The accomplishment of the Harvest and the Vintage [Rev. Rev. 14:14-20+] brings to the end of this present world. The next in succession would be the setting up of the eternal Kingdom, and the evolution of the new heavens and earth. But the Harvest and the Vintage do not adequately set forth all that we need to know about these closing scenes. Further particulars included in this momentous period require to be shown in order to complete the picture. The fate of the internal Trinity,the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet,and what pertains to them, is to be more fully described before we come to the Millennium, the descent of the new Jerusalem, and the planting of Gods Tabernacle with men.1another sign in heaven, great
On the conclusion of the Vials, the wrath of the Lamb, even more terrible than the wrath of God, is openly expressed on the subjects of vengeance. Commission to act is given to Christ as soon as the ministration of the Vials ends. The secret, providential dealings of God are brought to an end with the Vials or Bowls of wrath, after which the Lamb in Person publicly assumes the government of the world. But as the nations at His Coming are in armed rebellionapostate and wicked, moreover, beyond all human conceptionthe wrath of the Lamb burns in its fierceness. The wrath of God is finished in the Vials, to be succeeded by the wrath of the Lamb.5Many years previously, an angel replied to the question of how long the final period would be: It shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people [Israel] is completely shattered, all these things shall be finished (Dan. Dan. 12:6). These plagues will complete the last half of the Tribulation. See Events of the 70th Week of Daniel. Preterist interpreters deny the finality of these judgments because they must find their fulfillment in the events of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70:
There is no reason to assume that these must be the last plagues in an ultimate, absolute, and universal sense; rather, in terms of the specifically limited purpose and scope of the Book of Revelation, they comprise the final outpouring of Gods wrath, His great cosmic Judgment against Jerusalem, abolishing the Old Covenant world-order once and for all.6How the final pouring forth of His wrath to the point of completion can be said to be obtained in a great cosmic Judgment against Jerusalem, which in fact was a relatively minor battle on the scale of global history is impossible to see. Much of the world had no notion of the overthrow of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. As significant an event as it was from the perspective of the Jews then living in Jerusalem, we dare not venture with Chilton in a vain attempt to find the events described here, the final outpouring of Gods wrath upon the earth dwellers, in such a relatively minor historical event! This is the same error as is made by the historicist interpreters:
Yet some gravely tell us that the first bowl is the French Revolution; the second bowl, the naval wars of that Revolution; the third bowl, the battles of Napoleon in Italy; the fourth bowl, the tyranny and military oppression of Napoleon; the fifth bowl, the calamities which befell the city of Rome and the Pope in consequence of the French Revolution; the sixth bowl, the wane of the Turkish power, the return of the Jews to Palestine, and the subtle influences of infidelity, Popery and Puseyism; and the seventh, some further war with Romanism and disaster to the city of Rome. But can it be possible that God Almighty from His everlasting seat, the temple in heaven, all angels and holy ones on high, should thus be in new and unexampled commotion, with the mightiest of all celestial demonstrations, over nothing but a few occurrences far less in meaning or moment than many others in other ages! According to such interpretation mankind have been living for the last 100 years amid the extreme terrors of the great and terrible day of the Lord without ever knowing it! yea, dreaming the while that we are happily gliding into the era of universal liberty and peace!7
1 J. A. Seiss, The Apocalypse: Lectures on the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1966), 367.
7 Seiss, The Apocalypse: Lectures on the Book of Revelation, 370-371.