Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Revelation 15 Interpretive Notes


< Revelation 14 notes

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Revelation - 15:1

And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 

To Begin With

There should really be no chapter break between Ch. 14 and Ch. 15.  This can be seen from how 15:1 begins with the word, "And" • • •  "And"..., in addition to what has just been said in chapter 14, that the wine of the vine of the earth has begun to be produced, that, "the winepress was trodden without the city," specifically, "I saw a sign in heaven" that revealed that the final which would lead to the complete redemption of Israel from out of the nations was about to take place.

Ch. 14 has to signify "Judgment is in the earth." Otherwise we could not be warned and ready for the 7 last plagues.  Just as in Egypt the wrath of God was kindled when He heard the cries of His children the Israelites in the severity of bondage that was forced upon them, so here it is the suffering of the children of Israel that provokes the wrath of God.

We will have to look at every relationship between these 7 vials and 7 trumpets which preceded them. The theme that the warning is and has to be now complete is most important and needs to be well understood.  When we come to chapter 16 we will see that and how that these plagues in the Revelation fulfill the intention of and complete the plagues that produced the redemption of Israel from Egypt.

Revelation - 15:2

 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 

Fire Is In The Sea

This is the same sea of glass as we have seen at the first, but is not called here "the sea of glass," but rather, "as it were a sea of glass". Fire is now in the sea of glass. We had harpers before. Now we have harpers, all like the Psalmist, David, who overcame the evil inclination.  The harpers here are those who have not believed the lying world king, who has claimed that he loves his kingdom, the unified global kingdom of this world and its citizens, but who is a liar, who has come in his own name and loves only himself and the Serpent, the great enemy of God.  Fire is in the sea; the harpers are on the sea. The victory of God is in the air. 

Revelation - 15:3

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are Your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Your ways, You King of saints.

Song of Moses and The Lamb

There is only one song here, not two. All the way through the heavenly visions of the Revelation the Mashiach is referred to as the Lamb.  The Revelation is about the complete and final redemption of Israel, according to the covenanted promise that God made to Abraham.  The Revelation is about the Good News of Israel and Her Messiah.  It is about the redemption that began with Moses and the passover lamb in Egypt and it is about this Lamb, who incarnated the prayer of Moses for forgiveness and complete redemption for God's people, Israel.

The great and marvellous works of God involve removing the headship of the first Adam over Humanity and replacing it with the headship of the Son of Adam over Israel, as the chosen Humanity of God, in which all the families of the earth may be saved through faith in these marvellous works of God.  For these are the ways of God, the ways of justice and truth, which reverse the ways of the sin and rebellion of Adam.  As this was demonstrated upon Pharaoh in Egypt, so it is demonstrated upon the beast in the end of days.

Revelation - 15:4

Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? for You only are holy: for all nations shall come and worship before You; for Your judgments are made manifest.

Corporate Repentance

At the time when the seven angels having the seven last plagues come forward the truth of the judgments of God shall be made manifest in the earth.  At first, the whole world will unite to fight against the truth of the judgments of God, but in the end of these judgments there shall be corporate repentance in Humanity.  At first the world will refuse to repent, but when God's judgments are fully known Humanity as the witness of God's salvation and redemption of Israel will desire beyond all else to be granted the opportunity of repentance.  Here at this place in the Revelation we do not yet see this.  But as we proceed, step by step, to the end all of these things will be revealed with great clarity.

Revelation - 15:5

And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

And Now It Begins 

The Temple is the Temple of the Tabernacle, and the Tabernacle is the Tabernacle of the Testimony, the Ark of the Covenant.  The covenant that God made with Israel at Mount Sinai is the full expression of the covenant that God made with Abraham, which is the promise of the Good News of the death and resurrection of Israel with Her Messiah.  This full expression of the covenant is the Torah.  Even though the making of the covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai was broken by Israel, it was made anew, the same covenant, by God, through Mashiach, through the Lamb, with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, that they might be one house of God forever.

In accordance with this covenant Israel has suffered with Mashiach.  In accordance with this covenant Israel must be raised up again in redemption unto life with Mashiach.  This is the testimony of the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle in the Temple in heaven, and from this place the angels having the seven last plagues come forth, to bring the judgments that will bring about this promised redemption, this keeping of the covenant of God.

Revelation - 15:6

And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

The Time of Judgment, The Time of Redemption

The angels come out of the Temple in heaven with the seven last plagues dressed in the dress, as it were of the High Priest of Israel.  We will see why this is when we look, in the next chapter, at each of the specific plagues and their timing.

As the angels are only the agents, it is as if the plagues themselves come out of the Temple.  This perspective has great importance for understanding the goodness and grace of God's judgments, and that they are foundational to salvation.

Revelation - 15:7

And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever.

The Hand of Judgment

These for angelic beasts are four seraphim, which together one chariot and throne of Almighty God.  This is made known in Holy Scripture.  As it is through them that God rules over His creation, it is fitting that here one is responsible for handing the seven golden vials to the seven angels of judgment.  Through these judgments creation itself will be made worthy of being made new and incorruptible.


Revelation - 15:8

And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

The Glory of Hashem Filling His Temple

The complete fulfillment of these judgments comes only when all that is intended to be accomplished by them is accomplished.  Just as what was ultimately accomplished by the plagues in Egypt, including the final plague of the death of the firstborn sons of Egypt, was the complete redemption of Israel, so hear too, the ultimate accomplishment is that All-Israel is saved and united with Mashiach upon his appearing.  Until then the Temple in heaven is filled with the cloud of the glory of Hashem, bringing about His will in the place of all holy sacrifice and life.



Revelation 16 notes >

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Revelation 14 Interpretive Notes / Part 2 - Elaboration



Revelation 14 (KJV adapted)
14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

The commentators ask, Where does this vision of the Lamb standing on Mount Zion with the 144,000 take place, in heaven or on earth? To address this we must take a step back and ask first what it means to ask where any of the visions of this book take place. 

To Yochanan/John it can be said that the revelation itself overall is a vision.  This vision experience of Yochanan's, the revelation of Jesus Christ / Yehoshua HaMashiach, takes place in heaven.  Even the visions in the first three chapters take place in a heavenly realm, "in the Spirit".  From the fourth chapter onward the visions all take place in a heavenly place "before the throne".  The settings within the visions, however, can be different. 

Having said this, it is also important to state that the nature of all the visions is what could be called prophetic metaphor.  Just as in other prophetic metaphor in Holy Scripture present different levels of approximation to the physical world, and in one given vision these levels can be mixed.  

The visions are, as it were, being produced by the word of God like a kind of controlled collective dreaming that the prophet, or in this case the apostle, and in this case also others in heaven, are made to experience. In dreams, more real-life like and more metaphorical elements can sometimes be woven together in one dream. This is also the case with some of these visions.  

For example, in the case of the vision of the Woman and Her Child versus the Dragon, (from chapter twelve), a woman is a real-life like image, but she is pictured in a way in the vision that makes her to be symbolic.  She is representative of a corporate entity, not an individual person.  Her child in the vision is also a real-life like image but  has reference to one individual person, who also has a corporate role, coming as he does from a corporate mother.  The dragon in the vision is a fully metaphorical image, which is made to represent another type of individual, a non-human individual.  This individual is a spirit, whom, while being individual, has also a collective hierarchical aspect to its nature.  It is therefore appropriate that it be represented in the vision in a way that portrays its metaphorically.  In the vision, the collective hierarchical nature of the dragon is set in opposition to the corporate nature represented by the woman and by her child.  This is the foundational message of the symbolism in the vision.

In order to understand these visions more clearly and accurately, it can help to look at them as being representations of the way God, who is in heaven, sees things.  That is to say, they are visual prophetic translations of the way God sees things.  

In the case of the vision in chapter twelve about the Woman, Her Child and the Dragon, what God is looking at is something that is already occurring in the world. In the case of the vision we are considering now, the vision of the Lamb and the 144,000 on Mount Zion, this is something that at the time of the vision is only occurring in the Mind of God.  Even though the setting is on earth, that is to say, God sees it as occurring on earth, it is a vision of this occurrence before it happens, while it is still in the thought of God.  Nevertheless, God shows us this vision because what it represents, what it symbolizes, has already occurred and is established in heavenly places and rules also over the earth, but in a way that, apart from this revelation being made known to those to whom it is made known, is still concealed.  Therefore, it is given in the way that it is, as a vision of the Lamb with the 144,000 of all the tribes of Israel standing on Mount Zion on earth, something that does not and cannot yet exist except in the Mind of God.

To summarize this understanding:  In every word is a thought.  In the Word of God is the Thought of God.  As a whole, what is revealed in the revelation of Yehoshua HaMashiach is the thought of God.  Every specific vision reveals something of that thought, and therefore is given through that Thought of God.  But the stage on which the different visions are set reflects what it is that God is thinking about in giving a particular vision, if something on earth then the stage of the vision is probably on earth, if something in heaven then the stage is probably in heaven.  If what God is thinking about in The Revelation has occurred or is occurring, then the setting and metaphors reflect this.  If it has occurred or is occurring in a concealed manner but not yet in the world in a revealed manner, as is the case in this vision, then the setting and the symbols will reflect this.
  
First we have learned the meaning and significance of the setting, Mount Zion being revealed in this Torah of Mashiach.  Now we can ask what it is that is being revealed to us in this vision of Mashiach in the form of the symbolism of the Lamb being on Mount Zion with the 144,000. We can also look in more depth than we did in Part 1 at what it means that they have the Father's name written in their foreheads.

14:2 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:

In part 1 of these notes on chapter 14 it was emphasized that the unfolding of this vision begins not in sight but in sound. As said previously, this vision is a revelation of the Mind of God.  It transcends all worlds, both the world of time and the world of eternity. It is set in God's own eternity.  Therefore, it begins to be unfolded solely with the Voice of God.  Here God's Voice is heard as a voice of many waters.  The sound of rushing water is associated with the vision of Mashiach himself in chapter one. At the same time, the Voice of God heard here is heard as one great peal of thunder.  One might say that the seven thunders are all contained together in this one peal of thunder.  We are left to ask, what is revealed about this vision by the sound of the Voice of God?  Immediately, it is answered the sound of the Voice of God is transmuted into the voice of harpers harping with their harps.

As said in Part 1 of the notes on this chapter, the revelation of this vision through the Voice of God shows that the vision of the seven thunders and the vision of the 144,000 are one vision.  For the seven thunders are the aspect of the Voice of God in concealment.  Here what is concealed to all but the Mind of God is being revealed in measure, but only to those who receive this revelation and still in a way that is concealed from the world, which does not receive this revelation, even though it is made declared in all the world.

14:3 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.

In chapter one the voice of Mashiach was also like the sound of the many waters, now it is as if being transmuted into a sound like the sound of many harps it is also translated into the voice of the 144,000, who sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the 24 elders.

This is a song of those who have been redeemed from the earth.  No one can learn it yet but the 144,000 because they are the firstfruits of the redemption.

The notes on Part 1 on this verse began with the sentence: "The harpers who harped in accompaniment with the Thunder of God’s Voice, now sing the song of Israel’s eternal redemption, the song of the salvation of the world, the song of the revelation of the true name of Israel’s Father and God."  They ended with the sentence: "Here, at this point in the Revelation of Yehoshua HaMashiach, when the truth about the Beast and the works of the Beast have been revealed, the secret  of the relationship between the Lamb and Israel, which was concealed at the time of his death and resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God, is being made known."

Why is there a need for a revelation of Yehoshua as the Mashiach, the Anointed Ruler of Israel?  Because both he and his rulership of Israel is concealed from the world in heaven.  But God sees them in His Mind.  What the world sees is not true.  What God sees is.  The 144,000, of all the tribes of Israel, whom God has sanctified in heaven, have the Father's name written in their foreheads for the Torah of the tefillin has been internalized into their minds.  They have received the revelation of Mashiach and see what the Father sees, for he shows everything to them as he sees it.

God sees the 144,000 as representative of All-Israel being redeemed through the offering of the Lamb.  He therefore sees them standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion, the place of his anointing and his rule.  The 144,000 see themselves standing with the Lamb as God sees them, as eternally redeemed Israel.  And just as Moses and the children of Israel sang to God the song of the joy of redemption after God brought them out of Egypt, God now hears the 144,000 singing to him the eternal song of the joy of redemption through the Lamb.

14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes. These were redeemed from among humans, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

…did not defile themselves These are they who were still children and who had not yet reached the age of marriage.  Before boys of this age were not counted in the census of the tribes, for they were not of age to be warriors. But now these boys are the ones who are counted and no others.  Why would the narration imply that boys, or young men, who were of age to be married, and who did become married were defiled?  What is the nature of this defilement?  For we are, indeed, speaking of a defilement by marriage itself.  If it were girls being counted here these would be described as not having defiled themselves with men.  In either case, it would be defilement by marriage that was being referred to.  How could marriage be said to defile?  This mystery is used to keep this revelation in a state concealment from the world, for the world is offended by this language and what it might mean.  The revelation comes to the world and the world does not receive it, nor does it pursue it, in order to understand its mystery.

Here it is boys that are counted in order to reveal that it is the Israel that took census for military readiness before that is now redeemed and taking census for another reason.  What is that reason? It is the revelation that All-Israel is saved.  So, the manifestation, the revelation, is in heavenly places — until the day of Yehoshua's return. Now, even though he and Israel are saved in heavenly places, in this vision they stand together on Mount Zion.  It is men that were counted at the first, in the time of the first redemption, not primarily due to the fact that they were soldiers but primarily due to the fact that they were corporate heads.  If they were of age to be warriors they were of age to be heads of households.  Here those counted are not old enough to be heads of households.  If they were it would disqualify them for the purpose of this revelation.  It would “defile”, or spoil them for the purpose of representing the corporate aspect of the redeemed tribes of Israel, the aspect that needs to be revealed here.  That is, in order for them to symbolically serve in their role, it must be that their faith is the faith of little children.

This is what qualifies them to represent Israel corporately in this revelation, this vision before the throne and the four living creatures and the 24 elders, of redeemed Israel standing on earth on Mount Zion with the Lamb.  They are those who have inherited the promise of the Lamb as offspring of one of the 12 fathers of the 12 tribes of Israel.  But they themselves do not have a seed, offspring, to inherit from them in this way.  In this way they are like Mashiach himself, who inherited his place from the promise made to David but did not have a son to inherit from him.  Who was his seed?  Those who were born from Above through faith in him.  In the same way, those represented by the 144,000 are those who inherit the promises through faith, each according to their calling.  For this reason they are called virgins.  First they are redeemed children. Second they are boys whose “offspring” are the regenerate, first the Jew, but also the non-Jew who believes and has faith in the corporate redemption of Israel.

They follow the Lamb wherever he goes.  This means that wherever he goes in his Revelation they are there as a testimony to the truth that is in him that he has finished his work, that he has saved all Israel, and that the salvation of all Israel will be manifested in full upon his return.

They were redeemed from among humankind and dedicated as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. Although the firstfruits are the first harvested, these are the first in being the first selected.  For they are selected according to their ability to represent all Israel corporately... As the prophetic representation of corporate Israel, they are the firstfruits of the earth harvested for Mashiach's revelation.

14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

Their testimony is the testimony of eternally redeemed Israel.  In them Israel is called to the witness stand.  This is so now in heavenly places and will be so in its time upon the earth.  They have the innocence and faith of children. There can be found no subtlety or guile in their words. Their testimony is the truth of God concerning Israel and the Lamb, the truth of his justice and mercy.  The truth that in showing mercy to Israel God has exercised justice upon Adam and provided redemption for Adam, all in one word, in the Lamb.  They have a testimony that cannot be faulted.

14:6 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,

The Lamb appearing in vision upon Mt Zion with the 144,000 following him is the eternal Good News of Israel’s salvation.  This vision now having been given, the angel comes to announce and interpret it.  The angel will do so to the ends of the earth, just as Mashiach commanded should be done.  This will prepare the way for the appearing of Mashiach a second time unto the full revelation of this salvation. 

14:7 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.

It seems like a warning of judgment is not the same as Good News.  However, it is, although it is concealed in the vision of the Lamb and the 144,000.  The warning of judgment comes because the concealment of the Good News is no longer there, and the revelation of the Good News means that the hour of judgment is come.  

14:8 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.

Babylon the Great can no more conceal itself in mystery — for there is no more captivity when it is seen that the gates of the prison have been open all along.  It was because of the concealment that she was able to deceive and make the nations drunk.  Now with the revelation of this vision of the Lamb and the 144,000 she is fallen from power. 

14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If anyone worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in their forehead, or in their hand,

As said in part 1 on this verse, the dethroning of Babylon leaves only the Beast in power on the earth, and now all people will be held to be accountable without excuse in turning away from God to serve the god of this world.  This change of power from the mystery of Babylon to the Beast will be the focus of a later chapter in the Revelation.  It is, however, the removal of the veil of concealment that was placed over the Good News of Israel's redemption by the blood of the Lamb which is the cause of this shift of power from the mystery of Babylon to the Beast.  Since the open revelation of the Good News of Israel and Her Mashiach is given here in the vision of the Lamb and the 144,000 standing together on Mount Zion, it is time also for the vision of this angel announcing a warning against becoming a part of the system of the Beast. 

14:10 That person shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and that person shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

We see now how the visions of this chapter have set the stage for the final and full judgments of the vials, or bowls, of God's wrath to be poured out.  All those from the nations who harden their hearts in the position of replacement theology at the time when the veil over the Gospel is taken away, when it is revealed that the Lamb and Israel's 144,000 representatives stand as one on Mount Zion in the Mind of God, all of those in the nations who will not repent of their belief that they have superseded Israel will be hardened in the spirit of antisemitism.  They will embrace the Lying Messiah who will kill God's Two Witnesses who will stand in Jerusalem declaring the Good News of Israel's salvation through the Lamb of God.  Ignorance will no longer be a reason for the mitigation of judgment.   

14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.

In part 1 of the notes on this verse we considered how that the essential nature of the torment that the members of the antisemite nations of the world experience in consequence of the judgments of God is the torment of shame.  They torment themselves.  This torment, which goes on without end, is like hell, like fire and brimstone.  As fire and brimstone produce smoke, so this shame produces a smoke of the tormented souls themselves, an ascent of the consciousness of shame.  And the scent of this anger and pain and fear ascends into the nostrils of Mashiach above, who knows what to do with it, because he did all that could be done to bring the nations to repentance.

14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Yehoshua.

Now that Babylon the Great’s mystery has been uncovered the political beast has emerged. Therefore all have here been warned concerning this!  Great tribulation must now come.  The holy believers, the Jews and the others, have endured much through the centuries, now they must endure this.  They all in their different ways have waited for this day.  Now they must patiently endure it as one people, one people who understand that the commandments of the Torah and the Faith of Yehoshua, the Good News of the Kingdom, are one, two parts of one whole.

What does it mean to say that the saints are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Yehoshua?  We could say, very simply, that it means that those who keep the faith of Yehoshua will also keep the commandments of God.  Through the centuries it has been a common teaching among most of the branches of Christianity that true faith produces good fruit, good works, obedience to God's will.  And, in truth, that true faith in Yehoshua produces good fruit is a revelation of the truth of Yehoshua. However, if we read this definition of the saints in this simply way alone here in this verse we will not see all that it reveals.  The traditional gentile Christian/Messianic interpretation has been that the commandments represent obedience to God's will for the gentiles.  Here, in this verse, however, keeping the commandments of God refers to the keeping of all of the commandments of the Torah given to Israel, as well as the commandments of God given to the gentiles.

It is clear in the new and renewed covenant that God promised by the prophet Jeremiah that he would make with the house of Israel and the house of Judah that it would result in the children of Israel keeping all his commandments from their heart.  Why is this essential to the redemption of the world?  It is sometimes thought in gentile Christian/Messianic thinking that God simply loved the sinful world so much that he gave up everything to justify and redeem it.  This idea of God and God's love is very unclear when it comes to God's justice being the foundation of God's love.  The truth is that what is truly written is that there was and is a certain way in which God loves the sinful world.  The sin of the world did not provoke God's love.  It provoked God's wrath.  As a result, God found another way to love the world, and according to this way he laid claim to the world with both justice and mercy.  This was the Good News of God, which he announced to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Then he made it known through the word of his Torah to all Israel.

For without the commandments of the Torah naming who are and what is claimed by God in the fallen world there would be nothing in the world to redeem. For all has fallen and come short of the glory of God. And without the faith and Good News of Yehoshua the One Anointed of God to be the Ruler of Israel, there would be no power to redeem the fallen world according to the claim that God has made upon it.  And with no power for redemption there would be no power for repentance to actually fix what was done wrong and make it right.

Here we are shown a vision as it appears in the Mind of God of the outcome of his sacrifice for the redemption of the world, the Lamb standing with Israel's 144,000 on Mount Zion.  We must patiently endure until this vision of what is true reality, the finished work of Yehoshua, becomes manifest in the world in which we live, which is experiencing now the judgment of God, and is hearing the sentence of his justice, and will hear the sentence of his mercy.

14:13  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on: Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works follow them.

I have already said that martyrdom will bring its greatest blessing once the time of this vision is come, because when the time of the full revelation of this vision has arrived the truth is out in the open in all ways. Again, the Nazi Holocaust was only the preamble to the tribulation of those days.  If one thinks it wise to prepare for earthquakes or tsunamis or other natural disasters, how much more should one prepare for the judgments which will come when the veil is removed from the Gospel throughout the whole world? But the preparation that is needed is not a material preparation, as in the case of earthquakes or tsunamis, etc.  The preparation in this case is spiritual.  It is the preparation of repentance, of praying for enlightenment from the word of God, and for hearing the messages of the word of God that have been kept from the world, as exemplified by the voices of the seven thunders.  Then, if one is prepared in this way, if one is called to martyrdom one will be among those who are truly blessed through the testimony of their death.  But if we are lukewarm, what testimony does our death have? What blessing do we receive through our death?  Nevertheless, it is God who knows the heart.  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on: Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works follow them.

14:14  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.

Here a new vision is uncovered.  Having revealed the vision of the Lamb and the 144,000 standing together on Mount Zion, and then the vision of three angels appearing in the skies of the earth, declaring the meaning and consequences of the vision of the Lamb standing together with the 144,000 on Mount Zion, we come now to a vision which comprehends all that the three angels announced.  Because the time is come when the veil covering the Gospel is removed, the time is come for the harvesting of the earth.

In the book of Daniel, in chapter 7 (CJB) we read:
8 I looked at these horns and behold another small horn came up among them, and three of the first horns were plucked out before it, and behold eyes like human eyes were on this horn, and a mouth speaking arrogantly.
9 I was looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days sat; His raiment was as white as snow, and the hair of His head was like clean wool; His throne was sparks of fire, its wheels were a burning fire. 
10 A river of fire was flowing and emerging from before Him; a thousand thousands served Him, and ten thousand ten thousands arose before Him. Justice was established, and the books were opened. 
11 I saw then from the sound of the arrogant words that the horn spoke, I looked until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to a flame of fire. 
12 But as for the other beasts, their dominion was removed, and they were given an extension of life until a set time. 
13 I saw in the visions of the night, and behold with the clouds of the heaven, one like a man was coming, and he came up to the Ancient of Days and was brought before Him. 
14 And He gave him dominion and glory and a kingdom, and all peoples, nations, and tongues shall serve him; his dominion is an eternal dominion, which will not be removed, and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.
Just as conveyed here in the book of Daniel, first the judgment is passed in heaven.  The beast which first developed in Babylon, Persia and Greece, and then manifested itself in Rome, which took Israel captive, is judged.  The fourth beast is the one upon which the forces of judgment first come down, to crush it.  Then the Son of Adam, King Mashiach is revealed and given authority and dominion over all the earth.  This is because from the time of his sacrifice and concealment as the Lamb in heaven he has been bringing judgment upon the fourth beast, until in the end he exposes the fourth beast completely for what it is, the agent of the dragon, then with the power of the unveiling of the light of his Good News from the measure of concealment within which he has kept it, he brings the full measure of judgment down upon the beast and upon the earth, over which it has established its rule.  In this is the harvesting of the nations.

14:15  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 you to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

Before the metaphor of the harvest of the earth being ripe and ready to harvest can be clearly understood here, it would help to understand how Paul uses the very same metaphor in Romans 11, applying it to the nations of the earth.  In Romans 11 it is not immediately clear what Paul means by the 'pleroma', or "fullness"/"ripeness" of the gentiles.  Putting it in context of all that he says about his own mission to the gentiles, the peoples of the nations of the earth, it is evident that he means that first his mission will have to bear its full fruit, then all Israel will be saved.  Paul's mission to the gentiles is a mystery.  The blessing of all the families of the earth promised to Abraham is brought upon them through the offering made by the Lamb of God for Israel, even while Israel as a whole does not recognize this.  However, even while Paul speaks to them the gentiles begin tarnishing their potentially tremendous witness to the salvation of Israel through the Lamb who was slain.  The gentiles begin to boast that they have replaced Israel as the recipients of God's holy love.  

What then is the fullness, or ripeness of this harvest of the gentiles, the peoples of the nations of the earth?  It is the time when those among them who are "wheat" and not "tares" learn from the Holy Spirit who dwells among them that it is with the 144,000 who represent corporate Israel, the 12 tribes of Israel, that the Lamb stands upon Mount Zion in the Thoughts of God.  At that time it will be said, "the time is come" to reap the harvest of the earth, for it is ripe.  It is time for All-Israel to be saved.

14:16  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

And so it shall be.  As it is written in Matthew 13:

24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

14:17  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

 As already stated in part 1, this is the angel over those who will come with the vials. The angel here is the chief of those angels referred to by Yehoshua in his prophetic parable as the "reapers".  As it says further in Matthew 13: 
41The Son of Adam shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.
14:18  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.

In this final vision of the chapter we see a picture of how the gathering up of the vine of imitation wine, the cluster produced by the mystery of the Great Babylon, is an act of deliverance for the children of the Woman, Israel, her children of faith, "who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Yehoshua".  For this separating out of the false from the true is like unto the separating of the firstborn of Egypt from the firstborn of Israel, when the Angel of Hashem passed through the land. 

14:19 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.

Now we will see how that all the judgments that come in full measure upon the whole earth correspond to the judgments that came upon Egypt for the redemption of Israel, for the salvation of Adam, in the beginning of the history of redemption.  For now, as it says in Jeremiah 23:


7“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares Hashem, when they shall no longer say, ‘As Hashem lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 8 but ‘As Hashem lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”
14:20 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.

As with the slaying of the firstborn in Egypt, which signified that the headship of Adam would be removed from Adam's family and replaced by the headship of the one who would be God's firstborn in Israel, the judgment upon the nations shall be thorough and complete.  There shall be no more claim to be made by the nations to be the chosen people of God.

As already said in part 1, everywhere on earth the winepress of wrath shall be trodden fully, but it shall not be trodden fully in the city of Jerusalem, so far as she has repented.  Rather, the context of this vision in the Holy Scriptures is one of all the nations of the earth come up decidedly against Jerusalem because her heart has turned to the Two Witnesses, who the Lying Messiah has killed.

When the sickle of the Son of Adam is swung a separation between the wheat and the tares begins. The wheat begins to be brought in.  Then, in this final vision, we begin to see the angel over judgment swing the sickle of cutting down the tares, while removing the chaff from the wheat.  All of this translates on the ground to a sea of blood. We should not think that it is God who is responsible for the earth being filled with blood.  As we understand from what Hashem Elohim said to Adam, concerning the outcome of a rebellion which tries to replace God, "In the day you eat of it, (the fruit you think will empower you to stand against God), you will bring death in all the world."




< Revelation 14 part 1                                                                            Revelation 15 notes >

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Revelation 14 Interpretive Notes / Part 1 Introduction

< Revelation 13

Revelation 14 (KJV adapted)

14 And I looked, and, lo, 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.
  1. A vision of spiritual reality - where Mount Zion in heaven and earth are one…which takes place outside time and eternity…in the mind and communion of the Word of God. This is the key to understanding this whole vision. This is what is meant by “heaven” in the context of these visions which begin in chapter 4. The 144,000 are not seen on earth, neither in time nor in eternity, but are seen always in visions in the heaven of heavens. This is the place of this revelation, the place where the Mashiach of Israel, sits at the right hand of God, the place where he has appeared as a Lamb standing before the Throne of God, and now appears standing on Mount Zion.  Though God is rightly called the Eternal One, God’s eternity has no beginning as well as no end. Now there is also an eternity that has a beginning, while it has, together with God, no end. This eternity is the eternity of time having been redeemed and transformed in Mashiach. So, eternity itself has now become something created in relation to time, and God, while his presence is in time and eternity, is himself outside of all that is created, either in This World of time or The World To Come, which is the world of eternity.  His Word is the power that forms eternity and is the Word of Eternity entered into Time.  In His Word is His Thought, the true spiritual reality.  And from that true spiritual reality we are shown this vision...
  2. …where the 4 camps of Israel’s 12 tribes are camped with Mashiach on Mount Zion, which is seen, in the mind and communion of the Word of God, as in the case in Ezekiel’s vision of the Temple, which is also seen in the mind and communion of the Word of God. We will see that the Lamb and the 144,000 are on Mount Zion as a personal embodiment of the Temple of God.
  3. It is not that Ezekiel’s vision is a vision in time or in eternity, but that it is the "blueprint", the print in holy light, for God’s Temple in time and in eternity.  In time the Temple is built according to the accommodations of God, which must be made for the sake of mercy and grace.  In eternity the Temple is built according to the rectifications of those accommodations, which are accomplished through the outworking of God’s Torah mercy and grace, in accordance with his Torah justice and righteousness. This "blueprint" is called the Torah of Mashiach, the Wisdom of God as spoken of in Proverbs 8.
  4. In the foreheads of the 144,000 is the complete rectification of their knowledge that was damaged by the sin of Adam, this is the knowledge of God personally, that is, the true knowledge of his Name.
  5. Having said this, we are left only with asking what the meaning and significance is of Mount Zion in the Torah of Mashiach.  And we then can ask what it is that is being revealed to us in this vision of Mashiach in the form of the Lamb on Mount Zion with the 144,000.
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:
  1. The voice which Yochanan has already heard, which is the Divine Voice, but before always in context of revelations in time and eternity, now in a context outside time and eternity.  Therefore the Voice is itself at first the vision.  Each phase of this vision outside time and eternity is itself a vision revealing the mind and communion of the Word of God. 
  2.  In this second phase the Voice of God is itself the vision and is therefore accompanied by the harps of the harpers of heaven, introducing the next phase of the vision.  All of the seven thunders of that voice are here in one great thunder. This vision shows that the vision of the seven thunders and the vision of the 144,000 are one vision.
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.
  1. The harpers who harped in accompaniment with the Thunder of God’s Voice, now sing the song of Israel’s eternal redemption, the song of the salvation of the world, the song of the revelation of the true name of Israel’s Father and God. This is the whole revelation that is given through the revelation of Yehoshua HaMashiach.  This singing of this song by the harpers of heaven is the third phase of this vision, which, while it is one phase of the vision of the Lamb and the 144,000 on Mount Zion, is also like a vision in itself.  
  2. This song of Israel’s redemption and the world’s salvation is a version of the Song of the Lamb and of Moshe which is only heard outside time and eternity, here in this place where the Lamb and the 144,000 are together on Mount Zion.
  3. What does this say about the nature of the 144,000, about the way in which they prophetically represent Israel?  And what does this say about the relationship between the Lamb and Israel?  Everything in time and in eternity hinges upon the relationship between the Lamb and Israel.  Here, at this point in the Revelation of Yehoshua HaMashiach, when the truth about the Beast and the works of the Beast have been revealed, the secret  of the relationship between the Lamb and Israel, which was concealed at the time of his death and resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God, is being made known.
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes. These were redeemed from among humans, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
  1. The question has been raised, what does this vision say about the 144,000 and their representation of the relationship of Israel and the Lamb?  If in the mind of the Word of God the 144,000 are virgins, then in the mind of the Word of God it is Israel who is a virgin.
  2. If the 144,000 follow the Lamb wherever he goes, then in the mind of the Word of God, Israel follows the Lamb wherever he goes.
  3. If the 144,000 are the firstfruits to God and the Lamb redeemed from among the children of Adam, then, in the mind of the Word of God, Israel is the firstfruits to God and the Lamb redeemed from among the children of Adam.
  4. Having said this, we are left only with a deeper question of why Israel is represented as the 144,000.  We began to see the answer to this question in chapter 7.  Now we will see the answer more fully.
And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
  1. This is the final phase of this vision, which concerns the testimony of Israel, in accordance with the Scriptures, to the One God and His Torah's Good News.  Like the other phases of this vision, this phase is like a vision in its own right.  Before the 144,000 were described in terms of their attributes, revealing their identity in their prophetic representation of Israel.  In this phase their accomplishment is described.
  2. If in the mouths of the 144,000 there was found no imperfection before God and the Lamb, then in the mind of the Word of God there is found, by the Judge who sits upon His Throne, no imperfection in Israel’s testimony given on the witness stand before the nations and before the angels of heaven, concerning the truth of God and his Anointed One.
  3. We will see that it is the significance of this very thing (Israel's perfect testimony, as conceived in the Mind of God), that is being revealed to us in the full volume of The Book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ \ Yehoshua HaMashiach.
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,
  1. Having left the vision of the Lamb and the 144,000 on Mount Zion in the place of spiritual reality beyond time and eternity, in the mind of the Word of God, with the fulfillment of the Scripture that Israel is Hashem’s witness, we come immediately to a new vision of an angel, coming from eternity into time with the everlasting Good News of God to announce to the world.  For this is the testimony given by Israel in the mind of the Word of God.
  2. We see that this Good News is preached to "every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people".  This is the designation of those to whom it was said Yochanan would again preach, having eaten the Little Scroll. We see a direct connection, therefore, between the vision of this angel and the vision of Revelation chapter 10.
  3. We now will consider what that means.
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.
  1. When Mashiach rose from the dead, by the power of the judgment of God, after that he made a corporate atonement for Israel, the new creation of eternity was born in time and began to grow in time. It would grow until "the hour of [God's] judgment", when that which is eternal working in time would become dominate in the domain of time.  This hour which is coming is the hour when judgment of the nations is come, the time of the sounding of the seventh shofar.  From this point on in the Revelation, to the coming of Mashiach, we will see the revelation of that judgment.  And therefore from here there is nothing left but for the world to repent and to hear the testimony of the 144,000, which brings — from beyond time and eternity — the witness of Israel’s redemption in the Lamb of God from among the nations, and makes that testimony known in this hour of judgment in all the earth.
  2. The purpose of this testimony of Israel, given from heaven by the 144,000, is that the whole of creation should repent and turn again, as in one Adam, to the fear of Hashem Elohim and to his praise.
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.
  1. How can this happen, even before Jerusalem is fully united with her Mashiach upon the earth?  It can happen because, invisible to the world, Jerusalem has already, at this point in the revelation, turned to embrace him in her heart, as recorded in Revelation 12:13, and because now, with the ascent of the Beast, the truth of the evil one in the world is out in the open, so that Babylon has lost her power, which is the power of the lie. For she was given this power to chastise Israel, to help the work of the Spirit of God in bringing Jerusalem to repentance toward her Mashiach.  And now that work is accomplished.  Therefore Babylon’s power is taken away from her.
  2. And because Babylon’s power, which she used through the deceptions of secrecy, is taken away from her she is now to be held openly accountable for seducing all nations into her service against God and against the Jews.
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,
  1. The dethroning of Babylon leaves only the Beast in power on the earth, and now all people will be held to be accountable without excuse in turning away from God to serve the god of this world.
  2. At the very time of the fall of Babylon, which comes through the destruction of the system holding Israel in captivity in blindness to her redemption in Mashiach, the evil one will shift his control of the world to the mark of the beast, through the image of the beast, as has been discussed.
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:
  1. As has been said, because at this time there will no longer be any room for confusion or pretense but every person on earth will stand either openly against the God of the Bible or in repentance toward Him, a final judgment upon the nations will come upon the whole earth.
  2. The aftermath of the judgement upon the nations, when Israel has openly been redeemed from her sins and from captivity among the nations, is that there will be no place anymore for repentance for those who, even like Esau seek it with tears, once they see Israel’s glory, if they have chosen under the leadership of the Lying Messiah to graduate from replacement theology to full blown outright enmity toward the testimony of God’s Two Witnesses, which converted the heart of Jerusalem.
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.
  1. Once bottomless pit of foolishness and embarrassment for having worshiped the Beast is revealed throughout all the universe, those who are guilty of this choice will torment themselves with their own shame, so that there will be no help for them.
  2. Just as the Nazis sent the Jews up in smoke to the heavens, so they and all who follow in their spirit to worship the Beast, so shall Mashiach, seated at the right hand of God, smell the scent of the torment with which they torment themselves without relief.
  3. We have read that all the world, that is, a majority of people in all the nations of the world, will worship the beast, taking the mark and number of the beast.  In this ‘apocalyptic’ context worship is to be understood as a comprehensive concept.  Whatever one gives their loyalty to and whatever one gives one’s heart and mind to, whatever one believes, whatever one commits one’s life to and invests one’s industry in, that is the act of worshiping something or someone. Projecting from today’s society forward to that time, we could say, anyone who chooses to be in the consumer society of the Beast, where the Beast and all the Beast stands for is the ‘product’ that is consumed, worships the Beast.  Likewise, we can project the devices of our science and technology today forward to that time to create a near future picture that can explain why those who take the mark of the Beast will not be able to repent.  By a possible picture of the mark of the Beast as being a computer-human interface, joining all human minds directly to the Image of the Beast as a global A.I. hub robotically embodied, we can see how the human being could in this way be dehumanized beyond redemption. It was through just such an organic interface with fallen angels that the human being was dehumanized beyond redemption at the time of the great flood, when only eight souls were saved.
12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
  1. It is first that the people who God has made holy have waited for this day of truth, which the world will experience as a day of open rebellion and great tribulation.  It is second that when that day comes the people who God has made holy will overcome the world and the evil one by faith in the promise of Mashiach, whom they know and whom they await to come from heaven.
  2. These ones who God has made holy are, in the vision, represented in heaven by the 144,000, and in the unfolding days and years they are all Torah observant Jews who attach themselves to the True Tzaddik, the True Righteous One, that is to say, to Mashiach; and it is all those children of the nations also, who attach themselves to the tzitzit of the Jews, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you! (Zechariah 8:23).
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on: Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works follow them.
  1. Martyrdom has always brought the greatest blessing.  Now it will bring its greatest blessing, because the truth is out in the open in all ways.
  2. To live in the Spirit of Mashiach is also to be a martyr, and not only to die in testimony to the faith.  This has always been true, but at the time of the judgment, it will be true even more than before.  The evil one, dwelling in the hearts and minds of all who take the mark of the Beast, not being able to destroy the Woman or her anointed Child, will pull whatever of her children apart limb from limb on a scale far greater than has happened at any time except in the Nazi Holocaust.
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.
  1. The vision of the Lamb has become a vision of the Son of Adam.  For now, while he is yet in the place of the vision of the mind of the Word of God that is beyond time and eternity, he is acting not in the capacity of redeemer of Israel from her sins but of redeemer of Israel from the bondage of the nations, that is, as judge of the nations.
  2. Yochanan describes him as one like unto the Son of Adam because, at first, he is not fully certain in viewing the vision whether this, indeed, is the Son of Adam.  And this occurs because he is not yet revealed on earth in his glory, coming openly from Heaven.  Yochanan is hindered slightly in suddenly seeing the Mashiach in his role and form as the Son of Adam, when he has become accustomed in the vision to seeing him in the visions of the Revelation as the Lamb that was slain.  Nevertheless, the very vision of the Lamb with the 144,000 on Mount Zion has come to show us that the time is come for Mashiach to begin to take on the role of Judge.
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.
  1. Because of this, “the time is come”.
  2. The harvest of the Gentiles, leading to the turning to Moshe of corproate Jerusalem, and the removal of the veil…leading to the vision of the seven vials…. All of these things and more will be heard by those able to hear what the seven thunders said, due to their communion proceeding underground through the ages with the apostle Yochanan.
  3. The earth is ripe because it has been cultivated by the Word of God through all the generations of history and the seed, of the Torah's Good News of Israel and Her Messiah, has in many places sprouted and taken root.
16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
  1. …as we will see when this vision comes from beyond time and eternity into the domain of eternity and into time.
  2. And as it was first envisioned beyond time and eternity in the mind of the Word of God, so it shall be on earth.
17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
  1. ...the angel over those who will come with the vials…
  2. The series of angels come one after the other as if it is all one vision, but again, each one is in content like a vision in its own right.
  3. Here the angle appearing with a sharp sickle confirms that God, who gave this Revelation, would have us know that nothing remains to prevent His judgment coming in full upon the nations.
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.
  1. …this angel has the office of mitigating the judgment for the sake of the children of the Woman…
  2. Now that the time of judgment between Israel and the nations is come, “the grapes are fully ripe”.  Looking at the same picture through another window, the “wheat” will be harvested, and the “tares” will be gathered up to be cast into fire.
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.
  1. So it will be…  All the chief angels for the time of judgment have announced their readiness to perform their assignments.  We therefore now see the vision of the harvesting of the earth that will take place in the hour of the judgment of the nations and the redemption of Israel from the Egypt of its own Adamic nature and the Egypt of the the Adamic nature of all nations.
  2. The wrath of God is not against Adam, but against the rebellion of Adam. Were it against Adam, no soul would be saved; not even "the elect”, the Chosen People, Israel, would be saved.  But because God turns His wrath against the rebellion of Adam and not Adam, Adam is corporately saved in the salvation of the nation of Israel, and all who bless themselves by coming under the wings of Jerusalem and of the Mashiach of Zion are saved from that wrath which is to come.
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.
  1. …this is to describe the coming judgment as being the full measure of judgement…
  2. The winepress of wrath is trodden everywhere on the globe, but not in the city of Jerusalem, so far as that city has repented and turned to God and to His Lamb.
  3. In this vision taking place in the heaven of heavens a poetic picture is portrayed of all the armies of the nations surrounding Jerusalem on horseback.  This is to represent the war of rebellion that has been waged against God and against the revelation of His Mashiach from the beginning.  As soon as the sickle of the Son of Adam is swung, the trampling out of the winepress of the wrath of God against that rebellion is immediately shown as being accomplished in terms of all the armies of the nations which have, in every way, come up against Jerusalem, being turned into a lake or sea of blood, extending for about 200 miles all around the city.  This red sea of blood is so deep as to drown not only the last Pharaoh’s armies but also his horses as well.