Revelation 14 repeats a vision of a 144,000 people with the name of God on their foreheads. These represent God’s international and perfected people. We are told they were “purchased” and presented as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. (Revelation 14:4) Of course it was this same Lamb that purchased them through His blood for Himself. At the end of Revelation 14, we read of another vision of Jesus as the One like a son of man sitting on a cloud using a sickle to harvest the earth. Jesus is likely harvesting believers already mentioned as firstfruits. Immediately after Christ gathers His own for rescue, an angel harvests another group of people to be tread on through the great winepress of God’s fury. This is a graphic picture of God’s judgement. For blood will be spilled by God like juice from a squashed grape. This same revelation also hearkens back to Jesus’ parable that is so called the “parable of the weeds” (Matthew 13:24-30) where the righteous and unrighteous grow up together, only until Jesus will judge the wicked. At Christmas these images of judgement seem grim and maybe even to many unfair. Without a doubt it doesn’t give a case of the jolly Ho-Ho-Ho’s. For a multitude are given eternal life while another multitude are so harshly punished and eternally condemned. Why should God punish anyone in this fashion? Consider, on this December 25th just one example from the first Christmas story. In the Gospel of Matthew we learn that Jesus and all the little boys of Bethlehem under two, who hadn’t had a lifetime of accumulated evils, were targets of a mass murder. They, like millions of other children were in the crosshairs of a madman or unprotected by the apathetic. Such is the world in which we live, where the most endangered people are often under the age of two. Since this is true, let me suggest to you that a vision of Christ rescuing anyone at all from this “world of devils filled” is a great grace. It certainly is kind and we ought be glad anyone escapes true justice. Oh, and Merry Christmas!