Revelation Lesson 37: Bloodbath of God’s Wrath :: By Sean Gooding

Chapter 14: 14-20

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

“Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 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.’ 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. 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.”

Last time we ended talking about Hell – a real place that real people that we know will go to because they have rejected the salvation of God provided through the shed blood of Jesus and His resurrection for us. In Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, and several other places, the Lord gave us very clear instructions as to the purpose of the New Testament church; we are to share the Gospel to everyone. The message of salvation is for everyone. If nothing else, we are to share the Gospel. We are to tell people about Jesus’ offer of salvation and of His love for them. We should be using every available tool to preach the Gospel; share the offer of eternal life and forgiveness of sins.

If we are not doing this, are we really the Lord’s churches?

If a fireman refused to go into a burning house to rescue people, is he really a fireman? If a doctor stops treating people to help make them better, is he really a doctor? I can go on, but you understand the point, I hope. Well, if we are to be telling others about the free gift of salvation, offering them the chance to have eternal life with Jesus and to avoid Hell, if this is our primary goal and we are NOT doing it, are we truly churches? The answer is NO.

Hebrews 10:25 tells us that we are to assemble even more as we see ‘the day’ approaching, the Lord’s Day, that Day when Jesus will come to begin judgment.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 we find these words from the Apostle Paul: “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.”

The salvation of the lost is our crown of rejoicing. We should be enraptured with joy when someone repents. Here in 1 Thessalonians the apostle tells us that our crown of rejoicing will be when we are in the presence of the Lord along with those that we have helped to understand that they needed Jesus as Savior and helped them to call on Him (verse 20).

We find joy and seek glory in many things, but too many of the Lord’s people simply do not share the Gospel; and there are so many tools and ways to reach people.

Just last weekend, I know of a church that sponsored a Super Bowl evangelism event; they had 223 people from 15 states and 45 churches that handed out the Gospel to all who would take it. The Saturday before the Super Bowl, they had five (5) trust Jesus as Savior on the sidewalks and roadways of Atlanta. Awesome! This is their glory and joy. This joy is had by all who hosted people, fed them and provided money; it was a team effort. No superstars; that position is taken by Jesus.

Today we will explore some powerful events in the Tribulation. Stuff that is gruesome and reflects the powerful wrath of God.

The Son of Man, verse 14

Jesus loved the title, Son of Man. He loves his humanity. Most of us wonder what it would be like to be God; Jesus chose to become a man. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem Ephrathah, in the Tower of Flock as a sacrificial baby, it was a permanent transition into humanity. He would be a man forever. According to what I can find, the phrase ‘Son of Man’ appears 81 times in the Koine Greek in the Gospels. In a bit of a contrast, the phrase ‘Son of God’ is only used 5 times in the New Testament. Jesus often called himself the Son of Man (Luke 9:22, 22:69; Mark 8:31, 14:62; Matthew 9:6, 26:64 and on we can go. Jesus loved to refer to himself as the Son of Man. Jesus relished his humanity.

In Hebrews 4:14-16 we find these encouraging words: “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Our Great High Priest, Jesus, the Son of Man, is always there for us and always on our side and with firsthand knowledge of the frailty and limitations of humanity. He can sympathize with us and give us mercy in the time of need.

In 1 John 2:1 we see these lovely words of encouragement: “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

We have an Advocate with the father, a friend, one who is always on our side even when we fail – reminding the Heavenly judge of His sacrifice for us and His blood that covers our sins. His perfect human blood that was shed for us. Jesus, the Son of Man; our High Priest, our Advocate, our Redeemer, our Friend and our King.

The Harvest of Wrath, verse 15-16

There was another harvest at the Rapture. One of grace and kindness, one of redemption and peace. One of life and that, eternal.

In 1 Thessalonians 5: 9-11 we find this promise: “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”

The promise is that God did not want us to suffer His wrath; we are spared that through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We have obtained salvation through Jesus our Lord. We are to comfort each other with these words – the assurance that we are not appointed to wrath.

Some will argue that the ‘wrath of God,’ called the great wrath, only begins in the second half of the Tribulation. I have many dear brothers who feel this way, that we will be here for the first 3+ years of the Tribulation. But we are not appointed to any wrath, whether great or small, since we have been redeemed by Jesus. Jesus suffered the wrath of God for me, in my place as my substitute on the cross. He took all of my sins before I ever even existed; in Him they were nailed to the cross; in Him I have suffered my just wrath. Jesus, the righteous dying for me, the unrighteous.

As such then, this harvest here is for the ones who have rejected the Lord God Almighty and His loving, kind, and gracious offer of salvation. I refer you back to the verses in Revelation 14:6-7 where God expressly offers salvation in Jesus to the whole world from the mouth of an angel. In a similar manner, God allowed seven (7) days for grace and kindness in the days of the flood. He had given mankind 120 years to repent; and none, not one, had repented. Only Noah and his family were ready to enter the Ark.

In Genesis 7:7-8, Noah and his family along with the animals entered the ark; and then in verse 10 we see that, after 7 days, the rain began to fall. God was gracious even then; He gave the people of earth an extra 7 days. Maybe it took 7 days to load the Ark; or maybe they entered the Ark and then, after 7 days, the rains came. Either way, the people of earth had 7 clear days to simply show their belief by entering the Ark with Noah and his family. Notice in verse 16 that it was God who shut the door. God determined when judgment would begin, and His people were safe and secure in His protection before the wrath came.

Well, God gave the people of earth – every tribe, nation, and tongue – a chance to accept His salvation. They rejected it, and the wrath came on them in swift and relentless waves.

As an aside, I would like to interject something. Please forgive me if this seems rude since I am not a US citizen, but I am a citizen of North America and the Western Hemisphere. It would appear to me after listening to the SOTU address on Tuesday that God has or is offering some hope to the USA: record employment amongst all sectors, military victories, financial victories and political victories. The current president is very vocal against late-term abortions, against socialism and against injustice it would seem. He is a man who has spoken openly about salvation in Jesus; he is surrounded by men and women who pray for him; he is not doing the job to get money; he is hard working and stands for law and order.

This seems to me like the Lord is offering a stay of execution on the US right now, so to speak. This place that has been a refuge for Jews. The USA that has sent more missionaries than any other country in the world to share the Gospel and is still doing so, both with bodies and monies. The nation that runs to rescue those that are harmed by acts of God and by acts of man.

The last president hated the God of the Bible, and this president seems to love the God of the Bible. And for a man that many say is lost, He certainly is not afraid of the Gospel. I wished that Christians talked about God and Jesus like he does. If the people of the US do not repent and accept this gracious offer from God to go back to the former ways, then the end is near. Like that seventh day after they enter the ark, God will shut the door on the US; and what was once a great nation will crumble, and the fall thereof will be great.

The Bloodbath of God’s Wrath, verses 17-20

I love movies about battles. I have watched We Were Soldiers many times; I have watched Blackhawk Down often; I have watched Heartbreak Ridge often; and the more real the movie is about an actual event, the more I like to watch it. Many years ago, I ‘fell in love’ with the series Band of Brothers, a TV Series/Documentary about a platoon of soldiers who entered WW2; and this series tracked them from being recruited all the way through the war in Europe, to the end of the war and the rescuing of Europe from Hitler. The total death toll in WW2 was in the multi-millions, more than 50,000,000 dead at the end of the war. This was a shedding of blood that ran from the island of England and stopped in the Pacific in Hawaii.

There is an even greater bloodbath coming, and it is described for us here in these verses. Millions will die at the hand of Jesus. The blood will be deep and plenteous over the battlefield. The imagery used is quite graphic; the grapes of wrath and the winepress remind us how violent this battle will be – and more importantly, how one-sided it will be. In the winepress, the grapes do not have a chance; they do not fight back and injure the winepress as they are being crushed. This is going to be a one-sided affair. Jesus will be the winepress, and the enemies of God and Israel the grapes.

In verses from the Old Testament like Joel 3:13, we are told that the vats will overflow as God executes His wrath. In Isaiah 63:3, we see that Jesus’ robes are sprinkled with the blood from the people he is judging.

We have all seen movie depictions of the old battles: two armies across from each other; then the call to charge is given and they advance, coming to a loud clash in the middle; then the spears and swords begin to clash; bones break, blood is spilled, horses get upended, limbs cut off, and soon all are covered in blood and mud from the battle. This is what we are talking about here. This will not be some covert mission with armies sitting hundreds of miles away waging video-game combat; this will be a face- to-face, man-to-man, anti-Christ to Christ, and sword-to-sword battle that will end in the death of millions.

This attack will happen outside of the city of Jerusalem. In Zechariah 14:1-5, this is clearly seen. There will be some in the city that are hurt according to the passage, but Jesus will show up (Revelation 19:11-15) and engage the enemies of Israel on the battlefield outside the city. The city of Jerusalem will not be destroyed. As the Lord touches down on the earth, He will immediately create a new valley for the Jews to use as an escape.

This battle will be on a battlefield that encompasses about 200 miles. There are 8 furlongs in a mile, hence the 1,600 furlongs. This battlefield, from what I can understand, will stretch from Armageddon in Northern Palestine to Edom in the south. The idea that the blood will be 4 ft. deep for 200 miles is simply breathtaking. This may also refer to blood splatter on the horse reaching all the way to the face of the horse. But maybe in some narrow parts of this battlefield the blood will be 4 ft. deep.

In Ezekiel 39:8-16, we are told that it will initially take seven (7) months to clear the dead and the debris. Israel will not need to cut trees for firewood for those 7 months; they will be able to burn the remnants of the battle for fuel. But even after the 7 months, they will have regular search parties that go out looking for more dead bodies. One of the things to note is that this is not a war of machines as we see today. Rather, Jesus takes the world back to old-school war, where men fought face-to-face in close combat.

In 2010, the EU reported that there were 4.4 million horses in the member countries along with another 6 million equine animals including donkeys, mules and the like. According to a census taken in 2006, there are more than 58,000,000 horses worldwide, some 9.5 million in the US. There are plenty to furnish an army that can no longer use its machines for whatever reason.

So, is Jesus coming to get you in the Rapture? Or will you feel the wrath of God? The Son of Man offers you salvation—the only one available to mankind—the one He paid for in His blood. You can either be washed in the blood and be saved or reject the blood and be crushed. The choice is yours.

Missionarybaptistchurch76@yahoo.ca

 

Revelation Lesson 36: Eternal Choices :: By Sean Gooding

Chapter 14: 6-13

“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—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.’ 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.’

“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, 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. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 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.’

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

Last week we talked about the 144,000 chosen Jewish men, and one of the things that are pointed out about them is that they are celibate. As such, their loyalties are not divided between a spouse and the Lord. The Bible loves marriage; God loves marriage; He invented it. Hebrews 13:5 tells us that the marriage bed is undefiled, and the Apostle Paul tells us that a man should love his wife as Christ loves the church and gave himself for it.

Marriage is not the issue, rather it is divided loyalties. A man who is married naturally wants to keep his wife happy. This will help the peace in the home, and most men simply want peace. The lesson to learn here is not really about celibacy, but divided loyalties. As Christians, our loyalty is to the Lord God first and then to our spouses, and we should expect the same of our spouses. In fact, if our spouses are not loyal to the Lord first, then our marriages, no matter how seemingly peaceful, are in danger.

God will not tolerate divided loyalties for a long period of time. Each spouse then should determine in their heart to be faithful to the Lord, and as such, build a strong and solid foundation for their marriage. If you are not married, then maybe something else is more important than the Lord – maybe a job, a hobby, or whatever – no matter what it is, it must be second to the Lord God.

Today we will look at some hard things. One of them to those of us that are saved is a sweet taste, but to the world around us it is like bitterness to the core. Then we will explore the death of the seat of idolatry, and then take a look at God’s wrath in Hell for many people. These are some hard things, and we will need to ask some hard questions about the Lord. Let us explore them together.

The Gospel, verses 6-7

The Lord is ever gracious and is not willing that any should go to Hell. In 2 Peter 3:9, we see these great words of hope and a great look at the heart of God:

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Take a good long look at this verse. There is a heretical doctrine that has become very popular in seemingly conservative Baptist circles in the past 25 years. It has been around since the days of John Calvin; the doctrine is Calvinism. It essentially states that Jesus only died for some, not all men. That God has ‘predestined’ some to Hell and others to Heaven. It is this doctrine that makes God out to have offered limited atonement and only to those that He has selected. But, in the above verse, we see the very opposite of this doctrine; God is not willing that ANY should perish (go to Hell) but wants ALL to come to repentance.

I notice that most of the people who believe in this doctrine of selection, that all of their kids seem to be selected – God chose their whole family, not just some individuals.

There is a myriad of verses that tell us that Jesus died for all men:

John 3:16; 1 Peter 3:18, Christ died once for ALL.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15, one died for ALL.

John 12:32, “If I be lifted up, I will draw ALL men to me.”

1 John 2:2, Jesus died for the sins of the whole world.

I can go on, but it should not be necessary. The Gospel is for all men/women.

The Gospel is the same as it has been forever, that we should fear God and give glory to Him. The idea is not to be afraid of God but to reverence Him. Notice that in verse 6 the Gospel is for all persons of every nation, tribe, tongue and people. This angel is in the ‘midst of heaven’ when he is speaking the Gospel. This is a phrase in the Greek that can be translated ‘mid-Heaven,’ pointing out the highest point of the sun in the noon-day sky. This angel was visible to the whole world; ALL heard the Gospel.

Even in the very last hours, God is still not willing that any should perish. He is evangelizing the whole world, in every language, nation, tribe and people.

God is serious about the Gospel. He is determined to give as many people as possible the chance to hear the truth of the scripture. Salvation is this important to God; mankind is this important to God. His focus from Genesis 3:15 has been the redemption of man from Hell and eternal destruction. He has orchestrated and planned down to the very minutest detail the offer of salvation. Jesus came to pay for our sins, and the Holy Spirit indwells those that are saved. The Godhead is ALL in in the area of redemption; they are wholly invested, and so should we be as mature New Testament Christians.

When was the last time that you shared the Gospel with someone? When was the last time you sent money to a missionary or even prayed for them?

Even in the midst of the Tribulation with all the death and global chaos, God is telling the people of the world, DO NOT fear the anti-Christ and his minions. Fear ME! Fear God! I AM in charge of everything.

In Acts 8, we meet an Ethiopian eunuch, a leader in the Ethiopian government under Candace the Queen. He is reading from Isaiah 53 as Philip approaches him, being led by the Holy Spirit to go run alongside the chariot. The man needs help understanding the Old Testament scripture, and Philip explains to him about Jesus’ suffering and sacrificial death on the cross for the sins of the world. The man asks to be baptized in Acts 8:36, and Philip asks him if he believes; and the man makes a confession of faith in Jesus (verse 37), ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ Immediately he is baptized.

In this statement, the elements of salvation are clearly displayed; Jesus is God. As the Son of God, he is equal with God (see John 5:18). And, as the Christ, he came in the flesh. The word Christ is the word anointed; kings and high priests were the only anointed offices in Israel. These were the jobs of men, flesh and blood. Thus, Jesus Christ is a reference to Jesus’ humanity. This man believed that Jesus was God and Man.

The gospel has not changed since the days of Isaiah some 750 years before Jesus was even born. Philip preached Jesus to this eunuch from the Old Testament. The Gospel preached by this angel is the same: fear God, worship Him who made Heaven and earth. See John 1:3; all things were made by Jesus. Jesus is still the only way; He always has been and always will be.

The Fall of Babylon, verse 8

A second angel, seemingly in the same position – in the mid-heaven place, visible to all tribes, nations and people – gives a stark warning just after the first angel says that “the hour of his judgment has come.” The cry is that Babylon has fallen. If we go back to Genesis 11, we will meet the first mention of Babel. There, the people of the earth, not too far removed from the flood, decide to build a tower to reach heaven; and God intervenes and stops them by confusing their languages.

These people could probably take you to the resting place of Noah’s Ark and see the vessel that rescued just 8 people out of millions and maybe even billions that lived on the planet at the time. They knew from direct knowledge the wrath of God, and yet still they defied Him and built a tower to worship the constellations of Heaven. Sadly, the worship of the ‘heavens’ is still around with the horoscope in every newspaper these 4,500+ years later. Babylon is alive and well all around the world.

While Babel was a specific place, and to some degree it will be in the Tribulation, this reference is to the world political and economic system. And, lest you be skeptical and shake your head, I will share with you a few things to enlighten you and open your eyes.

The kingdom of the anti-Christ is being built right before our eyes, and many Christians are not even aware; sadly, many don’t even care that this is happening. In a YouTube video just over 3 minutes long, posted by ‘Christianvoiceuk’ on March 22, 2016, the host takes you to the EU head office. There it shows that the head office is deliberately modeled after the Tower of Babel; it is built to look like an unfinished building. This is not done ignorantly, nor without the complete understanding of what they are doing. They even have a famous painting in the entrance from Pieter Bruegel that depicts Nimrod overlooking the construction of the tower.

Building the tower of Babel was an act of rebellion in Genesis 11, and it was an act of rebellion back in the late 1990s when this EU Head office was built as well. There is a poster that goes along with the EU; it has on it ‘Europe; many tongues, one voice.’ This is as defiant as one can be. God destroyed the one language so that there could NOT be one voice. But the EU and the governments of the world have found their one voice, and they are defying God with the same vigor that Nimrod did.

There is another video by John Q. Public from March 7, 2016, titled The Tower of Babel, talking about the EU and that it is an unelected body. The Globalists in the USA are just as determined as those in the EU to bring about the New World Order, and one can see the hatred for those that get in the way like the current president of the USA. Anyone who has watched the mainstream media over the past 24 months will no doubt understand that the government, the education system and the media are simply prostitutes of the New World Order, and everyone else is enemy number one (1) beginning with Christians, we who hold to the absolute truth of the Bible.

In the last phrase of verse 8, we see that the nations of the world have drunk of the wine of her, the New World Order, fornication. Fornication means sexual misconduct, but in particular that of adultery or cheating. The entire book of Hosea is about a fornicating wife; she is the picture of Israel in relation to the Lord. But here in Revelation 14:8, the fornication is to the whole world. Hosea’s wife knew she had a husband to go home to, but she chose to have sexual relations with another man. In like manner, the people of the world know that there is a loving, kind and merciful God who has provided the way of salvation, but they have gone whoring after Satan and his lies. They have given to Satan their allegiance and defied God, with full knowledge.

This is a deliberate act of rebellion, not a mistake. The loving, merciful God offered the opportunity to repent in verses 6-7, then He warns of judgment in verse 8, and now He will show them what is coming for them.

Heaven or Hell make a choice, verses 9-11

A third angel tells of the horrible judgment to come. Hell was never intended for mankind. We are told in Matthew 25:41 that Hell was created for the devil and his angels. Sadly, mankind has exhibited the same rebellious spirit as the devil, and now his fate is ours. Hell is a real place with real people in it, and they are experiencing real torments.

A lot of churches don’t want to talk about Hell anymore; it is uncomfortable and makes people uneasy. It should; it is certainly not a pleasant place. Most people fear dying, but no path to death is feared more than burning to death. Hell is the nightmare of burning to death, in that you burn but never to death; you just burn and burn and burn. You are able to feel every flame, every nip of the fire and experience imaginable pain, BUT never, ever die. This is Hell.

Those who reject the loving grace of God go there by choice. God never sends anyone to Hell, just like He does not make anyone go to Heaven. He provides the opportunity for each of us to choose our eternity.

He began this section with the free offer of the Gospel. But the Gospel only compels action if there is a Hell to shun, not just a Heaven to gain. Hell, some would say, makes God look petty or mean or else makes Him sound like a small god. In every part of life there are consequences that follow choices. You brush your teeth and floss, and you reduce the pain of the seeing the dentist; you eat well and exercise, and you reduce the chances of serious illnesses; you save your monies and invest wisely, then, for most people, retirement is not super scary. But the opposites of these are also true.

If we accept the free gift of salvation in and through Jesus, we will be saved, and Heaven is our home. But, reject the free gift, and Hell is your home forever. These people who choose Hell will do so with intent; they will defy God and reject His free offer. They want to go to Hell. They would rather be in Hell than humble themselves before the Lord. No one goes to Hell by accident.

Finally, we have the perseverance of the saints. All those that have been saved in the Tribulation are preserved forever. They will not take the ‘mark of the beast,’ and God will bless them even in their death. Once saved a person is saved forever. It is God who preserves us and not ourselves. We could not save ourselves, and we cannot keep ourselves saved. Today, that same choice is offered to men and women all over the earth. There are churches and missionaries all over the world. God has people making the same offer today as the angel in verse 6 will make: fear God; give Him glory and worship the Creator.

Why not today? Why not now? Here the offer of salvation, John 3:17-18,

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Missionarybaptistchurch76@yahoo.ca