1. Here we are in Chapter 14 of our study, and there’s that number we talked about in Chapter 7. The 144,000. I want to address quickly this number again in reference to the failed belief of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who taught these 144,000 were sealed as of 1935. The Watchtower is now facing a HUGE problem with this number because many, many of their “anointed class” has died. They have placed several wordy documents, theories, and excuses together to stray away from this teaching that is one of them many making them a false prophet and teacher. There is no way account for it. There is no way around it. From Chapter 7 and now this chapter, we learn several definitive characteristics of this sealed people.
2. The 144,000 are ALIVE during the 7 years of Tribulation here on Earth. They are all Jewish. They all come from the 12 tribes of Israel, 12,000 from each one, being of TRUE Jewish descent not those “grafted” in to God’s chosen ones like we are. They are all men. They are all virgins. No guile is found in their mouths and are no blameless before God. They have the Father’s name written on their forehead. They follow Jesus wherever He goes, doing His will. Why? These are the first-fruits after the rapture of the church. These are the ones who come to know Christ as their Savior, as the church age ended.
3. We are told Heaven rejoices in singing around the Throne at this time as well, and no-one in the Earth can understand the song except the 144,000. This could mean that no-one but them hear it, or quite possibly, the hosts of Heaven sings something so loud it is audible but actually not understandable by those except these which are sealed. In being sealed, these are protected from all the judgments, the wrath of the Anti-christ and unbelievers, elements of the weather, you name it! And that’s a huge difference than those that get sealed with the number of the beast. Oh how Satan loves to mimic God, does he not? But his seal means nothing but death and destruction for all who take it. With our sealing, we are redeemed from the Earth to be forever with Christ, during this time, these are spiritually and physically sealed as they become world-wide evangelists, and a thorn into the side, of the Anti-Christ and Satan.
4. Next, we see an angel flying and he is proclaiming the everlasting gospel to the earth. We are not told how this is accomplished, whether the world will just see or hear him. There reason this is done, is because we, the Church, the Bride of Christ, have been raptured before the Tribulation. In Matthew28:19-20, Jesus gave all of us the command to preach the Gospel to all nations and tongues, not be a bench-warmer on a church pew. He did so for this very time and place. That was our job, and we are now gone from the face of the Earth. So justified would God be to go ahead and wreak destruction on those left when we were taken, yet, true to His promises, true to His love and compassion, so willing is He that none should perish that comes, He still calls and knocks. Oh how awesome is our God we serve!
5. A second angel appears with an announcement proclaiming the fall of Babylon. The roots of Babylon go right back to Nimrod after the flood. Reminded of their rebellion and the building of the tower which ultimately led to the confounding of languages by God so that all would disperse among the Earth as He had previously decreed, gives us a glimpse of its trail through history. Through Babylon came all false religious systems past and present, and the newer ones can easily be traced back to this system. One of my fortes is in apologetics, and false religions, those that even use the name Jesus as covers are out there, because they serve a different Jesus than that of the Bible. Paul told us is Galatians 1:8 that if anyone preached a different gospel, him or an angel, they were to be accursed. That was so important, he repeated himself the following verse. YOU need to understand Satan is a liar, and the father of them! He is tricky and has many wiles and trappings that seem harmless enough to let pass, but as the Church, you HAVE to stand. People are on their way to Hell because of the complacency, liberalism, and polluting down of what is in the Bible. All roads do not lead to Heaven just because someone says they believe in God, a higher power, someone named Jesus, or any multitude of things. 2nd Timothy 2:15 tells us to “study and shew thyself approved”! Do it! Babylonians, Buddhists, Hindus, Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness, Christian Science, Scientology, Islam, Druids, Egyptian Sun Worship, pagans, wicca, Satanism, Luciferians, universalism, Christian Spiritualists, and the list goes on. ALL of them have roots and can be traced right back to this city of Babylon, its system, and its leader….Satan. Babylon which birthed the Egyptian sun worship owns the “maddona & child” passed down through the ages as the “queen of heaven” that we see in many man-made religions. Just because Mary birthed Jesus, made her nothing more than a human vessel. No intercessor, no queen of heaven, nothing to be bowed down at (idolatry) and worshipped, images made of. But Christians are BLIND! Professing Christians say don’t rock the boat, show love and compassion, and that these people are just worshipping God in a different way. It’s the WRONG way! And we should be telling the world to run! When we do, then there will be far fewer people here when this second angel appears along with the 144,000 to preach the Gospel to a lost world going an everlasting Hell forever. How much blood will you have on your hands?
6. Notice also that this angel says the word fallen twice. This is pronouncing two different judgments, just as when the woes were spoken of earlier and it referred to 3 more judgments. The false religious system takes a fall when the Anti-Christ turns on it, and in Chapter 17, we’re going to see the city of Babylon itself physically fall into utter destruction. Babylon is a dual system consisting spiritually and physically that will be eliminated.
7. The third angel tells of the impending doom of all who follow, worship, and take the mark of the Beast. We are told they will suffer an undiluted cup of God’s full wrath and fury in His and the angels presence. Not only will this be torment, it will be equally embarrassing! We see a vivid description of Hell here. Remember this when people proclaim there is no Hell, or God is love and will not punish us. The reality and the eternity of Hell is pronounced explicitly saying the smoke of their torment rises for ever and they have no rest day or night. No rest break, no total annihilation as some teach where they say Hell is temporary, no burning off of sins and then everybody goes to Heaven. Those without Jesus burn day and night forever, and ever, and ever! God is love, and God is righteous with wrath. He will have given ALL plenty of time and there will be no excuse.
8. Encouraging words come to those who die in Christ during the time about to come. We will see in later chapters how Christians alive during the Tribulation will be sought after to hurt, maim, and kill by the Anti-Christ and his followers. They will endure. These will be ones that choose life with Jesus over life here. IT is going to be hard, they will be hungry, sick, with children that need things, and numbers of other reasons that people would justify in their heads, “God will understand if I take this mark for this reason, I don’t really want to follow the Beast.” Yet, judgment was just pronounced through verse 11 on ANYONE who takes the mark. There is no point of return. So the fruit of those that follow Jesus, their labors, will follow them and they will be rewarded.
9. Verses 14-20 give us a look into the Battle of Armageddon. We see that Jesus appears with a sickle to harvest, the world has been given enough time and their will be no more delay. In 14-16 it is a picture of a grain harvest, verses 17-20 show the result of God’s wrath. It is one event with two views. Jesus will be the judge and the harvester over all Creation, and that is the first picture we get here with the battle that is going to ensue at the Valley of Megiddo. The second section shows the violent intensity of the wrath and destruction of those gathered against Christ. It is described as a winepress which completely pulverizes and mashes grapes into nothing. In this valley, it is 184 miles long. The Anti-Christ’s army will be cut to shreds by the Word of God, Jesus Christ, and blood will be as high as a horse’s bridle, which would be about four feet! This will also now answer the prayers of the martyred Tribulation saints of Chapter 10 we talked about that were asking how much longer until they were avenged. We will learn more about this great Battle in Chapter 16. As another proof that the Church, true Christians, will be raptured before the Tribulation begins, as we see the wrath of God unfold in these judgments, take comfort that we are assured in such verses as:
1st Thessalonians 1:10
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1st Thessalonians 5:9
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
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