In chapter 13 of Revelation the deception of false Christianity, in the image of a beast, is exposed. Consequently, in Revelation the 14th chapter, we can now see that there is a time where there is a people with a clearer vision of the truth of the Bible, and the true Christian life. Because of this clearer vision, these Christians can also now see the hypocrisy of Babylon (which represents false, unfaithful Christianity). Consequently they have the ability to take a stand against this hypocrisy.
But the end of the 14th chapter shows a message that must follow the events already mentioned. And this message shows the vine of the earth (the fruit of corrupted religion) to be harvested and pressed out in the wine-press of God’s wrath. The reason this is necessary, is because most people will not get free from the fruit of corrupted religious teachings, unless judgement is poured out on them.
Why is Revelation so full of the strong judgments of God?
Only the judgments of God’s clear Revelation message can get people completely free from their fleshly thinking and reasoning. And free from the spirit of lies that they have been deceived by. The pressure of the wine-press judgement message is designed to free them. But for the ones who love false teachings and hypocrisy, the judgement is extremely unpleasant!
“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.” ~ Psalm 75:6-8
So what this wine-press vision shows us is that God’s Spirit has always judged corrupted religion, even when their was not a clear standout church to accomplish the work. Throughout every age of the gospel day, hypocrisy has been thrown into the wine press of the wrathful judgments of God. This was so that others could still have some understanding as to what is right and wrong, and do what is right in spite of the corruption. Today, true revelation preaching from a true ministry (symbolized by angel messengers in the scripture below) will show what really happened throughout history to those who were of a Babylonian (less than faithful) heart.
“And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 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. 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. 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.” ~ Revelation 14:17-20
This treading of the wine-press has gone on since Jesus first brought the gospel to us. But for the space of “1600 furlongs” It had to be done outside of a clear stand out city of God, which is the new Jerusalem, the true church of God.
“I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.” ~ Isaiah 63:3-6
The context of this scripture in Isaiah has also to do with purifying a stand out people for God. How? By treading out the corruption of false teachings and false worship. And without the help of the city (the clear stand out church), God still accomplished the work.
“Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out. There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up.” ~ Isaiah 51:17-18
Why does Revelation show blood flowing even unto the horse bridles?
The blood on the garments, and “unto the horse bridles” in Revelation 14, shows the fierceness of the judgement. This is what also happened to Jezebel, who is a type of Babylonian harlot in the Old Testament.
“And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot.” ~ 2 Kings 9:33
This judgement is especially upon the false judgements of fallen “Christianity” where the ruling authority of so called “Christian churches” misuse their authority to control people by their false message. They condemn the true innocent Christians and justify their own wickedness. Therefore they are blood guilty all the way up to the “horse bridals” or the controlling powers. They determined to use their tongue to speak evil of the innocent!
“… If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” ~ James 3:2-10
Many scriptures show this same pattern of God’s wrathful judgement against spiritual unfaithfulness where a false tongue is used to condemn the innocent. So the winepress is the spiritual place Jesus’ Word personally executes judgement against hypocrisy.
“The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a winepress.” ~ Lamentations 1:15
Because of the false shepherds that did not manage the Lord’s vineyard for the Lord, God will execute judgement upon them also. Jesus told the disciples so.
“When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.” ~ Matthew 21:40-41
In further expression of judgement against the vine of evil people, we see a similar declaration in Deuteronomy.
“For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.” ~ Deuteronomy 32:32-33
Spiritual Babylon is specifically named out as guilty and worthy of this judgement.
“For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” ~ Revelation 18:3
Old Testament prophecies also reflect this.
“Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence. Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.” ~ Jeremiah 51:6-7
What is meant in Revelation where the wine-press is trod 1600 furlongs without the city?
Gospel judgement is made clearer from the standout city of God, the true spiritual church of God. So from the viewpoint of a true standout city, it can be seen that for “1600 furlongs” the judgement was still accomplished, even without the city (a clear standout church.)
“I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.” ~ Isaiah 63:3
This 1600 furlongs represents time and includes the 1260 years when the Word and the Spirit prophesied clothed in sackcloth and ashes. (See Revelation 11:3 & 12:6) And it covers the two Protestant ages of time which is close to three and a half centuries.
From the beginning of Smyrna until the end of Sardis (the beginning of Philadelphia): 1260 years plus approximately three and a half centuries equals around 1600 years. In history, somewhere from around AD 270 or 280 until around 1880. These dates are all approximate, but closely reflect that 1600 year period.
Those that understand the timeline of the seven churches of Asia understand this period of time being when there was not a stand out (clear from corruption) church. Hence the treading of the wine-press of God’s wrath was necessary during this time.
For further clarification on the 1600 furlongs/years: If you pull up a map of where physically the seven churches of Asia were located back when Revelation was first written, you would find that they are located relatively close to one another in a near circular and sequential pattern in Asia minor (they would have been located within present day Turkey.)
Here is a map of where the seven churches were located:
So if you look into it on an ancient map of the seven cities of Asia mentioned in Revelation: following the same sequential order found in Revelation, the approximate distance starting at Smyrna, to Pergamos, then to Thyatira, then to and through Sardis and ending at Philadelphia, is a distance of approximately 1600 furlongs. (An ancient furlong, or Greek stadia is between 607 to 630 feet. You can verify this distance of 1600 furlongs on Google maps, link shown above, where the seven archaeological sites of the cities of Asia in Revelation have been identified on the map.)
You cannot come up to that same 1,600 furlong measure of distance by traveling any other path between those cities. So the geographic distance in furlongs is equivalent to the historical timeline in years: the “space of 1,600 furlongs” is very approximate to the 1,610 years that transpired from AD 270 (Smyrna) until AD 1880 (Philadelphia). And again these historical dates are all approximate, which actually likely makes up for the difference of 10. Our ability to lay out dates is limited to our limitations in understanding, and the limits of the accuracy of dates recorded in history by historians. But God’s understanding of both distance and time is perfect.
God’s way often uses a preacher to first have them receive the judgement via the Word of God. Then following this wrathful warning, God eventually executes his wrath in a final way.
“For thus saith the Lord God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. Then took I the cup at the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the Lord had sent me” ~ Jeremiah 25:15-17
So what are we going to do with this great judgement of God against the unfaithfulness of beast-like, Babylonish religion? Does it make us mad? Or does it cause us to get our hearts right and flee from the wrath to come? Have we “come out of Babylon” yet?
Note: this diagram below shows where the 14th and 15th chapters are within the full Revelation message. These chapters are also part of the 7th trumpet message. To better understand a high level view of Revelation, you can also see the “Roadmap of Revelation.”