Previously we saw Babylon fallen. Perhaps another way of putting this, Babylon is finally taken down. On that note, we begin looking at Revelation 14:14 and beyond.
Revelation 14:14 NASB 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.
The phrase “one like a son of man” is a major clue; this is Jesus. In the Gospels alone, and using the KJV to search for the “son of man,” there are 82 references where Jesus is referred to as the Son of man. In the Old Testament, there are 108 references scattered across the book of Numbers, Job, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel – where the majority are found (93), and Daniel, where we find two references. I will give you one from Daniel as it speaks to Him coming with the clouds.
Daniel 7:13 NASB “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.
When Jesus comes, seated on the cloud and crowned with a golden crown, I would be surprised if anyone sees Him unless this is an aspect of His return as the warring Messiah. Clues.
There is a sharp sickle in His hand.
Why a sickle?
There is only one reason, to harvest a crop.
But which crop?
The instinctive thought is to gather the wheat crop, but not necessarily as some would say that the crop is the church, while others would tell you that the crop is the nation Israel. What if all three are wrong?
Look at what Mark’s gospel tells us.
“But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:29 NASB)
He merely says, “when the crop permits.” It is in Mark’s gospel that we find the parable of the weeds, at least that is what the various translations call it.
Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. (25) “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. (26) “But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. (27) “The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ (28) “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves *said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ (29) “But he *said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. (30) ‘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.”‘” (Matthew 13:24-30 NASB)
Matthew 13:38 tells us that the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom. Lacking the desire to pursue a definition of such a simple phrase, as “no one would misunderstand it,” we miss what is being said here.
This particular phrase only shows up in one other location Matthew 8:12; there it says,
but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12 NASB)
The context has everything to do with the Centurion who responded to Jesus with this, “just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Jesus responded to the Centurion by saying, “I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel;” and that elicited the comment that we see in Matthew 8:12. Well, that is rather alarming but expected, as He was so disappointed in the Jews.
Something else to note in this parable of the tares.
The farmer did not sow weed seeds, and yet they showed up. We are told, “his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.” (Who is our enemy? Satan and his legion of fallen angels – demons.) We are not told that the farmer watered, but it makes sense that he would as Israel is dotted with irrigation sources and methods, and water is a necessity for any crop. So the weed seeds got watered as well.
And what happened?
The weeds, scattered among the good seeds, grew. We do not know how many seeds the enemy sowed but it was enough to be noticed. Having done this intentionally makes me think this enemy meant to reduce the amount of crop they could harvest, and most likely reduce its value. This may have an analogy to our life in Christ as Satan tries to scatter weeds in our lives, and for what purpose? In the case of the C19 jab, he is desperately trying to take you out of the game. There is enough information out there to educate yourselves if you so desired, and then you would understand what I am talking about.
Why am I talking about this?
Because it is almost time to extend the sickle and harvest the crop. Just the usage of such words should speak volumes to you.
A sickle, which has a sharpened blade. It is difficult to not realize that the blade can also represent damage – damage, which for wheat or weeding, is necessary.
Workers; this is what the NLT uses to define those reaping the crop. The NASB chose to use the term slaves.
If this is speaking to us, the body of Christ, are we then slaves?
Well, yes and no. You are never without a choice. I suppose that means you could walk away from God’s love at any time, but since our names are written in the Book of Life of the Lamb and tattooed on His hands, why would the God of Love loose His arms of love and let you go? He would not. It is peculiar how love, in its purest source – God, draws us into a position where we long to have Him constantly speaking love over us. This is the position that Paul eventually found himself in and, therefore, longed to be the slave of God.
Paul, in his first letter to the church at Corinth, said, I have made myself a slave to all, that I may win more. Slave may be a poor choice of words. Slave is the Greek word douloō but the choice of words we can use are dependent upon the context. The alternate words include: to give yourself freely or become a servant of your own will. Consider that slaves have no say about their lives, but we do. Servants, in today’s modern world, applied for the job, often because we needed to be able to eat or house ourselves. The servant, although it is NOT wise, has the ability to speak their mind about the working conditions or the demands placed upon them. I speak from experience when I say this, managers/employers do NOT appreciate you voicing your opinion about the way things are going on the job or the manager’s demands.
So Paul freely gave himself to the Law of the Spirit of Life. As long as you understand that compliance or submission is a choice for the believer, then the act of being a worker who tends to the crop is based on our obedience.
To harvest the crop.
To many this speaks of the church; the problem with that kind of thinking is that it was spoken in the Gospels, to a Jewish audience, and has nothing to do with the church. The disciples did not understand the parable and asked Jesus to explain it to them.
This is what they got.
And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. “So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:37-42 )
The field, in the Jewish context, is the world – NOT the church.
The Gospels, while beneficial to us, is not spelling out the life of the church; that became Paul’s mission. Ah, but why, as I previously noted, is the good seed the nation of Israel?
The good seed is defined as the sons of the kingdom.
Again, many will try to say this is the church, it is not, it is the Jews. If you know your Bible stories, then you know that Israel was seldom good. Examples of this can be seen when Moses came down off the mountain; “God’s” people had pushed Aaron to make the god Moloch for them, and they began dancing around it as they roasted their babies to this thing. Another example is seen when Israel went into 70 years of Babylonian captivity for disobeying God’s laws. Nothing changed, and they will be attacked frequently, with two-thirds being killed by the time Jesus comes back as the warring Messiah.
The tares are the sons of the evil ones.
To the Jews, this is anyone outside of the Synagogue, because the promises of God have been given to His people, not them.
The harvest is the end of the age.
Ah, now here we have the most defining statement, and it does not apply to the church. To some degree there is a timeline; it starts with the departure of the church in the rapture. The earth and all those still living on it will endure God’s wrath and the brutality of humanity. At the end of this period, Jesus will return, kill all who thought they could fight with Him, and He will bring about one thousand years of peace. How you separate this time from the rest of eternity is not clear to me, with one exception; the thousand years will still have people choosing to ignore God and live outside of His love. People like that tend to solve their problems with violence; the problem with that is that you have mortals against immortals, that can’t be touched with your violence, and the law of the land will be peace. Expressions of violence will be dealt with swiftly and I suspect permanently.
When then, is the end of the age?
The short answer is at the end of the thousand-year reign.
We see this in Matthew 25 with the sheep and goat judgment, and also at the great white throne judgment. I see these as the same event shown from different points of view. Many will argue against this idea, because of tradition and false teachings.
Let’s take a look at comparative evidence anyway.
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. (Matthew 25:31 NASB)
In Revelation 20:11 it is referred to as a great white throne.
“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;
(Matthew 25:32 NASB)
In Matthew’s account we are not told they are the dead, therefore, you have to ask questions, such as: at the final judgment, who is being judged? You do not get to fall back on religious tradition as you must use the Bible to get your answer.
Immediately preceding the final judgment, Satan has deceived who? The nations. Now how can this be as religious tradition has told us there is nothing less than a perfect world going on. Look at Revelation 21 and you will see this peculiarity.
“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8 NASB)
All this is going on during the thousand years – a time which some would say is filled with Christians alone. You have to dig a bit further in Matthew to see that these, at the judgment seat, are also being judged for their deeds.
‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ (Matthew 25:35-36 NASB)
And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.
(Revelation 20:12 NASB)
Ask yourself a question, is the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit one and the same? Then how is it that we can possibly think that these descriptions are not both Jesus and God? One conveys Jesus as the gentle shepherd, while the other depicts Him as an angry God. All of these characteristics are incumbent within God.
In Matthew’s account no books are mentioned. You are left to assume that they are there.
In Revelation 20:12 we are told that there are books. Why would you cruelly tease those before you, holding out some hope that He might find their name in a book that grants them mercy unless mercy was a possibility?
We are not told about anyone gaining entrance into the kingdom, as we are in Matthew’s account, as Revelation 20 is representative of an angry God.
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;
(Matthew 25:41-42 NASB)
And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15 NASB)
It is logical to think that He looked into the book of Life to see if there was anything for which he could offer mercy, otherwise this is just a cruel joke.
Revelation 14:15-16 NASB (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.
Another angel, crying with a loud voice, saying 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.”
Hour? It is the Greek word hōra and means day, hour, instant, season, time.
The words reap and harvest, in the Greek, are essentially the same.
Ripe, it turns out, is not a good term and contrary to what we think. It is the Greek word xērainō and means to desiccate; by implication to shrivel, dry up, be ripe, wither (away). It also implies to mature.
Consider that this word xērainō implies that those, at this point in time, have exceeded their opportunity and useful purpose.
How is it possible that God could feel this way?
For the answer the context of Revelation 14:15 and how it is looking at the time in which the final judgment has come.
“Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.”
Jesus is now swinging the sickle.
Revelation 14:18-20 NASB (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 winepress of the wrath of God. (20) And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.
Now, instead of wheat, we have grapes. “Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.”
As you read the verses above you certainly get the sense that something has changed. We are no longer looking at merely collecting those intended for the final judgment throne, but a bloody battle. Although we have not been given a clear timeline, and, therefore, we do not know if Satan’s last shot at deception lasts five minutes, or five years; keep in mind that God does not operate on our time frame. So deception happens, and all the nations, living outside of the New Jerusalem, many of which are referenced in Revelation 21:8.
These deceived people come to battle against God. There is clearly a separation. Could what we see in Revelation 14: 18-20 also be seen as a separation process, as wine, when it is pressed, separates the “good” juices from the seeds, stems, and skins? Revelation 20 verses seven through fifteen describes the deception, the battle in which all who attempted to fight against God were killed, and then finally, along with all the other dead, are brought before the throne of God and judged.
If there are those among the dead that perhaps deserve mercy, then they will receive mercy; this makes sense as He has gathered the dead from the beginning of time before Himself. Not all of these people have fought against Him, and not have walked in complete rejection; this becomes obvious when we read the sheep and goat judgment in Matthew 25.
So, how many Biblical battles do we see in end times scripture?
The next battle that I expect to see is the Ezekiel 38 war.
“Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. “I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords;” (Ezekiel 38:2-4 NASB)
Gog is the leader of Rosh (we are fairly convinced that Rosh is Russia.) If Gog is Putin, then his interactions with the President of Turkey, his alliances with Iran, and his insertion of troops in Syria could easily play into this upcoming war. The next passage lists the players in this war.
Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops–many peoples with you. (Ezekiel 38:5-6 NASB)
Let me show you an old map of the Mediterranean region from which most of these combatants emerge.
The Northern African nations are under the persistent threat of Islam with names like Boko Haram and Al-Shabab
Many see an additional war when they read Psalm 83.
“Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.” This is the common theme within the Quran. You might say, pay no attention to it, but it will happen. Strangely, the players in this scenario sound much like Ezekiel 38.
The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; They have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah. (Psalms 83:6-8 NASB)
When you read the context of Psalm 83 there is no mention of location outside the location where King David sits, Jerusalem. Philistia refers to the region of Gaza today.
As you can see, in the map above, the nations listed in Psalm 83 are surrounding Jerusalem. These same nations feed into the war of Ezekiel 38 and, therefore, may be defining the same war.
It seems as though Israel is to be bathed in warfare. Not that long ago rockets were being fired into Israel from Gaza, and Israel retaliated after warnings were issued.
“And now many nations have been assembled against you Who say, ‘Let her be polluted, And let our eyes gloat over Zion.’ “But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, And they do not understand His purpose; For He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor. “Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion, For your horn I will make iron And your hoofs I will make bronze, That you may pulverize many peoples, That you may devote to the LORD their unjust gain And their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.” (Micah 4:11-13 NASB)
Because the seven-year period is filled with violence, warfare, plagues, and starvation, it is difficult to imagine anything but perpetual violence against Israel. Many religious folks cannot accept that God would bring wrath upon His own. Obviously, they are wrong as scripture undoes their arguments. Leviticus 26 is one of those places.
‘I will also bring upon you a sword which will execute vengeance for the covenant; and when you gather together into your cities, I will send pestilence among you, so that you shall be delivered into enemy hands. (Leviticus 26:25 NASB)
Consider what God is saying here. He will execute vengeance for the covenant they broke. We know that Israel regathered to their cities, and so what does Israel have? Pestilence. Pestilence by definition is also plagues; and so, C19, a human manipulated flu virus, and its so-called antidote is all over Israel. Now, maybe there is more and worse to come, but the believers will not see it.
I asked the question of my friends, how many wars do you see in scripture, happening during the last seven years?
One quickly responded with the battle of Armageddon, and the other voiced his acknowledgment.
My Dake’s concordance states that [Armageddon] Mount of Megiddo on the south side of the valley of Megiddo or Esdraelon southwest of Mount Carmen (2Ch_35:22; Zec_12:11). Megiddo was the capital of a portion of Canaan that was given to Joshua (Jos_12:21; Jos_17:11; Jdg_1:27). It is at the entrance to a pass across the Carmel mountain range, on the main highway between Asia and Africa, and is the key position between the Euphrates and the Nile. It has been the battlefield of many peoples throughout the ages. Thothmes III, the founder of the old Egyptian Empire, said, “Megiddo is worth a thousand cities”.
If you do a word search for Armageddon, in the KJV, you will only find one reference, Revelation 16:16. Of course, I am going to give you the passage along with a few extra verses because it is important to see the context – a context that makes it an aspect of the sixth bowl judgment.
Knowing that this battle is associated with the bowl judgments makes me think that the battle comes before the thousand-year reign; but, there is this line “ the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty” that directs my thinking back to the final battle at the end of the thousand-years. If this is faulty logic, that would come from the repeated application of the “great day of God” for multiple events.
Don’t park your brain, even if it’s me doing the talking. You have to tear things apart and look at individual words if necessary.
“The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east. And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.” (Revelation 16:12-16 NASB)
Let’s analyze the details of Revelation 16:12-16.
“The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east.”
This is preparation for another war within the seven years and I will demonstrate why.
“And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs,”
All three of these characters will have an unclean spirit, that looks like a frog; for they are demons.
The dragon is Satan – and we have seen that already. Revelation 13:2.
The mouth of the beast. We are told that the antichrist was given a mouth.
“ and out of the mouth of the false prophet.”
Consider, when did the false prophet show up? That individual is here now. Israel’s Jewish high council appointed Rabbi Baruch Kahane several years to be the high priest of the new temple. Is this the man? Well, the potential is tremendous, but try telling anyone that and they will laugh you to scorn. However, the relative answer to the question, when does this show himself, is halfway through the time of wrath.
Now I want you to think about something else. What is a major factor that potentially causes the elect (the Jewish religious leadership) to be deceived? If you said he performs signs, you would be correct. As I have stated in previous posts God’s two witnesses may well have been standing in the streets of Jerusalem since the rapture of the church. What have they been doing? Performing signs and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Seems to me that they set the pattern, which Satan has noticed, for the false prophet to follow, as well as the antichrist.
“ three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God.”
Suddenly, everything fell into place and now I understand.
The great day of God is when Jesus comes back as the warring Messiah. Remember that just a few minutes ago I mentioned how this terminology “the great day of God” has been reused for multiple events and both God and Jesus. So here, the great day of God is referring to Jesus as we see Him in Revelation 19.
I have often wondered how God/Jesus would kill all these combatants that attempt to challenge Him in this battle. I suppose I am forgetting how many people have been killed by the various means of the judgments, and how easily one angel killed all the firstborn, not protected by the blood of the lamb, in Egypt that night. Nothing is impossible for God.
This battle will happen in the Megiddo Valley, and is the battle referred to as the Battle of Armageddon.
With this battle being over, this marks the beginning of the Millennial reign, where there will be 1000 years of peace. At the end of this time period, Satan will be released to deceive the nations (once again.) I have recently questioned how long it would take for Satan to deceive those who live outside the New Jerusalem, to the point where they think it is a great idea to try and fight against God and His city. But when I look at Revelation 16 and see these fallen angels going out and deceiving the antichrist and false prophet, it is rather easy to see these demons doing the same thing at the end of the 1000 years.
So I started with a question. How many battles does Israel experience between now and the end of time?
The short answer is three wars. Now, how many skirmishes does Israel have to try and defend against? It seems unending.
Does it really matter to the believer? Only in that people have so many questions and someone needs to answer them. Perhaps it could be you.
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your savior, you can.