Revelation 14 is a moment for zooming out before we zoom in again. John saw various angels calling and warning before the final vial judgements.
Chronologically, we are about midway through the seven years. It is the end of this parenthesis. It is a last call!
Revelation 14:1: “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”
We saw the same group of 144,000 in Revelation 7. They are the Jewish men who received a seal on their foreheads and went out to minister and evangelise during the tribulation period.
The beast of Revelation 13 did not defeat them. Not one is missing! God victoriously brought them through this troublesome time, so they stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb.
According to prophecy, Mount Zion is also where Jesus Christ will stand in victory at His second coming.
Zechariah 14:4: “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives.”
Joel 2:32 “….for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.”
Revelation 14:2: “And 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:
3 And 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.”
What John saw was on earth, but the sound of voices and harps was coming from above.
John also heard the “voice of many waters” in Revelation 1:15. It sounded like a waterfall. And, he listened to the “voice of loud thunder” before, in Revelation 4:5. Now, something else, he also hears the beautiful sound “of harpers harping their harps.”
The song is unique to the 144,000 because of their experiences on the earth. God raised and sealed them for an exceptional ministry. It is their ministry and their song only.
Revelation 14:4: “These 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 first fruits unto god and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
Dr Baruch Korman gives a credible explanation for the passage “not defiled with women.” It is speaking of idolatry. He says though John wrote in Greek, he had a Jewish mindset like all the other New Testament writers.”
God had called Israel an “adulterous wife” and a “prostitute” before when they looked at other gods.
Ezekiel 16:32: “You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband!
35…. you prostitute, hear the word of the Lord!”
They called on Christ, and other deities could not seduce them. They were blameless before the throne of God.
Jesus Christ was the first fruit, overcoming and raising from the grave. These young men were instrumental in bringing in many during the tribulation period to overcome and be saved.
Revelation 14:6: “And 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,
7 Saying 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.”
An angel flew through the air and preached in the last hour before the final seven plagues. He is preaching the “everlasting Gospel”, speaking of the one and only Gospel. See 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
Revelation 14:8: “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.”
John saw another angel. This one proclaimed the downfall of the fountainhead of false religions, historic Babylon. Here, the worship of the female deity, Semi-ramis, was born, an idolatry that deceived many through the centuries.
“Fornication” is idolatry; it refers to spiritual fornication and venerating other entities instead of God alone. Those who are led into idolatry will experience the wrath of a jealous God.
Satan was and is behind mystical Babylon. He always wanted the glory and worship that belongs to God only, even if he had to deceive people into it.
Revelation 14:9: “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 his hand.”
John saw a third angel. This one solemnly warned those who took the “mark of the beast” that they have no more hope of salvation. No one will casually or accidentally take the mark. It is a clear decision to reject God.
Revelation 14:10: “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.”
The Greek word “thymos” is used to describe the wrath of God, and it means “passionate anger.” Those who received the “mark of the beast” will experience the undiluted, full strength of God’s wrath.
Jesus took the cup of the Father’s wrath that we deserved at the cross. Those who reject Jesus Christ as their Savior will drink the cup of wrath themselves.
Revelation 4:11: “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.”
This verse is quite the description of hell for the reader. The suffering of hell is real torment and pain. And the consequences for sin are described ‘into the ages of ages.’ It is the most robust expression of eternity the Greek is capable of. Hell is forever, and there is no turning back.
Revelation 14:12: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep 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.”
The saints here refer to the Tribulation saints who came to believe in Jesus Christ after the rapture of the Church. See more of The Rapture.
We see a strong contrast between the rest and peace that will follow for the saints and the continual torment of the wicked.
Revelation 14:14: “And 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.
15 And 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.
16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.”
This “one” on the white cloud is Jesus Christ. He is ready to lay in with a sharp sickle to gather the harvest.
Bible scholars differ about the identity of the one doing the harvesting. Some argue it is an angel, and others it is Jesus.
Notably, in the Bible, a white cloud is associated with the Shekinah, the presence of the Lord. In Exodus 13, we read about the cloud that guided Israel through the desert. In Numbers 9, we read about the cloud that covered the Tabernacle. Finally, this cloud departs in Ezekiel 9-11.
The Greek word for “ripe” here refers to a stage of dryness or witherness, something over-ripe. God will not rush into judgment; He waited till it was overripe for judgment.
Revelation 14:17: “And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And 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.
19 And 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.
20 And 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.”
The parable of the wheat and the tares is that of a harvest separating believers from unbelievers. See Matthew 13.
This angel came to harvest for the wrath of God. It alludes to this angel acting in response to the prayers of the saints for divine judgment against the wicked.
Strong imagery describes ripe grapes releasing their juice, and similarly, the blood of the wicked will spurt out under God’s wrath. What strength have overly ripe grapes against the weight and power of a man when he comes to tread on it?
Jeremiah wrote a prophecy about this grape treading.
Jeremiah 25:30: “The LORD will roar from on high; he will thunder from his holy dwelling and roar mightily against his land. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, shout against all who live on the earth.“
SOURCES FROM THE WEB:
Missler, Chuck at koinonahouse.org
Korman, Baruch at loveisrael.org
Barnett, John at dtbm.org
Ice, Thomas at pre-trib.org
Breaker, Robert at thecloudchurch.org
De Young, Jimmy at sermonaudio.com
Johnson, Ken. Ancient Church Fathers.
Missler, Chuck. Daniel’s 70 Week’s: Profiles in Prophecy.
Hitchcock, Mark. 101 Answers to Questions About the Book of Revelation.
I’m Louise Krüger, an introvert who enjoys getting lost in deep things, and my go-to place for this is the Word of God. Am I a theologian? By no means, but I love to study and unearth truths with the help of the Holy Spirit and scholars who know more than me. And then to serve them in bite-size pieces for those who cannot study for hours. Faith in God is not blind; it is evidence-based. Dear online friend, I would love to inspire, encourage, and walk with you on this journey.