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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Revelation 14

Revelation 14:1-5 1 Then I looked and saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and the loud rumbling of thunder. And the sound I heard was like harpists strumming their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they are virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They have been redeemed from among men as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.


Where is Mt. Zion?

It's in Jerusalem, Israel on the southeast side of the city. It is the highest point in ancient Jerusalem. Here are some map views for you to get an idea. Then we will discuss it's history. This first one is the way the land looked before a city was built on it.

This satellite map shows the city of Jerusalem and how Bethlehem (where Jesus was born) was right next door.

This map zooms in on Jerusalem. Look for "Mount Zion," "City of David," "Old City," "Gethsemane"

I tried to zoom in closer. The large rectangle on the upper right is labeled "Temple Mount" and is where the Temple was and is where the Dome of the Rock is now.

Here are photos of Mt Zion

Mt Zion essentially means “fortification” or "citadel" and has the idea of being “raised up” as a “monument.” According to the Book of Samuel (2 Samuel 5:7), Mount Zion was the site of the Jebusite fortress called the "stronghold of Zion" that was conquered by King David, then renamed and partially rebuilt by him as the "City of David", where he erected his palace. After David’s conquest of the fortress, Jerusalem became a possession of Israel and David made it the seat of Israel's government. Once the First Temple was erected at the top of the Eastern Hill, the name "Mount Zion" migrated there too. The "Mount Zion" mentioned in the later parts of the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 60:14), in the Book of Psalms, and the First Book of Maccabees seems to refer to the top of the hill, generally known as the Temple Mount. When Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, the meaning of Zion expanded further to include the temple area (Psalm 2:6; Psalm 48:2, 11–12; Psalm 132:13). The last shift of the name Mount Zion was to the Western Hill, which is more dominant than the Eastern Hill. In the second half of the First Temple period, the city expanded westward and its defensive walls were extended to include the entire Western Hill behind them. Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed the city almost completely around 586 BE, severing the continuity of historical memory. A long period of rebuilding followed, ending with Jerusalem's second total destruction at the hands of the Romans in 70 AD. Important sites on Mount Zion are Dormition Abbey, King David's Tomb and the Room of the Last Supper.

Topographical showing levels

You see the Temple and Temple Mount as it was in Jesus' time in upper right corner. 

Abbey of the Dormition is an abbey and the name of a Benedictine community in Jerusalem on Mt. Zion just outside the walls of the Old City near the Zion Gate. The Byzantine basilica, Hagia Sion, was built under John II, Bishop of Jerusalem in the early 5th century. Known as the “Mother of all Churches” — which covered the entire area now occupied by the Church of the Dormition, the Cenacle and the Tomb of David. Relics attributed to Saint Stephen were transferred to the church on 26 December 415. A monastic order known as the Abbey of Our Lady of Mount Zion was established at the site in the 12th century, with a church built on the ruins of the earlier Byzantine church. The 12th-century church was again destroyed in the 13th century, and the monks moved to Sicily. The order was eventually absorbed into the Jesuits in 1617. According to local tradition, it was on this spot, near the site of the Last Supper, that the Blessed Virgin Mary died. Death is often called a "sleeping" or "falling asleep", and this gave the original monastery its name, the church itself is called Basilica of the Assumption (or Dormition). Its foundations were recovered in 1899, when architect and buildings manager of the Diocese of Cologne, Heinrich Renard (1868–1928). During his visit to Jerusalem in 1898 for the dedication of the Protestant Church of the Redeemer, Kaiser Wilhelm II bought this piece of land on Mount Zion. Renard delivered the designs and plans for the Abbey, the direction of construction was entrusted to the architect Theodor Sandel [de], a member of the Temple Society and a resident of Jerusalem. The foundation stone was laid on 7 October 1900. Construction was completed in only ten years; the basilica was dedicated on 10 April 1910. The present church is a circular building with several niches containing altars, and a choir. Two spiral staircases lead to the crypt, the site ascribed to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, and also to the organ-loft and the gallery, from where two of the church's four towers are accessible.

Tower of David
It was actually the Christian Crusaders who built the present memorial on Mount Zion called the Tomb of King David. The Old Testament (1 Kings: 2:10) records that King David was buried in the city of David, which was on the original Mount Zion. In the New Testament, Zion refers to God’s spiritual kingdom.

 Temple Mount with Dome of the Rock

Wailing Wall

Psalm 87:2–3 “The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the other dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are said of you, city of God.”

Exodus 20:18-21 (parenthesis mine) After giving Moses the Ten Commandments... 18 All the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain (Mt. Sinai, aka Mt. Horeb, and the actual geographical location of this Mount is not known) in smoke. And when the people saw this, they trembled and stood at a distance. 19 “Speak to us yourself and we will listen,” they said to Moses. “But do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” 20 “Do not be afraid,” Moses replied. “For God has come to test you, so that the fear of Him may be before you, to keep you from sinning.” 21 And the people stood at a distance as Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

Deuteronomy 5:22-27 22 "The LORD spoke these commandments in a loud voice to your whole assembly out of the fire, the cloud, and the deep darkness on the mountain; He added nothing more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.
23 And when you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was blazing with fire, all the heads of your tribes and your elders approached me, 24 and you said,
'Behold, the LORD our God has shown us His glory and greatness, and we have heard His voice out of the fire. Today we have seen that God can speak with a man, yet the man lives. 25 But now, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us, and we will die, if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer. 26 For who of all flesh has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the fire, as we have, and survived? 27 Go near and listen to all that the LORD our God says. Then you can tell us everything the LORD our God tells you; we will listen and obey.'”

Hebrews 12:18-24 (parenthesis mine) For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom, and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to a voice that made its hearers beg that no further word be spoken. 20 For they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that even Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” (In reference to the above scriptures) 22 Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to myriads of angels 23 in joyful assembly, to the congregation of the firstborn, enrolled in heaven. You have come to God the judge of all men, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

1 Peter 2:6 “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame”

Isaiah 52:1-2, 7-10 1 Awaken, awaken,
clothe yourself with strength, O Zion!
Put on your garments of splendor,
O Jerusalem, Holy City!
For the uncircumcised and unclean will not again enter you.
2 Shake off your dust!
Rise up and sit on your throne, O Jerusalem.
Remove the chains from your neck,
O captive Daughter Zion.
7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices,
together they shout for joy,
for every eye will see when the LORD returns to Zion.
9 Break forth in joy, sing together,
O ruins of Jerusalem,
for the LORD has comforted His people;
He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The LORD has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations;
all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.

The earliest extra-biblical Hebrew writing of the word Jerusalem is dated to the sixth or seventh century BC and was discovered in Khirbet Beit Lei near Beit Guvrin in 1961. The inscription states: "I am Yahweh thy God, I will accept the cities of Judah and I will redeem Jerusalem" - Wikipedia

The Gihon Spring attracted shepherds who camped near the water between 6,000-7,000 years ago. Permanent houses only appeared several centuries later, with a small village emerging around 3000-2800 BC. The first settlement lay on what some call the Ophel ridge and the inhabitants were Canaanites. In the Late Bronze Age, Jerusalem was the capital of an Egyptian vassal city-state. Jerusalem is defined as lying within territory allocated to the tribe of Benjamin though occupied by Jebusites until David. Mount Zion and Mount Moriah are the two hills in Jerusalem. Mount Moriah is where Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac and God stopped him and gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead.

The first mention of Jerusalem in the Bible occurs in Genesis 14. Abraham rescues his nephew Lot from 5 kings who had conquered the area. Salem is Salam or Shalom in modern Arabic and Hebrew and means "peace". Jerusalem means "dwelling of peace," "abiding place of peace," or "settlement of peace."

Genesis 14:17-24 17 After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
18 And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. 19 Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing:
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.”
Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.
21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered.”
22 Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I solemnly swear to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you. Otherwise you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept only what my young warriors have already eaten, and I request that you give a fair share of the goods to my allies—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre.”

Mount Zion is the highest place in Jerusalem and thus the safest for protection for inhabitants in ancient times. The Old City is along the ridge. So Melchizedek probably lived on Mt. Zion. Melchizedek, the first mentioned "Priest of the Most High God," came out of Zion in order to bless Abraham. Jesus Christ was later declared to be a Priest in the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4). As such, Jesus is the rightful heir to the throne of Zion. King David was led to Jerusalem in order to conquer it and establish it as the capital city and seat of the Temple, God's habitation on earth. Once he established his political capital in Zion, David then used his authority to establish Zion as a seat of worship of the only true God. King David placed the Ark of the Covenant in a tabernacle on Mount Zion (1 Chronicles 15-16), which he made as a place of worship where God dwelt in the midst of His people. It will be the location of Christ's rule on earth during the millennial kingdom.

Psalm 132 1 LORD, remember David and all that he suffered.
2 He made a solemn promise to the LORD.
He vowed to the Mighty One of Israel,
3 “I will not go home;
I will not let myself rest.
4 I will not let my eyes sleep
nor close my eyelids in slumber
5 until I find a place to build a house for the LORD,
a sanctuary for the Mighty One of Israel.
6 We heard that the Ark was in Ephrathah;
then we found it in the distant countryside of Jaar.
7 Let us go to the sanctuary of the LORD;
let us worship at the footstool of his throne.
8 Arise, O LORD, and enter your resting place,
along with the Ark, the symbol of your power.
9 May your priests be clothed in godliness;
may your loyal servants sing for joy.
10 For the sake of your servant David,
do not reject the king you have anointed.
11 The LORD swore an oath to David
with a promise he will never take back:
“I will place one of your descendants on your throne.
12 If your descendants obey the terms of my covenant
and the laws that I teach them,
then your royal line
will continue forever and ever.”
13 For the LORD has chosen Jerusalem;
he has desired it for his home.
14 “This is my resting place forever,” he said.
“I will live here, for this is the home I desired.
15 I will bless this city and make it prosperous;
I will satisfy its poor with food.
16 I will clothe its priests with godliness;
its faithful servants will sing for joy.
17 Here I will increase the power of David;
my anointed one will be a light for my people.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,
but he will be a glorious king.”

Isaiah 62:1-4 1 Because I love Zion,
I will not keep still.
Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem,
I cannot remain silent.
I will not stop praying for her
until her righteousness shines like the dawn,
and her salvation blazes like a burning torch.
2 The nations will see your righteousness.
World leaders will be blinded by your glory.
And you will be given a new name
by the LORD’s own mouth.
3 The LORD will hold you in his hand for all to see—
a splendid crown in the hand of God.
4 Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City”
or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the LORD delights in you and will claim you as his bride.

Psalm 48:1-3 1 Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God!
His holy mountain,
2 beautiful in elevation,
is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north,
the city of the great King.
3 Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress.

Psalm 133:3 Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the LORD has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.

Isaiah 4:2-6 2 But in that day, the branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious;
the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of all who survive in Israel.
3 All who remain in Zion will be a holy people—
those who survive the destruction of Jerusalem and are recorded among the living.
4 The Lord will wash the filth from beautiful Zion
and cleanse Jerusalem of its bloodstains
with the hot breath of fiery judgment.
5 Then the LORD will provide shade for Mount Zion and all who assemble there.
He will provide a canopy of cloud during the day and smoke and flaming fire at night,
covering the glorious land.
6 It will be a shelter from daytime heat
and a hiding place from storms and rain.

The entire land of Israel has also been referred to as Mount Zion. Zion (vs. 1) is contrasted with Babylon (which is introduced in Revelation 14:8). Zion (vs. 1) being the righteous city of God and Babylon (vs. 8) the evil city of anti-Christ. Zion (vs. 1) is the new Jerusalem, the opposite extreme to Babylon (ver. 8). The seat of Christ's government (political authority) and true worship (spiritual authority) will be from here.

Micah 4:1-4 1 In the last days, the mountain of the LORD’s house will be the highest of all—
the most important place on earth.
It will be raised above the other hills,
and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
2 People from many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of Jacob’s God.
There he will teach us his ways,
and we will walk in his paths.”
For the LORD’s teaching will go out from Zion;
his word will go out from Jerusalem.
3 The LORD will mediate between peoples
and will settle disputes between strong nations far away.
They will hammer their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will no longer fight against nation,
nor train for war anymore.
4 Everyone will live in peace and prosperity,
enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees,
for there will be nothing to fear.
The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has made this promise!
5 Though the nations around us follow their idols,
we will follow the LORD our God forever and ever.

There is a heavenly Mount Zion and Jerusalem, just as there is an earthly Mount Zion and Jerusalem. In Revelation 4-5 we saw a heavenly throne room with God on the throne. This would be the heavenly Mount Zion. As we continue to study Revelation, we will see more about God's throne and Jerusalem as a seat of government for Jesus' millennial kingdom and a new Jerusalem for eternity.

Now we see how important Mount Zion, Jerusalem and the land of Israel are to God.


Who are the 144,000?
Revelation 14:1-5 1 Then I looked and saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and the loud rumbling of thunder. And the sound I heard was like harpists strumming their harps. 3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they are virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They have been redeemed from among men as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.

We saw 144,000 earlier in Revelation:

Revelation 7:2-8 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, with the seal of the living God. And he called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3 “Do not harm the land or sea or trees until we have sealed the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel:
5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
from the tribe of Isaachar 12,000,
8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
and from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.

Let's look at the Twelve Tribes of Israel first. Who are the Twelve Tribes?
In Genesis we read about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Patriarchs. Abraham had Isaac and Isaac had Jacob and Jacob had 12 sons and a daughter with his wives Leah, Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah. How did poor Jacob end up with 4 wives? Let's see how his father-in-law tricked him...

Genesis 29:14-30 After Jacob had stayed with Laban for about a month, 15 Laban said to him, “You shouldn’t work for me without pay just because we are relatives. Tell me how much your wages should be.” 16 Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. 17 There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes,a but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. 18 Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.”
19 “Agreed!” Laban replied. “I’d rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me.” 20 So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.
21 Finally, the time came for him to marry her. “I have fulfilled my agreement,” Jacob said to Laban. “Now give me my wife so I can sleep with her.”
22 So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast. 23 But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 (Laban had given Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.)
25 But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?”
26 “It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied. 27 “But wait until the bridal week is over, then we’ll give you Rachel, too—provided you promise to work another seven years for me.”
28 So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too. 29 (Laban gave Rachel a servant, Bilhah, to be her maid.) 30 So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah. He then stayed and worked for Laban the additional seven years.

Now we begin to learn about Jacob’s many children

31 When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. 32 So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The LORD has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.” 33 She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, “The LORD heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.”
34 Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. She named him Levi, for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!”
35 Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the LORD!” And then she stopped having children.

Genesis 29:1-24 1 When Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”
2 Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. “Am I God?” he asked. “He’s the one who has kept you from having children!”
3 Then Rachel told him, “Take my maid, Bilhah, and sleep with her. She will bear children for me, and through her I can have a family, too.” 4 So Rachel gave her servant, Bilhah, to Jacob as a wife, and he slept with her. 5 Bilhah became pregnant and presented him with a son. 6 Rachel named him Dan, for she said, “God has vindicated me! He has heard my request and given me a son.” 7 Then Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. 8 Rachel named him Naphtali, for she said, “I have struggled hard with my sister, and I’m winning!”

9 Meanwhile, Leah realized that she wasn’t getting pregnant anymore, so she took her servant, Zilpah, and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Soon Zilpah presented him with a son. 11 Leah named him Gad, for she said, “How fortunate I am!” 12 Then Zilpah gave Jacob a second son. 13 And Leah named him Asher, for she said, “What joy is mine! Now the other women will celebrate with me.”

14 One day during the wheat harvest, Reuben found some mandrakes growing in a field and brought them to his mother, Leah. Rachel
begged Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15 But Leah angrily replied, “Wasn’t it enough that you stole my husband? Now will you steal my son’s mandrakes, too?”
Rachel answered, “I will let Jacob sleep with you tonight if you give me some of the mandrakes.”
16 So that evening, as Jacob was coming home from the fields, Leah went out to meet him. “You must come and sleep with me tonight!” she said. “I have paid for you with some mandrakes that my son found.” So that night he slept with Leah. 17 And God answered Leah’s prayers. She became pregnant again and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18 She named him Issachar, for she said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband as a wife.” 19 Then Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob. 20 She named him Zebulun, for she said, “God has given me a good reward. Now my husband will treat me with respect, for I have given him six sons.” 21 Later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

22 Then God remembered Rachel’s plight and answered her prayers by enabling her to have children. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. “God has removed my disgrace,” she said. 24 And she named him Joseph, for she said, “May the LORD add yet another son to my family.”

Genesis 35:16-26 16 Leaving Bethel, Jacob and his clan moved on toward Ephrath. But Rachel went into labor while they were still some distance away. Her labor pains were intense. 17 After a very hard delivery, the midwife finally exclaimed, “Don’t be afraid—you have another son!” 18 Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named the baby Ben-oni (which means “son of my sorrow”). The baby’s father, however, called him Benjamin (which means “son of my right hand”). 19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 Jacob set up a stone monument over Rachel’s grave, and it can be seen there to this day.
21 Then Jacobb traveled on and camped beyond Migdal-eder. 22 While he was living there, Reuben had intercourse with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, and Jacob soon heard about it.
These are the names of the twelve sons of Jacob:
23 The sons of Leah were Reuben (Jacob’s oldest son), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
24 The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, were Dan and Naphtali.
26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant, were Gad and Asher.
These are the names of the sons who were born to Jacob at Paddan-aram.

Joseph would turn out to be his father's favorite and it caused terrible jealousy among his older brothers. Eventually they threw him in a well with the intention of letting him die there but the eldest, Reuben, came up with a better idea... sell him as a slave to a passing slave trader. They made money and went home and told their father Joseph had been killed. What they certainly meant for evil, turned out to be for everyone's good. As we know, Joseph eventually overcame his many troubles and matured into the man God wanted him to be and God used him to rescue Jacob and all of the family during a famine. Once reunited with his family, he forgave his brothers. Jacob adopted Joseph's two sons so they would have an inheritance and blessing. In essence giving Joseph a double portion:

Genesis 48:2-22 2 When Joseph arrived, Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” So Jacob gathered his strength and sat up in his bed. 3 Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 4 He said to me, ‘I will make you fruitful, and I will multiply your descendants. I will make you a multitude of nations. And I will give this land of Canaan to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’
5 “Now I am claiming as my own sons these two boys of yours, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born here in the land of Egypt before I arrived. They will be my sons, just as Reuben and Simeon are. 6 But any children born to you in the future will be your own, and they will inherit land within the territories of their brothers Ephraim and Manasseh.
7 “Long ago, as I was returning from Paddan-aram, Rachel died in the land of Canaan. We were still on the way, some distance from Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). So with great sorrow I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath.”
8 Then Jacob looked over at the two boys. “Are these your sons?” he asked.
9 “Yes,” Joseph told him, “these are the sons God has given me here in Egypt.”
And Jacob said, “Bring them closer to me, so I can bless them.”
10 Jacob was half blind because of his age and could hardly see. So Joseph brought the boys close to him, and Jacob kissed and embraced them. 11 Then Jacob said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see your face again, but now God has let me see your children, too!”
12 Joseph moved the boys, who were at their grandfather’s knees, and he bowed with his face to the ground. 13 Then he positioned the boys in front of Jacob. With his right hand he directed Ephraim toward Jacob’s left hand, and with his left hand he put Manasseh at Jacob’s right hand. 14 But Jacob crossed his arms as he reached out to lay his hands on the boys’ heads. He put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, though he was the younger boy, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, though he was the firstborn. 15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,
“May the God before whom my grandfather Abraham
and my father, Isaac, walked—
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life, to this very day,
16 the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm—
may he bless these boys.
May they preserve my name
and the names of Abraham and Isaac.
And may their descendants multiply greatly
throughout the earth.”
17 But Joseph was upset when he saw that his father placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head. So Joseph lifted it to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 “No, my father,” he said. “This one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”
19 But his father refused. “I know, my son; I know,” he replied. “Manasseh will also become a great people, but his younger brother will become even greater. And his descendants will become a multitude of nations.”
20 So Jacob blessed the boys that day with this blessing: “The people of Israel will use your names when they give a blessing. They will say, ‘May God make you as prosperous as Ephraim and Manasseh.’” In this way, Jacob put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21 Then Jacob said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will take you back to Canaan, the land of your ancestors. 22 And beyond what I have given your brothers, I am giving you an extra portion of the land that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”

Genesis 49 The blessing of Jacob over his sons:
1 Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, “Gather around me, and I will tell you what will happen to each of you in the days to come.
2 “Come and listen, you sons of Jacob;
listen to Israel, your father.
3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength,
the child of my vigorous youth.
You are first in rank and first in power.
4 But you are as unruly as a flood,
and you will be first no longer.
For you went to bed with my wife;
you defiled my marriage couch.
5 “Simeon and Levi are two of a kind;
their weapons are instruments of violence.
6 May I never join in their meetings;
may I never be a party to their plans.
For in their anger they murdered men,
and they crippled oxen just for sport.
7 A curse on their anger, for it is fierce;
a curse on their wrath, for it is cruel.
I will scatter them among the descendants of Jacob;
I will disperse them throughout Israel.
8 “Judah, your brothers will praise you.
You will grasp your enemies by the neck.
All your relatives will bow before you.
9 Judah, my son, is a young lion
that has finished eating its prey.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down;
like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants,
until the coming of the one to whom it belongs,
the one whom all nations will honor.
11 He ties his foal to a grapevine,
the colt of his donkey to a choice vine.
He washes his clothes in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth are whiter than milk.
13 “Zebulun will settle by the seashore
and will be a harbor for ships;
his borders will extend to Sidon.
14 “Issachar is a sturdy donkey,
resting between two saddlepacks.
15 When he sees how good the countryside is
and how pleasant the land,
he will bend his shoulder to the load
and submit himself to hard labor.
16 “Dan will govern his people,
like any other tribe in Israel.
17 Dan will be a snake beside the road,
a poisonous viper along the path
that bites the horse’s hooves
so its rider is thrown off.
18 I trust in you for salvation, O LORD!
19 “Gad will be attacked by marauding bands,
but he will attack them when they retreat.
20 “Asher will dine on rich foods
and produce food fit for kings.
21 “Naphtali is a doe set free
that bears beautiful fawns.
22 “Joseph is the foal of a wild donkey,
the foal of a wild donkey at a spring—
one of the wild donkeys on the ridge.
23 Archers attacked him savagely;
they shot at him and harassed him.
24 But his bow remained taut,
and his arms were strengthened
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.
25 May the God of your father help you;
may the Almighty bless you
with the blessings of the heavens above,
and blessings of the watery depths below,
and blessings of the breasts and womb.
26 May the blessings of your father
surpass the blessings of the ancient mountains,
reaching to the heights of the eternal hills.
May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph,
who is a prince among his brothers.
27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,
devouring his enemies in the morning
and dividing his plunder in the evening.”
28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he told his sons good-bye. He blessed each one with an appropriate message.

Jacob's twelve sons (in order of birth), Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin, become the ancestors of twelve tribes.

So, there were actually 13 tribes! You see, the 12 original tribes all came from the 12 sons of Jacob (later renamed Israel). When Joseph’s older brothers sold him into slavery, it was the beginning of a long, painful separation from his father. After reuniting with his father, Jacob/Israel promised to compensate for Joseph’s years of separation by adopting two of Joseph's sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, as his own to be numbered with his sons in place of Joseph, i.e. Joseph get's a double portion through his two sons. So there are two tribes named Ephraim and Manassah. (Genesis 48:5)

Let’s do the math: 12 sons - Joseph = 11 + 2 sons of Joseph = 13
When Joseph’s two sons were counted as tribes in the place of their father, you have 13 tribes. But you continue to hear of only 12 tribes throughout the Bible because after the Tribe of Levi (Levites), were chosen to be the priests for Israel, they were excluded from receiving any specific territory as inheritance. Instead, they were to live among all the tribes as teachers and priests. “Only the tribe of Levi you shall not number, nor take a census of them among the children of Israel” (Numbers 1:49).

Also, Reuben suffered a consequence for having disrespected his father by sleeping with his father's concubine. And, if you look at Dan's "blessing" (Genesis 49:16-18) from his father, it seems more of a curse than a blessing. It was actually not a curse but a prophecy. Some say the anti-Christ will come from the Tribe of Dan (I haven't gotten that far yet). These two things will also affect the tribes much later.

The Exodus by James Tissot

After they left Egypt and headed towards the Promised Land of Canaan, they stayed together in tribes and camped in tribes. Exodus 12:37 "And the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children." This 600,000 would only include able-bodied, military-age men. You have an army of 600,000 AND all the elderly, handicapped, disabled, women, children and teens on top of that number. So it could easily have been over 1,000,000 people (and some project multi-millions) who left Egypt to go to the Promised Land. When you realize how many it was, it makes you understand Pharaoh a little better. He was looking at losing a significant work force. The Egyptians would be losing workers (and warriors, when needed).
It would be like someone coming into my home and stealing my appliances. I would be washing dishes by hand, hand washing clothes and hanging them to dry, etc. These slaves were also used for Egyptian building projects and infrastructure. Pharaoh was facing something similar to what the American Southern states faced when it came to the topic of slavery. It was an evil that should never have started but it did and it became nearly impossible to stop it. People think it would have been as simple as "just setting them free." But you have to look at many layers of complexities to understand what would happen by "just setting them free". Like Pharaoh, one problem would have been the loss of the workers. They ran the households and worked the farms and plantations. Without slaves farmers would have large families because "many hands make light work." But one man and one woman can only have so many children. You had a limitation there. With more "hands" (slave labor) you could work a larger farm or plantation and therefore make a larger profit. If you owned slaves you were also investing in your future. Those slaves would not only increase your profits, therefore securing you a financial base you could retire on. But they also would have been able to take care of you in your old age and disability. They could draw water, cook, keep fires going in fireplaces, bathe you, wash your clothes, etc. (Today we have electrical appliances but, back then, you didn't). If you had slaves, they would keep your home clean, cook, and run the farm or plantation. Today we save for our future by contributing to social security and with 401ks, annuities, pension plans, insurance, IRAs, mutual funds, real estate, savings bonds, stocks, etc. We want to plan ahead for the time when we are old, disabled, no longer able to work and in need of help. Now imagine if the government took everything you had worked hard for. You are left with no pension, no social security (U.S. didn't have social security until the 20th century), no mutual funds, insurance, 401ks... You are cleaned out! It's been taken and there is nothing you can do about it. How would you feel? You don't have the ability to generate income because all your workers are gone. You don't have money to maintain your home, buy groceries, pay caretakers, all the things that are needed for you to survive in your old age or disability. So "just setting them free", with no compensation, would have meant financial disaster, economic earthquakes and destitution for those who could not take care of themselves (children, elderly, disabled, handicapped and, back then, women). Like I said, I wish slavery had never started but once it did, it was like trying to hold a tiger by the tail. You don't want to continue holding it's tail, but it's even more dangerous to let go because it will be free to kill you. In some Southern states, there were more slaves than white men. So, let's say in State A there were 1,000,000 white men but 3,000,000 slaves. What happens when you "just set them free"? The tiger, that had been under control, was now free to turn on you? White people were afraid freed slaves would turn on them, killing them in their beds and stealing every thing they could get their hands on. What happens when former slaves are set free with no money, no place to live, and no way to make an income? Most of them were illiterate. All potential employers would have just lost their biggest investment by losing their slaves. They wouldn't be able to afford hiring former slaves (now freedmen) after their financial loss. So no jobs, no money, no education, no home, no food. The newly freed slaves would become desperate very quickly. If you and your children were starving, you might also be desperate enough to do anything to get what you needed. These are just a few of the reasons why it took a cataclysmic war and decades before things evened out under the new dynamic of a free populace. It was not a simple fix. It was not easy. It took a long time.

Pharaoh was facing the same situation when Moses came to him and asked him to let the Israelites leave Egypt. How would he keep his country afloat with such a loss in work force? Other countries would eye Egypt during this vulnerable time of upheaval. How would his building projects continue? He wasn't only losing those who walked out of Egypt, but he was losing every increase in the Israelite population in the future. You would lose some to old age and death, but you've added  many more due to births (in the days before birth control). The Bible says God blessed the Israelites with an increase in births. So 50 men and 50 women could have 50-500 children, or more, in one generation and it would continue to increase in snowball figures as time went on. So Pharaoh was losing current workers and future workers (and/or warriors in his armies). When you begin to look at the complexities, you understand why Pharoah was so hesitant to just "set them free" and let them go. The Civil War in America cost at least 600,000 (probably much more than that) fighting men to lose their lives. That doesn't take into account the civilian population that died as an effect of the War. It doesn't take into account the cost of property damages, lost and destroyed cities and towns. It was 4 years of horrible misery, at least for the South. And many more decades before recovery. We can lay that at President Abraham Lincoln's feet. He refused to let us go. For Pharoah, it cost him the plagues that God sent via Moses. The final plague cost them all the Egyptian firstborn. I don't know how much time it took between the first plague and the last plague or how many were eventually killed due to the Egyptian plagues, especially the last one. I have a feeling it was far less time, damage and death as the American War of Northern Aggression. But it was bad enough for Pharoah to finally "set them free" and let the Israelites go. We may ask why God would "kill" innocent Egyptians but when we compare it with the American Civil War, God was merciful because it could have been a whole lot worse. It is not God's fault that sin is in this world and that men have a sinful nature. We can thank Adam and Eve for that and our own proclivity towards sin. If Pharoah had let them go the first time Moses asked, he would have avoided all the heartache. But he, and his ruling class, were reluctant to let their slave labor go for very logical reasons. He needed to learn not to rely on his reasoning, logic, education and human experience. God is so far ahead of us in wisdom and insight. He knows all and He maintains all. It's ridiculous for us to think we can out-think God and thus we know better than God. It would be like pitting a supercomputer against a mentally handicapped toddler. God gave us brains and I'm thankful for education and experience. But I have to learn to trust God and walk where He says to walk even when it doesn't make sense to me. In the case of Pharoah, he never learned the lesson and ended up in the bottom of the Red Sea. For the American South, we ended up with a horrendous War and decades of poverty while the North won and we've been forced a gentle tyranny ever since. When we cannot see a way out, that's when it's time to remember God is in control and He knows right where you are and right where you need to be. You can trust Him despite how it looks. All we can see is doom but God knows so much better!

Once God directed Moses to make the Tabernacle, it became the center of the camp and the tribes camped around the Tabernacle, facing it, so all the people had a view of the Tabernacle even from the outer edges of the camp.
It was important for them to remember God was in their midst and He was with them, leading them. Unfortunately, they were too afraid to go into the Promised Land immediately so they were made to wander for 40 years. Once the old guard had passed, the new generation were led by Joshua into the Promised Land and they conquered it.

Once the Israelites came into the Promised Land and conquered it, God assigned each of the tribes land. Here is how it would have been allocated per tribe. Notice there is no land given to the Tribe of Levi (the Levites) because they were called to be priests of God. The other tribes were to provide and protect them as they ministered to the Lord and acted as priests representing the people to God and God to the people.

It wasn't until King Saul and King David that all the tribes were united under the one name of Israel.
David was the King of Israel, as was his son, King Solomon.

Later, Israel divided into 2 kingdoms: Israel and Judah.

Now let's return to the 144,000 in Revelation 14.

Some take the numbers in Revelation to be symbolic and represents all of God's people throughout history in the heavenly Church. The number 12 is a symbol for totality, which, squared and multiplied by one thousand, is 144,000 and is done this way for more emphasis.

Because God promised that there would be a remnant of Jews who will be saved, some believe the 144,000 are converted Jews who are sent out to bring sinners to Jesus Christ during the seven years of the Great Tribulation. Jewish Tribulation evangelists, God's Special Forces unit. Did God select, empower, and seal 144,000 Jewish servants who will serve Him as prophets during the Great Tribulation? After all, in Revelation 7, it is said that nothing shall be allowed to harm them. These people will worship the true God and speak for God. During the Church Age (from Christ until the start of the Great Tribulation) the Holy Spirit is given work on this earth. He appeals to each human being and presents the Gospel (the good news of salvation) to them to give them a chance to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and be forgiven and cleansed of their sins. Once someone accepts Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit then dwells in this Christian to enable, empower and teach their new spirit in a process called sanctification. The Bible says the Holy Spirit is our seal and guarantee that we are saved and now are Children of God. If we are Raptured just before the Great Tribulation, then true believers are taken to Heaven and the Holy Spirit leaves the world. It goes back to being special dispensations of the Holy Spirit like it was before Christ. If so, God has specially selected and sealed these 144,000 to enable them to endure and speak for God. Is that seal the Holy Spirit like it is for us? Does that mean only 144,000 will have that special dispensation of being sealed, empowered and enabled by the Holy Spirit to supernaturally do what God has called them to do? Or is it a literal mark that can be seen by the human eye? The anti-Christ has his followers marked and God has His followers marked. They have a job and that is to be a witness who testifies the truth about God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. They will proclaim God's Word and give this last generation last chances to accept Christ. This shows the love of God, even in the last days, when judgments are being brought to the world, He gives last chances!!! They prepare the world for Jesus’ return.

The Sealed of Israel (my notes on Revelation 6-7)
The angels will take up key positions on earth, the 4 corners of the earth. Their job was to control the four winds of His wrath until God says to release them. The wrath is held back until those who must be sealed are sealed. This shows God's grace and salvation. The winds depict God's judgment of the earth, and the four angels are restraining agents who hold back the judgment until God's special servants can be sealed. The 144,000 will be on the earth during the Great Tribulation but they will be protected, for they are sealed with God's name on their forehead in full view. God has said throughout the Bible that there would be a remnant of Jews. It was common in John's day for masters to seal, or brand, their slaves on the forehead or hand to show ownership. This mark also gave them protection from those who would steal or abuse them. It was a sign of ownership but also a sign of security. In future days, the Antichrist requires his followers to be sealed, have marked his followers, with 666. God's witnesses will be sealed as well, with the name of the Father "in their foreheads". This reminds us of Saul of Tarsus (Paul) who was miraculously brought to faith on the road to Damascus. In multiple miraculous incidences, 144,000 Jews will be brought to faith in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God, and will become powerful evangelists. They are the beginning of a greater harvest (Revelation 14:4, Romans 11:1, Romans 11:26, Matthew 23:37-39).

“They are not a part of the Church proper; for their repentance comes too late for that. They are a superaddition to the Church – a supplementary body – near and precious to Christ, but made up after the proper Church has finished its course.” (Seiss)

The 144,000 servants will be marked men on earth, working directly counter to the interests of the global leader. They will be under attack by the antiChrist's forces as well as demonic powers unleashed upon the earth. They will suffer from hunger, exposure, ridicule, torture and imprisonment. But they will be miraculously preserved to continue their witness throughout the Great Tribulation period. It will be perilous to aid and abet them. They will no doubt be on the anti-Christ's "most wanted list". But God's man, or woman, is indestructible until God's purpose is fulfilled on earth. At the very end, the 144,000 witnesses will stand triumphantly on Mount Zion with Jesus. Jesus refers to them as "these brothers of mine". They bring in a great harvest of souls during the Great Tribulation.

Two tribes are missing and 2 others have been substituted in their places. Why? Some scholars believe the tribe of Dan is missing because the Jewish Antichrist, known as the False Prophet, will be a descendant. This certainly seems to be the meaning of an ancient prophecy that Jacob gave about the tribes of Israel in the last days:

Gen. 49:17 "Dan will be a serpent in the way, a venomous viper by the path, that bites the horse's heels so that his rider falls backward".

This may or may not be the case, but without doubt, Dan was the tribe that introduced idolatry into the nation of Israel (Genesis 49:17; Judges 18:30). There is a wonderful redemption for the tribe of Dan. Dan is the first tribe listed in Ezekiel’s millennial role call of the tribes (Ezekiel 48).

From this list of 12 names both Dan, and Ephraim are omitted. Dan was omitted because of the evil in his life. On the other hand, Levi, Joseph, and Manasseh help to make up the twelve. Levi was not listed before, because he received no land. He was of the priestly tribe which inherited no land. Joseph was represented by two tribes: Ephraim and Manasseh. Since the tribe of Manasseh is mentioned, by elimination, the tribe of Joseph must mean the tribe of Ephraim – who is listed, but not by name. Perhaps Ephraim was slighted because the tribe of Ephraim was also associated with great idolatry (Hosea 4:17). But, when all is said and done, God says these 144,000 will be Jews who will be saved and they will evangelize and lead many to salvation during the Great Tribulation.


Revelation 14:6-7 6 Then I saw another angel flying overhead, with the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation and tribe and tongue and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship the One who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and the springs of waters.”

I believe the church has been raptured at the beginning of the Great Tribulation (although there are those who have different theories). Jesus, Himself, commanded His followers to go into the world and preach the gospel of salvation, the grace gospel.

Matthew 10:27 "What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs".

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature".

One reason I believe the Rapture occurs before the Great Tribulation is because of the mentions of special messengers throughout the Great Tribulation given the job to proclaim the gospel. I believe it's because Christians are raptured and no longer here to proclaim the gospel so it has to be specially selected people empowered with a special dispensation of the Holy Spirit.

God sent the Two Witnesses earlier in the Tribulation, who shared the Gospel from Jerusalem during the first half of the Tribulation. It's the mid-point in the Great Tribulation. God has sent the 144,000 Jewish Evangelists to evangelize. Now God is going to send angels directly to the people to share the Gospel. Three angels fly through the sky calling out their messages. One brings the gospel and a call to worship God. The second brings an announcement of the fall of Babylon. The third warns of the wrath of God upon all who worship the Beast and have his mark upon them. The first is an angel flying in mid-sky proclaiming the good news of the gospel to everyone throughout the world. He's going throughout the sky, midair. Makes me wonder if the gospel will go out via satellite? I have mentioned earlier that technology to do this is already here and it seems to be a priority to the new world government for everyone to be reachable with their propaganda. With the reduction in population due to judgments in the first half, it's not hard to believe it's possible to reach the residents of the earth with a message and, in this case, the message of the gospel.

Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come."

What is the gospel? The word gospel means good news. What is the good news?

Romans 16:25-26 Praise God! He can make you strong by means of my good news, which is the message about Jesus Christ. For ages and ages this message was kept secret, but now at last it has been told. The eternal God commanded his prophets to write about the good news, so that all nations would obey and have faith.

2 Timothy 1:9-10 9 He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not because of our own works, but by His own purpose and by the grace He granted us in Christ Jesus before time eternal. 10 And now He has revealed this grace through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the gospel,

This gospel-proclaiming angel has a little different message from the grace gospel of the church age. All will be presented with the gospel AND will know they are choosing between Jesus and the anti-Christ. Jesus is the only way to salvation. No person will have an excuse. The gospel is good news to those who receive it and obey it. However, the gospel is bad news to those who reject it.


Revelation 14:8 Then a second angel followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, who has made all the nations drink the wine of the passion of her immorality.”

Babylon, the capitol of Chaldaea is an example of tyranny. Babylon is a type of the world power which persecutes the Church of God. Babylon is representative of the world, as Jerusalem is of the true Church of God. Like other cities, Babylon is personified as a woman, in this case an immoral woman.

"immorality"= πορνείας (porneias), Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular, Strong's Greek 4202 meaning: Fornication, whoredom; idolatry. From the root porneuo meaning harlotry and figuratively meaning idolatry.

Jeremiah 51:6-7 6 Flee from Babylon; escape with your lives! Do not be destroyed in her punishment. For this is the time of the LORD’s vengeance; He will pay her what she deserves. 7 Babylon was a gold cup in the hand of the LORD, making the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore the nations have gone mad.

I believe that the beast may have represented historical empires but also has a future fulfillment in the end time world government headed by a leader inspired and directed by satan. A dual fulfillment. An end time Babylon.

In previous studies on Revelation 12 and Revelation 13, we learned that these beasts are representations of kingdoms. The sea represents the great, restless mass of mankind, an ocean of men, tossed and swirled by every wind and passion. Whoever rises from this chaos of men will rise and rule by fear and intimidation. These beasts are world powers, empires, countries with their governments, kingdoms of the world. They are instigated, inspired and aided by the red dragon, satan - tyrannical, idolatrous, persecuting. The horns symbolize power; the heads, intelligence. Man severs himself from God in self deification and are therefore not much better than beasts.

I believe that the beast may have represented historical empires but also has a future fulfillment in the end time world government headed by a leader inspired and directed by satan. A dual fulfillment. An end time Babylon.

Babylon was the world power in the days of the prophet Daniel. The name Babylon came to represent the wicked world power of the day. In the days of Jesus and his disciples, Rome was the new Babylon because it was the world power of the day. Babylon had fallen. In Revelation, the Roman Empire had not fallen yet. John is prophesying that it will when he calls it Babylon. It is a certainty and John reveals the angel saying it will happen. It has been fulfilled so we know, in hindsight, that both Babylon and the Roman Empire have fallen. Some believe this prophecy was also directed at the Roman Catholic Church. That it would have great power, world wide power, but it would fall. Again, in hindsight, we may have seen this and we may see it again. The Roman Catholic Church became very powerful in Europe and the Americas and with this kind of power and wealth it became very corrupt. It's leaders came up with man-made doctrines in order to increase their power and wealth in direct contrast to God's directions and His Word. The great populace were illiterate and couldn't read the Bible for themselves so they had to depend on the priests and the Catholic Church. The Catholic leaders took full advantage of it. It still has great power and wealth today but not nearly like it had. Could it become a viable world power again? Maybe, if it becomes deceived by the anti-Christ and participates, or even becomes, the world wide religion of the last days. But then so could any other great religious bodies.

The anti-Christ may amalgamate them all to become a new world religion. One that first incorporates them all but in which he becomes the center of their worship. Or he may use one already established to build his new world religion on. One that already has buildings, organization, administration, worldwide links and networks, communications, etc. Catholic, Protestant denomination, Orthodox, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. could become a vehicle for him to declare a world wide religion and once it's established, with he and his false prophet in control, he forces the world to worship HIM.

You could look at almost every Christian denomination and see that the roots were begun with good intentions and pure doctrine. People who have become disillusioned, dissatisfied and offended in an older denomination may have sought God and tried to go back to His roots. They start a new denomination and try to base it on truth and good doctrine. But, as with all man-made organizations, it eventually becomes just as spiritually dense, corrupt and full of pride as the rest of them. When money and people start coming in, we automatically begin organizing around keeping the flow of people and money coming in. We are considered successful if we have high numbers. Before long, we've organized God right into a little box of which we hold the key. And tell Him to stay silent in this little box that we only bring out briefly to impress the people. Then we shuffle Him back into the box and the back room of the church. Eventually we even quit bringing out the box. The box gets thrown out with the trash and church has just become another social club.

But, not to be too hard, there are remnants of true believers in every Christian denomination. They are truly saved, disciples of Christ, read the Word, pray and talk to God and have a good relationship with God. But, for whatever reason, they attend a denominational church that has grown cold. God may be using these remnants to keep the fires lit and burning in their church or bringing the true gospel to the unsaved. There are individual churches within denominations who are on fire for God and have a hunger and thirst for Him. Praise God for these people and these churches who keep God front and center!!!

But here we have a warning: "Babylon the great, who has made all the nations drink the wine of the passion of her immorality". In other words, the world empire has drawn people into turning against the one true God. By promising them health, wealth, peace and fun, this empire and it's evil leaders will snooker everyone. They make sin look good. They've turned the world upside down making evil good and good evil. There is a song called "Living Life Upside Down" by Jason Crabb and the chorus is:
What if we've fallen to the bottom of a well
Thinking we've risen to the top of a mountain
What if we're knocking at the gates of hell
Thinking that we're heaven bound
And what if we spend our lives thinking of ourselves
When we should have been thinking of each other
What if we reach up and touch the ground
To find we're living life, upside down

Have we already done this? I mean, our society now tells us homosexuality is not a sin but a lifestyle to be "celebrated". Our government tells us killing babies is not murder but freedom for women. Our courts tell us criminals are more important than victims. And some of our churches and denominations are telling us there is no hell and sin is not sin. So is it any wonder people find themselves living life upside down. We can only anticipate it will get worse. God has not changed. His Word has not changed, it's the world that is tipping over. People love their sin. They want to sin. They enjoy sinning until sin comes full fruit. Then it's too late, the consequences are miserable. They thought taking drugs was fun until they became an addict. They thought free sex was exhilarating until they got an STD or an unwanted pregnancy or found their reputation in shreds and unable to function in a healthy relationship.

God is still waiting for you to turn to Him. It's not too late to turn around. But there comes a time when it will be too late. If you die, or the end time comes, you've lost your chance. Don't put it off. Come to God NOW!


Revelation 14:9-11 9 And a third angel followed them, calling out in a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image, and receives its mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he too will drink the wine of God’s anger, poured undiluted into the cup of His wrath. And he will be tormented in fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever. Day and night there will be no rest for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”

This is the scariest scripture. Through Jesus Christ, I have been saved from this. But for those who reject Jesus Christ and follow after the beast, this is their end!

The unsaved will:
  • drink the wine of God's anger, poured undiluted into the cup of His wrath
  • tormented in fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb
  • the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever
  • day and night there will be no rest

God doesn't want a single human being to ever end up here. It's why He sent Jesus Christ, His only Son, to save us. You don't have to end up here. You can be saved! But only by accepting Jesus Christ. There is no other way to be saved. You must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ: He is the Son of God, He died and rose again, He lives at the right hand of the Father ever making intercession for us. You must realize you cannot save yourself and only Jesus can save you. So repent, turn to Jesus and accept His free gift of salvation.

God warns us in His Word, over and over again. But, if we refuse to read His Word, we miss the warning. If we refuse to attend a Bible believing church, we won't ever know about salvation and we won't hear the warnings. If we refuse to accept Jesus when the Holy Spirit calls to us and presents the salvation message to us, we can blame no one but ourselves. In this day and time, we are particularly guilty if we refuse Christ. In America, we have churches on every corner, Bibles are easy to obtain and own. We have free education to teach us how to read so we can read the Bible for ourselves. We have the advantage of the Internet, technology, TV programs, radio stations, study materials are easily available - so we have no excuse for not knowing the truth.


Revelation 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

endurance = ὑπομονὴ (hypomonē) = Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 5281: Endurance, steadfastness, patient waiting for. From root hupomeno meaning cheerful endurance, constancy.

saints = ἁγίων (hagiōn) = Adjective - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 40: Set apart by (or for) God, holy, sacred. From root hagos meaning sacred.

keep = τηροῦντες (tērountes) = Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 5083: From teros; to guard, i.e. To note; by implication, to detain.

commandments = ἐντολὰς (entolas) = Noun - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 1785: An ordinance, injunction, command, law. From entellomai; injunction, i.e. An authoritative prescription.

faith = πίστιν (pistin) = Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4102: Faith, belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness.

"There is a patient waiting for Christ shown by those who keep God's commandments, who cleave to righteousness in spite of much temptation, and who refuse to pay homage to the god of this world because firm in the faith that Jesus is King." - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

If I were to now write this verse in my own way: This is a call of encouragement to God's people who have been called out to be different from the world. Be patient and endure during this time. Despite the great temptations to give in, remain steadfast in your faith in Christ and continue to try to follow God's commands. There will be a day when you will be glad you did!

Let's look at it in a couple of other translations just to be sure we understand.

Amplified: Here is [encouragement for] the steadfast endurance of the saints (God’s people), those who habitually keep God’s commandments and their faith in Jesus.

21st Century King James Version: Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Common English Bible: This calls for the endurance of the saints, who keep God’s commandments and keep faith with Jesus.

The Living Bible: Let this encourage God’s people to endure patiently every trial and persecution, for they are his saints who remain firm to the end in obedience to his commands and trust in Jesus.

1 John 2:3 By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

At this point in our study we've learned that the world got steadily worse between natural disasters, wars and just plain evil. These were birth pangs coming on. Jesus warned us about the increasing birth pangs.

I believe the church is raptured at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. If true, it means a significant portion of the population disappeared. This would be shocking and scary in itself. I'm sure an "alien abduction" will be used as an explanation about what happened to these missing people.

After the Rapture, the Great Tribulation begins and God sends cataclysmic disasters of judgment. This will kill many of the world's population and disrupt normal life. In fact, there will be no going back to normal life. The survivors of the judgments will in shock, in grief and desperate. And it's a perfect time for a charismatic leader to rise up and promise to set things straight again and get life back to normal. The anti-Christ promising protection, provision, peace and eventual prosperity. The population will be so ready for it that he will have no trouble taking control and establishing a one world government and religion. Any resistance to this idea of hope will be greeted with extreme hostility.

Having gained power and having the majority of the populace supporting him, this new leader will establish laws and promote new technology to aid in commerce. The mark of the beast will become the only way people can buy and sell which includes food, clothing, shelter, medical care. Those who don't want to take the mark of the beast, will be greatly tempted to give in and take it because otherwise they see themselves and their families starving to death. Those who resist the anti-Christ and his new religion and who don't want to worship him or take the mark of the beast, will be killed for being obstructionists. People will think they are doing the world a service by killing these people because they are the problem. They think by killing off the resisters things will finally roll in the right direction.

It's at this very time when God sends these warnings and words of encouragement to those Christian "resisters".

Joel 3:13 Swing the sickle,
for the harvest is ripe.
Come, trample the grapes,
for the winepress is full;
the wine vats overflow
because their wickedness is great.


Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven telling me to write, “Blessed are the dead—those who die in the Lord from this moment on.”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds will follow them.”

"Observe the description of those that are and shall be blessed: such as die in the Lord; die in the cause of Christ, in a state of union with Christ; such as are found in Christ when death comes. They rest from all sin, temptation, sorrow, and persecution; for there the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest. Their works follow them: do not go before as their title, or purchase, but follow them as proofs of their having lived and died in the Lord: the remembrance of them will be pleasant, and the reward far above all their services and sufferings. This is made sure by the testimony of the Spirit, witnessing with their spirits, and the written word." - Matthew Henry Commentary

This will be a time of unprecedented persecution of Christians. Christians have been persecuted from the beginning of the church but this time will be even worse. Today we see thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Christians martyred because of their faith. Many more are imprisoned, tortured, harassed, lose their jobs, have their churches torched, with laws passed restricting the practice of their religion.

Newsweek BY CRISTINA MAZA ON 1/4/18
The persecution and genocide of Christians across the world is worse today “than at any time in history,” and Western governments are failing to stop it, a report from a Catholic organization said.

The study by Aid to the Church in Need said the treatment of Christians has worsened substantially in the past two years compared with the two years prior, and has grown more violent than any other period in modern times.

“Not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith group, but ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the very worst forms of persecution,” the report said.

The report examined the plight of Christians in China, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Turkey over the period lasting from 2015 until 2017. The research showed that in that time, Christians suffered crimes against humanity, and some were hanged or crucified. The report found that Saudi Arabia was the only country where the situation for Christians did not get worse, and that was only because the situation couldn’t get any worse than it already was.

Revelation 6:9 I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained.

But in the Great Tribulation, persecution and martyrdom will be unprecedented. The Bible does not teach that we should seek martyrdom. Christians don't seek martyrdom in order to get special rewards in heaven. That has an impure motive of selfishness and pride, self glorification. But if we are faced with it, we should face it with faith in God and trust in His grace. There is special honor for those who are faithful even to the loss of their lives for Christ.

Matthew 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me".

In Job, satan tells God that God's followers only follow God because of God's blessings, not because of any true love for God. God allowed satan to take everything away from Job, including his health, as proof that Job loved God and not just His blessings. As devastated, shocked and grieved as Job was, he did not turn away from God but turned to God for comfort. And he found God was there and God was enough. In the end, God blessed him more than double of what he had before. Persecution and martyrdom are NOT defeats for the cause of Christ. It certainly doesn't hinder or stop the cause for Christ. It is more like seed sown that brings forth even more plants that bear fruit.

Job 1:9-11 9 Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. 10 You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! 11 But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”

Dandelions are interesting because their seeds have a fluffy end that allows them to blow in the wind and be dispersed. If a dandelion is puffy, fuzzy and white, it means the seeds are ready to be blown by the wind and dispersed. If you try to kill the dandelion by pulling it up by the roots, the seeds will dislodge and be blown by the wind. You may have killed one plant but you just planted 50 others! This is an analogy of Christians martyred. They are faithful sheep whose blood is spilled for God’s sake. They become seed sown.

Romans 14:8 If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Daniel 12:13 But as for you, go on your way until the end. You will rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.

Isaiah 57:1-2 1 Good people pass away;
the godly often die before their time.
But no one seems to care or wonder why.
No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.
2 For those who follow godly paths
will rest in peace when they die.

Matthew 10:28-33 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,

Knowing what a weak person I am, I used to fear that I would disappoint God if I was faced with torture and murder. Would I turn away from Christ to save my own skin? Yes. But it's not just me. I have the Holy Spirit within me to empower me and enable me to do what I cannot do in my own strength. Where I am weak, He is strong. His grace is sufficient. So if I were called into a terrible situation, I can trust that God will enable me supernaturally to do whatever He calls me to do. It is not me but Him in me. I can take no credit and He alone deserves the glory! So don't worry and be afraid of persecution and martyrdom.


Revelation 14:14 And I looked and saw a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was One like the Son of Man, with a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.

crown = στέφανον (stephanon) = Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4735: A crown, garland, honor, glory. From an apparently primary stepho; a chaplet, literally or figuratively. Chaplet means a garland or wreath for a person's head

Psalm 23:1 For You welcomed him with rich blessings; You placed on his head a crown of pure gold.

This figure is described as:
  • A white cloud
  • Seated on the cloud
  • One like the Son of Man
  • A golden crown on His head
  • A sharp sickle in His hand
The cloud is a symbol of Christ's glory. It is white to symbolize His purity. He sits indicating His work is done and He is now ready for judgment. He wears a golden crown of victory. It is possibly a gold wreath crown, a crown of gold laurels for He has won the victory! The sickle means the time has come for harvest. God has been very patient in order to gather unto Himself as many as will choose Him. Jesus is told now is the time, the crop is ready. So He gathers His people first. He separates the wheat from the tares (a weed resembling wheat). Lets look at Matthew 13.

Matthew 13:3-8 3 And He told them many things in parables, saying, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.
5 Some fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun rose, the seedlings were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the seedlings.
8 Still other seed fell on good soil and produced a crop—a hundredfold, sixtyfold, or thirtyfold.
Matthew 13:18-29 18 Consider, then, the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the message of the kingdom but does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
20 The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and promptly receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he remains for only a season. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.
22 The seed sown among the thorns is the one who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
23 But the seed sown on good soil is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and produces a crop—a hundredfold, sixtyfold, or thirtyfold.”

24 Jesus presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was asleep, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and slipped away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared.
27 The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
So the servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 ‘No,’ he said, ‘if you pull the weeds now, you might uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat into my barn.’”
36 Then Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 He replied, “The One who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed represents the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 As the weeds are collected and burned in the fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His kingdom every cause of sin and all who practice lawlessness. 42 And they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.


Revelation 14:15-16 15 Then another angel came out of the temple, crying out in a loud voice to the One seated on the cloud, “Swing Your sickle and reap, because the time has come to harvest; for the crop of the earth is ripe.” 16 So the One seated on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

The harvest of the earth is made by Jesus Christ Himself. He gathers His people; an ingathering. This is the good harvest. Jesus reaps a harvest of grain, which refers to the gathering those who confess Christ. The grain is only harvested, not winnowed, threshed or burned. Jesus is specifically associated with the first harvest for it was He who sowed the good grain. It is a harvest of redemption. There is no casting into the wine-press of God’s wrath like the next scene.

On the other hand some would disagree and say this is two analogies of the same event: "That this is the (a harvest of redemption) seems to me very improbable, if not entirely out of the question. According to the record up to this point, the great harvest of the good seed has already been reaped. The Living Ones, the Elders, the innumerable multitude, the Manchild, and the 144,000 all of whom are the good seed, are in heaven before this reaping comes.” — J. A. Seiss, The Apocalypse: Lectures on the Book of Revelation, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1966, pg 358.


Revelation 14:17-20 17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 Still another angel, with authority over the fire, came from the altar and called out in a loud voice to the angel with the sharp sickle, “Swing your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the vine of the earth, because its grapes are ripe.”
19 So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the grapes of the earth, and he threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and the blood that flowed from it rose as high as the bridles of the horses for a distance of 1,600 stadia.

Let's look at the difference between the two harvests:

Jesus is described as the "Son of Man" and He is seated on a white cloud and wears a golden crown. Very different from the angel called to harvest the grapes. An angel came out of the heavenly Temple to tell Jesus it was time.

Matthew 24:36 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

The Lamb is a victor along with the martyrs. The Lamb blesses and gathers his faithful witnesses.

Let's refresh our memory and look at Revelation 6.

Revelation 6:9-11 9 And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?
11 Then each of them was given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers, were killed, just as they had been killed.

The angel, who announces this harvest, comes “from the altar”. This harvest is a response to the prayer of those martyrs under the altar in Revelation 6. Prayers are incense on the altar of God.

Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven telling me to write, “Blessed are the dead—those who die in the Lord from this moment on.
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds will follow them.”

In this harvest, the Lamb will reap the harvest of his followers so that they might share in his victory. It is a harvest of redemption, blessing and rest. The other harvest reaps those who will be crushed by divine wrath in the winepress of God’s judgment. A harvest of horror and judgment.

A full winepress would indicate an abundance. But in this case that's not a good thing for we are talking about an abundance of people who have rejected Christ, refused salvation, worshiped the Beast, taken the mark of the beast and followed after evil. God has given every chance and every warning. It was not His desire that any should perish and suffer judgment.

Let's look at some other instances of a winepress in the Bible.

Isaiah 5:2 (Israel) – He broke up the soil, cleared it of stones, and planted it with the finest vines. He built a tower in the middle of it and even dug out a winepress there. He expected it to yield good grapes, but it yielded worthless grapes.

Matthew 21:33-43 Parable of the Wicked Tenants
33 Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a tower. Then he rented it out to some tenants and went away on a journey.
34 When the harvest time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his share of the fruit.
35 But the tenants seized his servants. They beat one, killed another, and stoned a third.
36 Again, he sent other servants, more than the first group. But the tenants did the same to them.
37 Finally, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.
38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40 Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard returns, what will he do to those tenants?”
41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they declared, “and will rent out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his share of the fruit at harvest time.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
This is from the Lord,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”

These references are first of all symbolic of God's relationship with Israel. He chose them, established them, blessed them, prospered them but they chose to run after evil and idolatry. He sent messengers (prophets) to warn them but the majority of Israelites did not listen to them and even went so far as to kill them so they wouldn't have to hear their message. God sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to call them to repentance and to save them. But the Israelite leaders had Him tortured and crucified. So the question is, "What else could the owner of the vineyard do? What do the tenants, who have done all these wicked things, deserve?"

Jesus answers by saying He is the cornerstone. To those who accept Him, they can build on Him. But to those who refuse Him, they will be crushed to powder. Those who would attack Him will be dashed to pieces. He, and His, come out untouched and stronger than ever. But those who reject Him are demolished.

We see something similar here in Revelation 14. The wicked; the evil; the ones who chose to reject Christ's free offer of salvation... these are the ones who will be crushed in the winepress of God's wrath.

Joel 3:13 “Swing the sickle because the harvest is ripe. Come and trample the grapes because the winepress is full; the wine vats overflow because the wickedness of the nations is great.”

Isaiah 63:1-6 1 Who is this coming from Edom,
from Bozrah with crimson-stained garments?
Who is this robed in splendor,
marching in the greatness of His strength?
“It is I who speak in righteousness,
mighty to save.”
2 Why are Your clothes red,
and Your garments like one who treads the winepress?
3 “I have trodden the winepress alone,
and no one from the nations was with Me.
I trampled them in My anger
and trod them underfoot in My fury;
their blood spattered My garments,
and all My clothes were stained.
4 For the day of vengeance was in My heart,
and the year of My redemption had come.
5 I looked, but there was no one to help;
I was appalled that no one assisted;
so My arm brought Me salvation,
and My own wrath upheld Me.
6 I trampled nations in My anger;
in My wrath I made them drunk
and poured out their blood on the ground.”

A 1600 year old winepress and vats being uncovered.

The winepress of Gods wrath is “outside the city,” indicating it will be located outside of Jerusalem. In Revelation 16:16, John pinpointed it at Armageddon, which is about 50 miles northwest of Jerusalem.

The distance between Bozrah in Edom, alluded to in Isaiah 63:1, and the Valley of Megido, the locale of Armageddon, is about 200 miles. The ancient capital of Edom was the city of Bozrah - the Hebrew bosra means sheepfold. It lies 30 miles southeast of the Dead Sea in present-day Jordan. It was on the main North West trade route known as the King's Highway (Numbers 20:17). The site is adjacent to the modern town of Bouseira.

Jeremiah 49:13 "I swear by myself", declares the Lord, "that Bozrah will become a ruin and a curse, an object of horror and reproach; and all its towns will be in ruin forever"
 Bouseira (Bozrah)

Megido in Jezreel Valley at it's place above Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.

The Jezreel Valley circled in red.

The Megido Mountain overlooks Megido as it sits on the Jezreel Valley floor.

"...the blood that flowed from [the winepress] rose as high as the bridles of the horses for a distance of 1,600 stadia."

1,600 stadia is about 200 miles long. Blood will flow like a river for 200 miles from Megido in the Valley of Jezreel all the way to Bozrah. And it will be deep for  "...it rose as high as the bridles of the horses". This could mean as high as a bridle on a horse (4-5 feet) or as high as the length of a bridle of a horse. Either way, it's going to be a horror! A horror such as has never been known in history. The angel gathers these unrepentant people and Jesus Christ will crush them in the winepress of God's wrath until their blood runs in a river.

Remember, God has offered free salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. There is no need for anyone to experience God's wrath. All it takes is for you to believe in Jesus and ask His forgiveness. Invite the Holy Spirit to live in you. Surrender to God. Then, you too will be saved from this coming judgment and eternal hellfire. But if YOU choose not to accept Jesus Christ, you will experience the wrath of God. The whole reason God sent His Son... the whole reason why Jesus Christ voluntarily came... the whole reason why God sent the Holy Spirit to convict the world... the whole reason why He gave us His Word, is so YOU can be saved.

God is a God of love, mercy and grace. And He proved it by sending His Son to die on the cross to save us from our sins. But God is also a God of justice and righteousness. He has been patient not wanting any to perish. But there will be an end to His patience and there has to be judgment against sin. Things have to be set right. He will get rid of sin and satan once and for all.

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