MP3: The Mighty Angels of Revelation 13-14
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
The Armageddon Angels
Vic Batista: Revelation 14:17-20 introduces us to two other angels, following the Harvest Angel who delivered the Father’s message to Jesus Christ that finally the time had arrived for the great harvesting of the earth. One angel declares and the other will act on that declaration.
Nathan Jones: In Revelation 14:14-16, we were shown Jesus Christ wielding a sickle and patiently waiting to reap the earth. The Harvest Angel comes out of the heavenly temple and declares God’s timing, “Now is the time to reap!” He is obviously relaying a message from God the Father. But, in this new section, we find Jesus isn’t the only one holding a sickle. Down in verse 17 the passage gives us yet another angel who comes out of the Temple of Heaven, that being God’s Throne Room, and he too wields a sharp sickle. Verse 17 reads, “Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.”
Vic Batista: There is some imagery involved with this scene. The heavenly host don’t actually go around swinging sickles, right? They use different types of instruments, or war weapons if you will, but these sickles are actually talking about a battle that is going to be taking place which will winnow the people of the earth — the apocalyptical Armageddon!
Nathan Jones: Yes, so the first angel holds the sickle, and the second calls the first into action. Revelation 14:18-20 reads:
“And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.’ So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.”
Vic Batista: Wow! Back in Revelation 7 we were shown the power of these mighty angels, and here is another one who has the power over fire.
Nathan Jones: In sticking with the Revelation 14 flash-forward to the end of the Tribulation, this reaping is a reference to the Battle of Armageddon. This is the final battle of the Tribulation when all of the nations of the world gather under the Antichrist and come against Israel. They assemble in the Valley of Jezreel in Israel. This valley runs interestingly enough 1,600 furlongs from Mt. Carmel all the way down to Jerusalem, the same distance verse 20 tells us the blood will fill. The Antichrist and his followers are gathered to feel the full force of the wrath of God when Jesus returns to defeat His enemies. Jesus kills all of the soldiers just by speaking. The blood of their vanquished bodies rises up as high as a horse’s bridle, which is about 4-5 feet high. The blood runs down and fills the entire valley for miles. We are talking about millions of people dying during their one last attempt to destroy Jesus and Jerusalem.
Vic Batista: This is mind-boggling! Jesus in Matthew 24 earlier described the carnage of Revelation 14 and 19. Birds are going to swoop down and gather to feast on the bodies of the defeated.
Nathan Jones: While reading this passage, we still must remember that this is a flash-forward to Armageddon, the last battle of the Tribulation, but we are at this point in the Revelation narrative only 3.5 years in, well before this Armageddon event. The Lord in revealing some of the details of His victory is trying to give hope to the people of the Tribulation. It’s like Jesus is saying, “Yes, the next 3.5 years are going to be terrible, but know this — all your’s and My enemies will be destroyed in this giant reaping that will certainly come.”
Vic Batista: The Bible also likens this reaping of the world to a winepress. It’s like a grape when you squeeze it.
Nathan Jones: Right. I’ve been Israel a few times and they have some winepresses set up in the historic areas to show visitors how the antiquity versions would perform. One method is to jump into the grape vat and run around squishing the grapes. Another version has certain large stones that press the grapes down so that the juice flows down a gully and into a chamber and then into jars. This same imagery is what God is going to do. He is pressing His wrath down upon the world during the Tribulation. What will come out of this pressure is the wine, meaning those who have accepted Jesus as Savior. The Tribulation Saints are the fruit of the vine. The rest left over is unusable and is thrown away.
Vic Batista: Isaiah 63:1-6 in the Old Testament references Jesus’ first person account of the winepress in its wrathful imagery:
“Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength? ‘I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.’ Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? ‘I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered, that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; and My own fury, it sustained Me. I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury, and brought down their strength to the earth.'”
There are different names for the Tribulation, and here in Isaiah is one of those names — “The Day of Vengeance.”
Nathan Jones: Great reference! Isaiah, who wrote about 700 BC, so some 800 years before John is given Revelation, reveals the exact same imagery. Jesus is talking in first person, which is wild to think that we can read about this battle from a first person view from God, and He comes from the east. Jesus arrives from Edom, which is modern-day Jordan and the Bozrah area. He heads west into Jerusalem and the Valley of Jezreel area. His clothes get soaked in blood since He has killed so many of the evil people who have attempted to destroy His people in Jerusalem. The Antichrist’s forces try to kill Jesus, but are impotent in their attempt.
Vic Batista: This account of Jesus’ return again proves that the time that we are living in is not the Tribulation, right?
Nathan Jones: Exactly. We are not now living during the Tribulation, but we know from the signs of the end times Jesus gave us that the Tribulation will come upon the world, and it is coming soon. Knowing this truth, we need to know just where our hearts are spiritually. Are you ready for Jesus’ return? Or, are your facing the wrath of God as He comes dripping in blood in anger and vengeance and killing all those who are His enemy? This is a hard way to look at Jesus Christ, as a conquering lion rather than a passive lamb, but it is the biblical way.
Vic Batista: Revelation shouldn’t freak Christians out, nor cause them to be afraid. It should bring comfort and peace to all those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ, because we know our eternity lies in Heaven, and we don’t have to live in fear of the Tribulation.
Nathan Jones: True, let’s remember what the Gospel Angel proclaimed, “Fear God, give Him honor!” Accept the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. Jesus died on the cross for your sins because He loves you so much. If Jesus is not yet your Lord and Savior, pray in your heart, “Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior.” Jesus promises to do just that. He will forgive you of your sins, clean up your life, and give you a bright new hope for the future.
Vic Batista: There is a celebration in Heaven for any sinner who repents. We, too, are thankful for those who have trusting in Christ.There is a celebration in #Heaven for any sinner who repents. Click To Tweet
In the thirty-fourth segment of our series “The Mighty Angels of Revelation,” we’ll get into Revelation 15 and be introduced to the Seven Bowl Judgment Angels.