This broadcaster has 814 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
December 2, 2020 7:00 am
One thing that none of us can escape, and that eventually catches up with us all. Death is no way to run. There's nowhere to hide. There's no way to escape touch the grim reaper John we happen to know what's on the other side of the wall but we know what's beyond that it is the eternal state of either glory or tragic death to be a mysterious unknown either fear death, ignore death or just consider death to simply be the end the confusion only exists because they haven't read the Bible, God tells us what to expect at death. There are two options in order to study what those are. Today this is wisdom for the heart Stephen Davey Stevens in Revelation 15 with the message he's calling the Grim Reaper. These are the clouds of Shekinah glory that the Daniel spoke of world Son of Man, which is a reference to the Messiah, will return with the cloud of heaven.
Daniel 713. Another words is going to return one data worth with the display of divine brilliance and splendor. Jesus Christ said of himself in Luke chapter 21 they shall see the Son of Man coming in the cloud of great glory. So picture in your mind. This is brilliant light displayed to all. Speaking of the full and glorious deity of our Lord Christ.
So here he comes. Which by the way, means were there with him. This is your future your reading when I just floating on some fluffy cloud. This is a reference to the fact that when we returned with crisis of his kingdom to be surrounded by the brilliant light and incredible splendor of our sovereign's glory were in the year. This is our future experience you may have wondered as I read certainly struck my mind why John would write a Son of Man instead of the Son of Man. In verse 14. I believe it's more than likely to strengthen the connection of his statement with the prophecy of Daniel or Daniel refers to a Son of Man, a messianic title, so John refers to in this way. In fact, there is no question in Daniel seven who this is. Nor is there any question in Revelation chapter 14. John will also use the expression Son of Man in chapter 1 of Revelation, and there's no question he's talking about the second person of the Godhead, our Lord, living Lord Jesus Christ.
In fact, notice next phrase here in verse 14 were told. The Son of Man has a golden crown on his head. The crown is the Greek word is Stephanopoulos. It was a crown given to conquerors.
Those who were victorious was given athletes.
It was just a simple reef. It would be given to those who were victorious soldier, a general returning and victory would where is Stephanopoulos later on in chapter 19 of Revelation. That word will be changed from Stefan Aust to Diane Dame which gives us our word diadem.
It's the crown of the monarch so Christ is coming here back to rain and he's coming and it is his initial coming.
He's announcing his victory. He is the victorious general in a battle will ensue for just a brief moment in human history. Later, he will sit on David's throne as the monarch, the King of Kings and the Lord of lords. By the way, before we go any further. Here in this text you're reading for the last time any reference to Jesus Christ as the Son of Man, this is it. The Lord often use this phrase. In fact, it was his preferred title as he would emphasize his full humanity and yet his messianic title referring to his full deity he God incarnate, had come as God's anointed. But here Revelation 14 verse 14. This is the last time you hear this title use.
I think it's interesting the first time we ever saw this title is in Matthew chapter 8 verse 20 were were told that the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. In other words, he is not saying and now in this, the last time the title is use were told he was everything is coming to claim the world as his own to knock on the door to Jehovah's Witnesses came interrupted my study of this very text perfect timing.
I just would let him go either. I got the practice. I need to practice in and they pulled the other friends. Pull-up waited days, three times weekly. Really thank you Sir, we really need to delete delete not stay right there not done finally cut them loose were happy to leave the first time Jesus Christ came he came in poverty. The second time he comes comes in power. We don't miss it the first time the Son of Man appears on the scene he comes as a sober now becomes as a reaper in divine judgment and he will come wrapped in the Shekinah glory of his own deity displaying the fullness of the Godhead. Just as we see many events take place on earth during these days signaled by some announcement by an Angel who sorta pulls the trigger. So an angel pulls the trigger, so to speak on Christ's judgment overtly verse 15 and another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to him and 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. And he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth and the earth was reaped. Now in these balls. Not all unbelievers die in fact, there will be those who will be separated as tears from the wheat and the judgment following this period of time, but this will be great devastation. In fact, I agree with one author who wrote that this phrase the earth was reaped as one of the most tragic and sobering statements in all of Scripture with the mercy of God is finished, so to speak, described later on for us in the book of Revelation in these bowls of judgment. Chapter 16 will tell us is the earth's reap what actually happens is you have terrible malignant sores breaking out of the bodies of those who follow the antichrist oceans will turn to blood and every remaining living sea creature will diverse three rivers and springs of water will also turn the blood verse for the suns heat will intensify with sleazy to say there will be global warming case you're wondering it will be a time of terrifying judgment. Verse eight the world of the antichrist will be plunged into darkness.
Verse 10. Finally, the Euphrates river will dry out to prepare the way for millions of soldiers and armies to march against the little is in this battle we call the battle of Armageddon. This is an event that accompanies the return of Christ.
This is the battle against antichrist and his forces which brings the tribulation effectively to a close and it really isn't much of a battle again. It's it's really just a slaughter. The invading armies don't even have much time to fire off a single round further slaughtered by the hosts of heaven as God's wrath is poured out in unbelievable fury.
That is John's overview beginning in verse 17 and another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. 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 Jesus Christ is the true vine John 15 one all who belong to him are are safe as contrasted to those here, attached you notice in the text to the vine of the earth.
They belonged to the antichrist. They chosen to worship the antichrist and he is the wrong vine. Now the reference you noticed here in verse verse 18 of this is Angel having power over fire. It's a reference back to chapter 8 I believe were an angel, perhaps the same angel took that sensor filled with fire and he threw it on the earth which brought great judgment and you notice again. He comes from the alternate we've already discovered the altar and what it meant, as it represented the saints praying and and God's attention to it. It also represents those who been martyred. And I think that's significant here in this text. Because Christians are still being martyred. Those that are still alive.
This is Angel comes one uniquely associated with the prayers of the martyrs, the martyrs been calling out from the altar and end up as it were God, hearing them before his throne, as they say how long the Lord this is their prayer. How long Lord, will you wait will you refrain from judging and avenging the blood of your children those who dwell on the earth without prayer in the judgment against those who dwell on the earth against the children of God is about to take place and be fully answered in this angel moves into action with his sickle effectively retained releasing the judging power of God upon the enemy armies that are now marching to destroy Jerusalem.
Those who no doubt had been in charge of the martyrdom of many, many millions of believers.
Verse 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. Can you imagine the fullest meaning of their due. Finally, the function of angels as punishers of unbelievers is is a theme in other passages of the New Testament John. In fact, implies in chapter 20, following the final judgment. All of the unbelieving, who will be thrown into the lake of fire. The word front are cast indicates that they are cast and perhaps you can envision them running somehow to believe that the judgment of God in their literally grabbed and thrown into the lake of fire. Horrifying act of judgment which initiates their eternal state hell. Here you see this battle the vengeance of God unleashed against the enemies of his people, in particular those who put to death the lives of those who followed him. God's justice demands it is holy wrath demands full payment for those who've tormented his sons and daughters and mercilessly abused saints. The immediate context here is the vindication of tribulation martyrs a larger context will be the vindication of every martyr who ever lived beginning with Abel, who was killed by his brother Cain for worshiping God correctly the first murder in human history was martyrdom there are people dying today for their faith in Christ around her world. I have read about, but have not seen a collection of Bibles in the 16th century of generally told me that he had actually seen one in the display. These Bibles just a few of them have survived the 16th century well into that reformation. I referred to earlier were unbelievers, tortured and martyred those who claimed faith in Christ alone. These Bibles are literally drenched in blood. Forensic tests have been conducted on these Bibles and have confirmed that these dark stains on nearly every page and upon the covers are human blood, but whose history, answers the question. When Mary Queen Mary, the daughter of King Henry VIII delightful man ruled England. She took his character even further in the wrong direction. She was nicknamed blood he married and she terrorized Protestant Christians murdering as many as she could. Soldiers had the practice of spilling the blood of a Christian and catching it in the in their Bible and dipping their Bibles into the pools of blood that literally flowed from the veins of these martyred Christian, thus sustaining its pages with the actual blood of those who own the Bible. A few of these Bibles have been preserved and there simply known as martyrs, Bibles, we tell you the rain of blood. He Mary and Mayo and Stalin are child's play compared to the reign of the Antichrist and his murdering rampage against millions who will die because of their faith in God.
Finally moves finally now after some 2000 years, but he finally moves in judgment and answers the prayer of the marker. The battle will take place 60 miles north of Jerusalem Mountain, Megiddo with the phallic Megiddo were even told her in verse 20. Notice how far the blood of the defeated soldiers will flow. Verse 20 says in the winepress was trodden outside the city. In other words, it didn't reach Jerusalem. The battle was fought outside of the city, and blood came out from the winepress, up to the horses bridles for a distance of 200 mile.
The metaphor of a winepress is used in then literal statistics are given to give us the graphic enormity of the situation. The terminology suggests a sea of blood resulting from this direct confrontation on the field of battle. The depth of blood and the Deland area covered are statistics that tell us the staggering amount of blood loss from what will be millions upon millions of soldiers who come against who marched against God's people, the remnant they will be destroyed. Ezekiel's description of this battle informs us that the early days of the money a king or enemy cleanup and take him seven years to get rid of all the weapons of mass in this valley. It'll take seven months to bury the dead.
This kind of devastation is hard to imagine.
However, Josephus, the first century Jewish historian describe the earlier destruction and slaughter of Jews in Jerusalem in A.D. 70. With these words, the Roman soldiers filled the streets with dead bodies and made the whole city run down with blood to such a degree.
Indeed, the fires of many of the houses were actually extinguished by the flow of blood. John uses the imagery of a winepress to show us the terror of it all were grapes were trampled underfoot and the juice would flow to lower fat where it would be collected millions of people then in this image are crushed by the hosts of heaven, squeezed as it were drained of their blood which will flow to a height of 4 feet for 200 miles. Think about the irony of the scene.
It struck me as I studied these are the day who've rejected the blood of Jesus Christ which flowed freely for them. As he paid the penalty and experience the wrath of God for them, but because they rejected that because they rejected the flow of Christ's blood, their blood will flow freely as they experience the wrath of God for having rejected the one who had earlier experienced the wrath of God on the cross is either they come to the one who shed his blood for them or they shed their blood at his hand. But isn't that true for everyone. You either allow by faith, the son of God, to pay for your sin or you pay for your sin.
This is the horrific crushing wrath from God. It's a picture of hopelessness for those who chosen to follow the Antichrist in this picture of the coming judgments horrifying for all who refused to worship the one true and living God. Even though the angel has has circled the globe earlier calling out the warning studied warning them to follow after the true and living God and not the antichrist. So in a tighter context. This speaks of these who've disbelieved in the broader context that gives us a view into the future. Ladies and gentlemen, we happen to know what's on the other side of the wall but we know what's beyond that it is the eternal state of either glory or or tragedy. There's no way to run. There's nowhere to hide. There's no way to escape the touch of the grim reaper Peter Marshall often told allegedly pastorally pastored church downtown Washington.
He served in the mid-19 1950s, 1960s, summer, and there is the chaplain of the Senate amazing preacher. He often told the legend of the Middle Eastern servant who went to the market to purchase food for his master's household. He turned a corner in the marketplace and came face-to-face with the Grim Reaper is wearing a black hood over his face. But as he raised his bony hand in his sickle servant turned and ran, terrified that death had come for him.
He ran to his master and begged him to allow him to take a horse and flee for a few days to the nearby village of Samara where some friends lived in his master agreed, servant, race to the village and his master would honor the marketplace to purchase the food himself.
He also turned that same corner and came face-to-face with the Grim Reaper reaper seemed uninterested in him, so he rather boldly asked why did you threaten my servant so the river asked what you mean well you raise your sick call to strike him dead and he ran for his life. The Grim Reaper said oh him. I raise my hand in surprise. Wondering why would meet him in this village. You see, I have an appointment with him tonight in the village of Samara. Most people who try to escape.
Don't feel horses. Some try to make sure they get very in a church. Some joined the church and maybe that's safe. God isn't is interested in where your buried or what you've joined, as he is and where your trust is located in whom you believe ladies and gentlemen for those who place their faith and hope and trust in Jesus Christ. There is nothing to fear. You are you have been and you will forever be forgiven by faith in Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all unrighteousness.
I love the tense of the verb, it means the blood of Jesus Christ constantly continually cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
Why because we are constantly continuously on righteous so we come to this one is blood shed freely for us continually actively cleansing those who admitted their sin and come to the cross for forgiveness so that the text in Revelation, deliver by just a warning but an invitation to come to Christ who will cleanse you from all your sin. Jesus Christ is either your great Redeemer or he will be your grim reaper before she died several years ago, in a moment of surprising candor on television in an interview interviewed by a believer well known secular humanist and novelist Miss Lasky no friend to Christians in general. By the way, throughout her life for the gospel. She said these interesting words. She said what I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness. I have nobody to forgive me will let me tell you what I would tell her there is someone who will forgive you the wages of sin is death, right but the gift of God is eternal life through whom Jesus Christ our Lord. We believe have a Savior we have someone to forgive us, someone was paid the penalty for Alderson. We believe in him will ride as it were a cloud of Shekinah glory shall come in rain saying it, we believe it by faith because it's in the word and we do not understand.
We can even comprehend. I can't wait for that right is good to be exciting.
Can you splendor of his coming in is going to allow us puny people to be no rain or can imagine that. Why because were worth something. We are only because he has forgiven us and we belong to him, sons and daughters have a great Savior, who is a great future plan for those here on wisdom for the heart. In this lesson that he's calling the Grim Reaper. Stephen reminded us that Jesus comes as either are great Redeemer or are Grim Reaper. It all depends on your relationship with him and I hope that issue is settled for you today. You can learn more about that if you visit our website which is wisdom online.org when you get there we have information about how you can know for certain that you belong to God, we call it God's wisdom for your heart and you'll find it on our website.
There is much more there as well. You'll be able to access the complete archive of Stephen's Bible teaching ministry. That's one of the tools that God can use in your life to help you grow strong in the Christian faith. The archive of Stephen's teaching is available on that site free of charge and you can access it email@example.com in addition to equipping you with these daily Bible lessons. We also have a magazine. It includes articles written by Stephen to help you dive deep into various topics related to the Christian life. The magazine also has a daily devotional guide that you can use to remain grounded in God's word every day. The magazine is called heart-to-heart.
We sent heart-to-heart magazine is our gift to all of our wisdom partners but we be happy to send you the next three issues. If you'd like to see it for yourself. You can sign up for it on our website or you can call us today here in our Cary, North Carolina office would love to talk with you.
Get to know you and introduce you to this resource heart-to-heart magazine called today and then join us tomorrow for our next lesson here on wisdom