Deeper Christian Life Ministry – Search The Scripture 18th Sunday, April 2021 (Lesson 996)
Topic: The Fall Of Babylon (STS 18 April 2021)
MEMORY VERSE: “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 14:8).
TEXT: Revelation 14:1-20
1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
6 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,
7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, 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.
8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
14 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.
15 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.
16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
19 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.
20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
The preceding chapter discussed the rise and reign of the Antichrist who will deceive many to receive his mark. This chapter opens with the revelation of the Lamb standing with 144,000 saints who will be sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel. In the text, the curtain is pulled aside to reveal the state, status and standing of the redeemed Jews saved and sealed in chapter seven. This is an amazing group of saints who will believe on Christ as Saviour and Lord during the great tribulation, indicating that God would show mercy at the time of wrath. His longsuffering and unwillingness that any should perish become more manifest as He sends an angel to preach the everlasting gospel during the great tribulation. Besides, two other angels emerge with specific messages from God concerning the fall of Babylon and doom of those who receive the mark of the beast. The chapter ends with the final harvest of judgment of the world, which reiterates the unchanging truth that unrepentant sinners will appear before the great Judge of the whole world and be eternally damned.
THE LAMB WITH THE TRIUMPHANT SAINTS (Revelation 14:1-5; 5:6-14; 15:2-4; 7:3-14; 17:14; Romans 11:26,27; Revelation 21:27; 3:4,5; 2 Corinthians 11′:2; Ephesians 5:25-27; Jude 24,25)
John’s eyes were turned away from the beast and his image to the triumphant Lamb standing on mount Zion in authority, power, glory and triumph as King and Lord. “And I looked, and, 10, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1). Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God slain for the redemption of humanity. Though crucified, He rose the third day and is alive for evermore. He appears here as a Lamb to show the efficacy of His sacrifice even during the great tribulation when He will save and seal 144,000 Jewish saints who will not receive the mark of the beast.
Question 1: Identify the personalities in the opening verse of the text.
In this darkest of times, God will still save sinners and make them triumph over all forms of evil, severe pressure and persecution. These have the name of God stamped on their foreheads, indicating the seal of divine ownership. This is in fulfilment of Christ’s earlier promise that He would write the name of His Father on all who continue to overcome till the end (Revelation 3:12). Christ still saves all who penitently call upon His name and still makes all who trust in Him triumphant over temptations and trials. of life (Revelation 5:9; Romans 10:13). In this revelation, John hears the redeemed sing praise with a voice or sound that is as loud as the roaring of the ocean and sound of thunder. The loud sound came in sweet instrumental music from the harps of these saved, sanctified and sealed Jewish saints who sang, “a new song before the throne… and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth” (Revelation 14:3). There are certain blessings, privileges, pleasures and joys that are preserved exclusively for the redeemed of the Lord (1 Corinthians 2:9). The characteristics and status of the 144,000 saints are described and explained as they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth… And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God (Revelation 14:4,5). These saints are, one, chaste and pure. They are free from fornication, adultery and idolatry, which is spiritual adultery. Aside these, Christ reveals that evil thoughts, murders, thefts, false witness and blasphemies also defile (Matthew 15:19,20). Two, the redeemed saints in the text “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth” as His faithful disciples. All Christ’s disciples follow His example and guidance in all things, obey His instructions and submit wholly to His will. Three, these saints are without “guile” and “fault” like their Redeemer. The cruel treatment they will suffer in the hands of the Antichrist and his hunting agents for refusing to take the mark of the beast will not diminish the power of God’s grace in their lives as to corrupt their language (James 3:2). These saints are, no doubt, sanctified and holy as the glorified Christ cannot stand with the sinful afterlife. Like their Saviour, they are faultless before the throne of God. As Christ is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens”, saints are commanded to be “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Hebrews 7:26; Philippians 2: 15). Believers who consecrate their entire lives to God, hunger and pray for purity of heart will be cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.
Question 2: What are the attributes of the 144,000 saints present-day believers must have?
THE LORD’S ANGELIC MESSENGERS (Revelation 14:6-13; 18:1-20; 3:10, 11; Jeremiah 51:48,49; Revelation J9:2)
In this segment, three angels come forth to make great and startling announcements to the people on the earth during the great tribulation. “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, 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” (Revelation 14:6,7). The first angel is a preacher of the everlasting gospel (Matthew 24: 14; 28: 18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8; Deuteronomy 10:12; Joshua 24: 14; Ecclesiastes 12:13; 1 Peter 1:17; 2:17). While believers are commissioned to go to the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature, this angel is commissioned to “fly” mid-air preaching the “everlasting gospel” to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. The gospel is unalterable, everlasting and universal; the design of God is for everyone to hear the gospel, even in their own language. The angel’s message that people should fear God is about repentance since “by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil” (Proverbs 16:6). Repentance from sin is the message Christ and the apostles preached, and every believer is required to preach “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21) for people to be saved from sin and divine judgment, live for God’s glory and worship Him acceptably. The terror of the Lord and the impartiality of His judgment should make believers live in reverential fear of Him (1 Peter 1:17). The second angel announces the fall of Babylon “because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 14:8; 16:17- 21; 18:1-20). Babylon was a city on the Euphrates; it was the head of the heathen world, the pride and glory of the evil, oppressive world. When the hour of judgment comes, the whole vile system that has corrupted this world will be wiped off, like cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. To despise God’s warning and love expressed through the gospel and continue to do evil with impunity is tragic. God’s perseverance was exhausted by the iniquity of Babylon. The inhabitants thereof abused the hospitality and mercy of God. Her judgment came without mercy. All nations that forget God will be turned into hell (Psalm 9:17). The third angel announces the eternal torment of all who worship the Antichrist and take his mark (Revelation 14; 9-11; 20:10-15; 21:8; Isaiah 66:24; Matthew 25:41,46). Marks, regalia and paraphernalia of membership of any idol worshiping or occult group make an individual an object of God’s unmitigated wrath. There will be no respite or interval in the severity of torn-lent of all who neglect or reject God’s salvation in Christ in the lake of fire.
Question 3: Itemise the message of the three angels and their implications.
Thus, believers are admonished to continue in holiness till the end. Constancy in obeying the commandments of God and perseverance in the faith will be rewarded by God (Revelation 14: 12, 13; Luke 21:12-19; Hebrews 10:35-39; James 1:2-4; Revelation 12:17; 20:6; 7:14-17; Job 3:17-19; Hebrews 6:10-12). Maintaining “patience” or perseverance during persecutions and trials shows that we truly belong to Christ and God. So, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (verse 13). It is only those who “die in the Lord” or have evidence of genuine salvation and abiding in Christ at the time of death that are blessed. Blessedness, glory, joy, rewards and rest await all the saints of God in heaven.
THE LAST HARVEST OF. JUDGMENT OF UNREPENTANT SINNERS (Revelation 14: 14-20; 1:7; 19:11; Psalm 9:17; Matthew Luke 21:25-27; John 5:22)
“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” (Revelation 14:14). John’s attention is now arrested and drawn to a new vision of our Lord coming forth on a bright cloud appropriate to be the seat of the crowned King. He appears in a human form as “the Son of man” but also as a crowned King “having on his head a golden crown”. The “sharp sickle” in his hand is for the work of harvest He is about to accomplish. Sickle is a special kind of knife used for harvesting. John sees “another angel” on errand from God to the Lord, the Judge, saying, “Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe” (Revelation 14:15). “And he that sat on the cloud [Christ, the King and Judge thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.” The “time” mentioned here is the end of the world.
Question 4: Who is the great Judge and how would He judge the earth?
Again, an angel emerges from the temple of God with a sharp sickle and was instructed by another angel to “Thrust in [his] sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the Vine of the earth; for her grapes 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”. The sinners, represented by the grapes, will be crushed in judgment under the feet of the great Judge. The juice, resembling blood, flows out. This speaks ot sinners, like Sodom and Gomorrah of old, whose cup of iniquity is full and their time of final judgment eventually comes without remedy. The angel who preached the everlasting gospel announced earlier that “the hour of his judgment is come” (Revelation 14:6,7). This judgment refers to the two great harvests mentioned here. There are similarities between the grain and grape harvests, namely, the sharp sickle and actual reaping. However, the grain harvest of the first vision is reaped by the “the Son of man” who is to separate the chaff from the wheat while the grape harvest is gathered by an angel. The Lord revealed in a parable that “the harvest IS the end of the world” and spoke of the reaping of the wheat into the garner and the gathering of the tares to be burnt with unquenchable fire (Matthew 13:30,36-43,49,50; John 5:22-29; Acts 10:42,43; 17:30,31).
Question 5: Compare the two harvests and highlight the personalities involved.
This earth shall come to its final historical end as predicted in the Scripture (Joel 3:9-16; Revelation 19: 11-21; Isaiah 34:1-10; 63:1-6; 66:24; Ezekiel 39:17-21; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Corinthians 5:11). Christ will appear at the end of the world and the great harvest of the world will be reaped. Unrepentant sinners will be “cast into the furnace of fire” while “the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The end of all sinners is frightening and their eternal suffering is terrifying. The decision to turn from sin and to Christ, the Saviour, today, can change your eternal destiny.
Question 6: How can a sinner escape the judgment of God?
Flatimes’ Notice Board: Until you are born again, God ever abiding presence will never be with you. You must be born again to enjoy continuous victory. Please say the displayed prayer below in faith:
Lord Jesus, come into my life. I accept You as my Lord and Personal Saviour. I believe in my heart You died and rose from the dead to save me. Thank You Lord for saving me, in Jesus name Amen.
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