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Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Revelation Lectures(67)    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Revelation 14:11-20
Date
   2008-07-04



Revelation 14:11-20

[11] "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
[12] Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
[13] And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them."
[14] Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.
[15] And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe."
[16] Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.
[17] And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle.
[18] Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe."
[19] So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.
[20] And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses' bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

The content of this lecture is a continuation of the last session.

Revelation 14:9-10 says, "Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb."

Worshiping the beast and his image is worshiping and following the forces of the antichrist and its head.

And those who do it will receive a mark in their foreheads or on their hands.

They accept this knowing that it is to stand against God.

They will eventually be tormented with fire and brimstone (burning sulfur) forever; it refers to the eternal punishment of hell.

There is no end to this punishment.


Following verse, Revelation 14:11 says, ""And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.""

The tormenting fire of hell is never quenched, and the smoke of the torment goes up forever and ever, day and night.

Until the day of the Great White Throne Judgment, those souls who are not saved are waiting in Hades, receiving torment.

The torment in Hades is so terrible and painful, but at least there is some rest.

Though the torment is continuous, there are very short periods of rest before a new period of torment begins.

Of course, those souls cannot take a rest because from the fear of the upcoming torment. But, at least, there is intersession between torments.


When I delivered the message series 'Hell', I described to you the torment in Hades of a husband and wife who had severely blasphemed the Holy Spirit.

A transparent pot, which is being boiled, is filled with a liquid that has a terrible stench.

A wife and her husband alternate being put into the pot, and receive the torment.

Their whole body is boiled in the liquid and is blistered resembling the back of a toad, and their eyeballs bulge out from the sockets.

Whenever they stick their heads out of the pot, messengers of hell trample on them to submerge their heads and brass skewers are impaled into the soles of the feet

To avoid the trampling, they put their heads back to the pot, but not being able to overcome the pain of extreme heat, they stick their heads out again, and they are again trampled by the messengers of hell.

When the husband is inside the pot, the wife has to watch his anguish.

Since this pot is transparent, the torment inside can be clearly seen from the outside.


At first, when one of them sees the other tortured and tormented, each cries for mercy on behalf of the other out of mutual affection.

But, the situation changes some time later.

"I am tormented like this because of you." They blame on each other, and begrudge one another.

In order to receive less torment, they want each other to receive longer torment.

They beg, "Please, leave him in there a little longer so that I can rest a little."

There is a short period of rest time but the miserable torment continues like this in Hades.

Once they fall into the lake of fire or the burning sulfur of hell, however, they don't even have time to take a breath.

They take turns no more, and they have no hope that the torment will stop.

They have to suffer from the torment continually. Moreover, in case of the sulfur, because of its scorching heat they cannot move even the slightest bit.

When tonight's scripture says, 'they have no rest day and night,' it talks about the terrible appearance of hell.

Therefore, even among the people who fall into the 7 Year Great Tribulation, they should not receive the mark of the beast no matter how painful the torture of the antichrist is.

No matter how painful and cruel its torture is, there is an end to it.

And thus, if they can die a martyr, they can at least avoid falling into hell.

But, if they don't overcome the tortures, but receive the mark of the beast, the eternal torment and punishment is what will be waiting for them.

On the other hand, if they overcome the torture, there will be rest.


Now, Revelation 14:12 says, "Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus."

Well, this verse also applies to all the saints who have been saved since the Creation by God.

Just because a person confesses, "I believe, I believe!!" does not mean that they will all be saved.

It is the believers who have perseverance.

It is the perseverance to keep the command of God and the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Since they have hope for eternal life, they don't mind walking this narrow path. They can go with joy and thanksgiving.

Without perseverance, it cannot be done.


Now, this verse can be applied in particular to those who are left on this earth during the 7 Year Great Tribulation.

Even during this period of time, they should repent and turn back. They should, by all means, keep the commandments of God and keep faith in the Lord.

With such perseverance, their souls can receive salvation.


Now, Revelation 14:13 says, "And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.""

'The dead who die in the Lord' means that they receive salvation.

'From now on' indicates the period of the 7 Year Great Tribulation.

If they die in the Lord even in the period of the 7 Year Great Tribulation, they are truly blessed.


Since they are among the few people who are saved by the skin of their teeth during such a dreadful time, how blessed they are!

In fact, the longer they live, the crueler the torture becomes, so it is rather a blessing to die early.

The Holy Spirit says, "They may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them."

'They may rest from the labors' means that they may escape from all the suffering of persecution and take a rest in spirit and in body.

'Their deeds follow with them' means that they will receive salvation and rest by the deeds of keeping their faith and dying a martyr.

For their salvation they pay the price of martyrdom.

If you show the deed of dying a martyr in this era of the Holy Spirit, you can enjoy at least the glory of the 3rd kingdom of heaven.

But, for those who fall into the 7 Year Great Tribulation just to receive salvation, they have to show the great deed of martyrdom.

Even though they labor and suffer greatly, they should be grateful just for entering paradise.

But, those who are saved during the 7 Year Great Tribulation are so thankful and joyful just for that.

That's because the rest in paradise means a great deal to them.

Now, the continuing verses, Revelation 14:14-16 say, "Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe." Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped."


'Having a golden crown on a head' indicates great glory.

As you may know from the fact that the 24 elders are wearing the golden crowns, the golden crown in heaven is such a great glory.

Now, there is 'a sharp sickle in His hand.' A sickle is a tool that is used for cutting grass and grain crops.

The spiritual meaning of this sickle is that God concludes His work when it's time.

In other words, He puts the final touches on it.

In this verse, this sickle means that God concludes the 6,000 year long human cultivation and reaps its fruit.

When an angel delivers the command of God, the One who sits on the cloud swings the sickle over the earth, and the earth is fully harvested.

'The harvest of the earth' refers to the saved souls.

Just as a man cultivates the land and harvests its crops, God wants to cultivate human beings and reap the harvest of true children.

That's why it is called 'human cultivation.'

Just as a farmer cultivates the crops, God cultivates human beings.

A farmer doesn't plant a seed and harvest its crop once. He repeats the process of sowing and reaping every year.

In the same way, God has cultivated countless people for 6,000 years since the disobedience of Adam.

Now, the time that God set is close, He is concluding His cultivation.

By saying, 'Swinging the sickle and reaping' indicates that God concludes the history of human cultivation.


Then, who is the One who sits on the cloud?

Here there are meanings on two different levels.

First, from the perspective of the Old Testament, it indicates Moses.

Tonight's scripture doesn't say he is a son of man, but it says he is 'like' a son of man. It is to describe the glory of Moses in heaven.

The Apostle John at the time was seeing the spiritual things with his spiritual eyes. But still, he is wearing the fleshly body.

Because he is seeing Moses in the glory of heaven in this situation, he cannot but bow his head at the sight of Moses.

Moreover, Moses is in the highest ranks amongst the cultivated souls. How glorious and majestic his appearance must be!

That's why Apostle John says, 'he is like a son of man.'

Now, why does Moses appear at this moment?

That's because Moses is the one who received the Law of the Old Testament from God.

The Law reveals the laws of the spiritual realm to us.

The people who belong to God should keep not only the law of this world, but also the laws of the spiritual world.

Such laws of the spiritual realm are known to us through the Laws of Moses.

Among the countless laws of the spiritual realm, God taught us the Law that we should keep and follow in this earth.

This Law of Moses contains the heart of God, and it also contains the order that maintains the spiritual realm.

At the same time, it contains everything necessary for human cultivation.

It contains the period, purpose, and methods of human cultivation.

It also explains such things as blessing, curse, sin, death, judgment, and salvation.

When we live by the will of God according to this Law, we can receive salvation and blessing.

On the other hand, if someone doesn't keep the Law, stays far from the duty of a man, he will become nothing more than animal-like.

Even though he is in the form of a man, if he distances himself from the duty of a man and becomes like an animal, he cannot reach heaven.

Therefore, the Law of Moses becomes the standard of the Judgment after the cultivation began.

'Moses swings the sickle and reaps' means that the judgment will be made according to the Law of Moses.

Since the standard of the judgment is the Law of Moses, Moses swings the sickle and reaps.


Secondly, the One who sits on the cloud refers to the Lord.

John 5:27 says, "He (God the Father) gave Him (the Lord) authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man."

God the Father is the Judge.

But God doesn't hold the authority for Himself alone, but He shares the authority with the Lord.

On the Final Day of Judgment, it is not God the Father alone but God the Son, and the Holy Spirit that will sit on the Throne and judge.


Dear brothers and sisters.

The standard of the judgment in the Old Testament times is the Law of Moses.

Therefore, from the perspective of the Old Testament, The one who swings the sickle and reaps is Moses.

However, in the New Testament times, the judgment is made according to the faith in the Lord.

Also, the Old Testament is the shadow of the New Testament, and Moses is like the shadow of the Lord who fulfills the Law.

Acts 3:22-23 says, "Moses said, 'THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you. And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.'"

And just as he said, Jesus came to this earth and, with love, He fulfilled the Law that God gave to Moses.

And later on, the Lord becomes the standard of Judgment.

John 3:17-18 says, "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

The Law of the Old Testament is the prophecy of the Lord Jesus, and Jesus came to this earth and fulfilled the Law.

Therefore, this time it is now Jesus Christ that swings the sickle and reaps the souls that will receive salvation.

By the way, the Lord came to this earth not as "a son of man", but as the Son of God.

That's why tonight's scripture does not say, 'He is a son of man' but 'He is like a son of man.'

In addition, the fact that 'the Lord sits on the cloud' explains that the Lord is in a different space from the sky of the fleshly world.

The fleshly world where human beings are cultivated is the 1st heaven, the lowest level of space.

On the other hand, the space where the Lord resides is in the spiritual space; it is either the 3rd or 4th heaven.

Since the Lord resides in the different heaven, the scripture says, 'He sits on the cloud.'

In this way, even when Apostle John saw what he did see, it may contain double meanings.

Even though the Apostle John saw only Moses, it could actually have also been the Lord.

By they way, when another angel 'cries out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe,"' you may wonder who it was talking to.

You may be curious to know how an angel would dare to give a command to Moses or the Lord sitting on the cloud.

The reason for that is the angel in this verse is the messenger of God.

If you think of old days, when a messenger of king delivers the kings' command, no matter how royal they are, or no matter how high their rank is, they kneel down before the messenger.

When the messenger delivers the command of God, he speaks on behalf of the king.

So here the angel speaks in the tone of the authority of God to the one who is receiving the command of God.

The angel in this verse doesn't speak harsh language to the Lord or Moses, but the angel is delivering the command of God.

The angel is crying out with a loud voice, and it means that all things are managed in dignity, fear, and in an acute manner.


Now, another sickle appears in Revelation 14:17-18.

It says, "And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.""

This time, not a man, but an angel comes out of the temple with a sharp sickle.


The previous sickle has the meaning that God concludes the providence of human cultivation under His administration.

However, the sickle of this angel has a meaning that the final conclusion is made by the judgment of the truth through Christ the Lord.

I already told you earlier that the Lord becomes the standard of the judgment.

Even though the Law of Moses was the standard of judgment in the Old Testament days, eventually everyone receives salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even the souls that were saved in the days of the Old Testament, they are given an opportunity to accept the Lord.

1 Peter 3:19 says, "(in which) also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison."

After the Lord died and before He resurrected, He went down where the saved souls of the Old Testament days waited, and preached the gospel.

The Lord opened a way so that all the saved souls could reach salvation through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, the conclusion of human cultivation is made by the judgment of the truth through the Lord Christ.

And the angel that has another sickle is about to execute this task.

Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, says to the angel who has the sharp sickle, "Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth."

The angel who has power over fire is the angel who is given the authority of judgment and plagues.

This angel has power over two kinds of fire; fleshly fire and spiritual fire.

First, fleshly fire is the fire of plagues that are the result of weapons.

It is the fire that is made in the evil of human beings.

Now, the spiritual fire is the fire of hell that doesn't quench forever.

When the angel that has power over such fire gives a command, the angel that has the sickle puts in the sickle and gathers the clusters from the vine of the earth.

Then, what do the clusters from the vine of the earth refer to?

Previously, a sickle is used to reap the harvest.

The harvest refers to the people who keep the faith in the Lord; they are the souls who receive salvation.

On the other hand, 'the clusters of the vine of the earth' are the fruit yielded by those who live in the darkness and sin.

The bible says that the Lord is the true vine and that we are the branches.

The branches of vine yield fruit only after time passes and when it's time to harvest.

In other words, only when it's time to finish the 6,000 year long human cultivation, the clusters of the vine can be gathered.

The fruit that we yield as branches of vine are the true clusters of the vine.

We yield the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of love, and the fruit of the light.

But, the people of the world yield 'the clusters of the vine of the earth.'

While they live in sin belonging to the darkness, they yield the fruit of the untruth.

When it's time to conclude the history of human cultivation, not only the fruits received in salvation, but also the fruits will be reaped of those not receiving salvation.

In Matthew Chapter 13, an enemy came and sowed tares in the field where good seed was sown.

When the slaves asked the landlord whether they had to uproot the tares, what did the landlord say?


Matthew 13:2930 says, "But he said, 'No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn."'""

When the time of harvest comes, farmers gather grain crops. At this time, they gather up the tares together and later burn them up later while they put the grain crops into the barn.


Its result is mentioned in Revelation 14:19-20.


It says, "So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses' bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles."

The plague of fire and punishment come down at the strict command of the angel onto those who stand against God and deny the Lord.

"The great wine press of the wrath of God" refers to the press of judgment.

We will look into this judgment in the next lecture.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

When the power of the forces of the antichrist is its peak, its power seems to last forever.

When the time comes, however, God will surely judge them, and their followers will also fall into punishment.

Even when the men of God tell them there will be Judgment like this, the people of the world don't listen to them.

They think it's not likely, and they don't turn back.

They are tempted at the things before their eyes, and they don't realize what will happen in the future.


That's why the Lord says in Matthew 24:37-29, regarding the end time of the world, "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be."

It is the same at the end of the 7 Year Great Tribulation.

They saw the Rapture, and they experienced the countless disasters and plagues. But they still try to lead their lives in the reality they understand.

And they finally lose the last chance.

You should not be attached to the reality that you see now. I hope that you will become wise enough to realize the signs of end time of the world.

May you become a precious soul to be put into the barn of heaven on the Last Day of the harvest, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!


[Amen]

 
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