Revelation 14 Commentary, Part 2 (verses 8-13)
By Brother Mike (4-19-14, 66 minutes)
8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication .
Now we first read, And there followed another angel. As we had learned in verse 6 of
Revelation 14 Part 1
Now we are told that this angel who is Christ followed, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen. Actually, because the verb here translated as is fallen should have been more accurately translated in the past tense as did fall, it should read that Christ followed, saying, Babylon did fall, did fall. Now when Babylon did fall, did fall immediately points to Judgment Day on May 21, 2011 because it was on this day when Babylon (the world; the kingdom of Satan) actually fell
due to the spiritual judgment of God having come upon it. We learned all about this fall of Babylon in
Next, we are told why Babylon (the world; the kingdom of Satan) did fall, or, to put it another way, why God did bring judgment against her on May 21, 2011: we read, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. In other words, Babylon made all the nations of the world to sin (spiritually fornicate) with her by getting them to follow her false beliefs, principles, philosophies and religions. Instead of standing for the truth, she, instead, stood for lies, and she taught her lies to the whole world. She taught atheism and agnosticism. She taught all the false religions of the world such as Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Catholicism, Mormonism, and you name it. She even taught false Christianity to the point that now, ever since May 21, 1988, all Christian churches have become false without exception. She spread her lies like a wild fire that went forth to devour, and devour it did. Indeed, she completely overcame the entire world and all the churches by the wrath of her fornication. But, now, ever since May 21, 2011, judgment has come upon her as a result, and any hope for anyone becoming saved in her has been removed, for the door to heaven has been closed to her forevermore. This means that Babylon is now subject to nothing but death, which will be manifest on the Last Day when this whole world will be destroyed in fire along with the whole human race except, of course, for God's elect who were saved before May 21, 2011. These will be resurrected and raptured on the Last Day to be with their Lord for all eternity in the new heaven and earth, which shall be created for them. Amen!
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb . . .
In these verses, we are first told that the third angel followed them. This
third angel, as we had learned back in verse 6 of
Revelation 14 Part 1
But, now, we read that this third angel (Christ) is saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God. We know absolutely that the beast represents Satan, but what is his image? We read of this image of the beast in Revelation 13:
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed .
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men ,
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live .
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed .
In this passage, the beast coming up out of the earth which had two horns like a lamb is a representation of the antichrist who takes up his rule in all the churches (the temple) during
the great tribulation beginning on May 21, 1988. Through the churches this antichrist, Satan, deceives those who dwell on the earth by great wonders such as calling fire down from heaven, which is actually symbolism for the phenomenon of being able to make people fall backwards (see verse 14 of
Now that we have learned that the image of the beast are all the false gospels in the world, which include all the current churches, what is this mark that those who worship the beast and his image receive on their foreheads, or hand? Many believe that this mark will be some kind of physical mark placed on the forehead or hand, or a computer chip implanted in the hand or forehead. But all such speculations are ridiculous because all this is spiritual language. It is not a physical mark of any kind that Satan puts on people, but it is a spiritual mark which no one can see. It simply identifies one as not being saved. Everyone who has the mark are all those who are not saved, and are ruled over by Satan while all those who do not have the mark of the beast are saved, but they have the mark of their heavenly Father written in their foreheads (verse 1 of
Revelation 14 Part 1
But, why is the mark said to be on their foreheads or in their hand? This is because both the forehead and the hand have certain symbolic meanings. The forehead is what houses the control center of a person, the brain, so that to have the mark of the beast on your forehead is to say that Satan rules over your control center, and so he is in control of what you do. Similarly, because the hand in the Bible is often symbolic of a person's will, to have Satan's mark on the hand is symbolic of Satan having control over the will. But remember, this mark is not physical in any way, but everything is symbolic to reflect a spiritual reality, which is that those who have received the spiritual mark of the beast are all those who are controlled by Satan and are unsaved. So to have the mark of the beast either in the forehead or hand does not mean that one has a physical mark of any kind, but it simply means that such a one is unsaved and under the control or will of the beast who is Satan.
Now, with this information, we can now better understand what God means by saying, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God. This means that all those who are unsaved and under the control of Satan by Judgment Day on May 21, 2011 will come under the wrath of God. This includes all those who are in the churches who had been deceived by the antichrist, the false Christ, as well as all those in the world who are unsaved. They have all worshipped the beast and his image, and received his mark during the great tribulation period from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011, and, as of May 21, 2011, they have all now come under the spiritual wrath of God, the nature of which is the removal of salvation hope for any of them. The door of heaven has been closed, and they have been left to stumble in darkness over their own sins until when on the Last Day they will all literally be burned up to exist no more, forevermore.
Next, in declaration that all those who are unsaved; that is, who worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, I want to now focus in on the latter part of this verse which reads, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation. The verb translated is poured out is in the perfect tense, and can mean to mix, which I think would be the better translation in this case. Furthermore, the word translated as without mixture can be translated as undiluted to better express the intended meaning. Given this information, the verse now reads,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed undiluted into the cup of his indignation . . .
Now we can get a better sense as to what our verse is saying: it is saying that the unsaved shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed undiluted; that is, God's wrath on the unsaved beginning of May 21, 2011 is without dilution. Exactly what is deserved is what they get, which the Bible reveals is death, for the wages of sin is death. Obviously though, it is not immediate physical death, but it is a spiritual death first wherein the unsaved are locked into having to eventually die because they can no longer be saved for life being that the door to heaven has been closed. Therefore, the unsaved will either die in the normal course of their lives, or they will die on the Last Day when they will all be annihilated forevermore. Either way, the unsaved have absolutely nothing to look forward to except death, so in principle, it is as if they have already died on May 21, 2011. They have drunk of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed undiluted
into the cup of his indignation, which is death. And there is a possibility - I said a possibility only - that this final death on the Last Day could come on
October 6 of 2015
But, now, we read, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. Does this mean that all the unsaved people will be literally tormented with a literal fire and brimstone? I think not! This is speaking about Judgment Day which began on May 21, 2011, and it was ever since then that the unsaved have been being tormented with fire and brimstone, but it is not a literal fire and brimstone by which they are being tormented, for the words fire and brimstone are merely words, which are symbolic of the spiritual judgment which has come upon all the unsaved ever since May 21, 2011. As we have learned, it is a spiritual judgment wherein the door to heaven has been closed so that no one can become saved any longer. And, the unsaved are being tormented by this because as they learn of this spiritual judgment having come upon them, they are tormented in mind. In other words, this whole declaration of the word of God bothers them. They don't like the whole idea that they cannot be saved; they do not like to hear the teaching that they will all soon be destroyed; simply put, they do not like the teachings of the word of God. The whole thing torments or bothers them in mind in the same way that the gospel tormented those on the earth during the church age. We read of this in Revelation 11:
Re 11:10 . . . these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth .
Notice that the two prophets which represent the word of God tormented them that dwelt on the earth. Now they didn't torment them because they physically tortured the people, but they tormented them in mind because the people that dwelt on the earth were bothered by the teachings of the word of God. This has always been the case: the people of the world do not like the teachings of the word of God; they are tormented by them, so what they try to do is create their own religions, philosophies, and beliefs in order to hide from the truth; in order to run from the pain of the truth. Indeed, they water down the truth in such a way that it no longer bothers them. Nevertheless, deep down the word of God still torments them, for as the scripture reads in Hebrews 4,
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart .
So the kind of torment that the unsaved people of the world are now enduring ever since May 21, 2011 is the torment of the Word of God. It bothers them that the Word of God says they can no longer be saved. It bothers them that the Word of God says that Judgment Day did begin on May 21, 2011. It bothers them that the Word of God teaches that this world and all the unsaved people in it will soon be destroyed; simply put, the Word of God bothers them; it torments them. And, in these days after May 21, 2011, the unsaved people of the earth are being tormented by the Word of God, which is the fire and brimstone that has come upon the whole earth. We read in Isaiah 30,
Isa 30:33 For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it .
Here we discover that the breath of the Lord is like a stream of brimstone. And, if the breath of the Lord is like a stream of brimstone, then so is the Word of God, for we read in 2Timothy 3,
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is [God-breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness .
So, if all scripture is God breathed, and the breath of the Lord is like a stream of brimstone and doth kindle it, then all scripture, the Word of God, is like a stream of brimstone and does start the fire. In other words, it is the Word of God that brings the fire and brimstone which torments the unsaved people of the world. This is what is happening in our day: the word of God has brought fire and brimstone upon the world because it declares that Judgment Day began on May 21, 2011 wherein the door to heaven has been closed, and this brings torment upon the unsaved people of the world.
Now before progressing further in Revelation 14, I want to bring up a passage which will prove that the fire and brimstone by which the unsaved of the world are being tormented is not a literal fire and brimstone. We read in Psalm 11,
Ps 11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup .
In this verse, notice that upon the wicked He shall rain not just fire and brimstone, but also snares. Now if we are to take the fire and brimstone as literally being rained upon the wicked, then we would have to take the snares as also being literally rained down upon the wicked. But that doesn't make sense, for does anyone actually think that God will rain down literal snares or traps from the sky upon the wicked in the Day of Judgment? Of course not! The snares are symbolic even as the fire and brimstone are symbolic. They are all symbolic of the judgment of God, and snares represent the trap that all the unsaved people were caught in when judgment came on May 21, 2011 as we read in Luke 21:
Lu 21:35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth .
Yes, the whole world was snared or caught in the trap of judgment day because they all thought that nothing happened on May 21, 2011, and when they thought that they were safe because nothing seemed to happen on May 21, 2011, they were actually all snared in the spiritual trap of Judgment Day. This is the spiritual trap which came upon this earth along with the fire and brimstone that God rained down upon all the unsaved. But it was not a literal fire and brimstone; nor was it literal snares that God rained down upon the unsaved. The snares simply symbolize the trap which the unsaved were unsuspectingly caught in on May 21, 2011, and the fire and brimstone represents the spiritual judgment which came upon the whole world through the proclamation of the Word of God, which has brought an end to salvation, and left all the unsaved to stumble in the darkness as they await their guaranteed fate, which is death.
Now, let's return to our verse to see something else about it. It reads,
"... and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb ."
Let's first of all consider the unsaved being in torment ever since May 21, 2011 with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels. If the phrase, holy angels is translated as holy messengers, then the holy angels could actually be referring to the elect since they are God's holy messengers. And, if this be so, which it is, then this is saying that while the unsaved are being tormented with spiritual fire and brimstone ever since May 21 2011, the elect are present. Now is not this the actual situation in which we find ourselves? The elect are still here on earth and watching the unsaved that are all under the spiritual judgment of God as symbolized by their being tormented with fire and brimstone. And, if the unsaved are under the wrath of God in the presence of the elect, then they are also in the presence of the Lamb (Christ), for Christ dwells in His elect, and so if the elect are present, then so also is Christ with them. So what we see in this verse is a description of what is happening to the unsaved ever since May 21, 2011 whiles the elect and Christ are present and look on. Indeed, the unsaved are being tormented of mind (bothered) in that the Word of God is saying to them such things as there is no longer any hope for salvation; that if you are still going to church, you are in trouble with God; that the end has come, and we are but a little moment from the complete destruction and annihilation of this entire world.
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name .
In this verse, we are first told, And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever. Actually, a more literal translation would read, And the smoke of their torment ascends up into the ages of ages. Now does this mean that the unsaved will be tormented for ever and ever without end? I think not! First of all, notice that it is the smoke of their torment that ascends up into the ages of the ages; it is not the actual torment that continues into the ages of the ages. And, since the smoke of their torment is simply a picture of the result of their being tormented even as the smoke from a fire is a result of the fire and not the actual fire itself, this is simply saying that the result of their torment, which is the smoke, ascends into the ages of the ages. But what is the result of the unsaved being tormented with fire and brimstone ever since May 21, 2011? Is it not death on the Last Day when every unsaved person will be destroyed and annihilated? Therefore, the smoke of their torment is representative of their death, and it is this death which ascends into the ages of the ages. This is just another way of saying that the death of the unsaved continues forever and ever. Never again will any unsaved person live, but once they are all destroyed on the Last Day, the smoke of their torment - their death - continues on into the ages of the ages; that is, their death is forevermore.
But, next, we read, and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Does this mean that the unsaved will be in such torment in hell that they have no rest day or not? Of course not! Remember, the context of this verse is in the Day of Judgment, and during this time ever since May 21, 2011, the unsaved have been being tormented (bothered) with the message of Judgment Day and that there is no more salvation. Indeed, they have been being tormented day and night. My point is that the unsaved have been being tormented day and night ever since May 21, 2011, but that doesn't mean that they will continue to be tormented into eternity because, first of all, they will all be destroyed and annihilated on the Last Day so that they won't exist any more to be tormented, and, second of all, even if they were alive into eternity, they couldn't possibly be being tormented into eternity because, in eternity, there won't be any day and night in which to be tormented. As we read in Genesis 8,
Ge 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease .
This verse says that as long as the earth remains, day and night shall not cease, but this also infers that when the earth does not remain, then day and night will cease. And, since this earth will be destroyed on the Last Day, we know that there will no longer by any day and night on into eternity. Therefore, it is not possible that the unsaved will be tormented day and night into eternity because when this world is destroyed, there will no longer be any day and night. In fact, we read that there will no longer by any night into eternity in Revelation 22:
Re 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever .
Now let's look more into the idea that they have no rest day or night. What does this mean? Upon first glance, one might think this means that the unsaved have no rest from their torment day and night; that is, that they have no place to sit or lay down in order to rest aside from their torment, or that the torment in their minds bothers them day and night so that they cannot rest. But this is not the main point of this verse. And, in order to understand the main point, we need to realize that to have rest in the Bible can mean much more than just being able to sit or lie down, or to relax the mind in rest. No, rather, it means to have rest in the salvation of Jesus Christ. For instance, we read in Hebrews 4,
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it .
3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world .
Here we are told that we which have believed do enter into rest, so to have this rest means to have rest in the salvation of Christ since it is through the faith of having believed, which is a gift of God, by which we are saved (Eph. 2:8, 9). Again, we read in Matthew 11,
Mt 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest .
Now Jesus did not say that He will give rest from just work and a heavy load, but the spiritual meaning here is to come unto Him, and He will give you rest in His salvation; He will free you from having to work for your salvation, for salvation is the gift of God, as well as free you from your heavy load of guilt due to your sins. Of course, people could only come to Him and be saved during the Day of Salvation before May 21, 2011, but you get my point: spiritually speaking, to rest means to rest in the salvation of Jesus Christ; to stop trying to earn salvation, which is impossible to do any way, but to rest in the works of Christ only, which He has done on behalf of all those whom He would ever save.
Now let's return to our verse, which says,
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name .
We already learned that the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever means that the result of their torment, which is death on the Last Day, goes on for ever and ever by complete annihilation, but now we know what it means that they have no rest day nor night as well: it means that all the unsaved have no salvation day or night ever since May 21, 2011, and will have no salvation day or night ever again. They may seek for salvation, and want salvation, but salvation will not be found, for they have no rest day or night. The unsaved will just continue to be tormented (bothered) by the teaching of the Word of God that salvation has ended, for Judgment Day has come, and there will never be hope for any one who was not saved before May 21, 2011 ever again; not any for the adult, the child, or even the baby. As we read in Isaiah 13,
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh [Judgment Day ever since May 21, 2011], cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it
10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine .
11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible .
12 I will make a man [Christ] more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir .
13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger .
14 And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land .
15 Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword .
16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished .
17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes [the elect] against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it .
18 Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children .
12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus .
Now, this is a strange verse. We are in the context of Judgment Day with all the unsaved being tormented by the Word of God, and salvation having come to an end when all of a sudden we are told, Here is the patience of the saints. What is the patience of the Saints? Well, it must be Judgment Day is the patience of the Saints. This means that the Saints - the elect - are still on earth during Judgment Day, and they are revealing their patience by being here.
It is not easy to be here during Judgment Day. First of all, we see our loved ones continue to go their own ways; they do not shine forth the fruits of the spirit; they do not recognize that it is Judgment Day. This causes us great pain to think and more realize that the ones we cherish and love are lost, and there is no further hope for them. We pray that they might have been saved before May 21, 2011, and that they will begin to show proof of conversion, but we see nothing change. This can bring a great deal of grief and sadness. What's more, there is a great gulf of separation between us and our unsaved loved ones so that we find less and less in common with them. It seems like our families have been ripped apart, and now we just want to get out of this world and be with the Lord, but it seems as though the Lord just keeps delaying. It seems like the Lord has made it miserable down here for us, and he isn't doing anything about it. We have to be more and more patient, and this is not easy. Then, we look around and we see sin everywhere, and just want to go home to heaven, especially when we see sin still working in our own bodies. O how we long to get rid of these sinful bodies and to be clothed with our new heavenly bodies, but here we remain, even in the Day of Judgment, and we have to be patient still. We thought that we would be going to heaven years ago, and never dreamed that we would have to remain on this earth during Judgment Day, but here we are, and we have to be patient still. O Lord, save us from our own weaknesses; help us not to be taken down by all the sin around us, by broken relationships and the diminished sense of family here on this earth, which earth has become hell for the billions, but they don't even know it. Indeed, Here is the patience of the Saints!
Now it is interesting that we find the almost identical statement, Here is the patience of the Saints, in Revelation 13 where we read,
Re 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints .
The main difference between the patience of the saints in this verse and the patience of the Saints in the verse we just went over is that this verse is in the context of the great tribulation from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011 while the other verse is in the context of Judgment Day from May 21, 2011 up to the end. In either case, both have to do with the patience of the elect during judgment whether it is the judgment upon the churches during the great tribulation, or whether it be judgment upon the entire world during Judgment Day. Obviously, both teach that the elect are present during great tribulation and judgment. O well, there goes the doctrine that the elect would be raptured before the great tribulation, and there goes the doctrine that the elect would be raptured out from Judgment Day. Both doctrines are wrong. But what we see is the great patience of the Saints to have had to still be present on earth during both of these tribulations and judgments: the judgment and tribulation which began with the churches on May 21, 1988, and then the same judgment and tribulation which transitioned to the whole world on May 21, 2011.
Now, moving on, after saying that Here is the patience of the Saints, we read, here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. This is basically saying the same thing as Here is the patience of the Saints. In other words, Here, in Judgment Day itself, are the elect, the ones who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Now they do not keep the commandments and the faith of Jesus perfectly while yet in their bodies, but they keep them perfectly in their souls. As we have said several times during our study of Revelation 14, the elect have perfect souls, and were given these souls when they were saved. And, when the elect are viewed from the perspective of their souls, it can be said that they keep the commandments of God perfectly because in their souls, they actually do. This is the point being made in this verse: the elect here are being viewed from the perspective of their new resurrected souls, and from this perspective, the elect are absolutely sinless, and they are keeping the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them .
In this verse, the apostle John says that [he] heard a voice from heaven saying unto [him], Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth. Now if this voice from heaven is the same voice from heaven that John heard in verse 2 where we read, And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, then we know that this voice from heaven is the very voice of God. The fact that there are other verses as well which reveal a voice from heaven as being that of God puts us on pretty firm ground as well to say that this voice from heaven, which John heard, is God Himself. For instance, we read in Revelation 18,
Re 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues .
Obviously the voice from heaven in this verse is God Himself because He is commanding His people to come out of Babylon. And, again, we can see that the voice from heaven in the following verses is God Himself as well:
Mt 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased .
Mr 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased .
Joh 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again .
So based on this evidence, the voice from heaven which John heard in our verse appears to be that of God Himself.
Now we read that God is saying unto John, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth. First of all, who are the dead? Let's look at a few verses to get the answer to this. First, Colossians 3:
Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God .
From this verse, we see that the dead are those who are saved since it is said to them that you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
And, again, we read in Romans 6,
For he that is dead is freed from sin
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him . . .
And we read in 2Timothy 2,
2Ti 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him . . .
Obviously, from these verses, the dead refers to those who are dead or saved in Christ, the elect.
Now returning to our verse:
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth . . .
Now that we know that the dead refers to the elect, our verse is saying, Write, Blessed are the elect which die in the Lord from henceforth. And, because the participle translated which die is in the present tense and active voice of the Greek, it carries the meaning of continuously dieing, and would best be translated, which are dieing in the Lord. Our verse, then, should read like this:
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the [elect] which are dieing in the Lord from henceforth . . .
The next thing we need to know is when is from henceforth referring to? Since the context of our verse is in the Day of Judgment, we know that from henceforth refers to Judgment Day ever since May 21, 2011. So our verse is revealing this:
13 And I heard a voice [God] from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the [elect] which are dieing in the Lord [ever since Judgment Day on May 21, 2011] . . .
This means that if you are one of the elect during this time of Judgment Day, and you have had to die more and more to yourself and this world due to the time of trial that the Lord has placed you in, God is saying that you are blessed. The word blessed can mean happy, so the Lord is saying that you are happy. And, why should you be happy or blessed at this time? Because you are about to see the consummation of all things; yes, you will most likely still be alive when the Lord returns to grant you your new sinless body, and to see the resurrection of the dead. You will be granted a place in the new heaven and earth that the Lord will create for you, and you will experience no more sadness, crying, or pain, and there will be no more death. Yes, you are blessed. Even though you are now dieing in Christ all the more, and this dieing brings pain and suffering, on the other hand, you are rejoicing because everything you long for in your new resurrected soul is about to be revealed. Yes, probably in your life time as the Lord wills, you are going to see it all. So, in one sense you are going through a most difficult trial as you are dieing in Christ, yet, in another sense, you are rejoicing with joy unspeakable at the realization that your trial will soon be over, and as we read in scripture,
Ro 8:18 . . . that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us .
Now let's look at our verse once again, but this time focusing in on the latter half. The verse reads,
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead [the elect] which are dieing in the Lord from henceforth [from Judgment Day ever since May 21, 2011]: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them .
So what we are being told here is that blessed or happy are the elect who are dieing in the Lord during the Day of Judgment in order that they may rest from their labors. The idea is that as we die in the Lord in recognizing that the world is under the judgment of God, and that the Day of Salvation has come to an end, we do so in order that we may rest from our labors of sending forth the gospel into the world, for if we would not die in the Lord to the fact that the gospel era is over, we would still be sending the gospel into the world, and we would not be able to rest from our labors. But, because we are dieing in the Lord, we are able to accept the fact that our works or labors of sending the gospel out into the world are over, and we can now rest from our labors ever since Judgment Day on May 21, 2011. This doesn't mean that we are doing no more works during this time of judgment, but we are not doing the works of sending forth the gospel of salvation because the gospel age has come to an end. Jesus said,
Joh 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work .
Now we are currently in this night-time of judgment when no man can work. The work that no man can work is the sending forth of the gospel of salvation. We can do other works such as the feeding of sheep, and the pronouncement that Babylon has fallen; that the judgment of God has come upon this world; in fact, we are commanded to do these things, and even to publish them (Jeremiah 50:2), but in so far as the sending forth of the gospel of salvation into the world, this has come to an end on May 21, 2011, and the elect are now resting from their labors. In fact, it can be shown that the elect have entered a Sabbath rest ever since May 21, 2011: we are no longer involved in the labor of spreading the gospel of salvation, and this has come about through our dieing in the Lord so that we might come to a deeper understanding of the Word of God that salvation did end, and that we may now rest from our labors of sending forth the gospel into the world.
Finally, we read, and their works do follow them. This refers to all the works that the elect did in sending forth the gospel into the world before Judgment Day on May 21, 2011. All these works follow them into Judgment Day in the sense that all who were saved as a result of their works do follow them as saved people into Judgment Day. Remember, there were likely millions of people saved during the Latter Rain, which began on September 7, 1994, and all these people follow the elect into the Day of Judgment ever since May 21, 2011 as a result of all the elect having sent the gospel to them in all the various ways that they did. And, now the elect are feeding all these elect who did follow them into Judgment Day until as the scripture says,
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive ;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ :
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love .
Now may the " LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."