Gideon

Chapter 39

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THE GREAT TRIBULATION, FROM A HEAVENLY POINT-OF-VIEW
 

12-09-12

(Rev 14:1-5)  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb [Jesus Christ] stood on the mount Zion [Heavenly Zion], and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written [“sealed” Rev 7:3,4] in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters [the worshipping voice of the multitudes of saved peoples], and as the voice of a great thunder [the voice of God]: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts [Gk: zoon; animals] [Rev 4:6-9], and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled [Gk: soiled] with women [false belief systems - doctrines]; for they are virgins [separated unto God, like those who took the Nazarite vow]. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed [Gk: purchased] from among men, being the firstfruits [Gk: the beginning of sacrifice] [i.e., the corporate, “as one man” Judg 6:16] [but what happened to the “man child” (Rev 12:5) who was clearly, demonstratively, the “firstfruits”?] unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile [Gk: deceit, subtlety]: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

1.      (Rev 7:3,4)  Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

a.      sealed = Gk: to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation; seal up /// a signet (as fencing in or protecting from misappropriation); by impl. the stamp impressed (as a mark of privacy, or genuineness): seal /// (to rein in or curb); the feelings (or sensitive nature; by extens. the mind or cognitive faculties):--understanding.

b.      (Job 1:9,10)  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge [Heb: to entwine, i.e. shut in (for formation, protection, restraint): fence] about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

c.      (Psa 34:7)  The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him [them that are imputed (reckoned) for righteousness], and delivereth them.

2.      Commentary: a plausible hypothesis: “firstfruits” = The redemption (rapture) at the beginning of the Great Tribulation is that of the “man child” (Rev 12:5) company, which, after 3 ˝ years of being taught in Heaven, has at the end of the Great Tribulation, now become the 144,000 company (Rev 7:1-8, 14:4), and is still otherwise biblically represented as the “firstfruits” company, the “hundredfold” company (Mat 13:23), and Gideon’s “three hundred men that lapped” (Judg 7:6), all in all firstfruits fruit for the Lord. The “man child-taught-144,000” company will precede to Heaven the much larger group of “the remnant of her seed” (Rev 12:17), the thirtyfold company who will experience being taught rather severely with the “thorns of the wilderness and briers” (Judg 8:16) and being raptured up to the Lord throughout the Great Tribulation, which is also the fifth seal (Rev 6:9-11; 7:13-17). Meanwhile, the “woman” (the composite Israel/church), the sixtyfold company, will be secreted in a place where “they should feed her there” (Rev 12:6) with the Word of God, and “where she is nourished” (Rev 12:14) with the Word of God, i.e., where she may be more peacefully taught, almost nurtured, and protected for the 3 ˝ year duration of the fifth seal of the Great Tribulation.

 

(Rev 14:6,7)  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God [“is the beginning of wisdom” Psa 111:10; Prov 9:10], and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

1.      Commentary: “the everlasting gospel” = God’s last call of forgiving Grace to the world before the return of Jesus Christ in judgment at the end of the fifth seal of Great Tribulation.

 

(Rev 14:8)  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon [Gk: a type of tyranny /// confusion /// mingled] is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine [an intoxicating drink that when taken to excess will destroy one’s vigilance (1 Pet 5:8) and soundness of mind (2 Tim 1:7)] of the wrath of her fornication.

1.      Commentary: Babylon was a great city of two aspects located in Iraq, an antitype of Sodom (Heb: burnt district) (“having their conscience seared” 1 Tim 4:2) and Gomorrah (Heb: a ruined heap /// to gather grain: bind sheaves, make merchandise of). One aspect of Babylon was religion (the Babylon of Rev 17) and the other aspect was commercial (the Babylon of Rev 18), hence, “is fallen, is fallen.”

2.      fornication = Gk: porneia; harlotry (includ. adultery and incest); fig. idolatry /// porneuo; indulge in unlawful lust (of either sex), or (fig.) practice idolatry /// porne; a strumpet; fig. an idolater:--harlot, whore.

 

(Rev 14:9-11)  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast [Gk: therion; a dangerous animal: (venomous, wild) beast] [Rev 13:1,2] and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture [Gk: undiluted] [i.e., in full strength] into the cup of his indignation [Gk: violent passion (ire, or [justifiable] abhorrence); by impl. punishment: anger, vengeance, wrath]; and he shall be tormented [Gk: tortured: pained, vexed] with fire and brimstone [Heb: cypress-resin; by analogy sulphur (as equally inflammable)] [first mentioned in the Bible as raining down upon Sodom and Gomorrah in righteous judgment: Gen 19:24] in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest [Gk: intermission] day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

1.      Commentary: The wicked will be tormented in the lake of fire, in the lake of “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mat 25:41) with no hope of annihilation or restoration, “Where their worm [body] dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44,46,48) forever. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:15).

 

(Rev 14:12-14))  Here is the patience [Gk: cheerful (or hopeful) endurance: patient continuance (waiting)] of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth [from the beginning of the Great Tribulation to its conclusion (Rev 6:9-11; 7:13-17)]: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them [i.e., are credited to their account]. And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle [Gk: a gathering hook (espec. for harvesting)].

1.      Commentary: Rev 14:12 is intended to be an encouragement for the saints to endure in hard times, some of whom will be “put to death” (Luke 21:16) during the Great Tribulation.

 

THE WOMAN’S SEED IS REAPED FIRST

(Rev 14:15,16)  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped [of the wheat: saved believers].

 

THE DRAGON’S SEED IS THEREAFTER REAPED

(Rev 14:17-20)  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the [brazen] altar [where the decision is made for Heaven or Hell], which had power over fire [the tares (unsaved) are to be burned: Mat 13:30]; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters [“bundles” Mat 13:30] of the vine of the earth; for her grapes [“wild grapes” Isa 5:2-4] are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city [of Jerusalem], and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles [about 4 feet], by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs [about 200 miles].

1.      (Joel 3:12-14)  Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat [an allusion to Armageddon (Rev 16:16; 19:17-19)]: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest [of the saved] is ripe: [then] come, get you down [to the earth]; for the [wine] press is full [of unsaved wild grapes], the [wine] vats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley [i.e., the whole valley is the winepress of God] of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

Amen