“Like a Son of Man…Sharp Sickle in His Hand” v14, The last time we saw a weapon in the hand of anyone that could represent Christ is when the Lamb opened the seal and the Horse-rider came with a bow & arrows, 6:2. Here God is announcing the final judgment will be enacted when the Roman Empire finally does fall, in violence. Those who die without Christ face the harvest into condemnation. Angels have a role in the final judgment everyone experiences, 2nd Thes. 1:6-8 & Mat. 16:27. The Harvester (Christ) wears a “stephanos” crown which is GOLD, this is an obvious reference to the Messiah in Daniel 7:13 and Luke’s reference to Christ in Acts 7:56.
into the Earth and gathered” v19-20 The end of the matter God’s judgment is conclusive with a unique number symbolizing the last Judgment on the final Day of the Lord. 1600 stadia is a strange number and represents an unheard of amount of loss of life. As the Roman Empire falls, there will never be another Kingdom to overwhelm Christ’s Kingdom, it is victorious to this day and growing larger in heaven and on earth. Of course there are earthly empires since, but none of them are successful without recognizing Christ as Lord. Peter instructs them and us to honor the King, no matter who that is, Caesar or President, 1st Peter 2:17, and likewise every Government should acknowledge The Lord for who He is, Romans 13:1-2 & Proverbs 3:5-10.
“7 Angels with 7 Plagues” 15:1-3, There is nothing incidental about God’s judgment, it planned, prophesied and executed with precision, Angels are plenteous in the Revelation, consider this list:
An Angel for the Revelation Itself, 1:1
Seven Angels for each of the Churches, Rev. 2-3
An Angel for the mission to find someone worthy to open the seals, 5:2
Angels for the announcement of Judgments, 7:1-11
Seven Angels for the protection of the Saints through the Judgments, Rev. 8-9
An Angel for John’s responsibility in the Prophecy to make it’s deliverance, Rev. 10
Angels for the climatic battle between Jesus & Satan, 12:7
Angels for the certain consequential judgment of God against Rome itself, 14:6-20
Moses and the Hebrews had this in common with 1st century Christians. The last plague upon Egypt heralded the same anticipation and importance for everyone in the land. God struck dead the firstborn in Egypt and the Angel of the lord initiated Moses’s work in the burning bush where God spoke, so we can see here the similarity of God using angels when He Himself issues execution of Judgment, Ex. 3:2 & 11:1-4. The Christians caught in the crossfire get great comfort from the words, “IN THEM IS FINISHED THE WRATH OF GOD”. Today, if we Christians can face enemies, we should remember martyrdom brings THE end, just as when Ezekiel saw it, Ezekiel 7:1-6, Remember the words of Jesus in Mat. 5:10-12.
“Who Will Not Fear You O Lord” v4, Global salvation is not the Lord’s purpose in this passage, Fearing God is only part of humanities responsibility, but to act in faith upon that fear is what counts towards God dispensing grace to save us, Galatians 5:6. The Canaanites were frightened half to death upon getting news of the Israelites arriving, but see what happened when they did, Ex. 15:14-16, bringing God’s glory via a pagan government but it won’t move God to save the government.
“Angels…Arrayed…With…Golden Girdles” v6, The priestly dress of angels for the deliverance of God’s judgment are performing a holy duty of sacrifice. THIS JUDGMENT WAS A SACRIFICE FOR THE PERSERVATION OF THE CHURCH. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was for personal salvation, but without suffering we can not enter the Kingdom, and enlarge it’s establishment on earth, likewise without sacrificial judgment God can not maintain and preserve the Kingdom, Acts 14:22.
“Seven Gold bowls” v7, Cherubim give bowls representing the creatures from the Throne scene of 4:6-8, we aren’t dealing with cultural upheaval, but rather outright rebellion against God’s. When David confronted Goliath he never viewed the conflict as anything other than an insult against God!
“Temple filled with Smoke” v8, The solemnity of the this event is noted in Ex. 40:34ff, 1st Kings 8:10-11 & 2nd Chron. 5:13-14. It ensures the seclusion of God’s eternal holiness being exalted, which Rome threatened.