The 144,000, the Fall of Babylon: The Reaping of the Earth and the Grapes of Wrath.
We are re-introduced to the 144,000 now standing with the Lamb upon Mt. Zion (in Jerusalem?). As is noted by most commentators, there is no reason to believe these are not the same as those introduced to the reader in chapter 7. We note the seal these wear on their forehead is now told us as being, “…his Father’s name written on their foreheads.” Do we need to be reminded not to take this literally? The defilement mentioned is a spiritual defilement, and should not to be taken literally either, as it is only symbolic of that, or leads to that etc. etc.
It is obvious the visions now are concerning the period before the tribulations to come, due to the considerations about the 144,000. Note the admonition in verse 7, which is like the earlier admonitions of the book.
“Babylon is fallen.” Most commentaries identify “Babylon” as Rome (which they also identify with the harlot of c.17). We note that there is no case for the symbol of the harlot and of Babylon to be identifying different entities as chapter 17:5 lays that soundly to rest. Question: How many cities can you name that were built upon or surrounded by “seven hills,” mountains or mounts? Although there are several worldwide – one comes readily into mind. Take your time. Could it be Rome? This is followed by another description of the time of the meting out of the judgment of God (v. 14-20). We note this judgment is directed toward the ungodly, and the only ungodly under discussion are those who serve the beast and who wear the mark of the beast.
The narrative is at the point of beginning to comment upon or reveal the coming purpose of God and then also to expound upon what is already known offering more detail. Other parallel events and different viewpoints in descriptions of events are also included. In this case the signs are given which point to the impending judgment of God— reaping the earth’s harvest with a golden sickle, and tramping out the grapes in the “…great winepress of the wrath of God.”
The harvest of the earth is souls. Does a harvest like this and the “tramping out… on the great winepress of the wrath of God” sound good to you?