Revelation Chapter Fourteen
Author’s Introduction: Revelation chapter fourteen is the opposite discussion as that of Revelation Thirteen. In chapter thirteen we saw what those people looked like who were displaying what the image of the beast looked like. In Revelation chapter fourteen we will see what the people looked like who are displaying the image of God. This chapter also is a follow up chapter to chapter Seven of Revelation. With these thoughts in mind let us begin our study of Revelation chapter Fourteen.
1And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the
Author: We have seen in chapter 5 the Lamb is Jesus the Son of God, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, as well as the slain Lamb of God. Jesus is portrayed as standing on
In Daniel 9:16, 20 Daniel recognizes that
2And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
Author: God is speaking here and the harpers are speaking the truth about the things of God. (Psalm 71:22).
3And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
Author: This verse tells us that the experience, or the song, of the 144,000 is being sung before the throne, where the four beasts and the 24 elders are. This song is a testimony of the experience that the 144,000 must go through in order to become the 144,000. (See Exodus 15 as the son that was sung by
4These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Author: The 144,000 are declared to be not defiled with women. Many perceive this statement as that the 144,000 are celibate and are not married. This is an error. God is not afraid of sexuality when it is participated in as a gift of God through marriage. Jesus pronounced that the relationship between Adam and Eve was good. He designed sexuality and expected His people to participate in sexuality when done in His gift of marriage. God does not think sexuality is good when participated in outside of marriage. (Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”). So God is saying here that the 144,000 are not defiled by the errors, and sins of the false churches, those that contaminated Solomon in I Kings 11:1-11 and those who commit adultery with the great Whore, or her daughters, in Revelation 17:1-6.
God goes on to say that this group, the 144,000 (See Revelation 7 for more detail) follows the Lamb wherever He goes. This verse shows that this flock of sheep recognizes the voice of the Lamb and they are willing to obey by following His example. (Psalm 23; John 10:1-18; I John 2:1-6).
In addition the above God says that the 144,000 are redeemed from among men. This group is not some group that has not sinned, but this group was redeemed from sin and made right through the blood of the Lamb. These people are also the firstfruits of men, meaning that these are the testimony of Jesus of what He has been able to do to men and what these 144,000 are symbolizes what the rest of the harvest of mankind will be in heaven. (Deuteronomy 18:5; Romans 11:16).
5And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
Author: Another quality of the 144,000 is that there is no guile in their mouth. This means that that they tell the truth about Jesus in their testimony and in their lives. This quality was testified by Jesus about the Apostle Nathaniel when he first met Jesus. (John 1:45-51).
The second component of this verse is that God found no fault in this group before the throne of God. When the Investigative Judgment is complete God sees no fault in them for they are thoroughly covered in the righteousness of Jesus, and totally surrendered to Him. (Numbers 23:19-23; Zechariah 3:1-8; Matthew 22:1-14). This group of people is a testimony of what God can do to sinful humanity, through His power, love, and grace.
6And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Author: In this verse we find the first of three angels flying in the midst of heaven have a message of good news to give to the people on earth, to every nation, kindred tongue, and people. This message is to be given by people to people. The angel here is a symbol of God’s people giving a message soon after the message of the sixth trumpet of Revelation 11:14 and is found in the trumpet sounds of the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15. This message was also a part of the seven thunders of Revelation chapter ten. The primary part of this angel’s message was the everlasting gospel. The people of this angel’s message were to display the gospel of Jesus to all the world. They were to teach it to all the world and live it for all of the world. This message was proclaimed initially between 1840 and 1844 and will continue until probation closes, when Jesus finishes His intercessory ministry for fallen mankind.
These three angel’s messages were to produce the end product of the 144,000. The cleansing principles, applied to the heart of man would fulfill the issues of how one washes in the blood of the Lamb. He will wash in the Word of God which reveals the blood of the Lamb. Ephesians 5:26)
7Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
Author: This group of people was to explain what fearing God and giving glory to Him means. They were to show that God’s people sincerely respect God, are awed in His presence, and are willing to worship Him by obeying His commandments when He reveals them to them.
The people of God are to reveal the fact that Judgment arrived in October 22, 1844 when Jesus entered into the
8And there followed another angel, saying,
Author: The Second Angel begins to speak by telling us that
Wine is a symbol of the gospel of Jesus when it is in harmony with Jesus. (John 11:1-11). Wine is a symbol of the false doctrines that the false church
9And 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,
Author: God warns us in this chapter not to worship anything else but Him. God warns us not to worship the beast – the RCC, the image to the beast – apostate Protestantism, and do not receive the beast’s mark of authority in the thinking of the person or in the service of the person.
10The 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:
Author: God warns us that if we do worship the beast and its image, that we will drink, or partake of, the wrath of God which will be poured out in the seven last plagues and will be followed up with the lake of fire and brimstone spoken of in Revelation 20:10-15. The seven last plagues will take place just before the second coming of Jesus. Then after this death the wicked will be resurrected and then after judgment will burn up completely in the lake of fire after the Millennium.
11And 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.
Author: God alerts us that the wicked have no rest for they have not allowed Jesus to take care of their sins. (Isaiah 57:20-21 and Matthew 11:28-30. As a result of this rejection of the merits of Jesus they will face judgment without Jesus interceding for them. Then they will be cast into the lake of fire and the smoke, or testimony of their experience, similar to the smoke of the sufferings of Israel while in Egypt testified of their experience (Genesis 15:12-18; Exodus 19:18; Jeremiah 11:4).
This text does not say that the wicked will be granted eternal life in suffering. It simply states that the testimony of their suffering will last forever. The wicked, not being immortal (Romans 6:23) will die, while the righteous, being granted immortality, will live forever. The wicked are those who worship the beast, his image, and those who receive the mark of his name, or character.
12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Author: Verse 12 is the capstone of the discussion of Revelation Thirteen and Fourteen. This text is very similar to that of Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
Verse 12 states that God’s people will have victory over appetite for they have patience and patience comes after temperance in the description of Peter’s ladder in II Peter 1:1-6. God’s people will also keep all of God’s commandments of love. (Matthew 22:36-40). While practicing temperance and patience, and keeping God’s commandments, God’s people will continue to be Christ centered and will keep His faith in the power and love of His Father in heaven, as we keep trusting in the power and love of our Savior – Jesus. This is in marked contrast to the lack of patience in the world, their rebellion against God and His commandments, especially the Sabbath, and their total lack of trust in Jesus.
13And 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.
Author: This text refers us back to Daniel 12:2 and the special resurrection. This is also spoken of in Matthew 26:63-64; Revelation 1:7. Those who preach the messages of the Three Angels of Revelation 14 will be resurrected to hear the covenant of peace that God will speak just before His second coming. At the same time many of the wicked will be resurrected to see the second coming of Jesus just as He promised in Matthew 26:63-64. (The Great Controversy page 637). God’s people can rest in Jesus trusting that he will remember their labors and their works continue to testify of them just like the blood of Abel testified of his good works. (Hebrews 11:4).
14And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
Author: Since the time of Jesus standing up (Daniel 12:1) is the sign of the closing of probation, now this text says that the next great event is seeing Jesus come on a white cloud of angels. We know that the One seated on the cloud is Jesus for He is the Son of Man. (Matthew 13:37, 41; 16:28; 18:11; 19:28). On His head is a golden crown showing that He is King and in His hand He has a sickle, to reap the harvest He has come to get – His people.
15And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
Author: An angel comes from the temple to proclaim that the time has come to reap the harvest of the earth for it is ripe and fully ready harvest, for the 144,000, being the first fruits of the harvest, indicate that the harvest is fully ripe and ready to be brought home. (Revelation 14:4).
16And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
Author: Jesus, sitting on the cloud, reaps the harvest of the righteous.
17And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
Author: In this verse another angel comes out of the temple in heaven, and he also has a sharp sickle.
18And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
Author: This angel, coming out of the temple and from before the altar, which has power over the fires of judgment, and he tells the other angels to harvest the clusters of the vine from earth for her grapes are fully ripe. This is a symbolic statement of the harvest of earth is ripe for judgment not for salvation. This is also referring us to Joel 3:1-15 and Isaiah 63:1-6. This is a time of judgment and the wicked will be slain because they have been judged unworthy of salvation.
19And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
Author: The great winepress here is the earth and they will suffer the judgments of God upon them which are the seven last plagues. They will be judged as
20And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
Author: This text testifies to the death of all the wicked through the plagues, the hail, the earthquake of Revelation 16 and the brightness of the coming of the Lord Jesus. (II Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 6:15-17).
God will judge righteously and His people He will save, and those who have rebelled against Him will be lost. All will testify that God is righteous.