Revelation - Chapters 14 & 15
The Second Sickle
Revelation 14:17-19 – And another messenger did come forth out of the sanctuary that [is] in the heaven, having – he also – a sharp sickle, and another messenger did come forth out from the altar, having authority over the fire, and he called with a great cry to him having the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Send forth thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, because come to perfection have her grapes;’ and the messenger did put forth his sickle to the earth, and did gather the vine of the earth, and did cast [it] to the great wine-press of the wrath of God; (YLT)
In this passage, another messenger, who also has a sickle, uses the sickle to harvest grapes. This is a very unusual way to harvest grapes, because it cuts the vines. Usually, you want to pick the grapes off the vines, so that the vines can grow bigger and produce more grapes next season. So why is a sickle used? This is because God is using symbolism. God is comparing non-believers to grapes, and nations to vines. God will destroy nations to get to the individual people. He will then put the non-believers through the lake of fire.
Revelation 14:20 – and trodden was the wine-press outside of the city, and blood did come forth out of the wine-press – unto the bridles of the horses, a thousand, six hundred furlongs. (YLT)
Here, the wine-press represents the lake of fire, and the city represents our nations. The lake of fire is outside of our reality. It then says that blood comes out of the wine-press for 1600 furlongs. A furlong is equal to 1/8 of a mile. The importance of this is not the actual length, but the number 1600. From my article on Numbers, we know that 16 means love. Also, 100 means fullness. Therefore, 1600 means the fullness of love. This is not a violent picture, because it is not meant to be read literally. In reality, it gives us a picture of God’s love restoring all things.
The Seven Vials
Revelation 15:1 – And I saw another sign in the heaven, great and wonderful, seven messengers having the last seven plagues, because in these was completed the wrath of God, (YLT)
The first verse in Revelation chapter 15 mentions the last seven plagues, which are also known as the seven vials or bowls. These are discussed in detail in Revelation chapter 16 and I explained them in this article.
The Sea of Glass
Revelation 15:2 – and I saw as a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who do gain the victory over the beast, and his image, and his mark, [and] the number of his name, standing by the sea of the glass, having harps of God, (YLT)
This “sea of glass” was already mentioned in Revelation chapter 4:
Revelation 4:6 – and before the throne [is] a sea of glass like to crystal, and in the midst of the throne, and round the throne, [are] four living creatures, full of eyes before and behind; (YLT)
Both of these verses are referring to the Great White Throne of Judgment. Jesus will be on the throne along with the overcomers who have destroyed the beast and his image. A similar image is seen when Jesus walks on water in the Sea of Galilee:
Matthew 14:24-25 – and the boat was now in the midst of the sea, distressed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. And in the fouth watch of the night Jesus went away to them, walking upon the sea, (YLT)
Another parallel is that the Sea of Galilee in Hebrew is the Sea of Chinnereth. The literal meaning of Chinnereth is harps. Revelation 15:2 says that they had “harps of God.” So it is clear that these three passages are all talking about the same thing. It doesn’t matter whether it is the Sea of Chinnereth, the sea of glass, or harps of God. They all are referring to the final day of judgment.
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