Revelation 14

The Lamb and the 144,000

1 Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
2 And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.
3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.
5 No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.

The Three Angels

6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.
7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
8 A second angel followed and said, “ ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’[a] which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”
9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand,
10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.
11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”
12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

Harvesting the Earth and Trampling the Winepress

14 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man[b] with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
17 Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle.
18 Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.”
19 The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath.
20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.[c]

Revelation 14 Commentary

Chapter 14

Those faithful to Christ celebrate the praises of God. (1-5) Three angels; one proclaiming the everlasting gospel; another, the downfal of Babylon; and a third, the dreadful wrath of God on the worshippers of the beast. The blessedness of those who die in the Lord. (6-13) A vision of Christ with a sickle, and of a harvest ripe for cutting down. (14-16) The emblem of a vintage fully ripe, trodden in the wine-press of God's wrath. (17-20)

Verses 1-5 Mount Sion is the gospel church. Christ is with his church, and in the midst of her in all her troubles, therefore she is not consumed. His presence secures perseverance. His people appear honourably. They have the name of God written in their foreheads; they make a bold and open profession of their faith in God and Christ, and this is followed by suitable actings. There were persons in the darkest times, who ventured and laid down their lives for the worship and truth of the gospel of Christ. They kept themselves clean from the wicked abominations of the followers of antichrist. Their hearts were right with God; and they were freely pardoned in Christ; he is glorified in them, and they in him. May it be our prayer, our endeavour, our ambition, to be found in this honourable company. Those who are really sanctified and justified are meant here, for no hypocrite, however plausible, can be accounted to be without fault before God.

Verses 6-13 The progress of the Reformation appears to be here set forth. The four proclamations are plain in their meaning; that all Christians may be encouraged, in the time of trial, to be faithful to their Lord. The gospel is the great means whereby men are brought to fear God, and to give glory to him. The preaching of the everlasting gospel shakes the foundations of antichrist in the world, and hastens its downfal. If any persist in being subject to the beast, and in promoting his cause, they must expect to be for ever miserable in soul and body. The believer is to venture or suffer any thing in obeying the commandments of God, and professing the faith of Jesus. May God bestow this patience upon us. Observe the description of those that are and shall be blessed: such as die in the Lord; die in the cause of Christ, in a state of union with Christ; such as are found in Christ when death comes. They rest from all sin, temptation, sorrow, and persecution; for there the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest. Their works follow them: do not go before as their title, or purchase, but follow them as proofs of their having lived and died in the Lord: the remembrance of them will be pleasant, and the reward far above all their services and sufferings. This is made sure by the testimony of the Spirit, witnessing with their spirits, and the written word.

Verses 14-20 Warnings and judgments not having produced reformation, the sins of the nations are filled up, and they become ripe for judgments, represented by a harvest, an emblem which is used to signify the gathering of the righteous, when ripe for heaven, by the mercy of God. The harvest time is when the corn is ripe; when the believers are ripe for heaven, then the wheat of the earth shall be gathered into Christ's garner. And by a vintage. The enemies of Christ and his church are not destroyed, till by their sin they are ripe for ruin, and then he will spare them no longer. The wine-press is the wrath of God, some terrible calamity, probably the sword, shedding the blood of the wicked. The patience of God towards sinners, is the greatest miracle in the world; but, though lasting, it will not be everlasting; and ripeness in sin is a sure proof of judgment at hand.

Cross References 55

  • 1. S Revelation 5:6
  • 2. Psalms 2:6; Hebrews 12:22
  • 3. ver 3; Revelation 7:4
  • 4. Revelation 3:12; Revelation 22:4
  • 5. S Revelation 7:3
  • 6. S Revelation 1:15
  • 7. Revelation 6:1
  • 8. Revelation 5:8; Revelation 15:2
  • 9. S Revelation 5:9
  • 10. S Revelation 4:6
  • 11. S Revelation 4:4
  • 12. ver 1
  • 13. 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 3:4
  • 14. Revelation 7:17
  • 15. Revelation 5:9
  • 16. Jeremiah 2:3; James 1:18
  • 17. Psalms 32:2; Zephaniah 3:13; John 1:47; 1 Peter 2:22
  • 18. Ephesians 5:27
  • 19. Revelation 8:13; Revelation 19:17
  • 20. S Revelation 3:10
  • 21. S Revelation 13:7
  • 22. Psalms 34:9; Revelation 15:4
  • 23. S Revelation 11:13
  • 24. S Revelation 10:6
  • 25. Revelation 8:10; Revelation 16:4
  • 26. Isaiah 21:9; Jeremiah 51:8; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 18:2,10
  • 27. Revelation 17:2,4; Revelation 18:3,9
  • 28. S Revelation 13:12
  • 29. Revelation 13:14
  • 30. S Revelation 13:16
  • 31. Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15
  • 32. Jeremiah 51:7; Revelation 18:6
  • 33. S Revelation 9:17
  • 34. Isaiah 34:10; Revelation 19:3
  • 35. Revelation 4:8
  • 36. ver 9; S Revelation 13:12
  • 37. Revelation 13:17
  • 38. S Hebrews 6:12
  • 39. Revelation 13:10
  • 40. S John 14:15
  • 41. 1 Corinthians 15:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:16
  • 42. Revelation 2:7; Revelation 22:17
  • 43. Matthew 17:5
  • 44. Daniel 7:13; S Revelation 1:13
  • 45. S Revelation 6:2
  • 46. ver 17; Revelation 11:19
  • 47. ver 18; Joel 3:13; Mark 4:29
  • 48. Jeremiah 51:33
  • 49. S ver 15
  • 50. Revelation 6:9; Revelation 8:5; Revelation 16:7
  • 51. S ver 15
  • 52. Revelation 19:15
  • 53. ver 19; Isaiah 63:3; Joel 3:13; Revelation 19:15
  • 54. Hebrews 13:12; Revelation 11:8
  • 55. Genesis 49:11; Deuteronomy 32:14

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Isaiah 21:9
  • [b]. See Daniel 7:13.
  • [c]. That is, about 180 miles or about 300 kilometers

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO REVALATION 14

This chapter contains three visions; one of the Lamb on Mount Zion, another of the three angels preaching against Babylon, and the third of the harvest and vintage. The vision of the Lamb is in Re 14:1, which is no other than Christ, described by his similitude, as a Lamb; by the place where he was, Mount Zion; by his position there, standing, and by the company that were with him, whose number were 144,000, and their character, his Father's name written on their foreheads; at the same time a voice was heard from heaven, comparable to the sound of many waters, of thunders, and of harps: and a song sung which none learn but the above number with the Lamb, Re 14:2,3, who are described by their purity, chastity, and strict adherence to Christ; by their redemption through him; by their being the firstfruits of God and of the Lamb, and by their integrity and unblemished character, Re 14:4,5; next follows the account of the three angels; the first comes with the everlasting Gospel, to preach it to all men, loudly calling upon all to fear and worship God, and give glory to him, since he is the Creator of all, and the hour of his judgment is come, Re 14:6,7; the second proclaims the fall of Babylon, with the reason of it, Re 14:8; and the third denounces the wrath of God upon the worshippers of the beast in the most public manner, and that for ever, Re 14:9-11; and this vision is closed with some expressions, showing that, till this was done, the patience of the saints would be tried, and the true worshippers of the Lamb be discovered, and comforting them with an assurance of that rest that remains after death for the faithful followers of Christ, Re 14:12,13; after this is the vision of the harvest and vintage of the earth. The reaper is described by his form, like the son of man; by his seat, a white cloud; by a golden crown on his head, and by a sharp sickle in his hand, Re 14:14; who is called upon by an angel out of the temple to make use of his sickle, and reap, because the time of reaping was come, the harvest being ripe, Re 14:15, upon which he thrusts in his sickle, and reaps the earth, Re 14:16; after this, another angel appears out of the temple, with a sharp sickle, to whom another angel from the altar, that had power over fire, calls to make use of his sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine, since the grapes were fully ripe, Re 14:17,18; upon which he thrusts in his sickle, and gathers them, and casts them into the winepress of divine wrath, which being trodden, blood comes out of it to the horses' bridles for the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs, Re 14:19,20.

Revelation 14 Commentaries

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