us believe it means to be afraid of God, but that is incorrect. To fear God means to have a holy respect for him, believe he exists, and believe he reigns and will judge all mankind. This kind of fear is the beginning of wisdom and it pleases God. Revelation: God's Word for the Biblically-Inept; Duck, Raymond R.; Electronic Edition

Fear God--This is a necessary step to embracing the love of God revealed in the gospel. Repentance accompanies faith. give glory to him--and not to the beast (cf. 13:4; Jer. 13:16). for the hour of his judgment is come--This judgment does not refer to the general judgment but to the judgment upon Babylon, the beast, and his worshipers (14:8-12). worship him that [who] made heaven, and earth--not the Antichrist, who enters the temple of God and declares himself to be God. New Commentary on the Whole Bible; Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Electronic Edition

and give glory to him; and not to graven images, which he will not allow; and glory is to be given to him, on account of the perfections of his nature, and, the works of his hands; and is given when men ascribe greatness to him, praise his works of creation, and acquiesce in those of Providence, acknowledging the power, goodness, and wisdom of God in all; and when they give thanks for all his mercies, temporal and spiritual, and especially for Jesus Christ; and when they exercise faith on him as their God in Christ, and ascribe their salvation to him and to the Lamb, and not to the works of their hands; and when they attend his worship, and the duties of religion, and so glorify him with their bodies and spirits, which are his: Gill's Expositor; John Gill; Computer Version in Online Bible

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

It may seem strange that the angel with the gospel is followed immediately by the angels of doom. But the gospel has of necessity a double-edged quality. It is good news for those who receive it but it is judgment to those who reject it. And the condemnation of those who reject it is all the greater because they were given the chance to accept it. The Revelation of John Volume 2 by William Barclay; Westminster Press; Copyright (C) 1976

another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city--This is the first reference to Babylon, which is identified with the harlot (the apostate church or Rome). The expression "fallen" anticipates the later judgments described in 18:2. she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication--Her fall is the just reward for her impurity, according to the wrath of God. Just as she made the nations drunk with the wine of her impurity, so she herself shall be made drunk with the wine of God's wrath. This is, according to some commentators, the preannouncement of the doom of the Roman Catholic church. For the Roman Catholic church had made the pope to be infallible, made him to be the head of the church, made a woman queen of heaven, caused the world to adore relics, etc. Other interpreters see in these words the doom of imperial Rome symbolized by the name "Babylon," which to the Jews was the epitome of evil. The fall of "Babylon" is so certain that it is looked upon as having already occurred (Summers and McDowell). New Commentary on the Whole Bible; Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Electronic Edition

Making the nations drink this wine is a reference to Babylon forcing her Satanic-inspired false religion on the world. The ancient city died out many centuries ago, but during the 1980's and 90's Saddam Hussein poured hundreds of millions of dollars into rebuilding it. 14-7 The Persian Gulf War eventually slowed him down, but the rebuilt city will become a great center of religion and trade during the Tribulation Period. The False Prophet will locate the headquarters of his false religion there. Revelation: God's Word for the Biblically-Inept; Duck, Raymond R.; Electronic Edition

the idolatry of Israel and Judah is often expressed in the Old Testament by fornication and whoredoms; see #Jer 3:6 Eze 23:2,3 and the wine of it designs the alluring methods used to draw into it; such as the riches and honours, and pleasures of this world, promised to men, and the great appearances of holiness and religion, the deceivableness of unrighteousness, the miracles, signs, and lying wonders done by them, by which men are made sottish and stupid, and induced to believe a lie; just as wine intoxicates, and inclines and excites to lust: Gill's Expositor; John Gill; Computer Version in Online Bible

Then a second angel will declare the fall of Babylon. This is a judgment the Old Testament prophets (Isaiah 13:4-6, 19, 20; Jeremiah 51:7, 25, 26) predicted and it must come to pass. Babylon's fascination with the occult and her spread of a one-world harlot religion will bring a world-class fall. Revelation: God's Word for the Biblically-Inept; Duck, Raymond R.; Electronic Edition

J.H. Melton: Many religious leaders of the present day are very enthusiastic about what they call "Christian unity." Millions of professing Christians are being swept by sentimental appeals into the ecumenical monster, the World Council of Churches, the one-world church. Again and again people are heard to exclaim, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if we just had one great big church?" They will have their one great big church, but it will not be so wonderful. It will be a federation of God-defying, Christ-denying, apostate religious leaders.14-9 Revelation: God's Word for the Biblically-Inept; Duck, Raymond R.; Electronic Edition

V-8 Here is prophesied the doom of Rome. Throughout the Revelation Rome is described as Babylon, a description which was common between the Testaments. The writer of 2 Baruch begins his pronouncement against Rome: "I, Baruch, say this against thee, Babylon" (2 Baruch 11: 1). When the Sibylline Oracles describe the imagined flight of Nero from Rome, they say: "Then shall flee from Babylon a king shameless and fearless, whom all mortals and the best men loathe" (Sibylline Oracles 5: 143). In the ancient days Babylon to the prophets had been the very incarnation of power and lust and luxury and sin; and to the early Jewish Christians Babylon seemed to have been reborn in the lust and luxury and immorality of Rome. The Revelation of John Volume 2 by William Barclay; Westminster Press; Copyright (C) 1976

9. Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand,

10. "he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength 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.

If perhaps the fires were not physical, or the resurrected bodies were not physical, at least the torment is real and eternal. The Revelation Record; Henry M. Morris; Electronic Edition

drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture--In ancient times, wine was commonly diluted with water. This wine of God's wrath is undiluted (cf. the figure of Ps. 75:8). Nothing of grace or hope is blended with it. This terrible threat is far worse than the fear of any man's threats. This unmixed cup is already mingled and prepared for Satan and the beast's followers. The Greek term for "wrath" means "boiling indignation," from a root meaning "to boil." tormented with fire and brimstone [sulphur] in the presence of the holy angels--cf. Isaiah 34:8-10, reminiscent of Genesis 19:24, 25. The person who worships the beast will find that his doom is fixed forever. Those who persist in drinking from the harlot's cup of mixed abominations will be made to drink from the cup of God's unmixed wrath. New Commentary on the Whole Bible; Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Electronic Edition

there can be no question as to the reality of an environment of burning flames as the ultimate destiny of the wicked. This is such a frequent theme in Scripture (Daniel 7:11; Ezekiel 20:47, 48; Isaiah 66:24; Matthew 3:12; 13:50; Mark 9:43-49; and Jude 7) that it is folly to ignore it or to "spiritualize" it. The bodies of the unsaved dead are to be resurrected (Revelation 20:5, 12-15; John 5:29, etc.) and thus must be physical bodies, capable of being "tormented" in physical flames. Whether they will be burned up (as our present bodies would be) or will be so changed as to be nonflammable is not clear from Scripture. In any case, the spirits of unsaved men and women as well as the evil spirits who comprise the fallen angels will be confined to a place of eternal fire and torment. The Revelation Record; Henry M. Morris; Electronic Edition

11. "And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.''

they have no rest day nor night--cf. 14:13, which depicts a group having rest constantly--rest from sin, weariness, and temptation. New Commentary on the Whole Bible; Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Electronic Edition

The doctrine of eternal punishment may be objectionable to modern intellectuals and cultists, but this resistance cannot offset the fact that the Bible clearly teaches it. Even if the fires of hell were not literal fires, their torment continues forever, whatever they are. Such is the unequivocal statement proclaimed by the angel as he flies through the atmosphere. The Revelation Record; Henry M. Morris; Electronic Edition

And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, &c.] That is, the smoke of that fire which torments them will for ever arise; or, in other words, there will be no end of their torment; hence their misery is called everlasting fire, everlasting punishment, and everlasting destruction, Mt 25:41,46 2Th 1:9 Gill's Expositor; John Gill; Computer Version in Online Bible

Oliver B. Greene: There are those today who tell us that the wicked will be burned… that there is no such thing as an everlasting hell. I would like for these fellows to explain to me why, if God is going to burn up the wicked, he does not put out the fire. Why does the smoke ascend up forever and ever? Revelation: God's Word for the Biblically-Inept; Duck, Raymond R.; Electronic Edition

David Hocking: But does God punish people forever? It appears that his holiness, justice, and righteous character demand it. If we refuse his offer of salvation from sin, death, and hell, what else could he do and remain a holy God? His love, mercy, and forgiveness become totally meaningless if there is no retribution for our rebellion and sin. If there is eternal life for the believer then there is also eternal punishment for the unbeliever.14-13 Revelation: God's Word for the Biblically-Inept; Duck, Raymond R.; Electronic Edition

Tim LaHaye: It is well to remember that even matter cannot be annihilated, as any scientist will confirm. Elements can be changed, but they cannot be annihilated. If matter cannot be annihilated, how much less the immortal soul of man.14-14 Revelation: God's Word for the Biblically-Inept; Duck, Raymond R.; Electronic Edition

V-10-11 We may dislike this line of thought; we may condemn it as subchristian--and indeed it is. But we have no real right to speak until we have gone through the same sufferings as the early Christians did. Many a time the heathen had looked down from the crowded seats of the arena on the sufferings of the Christians; and the early Christians were sustained by the thought that some day the divine justice of heaven would adjust the balance of earth's injustices. The Revelation of John Volume 2 by William Barclay; Westminster Press; Copyright (C) 1976

12. Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

The thought of 13:10 is resumed. The great ordeal of persecution reserved for those who refuse to worship the beast will serve as a test of the faith and patience of the followers of God and Jesus. The term patience suggests "persevering endurance." faith of Jesus--probably an objective genitive, "faith in Jesus." New Commentary on the Whole Bible; Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Electronic Edition

13. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: `Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' '' "Yes,'' says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.''

This verse presents an additional contrast for the sake of emphasis, and it serves as encouragement to cheer those persecuted by the beast. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord--The time for their blessing has come--now that the judgment on the beast and the harvesting of the elect are at hand. The time that the martyrs have longed for is almost come; the full assembly of all their fellow-servants is nearly complete; their time of "waiting for a little while" is almost over, for their eternal rest, the end of their toils (2 Thess. 1:7), is close at hand now. They are blessed in being allowed to sit down to the marriage-supper of the Lamb (19:9), in having a part in the first resurrection (20:6), and in having a right to the tree of life (22:14). Verses 14-16 explain why they in particular are pronounced blessed. Yea, saith the Spirit--In Revelation, the Spirit and Christ speak as one (see comments on 2:7). that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them--Their time of toil is past; they enter on the blessed rest because of their faith evidenced in their works. Their works are specified because of the impending judgment of every man according to his works. His works do not go before the believer, nor even go by his side, but they follow him as a proof that he is Christ's. New Commentary on the Whole Bible; Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Electronic Edition

14. And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.

the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown--The crown is a stephanos crown (Gk.), the garland of victory, not a diadeôma crown (Gk.) such as would be worn by a king. The victory is described in detail (19:11-21). This figure also holds a sharp sickle. Many commentators identify this one like a Son of man as Christ (see 1:13). This harvest could depict a general inreaping of the believers (see Matt. 9:37, 38; John 4:35-38) or judgment in general (see Matt. 13:30, 40-42), anticipating Armageddon, which does not actually occur until chapter 19. New Commentary on the Whole Bible; Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Electronic Edition

15. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.''

Still another angel appeared from the temple and called to him that sat on the cloud. The Son of man himself is active in the harvest-gathering of the elect; an angel is dispatched to fill the winepress and trample it (14:18-20). ripe--lit., "dried." Dried grain is ripe and ready for harvest. New Commentary on the Whole Bible; Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Electronic Edition

16. So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

17. Then 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, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.''

A final angel appears, this one coming from the altar (for he has power over fire). The fire is taken from the altar and cast upon the earth, perhaps in answer to the incense-accompanied prayers of the saints (8:5). The grapes and clusters are ready for reaping. The expression translated "ripe" literally means "come to [their] acme." New Commentary on the Whole Bible; Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Electronic Edition

The Greek word for "ripe," xeraino, means totally ripe, rotten, or withered. The harvest of the earth is ripe shows us that God will withhold his judgment until the last minute. When his judgment falls, the Church will have been raptured, most of the Tribulation Saints and Jews will have been killed, and the world will be totally corrupt. No one will be able to truthfully claim that Jesus acted too soon. Revelation: God's Word for the Biblically-Inept; Duck, Raymond R.; Electronic Edition

19. So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

The thrusting of the sickle to cut the vine of the earth obviously speaks of a rapid displacement of all the followers of the beast from their home countries. They are to be gathered to one place. This is the great gathering spoken of in many other passages as well. "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat" (Joel 3:2). "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle" (Zechariah 14:2). "And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon" (Revelation 16:16). "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army" (Revelation 19:19). The Revelation Record; Henry M. Morris; Electronic Edition

Having gathered the grapes of the earth, the angel cast the grapes into the great winepress of the wrath of God. The treading of grapes in the winepress is a familiar OT depiction of God's judgment (see Lam. 1:15; Joel 3:13). Isaiah 63:3 portrays the Messiah as the one who treads the grapes (cf. 19:13). New Commentary on the Whole Bible; Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Electronic Edition

20. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.

The "winepress" into which they are to be cast is the place ordained for ages to be the locale of the last great conflict between Christ and Antichrist. Tremendous numbers of soldiers will be massed in the land of Israel for this final confrontation. Joel describes it thus: "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision" (Joel 3:14). The Revelation Record; Henry M. Morris; Electronic Edition

the winepress was trodden without [outside] the city [of Jerusalem]--The scene of the shedding of Christ's blood may also be the scene of God's vengeance on the enemy of his people. Beasley-Murray, however, views this city as "Babylon the Great" and refers to 11:8 and 18:2 for supporting evidence. a thousand and six hundred furlongs, approximately two hundred miles. Sixteen hundred is four hundred times four. The element of "four" in this number may symbolize all four parts of the world--hence, universal judgment. The number also approximates the length of Palestine from Dan to Beersheba (Ladd). Bengel thinks the figure refers to the valley of Kidron, between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives; the stream in that valley will be discolored with blood for two-hundred miles. This view accords with Joel's prophecy that the valley of Jehoshaphat is to be the scene of the overthrow of the anti-Christian foe (Joel 3:12-14). New Commentary on the Whole Bible; Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Electronic Edition

Apparently a reference to Armageddon (16:16; cf. 19:17-19), when the blood from the slaughter will flow 180 mi. (290 km), to the depth of about 4.5 ft (1.3 m). The blood of horses added to that of the large armies of human soldiers could easily cause such an enormous river of blood. Ryrie Study Bible; Ryrie, Charles Caldwell, Th.D., Ph.D. Electronic Edition

[By the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs]-`1,600 furlongs off' (W. Kelly). 1,600-a square number: 4 by 4 by 100. The four quarters-north, south, east, and west-of the Holy Land, or else of the world (the universality of the worldwide destruction being indicated). It does not exactly answer to the length of Palestine, as given by Jerome-160 Roman miles. Bengel thinks the valley of Kedron, between Jerusalem and the mount of Olives, is meant, its torrent being about to be discoloured with blood for 1,600 furlongs. This accords with Joel's prophecy, that the valley of Jehoshaphat is to be the scene of overthrow of the anti-Christian foes. (from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Even unto the horses' bridles, for the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs; which is only an hyperbolical expression, setting forth the largeness and universality of the destruction of the wicked, and the impossibility of their escaping it. In like manner the Jews express a great slaughter of men; so of the slaughter at Bither, by Adrian, they say, they went on slaying wmjwxÄd[ ~db swsh [qff d[, "until a horse plunged in blood up to his nostrils", and the blood ran four miles into the sea; which is not to be understood literally, but as expressing a prodigious effusion of blood: Gill's Expositor; John Gill; Computer Version in Online Bible

 

The Everlasting Gospel & Those Who Reject It

Revelation 14:6-20

6. Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people

7. saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.''

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

9. Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand,

10. "he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength 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 ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.''

12. Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

13. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: `Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' '' "Yes,'' says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.''

14. And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like 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 who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.''

16. So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

17. Then 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, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.''

19. So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

20. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs. NKJV

 

Remember that last week we said that God was giving John a glimpse of the end because he had just seen the worst of the tribulation period, as far as Christians are concerned.

He first sees the 144,000 that God has brought triumphantly through the tribulation period. He sees the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, triumphant over the forces of Satan. The next thing that John sees does not deal with God's people but Satan's people; those who have worshiped the beast and received his mark upon them.

Many Christians do not believe that God will bring judgment. But if God is to bring righteousness, if God will be righteous, then He must judge this world. As John has seen the end of the 144,000 who follow the Lamb, in verses 6-20 he sees the end of those who follow antichrist.

The righteous will be blessed while the wicked will be punished. What we see in this chapter is sort of a synopsis of the remainder of the tribulation period. Let us look at some of the major things in this chapter.

  1. The Everlasting Gospel
    1. What is this
      1. The gospel is the gospel.
      2. It may have different facets but it is the same gospel.
        1. the gospel of the kingdom (Mark 1:14),
        2. The gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24),
        3. It is the glorious gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4);
        4. The gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15),
        5. The gospel of God (1 Peter 4:17),
        6. The gospel of Christ (Romans 15:19),
        7. The gospel of salvation (Ephesians 1:13),
      3. But is essentially the same message.
        1. There is but one message that brings salvation, the gospel message.
        2. When it emphasizes different aspects, it might have different names but it is all the same message.
      4. That is why it is referred to as the everlasting Gospel.
        1. I get amused with those who are always trying to update God's message.
        2. We can update the delivery of the message but the message is as old as time itself, it is the everlasting gospel.
        3. The same gospel that saved Abraham is the same gospel by which we must be save today.
        4. Paul said that if anyone, even an angel comes preaching any other gospel then the one that he delivered, that they should be cursed.
        5. If you are waiting for God to change the message, you will have to wait for forever.
    2. Why does an angel proclaim this gospel?
      1. The 144,000 have been preaching this gospel all though the tribulation period.
      2. It is the same gospel that I have to preach today.
      3. But you see God is very compassionate, He sends an angel to circle the globe to preach the gospel and give mankind their final opportunity.
      4. Isn't God a merciful God.
        1. He has allowed you to be here this morning to give you at least one more opportunity to hear the word and to repent, don't miss it.
        2. God gives this last generation a supernatural messenger to proclaim the unchanging message that can lead to life rather than death if they will accept it.
        3. Notice that the angel proclaims this everlasting gospel to everyone nation and language in the world.
    3. The simple message
      1. It is not complicated.
        1. Whenever religion becomes complicated you can be sure that it is not of God.
        2. Man as he reinterprets God's simple message comes to more and more complexness.
        3. Man compounds religion into a vast nothingness where no one can be sure of anything.
      2. Fear God
        1. I remember hearing Vance Havner some years ago say that the true gospel was so out of date that if we started preaching it that people would think we were preaching a new message.
        2. Fear God, is not a primary message in the church today.
        3. But the Bible teaches that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
        4. Psalm 111:10. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.
        5. Romans 3: 10-18 10. As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; 11. there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. 12. They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.'' 13. "Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit''; "The poison of asps is under their lips''; 14. "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.'' 15. "Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16. destruction and misery are in their ways; 17. and the way of peace they have not known.'' 18. "There is no fear of God before their eyes.''
        6. Well when the time that the angel we read of in this chapter arrives, you would think that fearing God would be a given.
        7. But it is not, fearing God involves recognizing that God is God and that is what man has failed to do since the beginning. Rom. 1:21 ... although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
        8. But God still give them another opportunity to hear and obey.
      3. Give Him the glory.
        1. We give honor and glory to everything but God.
          1. We do so with those of might and power.
          2. We do so with those celebrities who we like.
          3. We honor our own selves.
        2. But all honor and glory are due to Him.
          1. What ever we have, either God gave it to us or He placed us in such a situation that we could get it.
          2. And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it? 1 Cor. 4:70
          3. It is that type of attitude that makes even God's people not as thankful as they ought to be.
        3. For the hour of His judgement is come.
          1. If nothing else could cause man to fear God, you would at least think that knowing that the time of judgement was coming would.
          2. But the testimony of the book of Revelation is that men curse God rather than fear Him.
          3. When, in the next two chapters, when God sends the last seven bowels of God's wrath on mankind, notice that they blaspheme Him rather than fear Him.
          4. Rev. 16:20 And men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail . . .
      4. Worship Him
        1. God is not only to be feared, He is to be worshiped.
          1. They are not really the same thing for you could fear someone without worshiping Him.
          2. But God is to be worshiped.
          3. This means giving God the proper place in ones life.
          4. Worship is more than just singing songs and those type of things.
        2. But notice why we are to worship Him - He is the creator.
          1. He has made the heaven and earth, sea, and springs of the earth.
          2. Does it amaze you as much as it does me, the references to God as Creator found in this book.
          3. Why does the angel talk about God as creator and base our worship of Him on fact that He is the Creator?
          4. Because it is the basic denial of a pagan world.
          5. Paul when speaking to the Athenians did the same thing, He went back to God as creator to instill in them worship.
          6. I think that a society that does not know God as Creator cannot know Him as Savior for that concept is built upon the other.
          7. Maybe the reason that so many today reject Jesus as Savior is that they have no idea that God is creator.
  2. Judgment of the antichrist's worship system
    1. We will cover this when we come to chapters 17 & 18
  3. Judgment on the worshipers of the antichrist
    1. We will cover this when we come to the great white throne judgment
  4. The blessings of faithfulness
    1. We covered this last week.
  5. The final judgment
    1. This covered in Revelation 19

Con: There is no need to wait for an angel to preach the everlasting gospel. We preach it to you today. Fear God. He will judge sin. Jesus came to earth to take your place. Can you accept that? Repent and put Jesus first in your life and he will help you deal with the problems that have troubled you for so long.

Worship Him for He has created all things.

 
This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com