Read: Revelation 14
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thess. 4:16)
Today’s reading contrasts to the beasts and their followers in chapter 13. John sees the Lamb and the 144,000 on Mount Zion. They wear the names of Jesus and the Father on their foreheads. They are the multinational people of God, the redeemed who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They are “chaste” because they do not consort with idols. They sing songs about their salvation.
Three angels announce big trouble—God’s judgment is near. The imagery is from Isaiah 63. The King, returning from another victory, calls out to the watchtower guard: “It is I, proclaiming victory, mighty to save” (Isa. 63:1 NIV).
Our planet is God’s vineyard. When people anywhere have understood the gospel, they are ripe for harvest. But at the end the King comes on a cloud, Jesus’ second coming. With a sickle he harvests his own. Then he orders an angel to swing his sickle and cut off all remaining grapes, throw them into a wine vat and trample them. This becomes a river of blood 200 miles long! This is not a literal river. Instead, the image stresses the terrible final judgment of God on all who actively or passively reject him. —Ruth Siemens
As you pray, ask God to empower you to share his life-saving message with those who need to hear it.