The division of the 14th chapter is as follows and must be understood to be parenthetical. John is allowed to see a scene unfolding in Heaven while other events chronologically take place on earth. The book is divided into seven segments:
1. The Man Child, or 144,000, in Heaven Before God – Revelation 14:1-5
2. The First Angel Preaches the Gospel – Revelation 14:6-7
3. The Second Angel Preaches the Fall of Babylon – Revelation 14:8
4. The Third Angel Preaches the Doom of the Beast Worshipers – Revelation 14:9-11
5. The Blessed Dead Who Die at the Hands of the Antichrist – Revelation 14:12-13
6. The Harvest Armageddon – Revelation 14:14-16
7. The Vintage Armageddon – Revelation 14:17-20
The Man Child, or the 144,00 in Heaven Before God – Revelation 14:1-5
Throughout the book of Revelation, the Holy Spirit refers to the Son of God as “The Lamb.” He does this for a reason. He wants us to never forget that Christ redeemed us from sin and shame. We could not have been redeemed if not for His great sacrifice. He wants us to understand that our redemption was purchased by what the world would perceive as weakness, but in reality, was strength. Here is the secret of the Christian message. What the world perceives as weak is strong in God’s eyes, and what the world sees as strong is weak in His eyes. The humble Christian is considered weak by the world, but God sees him as durable and solid. He truly takes the weak things of this world to confound the mighty (1 Corinthians 1:27).
Christ became The Lamb which was the antitype of millions of lambs slaughtered as sacrifices in the 1,600 years of the Mosaic law. Hence, John said “…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
The Mount Zion spoken of here is the Heavenly Mount Zion. Earthly Mount Zion (in Jerusalem) is not mentioned in the book of Revelation. So, we have The Lamb (The Lord Jesus Christ) standing on the Heavenly Mount Zion and with him, the 144,000 which were sealed in Revelation chapter 7.
These 144,000 (Jews) were caught up to Heaven (raptured) as the man child (Revelation 12:5). Now, they are in Heaven singing and playing harps before the throne of God. They are in the company of the four living creatures, the 24 elders, as well as a host of angels. They have been redeemed from the earth. They are the firstfruits of Israel to God after the Rapture of the Church. The Father’s Name is written in their foreheads is the seal of the Living God (Revelation 7:1-3). These 144,000 are standing before the throne of God singing and accompanying themselves with harps. The sound is compared to many waters and great thunder. This song is reserved for the 144,000, and it seems that no one else in Heaven will be able to join in this particular worship and praise to The Lord.
The 4th verse tells us that all of these are virgins. This statement is not referencing their gender but to the purity of character. They are saved men and women who have not polluted themselves with the adulterous and immoral religious system of the great whore of Revelation 17. The term “firstfruits” refers to the first group of Jews saved after the rapture of the Church which is a portend or sign of a far greater number that will be saved in the not-too-distant future. The entire nation of Israel will turn to the Lord Jesus Christ immediately after the Second Coming (Zechariah 3:10).
Their purity before the throne of God speaks of their redemption by the Blood of the Lamb, hence justification in the Lord Jesus Christ. We must understand that God made many promises to Israel, but Israel failed miserably. In AD 70, Jerusalem was sacked, pillaged, and burned. Over a million Jews were killed in this carnage, and hundreds of thousands sold as slaves. They were scattered all over the world of that day. They were scattered for centuries until 1948 when they, once again, established the state of Israel. This was fulfillment of the many prophecies concerning God’s people, Israel. These people still belong to God. God’s promises will ultimately be realized. Israel will, one day, return to the Lord Jesus Christ as we’ve just mentioned concerning the prophesies of Zechariah.
Today there are about 4 million Jews in Israel. There are about 15 million worldwide with about 3 million of these being in the Soviet Union. At the time of this writing, approximately ½ million Jews have come from the Soviet union to Israel. They are now coming back at the rate of 40,000 a month. And it has been predicted in Israel that by the year 2025, most of the Jews all over the world will have come back to the state of Israel. During the Great Tribulation period, Israel will see her darkest time, even more horrible than the terrible bloodletting of AD 70 or the holocaust of World War II. Zechariah said 2/3 of the Jewish nation would die during the most hideous Tribulation period (Zechariah 13:8-9). Israel gave the world The Word of God, the Messiah - The Lord Jesus Christ, and in some measure, was the birthplace of the Church. Though she had drifted far from God, she will be brought back. The 144,000 Jews saved after the rapture (12,000 from each tribe) will be the firstfruits of the remnant left after the battle of Armageddon. This great revival will take place in one day (Isaiah 66:7-8).
The First Angel Preaches The Gospel – Revelation 14:6-7
This will take place during the last half of the Great Tribulation period. Will this be a literal angel, and will men on earth be able to see him? Yes, it will be a literal angel. There is no indication in the World of God that men will not be able to see this angel. This is the reason the angel is sent. People are supposed to see him and hear the message he preaches. The Bible says he will preach the Everlasting Gospel, the same Gospel we are supposed to preach today, the Great Gospel of the Grace of God, through the precious shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It tells us that this angel will preach to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. He will cry out with a loud voice telling the inhabitants of the earth to fear God and glorify Him. He will announce “…the hour of His judgment is come:…” There is every reason to believe that television cameras will pick up this event and beam it to the far corners of the globe. So, when we consider the extensive communicative powers of television and the instant communication now available, we realize that this angel could appear at the same location and be seen and heard minutes later by satellite in every home in the world with a television set.
The Second Angel Preaches the Fall of Babylon – Revelation 14:8
As the first angel preached the everlasting gospel, there will be a second angel with another powerful announcement “…Babylon is fallen, is fallen,…” And the angel makes this announcement. Babylon will be in its glory, engaging in commerce all over the world. The announcement will be fulfilled with Babylon destroyed at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation period under the seventh vial. Since rebuilt, Babylon will be the center of commerce for the whole earth. This announcement will be heard worldwide.
Back in 1991, during the forced removal of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, the following was told: “There will be a war. Iraq will be changed, in time, from military expansionism to commercial enterprise. The Euphrates valley, so prominent in the Bible concerning the beginning of civilization, as well as the end of this present age, will turn to peaceful means, drawing commercial interests from all over the world. Rebuilt Babylon will become one of the great cities of commerce as well as apostate religions.”
The Middle East, at this time, controls about 60% of the known oil reserves. Oil provides lubrication for the machinery of the industrialized world. One reason America took such as strong stance against Saddam Hussein is that the oil pipeline is the jugular vein of industrialized America. Even though America receives only a small percentage of her oil from Kuwait and Iraq, the economy of the free world largely depends upon free access to the Middle East. Germany and Japan have been receiving most all of their oil from this region, so the oil pipelines must be kept open. The angel’s announcement, a startling event heralded over the world, tells of the fall of Babylon with its mighty commercial enterprises connecting most of the nations. The economic fortunes of many countries will be tied to the mighty Babylon in the Euphrates Valley.
The Third Angel Preaches the Doom of the Beast Worshipers – Revelation 14:9-11
After these two powerful announcements, a third angel will follow and speak concerning the doom of the beast worshipers. Surely, this will capture the world’s attention. The third angel will warn the kingdom of antichrist that if they take the mark, the name or number of the beast, and worship him, they will seal their own doom to eternal hell forever. In light of everything God does to warn men concerning the coming judgment, it is obvious that He will be indignant when men reject His written and announced Word by refusing to repent.
Some will reject every effort to reach them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even ignoring angels flying in the midst of heaven. There will be absolutely no excuse during this time for men not to know the consequences of accepting the mark. They will be without excuse. Whoever takes this mark, thereby sealing their doom, will burn in hell forever, and it will be their own choice. It is the same as blaspheming the Holy Spirit, for which there is no forgiveness.
The beast (antichrist) will not rule the whole planet. He will be stopped short of realizing that goal. However, he will control a large part of the world including the Middle East, most of the Roman Empire (including Europe), as well as the Soviet Union and part of Africa. He’ll have powerful alliances with other nations. He will, no doubt, introduce beast worship and his mark, number, or name, not only in the area of the world that he controls, but also other parts of the world as well.
The Blessed Dead Who Die at the Hands of the Antichrist – Revelation 14:12-13
Many will refuse to worship the antichrist, to take his mark, because of the angel’s announcement, as well as the warnings from the Word of God. Consequently, they will be killed by the antichrist (Revelation 13:14-15).
Verses 12 and 13 prove that many will heed the announcement of the third angel. They will have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal savior according to Revelation 14:12. The Lord says, “…Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth:…” Then The Holy Spirit says, “…Yea,…that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” This is one of the 12 times The Holy Spirit speaks in the book of Revelation. Three things are said about these martyrs for Christ. First, they are called “blessed.” Then, they are given “rest.” Finally, the Bible says rewards shall follow them. It says their works do follow them.
The Harvest Armageddon – Revelation 14:14-16
The Scripture speaks of a white cloud and the Son of Man (Jesus) sitting on that cloud. He will have on His head a golden crown, and He will have in His hand a sharp sickle. The sharp sickle in the hand of Christ is symbolic of the horrible battle of Armageddon soon to come. It represents a tremendous bloodletting. In the 15th verse, we are told of the temple in Heaven. It says that another angel came out of this temple shouting with a loud voice to The Lord sitting on the cloud, and he says, “…Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap;...”
In the 16th verse, we are told that The Lord will thrust in His sickle and reap the earth. This will not take place at this time. It will be done at the appropriate time. John sees this in Heaven approximately 2 years before it is fulfilled on earth.
The Vintage Armageddon – Revelation 14:17-20
We are told of another angel coming out of the temple. And he, along with the Lord of Glory, will have a sharp sickle. Then, the Bible speaks of yet another angel. This one will come from the altar. This is the same type of altar called the Worship Altar in the Tabernacle that is set immediately before the veil hiding The Holy of Holies. We are told that this angel will have the power over fire which is the fire on the Golden Altar of Worship. Once again, it seems that the worship of all the saints of God, which is represented in this Golden Altar in Heaven, in some way concerns the battle of Armageddon.
The heart of the true child of God has always cried for deliverance of this world from the terrible ravages of sin and shame, the injustice, the inhumanity, the evil, the wickedness of the fall of the ages begs to be avenged. At this time, it will be avenged. We are told “…for her grapes are fully ripe.”
God does not bring judgment on a person or a nation until all hope of repentance is gone. During this time, the earth cannot say, “We were not warned.” Man cannot say, “We did not know.” “…her grapes are fully ripe.” The world little knows or understands the wrath of God. It has experienced His mercy and grace from the very beginning, but at the battle of Armageddon, planet earth will, for the first time, in full fury, know and realize the wrath of God.
1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion,
-is the same portrayed as Revelation 5:6. Christ being referred to here as “Lamb” proclaims the fact that our redemption was accomplished at The Cross. In fact, the title “Lamb,” as it refers to Christ, is used some 28 times in the book of Revelation, all denoting the atoning work of Christ on The Cross. Incidentally, this is Heavenly “Mount Zion.”
and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
-This is the number of Jews who came to Christ in the first half of the Great Tribulation. Some of the early manuscripts read, “having His name (the name of The Lamb) and the Father’s name upon their foreheads.” Considering the fact that this was inspired by The Holy Spirit, in this one verse, we have the doctrine of The Trinity.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder:
-proclaims the type of praise and worship being offered. It sounds like a waterfall mixed with thunder. Is this typical of the modern church? It ought to be!
and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
-portrays the musical accompaniment
3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders:
-This song is for the 144,000 only. It could very well be Psalm 149. Also, the “new song” mentioned here is not so much that the song itself is new, but what it says can only be carried out by those represented by the 144,000 which is redeemed Israel.
and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
-They were redeemed by trusting Christ and what He did at The Cross, which is the only way anyone can be redeemed.
4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.
-It refers to the 144,000 who did not corrupt themselves with idolatry. Faith in anything other than Christ and The Cross constitutes spiritual adultery, which is idolatry. In fact, millions in the modern church are guilty of this sin due to not understanding The Cross.
These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.
-By the use of the word, “Lamb,” they took up their cross exactly as Jesus demands of all in Luke 9:23-24.
These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
-By the use of the word “firstfruits” this tells us that the entire nation of Israel is coming to Christ, which in fact, will happen at the Second Coming.
5 And in their mouth was found no guile (no hypocrisy): for they are without fault before the throne of God.
This pertains to “justification by faith” which trust in Christ alone can bring about.
6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven,
-This is a different angel from the one described in Revelation 8:13.
having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
-refers to the same Gospel of Grace preached to Paul and the apostles (Hebrews 13:20). As well, the implication is that this angel will be observed by inhabitants on earth who will, as well, hear him preach. It is the first recorded instance of an angel preaching. No doubt, television cameras will record his appearance and his ministry projecting him and his message into all the world.
7 Saying with a loud voice,
-denotes significance and urgency. It is, in fact, a command to all the nations in the world.
Fear God, and give glory to him;
-is in contrast to the message being preached by the false prophet
for the hour of his judgment is come:
-regards the seven angels with the seven vials of plagues shortly to be poured out on the earth
and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
-Evidently, the antichrist is claiming the powers of creation. The angel counters by announcing to the entire world exactly Who the Creator actually is.
8 And there followed another angel, saying,
-This angel replaces the one who had been preaching the everlasting Gospel and makes another announcement.
Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city,
-Babylon, as here addressed, will be rebuilt. She will fall at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation.
because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
-As Babylon was the site of the earth’s first organized rebellion against God (Genesis 11:1-9). It will, as well, be the site of the last great organized rebellion. As it began, so shall it end.
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice,
-presents the last of this Heavenly trio
If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
-proclaims a warning of unprecedented proportion. This is a declaration for which every single individual is responsible.
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture
-There will be no mercy in this judgment.
into the cup of his indignation;
-When the cup gets full, the judgment of God will commence. This “cup” is not only full, but is running over with evil.
and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone
-refers to everyone who receives the mark of the beast and speaks of eternal hell
in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
-refers to the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15)
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever:
-refers to the fact that a conscious existence will be forever
and they have no rest day nor night,
-refers to an unbroken continuance of torment
who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
-All who have taken the mark of the beast in the coming Great Tribulation will, in essence, be blaspheming the Holy Spirit for which there is no forgiveness (Mark 3:29).
12 Here is the patience of the saints:
-a message to those on earth who have come to Christ during the Great Tribulation. By use of the word “patience,” we are told that this persecution is soon to come to an end.
here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
-The only way the commandments of God can be kept is by the believer placing his faith in Christ and The Cross. The Holy Spirit will then grandly help such an individual.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write,
-According to the balance of this verse, it is The Holy Spirit Who is speaking to John
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth:
-This refers to the Great Tribulation period when many will die for their testimony rather than serve the antichrist.
Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours;
-is the exact opposite from the beast worshipers who have no rest
and their works do follow them.
-The translation should be “and their works follow with them.”
14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man,
-presents the Lord Jesus Christ. “White” denotes purity. “Cloud” denotes glory. “Son of man” has reference to the humanity of Christ which always points to The Cross.
having on his head a golden crown,
-presents the victor’s crown
and in his hand a sharp sickle.
-represents the reaping that’s going to be done at the battle of Armageddon as the balance of this chapter portrays
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud,
-The first angel preached the “everlasting Gospel.” The second angel predicted the fall of Babylon. The third proclaims a warning concerning taking of the mark of the beast. The fourth announces the battle of Armageddon even though it will be some 3 years yet coming.
Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
-speaks of the battle of Armageddon which is soon to take place and portrays the fact that the evil of the antichrist will have reached a crescendo
16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth;
-refers to Christ who will orchestrate this momentous event
and the earth was reaped.
-That which takes place on earth, at least as it regards momentous events, are, first of all, orchestrated in Heaven.
17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven,
-presents the 5th angel of this chapter
he also having a sharp sickle.
-portrays the fact that angels will have a great part to play in the coming battle of Armageddon
18 And another angel came out from the altar,
-is the patterned altar after which the Brazen Altar on earth was fashioned
which had power over fire;
-refers to the fire on the altar
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.
-The repetitiveness of these statements proclaims the absolute significance of what is about to happen, and its outcome will affect the earth greatly.
19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth,
-He gathered the “vine of the earth” into a place called in the Hebrew tongue “Armageddon.”
and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
-refers to the assembled nations that will gather in the valley of Josephat
20 And the winepress was trodden without the city,
-refers to the actual battle itself pressing in on Jerusalem with the intent of completely destroying the city and slaughtering the Jews
and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
-1,600 furlongs is a distance of about 175 miles. The blood, no doubt, will be mixed with water, and in some places, will be approximately 6 feet deep. Possibly millions will be killed in this battle.
Scripture is in BLACK FONT
Words of Jesus in RED FONT
Notes in BLUE FONT
The Book of Revelation