Revelation 14

 
A Sevenfold Vision of God’s Intervention
Revelation 14
 
Revelation 14. In ch. 12 we saw Satan’s purpose was to destroy faith from the earth (Luke 18:8). In ch. 13 we saw the two human instruments that Satan will raise up to accomplish that purpose; i.e. the beast and antichrist. But in ch. 14 we see God’s intervention in the progress of evil.
 
 

(#1) The Jewish Remnant Preserved (14:1-5)

CHAPTER 14
And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing upon mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his name and the name of his Father written upon their foreheads. v.1 Preserved: on Earth. Note that vv.1-5 are an anticipatory vision, looking on to the end. The Lamb is seen standing on Mt. Zion symbolically, not literally. His literal coming is in v.14. Zion speaks of God’s movements toward the city in grace (e.g. Ps. 48:2). The 144,000 are “with Him” in the sense of identification. Although it may be difficult at first to see why, this 144,000 is not the same as in Rev. 7. The reason is that these 144,000 are connected with those who have already died, which are from the Jewish remnant; i.e. 144,000 from the tribe of Judah only, whereas in ch.7 there were 12,000 from the tribe of Judah. The numeral 144,000 (administrative perfection) is used because these form the nucleus of the nation in the Millennium. Like the woman at the well, the Jewish remnant will come to the realization that Jesus is Messiah, but this will likely occur in steps. Some more intelligent (the Maskilim) will have an advanced knowledge. The “name in their foreheads” is in contrast with the mark of the beast. The western earth will become divided into two companies: followers of the Beast, and followers of the Lamb. They are seen on the other side of the fire trial (Zech. 13:8, 9). It is the name of “His Father” instead of “their Father” because these are not Christians, but believing Jews. They do not know the privilege of crying Abba Father.
 
2 And I heard a voice out of the heaven as a voice of many waters, and as a voice of great thunder. And the voice which I heard was as of harp-singers harping with their harps; 3 and they sing a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one could learn that song save the hundred and forty-four thousand who were bought from the earth. vv.2-3 Martyred: in Heaven. This is a DIFFERENT company from v.1. Those on earth are “listening in” to the praises of those who have already been martyred and are in heaven (same group as Rev. 15:2), because they are passing through the same Persecution. Harps have to do with a state of worship (Psa. 43:4). The theme of the new song is redemption (Rev. 5:9). The martyred remnant teaches the preserved remnant. This verse shows that only the redeemed can sing of redemption. Not “a new song” but “as a new song” – it is not exactly the same heavenly redemption as in ch.5. Here emphasis is on practical Redemption from the evil world.
 
4 These are they who have not been defiled with women, for they are virgins: these are they who follow the Lamb wheresoever it goes. These have been bought from men as first-fruits to God and to the Lamb: 5 and in their mouths was no lie found; for they are blameless. vv.4-5 Preserved: on Earth. They were preserved from the corruptions that surrounded them; moral and spiritual (worship of the beast). Perhaps not literal because some of them may be married. They are attached to Him… a result produced by wooing and weening (process traced in the Song of Solomon). These are first-fruits – a sample of the Lord’s earthly people in the millennium! A devoted, undefiled, but yet earthly people – in fellowship with heaven – as a testimony for Jehovah. It would seem that v.5 has to do with not believing and spreading the lie of the Antichrist. “Without fault, blameless” – same as Heb. 9:14 and 1 Peter 1:19.
 

(#2) The Everlasting Gospel is Preached (14:6-7)

¶ 6 And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having the everlasting glad tidings to announce to those settled on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people, v.6-7 “Those settled on the earth” are not earth-dwellers… it speaks of men everywhere. The everlasting Gospel doesn’t speak of redemption, but it testifies to the majesty of God as a creator. See Psa. 19:1-3, Psa. 96, Rom. 1:19-20. The word of God is required for new birth… but not necessarily the WRITTEN word; it may be through theophenies (like cornelius, Acts 10:3, or this angel, Rev. 14:6), or possibly even the witness of creation. the everlasting gospel is in Gen. 3:15 – the promised seed will some day intervene in judgement. Noah and enoch preached it as well. the scope is very broad (see acts 10:34-35).
 
7 saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and do homage to him who has made the heaven and the earth and the sea and fountains of waters. v.7 The “him” is in contrast with the beast. There are three gospels in scripture:
  1. The Everlasting gospel – of coming judgement based on god’s power as creator. god will at last intervene to deliver a world fallen by sin into satan’s hands. dEMANS THAT MEN RECOGNIZE AND GLORIFY gOD AS CREATOR.
  2. The Kingdom Gospel – based on Christ’s glory as king… repent because the Messiah is coming to set up his kingdom, everyone get ready.
  3. the Christian gospel – based on THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF cHIRST, AND God’s heart of love… brings you into relationship with God as Father. pRESENTS THE GLORIOUS PERSON OF cHRIST AS THE OBJECT FOR FAITH.

(#3) The Fall of Religious Babylon (14:8)

¶ 8 And another, a second, angel followed, saying, Great Babylon has fallen, has fallen, which of the wine of the fury of her fornication has made all nations drink. v.8 The false church – religious Babylon – is judged (falls, loses control) in the middle of the week by the beast (Rev. 17:15-18). political babylon continues to the end of the week (Rev. 16:15-21, rev. 18:21-24) This verse Shows that the fall of religious Babylon precedes the three and a half years of beast worship. “the wine of the fury of her fornication” – see Rev. 17:2 and Rev. 18:3. The kings and merchants are unaware that they have drunk a fatal dose, and will perish with final babylon at the appearing, see notes on Rev. 19:19.
 

(#4) Final Warning for the Followers of the Beast (14:9-12)

¶ 9 And another, a third, angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any one do homage to the beast and its image, and receive a mark upon his forehead or upon his hand, V.9-10 The end of the path for those who follow and worship the beast is eternal punishment in the lake of fire.
 
10a he also shall drink of the wine of the fury of God prepared unmixed in the cup of his wrath, v.10a There are no palliative ingredients (Ps. 75:8); it will be direct from God. The greatest judgement God has is for those who have had the greatest light.
 
10b and he shall be tormented in fire and brimstone before the holy angels and before the Lamb. v.10b Terrible punishment that is unmistakably individual. “Before the Lamb” as a judge witnessing an execution.
 
11a And the smoke of their torment goes up to ages of ages, V.11a the “ages of ages” refers to a future eternity. while the torment will never end, will the smoke stop be allowed to cloud the air of the new creation (eternal state)? It says “to it”, not “into it”.
 
11b and they have no respite day and night who do homage to the beast and to its image, and if any one receive the mark of its name. v.11b There will be no cessation, no alleviation. See Mark 9:44.
 
12 Here is the endurance of the saints, who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. v.12 A word to the remnant, hang on. Better to be killed by the Beast than to be tormented with the Beast. Things will be set right. See also Rev. 13:10.
 

(#5) Tribulation Martyrs About to be Raised (14:13)

¶ 13 And I heard a voice out of the heaven saying, Write, Blessed the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; for their works follow with them. v.13 Kelly says it means: (1) from this time nobody that belongs to the Lord is going to die and (2) all those who have died in the Lord are about to be blessed; i.e. in the first resurrection. (Comma before “from”… it could read “blessed from henceforth are…”).
 

(#6) The Harvest, or Discriminate, Judgment (14:14-16)

The Harvest & Vintage are "the judgment of the quick" (Acts 10:42; 2 Tim. 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5) or living, which is when the Lord will deal with the living persons on earth, at the START of the Millennium. The judgment of the quick also includes the sessional judgment (Matt. 25:31-46). It is in contrast to the "judgment of the dead" which occurs at the END of the Millennium (Rev. 20: 11-15), when those who have died without faith will be raised to stand before the great white throne, and then be cast into the lake of fire (read more...). Two great differences between the harvest and vintage are: (1) the harvest is discriminating while the vintage is indiscriminate, and (2) the harvest immediately follows the appearing while the vintage takes place after Israel is restored in their land.
 

The Harvest Judgment (Rev. 14:14-16; Isaiah 21 – 24). At the time of the appearing, the angels will go forth over the Beast's empire and “reap” those who have refused the gospel of the kingdom. This is called the harvest judgment. The Harvest Judgment is a discriminating judgment, pictured in Matt. 13 by the harvestmen removing the tares from the field.

 

The Lord will send out His angels into “the whole world” to cleanse “the kingdom of the Son of man”, which is the prophetic earth (Matt. 13:37-42). It is discriminating because only the impostors (who have made a false profession of Christianity) will be taken by the angels. Those taken will be cast directly into the lake of fire. The Lord was marked out as the One who would baptize with fire (Matt. 3:11). This is what Christ as the "Son of man sitting on the cloud" will do with the Christian testimony at the harvest judgment. The harvest judgment will take place between the appearing of Christ and 1290 days measured from the middle of Daniel’s seventieth week. It will only involve the prophetic earth (Israel and Europe). If it was the entire world then Gog and Magog wouldn’t be able to come down against them after the harvest.

read more…
 
¶ 14 And I saw, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud one sitting like the Son of man, having upon his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. v.14 “a white cloud” – the presence of the Lord in judicial purity. Son of man is the Lord’s title upon rejection Dan. 7:13, John 5:27. The man child caught up in ch.12 now returns in judgment. “on the clouds” (Matt. 24:30) a publicly display. the “coming of the son of man” always is the appearing. “a golden crown” – His royal dignity and also of the glory of His divine righteousness. “a sharp sickle” – showing that judgment is the purpose of His coming.
 
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Send thy sickle and reap; for the hour of reaping is come, for the harvest of the earth is dried. v.15 As with the vintage judgement (v.18), an angelic messenger is the trigger. Here, out of the temple (direct presence of God), showing that this judgment is required because of a direct insult to His name. see jer. 7:14. The harvest is a discriminating judgment (winnowing)… separating, taking the wicked and leaving the just, Matt. 24:38-43. A reference to the Parable of the TARES…. v.16 is the completion of the age. The vintage judgment is indiscriminate.
 
16 And he that sat on the cloud put his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. V.16 The Lord will do this by sending out his holy angels, Matt. 13:41. These ones “taken” will be cast into the “furnace” Lake of fire.
 

(#7) The Vintage, or Indiscriminate, Judgment (14:17-20)

¶ 17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in the heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. v.17 This angel also is the Lord Jesus, who will tread the wine-press alone (Isa. 63:1-6). Perhaps an angel because this is something the lord does personally… so he appears as a warrior angel. The “temple” because this judgment arises from the glory of God’s presence.
 
18 And another angel came out of the altar, having power over fire, and called with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Send thy sharp sickle, and gather the bunches of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripened. v.18 This is the brazen altar, speaks of judgment against sin. The wine-press is the unmingled fury of God. “power over fire” – an executer of His Judgment. The vine of the earth – in contrast with “the true vine”, this is apostate religion (the corruption of what should have been fruit-bearing). CH.12-14 are looking at the judgment of Israel so the vine is specifically apostate Isreal, the “rebels” are all that are left. Fully ripened… ready for judgment. Apostate israel at the center, but gentiles mixed in (not mentioned here).
  1. gather the vine: speaks of the return of the ten tiribes (Dan. 12:1-2)
  2. cast it into the winepress – rebels of the ten tribes get sifted at border
  3. tread the winepress – actual judgment by the Lord personally
19 And the angel put his sickle to the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast the bunches into the great wine-press of the fury of God; 20 and the wine-press was trodden without the city, and blood went out of the wine-press to the bits of the horses for a thousand six hundred stadia. vv.19-20 

The Vintage (Winepress) Judgment (Rev. 14:17-20; Isaiah 26:20 - 27:5; Isaiah 63:1-6) will take place at 1335 days measured from the middle of Daniel's seventieth week. Those destroyed are Russia (Ezek. 38-39), many confederate nations (Micah 4:11-12, Joel 3:2), and the rebels of the ten tribes (Ezek. 20:35-38). The winepress judgment is referred to as “Jehovah’s sacrifice in Bozrah and slaughter in Edom” because Bozrah was the capital of Edom (Isa. 34:2-6). The nations will come up in vast hordes, Russia in the lead, coming up “like a cloud to cover the land.” The land of Edom is where the proud (Zeph. 3:11) and the rebellious (Ezek. 20:38) of the ten tribes will be trapped, at the “border” (Ezek. 11:10). The Lord will personally “plead” with them “face to face” (Ezek. 20:35)… but they will be “stubborn and rebellious” (Deut. 21:18-23). The border land to the south of Israel (Edom) is referred to as the Lord’s “threshing floor” (Micah 4:11-12). There the Lord will “sift” the ten tribes “like as corn is sifted in a sieve” (Amos 9:9-10). Ninety percent of the returning ten tribes will be destroyed (Isa. 6:13). “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion” (Joel 3:16) and destroy Russia specifically “upon the mountains of Israel” (Ezek. 39:2). The “valley of Jehoshaphat” (Joel 3:1, 12-13), also called “without the city” (Rev. 14:20), is where the winepress begins. It continues 1600 stadia (or 200 miles), which is approximately the distance from the valley of Jehoshaphat to the south of Edom. The "vine of the earth", who are the rebels of the ten tribes, will be caught up in the vortex of judgment. The carnage will be so tremendous that the blood will run out "to the horses bits". Horses speak of human agencies, all are in vain against the Lord. As He stamps personally upon His enemies, it will be His "fury", not His love, that will sustain Him (Isa. 63:1-6) while "He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (Rev. 19:15).

read more…